I was debating heavily on whether to give this book 2 or 3 stars. I've decided on 2 because even though this book is extremely well written and had anI was debating heavily on whether to give this book 2 or 3 stars. I've decided on 2 because even though this book is extremely well written and had an enormously satisfying twist, the ending completely overshadowed any redeeming qualities. It's hard to write a good review without spoilers on this one, seeings as the 'spoiler' occurs about halfway through the story, not at the end, so although I prefer to omit them, this review does contain some vague notion of the twist.
On the morning of her 5th wedding anniversary, Amy Dunne disappears. With clear signs of a struggle in the house, foul play is quickly suspected. Nick Dunne, Amy's husband, holds to his innocence, but there are a lot of things working against him. First of all, he is not at all upfront and honest with the detectives. Secondly, it is very clear that his and Amy's marriage was far from perfect. Add that to the fact that Nick is not the best at expressing his emotions, and the media flourishes on the allegation of a dishonest, unhappy husband who doesn't seem remotely upset about the fact that his wife is missing--possibly dead.
The first part of the novel is written in the first person point of view of Nick, intertwined with diary entries from Amy over the past several years. The two points of view constantly contradict each other, and it is not easy to decide who to empathize with more: Amy, the possibly murdered wife who tried so hard to keep up with a wilting marriage; or Nick: the guilt stricken husband who realizes--possibly too late--that he didn't try hard enough to keep his marriage alive, and is now being lynched by the media and law enforcement.
The first hundred or so pages drags out a bit. Details of the investigation. Flashbacks from Amy's diary. Interactions that in reality seem irrelevant to the story other than to introduce character traits. I feel like a lot of it could have been cut down. However, the writing style itself was enticing enough to keep me reading and I was glad I did.
The plot twist is huge. One that made me put the book down just so that I could breathe a bit. After that, the edge-of-your-seat-mystery-thriller vibe takes over.
So, why only two stars?
This story gave me reason to hate it every step of the way. You may say that in a way, that's a sign of a good writer. Gillian Flynn definitely creates characters that you can't help but hate. I was literally disgusted. (view spoiler)[I have never read a first person account of such a psychopathic person. One of the problems with this is, I am not a psychopath; I am a rationally-minded person, and I like to assume most of the other readers are as well. Reading about the way a psychopath deals with conflict is hard to relate to. I can't quite quell the background chant of: This is stupid. Why bother? What a psycho. (hide spoiler)]
And then, the biggest problem of all: the ending. Of course, this is purely a matter of opinion without the slightest bit of constructive criticism, but I can't help it. I am so enraged that such a well written book was ruined by such a terrible ending. There is no closure for any of the characters. Not even the ones that--at least I think--you're intended to empathize with by the end. It's not just a fill-in-the-details-yourself ending. It's not a cliff hanger ending that's supposed to leave you guessing. To me, it felt like a lazy ending. Nothing was resolved, and it made me feel like I wasted my time. For me, nothing is worse than a bad ending. In a series, a bad ending has the ability to make me hate all of the books. I've even gone so far as to rewrite reviews after I've finished the finale. If you're not as hung up as I am on endings, there is a good chance you will thoroughly enjoy this book. If you are looking for a good mystery with a neatly wrapped conclusion--or any conclusion at all, really--I suggest you save the trouble and take a pass on this one.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This is one of the rare books I've read that is both a quick read--I finished it in a matter of hours--and a good read. Most of the time if a book isThis is one of the rare books I've read that is both a quick read--I finished it in a matter of hours--and a good read. Most of the time if a book is as quick as this it's because it's simplistic, but for If I Stay, that is far from the truth. I'm not usually into YA romance because I've come to find that the only sake of the sub genre is usually the corny, cliche, teenage love story. This is a different breed altogether. While romance is involved, it by no means dominates the story. Instead, It,s a brutally honest tale of loss and the choices that come with it. It's surprisingly packed full of character development for how seldom we really get to glimpse characters other than the main protagonist. Above all else, it's achingly, tragically beautiful. Just when I thought I had managed to dodge the tear jerker I realized how wrong I was. As touching and real as The Fault in Our Stars. A strong five stars....more
I've always been a fan of King, and as such I've always been a bit ashamed to admit that I've never read his Dark Towers series. The beginning of KingI've always been a fan of King, and as such I've always been a bit ashamed to admit that I've never read his Dark Towers series. The beginning of King's epic is one of the most appropriate first installations I've ever read. It's hard to explain why I feel this way other than by saying this novel is literally the story of the protagonist setting off on a quest that will no doubt be a long one. It's not like other series where there's a plot resolution in each novel followed by the introduction of a new plot point which will be addressed in the sequel. I have a feeling that this will be a very smooth-running series. That said, The Gunslinger is far from drawling exposition to the upcoming action. There are several edge-of-your-seat page-turning moments as Roland aka the gunslinger chases the notorious man in black to the edge of the know civilization. Unfortunately, the man in black knows all too well of the pursuit and is often leaving traps in the villages he leaves, knowing Roland will fall into them. As I began The Gunslinger, I wasn't quite sure what I thought about it other than the fact that it was enticing enough for me to finish in one day. King is a cruel master of letting the reader know only what he wants you to, and that can get frustrating in a way, but not to the point where you give up on reading it. I also wasn't sure about the fantasy element that's supposed to play a prominent element in the story. So far I've seen some demons and of course the man in black and whatever supernatural powers he possesses. We learn about some fallen races I.e the gunslinger's, but otherwise, I get the idea that what were really dealing with is some post-apocalyptic earth. When it comes to characters, whether we meet them only for a few pages or actually get sufficient time to get to know them they are all nothing short of mesmerizing. It seems that they each have some form of secrets, but in the harsh world they're trying to survive secrets are sometimes necessary. I hope that many of them will return at some point in Roland's adventure.
I'm sure more will be revealed as I begin reading The Drawing of the Three, but irregardless King has not failed to deliver his masterful story telling. I was entranced throughout the entire time, even during the rare lulls. As far as I'm concerned, it's. Strong 4 star read. ...more
The best so far. Martin has a way with making it so that there really aren't any antagonists. By putting in so many points of views and perfecting theThe best so far. Martin has a way with making it so that there really aren't any antagonists. By putting in so many points of views and perfecting the art of characterization, it's hard not to understand the actions of any of the characters-except for Joffrey anyway-, no matter how condemnable they should be. And yet the plot doesn't get jumbled. It still manages to keep the reader on the edge of their seat regardless of how many things are going on at once. Absolutely flawless....more
Every once in a while I'll come across an author whose mere style is addicting. Buehlman is one of those authors. I could read an account of his mostEvery once in a while I'll come across an author whose mere style is addicting. Buehlman is one of those authors. I could read an account of his most boring day and be entranced. That said, Those Across the River is far from boring. With a touch of historical fiction, Those Across the River is a perfect example of haunting mystery. It is one of the most realistic accounts I've read that addresses the question "what happens when an ordinary small town is confronted with monstrous and mysterious beings just a few miles from them?" Everything from the story to the prose is hauntingly beautiful. The plot unfolds so smoothly you hardly have time to notice that the initial suspense has transformed into horrifying action. A must read for horror lovers and mystery addicts alike. 4.5 stars ...more
This wasn't what I expected out of the prequel to The Maze Runner. That said? I'm not disappointed either. It was a bit slow starting out, and to be hThis wasn't what I expected out of the prequel to The Maze Runner. That said? I'm not disappointed either. It was a bit slow starting out, and to be honest, I thought we were going to be dealing with TMR characters in a more direct way. About half way through, I felt like the fight scenes were getting super repetitive, to the point that if you skipped them over, you probably wouldn't be missing anything. Overall, though, it was a great read and very entertaining. I love the way Dashner sheds light on how the world of The Maze Runner came to be. It's brilliantly thought out and doesn't have any continuity errors that I noticed. ...more
While I'm not usually into zombie-esqu stories (at all) the synopsis of Stung caught my attention. At first the story was highly engrossing and it wasWhile I'm not usually into zombie-esqu stories (at all) the synopsis of Stung caught my attention. At first the story was highly engrossing and it wasn't cliche like some YA post apocalyptic novels. A couple of things ruined it though. First of all is the protagonist. Fiona, aka Fo, is one of the worst female characters I've ever seen, and that includes non-major characters. She is unintelligent and doesn't seem to have an original thought in her. She has no fight and it seems like half of the time she has no drive to survive. That is, until she suddenly and inexplicably falls in love with a soldier. There is no character development or driving force that leads Fo and Bowen to fall in love, but almost as if the author thought the book would be incomplete without it, it just happens. From then on, the post apocalyptic survival story vanishes. All that's left is a poorly crafted female character fighting to survive for love. She says multiple times that if she loses Bowen there is nothing left for her. It turns from an action packed adventure to the pathetic tale of a love sick girl....more
I was lucky enough to get an ARC copy for review. I'm not huge on romance novels, but I was hoping that this would be as good as Julie Cross' TempestI was lucky enough to get an ARC copy for review. I'm not huge on romance novels, but I was hoping that this would be as good as Julie Cross' Tempest novels. I definitely wasn't disappointed.
Karen Campbell is an elite gymnast who's never had much of a social life outside of gymnastics. When her parents die in a car accident, she's faced with the choice of leaving her home town to live with her grandmother whom she hardly knows, or take her coach's offer to stay with him and continue training. She decides on the latter. She moves in with her coach and his son, Jordan, but since she doesn't have much experience (at all) with dealing with the opposite sex, she can't help but act incredibly awkward whenever he's around. The fact that he's attractive doesn't help. Jordan is more understanding about her situation than she ever could have hoped for, however, and as they get to know each other, she realizes that they have more in common than she originally thought. Jordan has a unique perspective on loss and is able to help Karen through her situation better than anyone else.
Even though Karen is seventeen, the fact that she has little relationship experience puts the character in a unique situation. As she starts acknowledging her feelings for Jordan, a lot of her lines are a bit cliche, like you'd expect from someone much younger, but taking her lack of experience into account, it makes complete sense, and Cross does an excellent job of incorporating the first-crush-cliches without making the plot seem overly corny. Throughout the story, as Karen tries to cope with the loss of her parents, we see her writing letters to them as well as others around her, and are able to see first hand how her feelings develop and transgress as she navigates the stages of loss and tries to adapt to her new life. Even though it's in first person, these letters offer a uniquely personal connection to the main character. Cross' novel offers a very accurate depiction of how a teenager would try to cope with losing her parents, rearranging her entire life, and entering her first romantic relationship. It's a heart wrenching coming of age account of finding the courage to move on, even when it seems like everything is lost....more
If you think waiting a year for Book 2 of this series was bad, venture carefully, my friends. CLIFF HANGER ALERT!
Things have definitely changed from wIf you think waiting a year for Book 2 of this series was bad, venture carefully, my friends. CLIFF HANGER ALERT!
Things have definitely changed from when Jackson first found out that he could time travel. Now, he enters training for the CIA agency that his dad runs. Although his father is fully aware of all of his capabilities, none of the other recruits have any idea. In fact, the mere idea of humans being able to time travel disgusts them. He has nobody to talk to about his past, and nobody to turn to when Holly turns up as a part of the opposing agency, Eyewall. Of course, she doesn't remember him, and even against his greater judgement, Jackson can't stay away from her, putting both of their lives at incredible risk.
As Jackson moves through his training Eyewall, along with some familiar enemy faces, are making more and more appearances, making it harder and harder for him to keep his abilities a secret. And while many questions are answered, even more are popping up with each and every chapter.
Once again, Cross has created a page turning thriller laced with just enough romance to capture the hearts of the readers without over running it with a gooey plot. Don't try to read this unless you have your full concentration devoted to it, because just like Tempest, Vortex throws all standard rules of sci-fi time traveling out the window, so intricate that its almost a science in itself....more
By this point in the series, nearly everyone is convinced that the end is drawing near. Some are hopefully clinging to the possibility that the barrieBy this point in the series, nearly everyone is convinced that the end is drawing near. Some are hopefully clinging to the possibility that the barrier will come down and they will be able to leave the FAYZ, while others worry that the end won't be so clean cut. On the one hand, the giaphage has taken on the human form as Diana's daughter, making it more dangerous than ever. On the other hand, now that the FAYZ walls are transparent, the whole world is watching, witnessing terrifying, unexplainable acts of terror and violence. Sam and Caine team up to go after the giaphage, hoping to catch her while she's still recovering from Sam's attack at the end of Fear (Book 5), while Edilio takes charge in Perdido beach and tries to get the kids back to work instead of spending nearly all of their time at the barrier, trying to communicate with the public and their love ones. We also get to see quite a bit of Connie Temple and get inside her head about what's going on in the outside world, and her opinion on how things look in the FAYZ. Meanwhile, Little Pete, now a body-less 'something' begins weakening, and it becomes clear that the Giaphage fears that he will take a body as it did in order to fight. As always, the clock is counting down, and the endgame isn't exactly clear. Right from the beginning, questions start piling up quicker than answers. What will happen if the barrier comes down? Will the kids be charged for the terrible acts they have committed? Or will the Giaphage kill every last human inside, leaving only itself to venture out into the world?
An excellent ending to an excellent series. Throughout the Gone series, the lines between the good guys and bad guys are blurred so much that it becomes hard to know who to cheer for. Each book is different. Sometimes each chapter, and this one was no different. The character development is phenomenal. It's hard to imagine mere children living through all of these horrifying ordeals, and by the end of this book, I honestly had a had to remind myself that they're only fifteen. Relationships continue to develop between Astrid and Sam in ways that seem impossible for their age, but when you think about everything they've been through together it starts to make more sense. And then there's Caine, who started out as the biggest threat in the FAYZ, and has slowly transformed into a sort of makeshift hero who's desperate for redemption. The final battle ended a bit abruptly, I think, which is probably the only negative thing I have to say about the entire book. Grant also gives us the opportunity to see what happens after the final battle in a section called 'Aftermath'. This was the hardest part for me to read. It's so vastly different from the rest of the series. While reading, I never thought much about what would happen if the FAYZ ended, and I never thought about who the characters would have to live without (because yes, there are plenty of losses in the final installment). Absolutely wonderful....more