#14

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The description from Goodreads:
theomanFrom New York Times bestselling author of the “twisty-mystery” (Vulture) novel In a Dark, Dark Wood, comes The Woman in Cabin 10, an equally suspenseful novel from Ruth Ware—this time, set at sea.

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.

This book has been on to my read list for so long, the description sucked me in right away, something awry on a luxurious cruise ship at sea, what’s not to love?

The Woman in Cabin 10 is tricky because I really liked parts and other parts completely missed the mark for me, and it’s not even broken down by beginning, middle and end, I felt one chapter could have been great and the other kind of blah.

To start off, I didn’t like the main character until the very end. To me she came across very unlikable but even now trying to explain how eludes me. While the setting is described very well, the characters fell flat, I think more could have been done to develop all the characters on the ship.

I liked the ambiance of this book and I liked that the smaller details, like the food on the ship and the events were described.

The end came together quite quickly, it did feel a bit rushed but I enjoyed the end and the big twist.

I’m still so torn on whether I really liked this book or not, so if the description sucked you in like it did to me, I would recommend you read it. This book read like a movie and I think it would almost make a better movie.

2 stars doesn’t seem enough and 4 seems too high, so I give The Woman in Cabin 10 3 stars.

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#13

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott

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The description from Goodreads:
Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. From a writer with “exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl,” (Janet Maslin) You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition.

I’ve wanted to read a Megan Abbott book for a while now, this one in particular, and I was lucky enough to receive a free copy from NetGalley for an honest review.

I’m wary when I come across a book on Goodreads (where I do all my best book stalking) and the description gives me the INEEDITNOW feels and the rating is solid. I always think ‘could this be my next __(insert book I’ve loved and raved about to anyone who will listen)__?’. Then I received the copy and started it 10 minutes after finishing In A Dark, Dark Wood.

This book pulled me in right away and held on until the end, I finished it in two days and that was only because I forced myself to stop.

An underlying ominous tone lasted the whole book, it was eerie in such an effortless way, not contrived at all, like a slow burn or that feeling of dread deep down in your stomach. You get the feeling that somethings going on, somethings off but you can’t quite put your finger on it, it’s perfectly simple but so complicated at the same time.

I loved how real the characters felt and how important they all were to the story as a whole. You end up flip flopping between loving some characters and hating them and screaming expletives at them in your head. I separated this book into two groups: the Knox family and the gymnastics family, both tight knit, both flawed and you just know both are coming to come undone, you just don’t know how or why until it all starts coming together, and falling apart at the same time.

I didn’t love that every chapter ended in a vague, cryptic statement or quote but I got over it quickly.

Unalike a lot of reviews, I don’t feel this book took to a long time to get to the point and I definitely don’t feel it was too centered on gymnastics.

You Will Know Me is a perfect whodunit in the sense where as you’re reading, you start second guessing everyone but it never feels like your average, mundane murder mystery. The themes of drive, sacrifice, sex and jealousy kept me plowing through it.

In a perfect world You Will Know Me would be turned into a movie that would be just as good as the book, a la Gone Girl.

I give this book 5 stars. Love love love!

 

#12

In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

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The description from Goodreads:

In a dark, dark wood
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.
There was a dark, dark house
Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room
But something goes wrong. Very wrong.
And in the dark, dark room….
Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

This is another book that kept popping up in my Goodreads feed and in my Indigo & Kobo ‘Recommended Next Reads’ emails.

I liked In A Dark, Dark Wood, it was easy to read, kept my attention through most of it although I did put it down for a couple days.

I really appreciate when the setting and the characters of a book are well described and well developed, it makes it so much easier to read.

The setting is a grand cottage in the woods and envisioning it in my head while I was reading made the book more enjoyable.

I liked the characters a lot, each one came with their own developed personality which also added a lot to the book.

This book got a lot of praise for being scary and creepy, I didn’t get that at all. I would classify it as a campy thriller, in the best way possible.

I give this book 3 stars.

 

#10

Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris

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The description from Goodreads:
The 2016 debut bloggers can’t stop raving about. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and The Ice Twins
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace.
He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. Though, you’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

 

A good friend of mine saw this book on Goodreads a couple months ago and told me I needed to get the sample. After reading the 5 chapter preview I was immediately pulled in, I love a good, toxic marriage story.

I bought Behind Closed Doors yesterday (the first day it was available to buy) around noon and finished it last night. I couldn’t put this book down.

I loved the setting of this book and the characters were really well developed.I can’t remember ever hating a character more than I hated Jack. My friend and I were reading it at the same time and I we were going back and forth in our Whatsapp group with messages like “this f**king guy!!!” and “Ughhhhh I hate him”.

Behind Closed Doors is a thriller, through and through. While it did lack a little depth, I took this book for what it was, a really good, really disturbing thriller. The dynamics of this book is where B.A Paris excelled. The relationship between Grace, her sister Millie, and Jack is so intertwined it kept me on edge until the very end.

I give Behind Closed Doors 5 stars for a couple reasons:
-I read it at such a feverish pace, in one sitting
-I haven’t read a book with such a disturbing (in a good way) story that didn’t feel recycled in a while
-The story itself, while again lacking some depth, is extremely intricate in a very easy to read way
-I cannot stop talking about it

I look forward to reading what this author puts out next!

 

#6

Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell

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The description from Goodreads:
A fiercely imagined fiction debut in which two young women face what happened the summer they were twelve, when a handsome stranger abducted them
Everyone thought we were dead. We were missing for nearly two months; we were twelve. What else could they think? -Lois
It’s always been hard to talk about what happened without sounding all melodramatic. . . . Actually, I haven’t mentioned it for years, not to a goddamned person. -Carly May
The summer precocious Lois and pretty Carly May were twelve years old, they were kidnapped, driven across the country, and held in a cabin in the woods for two months by a charismatic stranger. Nearly twenty years later, Lois has become a professor, teaching British literature at a small college in upstate New York, and Carly May is an actress in Los Angeles, drinking too much and struggling to revive her career. When a movie with a shockingly familiar plot draws the two women together once more, they must face the public exposure of their secret history and confront the dark longings and unspeakable truths that haunt them still. Maggie Mitchell’s Pretty Is beautifully defies ripped-from-the-headlines crime story expectations and announces the debut of a masterful new storytelling talent.

I had this book on my ‘to read’ list so when I saw it at a book sale I scooped it up. The description pulled me right in but after finishing it, I’m not so sure what I think of it.

The book is really well written despite the dialogue being a bit forced at times. I thought the stark difference of the fear of being kidnapped and the romanticism of the situation by the main characters was an unrealistic depiction, however it did add a lot of depth to the story.

I was disappointed that the action only really happened in the last 50 pages, the end of Pretty Is seemed very rushed.

Overall I give this book 3 stars.

Welcome to My New Baby

I created this blog on a whim, 5 minutes before work.

I really, really love to read and I do it, a lot. As soon as I’m done a book, I’m on the hunt for the next one. I have a notebook dedicated to writing down books I’d like to read and when I’m done I put a little checkmark next to the title which feels incredibly satisfying. I also have a Goodreads account where I could do this, but pen to paper has always been more of my thing.

As soon as e-readers came out, I decided I was against them. Three years ago my mom told me the only thing she really wanted for Christmas was a Kobo, so I decided to stop being such a tyrant and give in. I managed to avoid it for a year until I ‘rented’ a library book on it and decided I would try it even though I was sure I was going to hate it.

I didn’t hate it. I’ll admit the pros do outweigh the cons, but for all the wrong reasons.
E-readers save space, but who doesn’t love overflowing bookshelves?
E-readers are convenient, you don’t have to lug books around, but curling up to a book is exciting.
E-readers are less expensive, but the product isn’t really…tangible.

I don’t even get to use it much; my mom is a pretty avid reader as well so I settle for the Kobo app on my phone. I’ll worry what starting at both that and a computer screen for 8+ hours is doing to my eyes later.

Not only do I love to read new books, I love re-read good books. Even though there’s millions of books, hundreds of thousands of really good books, I’ll go back to ones I’ve read before often . She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb, Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides, My Friend Leonard by James Frey, for example. I know they’re good, I know I love them, I know I’ll feel that comfortable feeling when I start them again, like how I felt when I discovered Full House on Netflix.

So because reading has become such a big part of my life and I love to talk about it, and blogging otherwise has been tough for me as of late, why not take a stab at writing about it?

Part of creating this blog was to achieve a somewhat crazy goal of reading 100 books in 2015. I’ve always been pretty shit about achieving goals but I’m recklessly optimistic.

So I guess you can expect recommendations, reviews, general book chit chat and a 2015 book countdown. For everything else, check out www.erinsdoingit.wordpress.com