Tag Archives: book blogs

Mystery/Thriller Reviews # 1: Behind Her Eyes & Before I Go to Sleep

Who doesn’t love a good twist? They work when they are done well. Like really, really well. The ending for thrillers can make it to break it for me. For instance, The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle was intriguing and a page turner for sure but the ending was underwhelming. It was clichéd and frankly, dare I say – even a little offensive. I usually don’t have high expectations for thrillers but I pick them up frequently to get out of reading slumps. Works every time.

Behind Her Eyes and Before I Go to Bed have many overlapping elements, and they are set in London with a female protagonist. I gave three stars to Behind Her Eyes and a sad two star rating to the latter. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough was unputdownable… is that even a word? Louise is a single mom. She makes out with a mystery man from the bar one night and turns out, he’s her new boss. Married boss. Oops. Any review of Behind Her Eyes you come across on the internet will mention the crazy ending and yes, the ending is indeed crazy. It’s unbelievably bonkers.

S.J. Watson’s Before I Go to Bed sounded so promising. The biggest issue I had with this book was that I wasn’t compelled to pick it up, but I desperately needed to know the ending. It took me about a week to finish. Christine, the victim of a “hit and run case”, wakes up every day not remembering who she is, a twenty something trapped in a forty something body. I admit I enjoyed the bits that talked about memory and Christine’s journal, the whodunnit element. But as I said, I wasn’t compelled to read it. I’d still recommend these books though: they were properly creepy.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (Review)

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⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

This book legit made me tear up. The story follows Eleanor Oliphant who is a thirty year old socially awkward woman that lives alone and follows a regimented, monotonous routine. She works at an office all week and drinks herself to oblivion during the weekend. It is understood that Eleanor did not have a normal childhood and did not have a normal mother, as her mother is presently in prison. Eleanor speaks to her mother once a week and absolutely loathes it. And she’s been doing it every week for nine years.

I loved reading this novel because it is hilarious, heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once. I did not exactly empathise with Eleanor but I understood her character, her mental illness and her ability to learn how to live and not just survive. She meets Raymond, the new guy at work, and they quickly become friends. This is the first book I’ve given five stars to in 2017 and I’m really glad I read it because Eleanor’s story shows how the little things in life matter a lot, and make life worth living: relationships, friends, love, kindness. I know it’s kinda cheesy but I would totally watch this movie!

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Review)

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What a delightfully cozy read! After having conveniently forgotten the ending of the movie adaptation (it’s been a while since I watched it), I decided to pick the novel up. It was a much needed respite after some intense books!

Now, if you know anything at all about the synopsis, you’re most likely thinking “Cozy? Respite? It’s a ghost story!” Yes. Books of a gothic nature are right up my alley. I loved how Diane Setterfield referenced classical gothic books in the novel like Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Women in White, and Turn of the Screw. The characters in the story are really bookish and I, nodding along, enjoyed every bit of that.

Margaret is a bookseller and amateur biographer. One day she receives a curious letter from a famous author named Vida Winter, who is nearing her deathbed. Margaret is invited to stay with Vida Winter and write her ‘true’ biography, as the author was previously given to inventing various life stories and telling confusing origin tales to the general public. What follows is a story filled with intrigue, suspense, scandal and ghosts! So much yes. 

 

 

American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Review)


⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

(Mild spoilers ahead)
So, I lost my Neil Gaiman virginity! Do I get literary points for that?

This was a pleasant read. Now, I have to confess, I don’t usually read a lot of fantasy. Correction: I don’t read any fantasy. If it weren’t for my wonderful boyfriend’s suggestion I wouldn’t have picked this up and I’m glad I did.

What is American Gods about? It’s about a man named Shadow caught between two worlds, wittingly and unwittingly. It’s the clash between the Classical gods of a bygone era and the modern gods of the technological present. In a world that increasingly worships television, media and the internet the old gods are pushed into the margins of society: prostitution, roguery, and other odd jobs indulging in alcoholism and in general, leading shitty lives. The premise sucked me in and I couldn’t stop reading. The middle bits were the weakest, though, and kept it from being a solid five stars.

I loved Shadow’s characterisation. He is the calm during the storm. Shadow has this i-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude which becomes more nuanced when you see all of his layers. After his release from prison, he learns about the death of his wife. While he’s half mourning, half wondering what the fuck to do with his life, he meets Mr. Wednesday and is pulled into an adventure. There’s a bit of mythology in there, if that’s your thing, and it’s got many thought-provoking ideas about religion and/or belief-systems. Overall, American Gods is fun. I can’t wait to read more Gaiman. You should check it out it if you haven’t already 💁