Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hate F*@k: Part Three by Ainsley Booth

4 "Only For the Naughty" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
In the blink of an eye, everything changed, and I can’t pretend I don’t need Cole anymore.
He’s my heart and soul, but he’s shut me out, and I’m scared.

Keeping Hailey at arms’ length used to be an annoying challenge. Now it’s a matter of life and death.
I want vengeance. And then I want Hailey to be mine, forever.


“How am I this lucky?  He literally saves my life and lets me grope him to my heart’s content.  I’m done feeling sorry for myself.”

I would first like to take this opportunity to have a moment of silence, as we say good-bye to Hailey and Cole, as this book brings an end to the beloved Hate F*@k series.         … *sniffle*…     

Okay, now let’s get down to business.  My rating of this last installment is actually my final rating of the series as a whole, because let’s be real, all three installments are fairly short and together, they would make one kick-ass novel.  According to the author, she wrote them in serial installments, because that is how they read to her, more mini-series-ish and who are we to judge how an author feels her work should be delivered? Not me.  Okay, actually I did and I do and I would have MUCH preferred all three of these in one book, but I’m happy regardless of how they came out and Ms. Booth has said that all three will be available in ONE paperback this summer, so YAY…a book I will definitely be adding to my bookshelf once available and one you should be adding as well!


“Is this an orgy?  I regret not discussing hard limits before, because if I’m going to have group sex, I don’t think I want any skinny blondes involved.  Which probably isn’t fair to them, but I’m feeling kind of fragile.”

I’ll start this review, just like I did my other reviews of the last two books.  If you are sensitive to sexual material, then you need to be warned…there is a lot of it in this book and it is very, VERY detailed, so please take that into consideration before reading this series.  I’m typically pretty immune when it comes to reading “smutty” novels, I tend to have a “if you’ve read about one quivering member, then you’ve read about them all” kind of mentality, but even I managed to blush a few times while reading this, so fair warning and also, this is NOT a stand-alone book.  You will need to read both books one and two to understand anything that is really going on in three and I recommend that you read them all back to back.

It is no secret that I am a HUGE fan of the first installment of this series and sadly I had my hopes and expectations unexpectedly dashed on the second one.  So, I promised myself that I wouldn’t get too hyped about the release of this one in order not to set my expectations up too high and I think that worked really well for me.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally stalked Ms. Booth on Facebook and was CONSTANTLY checking for the release date of this book, but hey, I’m a complete fan-girl, it’s what we do – I couldn’t help it.   Okay, Hate F*@k: Part Three picks up immediately where part two left off, so if you are having problems remembering that huge cliff hanger at the end of book two, re-read the last few pages before starting this one, because things get right down to business in the beginning of this one.  I won’t get into much detail about what this book is actually about (don’t want to give away any spoilers), so instead I want to comment on the writing style and ending of the book/series. 


“Oh God.  My sister wants to be spanked by my bodyguard.  This is unacceptable.  Like I said, I totally get it.”

Though I really enjoyed reading this last installment and found myself pretty satisfied with the way things ended, I did feel like this last installment was a bit rushed.  I wanted a full-hour, no commercial break, series finale – instead I felt like I got a 30-minute, commercial laden, episode…regardless, I still loved it and the series as a whole is fantastic.  Ms. Booth has an unapologetic, in your face, sexually detailed writing style and though I found myself skipping past a few of the more detailed scenes, the ones I did read are steamy and HOT…the “you may want to keep a set of fresh panties nearby while reading this” kind of hot, so be ready. 

“Who am I kidding?  He always has the upper hand.  All I can do is hold on for dear life.”

Something else important that I feel needs to be addressed, is that each of these books alone are an easy and quick read, so you should not find yourself overly perplexed or binge drinking vodka (or your poison of choice) at eight in the morning due to book induced anxiety or stress (I KNOW I can’t be the ONLY one that this happens to!).  With so many of the books that I have read as of late, it seems a common theme amongst a lot of them is to shock and awe its readers into such a state, that we either have a 'rage the complete fuck out' episode and fuel our alcoholic (or whatever vice) tendencies or it wants to turn us into some completely unmanageable beastly brute…or all of the above and that is something that is quickly becoming tiresome and overplayed in my mind.  It’s nice to finally read something that still evokes emotions from me, without trying to cripple me emotionally and/or send me completely over the edge via mental breakdown.  Often times our reality is grizzly enough without having a fictional scenario or world tear us down further.   


“Cole leans over me and kisses me hard on the lips.  “I’ll know the difference, and if I don’t, let’s use Jason as a safe word.”  I let out a watery “Ha”.  Yep, that would stop pretty much any sexy times on a dime.  “Deal.”

The Hate F*@k Series, is a delightfully dirty and deliciously fun journey that everyone should enjoy and experience.  Filled with humor, loveable characters and creative writing, I found this complete series to be a win-win amongst all the competitors out there.  Who doesn’t like sexy and fun?

Overall, I LOVED this series.  I would absolutely recommend it to everyone to read.  As I said though, if overly sexual or sexually detailed books are not your forte, then this series will not be for you.  Those readers out there that enjoy erotic romance books with a slice of humor and a slice of sass, then this series should rank right up there with your favorites, as it does with mine!

Happy reading, until next time…

I would like to thank NetGalley and the author Ainsley Booth for the ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Black Iris by Leah Raeder

4 "Mind = Blown" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
 It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn't worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She's not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it's time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She's going to show them all.
This about sums up my reactions after finishing this book


“I don’t know if I was trying to numb myself or to feel something through the numbness.  Maybe both.”
Black Iris is the second book that I have read by author Leah Raeder, Unteachable (a book I really enjoyed) being the first and after finishing this one, I have found that there is a certain style in which Ms. Raeder likes to write and that coupled with her often dark and gritty subject matter, Ms. Raeder’s books are not going to be for everyone.  To be completely honest, I’m not too sure that her books are even really for me, but one things is for sure and that is that Ms. Raeder has a profound talent for writing and whether you find yourself loving or burning her books, her talent cannot be denied.
I have found through the years that I am not one that cares much for author’s that like to use a bunch of flowery words or those that like to be overly dramatic in their descriptions or characterizations.  I recently read a very highly-rated book, by a celebrated author and though the storyline was great and very interesting, I found that I could NOT stomach the dramatic descriptions littered throughout the pages and what could have potentially been a really good read, ended up being a disastrous, head-ache inducing experience.  I tell you all of this, because Ms. Raeder is absolutely overly dramatic in her descriptions and those descriptions are carefully wound into almost every paragraph of this book, but instead of turning me off or causing me fits of frustrated sighing and eye-rolling, I instead found that I was hanging on every word and devouring those grandiose details as fast as my little mind could comprehend them.  Instead of it all reading as if a thesaurus threw up all over the pages, everything felt more poetic in nature and it was all almost very Plath-esque in its delivery.  Again, Ms. Raeder has an extremely profound talent for writing. 
“That summer, we were gods.  Blythe showed me how to control men.  No more Ugly Friend.  We were sky high and ice cold, pure untouchable sex in fuck-you heels and scarlet lips, our hands all over each other, driving boys crazy.  Driving ourselves crazy.  I’d never be beautiful like her, but the glamour of her aura transformed me from Wednesday to Morticia and somehow I became darkly alluring, enigmatic.”
Our heroine in this story, or anti-hero would be more precise, is a very unlikeable and troubled young woman, yet despite all of that, I could not help but feel sorry for her and want to continue reading about her utterly messed up life.  We are also given sub-characters in this story that are just as messed up as our anti-hero and I found myself just as inexplicably drawn to them as well.  Black Iris takes us deep into a world of drugs, mental-illness, lies and sexual exploration.  We are thrust into the mind of a drug-addicted, mentally unstable, society standard deviant and the resulting ride is nothing short of exhilarating.  I was an anxious mess while reading this book and I’m pretty sure I hated it as much as I loved it.  It was one of those reads that managed to pull real emotion from me, the way only a really well written book can do.  Black Iris - An ugly, macabre story laced with poetic euphuisms that sinks its clawed fingers and saliva drenched teeth into your very soul and doesn’t let go, not even after you have closed the book to this story and lay your head down to sleep.  It stays with you.  Ms. Raeder, the great puppet master and all of us, the dancing marionettes dangling from her strings.        
“That’s the thing.  Maybe we’re not really afraid of pain.  Maybe we’re afraid of how much we might like it.”
Overall, YES…I absolutely recommend this book, but I also want to give future readers a fair warning before picking this up.  This book contains drug use, M/F M/F/F and F/F sexual encounters, language and a lot of dark subject matter.  If any of those items are book no-no’s for you, then I suggest you stay away from this one.  If you enjoy darker reads that touch on the most basic forms of human depravity – sex, drugs and love, then this little gem is for you. 
Happy reading, until next time…

Monday, April 27, 2015

Black Rainbow by J.J. McAvoy

Did Not Finish


Back Cover Blurb -
After an erotic one-week fling with a musician she meets in a bar, Thea Cunning never expects to see Levi Black again. Then Monday morning comes around, and she discovers that her former lover is not only her professor, but he’s also one of the top criminal lawyers in the state of Massachusetts.

With everyone in class vying to be one of the twelve disciples—a group of twelve students that Professor Black takes under his wing—tensions run high. Thea considers dropping his class, given their passionate week together and their undeniable chemistry. After all, there are other (less infuriatingly sexy) law professors on campus.

But to accomplish her goal and get her father out of prison, Thea knows she needs to learn under the best of the best—and that’s Levi Black. 
I’m going to start off on a tangent with this one, just bear with me.  I often times clump Doctors and Lawyers in the same category.  Obviously the job titles and descriptions are different, but the schooling and notoriety within each group seems to be the same.  Both have a grueling amount of schooling that has to be achieved in order to become one and both sides need to have a certain amount of passion to achieve those goals and both are small knit communities, meaning – if you are a superstar doctor or lawyer, then the chances are pretty high that other doctors or lawyers know you or know of you and your family, either from case studies or research.  Therein lies one of my major problems with this story.
Based off the blurb from the back of this book, we know that the story is roughly going to be about girl meets boy, girl and boy spend a full week together hooking up and then we find out that boy is girls college professor.  Yes, there are more details, but let me explain to you why this is something I can’t get past.
We are introduced to our male MC, Levi Black, who we are told is a tough as nails law professor, he is known as “El Diablo” to his law students and “The Cleaner” to the rest of the law community.  He hasn’t lost a case in over 6 years and being chosen as one of his “twelve disciples” is something that all law students compete at a chance of becoming.  It is a coveted spot within his own law firm, one of the best in the country and only the best of the best are chosen to be a part of it.  Sounds pretty rigorous right?  Seems to me any law student that is about to take his class would have studied up on this and know what they are about to get themselves into or who at least is teaching the class, you would think anyways.
Now enter our female MC, Thea Cunning.  Thea is a law student, whose own mother is a legendary lawyer, known all throughout the criminal law community as the “The Shark”.  Having lost only 3 cases in her 25 year career, her cases are studied and discussed in law classes all over the country.  –Okay, I’m going to go ahead and stop right here and point out my main problem with all of this, if you haven’t figured it out already.  So, you are trying to tell me that Thea and Levi have spent a WHOLE week together having passionate, mad monkey-sex all over the place, both of them knowing each other’s name and they had NOT A CLUE who each other was??? Really???  So Thea never once looked to see who her law professor was going to be? She just happened to enroll in one of the most intense law classes available, with one of the most famous lawyers country wide and she never once thought to look up the details on who would be teaching that class?  Being a student of law, she has never once heard the name or studied a case of one of the most supposed famous lawyers in the country?  Now, that brings me to our dear professor, Mr. Black.  He is going to be the professor of the daughter of one of the most famous lawyers of her time, whose cases he studies in his class and he isn’t at least given a heads up by the college? In his studies and research of Margaret “The Shark” Cunning, the name of her family or daughter specifically never came up?  He’s a top lawyer and Harvard grad and he doesn’t even look at his class roster once before class starts?  I could understand if they gave each other bogus names or if they just happened to have a fantastic one-night stand, but to spend a whole freaking week with each other and the topic of profession NEVER once came up? 

I understand that this is fiction and I was even able to overlook the fact that Mr. Black also moonlights as a part-time rock star *eye roll*, but COME ON!  How much ‘I call bullshit’ am I expected to swallow before things go from “yeah right” to down right “ridiculous.”  I know that lawyers don’t have the best reputations, but one thing I KNOW that they are known for is their ability to get information and that they are sticklers for details and I’m supposed to believe that neither one of them was curious enough to ask each other the most famous get to know you question, “So, what do you do?”  Nope, not buying it.  I’m supposed to believe that within an hour of meeting each other at a club, they go to play hide-the-salami with each other, decide to make it a week long hide-the-salami session and neither one of them once recognized each other’s name? Nope, nope, nope, sorry, I’m not buying that either. 

So here it is, that issue coupled with my dislike for the often times juvenile character dialogue, caused this one to become a DNF for me.  It’s possible that some of this is later sorted out in the book and the book gets better, but within the first 25% of it, I was already gritting my teeth and eye rolling myself into a headache, so rather than prolong the torture, I just stopped reading.   I do see that some people really loved this book though, so this obviously comes down to personal, pet-peevish tastes and this one hit a nerve with me. 
To be fair though, I am not going to rate this one because I stopped reading so early on in the book, but it’s not one that will make my recommended list.  If you decide to read it, I hope you have a better experience than I did.
Happy reading, until next time…
I would like to thank NetGalley and NYLA for the ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Forever the One by Rochelle French

2.5 "I've Read it Before" Stars 

 Back Cover Blurb -
Years ago, Sadie Courant had been the frizzy-haired twerp next door. Now she’s drop-dead gorgeous and has, well...uh...breasts. It’s no wonder Broadway director Ethan Sawyer doesn’t recognize his best friend’s little sister when he sees her again.
Sadie has been in love with Ethan since she was in braces. So when he fails to recognize her at the bachelor auction she’s organized, she flips. Sure, she looks a little different now, what with the boobs and a little help from a flat iron, but really?
Deciding she needs to get the man out of her system, Sadie negotiates a way for Ethan to make up for his mistake: a one-night stand. She figures after they do the deed, he’ll head back to New York and she’ll finally be able to let go. But when Ethan has to move back to the small town of Meadowview and work side-by-side with Sadie, she realizes she couldn’t be more wrong about the letting go part of her plan. Because Ethan has and always will be…forever the one.

Forever the One is your typical little cutesy, love story. Girl crushes on guy, guy doesn’t return those feelings. Girl grows up and still crushes on guy, guy doesn’t recognize the girl. Guy finally recognizes girl and gives her one passionate night and girl fights to keep guy. It’s the same story line that we have all heard or read about one time or another with nothing really spectacular to make it stand out.

With the amount of books that I happily devour daily, it typically takes something really special and often times different to make me sit up and really take notice. I don’t mind reading “tired” or “played out” themes, as long as the author is able to make it their own, write it well and give the book a personality worth getting to know. Unfortunately, this one fell flat on two of the categories. The book is well written, it just didn’t stand out or give me anything I haven’t already heard before.

Now, to be fair, I need to stress my earlier point…I read a lot…like, a lot, a lot. Normally around 2 novels a day. Now, that could be considered light reading to some, but if that is the case, then you definitely know what I am talking about when I say that something has to be really good to stand out in the crowd, because anything less than almost perfection quickly becomes forgettable. So, often times there are books that are pretty good, maybe even really good that I have read, but they will still only get a 2-3 star rating from me, because it’s the great and fantastic books that I read, the ones that really stand out, that I give my 4 and 5 stars to. So, with all that being said, this is a good book…meaning, there wasn’t anything that I hated about it and I did not cause anyone or anything physical damage while reading the book. I’m sure that a majority of you would find it an ok/good book and I was entertained while I was reading it, but when I was done with it, I was on to the next book without a thought or lingering feeling about it, it just didn’t stand out.

Overall, no, this is not a book that I would recommend. Those looking for a quick, cutesy love story will likely enjoy this book, but those looking for something a bit more profound, or those who really like their reads to be more memorable (like I do), this one is not going to be for you. 

Happy reading, until next time…

I would like to thank NetGalley and Bloomfield Publishing for the ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Shutter by Courtney Alameda

2 "Overly Dramatic" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
Horror has a new name: introducing Courtney Alameda.

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat—a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.

Just fair warning, this review does not really contain any real description or an overview of the book itself, I’m mainly going to talk about why I rated it 2 stars and it has nothing to do with the storyline or premise of the actual book, because if based solely on that, I would have given it 4 stars, but unfortunately it isn’t and obviously I didn’t.
I need to start this off by being 100%, completely honest with you…I am NOT in the majority when it comes to my feelings and review of this book and usually when that happens, I am so confused as to why, but in this case I know why and it all boils down to personal taste in writing style and for me, I just didn’t like the “dramatic flair”, if you will, that Ms. Alameda uses all throughout Shutter. 
I’m more of a call-it-what-it-is kinda gal.  Sure, I enjoy descriptive phrases and edgy adjectives just like the next person, but I don’t enjoy being beat over the head constantly with grossly, often times silly, descriptive word use and there came a point while reading Shutter that I literally screamed out loud, because of my annoyance.  Hmmm…let me try to better explain.
How I usually like my books to read (this is NOT a scene that is found in the book, but an example):
"I walked down the dirt road and admired the spring flowers that lined the pathway.  With the sun setting in the horizon, it was a beautiful sight that filled me with a sense of peace."
Now, this is how that scene would have been described in Shutter:
"I trudged down the soot and dust strewn course while venerating the small growths that scored the vicinity, the ones that mother spring had birthed into existence.  The sun was slowly falling into slumber and the alluring vision it presented shepherded me to tranquil satiety."
Okay, so you get what I’m trying to say?  One or two or maybe even three overly descriptive phrases per chapter I would have been able to overlook, but three to four a page, sometimes more, was just overkill for me and I found it rather distracting.  I wasn’t able to get lost in the storyline, because rather than finding the writing style to be a beautiful form of dictation, all I could think was that somebody really loved their thesaurus.  The kicker to all of this too, is that Shutter is not some literary genius novel or even a book that delves into emotions or scenarios that would typically call for pretty words or flowery, over-the-top descriptions, it’s a mystery/thriller novel that is filled with ghosts, violence and death! 
Here are some real examples extracted from the book (and these are only a few, you can find many more littered throughout the book):
"The lights suffocated, then died and doused us in shadows". (The lights suffocated? Really?)
"I swung off the bike.  Fog hushed the property." (I never knew fog to hush)
"I sensed more than saw the sun set, felt the drowned slip of the light under the horizon." (I guess lights can drown too)
"The door wrenched free with a bark." (Again, really?)
"I followed Damian out into an anemic, waning night.  Spindly trees lined the wide avenue, shedding the gangrenous leaves of fall.  The world smelled terminal, waiting for winter and rot." (Wait, are we discussing the weather or a patient in the infectious disease ward?  Gangrenous, terminal and rot?)
"As soon as I dropped into my seat, exhaustion bricked in my eyes and filled my bones with mortar." (Seriously though, what kind of 18-year-old girl talks like that?)
There really are just so many more examples, but I’ll stop now, because for one, this review is getting way too long and two, it’s just making me annoyed all over again reading these.  Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit on the whole issue, but it became such a focal point for me, that I just couldn’t get past it.  Just couldn’t and oh, I really didn’t like our heroine in the story, so that did NOT help at all. 
Overall, no, I personally do not recommend this book.  The actual storyline is good, pretty great in fact, but I couldn’t enjoy it due to the way it was written.  I will reiterate my early statement though, I am in the VAST minority when it comes to my feelings and review of this book, so regardless of my measly opinion, there is a huge majority that absolutely love this book and that many people can’t be wrong, right?  So, if silly, over-dramatic descriptions do not really bother you, then you might find that you will actually enjoy this book, but for me I experienced an unfavorable assessment…in other words, for me it was a no.
Happy reading, until next time...

Little Peach by Peggy Kern

4 "What a Terrible Book" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
What do you do if you're in trouble?

When Michelle runs away from her drug-addicted mother, she has just enough money to make it to New York City, where she hopes to move in with a friend. But once she arrives at the bustling Port Authority, she is confronted with the terrifying truth: she is alone and out of options.

Then she meets Devon, a good-looking, well-dressed guy who emerges from the crowd armed with a kind smile, a place for her to stay, and eyes that seem to understand exactly how she feels.

But Devon is not what he seems to be, and soon Michelle finds herself engulfed in the world of child prostitution where he becomes her “Daddy” and she his “Little Peach.” It is a world of impossible choices, where the line between love and abuse, captor and savior, is blurred beyond recognition.

This hauntingly vivid story illustrates the human spirit’s indomitable search for home, and one girl’s struggle to survive.
Reading this book for me was like watching a “based off of actual events” movie.  Though the story and characters in this book are fiction, the material in the book is sadly based on a horrific fact that is happening all over the world.   This isn’t some tragic event that happened years or decades ago, this is something that is happening RIGHT NOW and too many people, myself included, are either oblivious or just not that concerned by it.  It is appalling, terrifying and horrible what is happening in this world and Little Peach is an uncomfortable and unapologetic eye opener to the very real problem of run-a-ways, sex trafficking, drug addiction and hopelessness. 
I was really unsure what to expect when I picked this book up.  A few of my book nerd friends had read it and though they gave it 5 stars, they actually hated the book.  They didn’t hate it because the author just sucked or the writing was terrible or because the editor needed to be shot, they hated it because of the subject matter and they gave it 5 stars because the author was awesome enough to tackle an on-going issue and turn it into a readable book that tugs your heart strings, while portraying an all too real reality.  They loved it because the author cared enough about something, that they channeled that outrage and coupled it with their gift with words to deliver a message in a media form that reaches hundreds of thousands of people.  They loved it and they hated it and I was nervous as hell to read it.
This story is told to us by our young, 14-year-old MC Michelle, or Little Peach as you will come to know her and it explores the circumstances in her life that have led her to where she is now and the things that she has endured in the name of family and security.  It explores the frailty of an impressionable mind and the lengths people will go in order to feel loved and the things they will do for a sense of belonging.  We get a glimpse into a depraved world that feeds the hunger of the dark-side of humanity and allows the very real and very scary monsters of society a playground to hunt with little to no consequences.
My overall feelings after reading this book were sadness, anger and helplessness.  I was sad for the victims of this reality, angry at the world for letting this happen and I felt an overwhelming sense of helplessness for my part in it all….the part of doing nothing at all.  Though this book is well written and contains some very dark subject matter, I still couldn’t help but to think that Ms. Kern still tread a bit lightly, erring on the side of caution and gave us just the tip of the iceberg as far as the subject matter goes.  I can’t pretend to know what really goes on and how the actual workings of prostitution or sex trafficking goes, but I’m aware enough to understand that it’s an ugly, horrible business and though our MC Michelle, faces things that no person should ever have to endure, I can’t help but think that she got off lightly compared to the reality of some and that is devastating to think about.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to read.  It is not a very long book, but the story is one that will stick with you forever.  This book does contain very sensitive subject matter, so please use caution before reading this.  It contains underage girls, non-consensual sex, drugs and physical abuse, so if any of those are triggers for you, please be warned.  I’m not sure if I would have liked this book at all if it were just another fiction book out there, but the reality that it brings with it, is just too hard for me to ignore and I appreciate what Ms. Kerns did by writing it and I think anyone else that reads it will feel the same.
Happy reading, until next time… 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

3 "Don't Expect Me to be Sane" Stars

Back Cover Blurb -
A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

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?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.
Okay, so this book sat in my queue of “to be read” books for a little while, but because of the often glowing and raving reviews that I KEPT seeing over and over again, I found that I wanted to be part of that “cool kid” club, the one where everyone had read the book and couldn’t stop gushing about it, so I stopped reading everything else and started in on it.  I should have known better.
For me, this fell victim to a little genre that I like to call “you have gotten so much hype, I really hope that you are about to blow my freaking mind” and of ALL the books and movies that have suckered me in under that category, only a few have ever really done it for me and this wasn’t one of them.  Don’t get me wrong, this IS a good book and I do recommend that people read it, but the less expectations you have for it, the more I think you will enjoy it.  Unlike a lot of books that I read, this one actually took me a few days to finish and I think that it was because of the hype that I had built up in my mind for it, because instead of being completely enraptured with it, I actually found myself pretty bored during some of it and I found that in order to keep myself concentrated in reading it, I would have to put it away and come back to it after a few hours. 
As for the storyline.  There is not a character in this book that I liked…not a one!  That is something really rare for me too, I normally have to at least like my main MC before I recommend a book, but out of the three women who narrate this book, I had nothing but a hate-hate relationship with all of them, but it somehow really worked for me while reading this and helped to keep me interested.  I don’t want to give away too much about this though, because even the slightest overview can be a spoiler and this is one that you just have to read to really experience what it is that I’m talking about. 
The Girl on the Train, doesn’t offer too much as far as thrills are concerned, but what it lacks in the “edge of your seat” reading department, it more than makes up for with suspense and anticipation.  In this tale, no one can be trusted, nothing is what it seems and every story has three sides:  what she says happened, what they say happened and what it is that really happened.  Was it Colonel Mustard in the library with a candlestick or was it Mrs. Peacock in the kitchen with a lead pipe?  My mind was constantly running through scenarios trying to figure out the “who done its” and the “why done its” and though I finally, FINALLY figured it out, it wasn’t till about ¾ of the way through that I did and with so many books nowadays being so easily predicted, that was a really welcome surprise for me. 
Overall, yes, I do recommend this book.  I think that readers who enjoy the mystery/crime genre will find a nice little mystery in this one and will also enjoy the writing style of Ms. Hawkins.  If you are more a romance or thriller enthusiast, I don’t think that this one will be your cup of tea and you may find it very hard to keep yourself vested in the story, but if you want to try something a little different, then I say give it a go.  I have definitely read a lot better, but I have also read a lot worse, but like I said, don’t expect too much and you might find that you actually enjoy it.
Happy reading, until next time…