Last year, Into the Darkest Corner was one of my favorite reads. It was haunting, gripping, and memorable. I was beyond excited to hear that Haynes haLast year, Into the Darkest Corner was one of my favorite reads. It was haunting, gripping, and memorable. I was beyond excited to hear that Haynes had a new book out already, and was ready to sink into it. I have to say that I was, sadly, somewhat disappointed. It was not the heart-wrenching read that I was expecting. The characters were a bit dull to me, as was the premises. I think, however, if I had read Dark Tide first, I would have been more satisfied with it. But, as it stands, Haynes has fallen into a sort of sophomore slump.
Don’t get me wrong, it was a good mystery, the story was laid out in a way that strings the reader along, and there are surprises along the way. Also, Haynes’s writing style is provoking in a quite and creepy way that does keep one reading. However, there was a lack of relatability to the story, a bit too much corruption to work through, and an unfamiliar setting. For the most part, for me, this was just not up to par with Haynes’s first effort. Perhaps my expectations were too high, or perhaps there is a lack of something within its pages.
I will say that I am looking forward to the third release by Haynes, Human Remains, due out in August 2013. It sounds as though she is going back to a more personal subject matter that is darkly relatable on a deeper psychological level, as was her first book....more
This was an interestingly told mystery, as well as a story about mother-daughter relationships. Told in alternating viewpoints of mother and daughterThis was an interestingly told mystery, as well as a story about mother-daughter relationships. Told in alternating viewpoints of mother and daughter and jumping back and forth through timelines, as well as interspersed with texts, blog posts, and e-mails, it all sounds as though it might be a bit much to follow. However, McCreight has crafted it with ease. The mystery is the most intriguing aspect to the book, as a mother must discover what her daughter was really going through in her last few days- and knowing that she may not like what she finds. Although, nothing could be worse than believing her daughter jumped on her own volition.
The other aspect of this book is telling the mother’s story and uncovering the truth about the man who fathered her daughter. This part of the story is equally as interesting, but is told at a slower pace that lost my interest at times. However, the payoff is worth getting through the slower parts.
The writing style is not the most memorable, but I believe that McCreight is an author to watch as she hones her skills in future endeavors. The nods to Virginia Woolf added an interesting layer to the story while also adding depth to the teenager at the center of it all. I would recommend this read if you are looking for a mystery that unfolds while delving into the lives of those involved. It explores a mother-daughter relationship, as well as issues of peer pressure and bullying in a delicate yet honest manner....more
This is one of those memoirs that gives away nearly the entire story in the description. So, while reading, there really is not suspense or surprise aThis is one of those memoirs that gives away nearly the entire story in the description. So, while reading, there really is not suspense or surprise as to what is going to happen. We know that there is going to be a lot of sentimental moments throughout the journey of the Fontaine ladies, and that they are going to relate their own experiences in life to those of the people and places they encounter along the way. Of course, they have the added struggle of their strained relationship due to the events they discussed in their first memoir in regards to Mia’s drug addiction at a young age. But, then again, what mother and daughter do not have some personal drama with which to deal at some point?
To be honest, what I had the most trouble with with this book was completely technical. Mia’s viewpoint is written entirely in italics, and it was just a bit tedious to read that much italicized text. I mean, I feel that a simple labeling of the sections, or some other indicator would have taken away this trouble entirely, as her viewpoint is half the book, after all. (Okay, you get the point.) Other that that, there were some parts that slowed down the pace of the story, and I caught myself drifting from time to time.
While I do think that this is a well done account of their journeys, there was just too much attempt at trying to discuss the mother-daughter relationship. For many, this will probably really strike a cord and be something very relatable to their lives. For me, there was just too much emphasis on trying to find some bigger meaning to everything- too sentimental, I guess. I am not really the Hallmark greeting card type of person (shocking!), so I just kind of struggled to not roll my eyes at times. However, if you are looking for a remarkably heartfelt journey and memoir for a Mother’s Day gift, this is definitely one to consider....more
There is so much great history and story line in this book. However, the writing style is somewhat cold and stilted, and left me unconnected to the chThere is so much great history and story line in this book. However, the writing style is somewhat cold and stilted, and left me unconnected to the characters at all....more
There is rarely a book that I do not have much to say about. However, there are times when a book does not leave one with much of an impression, or noThere is rarely a book that I do not have much to say about. However, there are times when a book does not leave one with much of an impression, or nothing much to add. This is one of those times. The Flight of Gemma Hardy is a good book. That being said, I have read the story before. It is called Jane Eyre. When I was reading rave reviews of this book, I was excited to read a retelling of such an iconic story. That is, I thought ‘retelling’ would not be quite so literal. Most often ‘retellings’ take a certain amount of artistic liberty in the re-imagining of the original story. Livesey does not seem to do any such changes, except in placing the character in a different era and changing her name. Otherwise, I felt as though I was being told a story that pales in comparison to Bronte’s. All in all, The Flight of Gemma Hardy was a good read, and some readers may connect with the character more than her original counterpart. For me, I suppose I am a partial to Jane Eyre, and will stick to the original until a true retelling comes along that plays with the story a bit more and takes a few more liberties in imagining who Jane would be outside of her time. I am, by all means, in the minority of not finding the magic in this book, so perhaps it is simply that I did not connect with Livesey’s writing style. If you love Jane Eyre, you will want to pick this one up to add to your collection....more