Ɗẳɳ 2.☊'s Reviews > Brother

Brother by Ania Ahlborn
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did not like it
bookshelves: horror

★☆☆☆☆½

To say that this one was a bit of disappointment would be a major understatement. Let’s see here, checking the description, “Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse…” yada, yada, yada…some missing girls, deeply disturbing traditions, buried secrets or treasure, not sure which, but it’s beginning to pique my curiosity. I can’t help but notice a few four and five-star reviews from my friends, hmm. In my mind’s eye, I’m picturing one of those crazy hillbilly stories that quickly devolve into madness and mayhem—something that should be right in my wheelhouse. Not to mention, I’ve been on quite a hot streak with these Hick Lit books, as of late. Let’s do this!

Cracking open the book, perusing a few pages. What the? This isn’t Hick Lit! Strike one. It looks to be another one of your basic horror stories, think Texas Chainsaw Massacre lite. Or is it? Well, it all begins pretty horrifically, but then there’s a major lull. And who’s this Michael kid we’re following? Show a little backbone, son. This meek, loser act is wearing thin. Now, what the hell are they doing at this record store? Good Lord, not this instalove crap again, sprinkled with a heavy helping of teen angst! >.< Strike two.

Okay, now we’re finally getting some family history with all these flashbacks. Wow, Michael’s brother, Rebel, is such an asshole, and just a relentless bully who treats Michael like his own personal slave. And Momma’s not much better, look at the way she’s slapping Misty around. Why the hell is their dad, Wade, just sitting there? Never saying a word, never lifting a finger, is he brain damaged? Seriously, why’s he even in this story? He does absolutely nothing.

You know, as I’m looking around, I don’t notice any chains on Michael or Misty, there’s no gun to their heads or locked doors. Oh, and you know what else? Although Michael acts like a scared little preteen, he’s nearly twenty years old, and he’s the most physically imposing person in the entire house. He keeps claiming he’ll do anything to protect his sister, Misty, whom he loves fiercely, yet he does nothing, time and time again, as she’s beaten black and blue. I don’t get it.

So not only is our protagonist filled with teen angst, but he’s also a coward and an idiot. All of which, makes it’s nearly impossible for me to root for him. I’d rather shake the shit out of him and yell at him to, “WAKE THE FUCK UP!” Honestly, I couldn’t care less about any of these people. So, with no vested interest, the entire story sort of becomes pointless to me. Strike three.

I should have stopped right there—thrown in the towel at 30%—realizing this just wasn’t my kind of story. Then I glance at all those glowing reviews. What am I missing here? Plus, I always have a hard time hitting that eject button, so I reluctantly stick with it. That’s when the unthinkable happens. Rebel’s targeting an older woman that doesn’t fit their profile, and all these flashbacks are hinting at a few things. When they go to abduct her, she cries out a single word, and it all fell neatly into place for me. I solved the mystery at 48%. >.<

Then the rest of the story played out like a slow-motion train wreck that I couldn’t look away from. I read on, hoping I was somehow mistaken. Hoping that it couldn’t all be so simple and horrible and so, so disgusting. Yet sadly, it was.

1.5 stars - A rather simplistic tale of revenge with no twists or surprises, and a completely telegraphed, yet ultimately satisfying conclusion - thus the 1/2 star bump.
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Reading Progress

November 2, 2015 – Shelved
November 2, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
December 3, 2015 – Started Reading
December 5, 2015 –
50.0% "I don't get all the 5 star love for this one, maybe the second half will change my mind."
December 6, 2015 –
75.0% "I seriously may lose my shit, if this story goes where I think it's headed. This is just so wrong, it makes my blood boil!"
December 7, 2015 – Finished Reading
December 23, 2015 – Shelved as: horror

Comments Showing 1-45 of 45 (45 new)

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message 1: by carol. (new)

carol. oooh, rage review coming on?


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Not sure if I'm up for it, but it definitely deserves one. Fuck this book.


Jennifer Masterson We can't all like the same book.


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ That's true, and I really wanted to love this dark tale, but the protagonist was just so stupid and aggravating that I was left with no one to root for.


Jennifer Masterson Dᴀɴ 2.☢ wrote: "That's true, and I really wanted to love this dark tale, but the protagonist was just so stupid and aggravating that I was left with no one to root for."

It happens. I couldn't stand "Station Eleven" and many others that most people loved. Don't let peer pressure influence your review.


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Peer pressure only influences my selection on what to read next. I think I'll need a sidebar with Kelly, she's 0 for 2. :P


Jennifer Masterson Dᴀɴ 2.☢ wrote: "Peer pressure only influences my selection on what to read next. I think I'll need a sidebar with Kelly, she's 0 for 2. :P"

That's awesome Dan! :D


message 8: by ΞιsNιnΞ (last edited Dec 08, 2015 06:58AM) (new)

ΞιsNιnΞ RΞχ~ΚαrnιFΞχ I'm looking forward to some righteous vitriol, but you've already very effectively destroyed any chance of me wanting to read this, so well done. I won't burn any hours on 'Brother', anyway. I'll find a different waste of time and tree. ;-)


message 9: by Pamela (new) - added it

Pamela Ugh, yes! This book was so ... *throttling motion*


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ I should have probably just dnf it and moved on, since there was really no point at which I was enjoying the story. *hangs head* :(


message 11: by Delee (new)

Delee Not as ragey as I would have expected...you are getting soft in your old age. ;)

I will definitely pass on this one.


message 12: by Ɗẳɳ 2.☊ (last edited Dec 23, 2015 08:36AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Delee wrote: "Not as ragey as I would have expected...you are getting soft in your old age. ;)

I will definitely pass on this one."


It must be all this Christmas joy, filling my cold, dark heart, and preventing a proper rant.

You may not want to scratch it off of your list just yet since everyone, except for me and Pamela here, seemed to have loved it.


message 13: by Matthias (last edited Dec 23, 2015 08:38AM) (new)

Matthias Disappointing reads sometimes make for the most entertaining reviews. Case in point :-) Therefor I'm glad you finished this book, for selfish reasons. Consider this reading as something like heroic reviewer-martyrdom.


message 14: by Delee (last edited Dec 23, 2015 08:46AM) (new)

Delee Noooo I think from your description I would probably side with you here....and I try to only 1-star once a year. ;)


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Aw, thank you, Matthias. I'm always happy to take that bullet for you. :)


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Delee wrote: "Noooo I think from your description I would probably side with you here....and I try to only 1-star once a year. ;)"

Yeah, this story was too aggravating and disgusting for me to enjoy. I try, but seem unable to avoid some of these one star reads.

*Waits patiently for Shelby, Kelly, and Sh3lly to tell me how I read this wrong.*


Kelly (and the Book Boar) Your wait is over, my dear : )

Just kidding - I'm actually on here to point out I knew the whosits and whatsits the first time they pulled a stakeout on the "old lady" - but somehow I still ate this shit UP.


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* Dᴀɴ 2.☢ wrote: "Delee wrote: "Noooo I think from your description I would probably side with you here....and I try to only 1-star once a year. ;)"

Yeah, this story was too aggravating and disgusting for me to enj..."


Nah, your review was entertaining and I did want to punch whiny boy in the face about fifty times. But I ate up the shit too.


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Kelly (and the Book Boar) wrote: "Your wait is over, my dear : )

Just kidding - I'm actually on here to point out I knew the whosits and whatsits the first time they pulled a stakeout on the "old lady" - but somehow I still ate th..."


I was very suspicious, when they stakeout the old lady, but I wasn't 100% sure, until they actually snatched her up.


message 20: by Delee (new)

Delee Kelly (and the Book Boar) wrote: "Your wait is over, my dear : )

Just kidding - I'm actually on here to point out I knew the whosits and whatsits the first time they pulled a stakeout on the "old lady" - but somehow I still ate th..."


You can handle disgusting and gross MUCH better than I can- it has to be a pretty special story for me to want to skim over the nasty bits..lol


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Delee wrote: "You can handle disgusting and gross MUCH better than I can- it has to be a pretty special story for me to want to skim over the nasty bits..lol"

You may not want to click this, if you have any plans on reading the book, but it's only a minor spoiler. (view spoiler).


message 22: by Delee (last edited Dec 23, 2015 09:20AM) (new)

Delee (view spoiler)

In simplistic terms-If a writer's main goal is to gross a reader out- I look for another writer.


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Shelby *trains flying monkeys* wrote: "Nah, your review was entertaining and I did want to punch whiny boy in the face about fifty times. But I ate up the shit too."

He was so annoying. I think I could of tolerated his behavior, and maybe even ranked this story a little higher, if he was say 12 or 13 years old. But at 19, I refused to cut him any slack.


Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈ Haha great review, Dan!


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Thanks, Jess.


message 26: by debra (new)

debra Agree with Matthias -whether you like or hate it-love reading your reviews, Dan!


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Thank you, debra. That's very kind of you to say.


Kelly (and the Book Boar) debra wrote: "Agree with Matthias -whether you like or hate it-love reading your reviews, Dan!"

Don't encourage him debra ; )


message 29: by Ɗẳɳ 2.☊ (last edited Jan 17, 2017 05:21PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Don't listen to her, debra. She's known to be one of the worst. At least I can admit when I'm wrong, like with my Black Company rating. But not here - this book blows chunks!


Kelly (and the Book Boar) The massive wake you've left behind all of your wrong readings begs to differ, Wrongreader 2.0.


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ The trial is pending. However, I completely stand by this rating. You, Shelby, Jennifer, and Sh3lly are drunk on the Kool-Aid.


message 32: by debra (new)

debra Ɗắɳ 2.❄ wrote: "The trial is pending. However, I completely stand by this rating. You, Shelby, Jennifer, and Sh3lly are drunk on the Kool-Aid."
: ) : ) Aaaaaaaaaah my work here is done
*instigating, little bitch smiles snidely and walks on*


message 33: by debra (new)

debra I just started this in audio-like 8 minutes worth- and went to check if I downloaded the wrong book. Switched to something else. Don't know if I'll go back after reading your review. ; ((


message 34: by debra (new)

debra Correction- re-reading your review ;-))


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Hahaha. Oh come now, debra, you can't possibly side with me here, right?

FYI, she absolutely nails the ending. Such an odd conundrum, to have an awful story end perfectly.


message 36: by debra (last edited Jun 01, 2017 09:50AM) (new)

debra Ɗắɳ 2.✽ wrote: "Hahaha. Oh come now, debra, you can't possibly side with me here, right?

FYI, she absolutely nails the ending. Such an odd conundrum, to have an awful story end perfectly."


Methinks that is my inclination (to side with you). Although, I barely listened to any of it. My reaction was so similar to yours-"WTF is this sh*t- teenage Texas Chainsaw??" Don't think a great ending is worth it -if you were ready to dnf at 30%.Wish I could listen in FF. Possibly- you were so happy the awful story ended that the ending seemed great-only kidding ;-)) Thanks, Dan!!


Kelly (and the Book Boar) Methinks debra needs to spend a little quality time with Mitchell so she can learn the ways of the dark side : )


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ Kelly (and the Book Boar) wrote: "Methinks debra needs to spend a little quality time with Mitchell so she can learn the ways of the dark side : )"

True that . . .




message 39: by debra (new)

debra Ɗắɳ 2.✽ wrote: "Kelly (and the Book Boar) wrote: "Methinks debra needs to spend a little quality time with Mitchell so she can learn the ways of the dark side : )"

True that . . .

"

Oh dear, methinks I have just soiled myself!
PS Chocolate chip cookies???? xo


Bobbi Jo The only part I didn't expect was the new sibling. The keys at the end though. I laughed so hard I was crying.


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ LOL Yes, it really was the perfect ending.


message 42: by Bill (new) - rated it 2 stars

Bill Glad I'm not the only one not gushing over this.

However, the scene with Misty and Michael set to The Cure's A Forest stuck with me a long time. Or maybe it was just the song...


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ I'm still puzzled over the high ratings for this one. Nearly every aspect of the story was off-putting, and/or extremely disgusting, especially Rebel's manipulation of Michael. And then the plot just was so predictable.

Those early scenes with Misty and Michael were good, but even that relationship eventually became perverted. Ugh


Martyna I enjoyed it a bit more than you did but I also figured out the mystery very early on and I HATED the way the love story was written!


Ɗẳɳ  2.☊ It was so icky it made my skin crawl.


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