Billed as ‘Gone Girl meets Mean Girls’ Dear Daughter, Elizabeth Little’s fiction debut introduces Janie Jenkins, a former Hollywood IT girl who, age s...moreBilled as ‘Gone Girl meets Mean Girls’ Dear Daughter, Elizabeth Little’s fiction debut introduces Janie Jenkins, a former Hollywood IT girl who, age seventeen, was jailed for her mother’s brutal murder. Ten years later, Janie is free on a technicality, but the world at large still believes her to be a cold-blooded killer. With the media - led by a blogger who is out for Janie’s blood- on her trail, Janie’s re-integration into society was never going to be easy. In fact, it’s impossible for Janie to live any kind of normal life at all. Then again, Janie Jenkins never wanted to be normal; what she wanted was notoriety – and she got that in spades. Janie’s memories of the night her mother died are hazy, but she’s sure there’s more to the story than meets the eye. While Janie pretty much hated her mother, she’s just not sure she’s capable of murder.
Really good! My theory was way off, but I'm kind of glad about that because my theory was insanely dark and completely fubared! I feel bad for thinkin...moreReally good! My theory was way off, but I'm kind of glad about that because my theory was insanely dark and completely fubared! I feel bad for thinking what I did! :D(less)
When her husband, Jackson, drowns as sea, Eva is devastated. Her life as she knows it, all the hopes and dreams she had for her future with her wonder...moreWhen her husband, Jackson, drowns as sea, Eva is devastated. Her life as she knows it, all the hopes and dreams she had for her future with her wonderful husband, are gone – just like that. Eva doesn’t know where to go from here; she doesn’t know what to do next – she just knows that she can’t go back to the home, to the life that she shared with Jackson. So she leaves. She goes to Tasmania, where Jackson grew up, and where his family – Jackson’s dad and his estranged brother Saul – still live. Eva is hoping to get to know Jackson’s family, she’s hoping she can share stories about her husband with them; she’s hoping she can find some solace in their shared grief. Nobody back home gets it – the loss that Eva feels, the love she and Jackson shared – but surely his family will; surely surrounding herself with other people who loved Jackson will help Eva come to terms with her loss.
However, things don’t quite go to plan in Tasmania. Jackson’s father offers little in the way of consolation to the grieving widow, and so Eva makes her way to the remote Wattleboon Island, where Jackson’s brother Saul lives. Here, though, Eva meets a wall of resistance; a wall built on secrets and lies. Why is Saul so unwilling to share details of his brothers past? And, why, when Eva wears him down and he does eventually speak of Jackson, does Eva feel like Saul is talking about a complete stranger? Because the Jackson that Saul speaks of is definitely not the man that Eva married. Then again, Eva and Jackson married after a whirlwind romance, and little by little, as she spends more time with Saul, Eva wonders if she ever really knew her husband at all.
Similar to Lucie Whitehouse’s Before We Met in that it warns against marriages made in haste and built on lies, A Single Breath starts of blisteringly well as we wonder of Jackson’s secret past and what exactly it is that he was keeping from Eva. I admit that I was hooked by this premise – who doesn’t want to find out all about a bunch of deeply buried secrets, after all – but after such a great start, I felt that the story really dipped when Eva reached Wattleboon, where day after day she doesn’t really do a whole lot at all apart from hanging out on the beach –fun to do, not so much fun to read about unless it’s in On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves. The pacing, then, in this novel is uneven, because the twists when they do happen happen all at once, and they just don’t work, or at least they didn't for me. After such a slow build up, the reader needs a truly shocking pay-off, and that just didn’t happen here. It could have been great, it could have been dark and twisty and brilliant, but instead, A Single Breath was all a little too predictable for my tastes.
Don’t get me wrong, A Single Breath is a well-written, partly-absorbing read but I guess overall, it wasn’t really for me. I’d recommend Clarke’s debut Swimming at Night (a.k.a The Sea Sisters) which I read and enjoyed last year – over this one.
Reagan O’ Neill and her best friend country superstar Lilah Montgomery (Dee to her friends) could not be more different. A wild child with a penchant...more Reagan O’ Neill and her best friend country superstar Lilah Montgomery (Dee to her friends) could not be more different. A wild child with a penchant for rebellion, Reagan likes to date bad boys, has a quick, usually snarky, answer for just about anyone, and she never, ever lets her guard down. Dee, on the other hand, is a sunny sweetheart who fell for her first love Jimmy years before. On paper, Reagan and Dee are such opposites that their friendship shouldn’t work; but it does. Reagan and Dee have been friends forever and are there for each other through thick and thin. When we meet the two, both girls are a little bit bruised; Dee is nursing a recently broken heart, while Reagan’s pain is physical, the constant reminder of a relationship gone badly wrong. Reagan needs an escape, Dee needs her best friend, and so, as Dee embarks on a city-wide tour of the US, Reagan joins her for what will be a summer of fun and friendship on the road.
A summer page-turner from Julia Crouch, The Long Fall is a tale of innocence lost wrapped up in a murderous revenge plot.
1980: Aspiring writer Emma wr...moreA summer page-turner from Julia Crouch, The Long Fall is a tale of innocence lost wrapped up in a murderous revenge plot.
1980: Aspiring writer Emma writes in her journal of having left her small-town life -and her small-minded parents- behind. She’s better than that; better than them. Emma plans on living a life full of adventure. She’s gone travelling to broaden her horizons, and as such she plans on her time abroad being culturally rich and populated with interesting characters with whom she’ll have much more in common than the boring folk back home. However, travelling on her own is not all Emma’s cracked it up to be, especially since, at eighteen, she isn’t exactly worldly wise. A devastating incident in Marseille derails Emma, changing her outlook on life and leaving marks on her soul that will last a lifetime. But Emma is a survivor. She carries on, and in Athens, with is relentless sun, dusty streets, strong alcohol and readily available supply of drugs, she finds her travelling feet: courtesy first of a boy with beautiful eyes, and then with a girl who looks just like Emma, so much so that they could be twins.
But Emma’s story doesn’t have a happy ending. Emma’s life is one that ends with a murder.
2013: Kate doesn’t believe in happy endings, she gave up on them long ago. She knows that she at least, doesn’t deserve a happy ending, not after what she did. And yet, to the world at large, it looks like Kate has the perfect life, along with the perfect husband, one who has, in the past, been mistaken for George Clooney. Kate knows all about pasts; what she doesn’t know is that hers is about to come back to haunt her in a case of revenge from beyond the grave.
An absorbing page-turner, The Long Fall is perfect holiday reading. The mystery of the story isn’t too taxing, and the myriad twists and turns are predictable enough, but this is nonetheless a gripping read with a host of multi-layered characters and a compelling travel journal in which Crouch really captures the essence of Emma’s character, the places she visits, and the people she meets.
If you love the combination of travel and mystery in Emily Barr’s books – then The Long Fall by Julia Crouch is one to put right at the top of your summer reading list.
3.5/5 -- I knew the twist in this tale before I started reading as I'm familiar with the real life events that inspired this book - cited in the press...more3.5/5 -- I knew the twist in this tale before I started reading as I'm familiar with the real life events that inspired this book - cited in the press release and hinted at in the blurb. I think I would have figured out what was going on here early on anyway as it seemed pretty obvious to me. Still, an entertaining and enjoyable read. (less)
Ever since the genre known nowadays as New Adult burst onto the scene not all that very long ago, it’s been a hit and miss affair for me. In all my Ne...more Ever since the genre known nowadays as New Adult burst onto the scene not all that very long ago, it’s been a hit and miss affair for me. In all my New Adult reading I’ve had one major hit (Deeper by Robin York), a few major misses (those unnamed books that I could barely –and sometimes didn’t even- finish), but for the most part, I find New Adult to be a mostly okay but somewhat forgettable affair. Sure, I’ll enjoy a New Adult book while I’m reading it, but ask me a few weeks down the road what that book was all about, and chances it won’t have left all that much of an impression on me. I also find a lot of New Adult books are just too similar by far. Think of what Twilight didn’t do for YA when it spawned a million Twialikes with too-many-love-triangles-to-count (Twihards). Substitute those pesky love triangles for innocent good girls falling for heavily-tattooed-bad-boys who ride motorbikes and you’ll see a similar trend emerging in NA.
3.5/5 - I loved the first book in this series, but this one....hmmmm...it was a little too angsty for me and I felt the storyline wasn't as strong as...more3.5/5 - I loved the first book in this series, but this one....hmmmm...it was a little too angsty for me and I felt the storyline wasn't as strong as it might have been. Also, I questioned Caroline's loyalty to West after how he acted and what he did. I didn't view her behaviour as strong or empowered-quite the opposite, actually. I was a fan of West in Deeper. Not so much here.(less)
Party-girl Whitley Johnson’s summer starts with a bang (literally, ha!) when she wakes up next to a hot stranger. The stranger - Whitley can’t remembe...moreParty-girl Whitley Johnson’s summer starts with a bang (literally, ha!) when she wakes up next to a hot stranger. The stranger - Whitley can’t remember his name - wants to make small talk and exchange phone numbers, but Whitley’s not into that. For her, the morning after the night before is all about sleeping off her hangover, and she certainly doesn’t want this guys digits because she doesn’t plan on ever seeing him again. Although, she has to admit – through bleary eyes – that he is kinda cute. Pretty damn hot, even.
So begins A Midsummer’s Nightmare by Kody Keplinger, an author about whom I’ve heard all good things, but that I’ve never read until now. Yes, yes, I know EVERYBODY has read The Duff. Well, everybody but me. I plan to remedy that soon.