The book starts with the line, "You aren't going to like me very much," and it's true. From the onset, I had major Gone Girl vibes (Gillian Flynn), which was my favourite book in 2012. A husband and wife, both writers, keeping secrets, and a marriage based on lies. Hard to not compare, until you hit the halfway point. Lately I've been reading many domestic thrillers, and I'm starting to love this genre. It keeps me on my toes. This book is binge-worthy, full of suspense, accompanied with muti-layered characters. The only thing I found distracting in this novel, is the way the author titles each chapter... Red herrings? Foreshadowing? I hated it. I've read one other book by J.T. Ellison this past summer, called No One Knows, and I really enjoyed it, however this one trumps it. I was completely absorbed in this twisty, unputdownable story.
I had seen Six Stories posted on numerous blogs for the past year. Ever since seeing the cover (the art work drew me in), and discovering the podcast element, I have wanted to devour this book. After the first "story" I contemplated not finishing, or putting it away for awhile. I just couldn't get into it. I love podcasts, especially Serial, which was quite possibly the greatest murder-mystery I've ever listened to. In my fiction selections I prefer page-turners and whodunnit's, but I also enjoy a slow burn, with the heart of a story dependent on character-development. After the third story I realized this book had little to no suspense, with shallow characters that were unreliable. There are supernatural elements, built upon the superstition and folklore passed down to the characters in the town. I was actually hoping the story would follow this plot line, as it was more interesting then the unsatisfying conclusion that was repetitive and drawn out.
I'm not one for slasher-flicks, horror, or anything in this subgenre, however I really loved Final Girls by Riley Sager.
Goodreads: "Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished."
I wouldn't categorize this a horror book, but rather a psychological thriller/mystery. This book is fast-paced, full of twists and turns, with an ending you won't see coming. Did I like the ending? No, not particularly. I felt that it left more questions then answers. It lacked substance, was unexpected, dropped in to throw the reader for a complete loop'. It's still highly entertaining and I can see why this is on many "Best of 2017" lists. I would have preferred a different ending. Maybe worth discussing once my friends get a copy of this one.
How is it already October? Yesterday as I was walking my dog I noticed the leaves were falling, despite the ridiculous warm weather we are having in Vancouver this year. It donned on me how quickly this month flew by. Between full time work, extra-curricular activities, my masters, and a small glimmer of a social life, I did not get around to reading as many books as I had hoped. I am looking forward to rainy weekends and dark evenings so I can get back to reading. Right now I am soaking up what little of summer we have left.
By far my favourite read this month was Good Me, Bad Me. A solid 5 stars! So good in fact that book club is reading this as our October selection. A Map for Wrecked Girls was interesting, character-driven, slow, and long. (Maybe not the best adjectives to describe a book?). I realized that I prefer plot driven, action-packed, page-turners instead. I've almost finished The Party, but I'm not sure how I feel about this one yet. The Lying Game was amazing! I've passed this one onto a few friends. I'm halfway through Final Girls and loving the horror-esque terror, especially as we approach Halloween!
September's Reads from Best to...not as good?
Good Me Bad Me
The Lying Game
Are You Sleeping
A Map For Wrecked Girls
Stay With Me
If You Knew My Sister
Little Fires Everywhere
Photographing books, one day at a time.