It's hard to define madness. It's an easy step-over from sanity. I think it happens to everyone, at least once in our lives. Flynn's madness pushes him over, way over the edge. And the whole spiralling-downwards experience is what the book chronicles. There are no minced words, no twists and turns, it's probably the most straight-cut book I've read. Flynn loses his mind and how.
After I read Forbidden, I had an overwhelming urge to connect with the author. The book had such a huge impact on me, I had to tell her. We befriended over Facebook, and yes, if you know her, you would know how she has battled (and still battles) mental illness. She is very vocal about it and I think that's important because nobody really talks about it. A Note of Madness was her debut novel and you get it, you know. You get the fact that the author knows what she is talking about because you get into Flynn's head, ride the highs and lows with him and feel the crippling fear that makes it impossible to go on and do anything, even though the book is written in third person and you're just supposed to feel objective about it.
It's an atmosphere of paranoia. Flynn's, his family's, his friends'. Sometimes you'd want to shut the book, just so you could breathe. It's not an easy read, of course. But it's good, it's really good.
I think the book has a most apt cover. The blackness, the boy at the edge, the title placement - I think it's one of my favourites now....more
Drowning Instinct is one of those books that can't exactly be summed up in a review. But there are certain things I cAlso found on Dreamcatcher's Lair
Drowning Instinct is one of those books that can't exactly be summed up in a review. But there are certain things I can tell you. Like,
--While the book description tells you a few things, it doesn't prepare you with expectations. At least for me, it didn't. Which means, that the experience that Drowning Instinct packs within those pages, may, in plain-speak, blow your mind.
--There's self harm and all kinds of abuse and other twisted things that will take you to dark places and make you squirm and keep you awake at night. And keep you thinking. Thinking is always a good thing, right?
--Surprises. There are lots of them. Sometimes these are small bumpy ones, sometimes they are roller-coaster-plunge worthy-ish. Either way, it's a ride.
--If you have expectations from Jenna Lord, dump them with the garbage. Jenna Lord is not a very reliable narrator. She might also be insane. Mostly though, you won't be able to forget her.
--Even before the threads of the relationship - yes, that forbidden relationship - manifest, you will be saying, oh no no no no no, don't even go there! back off! But then, long past those early scenes, somewhere in the middle of the story you will probably wonder if you said that 'back off' out of concern or jealousy.
--Oftentimes, especially in the latter half of the book, you will think how very twisted Mitch Anderson is and will want to scream What is up with that man?! Sooner or later, that might alternate with Why can't I have that man?! Oh, yes, Mitch Anderson in inexplicably swoon-worthy.
--While the rest of the book will probably keep you in page-flipping-frenzy mode, the last quarter will make you hyperventilate alongside. But be careful. If things get too serious, remember you can't really blame your medical condition on a book.
--Soon you might stop breathing.
--Then, you'll probably experience an overwhelming outpouring of emotions.
--Later, you will be wondering who was to blame. If anyone was to blame. What you condoned and what you disapproved. If you even have the right to. What was right and what went wrong. If you are even in a position to judge. If you can even point a finger at anybody. The dilemma won't really leave you with an answer.
Then again, this story is not only about Jenna and Mr. Anderson. There are several more players, each with their own desperate obsessions, twisted pasts and existence of half-truths. Primarily though, Drowning Instinct is a story that weaves through the lives of broken people looking for something to grasp on to, before they drown in the desolation of their own existence. It is also incredibly brilliant.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that it somersaulted straight up my favourites list....more
I was on the cheering squad for this book even before I'd read it, when only the title, the cover and the summary had been released. I felt a3.5 stars
I was on the cheering squad for this book even before I'd read it, when only the title, the cover and the summary had been released. I felt a kinship with it. Because - Dorian Gray! That's the first thing that crossed my mind. And I'm so fascinated with anything and everything to do with/related to Dorian Gray, I HAD to read this. And this clearly had the Dorian Gray concept going for it. Suffice to say, Oscar Wilde (that man I LOVE!) is right on top of the author, Leanna Renne Hieber's acknowledgment list. I have a thing for the Gothic. So naturally, Gothic romance appeals to me greatly. See that summary above? Perfect Gothic romance fodder for me. Magic Most Foul. That's the tagline for this new series. What's not to love? Magic (um, ghosts, too) is the thing I love above all fantastical or paranormal elements. It has my heart. So this book had it, too. Dude, cover love! I have to say, right from the beginning, I've thought this book has a very clever concept. And Leanna Renne Hieber works on that well. The book starts off as very, very intriguing. It's in epistolary format, and while the majority of it is written as part of Natalie's diary entries, there are a few excerpts from the New York City Police Record Case Files and letters exchanged between the characters.
A mysterious - and delicious - new portrait of a handsome young Lord moves into town (actually, into the Art Association on Twenty Third street, New York) and catches the fascination of many, including Natalie, thus triggering off a series of unexpected happenings involving magic most foul.
I like Natalie. A trauma at a young age took away her speech, rendering her mute. She is gutsy (remember this is the 19th century we are talking about, so gutsy now is different from gutsy then, but gutsy nevertheless), thoughtful and a heroine to commend.
And Lord Denbury? (I prefer calling him that than by his first name) He is delicious. For some reason, I kept picturing him as Ben Barnes. I'm guessing its the Dorian Gray effect.
Except for the fact, you know, Denbury lives in a portrait. I wasn't really crushing on him (as much as I was on my fantasy Barnes) but I think the author does a good job to putting across to the reader why Natalie was so taken by him. Fact is Denbury is delicious in his own way.
Darker Still is well-written and the author does a good job of capturing the 19th century suitably. And the added magic bit to it does wonders.
However, while the book got off to an exciting start, it was, well, kinda bland in the middle. Not to say there weren't things going on. There were. Secrets were being discovered and all that jazz, but for some reason, it left me feeling a little underwhelmed. I'm thinking that while the diary format is an interesting addition, the book could have done with being written in the present tense. It could have added an immediacy to the action. Thing is, the middle made me stall. It almost made me give up reading (although I blame that on the fact that this was on netgalley and I HATE e-reading).
Fortunately, I didn't. Because hells yeah, the last quarter's a romping ride of excitement. I really liked how Darker Still ended. It didn't leave me with a cliffhanger but it left me with the possibility of a lot more exciting and magical stuff to come.
Although it has its ups and downs, Darker Still is intriguing with a magical mystery at its core that will keep you on its pages. I'd say you give this book a chance.
I'm already looking forward to the next installment :)...more