I'm just gonna come out and say it: For the love of all that is good and holy, can we please STOP comparing every single psychological thriller that hI'm just gonna come out and say it: For the love of all that is good and holy, can we please STOP comparing every single psychological thriller that has come out recently to Gone Girl?! It's starting to get really annoying. Especially to me since I found Gone Girl to be just okay. And considering that every book I've read that has had that particular disclaimer in it has also been just okay, I'm starting to view it as the kiss of death...just sayin'.
Here's the thing about The Never List...it starts out great...amazing even. And it leads you to believe that this book is going to be that way in every single page...but it's not. And I think that's why The Never List ended up being somewhat disappointing, because it started out so magnificent.
I guess my major gripe with The Never List was that halfway through a pretty great first half, the feeling of dread and suspense that I was supposed to feel stopped and I felt like the story was being rushed to cram every single thing in it. I was also turned off by the main characters doing really dangerous things without having the cops on speed dial...or right next to you. It just didn't mesh for me and so I started viewing some of the characters' actions as inconsistent.
Now the HUGE reveal (which I WON'T reveal here) was not that revealing. In fact, I sort of figured that reveal out right at the beginning and kept reading in hopes that the plot wasn't going to be as predictable as it was seeming to be. I hoped that my prediction would actually turn out to be a red herring and that I would be shocked at a completely unpredictable reveal that made sense.
For me, the thing that The Never List had going for it was the fact that it was a huge page-turner. Sure, it ended up being slightly cliché, the characters weren't all that developed, but none of that bothered me at the time I was reading because I was so focused in the story. I was aggravated when I had to stop reading and the only thing I could think about was getting back to the book because I had to see the way it was going to play out.
So overall, I found The Never List to be slightly disappointing. The first half was amazing, the second half was a bit on the meh side. The premise was completely intriguing, yet the execution left a lot to be desired. I will, however, read the next book that this author publishes since I feel like there's enough potential with what was in The Never List for me to believe that the author can probably write a better book....more
Now THIS is what a young-adult thriller should be like. After being a bit disappointed at the mystery-thriller aspect of Susan Beth Pfeffer's Blood WoNow THIS is what a young-adult thriller should be like. After being a bit disappointed at the mystery-thriller aspect of Susan Beth Pfeffer's Blood Wounds (but not disappointed in the book as a whole), Every You, Every Me was definitely a welcome surprise. I had expected the book to focus heavily on the gimmick and let the actual mystery plot, of what happened to Ariel and who's sending Evan those mysterious photographs, fall to the wayside. But it didn't. In fact, Every You, Every Me wouldn't have suffered one bit if it didn't include any of the photographs. It still would have been an intriguing story and one hell of a mystery. Yet the photographs do add something extra to it.
Since I had an advanced reader's copy of Every You, Every Me, I didn't get the full effect of the photographs. Not that that part of the book was bad at all. The book was still pretty amazing, but the final released copy of Every You, Every Me is supposed to include full-length color photographs, while those with an ARC had small-ish black and white photos. But again, the photographs do add something extra. For me, it had me feeling that much more freaked out for Evan. The slashed out lines (that were still completely readable) were an interesting way to show what Evan was really thinking as opposed to what he was actually saying. So, the gimmicky parts of Every You, Every Me actually worked and were very well-done.
Every You, Every Me was also superbly written. You can just feel how screwed up Evan is due to everything that happened to Ariel. You really do start to wonder about Evan's state of mind and that just intensifies the disturbing factor. Every You, Every Me just drives home the fact that we never really know someone completely. We just know one facet of them. Who they are when they're with you can be completely different than who they are when they're with someone else.
So, I thought Every You, Every Me was a fantastic novel. Every single aspect of it worked wonderfully. I do think that it will be even more amazing as a finished product with the full-length cover pictures included. Either way, Every You, Every Me is highly recommended....more
I tend to read Tess Gerritsen books when I feel a reading slump coming on. They're just the perfect books to curb them since they're quick books thatI tend to read Tess Gerritsen books when I feel a reading slump coming on. They're just the perfect books to curb them since they're quick books that have you turning pages at an alarming speed. Anyway, that's why I picked up Vanish. I've been in final project hell and needed something that I would get into right away. While Vanish wasn't my favorite in the Rizzoli and Isles series, it definitely didn't disappoint.
Vanish doesn't so much start off with a bang, but rather a creepy and effective beginning. Mila's story was heartbreaking and enthralling that I found myself wanting the Rizzoli and Isles parts to be over faster just so I can get back to her story. However, the middle was where I started having some issues. I felt that it lagged just a bit with the whole "Jane is a hostage" situation. It wasn't as heart-pounding as I thought it would be. Also, I felt that it was veering towards political thriller territory and that just isn't my cup of tea.
Soon afterwards, my fears were quenched and Vanish went right back to the heart-pounding thriller that I expected it to be with a satisfying ending for some and heartbreaking endings/beginings for others. While there were a few bumps in the road, I enjoyed Vanish immensely.
I also found that I'm not getting sick of the leads. Usually after I've read more than a few in a series, I find that there are certain things that are starting to bother me about the main characters. Just little quirks that are starting to become more apparent after so much time together. This hasn't happened with the Rizzoli and Isles series yet. It's quite the opposite actually. An example of this is when I read the plot for the upcoming book (I believe it's the 8th in the series) and my heart hurt just a little at the thought of what's coming up for Maura. Hopefully, it won't end the way I think it will and there will be another worthy plot twist that won't have me in tears.
Anyway, not only did Vanish curb said reading slump, but it got me that much more excited for the upcoming Rizzoli & Isles series on TNT. So much that I'm now counting down the days until July 12th. So even if Book 8 ends up the way I hope it won't, I'll still have the series there. Unless of course, the people at TNT (I'm not calling the idiots...yet) cancel the show before it's time and then I'll go back to the books and realized they sucked and the show was better...I doubt this will happen. It's not like Tess Gerritsen is James Patterson and the Rizzoli & Isles series is the Women's Murder Club......more
You'd think that once the 8th book in a series rolls around, the author would lose steam with the characters and they would transform into caricaturesYou'd think that once the 8th book in a series rolls around, the author would lose steam with the characters and they would transform into caricatures of what they once were. This is not at all the case with Ice Cold. In fact, I am positive that Ice Cold has to be the best one yet, even beating The Mephisto Club when it comes to my favorite Rizzoli and Isles book.
Ice Cold was definitely the Rizzoli and Isles book with the most suspense. The whole survival story line had me flipping the pages at an alarming rate while simulatenously frustrating me because I really wasn't making the book last. The tension, of course, won out and I ended finishing Ice Cold in about three hours. Usually when I'm this far into a series, it becomes less about the cases and more about the characters. However, if you take Rizzoli and Isles out of this book, I still think I'd love it to bits and pieces.
Ice Cold was just so creepy, sure the tension was there, but I was a bit scared throughout the whole novel. I was so relieved that I started and finished this while it was still light outside, otherwise I would've been a mess (more of a mess). The plot was also infuriating. Not in the "the author has no idea what she's talking about" kind of way, but in the "this subject just really pisses me off" way. That's basically the way I feel when it comes to polygamist sects, but this was done in a way that I didn't finish the book completely upset (or more upset than I usually am when it comes to this subject).
Now the characters: I'm still in love with them, hence why tears came to my eyes when I read the synopsis for this book. Jane Rizzoli is all types of badass regularly, but she was just plain awesome in this book. Maura Isles' broke my heart with her whole situation with Daniel and I felt so bad for her. I think this is the one book where she shows the most vulnerability. This is also the book that sheds light to how close Jane and Maura really are. I found myself "aww"-ing when everything came to light and how Jane was there for Maura. I kept thinking "Aww! They're such good friends, even though they insist on calling each other colleagues!" I've also been missing Gabriel these past couple of books and he's here in all his shiny and awesome glory. Not enough Barry Frost (I enjoyed him in the last book), but I guess I can excuse that since he did have a significant part in The Keepsake.
So, I have to say that Ice Cold was the best Rizzoli and Isles yet. It just started out great and kept on going strong. Plus, Tess Gerritsen seems to be great at not making it absolutely necessary to pick up the previous books in the series (although you absolutely should), yet doesn't make all the readers who already have feel like she was repeating the same old information that we already knew. It was just some sprinkled here and there. Anyway, I highly recommend Ice Cold. It was creepy, suspenseful, and just an amazing mystery read all around. Can't wait for her next book in this series and am so excited that the show premieres in 3 days. YAY!...more
You ever read a book where you dislike the character so much you WANT them to get picked off by the serial killer? No...well that was my reaction to tYou ever read a book where you dislike the character so much you WANT them to get picked off by the serial killer? No...well that was my reaction to the main character in Dominance. This chick was a flaming idiot (when she wasn't being so annoyingly condescending). I could excuse her behavior when she was in college considering she was young and I can buy her naivete then. However, if 15 years pass and you're still acting like a clueless idiot, then I'm thinking that's more of an "it's always going to be there" thing rather than something that can be beaten out of you with time. Unfortunately, the stupid idiot of the main character wasn't my only problem with Dominance.
Dominance is one of those books that has a kick-ass, wonderfully creepy premise...that doesn't live up to its full potential. For example, the Procedure is supposed to be this creepy life and death game that makes everyone who is so absorbed with it go a teeny bit crazy. Yeah, I didn't buy that considering that the Procedure was barely alluded to and what was alluded wasn't interesting enough to make a normal sane person get so involved in it that they are desperate to WIN it at all cost. And the clues that the Night Class connected to Aldiss and the murders were very...out there. I have a hard time believing that someone as idiotic as Alex can make a connection between clues A and B (when A and B have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other and require tons of leaps in logic) when it takes a genius to make those types of connections (and a genius she is not).
Another thing: I get that the author was trying to have this sort of symbiotic relationship between Alex (the idiot) and Aldiss (the somewhat creepy suspect guy), but I just couldn't get into it. Aldiss has the potential to be truly...off and creepy, but he never comes out that way. I didn't see him having the type of presence that would get students to do his bidding. He just wasn't that much of a developed character. In fact, none of the characters were very well-developed. And that made it hard to care about them and react woefully when they started kicking the bucket.
Why the two stars instead of one? Because Dominance really did have a great premise. I also liked how the narrative shifted from the 1994 Night Class to Alex's current thoughts (that could be because I wouldn't have been able to deal with a book that had Alex's sole narrative throughout it). The 1994 narrative reminded me heavily of those teenage slasher flicks from the '90s (a lot of which I adore), so that was naturally my favorite part of Dominance. The current plot was one that I could take or leave.
So, in the end, I was disappointed with Dominance. I think it had the potential to be a really creepy, well-drawn out, psychological thriller, but it fell short. However, the premise was so unique that it kept me reading (that and the fact that it was a Vine book, of course) even when I was rolling my eyes at the stupidity of the main character regardless of the fact that I'm supposed to buy that she's really smart. Anyway, I think maybe I'll give the author's next book a shot in hopes that it's better than this one....more
I've read a couple of the Archie/Gretchen Chelsea Cain books. However, I stopped reading them when the author kept churning out book after book in thaI've read a couple of the Archie/Gretchen Chelsea Cain books. However, I stopped reading them when the author kept churning out book after book in that series and the quality started declining. I checked out One Kick because I figured that a new series meant a fresh series. My mistake. While One Kick was an okay read, it fails when compared to Cain's earlier novels.
The Good: Kick was a pretty cool, fleshed out character. I really liked her relationship with James, liked her angst-filled relationship with her mom, loved her relationship with her dog. The plot with the missing kids was also equally intriguing yet horrifying. However, unfortunately for me, I found the rest of the book to be meh.
The Not-So-Good: While Kick was a pretty kick-ass character, I never really clicked with her. I also never really clicked with Bishop. Therefore, their completely contrived, totally predictable relationship was of no use to me. In fact, it sort of made me LESS interested in them, both separate and together. The pacing in One Kick was also sort of awkward. Half the time it was just chugging along, and the other half of it sped up just a little bit. Despite the somewhat interesting main character, One Kick never truly hooked me. And the one thing that my mysteries need to be for me to get full enjoyment out of them are captivating. And this one fully wasn't.
So, I liked One Kick enough. I've always wondered how people who have survived kidnappings cope once they're out of that horrible situation and wondered what new struggles they have to go to. This explored a little bit of that. However, I didn't really click with any of the characters and had no trouble putting it down, so it gets 3 stars from me....more
I think I should start out by mentioning that anything about demons or the Devil just scares the hell out of me. I'm not a particularly religious persI think I should start out by mentioning that anything about demons or the Devil just scares the hell out of me. I'm not a particularly religious person, but was just traumatized by my viewing of The Exorcist when I was about twelve years old. So, yeah, I'm a wimp when it comes to that sort of stuff. However, I am inexplicably drawn towards the subject probably because I like to be scared sometimes (when it's daytime, of course). So, The Mephisto Club was right up my alley with Rizzoli and Isles being one of my favorite mystery series and with it being about demons/the Devil.
While I didn't really love Vanish (the book previous to this one) because I didn't find it as page-turning as Tess Gerritsen's other novels, I absolutely did not have that problem with The Mephisto Club. I finished it in a day and a half and that's only because I had to study for finals. Had I not had to do that, I would've finished quicker. This novel starts off with a bang and just does not let up. One of the main things that I loved about it was that it was not a typical mystery. It wasn't all about the whodunit. But it also weaved in things about mythology and Nephilism. Some of the things mentioned I have heard about, but most I didn't so I find it much more interesting than her other Rizzoli and Isles series.
When it comes to the main characters' plots in the book, I wasn't as interested in them as I was about the whole Nephilism thing. However, one thing about their plots that I did like was that Jane and Maura seemed much more like friends in this novel than in the previous ones. The subsequent tension that they exhibited due to one of Maura's choices was welcome. I was thinking "Finally they're acting like friends" because let's face it, friends fight. And speaking of Maura's B plot, it didn't annoy me the way something like that would usually annoy me in a novel. Maybe it's because I've gotten to know Maura throughout the other novels and I know how out of character it was for her. Had it been something that was introduced when the readers first met Maura, than it would've definitely colored my judgment towards her as a main character.
Anyway, The Mephisto Club was a great novel. It was an incredible page-turner, interesting, and creepy as hell. That's what I want in all my mysteries. Sure, the ending wasn't as bang-worthy as the beginning, but I didn't really have any problems with it. If anything it made me that much more anxious to pick up the next book in the series. This one is highly recommended. And since I've gushed about the fact that TNT is making this a series in my other reviews of the novels, I won't really mention it here (beyond this sentence I mean). ...more
I am a huge, self-confessed Tess Gerritsen fan. I love and adore her Rizzoli & Isles books (and the TV series which is totally different from theI am a huge, self-confessed Tess Gerritsen fan. I love and adore her Rizzoli & Isles books (and the TV series which is totally different from the books, but the character interactions are great. The mysteries...not so much). So, I assumed that I would like Bloodstream. I assumed that I would LOVE Bloodstream after I finished the prologue. It (the prologue, I mean) was nail-bitingly creepy. I was seriously holding my breath while frantically clicking on the Kindle. I thought that the prologue would set the tone for the book. Ehhh, it didn't really happen that way.
Again, this book starts off with a BANG!!! I think it may be one of the creepiest prologues from a mystery book that I've ever read. The chapters following the prologue were still plenty creepy and more than a little intriguing. In fact, the beginning chapters of Bloodstream reminded me heavily of a UK movie called The Children (totally recommended, by the way. It's creepy, underrated, and due to what happened in the movie, it will never be remade and subsequently ruined by American filmmakers). So much that I thought it was sort of going to go that way (which I really would've preferred). But it didn't.
There were just too many things going on in this book. It's a parasite. No, it's evil. No, it's an actual person. No, it's the evil corporations. No, it's the parents' influece causing the kids to go violently crazy and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Seriously, everything was packed in here. Every single excuse was packed in here. I understand that the point of mysteries is to keep you guessing, but it was just too much. And the resolution was very anti-climactic and the ending a bit abrupt. So much that I kept clicking the Kindle thinking "It can't really be over..."
However, my main issue with Bloodstream was that I thought every single character in it was an idiot. That makes it REALLY hard to root for them. I understood why the teenagers were bratty (they were teenagers, therefore, are supposed to be bratty and then if you add in what's actually happening then it's sort of understandable), but all of the adults were pissing me off, too. They were acting worse than the children. So, I didn't feel a huge sense of remorse when they started getting picked off.
I did give Bloodstream two stars instead of one because the premise was very intriguing and so promising (which was why the execution was so disappointing). Plus, it's Tess Gerritsen so you know the book was a huge page-turner. All I could think about in my 8AM college math class was how to get back to this book, so that's something. In the end, I thought that Bloodstream was just okay and I definitely liked all of the books in the Rizzoli and Isles series more than I liked this one....more
I'm just going to come out and say it: Gone Girl pissed me off to no friggin' end. That's the one feeling that remained consistent to me throughout thI'm just going to come out and say it: Gone Girl pissed me off to no friggin' end. That's the one feeling that remained consistent to me throughout the whole novel. Sure the things that pissed me off were different each time I read a new chapter, but that feeling just did not go away while I was reading. In fact, it's still lingering despite the fact that I have already finished reading the novel. So just know that you might experience feelings that may vary from mild annoyance, to pissed off, to maybe, if you're particularly sensitive, out and out rage. There's my disclaimer.
First things first. I was highly annoyed at Gone Girl for the first 200 pages. It was just so ever-loving slow! And since I've read both of Gillian Flynn's novels, I was already spoiled to the fast pace that those novels employ (or rather, not the agonizingly slow pace that Gone Girl was lingering in). I was also spoiled to the fact that Gillian Flynn's previous novels all started off immediately creepy. I found the beginning of Gone Girl...mundane (although that probably reflects more on my reading experience of reading tons of creepy/horror books as opposed to the novel). So mundane that had this not been a Vine book, I would've stopped reading it. But since I have read it, I think not finishing it would have been a mistake because it ended up being really insane.
Gone Girl shocked me like you wouldn't believe. I had expected the book to go one way (the mundane way) and it ended up going a completely creepy and off-kilter way (which I liked). Yet, still I was annoyed, but this time because I was supposed to be. There's just so much flip-flopping in this book (half of it is narrated by Nick; the other half by Amy) that you don't immediately know who, if anyone, to root for. In fact, I spent most of the time while reading Gone Girl wanting to jump into the pages of the book and repeatedly shake every single character to saneness. Again, this is deliberate and I wasn't so much annoyed at the book by then, but at the characters, but like I said, I think you're supposed to be. There are no clear heroes in this book and that did make this book seem more human to me as opposed to the self-righteousness that can plague some books with a clear hero.
Again, Gone Girl is INSANE. One minute you start off thinking "God, I hate this person!" and then you think "No, scratch that I hate THIS person", until finally you realize you hate everyone in the friggin' book, but that's okay because they are all relatively hateable (I know not really a word, but there you have it). And the situations the characters find themselves in are hateable (and there it is again)...and shocking...and brings new meaning to the word "twist". Everything that happened (after those initial 200 pages) was so unexpected and not in that annoying "well we didn't see it coming because it made no type of sense" kind of way. The things that happened here made sense, which brings up all sorts of questions like "If you find that THIS situation made sense, what does that say about YOUR state of mind?", which is all sorts of fun.
So why the 3 stars? Well, I just couldn't get over how long Gone Girl took to get going (for me as this is all a matter of opinion). Sure, once it did get going, it never stopped, but I just wouldn't have given a book 200 pages to get going if it wasn't for review. Also, I was left feeling very unsatisfied by the ending. I expected an exploding, tremendous ending and what I got was an ending that was, now that I'm thinking about it, very reminiscent to the beginning 200 pages of Gone Girl: anti-climactic to the extreme. I still recommend Gone Girl as I do feel the middle of the book (right up until the end) was worth it just for the "this is craaazy!" comment you will most likely say. However, if you even semi-like this one, I'd recommend Gillian Flynn's two other books as I think they were better than this one. ...more
So, I've basically praised the Kenzie and Gennaro series in every single one of my reviews regarding this series. Gone, Baby, Gone is no exception. InSo, I've basically praised the Kenzie and Gennaro series in every single one of my reviews regarding this series. Gone, Baby, Gone is no exception. In fact, Gone, Baby, Gone may be my favorite of this series, case-wise.
One minor complain (very, very, very minor) that I've had over this series was that the cases weren't amazing. Well, in Gone, Baby, Gone, Lehane stepped up that aspect like you wouldn't believe. The case in this book was gripping, gritty, and heartbreaking. It was also crazy twists galore. I think Lehane might be the ONLY mystery writer that doesn't make me guess the whodunit. In fact, I don't even bother trying to guess because I KNOW I'll be wrong and I'm not usually wrong.
Anyway back to the heartbreaking thing, what I liked most about Gone, Baby, Gone was that it wasn't your typical mystery "fluff" (ala James Patterson or whoever actually writes his novels). Lehane brings up complex questions of what is right and wrong, the law, and basically everything else. What was heartbreaking was that in Gone, Baby, Gone there were no winners. Again, Gone, Baby, Gone is highly recommended. It's definitely my favorite one (so far) in this series. It was thought-provoking, captivating, and superbly written....more
Like the title of this review says, I LOVED Dark Eden! But I sort of knew I was going to the moment I read the premise for it. I'm someone who has alwLike the title of this review says, I LOVED Dark Eden! But I sort of knew I was going to the moment I read the premise for it. I'm someone who has always been interested in the different phobias that exist and how some of the more ridiculous ones (that tended to show up on the Maury show...a show I've NEVER watched...not at all) tended to make people freak the hell out. Basically, I'm interested in the psychology of it all. And since this book was a psychological thriller, it had the potential to be full of win for me. Which it was. Yay!
What I loved most about Dark Eden (besides the insight into phobias, I mean) were the characters. This is one of those books where you have 7 teens vastly different from one another, yet they're relateable in that you immediately think that you know someone like them. It's very easy to fall into the trap of having them come out cartoonish or stereotypical. Luckily for everyone involved, these characters fell far from stereotypic. Another good thing is that I could see where every single character's fear was coming from. It seemed like it was something so tied to their personality that I didn't think the writer just pulled a particular fear out of thin air and just pressed it upon whatever character tickled his fancy. Each one of the fears made sense. And it was sort of fun for me to try to figure out which character would have which phobia. Sometimes you can tell immediately (like with Will), othertimes it took a while for me to figure out, yet when it cropped up, I thought "Of course!"
However, the most awesome thing about Dark Eden were the elaborate twists and turns that even I couldn't figure out ahead of time (and I almost ALWAYS figure it out ahead of time). Seriously, some of the twists and turns just came out of left field, but still somehow made absolute sense. And were sort of creepy, to boot. I'm awed at how the author's mind works when you take in how it started, with the phobias, and how it ended, with something I'm not going to give away. Mind-blowing! So, mind-blowing that I'm going to admit that my ego's a little bit bruised that I couldn't see it coming.
So, I loved Dark Eden. It was a semi-creepy, psychological thriller that I really want a second installment of (even if it really wouldn't make much sense). It was fantastically written, immensely interesting, and overall full of awesome. However, as I read this as an ARC, I didn't get the app that's supposed to be included in it. In fact, I find that whole aspect of it to be a bit gimmicky, so just know that if you decide to forego that particular item, as I did, you won't be missing much as the story clearly doesn't need it....more
In the interest of full disclosure, I'm going to say this: I had absolutely no idea that And She Was was the start of a new mystery series. I honestlyIn the interest of full disclosure, I'm going to say this: I had absolutely no idea that And She Was was the start of a new mystery series. I honestly thought that it was a stand-alone novel. Had I known that it was written as the start of a series, I might have been more lenient towards it as it is only the first of what is (probably) many and therefore, it's going to (probably) get more detail-oriented (and better) as the series goes along. But again, I had no clue, so leniency was not given. And I do have to say that with And She Was...I was just not impressed.
The Good: I liked most of the characters. And now realizing that this is going to be a series, I can totally get on board with numerous books featuring these characters. I liked Brenna. She was sassy and sarcastic and just how I like my female characters to be written. I adored her relationship/bromance with Trent. In fact, that was probably my favorite aspect of And She Was. I was interested in Brenna's background and wanted more of it. I wanted more of her relationship with her sister and her relationship (both past and current) with her mother. Her disorder (can't remember how to spell it) was intriguing enough that I want to read more about it.
The Meh: Okay, I'm just going to get this out of the way, I don't like bratty teenagers...And despite my love for YA novels, I hate reading about them. Therefore, I could not stand Maya. Her general existence (as well as her overbundance of eye-rolling) really aggravated me. Another thing that really took me out of And She Was was the name-dropping that kept occurring. Great, the author knows who Death Cab for Cutie is. Awesome, she knows about Rachel Yamagata...but I really couldn't care less. Especially since the name dropping had nothing to do with the case. It seemed like the author was just trying to show how "cool" and "hip" she is...it didn't work.
The Bad: Brenna's disorder is interesting. I would love to read a non-fiction book about it. Her disorder is also really annoying to semi-experience from a reader standpoint. The constant flashbacks that would happen seemingly out of nowhere and had absolutely no order to them confused me. I understand that that was the whole point of the way And She Was was written; to somewhat showcase what this disorder does, but again, as a reader, I was turned off by the way it was executed. I'm someone who can generally follow along pretty well in a mystery novel. But the flashbacks serving as a semi-introduction to way too many characters meant that I spent the first half of the novel trying to figure out which current character was in which flashback and the second half of the novel finally not giving a crap. Too many characters that only showed up as a blip on the radar made it sort of hard to follow, at least for me. So by the time I reached the end of And She Was I just didn't care about the case or the whodunit...I just wanted it to be over with.
So overall, I found And She Was a bit disappointing. It had all the elements of a good series: intriguing characters with intriguing backstories, but the case on this one was just not up to snuff...at least for me. And as a standalone, it left a lot to be desired...As the first book of the series, I guess it was okay. I'm interested enough that I will definitely be taking a look at the next in this series.
I have found that it is a bit difficult to write a review on a book that's part of a series, particularly if you have reviewed most of the other booksI have found that it is a bit difficult to write a review on a book that's part of a series, particularly if you have reviewed most of the other books in the series. Chances are that most of what you say in the newest review is going to sound repetitive. Regardless of whether you liked it or not. But, still, review I must. So, I'm going to say that while I have stated my love for the Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles many times in my numerous reviews, The Keepsake was the first one that I felt sort of "meh" about. Wow! Typing that sentence nearly killed me and now I feel ashamed...
Let's start with the good: the archeology. This was something that I found absolutely fascinating (well, you know, that and the shruken heads) and could not get enough of. That's what I love about Tess Gerritsen's mysteries. Sure, it focuses mainly on the whodunit (is there a more amusing word than "whodunit"? Besides "oy", I mean), but they're usually set to a backdrop of some really intriguing premise. In The Mephisto's Club it was nephilism and here in The Keepsake it's archeology. And, boy do I love it when a novel I'm reading teaches me about things I didn't have a clue about before. I really wished that Gerritsen would've expanded on this just a tiny bit more because it was my favorite part (besides Jane Rizzoli and her utter awesomeness, I mean).
This is book 7 in the series, so obviously by now I'm in tune with the characters since I keep reading. Jane Rizzoli was all types of on in this book. Usually, I like her anyway, but in The Keepsake, I loved her! From being all Mama Bear with Frost to her sometimes dry sense of humor that's so dry you can't really tell if she's joking or not, she was just great. Definitely my favorite character in this one. Barry Frost was another one that I was endeared to. He's just so sweet and dopey. Although, that whole "losing objectivity in the face of an attractive woman" thing was sort of grating, though.
Here comes the "while not bad, it definitely was annoying" part of the review: Maura Isles. She's usually my favorite character in most of these books. But in The Keepsake, she really didn't serve a purpose besides whining about her relationship with the priest. This was made even more obvious by the fact that she was gone for half the novel. Seriously, I was halfway through when I suddenly thought "Wait! Where's Maura?". It just seemed like the author had shipped her off to destinations unknown. Just as suddenly as it hit me that Maura wasn't there, there she was again. But she came back to the plot in a way that had me believing that Gerritsen forgot about her for a bit and thought "Crap! I've been so focused on everything else, I forgot all about Maura. Well, maybe, I can plug her in right here and explain it using this lame plot point..." Well, it didn't really work.
So, I have to say that The Keepsake might've been my least favorite of the series (I hesitate to say "worst" because Tess Gerritsen's "worst" is a lot better than most mystery authors' "best"), but I can't really complain (more than I have above) because it was a quick page-turner and it kept me intrigued. And I'm still looking forward to the next book (which I have right next to me and am trying to restrain myself from reading it for at least a week) and I'm so excited for the Rizzoli & Isles series that premieres on TNT in about a week and a half. ...more
What is going on? Seriously, this is the second mystery I've read this month that has suffered from an acute identity crisis! Love Lies Bleeding justWhat is going on? Seriously, this is the second mystery I've read this month that has suffered from an acute identity crisis! Love Lies Bleeding just does not know what it wants to be. Oh, it's a mystery. Oh, it's a psychological thriller, no wait, it's a haunted house story. Now, I don't mind genre-bending when it's done right, but I didn't think it was in Love Lies Bleeding. The certain aspects of the genres she used just didn't...mesh well together. That made it seem like the author wanted to take the book in three different directions, but didn't know which direction to take...so she took all of them.
Another thing that bothered me was Samantha's behavior. I get that she's paranoid, bitter, depressed, and a whole lot of other things due to her attack, but I found her written very inconsistenly. She was okay one minute and then bratty the next. I don't mean justifiably bratty (because some brattiness would be justified after what she went through), but more like teenager bratty. Seriously, she said "Whatever" and rolled her eyes like fifteen times in Love Lies Bleeding. At first, I was like "Man, this chick must be pretty young", because with her behavior I had assumed that she was in her early to mid twenties. Then I found out towards the middle of the novel that she's actually THIRTY-FIVE! I was in shock. No thirty-five year old would act like that. It's not even only her constant overuse of the word "Whatever".
Samantha was constantly bitching about wanting more control, she NEEDS more control over her life, but everytime she gets control, she acts immature and stupid, and that really just proves the point that she can't be trusted with control. Another thing that bothered me was how much she wanted control over her situation when it came to her father. That part right there didn't bother me. What bothered me was that she had no qualms whatsoever in relinquishing control to her controlling fiance. And I just remembered something else...in one part of Love Lies Bleeding, she actually tells another character "You're supposed to be MY friend! I thought you were on MY side!" Seriously? Seriously?! Does that sound like the actions of a thirty-five year old to you?
So, Love Lies Bleeding gets two stars for an intriguing premise that allowed me to read the book in one sitting. But the inconsistency of the main character, the genre-bending, and the somewhat predictable whodunit aspect of the novel left me feeling cold. But I will definitely check out Jess Mcconkey's future work as I do think she can write one hell of a page-turner....more
When I read the premise of Still Missing, I was immediately intrigued. I'm a huge mystery buff and this one seemed like it had a pretty unique storyliWhen I read the premise of Still Missing, I was immediately intrigued. I'm a huge mystery buff and this one seemed like it had a pretty unique storyline. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't feel the tension or suspense since you know the narrator makes it through her horrific ordeal right at the beginning of the book. I was so wrong! This book was extremely suspenseful (just the way I like them). So why the 3 star rating? Because I felt like the author lost steam halfway through.
This book started out pretty amazing. I had visions of giving this the full five stars and tons of praise. It was suspenseful, but the narrator told her story in such a matter-of-fact way that it made it that much more chilling and haunting. Annie O' Sullivan suffered through every woman's worst nightmare and the author doesn't shy away from it. Even though, I knew Annie was going to end up alive, I still flinched and cringed every time The Freak went near her. I just couldn't help it. And my heart just broke having to read through every thing that Annie was going through while recounting it to her therapist. I loved that this was how it was narrated. I thought the whole sessions thing was very unique.
Once I found out what happened to The Freak and how she ended up escaping from her torment, Still Missing started going downhill (not that I was upset at anything that happened to The Freak, I'm just trying to provide a timeline as to when I stopped loving it without adding spoilers) for me. After that, it felt like I was reading two completely different stories. It just started going all over the place. Other reviewers have pinpointed my main problem with Still Missing. The book just doesn't know what it wants to be, so everything is packed in there. Also, the whole "twist" was just very, very out there that I had a "suspend disbelief" (or belief? I'll never know the correct way to say it) moment.
So, I loved the psychological part of Still Missing. This book excelled when it was getting into how Annie was coping with what happened to her. However, it was a bit of a fail when it came to the whole crime-thriller aspect of it. In fact, I think I would've enjoyed the book more if it had been sans big, unbelievable, twist that every mystery writer that I've read (except maybe Tess Gerritsen and Dennis Lehane) seem to think they need to make it great....more
Tell No One is one of those edge-of-your-seat thrillers that make you want to ignore all of your responsibilities i.e. children, chores, work, etc., eTell No One is one of those edge-of-your-seat thrillers that make you want to ignore all of your responsibilities i.e. children, chores, work, etc., etc., just so you can keep on reading. Seriously, I did not want to put this book down. It's a little less than 400 pages, but they really flew by. And that's really how I like my mysteries. I don't want them to drag, I want to care about the characters, and I want a plot and resolution that's not too simple yet not too complex. 2 out of 3 ain't bad.
I guess the reason I gave Tell No One three stars instead of four is because of the plot twists. Now, don't get me wrong, I like plot twists as much as the next mystery-thriller fan. It's way better than a great sounding plot that has you guessing the killer in about fifty pages [glares at [book:The Vanishing of Katharina Linden|7692967]]. However, there is such a thing as too much. When the first plot twist came up, I was like "Whoa!". When the next one came it went "Intrigue!". Then, they just kept popping up in a span of fifty pages, which were the last ones, and then I was like "Don't think too much about it otherwise you'll find tons of little plot holes that would blow that theory to the water..." This book would've been a bit better if one of those "plot twists" had gone unexplored. I'm not picky to one in particular. But after a while it becomes a bit mind-bending (and not in that good way).
So, again, I liked Tell No One. It flew by for me and I really was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I also really loved the characters and thought Beck was a really great, sympathetic, hero. However, too many plot twists really made this a "suspend belief just for a couple of seconds" type of book. But like I mentioned at the beginning, 2 out of 3 really isn't that bad....more