Tag Archives: goodreads

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl (click on book or see below for description)
By Gillian Flynn
Released: 6/5/12
Hardcopy book provided by my lovely sister-in-law!

Rating: 4 bones

I did it!  I finally read the book that everyone in the world read and that many books I’ve recently read have been compared to!  And I get it.  This book does give other books a pretty high standard to live up to on the craziness scale.  All the hype had me almost disappointed as this is a pretty long book, but the ending sealed the deal.

I think I’ll keep this short as you can read through the other 36,892 (and counting) reviews on Amazon or 101,176 on Goodreads!  Definitely  a thrilling story with a lot of mystery as to what will happen next and even what is happening as you are reading.  You will shift your alliances (if you even make any) at various times through the book, find yourself holding your breath at others, and maybe even not wanting to see what is next at times too.  I haven’t gone through this wide of emotions in a book in a long time.  And while this book is also pretty long, I couldn’t wait to keep reading and it definitely held my interest.  And the ending, well I’ll just say I want MORE (and had to re-read it a few times!)

I’m not much for movies made from books, I always feel a bit disappointed, but since this one is a recent release – I’m going to go for it.  What did you think if you’ve both read and seen?  I’ve stayed away from reviews so far – but on my “to-watch” list this weekend – so I’ll see!

Ok – I know this review was very vague (not my usual style) but I’m going to leave it that way.  I went in pretty blind (other than other books I’ve read recently be compared to it – like The Girl on the Train) and think it added to the excitement and my enjoyment of the story.  If you’re looking for a good ride with lots of twists and that will keep your mind spinning, this book is for you! Check!

Book 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. 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? 

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Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


The Girl on the Train (click on book or see below for description)
By Paula Hawkins
Released 1/13/15
Won from a Goodreads contest!  (yay me!)

Rating: 4 bones

I’m really funny with my reading, obviously I read a lot, and have gained the lovely title of “professional reader” courtesy of Netgalley, but I’m not usually with the “in” crowd of reading. I read what I think I will like and usually a lot of publicity around a book turns me off, unless ofcourse I can get my hand on said book for free!  And then this case – both the description of the book and availability to that book worked out for me!  So I feel cool for once, as everyone seems to be talking about this book and it appears to be #1 on many lists.  Some have related to “Gone Girl” and here is perfect case and point – I haven’t read Gone Girl yet (ahhh!) because I haven’t wanted to pay for it (or wait for it at the library.)  But thanks to my sister-in-law – I now have a copy and shall be reading very soon.  But no comparison here for me, I feel a backwards one coming later on!

This book lived up to the hype, a psychological thriller, page-turner, bone-chilling debut novel for Ms. Hawkins.  I read it pretty fast (3 sittings) and like many of the thrillers I’ve read, lots of build-up to a pretty crazy ending.  This one was unique in that there were three narrators of the story.  Rachel “the girl on the train”, an obnoxious alcoholic divorcee, living in denial, spending too much time on the train, and living vicariously through others.  The book is always present time for her, with thoughts of the past.  Megan, “Jess” as dubbed initially by Rachel, the mysterious woman Rachel becomes fascinated with is another narrator.  Megan’s story begins the year prior to give the reader some background information to catch them up to present time and introduce to a few other minor characters.  And then Anna is the third, the “other woman” who Rachel’s ex, Tom, left her for, new mother, a bit obsessive, very territorial, and very paranoid. Only bits and pieces are revealed from her when things started escalating, but another interesting viewpoint of the story.

From the description, I thought there would be a little more build-up of the fanciful life of “Jess & Jason” Rachel created from viewing them from the train, but the story doesn’t take long to jump into action.  One July night, something happens, and the book takes us through the process to figure out just what that was.  There are lots of characters to keep track of, nothing too overwhelming, just lots of sub-plots.  Definitely had me, the reader, engaged in coming up with theories, which got closer as the book went on, but there were enough twists and turns to keep it very interesting and me guessing til the very end.

The one problem I have with the book that I think is keeping me from 5 bones was the characters.  They all pretty much sucked (if they were real people).  And I’m sure that was intentional and I don’t know if I would have enjoyed the story more had they been more likable, but I had no sympathy/empathy for any of them and wanted them all to get what they had coming to them.  That sounds terrible but they all really made a lot of poor decisions and just were not good people.  But combine a bunch of people like that and great writing and it makes for an entertaining, unpredictable story!

So someday I’ll read Gone Girl and let you know, but The Girl on the Train was a face-paced, thrilling story, kept me guessing, and wanting to pick it up each night.  You won’t be disappointed if you read it, but there are some other really great thrillers out there that aren’t getting this much press that you should definitely look up too!

Book Description:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

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Teaser Tuesday: January 20th

Hello Tuesday!  It’s been quite the busy reading week!  I finished Little Black Lies by Sandra Block (from my teaser last week) and The Missing One by Lucy Atkins.  Both NetGalley reads, both 4 bones, both very good and worth your time, and both releasing in February 2015!

   

And I won a GoodReads contest of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins which released just a few days ago.  The hard copy came super fast too, so why not dive in!?  Very excited about this one!  (And because this is a hard copy – I’m going back to turning to a random page – even I don’t know what is going on!!)

 “I need to get to the end of the story.  I need to tell someone, just once.  Say the words out loud.  If it doesn’t come out of me, it’ll eat me up.  The hole inside of me, the one they left, it’ll just get bigger and bigger until it consumes me.”
(Page 163)

Book Description:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

Thanks for stopping by today – be sure to leave your teaser in the comments!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Happy 2 years; Looking forward to 2015 and back at 2014!

Hello!!  I thought I would stray from my book posts and do a quick post to wish myself a happy 2 years of blogging (coinciding with Happy New Year – 2015!) We’ve had some ups and downs, some good times and bad, lots of posts at times and few (or none) at others, but I really enjoy have MDP as an outlet.  And as I tell people when I do discuss my blog, I blog for free books (mostly).  I started with much more of a vision (you can see my very first post here) and at times go back to that, but lately I’ve been mostly focused on books.  Not saying this will be true for the future either, there will probably always be books as I can never see a time in my life that doesn’t include reading, but as life goes, I’m more motivated at certain times to review activities, or a song/bible verse that moves me.  But you’ll just have to stay tuned and keep reading to see!  (But really I have no idea!)

Last year I did a post for my 1 year blogiversary.  As I re-read this today – I think my update on finding my purpose (or actually lack-there-of) still holds 100% true for me today.   Each day I try to be the best me I can be; for my kids, my husband, my dog, and most of all my Creator.  I try not to beat myself up over the bad moments and turn to Him for guidance on how to get by.  I’m FAR from perfect on this, but find comfort in knowing that I’m not expected to be and as long as I ask, I am forgiven and can mess up again and again!  And also I need to be content where I am and keep my ears/eyes/heart open for further direction!

Last year I wanted to be more INTENTIONAL.  This year took us in a direction I never would have imagined when I wrote my post last year (to Cleveland, Ohio!!??) but I felt somewhat at peace in our transition and was very intentional in putting myself out there, out of my comfort zone at times, but to listen and think through what we were/are doing.  So this year to piggyback on continuing to be intentional, the word I have chosen is FOLLOW-UP.

1fol·low–up noun \ˈfä-lō-ˌəp\

: something that continues or completes a process or activity

Maybe you can relate, but I feel myself leaving a lot of things open.  Now don’t get me wrong, if I say I am going to do something concrete, I will do it, but I’m talking more about the “We should do ____sometime” or “Let’s have dinner/a playdate sometime” or “We need to ____” or “I really should get to know ____ better!” Taking those statements and turning them into actions.  So if you’re reading this and I’ve said something like that to you – let’s do it!

photo (21)

And just a quick recap of the last year:

  • I read 50 books!  (Up  from 47 the previous year – find me on Goodreads)
  • We moved to Cleveland, OH (from Atlanta, GA)
  • Our big family vacation was to Disney World in November (post and pictures still pending…)
  • LM turned 3 (Dec 2014)!!AK_RPWCOURTYARD1CHARACTER_7092687558
  • LL turned 5 (Jan 2015)!!IMG_4153
  • Our dogs are really loving living in OH.  The snow (in small batches), swimming in Lake Erie, tons of parks, and 100% sidewalks!photo (20)

So things are good.  I’ve started off the year with 2 great book reviews.  Here and Here.  Stay tuned for more and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead in 2015!  Thank you for reading, being a follower, or just being a friend!  God bless!

Love, Kaitlin

IMG_4393

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Book Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch
By Donna Tartt
Downloaded 12/28/13
My Rating:3 bones

Finish Time: 2 weeks.  This is a long book.  That is the problem with eBooks, I had no idea what I was getting into (although I guess I could have checked!).  Not to mention my new Kindle Paperwhite likes to tell me how much time I have left in a chapter, but is no where close.  Now according to my husband, I’m a pretty fast reader (in comparison), but when my Kindle tells me I have 17 minutes left in a chapter, and I’m still working on it 45 minutes later, I think there’s a bit of a glitch.

That all being said, this is the first book I have paid for in a long time (minus any Bible study books or gifts).  I read and finished some 50+ books in 2013 but none appeared on the best seller list so I felt the need to check off just one.  After reading a few reviews, but mainly making my purchase on it’s 4 star Amazon & Goodreads reviews, I decided to dive in.   I don’t like to be negative, but it was a bit underwhelming.

If you’d like a better summary, read some of the 2,000+ reviews on Amazon or 3,600+ on Goodreads.  But the book follows Theodore Decker from the age of 13 into adulthood.  The book begins with the tragic death of his mother and introduces the reader to “The Goldfinch”, a painting by Carel Fabritius (see below), which pops up occasionally in the first half of the book, but then is the meat of the story after the mid-point.  And I’d have to say, the last 40% or so was much better than the first, but got pretty deep and philosophical at points and after 700 pages and reading late at night, was a tough read for me.  Not a bad thing, I think I just wasn’t in the right mind-set to appreciate.

200px-Fabritius-vink

It was well-written, very descriptive, I felt like I knew each of the characters introduced throughout the book.  I wanted to reach through the pages and shake Theo, as he was so frustrating and continued to make poor choices, yet being incredibly smart.  Many of his actions were calculated, but others I never really did come to understand.  And Boris, while entertaining and somewhat unpredictable, I never did really trust, and he just made me mad too.  I enjoyed the interactions with the Barbours, but just felt bad for them.  Hobie was an interesting character, but I found myself almost feeling bad for him at many points too.  And then Pippa, I’ll just say I wish things were different there and leave it at that.

Then, as mentioned above, the end got deep.  Exploring good vs bad, and a line that stuck with me was about coincidences really being God wanting to be anonymous.  An opportunity the Christian in me would have liked to dive into deeper, but I think that was one of the only mentions of God.  And I think reading late at night, much of the “deep” discussion was lost on me, as after so long, I was ready to move along.

It was very well written, just not my taste, or maybe one to try again at another time.  It’s the kind of book, I should have done a bit more research on before reading and I may have enjoyed more in a different state of mind.  The overall tone was not happy and with it being so long, I was really ready for it to end.  The ending was fine and not predictable, which I did enjoy and kept me turning the pages to see what happened. If you get a chance to read it and have a few weeks, you may enjoy and hopefully I haven’t ruined it.  I’m just ready for something new – now to figure out what that will be.  Thanks for reading, I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have read the book as well!

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