I picked this book up over a year ago because the title character shares my maiden name. ;)
This book just felt really, really long. It's probably becI picked this book up over a year ago because the title character shares my maiden name. ;)
This book just felt really, really long. It's probably because this is my first Cynster novel (and it's one of the last one) and the two love interests have already had their first encounter (in the previous novel) and so much happens so fast that I never have a chance to root for them- they're pretty much a done deal. Which I guess you could argue is true with all romance, but I like the push and pull and banter. I was bored through a lot of it- again, I think if I was invested in the series I'd probably feel different.
I did like the murder plot and how it's resolved... but I don't know that Lauren's writing style is for me. So much happens in every single chapter but instead of making me race through the book, it just felt heavy with "and this happened, and then this happened, and then this member of Mary's family comes into the room, and then more happens". ...more
As much as I love the Rizzoli and Isles books, I do like her standalones. Playing with Fire reminds me a lot of my favorite Gerrittsen book, The BoneAs much as I love the Rizzoli and Isles books, I do like her standalones. Playing with Fire reminds me a lot of my favorite Gerrittsen book, The Bone Garden, tying the past to the present in a very interesting way. This time she chooses a piece of music so haunting that it might actually *be* haunted.
The book takes place in modern time, with a violinist finding a book of music with a very special original piece, and in the past, with the composer of the music. I probably preferred the past- 1940's Italy, to the present, but only because while I've read books that focus on the Holocaust, I don't think I've ever read one that dealt with the Italian Jewish experience. My heart breaks for all the people lost, all the humanity and beauty and dreams and hopes that were crushed under the Nazi war machine.
The book did keep me guessing- was there a explanation behind the strange events taking place now or was there something supernatural going on? It made for a quick, exciting read. ...more
I liked this book, but I have to admit some parts were more compelling than others. There's a lot of detail and names and places, but in the end I reaI liked this book, but I have to admit some parts were more compelling than others. There's a lot of detail and names and places, but in the end I really liked how Larson weaved the stories of Burnham creating the Chicago World Fair- the White City, during the same time that H.H. Holmes was building his hotel of horror and killing innocents for fun. ...more
I think I've outgrown Laymon's novels- I almost sprained my eyes from all the rolling they did over some of the scenes. Every character in this storyI think I've outgrown Laymon's novels- I almost sprained my eyes from all the rolling they did over some of the scenes. Every character in this story is messed up and unlikable (well, maybe not Ian, but like all the characters, he's not fully fleshed out). Certain characters and storylines just get dropped without explanation
I kept waiting for Janet's crazy ex to pop up and get killed by Albert, but he's never mentioned again after Janet decides to ditch him to go to the Halloween party... so I'm not sure what Laymon was trying to do with that character.
Honestly, the characters all do such insane things that serial killer Albert appears to have more sense. First Janet's live in boyfriend demands Janet abort their baby but then threatens her and her friends if Janet doesn't come back with him.
Janet, newly pregnant and literally just broken up with her boyfriend, goes on a date with sad sack Mosby (who pretty much sexually assaults her, but that's okay because he has low self esteem, which make Janet think he'd be perfect for Meg) because I guess being single is the worstb thing ever.
Meg.. Janet's friend, beast to her beauty, is so hard up for the attention of an attractive male that she sleeps with Janet's ex. And claims to be so desperate that she'd do it again. Wtf?
Lester is married to the ice queen, Helen, but enters into a weird affair with the older Emily Jean (which involves bizarre role playing, with her pretending to be her daughter May Beth). But then, suddenly Lester seems to really be into Emily jean (although he's still hoping to bang May Beth), and then, boom! he's suicidal and homicidal. Helen is without any redeeming qualites. She sleeps with a student, lies to her husband that it's Ian she had the affair with and then tries to goad Lester into killing Ian (I assume because if Ian dies then she wouldn't have to quit her job).
May Beth goes off with Albert because she's a whore? Because all the women in the book are just desperate for sex and or money. However, May Beth does have some moxy, so points for that.
Janet, who agrees to meet up with suddenly insane Dave, ditches him to go to a Halloween party, which is populated by promiscuous faculty members. She and Ian fall in instalove, but she's attacked by crazy (and if course slutty) Mary, simply bc Mary thinks she might be flirting with her paramour, Ronald (who's wife Dale is also a teacher and at the party).
It was all just too messed up, and that's without Albert's pension for humping knife wounds. It's a shame, because when I first read Laymon (the Traveling Vampire Show), I thought I'd found another horror author who's books I could devour, but all the rapeyness piled on top of more rapeyness just pisses me off. His books are like blood soaked letters to Penthouse.
The story moved along swiftly, even if it made little sense, so I guess that's a point in it's favor? I honestly can't recommend his books anymore though, Laymon might have been a real sweet guy when he was alive, but his books read like the fanatasies of some deranged, horny teenager....more
Sometimes when I give out 5 stars it isn't just because I loved the book, but also because it's a book that I want everyone to read. I read the editioSometimes when I give out 5 stars it isn't just because I loved the book, but also because it's a book that I want everyone to read. I read the edition with Julian's story at the end, which I feel really perfects the book.
I cannot recommend this book enough. It's a frightening glimpse into a disease that presents as mental illness and is often misdiagnosed (partly, I feI cannot recommend this book enough. It's a frightening glimpse into a disease that presents as mental illness and is often misdiagnosed (partly, I fear, because women are more often likely to suffer from it). There is still so much unknown about the brain, but I found the idea that Calahan's disease was caught in time and successfully treated to be hopeful. There have already been huge advancements in the diagnosing of the disease since 2009, the year the author was driven mad by a relatively unknown disease and was told that she should just party less, or that she had epilepsy, or that she was schizophrenic.
The neurologist, a man well educated and respected, who not only drew the conclusion that Calahan was a heavy drinker (she wasn't ) but who hadn't even heard of the disease she suffered from when she called him a year later, is a sad sign of the times. Doctors don't know everything, and the more you know the better you can advocate for yourself and loved ones.
A disease like this one, which can mimic so many other physical and neurological diseases, is fascinating and scary. But knowing that there is a chance at recovery and treatment, that the author's story will help others get the treatment that can save their lives, is the spark of hope....more