October's Reviews Are Finally Done! :o)
- More than a month behind, but I have FINALLY finished my October reviews. October brought some decent books into my hands that I highly recommend, especially GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn. This is one not to be missed!
Title: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publication Date: May, 2012
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Description: On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.
My Thoughts: Without the recommendation of an awesome co-worker, I would have completely missed out on this one. Hands down, this is one of the best books I have read this year, if not in my entire life. I have never read a Gillian Flynn novel before, so when it was recommended to me, I did not know what to expect. One thing that impressed me before I even started reading it was how long it sat at the top of the best-seller list. Because of this book, I have added Gillian Flynn as an auto-read author and will be looking for her backlist.
Nick and Amy are great characters, but not great people. They definitely have their faults, but that is what makes them unique and such great characters. Nick and Amy represent every other couple struggling in a marriage that is certainly out of the honeymoon phase. This couple's problems and grievances are too numerous to list, but this book reminded me how important it is to put in the effort to make our most important relationships grow and flourish. Nick and Amy didn't do that and with every turn of the page, I was able to see first hand how these two characters were spiraling in a whirlpool of frustration, anger, sadness, bitterness, regret, misery and yes, even hate.
Everytime I thought I knew what would happen, I would be surprised at the twists and turns the plot would take. A great book has to be shared so, as it was recommended to me, I have been recommending it to everyone I know. I kept thinking as I was reading this book that this story would not end well for anyone, but I was even surprised at the ending. I couldn't make myself look away. This book would pull me out of sleep calling me to come read. I just had to know what was going to happen!
If you enjoy stories that pull you in right away with little to no build-up and flawed and dysfunctional characters that draw you into the mess of their lives, this is the book to read.
Title: From The Dark (Bewitch The Dark #1)
Author: Michele Hauf
Publication Date: November, 2006
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Description: HER BLOOD WAS POISON TO HIM...
Centuries past, through mists of a dark time where vampires and witches lived side by side, vampires gained power by enthralling a witch, ultimately draining her of her strength and depriving her of immortality. Until the enslaved witches rebelled--and cast a spell making the blood of a witch deadly to a vampire.
Now, past and present are about to collide. Michael Lynsay is a man in the spotlight, at the height of his career, with the ability to mesmerize audiences. But he has a secret--he is a vampire, fighting the darkness of his nature. And it looks like it's a losing battle--until he meets Jane Renan, the only woman who can understand his conflicted nature. And the only woman who can destroy him--through love.
My Thoughts: In an already flooded market of vampires, this one didn't knock my socks off, but it wasn't bad. Pretty fast read about a vampire named Michael who is also a rock star who decides to take a self-imposed exile to get his head together and learn to control his blood craving.
Jane, the heroine is a witch, who we learn is the offspring of a vampire and a witch. A plot twist I found interesting is that drinking a witch's blood is toxic to vampires, but having sex seems to give the vampire more power. Go figure...
I read this one to prepare me for the second one in the series, so I am curious to see where it take me next.
Title: Team Human
Author: Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: July, 2012
Genre: Teen Paranormal Romance
Description: Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn't mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It's up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity!
On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.
Acclaimed authors Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan team up to create a witty and poignant story of cool vampires, warm friendships, and the changes that test the bonds of love.
My Thoughts: This was quite a different perception on the vampire genre. In this book the protagonist, Mel, is anti-vampire. She doesn't trust them one bit and dislikes everything about them. I thought this was a great premise, especially since Mel is living in a city founded by vampires!
Mel finds herself pulled into a mystery when she agrees to help one friend figure out why her father left. Mel also has her hands full trying to convince her other friend that vampires are evil and keep her from falling in love with one who starts attending school with them.
I thought the plot was refreshing and held my interest throughout the entire book. I really liked Mel and though I knew she was way off base with her suspicions, I enjoyed how the story played out.
I enjoyed Mel's treks into the vampire community. Seeing it through her eyes gives me a whole different outlook. Usually, the lead characters are awestruck by the vampire world, especially if they are mortal. Sometimes they are afraid. I didn't get the impression that Mel was afraid but more determined and focused. Any fear she felt, she managed to keep it disguised very well.
I am very curious to see if this book turns into a series and if so, I will be looking forward to reading the next one. I recommend this book if you are a fan of the vampire genre, but are looking for something a little different.
Title: A Perfect Blood (The Hollows #10)
Author: Kim Harrison
Publication Date: February, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Description: Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cincinnati, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in to help investigate by the I.S. and FIB, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth: a human hate group is trying to create its own demons to destroy all Inderlanders, and to do so, it needs her blood.
She's faced vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, and more, but humanity itself might be her toughest challenge yet.
My Thoughts: I initially started out listening to this book on audio because the narrator brings such life, personality and entertainment to the story with Jenks's lines on their own. Unfortunately, my head wasn't in the story and I began contemplating giving up entirely. Instead, however, I took a break and started over with the print edition, and couldn't put the book down. Though I sorely missed hearing Jenks's voice and all of his Tinkerbell quips and expletives, I felt more connected to the story.
Now that Rachel has been officially classified as a demon, she has lost the privileges of the mundane and ordinary that we mere mortals take for granted. Having a driver's license and a registered vehicle, for example, is one of the fringe benefits of humanity that is denied to Rachel. In exchange for obtaining her license and vehicle registration, Rachel agrees to investigate the murders of witches. These murders aren't your run of the mill ritualistic murders. These murders are the result of a hate group trying to create their own demons. The interesting twist for me is that the hate group is made up of humans and they prove to be quite a difficult undertaking for Rachel and her gang.
We see a lot more of Trent in this story as their relationship begins to evolve more into a friendship instead of bitter adversaries. Personally, I am glad to see this. I've always felt Trent would be better as an ally for Rachel instead of an enemy. I am looking forward to what happens to them next. I certainly would not be opposed to a romance between them, though if you had asked me for my opinion on this subject five books ago, I would have given a very different answer.
I never tire of Jenks and though it's interesting to see the beginning of something between him and Belle, I'm not sure if I'm ready for that. I don't want to see Jenks hurt and I don't know if pairing him with a fairy is a good idea.
Not nearly enough Al in this book, unfortunately. Throughout this entire series, Al has turned out to be the biggest surprise for me. I'm convinced that for the first time in his entire existence, this demon has developed feelings for his itchy witch. I don't necessarily want to see them explored or see Rachel living in the ever after with him, but I think it makes for a very interesting dynamic.
I'm hoping that now it appears that Rachel has finally made peace with the fact that she's a demon, she will come out much more self-confident and that can only mean greater success for her. I look forward to finding out.
Currently reading VAMPS AND THE CITY by Kerrelyn Sparks and listening to HOLD TIGHT by Harlan Coben
Up Next: GIRL MISSING by Tess Gerritsen
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