Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Publisher: Riverhead Books
Pages: 386
Received: I received a copy from Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: May 2, 2017
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

My Review:

Like everyone else in the world, I fell in love with the mystery of Paula's first novel The Girl on the Train. It was the type of book that kept me on my toes and I was guessing throughout the whole story, and when I came to the end, I was still left so surprised. So naturally, after hearing about this new book I had to jump right in as soon as I received the book. 

This book definitely has a great mystery surrounding it, me being someone who is already nervous in water (I am not a great swimmer at all!), this book had me a little uncomfortable at times. But, sadly, as I read this story I compared it to her first one (as much as I tried not to it was difficult). I can't say that this book lives up to what The Girl on the Train was, I had a hard time because there were so many characters involved, it took me awhile to catch up to which character I was following at one time.

There were some characters that I wanted to follow more often and I felt that with the amount of characters I lost out on getting deeper into their thoughts.Paula goes back in time showing how history may have had a hand, and yet I felt like if the book was longer there could have been more details.  Despite this, the story still drew me in, something about how everyone's stories came together, especially the stories of these women ending up in the water... how did these two women who are a generation apart end up with the same fate, what about their lives were intertwined? But more so, the way Paula goes into the aftermath and how everyone else has been affected by these tragedies is what really kept me going with this story.

This book may not be anything like Paula's first novel, and yet she still writes a mystery that will leave you guessing. This book just left me wanting a little more from the characters in the end, yet still had me intrigued as to what happened and why. Though I did not like this one as much as The Girl On The Train, I still think I will give Paula another try with her next book, her mysteries are gripping enough to keep me intrigued! 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Spotlight: The Measure of the Moon by Lisa Preston

Publisher: Thomas Mercer Publishing
Pages: 336
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: May 16, 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:

When eight-year-old Greer Donner falls off his horse in the Washington wilderness, he braces himself to face the long hike home alone. But screams pierce the darkness, and he stumbles upon a dead-end road where a man is beating a woman—nearly to death. In a moment of courage, he stops the assault, but he’s left to face the man, who turns his wrath into an ominous threat: if the boy ever reveals what he has seen, his family will pay the ultimate price. The secret Greer now carries begins his emotional unraveling.

In Seattle, Gillian Trett is a photographer with a troubled marriage and a childhood she’s trying to forget. Domestic tension mounts when her husband’s stepsister arrives. Desperate for a distraction, and a way to advance her career, Gillian throws herself into uncovering the history behind an old man’s Holocaust photo of boys in a forest. The mysterious children and the truth behind the scene haunt her—she can’t let go of the image, or of her own shadowed past.

Then a horrifying revelation entangles Gillian’s path with young Greer’s. The boy and the woman, separated by a generation and a hundred miles, each confront the terrible power of harbored secrets—not only to eclipse the truth but also to illuminate the dark, unknown dimensions of their loved ones and themselves.

My Review:

I was very intrigued with the synopsis of the book, Lisa Preston really tackles how one moment can affect someone. But what really brought everything together was the way she intertwined the different stories and brought these two unlikely characters together. I will say it took me some time to get into the story, I found that there is a lot of time spent on getting the readers to know the different characters, that it took away from the story at first.

I really enjoyed the story of the Donner family, I loved how they are a huge family who all come together and care for each other. Though I will say that it was hard to follow along with which character was which, I felt that everyone in the family all seemed very similar and there were not too many huge character differences. I think this was done to really single out Greer (which was absolutely achieved), since he is the main character going through the difficult time.

The biggest concern I had while reading this book is how long it took to bring these two stories together to meet, everything happens closer to the end of the book and it made it quite difficult to keep reading. I felt disconnected through a lot of the story and felt that the second storyline did not need to be as in depth, that really took away from the main idea of what is happening to Greer and I felt myself wanting more of that family dynamic while I was with the other story.

Lisa Preston keeps you intrigued and on your toes, but I felt like something just missed the mark with this story, and things just felt a tad bit disconnected from one another.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Discussion - Podcasts

I always hear people talking about different podcasts that they have really gotten into, and a few years ago I went on a binge (around the time that Welcome to Nightvale came out, that was the reason for my binge) but then I kind of lost interest and stopped listening to podcasts.

Well last night, I started a binge again, I went on a day of searching for podcasts that would pique my interest, I of course went back to Welcome to Nightvale, which is what got me started again, and I also went back to the more humourous ones, like The Nerdist podcast which I was listening to before as well. 

Image taken from
But of course, me being who I am, a lover of books, my search obviously went straight to podcasts related to books. The one that I immediately downloaded was one done by The New York Times, it's called "The Writer's Voice". Once a week, you are able to listen to an author who reads one of their short stories that has been published in The New York Times. I'm not usually one for short stories but listening to this has absolutely changed my perspective on that. These are usually only little half an hour episodes and it's something that would be nice to listen to on my way to work, I don't really listen to audiobooks because I don't have that long of a drive and then I sometimes forget what happened, after working an 8 hour day.

I've loved listening to these authors read their short stories and it is just enough for one car ride. I find it's also been a great way to get to know some new authors and sample their work. I definitely believe I will find many more authors to read with this podcast! I hear THE NEW YORKER has some great podcasts that will keep me busy!

So tell me, what podcasts have you been listening to? I'd love some new recommendations if you have any! 


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