Tag Archives: Bookreview

The Girls- Emma Cline

thegirls

“It was just a heart, like any lovesick girl might doodle.”

I have been wanting to read this book since I read about it in Time magazine. Then a couple months back I joined the book of the month club and to my surprise this was one of the choices!!!

I loved this book! It reminded me of another favorite book of mine  Anthropology of an American Girl. The way Ms. Cline writes is poetic and reminds you of the feelings of being a young girl growing up too quickly. Evie is trying to deal with growing up in the late sixties, her parents divorce, and starting to back away from her childhood friend. This is when she meets Suzanne, a girl who is running with Russel (a Manson-esqe character).

Through out the book you can feel the tides changing with Russel’s group and when you finally get to the pinnacle of the story you are not disappointed. I even found the, very few, chapters that are told from the point of view of older Evie enjoyable. Different, but enjoyable.

This is a quick read and I wish it was longer. I think Ms. Cline could have gone deeper into the the madness unraveling at the ranch, or even the trial. Quick or not this has a place on my favorites shelf now.

Advertisements

Wreckage- Emily Bleeker

Wreckage

“Lies, good one at least, are smooth and well thought out. It’s the truth that’s sloppy.”

Is it me or have I been reading really quickly these days? I told my fiance it’s because of the kindle and maybe it is. Either way it’s been nice to be on a reading binge.

Wreckage tells the tale of Lillian and David two people who find themselves stranded on an island somewhere in the South Pacific after a messy jet plane crash. They are accompanied by Kent, the pilot, and Lillian’s mother-in-law Margaret. It is told in varying chapters from David’s point of view and then Lillian’s and it also goes a step further and goes from present day, where the two are being interviewed separately, and back when they were stranded.

I don’t like reading other reviews before I start a book because I want the experience to be all my own. I do sometimes skim through the first few lines of them on goodreads though. One person said that the dialogue was lacking substance and I would agree and disagree. There were times that I thought the dialogue, mostly between Lilian and her husband Jerry, was just not believable. Then there were other times that I felt the author was speaking from the heart.

The twists in this book were gut wrenching, from death and betrayal to touching on the subject of “two men and one woman stranded on an island together”. The last couple chapters are just a roller coaster ride of emotion; and while I was satisfied with the ending I did always hold out hope for Lily and David. The love they have for each other oozes of the page and you just wish that you had someone in your life that thinks about you the way that they think about each other. Without the plane crash and all.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am excited to see where this author’s career takes her.


Little Mercies- Heather Gudenkauf

littlemercies

“You have to look for the little mercies, the small kindnesses and good that come from the terrible.”

For those playing the home game, you know that I love Heather Gudenkauf! I won’t bore you with what I said in my latest post about Little Lies, if you’re interested you can pop back a couple posts and check it out.

Once I figured out how to borrow ebooks from the library I quickly put all of Ms. Gudenkauf’s books on my wishlist and was alerted that Little Mercies was available. The problem was that I had already committed to finishing The Big Library Read, which didn’t take me that long to finish. I sometimes feel like I’m cheating on my goodreads reading challenge because I’ve been reading shorter books, but reading is reading I suppose.

Little Mercies is about Ellen Moore, a mother of three who is also a social worker taking care of the kids who don’t have a voice in unstable homes. One day everything turns around when Ellen is in a rush and doesn’t hear her husband yell from the porch an important detail that will plague her for the rest of her days. It is also about Jenny a ten year old girl who is living with her father paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes not even that.

Ultimately this book is about what we do for children; not only our flesh and blood but every child. Like the rest of her books that I have blogged about it is hard to discuss this book without spoiling the jaw dropping twists and turns that I have come to love from Ms. Gudenkauf. I’m waiting for her other books to become available on my library network so stay tunes for more blogs about this author. I hope she keeps at it because I will always pick up her books. You truly have a die hard fan over here Ms. Gudenkauf. Keep ’em coming!


A Murder in Time- Julie McElwain

amurderintime

“Little twists and turns.”

I picked up this book after finally figuring out how to borrow ebooks from my local library. While trying to do that the first thing that popped up is “Join the Big Library Read”. Being the book nerd that I am I clicked on the link and was taken to biglibraryread.com, which is where I saw a synopsis and cover of Julie McElwain’s book  A Murder in Time.

First I should explain what  The Big Library Read is, eh? It is the first ever global eBook club! I’m not sure what the timeline is for the books, is it every month or not, but it seems like it is picking up steam since it started back in 2014. All you need is a library card or a student id. When I read the synopsis for the book I didn’t think it would be for me. Time travel…murder mystery… Then I thought; didn’t I just read a book kind of like that? 11/22/63 !!! So, I gave it a shot.

There are no holds on Big Library Read books and you get them for two weeks. I picked this book up on Friday and flew through it so I’m not quite sure what happens to books if you don’t finish them. Maybe they just disappear. How sad.

Anyway, back to the book. I loved this book! I never thought I was one for murder mysteries; which is strange because my Netflix queue is filled with murder mystery documentaries. This book was a joy to read and kept me guessing right up until the end. The language is easy to read and the chapters are short, which I enjoy because it makes it seem like things go by quicker.

Kendra Donovan is an FBI agent who goes on a mission to destroy the man who changed her life and the lives of her fellow agents. When she falls in to a “wormhole” and is transported to the same castle she happens to be standing in but in the year 1815. She quickly realizes this is no dream and sets out trying to blend in. Which is hard when you don’t know the lingo. People didn’t really go around taking the Lord’s name in vain and calling people “son’s a bitches” back then.

She also meets the people who live at Aldrich Castle and the people who are there for a sort of dinner party weekend. When a girl is found in the nearby river dead Kendra quickly snaps back in to FBI mode and sets up shop in the castle to try and find out who did it and when he will strike again.

A Murder in Time had everything! Fantasy, mystery, and a bit of romance. I could not put it down and was startled a few times when my cat jumped up on the couch next to me. Once I got to the end my jaw was on the floor and I was craving more! I want to know more about her scientist parents and the “experiments”. I want to know how she has been the only person to find this “wormhole” to 1815. And gosh darn it, I want to know what happens with her and her 1815 love interest Alec!!!

Ms. McElwain is writing a sequel and it is slated to come out in 2017. Now I wait…


Little Lies- Heather Gudenkauf

littlelies

“As much as I would like to protect the children I work with from the truth, I learned very early on that lies, big or little, eventually destroy, or at the very least, erode their faith in the world.”

Ms. Gudenkauf does it again! Those of you who have been following me for a while know that she is hands down one of my favorite authors. Starting with The Weight of Silence which left me so speechless I didn’t know what to read next for about a month. Then with These Things Hidden which also left in a kind of “book readers euphoria” for a few weeks.

Her writing is so real and fluid you feel like you are a peeping-tom, quietly looming in the bushes of the lives of her characters. Not to mention the twists and turns she has always placed in the perfect points in her books. Little Lies is no different! A novella prequel to Little Mercies, it gives you a backstory in to the work relationship of Ellen and Joe; a social worker and a police officer who seem to be a little more than friends.

It deals with a case that we have seen before. A woman is found dead by the side of her young child who is very much alive. What ensues is a who-dun-it and why that is so gripping to read, I couldn’t it down. At 44 pages (Kindle) it’s a short read. But it being summer I was sitting outside enjoying a beverage and baking in the heat and even though I could barely stand the heat from the sun I stayed until I was finished.

She never disappoints me and I can’t wait to pick up Little Mercies. Unfortunately, before I read this book I had already made a commitment, to myself, that I would read the worldwide “Big Library Read”,  A Murder in Time. I just discovered that I can borrow ebooks from my library. Game changer. So, until then, Ellen and Joe are going to have to be put on hold and; as always, Thanks, Ms. Gudenkauf!

#BigLibraryRead


Into the Wild- Jon Krakauer

Into_the_Wild_(book)_cover

“I think I’m going to disappear for a while.”

Like quite a few people out there my first brush with Christopher Mccandless was with the movie Into the Wild. Thank you Sean Penn. The movie was a touching depiction of a young man who wants to leave society behind and live in the wilds of Alaska. I enjoyed the movie; in fact I think I own it but this isn’t about the movie. This is about the book.

The story of Chris Mccandless or Alexander Supertramp is one of adventure and the longing for something more from life that is purely materialistic. Mccandless leaves without telling his family after graduation, suspends his mail so it won’t be “returned to sender” for a few months after he is already gone and does not leave a forwarding address. In the book Mr. Krakauer does give us all the facts and talks to a lot of the key people who knew Alex during his trip to the wild. He also gives us the opinions of people who didn’t know him. People who simply say that he must have been “suicidal” or “mentally unstable”. To that I have to ask; hasn’t there ever been a time in your life when you just want to leave everything  behind? Try to live off the land for a time? To really be in nature? I’m sure most of you have said yes.

Mr. Krakauer does come to Alex’s defense and cites many other men (yes, they are mostly men and I am interested to research and see how many women have attempted such a thing) who have done the same thing. He even cites his own misguided trip up a mountain in Alaska in jaw dropping detail. He also goes in depth to try and uncover what was the real cause of Alex’s demise. Was it simply starvation? He had lived two years on the road and he had survived.

The story of Christopher Mccandless (or Alexander Supertramp) will always live on. Especially in the hearts and minds of people who want to escape the daily grind. Filled with quotes that Mccandless had underlined himself in the books he carried with him, Wild is a story lovingly told of a soul we lost too soon and for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to walk into the wild.

 

chris-mccandless-bus.jpg.560x0_q80_crop-smart

Rest well

Christopher Mccandless

Feb. 1968-Aug. 1992

 


Lamb- Bonnie Nadzam

lamb

Say this was all in hopes of glimpsing something beautiful. And is there anything wrong with that?

I found this book while I was deep in a trailer watching hole on IMDB. You all know what I’m talking about. After watching the trailer I decided to put it on my queue and quickly went to work finding the book on my kindle, which I found for $3.99. It’s hard for me to spend more than $7 on a book for my kindle, but it’s been known to happen.

This book was disturbing. And yet, it was one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read in a while. This book isn’t for people who aren’t comfortable with people “pushing boundaries”. Lamb is about a man, David Lamb, whose life seems to be falling apart. His father dies, you assume Cathy is his wife and that they are separating, he seems bored with his love Linnie, and just bored all around with life. That’s when he meets Tommie. Sitting on a bus bench outside of a store she approaches him and asks for a cigarette. This is where things start to push in to “disturbing” territory. He “pretends” to abduct her to “teach her friends a lesson”. He throws her in to his car and then just proceeds to tell her that it’s all a joke. Ya know, haha.

After he takes her home he can’t stop thinking about her, yeah I know. He decides to go back to the bench and lo and behold guess who walks up, Tommie. They create this relationship where he would pick her up every morning before school and make sure she ate a good meal then he would drop her off at school and pick her up later sometimes. Now, through out this whole bit I just kept telling myself “He’s just trying to help her. Little girl without a father figure.” Then things take a turn for the ultra disturbing.

Lamb asks Tommie if she wants to go on a road trip and see the mountains. She says yes. He takes her to a nice hotel and buys her some new clothes, promising to always treat her right and that he won’t touch her or kiss her. “Say ‘ok. Gary.” Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that he gives her a fake name, Gary. He also coaches her through out the book to say things back to him which is also pretty disturbing. In the hotel is where you also find out that Tommie is in fact 11 years old; something that good ol’ David/Gary didn’t know either.

They embark on this road trip stopping sometimes at hotels where David/Gary keeps Tommie up at night telling her stories about horses and how he is the horse and that she will take care of him when he is old and grey. The end up at the cabin that they were trying to get to and things just fall deeper in to the rabbit hole. For a brief second we get back to “father figure” mode, but all that quickly evaporates when he tells the clerk at the store that she is his niece and her name is Emily.

I know what you’re thinking, but the word abduction is only said twice in the entire book. But let’s call apples apples, shall we. He coerced a young girl to come with him on a road trip that was not sanctioned by her mother. At one point Tommie puts all of her cold weather clothes on to make a run for it, gets to the fence and turns around. Good ol’ David/Gary even grapples with what the actual f*ck did he’s doing.

Because he knew exactly what the rest of her life would be after he returned her, and it was a bleak and terrible secret that he and all the world were keeping from her, and his withholding was the worst of all, because his presence in her life–this sudden and unusual friendship–might be the only bright spot, the only break in an otherwise scripted life.

Honestly, I couldn’t put this book down. I needed to find out what happened. Did David/Gary get arrested? Does he keep her with him for the rest of her life? Does Tommie run away? I actually enjoyed the book. It was a nail biter and the subject matter is delicate, but it was actually an easy read. It’s not going to be for everybody. But I think that’s what Ms. Nadzam was going for. To get the reader to really think about the borders of friendship and what makes it tip into forbidden territory.