With her second book, Stevens has achieved a commanding presence among psychological thriller writers. While not quite as good as her first book, StilWith her second book, Stevens has achieved a commanding presence among psychological thriller writers. While not quite as good as her first book, Still Missing, she still maintains a level of suspense with an exciting, unpredictable ending. When Sara finds out that her biological father is a serial killer, her world is turned up-side down. Without giving too much away about how events unfold, I must say my initial frustration with Sara was overshadowed by the outcome. She makes impulsive decisions and her bad judgment often messes things up. However, the question must be raised as to whether her irrationality and obsessive-ness is caused by traits inherited from her father, John. That’s where Stevens is so good at screwing with her readers’ minds. Just when I wanted to scream at Sara for doing or saying something stupid, I had to wonder if these were due to predispositions or if Sara was just using her genes as an excuse to be combative or impatient or whatever else. Though I have to admit, I wouldn’t be thinking entirely clearly if I was being pursued by my serial killer father.
There were some things that felt a little redundant, like Sara’s arguments with her fiancé Evan and her indecisiveness about whether or not to assist the police by risking herself. I did like how Stevens used the psychiatrist sessions as the structure for telling Sara’s story as she did in Still Missing. It gives it good perspective and is a unique device for a first person narrative. Overall, despite some small flaws, it was engaging and delivered a great conclusion. I hope Stevens continues writing like this because I will be a fan of hers for a long time to come.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, which in no way reflected my review of aforementioned book. ...more
This book includes some of my favorite topics (WWII, pre-Chinese Tibet, survival), so it is no surprise that I devoured it. It portrays the fascinatinThis book includes some of my favorite topics (WWII, pre-Chinese Tibet, survival), so it is no surprise that I devoured it. It portrays the fascinating account of how 5 American airmen bailed out over Tibet during WWII. It also began auspiciously for me as the fated plane took off from China on my birthday 71 years ago. Not only did these men narrowly escape from a plane crash, they were lucky to survive a close encounter with the side of a mountain. Luckily they met a helpful Tibetan and were led to a small village where they had to endure the curiosity of people with no exposure to western culture and third-world conditions of the desolate plateau nation. When Lhasa received word of the airmen’s arrival, they were summoned to the capital, and it is only then that they understood the political repercussions of their presence.
While these men did endure hardships and illness on their journey, the greater threat was offending nations who are precariously negotiating the stability of the region. The Chinese are threatening Tibet’s borders, America and desperately wants to keep China as an ally against Japan, and Britain is concerned about its Indian borders. It is both a physical and political endeavor that these airmen are inadvertently (and literally) dropped into the center of. It’s a great story that illustrates the instability of national relations in a world rocked by war. ...more
While this is not the kind of book I typically read, I was definitely drawn in by the goofy premise. That’s exactly what it was – a goofy spin on theWhile this is not the kind of book I typically read, I was definitely drawn in by the goofy premise. That’s exactly what it was – a goofy spin on the Lord of the Flies meets teenage beauty pageant contestants. A handful of self-obsessed image-conscious drama queens on a seemingly deserted island made for a fun commentary of the shallowness of pageant culture. But wait… The globally greedy Corporation has a hand in this situation and the girls are merely pawns in a greater conspiracy. Of course, hilarity ensues when hunky reality TV pirates land on the island and the beauty queens are eventually forced to confront The Corporation and foil their devious plot. I admit there were some comical moments that left me chuckling, especially since the author did such a great job making teenage girls sound authentic in that catty, superficial teenage girl way.
I really have to call into question what demographic this book is aimed at. Our darling beauty queens are between the ages of 15 & 19 years old. It is being promoted as Young Adult, but I would not recommend readers any younger than the characters due to the language, their sexual exploits (hello, sexy pirates!) and their candid discussions about body parts and urges. Sure, there are obligatory teen girl morals like Be True To Yourself, and the girls each come to terms with their own desires and ambitions, so I’m really on the fence here. I probably would have liked the book a lot more if the author had gone adult-mode and emulated Chuck Palahniuk, making the characters older and more risqué. Then we could have had some super raunchy good fun. As it stands, the satire, self-deprecation and social commentary were engaging enough, but I’m still unsure who the target audience is.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via the Amazon Vine program...more