**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this one quite a lot. I liked that she allowed the main characters to leave the stage for a bit so she could focus on the**spoiler alert** I enjoyed this one quite a lot. I liked that she allowed the main characters to leave the stage for a bit so she could focus on the secondary characters. A risk, I guess, but one that paid off....more
I was craving a legal thriller and this fit the bill. As an opening to a series I thought it was good... I enjoyed that the characters, even the mainI was craving a legal thriller and this fit the bill. As an opening to a series I thought it was good... I enjoyed that the characters, even the main character, were not entirely good or bad. ...more
Really great job of building suspense. I'm not sure it really paid off though. It was not difficult to see where it was going after a point... but a gReally great job of building suspense. I'm not sure it really paid off though. It was not difficult to see where it was going after a point... but a great book to read if you're looking at subtle ways to build suspense....more
I'm a huge Hitchcock fan so this homage to Rear Window was really fun for me. It also reminded me of another favorite book though, PS Your Cat Is DeadI'm a huge Hitchcock fan so this homage to Rear Window was really fun for me. It also reminded me of another favorite book though, PS Your Cat Is Dead another quintessentially NYC book. The characters were well developed and the mysteries carefully laid out. Haze did a great job of making a MC who might have been unlikeable very likable. Well done....more
I enjoyed this. It was pretty obvious that the mc was being used, at times I thought it was too obvious, but overall I liked it. Very solid legal thriI enjoyed this. It was pretty obvious that the mc was being used, at times I thought it was too obvious, but overall I liked it. Very solid legal thriller....more
This is probably the most heterosexual book I've read in a long time. Not because I don't read books about s(Possible spoilers or at leasts big hints)
This is probably the most heterosexual book I've read in a long time. Not because I don't read books about straight people, I do. No, this is a true battle of the sexes. And they battle in a way that queer people just don't.
The thing I like about writing mysteries is that you can write about anything thing that interests you as long as you wrap it in compelling mystery plot. At heart, this book is about the way straight men and women relate to each other, the way they adopt personas to attract each other and then struggle with maintaining those personas. One of the best parts of the novel is when Amy ranks about "The Cool Girl" that men want and who no woman could actually be. It feels like there's a lot of truth in that rant. The irony of the book - and think the best part of the book - is that Amy expects her husband, Nick, to be "The Cool Guy" and fulfill her expectations in a way that no man could. That she'll go to incredible lengths to force him to be what she wants, all the while rankling at the idea that she can't simply be herself, is what makes her both evil and relatable.
Another thing I've come to believe about writing mysteries is that there's no point in worrying about whether you've successfully "tricked" your audience. It's better to worry about making the story interesting without the twists and turns. I feel like Flynn did make the underlying story interesting - though I don't think she ever let go of the idea of tricking the audience. I wish she had. Through the first half of the book I felt the writer's hand very heavily. She seemed to want you to be convinced the Nick was a killer and in doing so convinced me that he was clearly not.There wasn't really any point in the book - even later when it improved substantially where I wasn't ahead of the story. It wasn't especially hard to figure out what was happening next.
I've glanced at some other reviews and I notice a lot of people don't like the ending. That's interesting. The ending made the book for me. I actually wasn't liking the book very much until part 2. Once we really knew who Amy was it really grabbed me. ...more
Normally, I don't review books unless I can only say great things about them. I like to be honest but I also don't like to hurt other writers. I knowNormally, I don't review books unless I can only say great things about them. I like to be honest but I also don't like to hurt other writers. I know how hard this is. But, this book is so incredibly successful that what I have to say won't make a bit of difference.
I liked the book. It was an engaging and compelling read. That said, there was never one moment where I felt like I was reading a book from the perspective of a teenage girl. The main character never read to me as anything but a thirty-five year-old man posing as a teenage girl. Her relationship with her parents was so uncomplicated as to be cardboard - though there was a good moment at the end. The two main characters sounded exactly alike. Which means they both sounded like thirty-five year old men. Clever and engaging thirty-five year old men, I will grant you that. And, the plot was completely predictable. I knew exactly where it was going almost from the start. Normally, flaws like these would sink a book for me. Normally, I'd be throwing it across the room. So, I'm trying to figure out why I didn't hate this book. Why I actually liked it.
I will admit I don't read much YA. So I asked a friend of mine who's writing a YA novel if it was appealing to teenagers (particularly teenage girls) to make the characters overly mature. She said that's what she got from the success of this book. And, I guess I can see why it works for a teenager - it feeds their belief that they're much more adult then they actually are. Believe me, I remember thinking that when I was a teenager. I also remember figuring out later on that I was such an idiot to ever think that for one second. I guess you could say that's what he was going for - but then Hazel would have needed to read like an unreliable narrator and we should have seen through other's reactions to her that she wasn't as mature as she thought she was - that didn't happen.
(I'm not going to do a spoiler alert here because the movie trailer gives you just about everything)
Basically, this is Love Story with teenagers times two. Most people think Love Story is a pretty crappy movie (I never read the book, it might be better than the movie though I can't imagine by much). I re-watched Love Story a couple years ago. It's not a great movie by any means. But the situation is pretty great. Beautiful, funny, young woman dies, husband struggles with grief. It's almost rude not to like the characters. And that is kind of what's going on in this book. If you didn't fall in love with these kids (or clever middle-aged men) you'd be kind of a jerk.
So maybe it's about situation. Maybe what he wrote about it far more important than how he wrote it. That's probably true to an extent but I'm sure there are other books out there which are pretty much about the same thing. But maybe the things I'm seeing as flaws actually helped the book's success. Realistic teenagers with all their complex problems might have been too much to take if you added cancer and first love. A realistic relationship with her parents might have done the same.
In most areas of life, being good enough is always a better choice than being great. Being great requires risk. Being great always means you will eventually fail. Failure is a necessary part of becoming better. And if you're good enough you never have to get better. I never really though about apply that idea to writing but I guess I need to start doing that.
This book is good enough. It never takes the risks necessary to be great....more
This was my first Lisa Scottoline book. She's obviously talented since I finished the book and I would definitely read something else she wrote. HowevThis was my first Lisa Scottoline book. She's obviously talented since I finished the book and I would definitely read something else she wrote. However, this was badly edited not only on a line by line basis but from a story point of view it just didn't work. The MC was very, very passive. Bad things kept happening to him left and right through no fault of his own. If you told me it was a reworking of the story of Job I'd believe that... but it wasn't. It was sort of mystery. I say sort of because the MC didn't actively follow the mystery of his wife's death... he let a lot of things get in the way of doing that which didn't really work. And then, suddenly, it all resolves very quickly with some major character flip flops... All of that said, even with the line editing issues Scottoline managed to be very readable. ...more