I initially loved this book; it's a great psychological thriller with two mysteries: one a 20 year-old missing persons case involving three children iI initially loved this book; it's a great psychological thriller with two mysteries: one a 20 year-old missing persons case involving three children in a wooded area in the Dublin suburbs (one of whom is found with bloody shoes hugging a tree, with no memory of how he got there.) The second mystery is that of a young ballerina found murdered in those same woods. Connecting these cases is Rob Ryan, the found-boy-turned-investigator in the fictional Dublin Murder Squad. He is almost feverishly investigating the young girl's murder, in an attempt to determine if it connected to his own barely remembered past, a past that only his partner knows about.
I loved how the two stories sucked me in, but as the book moved along, and I felt like I was finally getting answers to the many questions I had, Tana French just left me feeling angry and disappointed that I had invested the time in both investigations. I suppose it mirrors how Detective Ryan feels, but I don't know if I want to read her next book in the series....more
I powered through this book mainly because the writing felt like an extended Veronica Mars episode, and it was easy to be sucked in to the story. If yI powered through this book mainly because the writing felt like an extended Veronica Mars episode, and it was easy to be sucked in to the story. If you're a fan of the TV show and subsequent movie, I would recommend this book. There's plenty of the witty dialogue and all of the characters that made the TV show great make appearances. Although I wonder if this would have been better to listen to as an audiobook vs. reading the paperback, especially because Kristen Bell is the narrator. ...more
2.5 Stars. **SPOILER WARNING** After not having a Maisie Dobbs book for two years, I was initially very excited to read the latest installment. I love2.5 Stars. **SPOILER WARNING** After not having a Maisie Dobbs book for two years, I was initially very excited to read the latest installment. I love the background of the inter-war period, and the previous book, Leaving Everything Most Loved closed with a note of anticipation for the character, that she might actually find some peace in her life. As a longtime reader of series, to have the three year gap (of first happiness and then more tragedy), summed up in a handful of letters within the first dozen pages of the novel, it felt like a slap in the face, and not up to Jacqueline Winspear's usual talent. To spend so many books dancing around Maisie and James's relationship, only to for this novel to open the way it it, well I couldn't get past the first chapter and had to put the book down for a week before picking it up again. The novel then seemed to rely heavily on. what in my opinion, is the weakest points of the narrative, Maisie stuck inside her head. How is the reader supposed to sympathize with what the character has gone through when those events are only hinted at and not completely fleshed out?
I can maybe understand where Ms. Winspear is trying to go with the series, as is comes closer and closer to World War II, and as always I appreciated the historical context of the Spanish Civil War, but even with that, there were clunky explanations about the politics, and the "mystery" was tied up poorly in the end. I attended an event this weekend where she spoke about her writing inspiration, growing up around family and neighbors who had experienced "The Great War" and its aftermath. Understanding that background of loss only makes me wish that there had been more happy events in this series, but I ma be done with it. ...more
I read this book in weekly stages with a friend, and this may be a factor in my review. Similarly to Fangirl, the novel had an interesting premise, buI read this book in weekly stages with a friend, and this may be a factor in my review. Similarly to Fangirl, the novel had an interesting premise, but lost some of it's steam as I continued to read. Georgie, a TV show writer, has a strained relationship with her husband, and when he leaves with their two daughters to visit family over Christmas, without her, she gets the opportunity through a magic landline to communicate with her husband when he was fifteen years younger. It's an interesting take on the time travel plot device, and I think Rainbow Rowell's strongest writing was during the flashbacks to Georgie and Neal when they were in college, as well as her conversations with 1998 Neal on the landline. (Maybe it's because I'm only a few years removed from college myself.) Georgie's friend and sidekick, Seth, was initially and amusing character, but he quickly became irritating, and even though it was clear Rainbow Rowell wanted us to think of him as another option for Georgie, I never understood his purpose. ...more
Guitar Notes was mostly a fantastic book. I loved the interactions between Lyla and Trip, and appreciated how their friendship grew through the sharedGuitar Notes was mostly a fantastic book. I loved the interactions between Lyla and Trip, and appreciated how their friendship grew through the shared love of music. I am only giving the novel four stars for two reasons: the characterizations of Lyla and Trip bugged me at times, Lyla being the overachiever, and the two of them having a secret friendship. Lyla is an overachiever who started playing the cello after her mother died (her mother also played the instrument), and it focused on getting into a prestigious music school with her friend Annie. Trip struggles in school, and one of his outlets is playing the guitar. When the both sign up to use the same music room on different days (even and odd), they begin to leave notes for each other in a guitar case, and a friendship forms. Luckily, the writing and voice helped me get past the initial flaws in characterization. The other problem I had was the major climatic part of the book:(view spoiler)[ Lyla gets into a car accident and goes into a coma after lying to her dad about the musical gig with Trip. (hide spoiler)] It took a fun, light-hearted read, and made it overly dramatic in my opinion. I would still recommend this book for anyone who loves music (the author has a website with all the songs mentioned in the novel) and stories about friendship....more
This history of California was interesting, but slow reading because the narrative structure was basically just a series of facts strung together alonThis history of California was interesting, but slow reading because the narrative structure was basically just a series of facts strung together along a timeline. It was structured semi-topically, but was still slow reading....more
4.5 stars. I liked this novel better than Eleanor & Park, especially the interactions between Cather and Levi, but I was not a fan of the fanficti4.5 stars. I liked this novel better than Eleanor & Park, especially the interactions between Cather and Levi, but I was not a fan of the fanfiction element. It was an interesting concept, and I liked how it brought the characters together, but it read as a poorly written Harry Potter rip-off, and at times really bogged down the rest of the narrative....more
Eleanor & Park was a great novel. The story was endearing and heartbreaking and I compare it a little to Jerry Spinelli's "Star Girl". The romanceEleanor & Park was a great novel. The story was endearing and heartbreaking and I compare it a little to Jerry Spinelli's "Star Girl". The romance between the two characters may seem rushed to others, but it made sense to me that two 16 year-old misfits would find each other and go from friendship to romance quickly, because it's a realistic portrayal of teen relationships. My only complaint is that I wanted some sort of epilogue, but that might be tying up the novel too neatly.