Chloe was not the perfect or ideal anything. She was close to being a delinquent, had sub par grades, and a sub par social life until she woke up six...moreChloe was not the perfect or ideal anything. She was close to being a delinquent, had sub par grades, and a sub par social life until she woke up six months later from a routine nap to find out she wasn’t the person anymore. But, can’t remember how.
A lot can happen in six months. Even more can happen when you wake up from a nap to discover you can’t remember the past six months of your life; and, you weren’t in a coma, hospitalized, or Rip Van Winkle. High School Senior Chloe can’t remember the past six months. The much better grades, the boyfriend she only dreamed about, new friends and social life, and her best friend not talking to her. She can’t remember the study group she participated in that changed everything. Or, why she is the only person a fellow student thinks has the answers. Her doctors say she is normal; all tests coming back clear. Her mother doesn’t understand Chloe’s new awareness of not being aware. Chloe is a mess. What starts to develop is even more so.
I have never really read a young adult thriller, or mystery novel. I didn’t realize this one would be it. I am happy to report, I am so happy I was allowed to review this book. There was a new twist, turn, and plot device thrown at me on every page. The end is not what I expected. Nor, the middle truthfully. I was shocked by everything that happened. I loved it! I loved guessing after each page and being wrong. Chloe was a great character. I wanted to be her crime solving sidekick as she slowly pieced her life back together. Back together isn’t entirely true. Her life would never be the same. That was one of the best parts, her character growth. She never just let what happen to her take its toll on her. She fought back. Proved to her mother that something was wrong.
This novel was extremely well-written. Something character growth can be hard, especially in a mystery/thriller setting. But, the way Chloe matured, both internally and with her interpersonal relationships, was really well-written. I didn’t feel confused with each turn and twist. There was nothing expected about this novel at all. I didn’t see certain turns of events coming. It is nice to read a book like this where I am just as surprised as the fictional character. My heart was beating with her.
Six Months Later is a real page turner. Even reading it on my Nook, I kept wanting the next page to come. I couldn’t swipe fast enough. In about two sittings, I finished this book sad it was finished. I couldn’t decide what to read next because this book was just too great to be compared to anything else. If you like suspense, a mini whodunit, or want to discover someone new, this book is for you. It makes you think. And, participate really. I am not a fan of thrillers, I passed on Gone Girl. But, with this book, I’m glad I didn’t. I will definitely keep an eye out for this author. I just enjoyed this book so much. If you read it, there will be no regrets.(less)
The Secret Lives of People in Love is a collection of nineteen short stories. Each story paints love in a different way. In French Artist Killed in Su...moreThe Secret Lives of People in Love is a collection of nineteen short stories. Each story paints love in a different way. In French Artist Killed in Sunday's Earthquake, the woman trapped under the rubble does not think of her death as it is coming, but of the small moments of her life that made up love: her grandmother's shoes, a glass of milk, morning light behind the curtain. "she was not so much aware that she was dying as she was that she was alive."
In each story, Van Booy sprinkles beautiful one-liners throughout each story, creating a connection between the story and the reader's emotions. My favorite stories were The Mute Ventriloquist. Van Booy creates a story in which a biological father's connection to his child, and a connection to your lover's child, become two in the same. Drake reunites with a childhood friend pregnant with her first child in an unhappy marriage. What unfolds is a story about a father's instinct even if he wasn't the biological donor. You can love someone else's child as your own immediately and without thoughts. "anyone could be anyone's father, that anyone could love anyone under certain circumstances, and that life is a museum of small accidents."
Vsn Booy is a masterful storyteller, both in short story form, and in novel form. He claims both genres as his own with creative insights that will leave the reader wanting more. (less)
Turn Around Bright Eyes takes place three years after his wife died suddenly. He is in New York now, living in a new city with no memories of his dead...moreTurn Around Bright Eyes takes place three years after his wife died suddenly. He is in New York now, living in a new city with no memories of his dead wife. He now has a new start, but still he struggles. He stays in his apartment; watches Lifetime movie after Lifetime movie. It isn’t until his first night out late, singing karaoke for the first time, that he remembers how to live, stay up late; and he never wants to forget it again. He writes “There are times when we have to remember what they are. If we get lucky, something reminds us to move.” I am definitely guilty of getting stuck (not watching Lifetime movies, but close). Sometimes a reminder, a simple remembrance of what it feels like to do something you used to do. Make sense? It’s just a quote I really connect to.
And, that is what the book really has done for me–connect me. It isn’t four stars worthy, but it is definitely a good, fun read. I loved a lot of aspects of the novel, especially the introspective ones. The book is well written, funny where it should be, and touching and sweet. It makes me really want to sing karaoke now. And the place is not too far from me. It was fun to read. The chapters were nicely divided with titles of songs and a time (which I am thinking is when he wrote it? not too sure). What my nit picky thing is how the chapters jump around constantly. Sometimes he brings it all together. Other times (like when he want to Rock n Roll camp) don’t seem to fit with the narrative. It doesn’t mean the chapter or chapters were bad, but if the whole point was to show how he has grown and found his now wife through, because of music and karaoke, why were there chapters that didn’t truly focus on that? Yes, too much loveydovey would be bad. It does work, what he does. But, not completely.
In the isolated Cape Cod village of Prospect, the Gilly sisters are as different as can be. Jo, a fierce and quiet loner, is devoted to the mysteries...moreIn the isolated Cape Cod village of Prospect, the Gilly sisters are as different as can be. Jo, a fierce and quiet loner, is devoted to the mysteries of her family’s salt farm, while Claire yearns to flee the salt at any cost; and forcing those around her to do the same thing. But the Gilly land hides a dark legacy that proves impossible to escape, it doesn’t stop Whit Turner, the town’s wealthiest bachelor, from forcing his way into their lives. It’s Jo who first steals Whit’s heart, but it is Claire–heartbroken over her high school sweetheart–who marries him.
Years later, estranged from her family, Claire finds herself thrust back onto the farm with the last person she would have chosen: her husband’s pregnant mistress. Suddenly, alliances change, old loves return, and new battle lines are drawn. What the Gilly sisters learn about each other, the land around them, and the power of the salt, will not only change each of their lives forever, it will also alter Gilly history for good. As the two sisters struggle to find their place on the Salt Creek Farm, they must decide who they are and how willing are they to save their debilitated farm?
I was first drawn to this book by the idea of salt and the power it possesses. To think a simple substance we take for granted could be something more intrigued me. As I read the novel, beginning to get deeper into it, I didn’t find myself entirely engrossed and connected. The element of salt almost takes a backseat–like the backseat of Jo’s beat-up truck. It is present, of course, but Baker tries hard to transform the meaning of salt and our preconceptions about it to an unbelievable point. The usage of salt was presented as if it was an addictive, illegal drug trying to get in the wrong hands, causing an abundance of trouble.
***full review on my blog indiewritergirl0329.wordpress.com****(less)