I know, I've been way behind on my book reviews for 2014. I decided to link up with Book Club Friday (it's been a LONG time since I'm participated in it). I know I'm probably only supposed to review one book for that link up, but I decided to get totally caught up on my reviews (since I'm actually making time to sit and update my blog). I'll keep them short so you won't be too overwhelmed. And, as always, you can follow me on GoodReads here.
(3.5 out of 5 stars)
Summary: Ten months after dropping out of all-girl Tarble College, Ruby Rousseau is still haunted by the memories of her senior year, a time marred by an affair with her English professor and a deep depression that caused her to question her sanity.
When a mysterious suitcase arrives bearing Ruby's name and address, she tries to return it to its rightful owner Beth, a dorm-mate at Tarble, only to learn that Beth disappeared two days earlier.
With clues found in the luggage, including a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, which Ruby believes instigated her madness, she sets out to uncover the truth.
After the first few chapters, I wasn't sure I was going to like this book, BUT, I'm so glad I kept reading. I guess the story wasn't what I thought it was going to be, so it took me a while to get into it, but after I did, I really enjoyed it. There were parts of the book that I didn't see coming (and I'm usually good at figuring out stuff like that). And I thought the ending was really good! This was the author's debut novel, I plan to check out her next one.
(4 out of 5 stars)
Summary: Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in "The Satan Sacrifice" of Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived-and famously testified that her 15 year-old brother Ben was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club, a secret, secret society obsessed with notorious crimes-locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history. She'll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club- for a fee. As Libby's search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started-on the run from a killer.
I found a list of 16 books to read before their movies came out this year (see list here) and this book was listed. I decided to give it a try. Hence the name, it was pretty "dark". If you like books about puppies and happy thoughts, I don't recommend this for you. It's kind of a mystery, but can get pretty graphic, especially recalling the murder scene. I wasn't sure what I thought of the Libby character at first. I assumed you were supposed to sympathize with her because she went through something so tragic as a child, but she seems to want to profit from it, even 25 years later. Honestly none of the characters are very likable (it doesn't take away from the novel though). The character Lyle kinda grew on me after a while. BUT, it's still a good read. I plan to check out some more Gillian Flynn books soon. I also plan to see the movie when it comes out later this year.
(4 out of 5 stars)
Summary: Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her "happily ever after" begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill, but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in the trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!
Well, perfect except that the phone's owner, businessman Sam Raxton, doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.
What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents, she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.
After reading such a dark and gory book like Dark Places, I needed something "light" to read, so I turned to a Sophie Kinsella's book. Sophie rarely disappoints with her novels, this was a cute story. As someone who lives through text messages, it was fun to read the correspondence of Poppy and Sam's texts going back and forth. I could so relate to having a relationship through texts. Was it a realistic story? Not really. What is predictable? Absolutely (well, for the most part). But like most chick-lit, it was a fun read. I read it in less than a day.
(4 out of 5 stars)
Summary: When Special Agent Kathryn Dance, a brilliant interrogator and kinesics expert is sent to question the convicted killer Daniel "Son of Mason" Pell, as a suspect in a newly unearthed crime, she feels both trepidation and electrifying intrigue. Pell is serving a life sentence for the brutal murders of a wealthy Croyton family years earlier. Pell and his cult members were sloppy. Not only were they caught, they even left behind a survivor, the youngest of the Croyton daughters, who, because she was in bed hidden behind her toys that night, was dubbed the Sleeping Doll.
But when Dance's party goes terribly wrong and Pell escapes, leaving behind a trail of dead and injured, she finds herself in charge of her first-ever manhunt. Dance turns to the part to find the truth out what Daniel Pell is really up to. She tracks down the now teenage Sleeping Doll to learn what really happened that night, and she arranges a reunion of three women who were in Pell's cult at the time of the killings. The lies of the past and the evasions of the present boil up under the relentless probing of Kathryn Dance, but will the truth about Daniel Pell emerge in time to stop him from killing again?
This is the first book by Jeffery Deaver that I have read. I'll be honest, halfway through the book I was expecting to only give it three stars (it was good, but was kind of dragging), but during the second half of the book, the pace picked up, earning it an additional star from me. I like the character Kathryn Dance and look forward to reading more books in her series. This isn't nearly as dark as Dark Places, but there is some mystery and murder throughout the book (you have been warned). The one thing I found kinda funny (I guess I should put spoiler alert, although it's not really and it won't ruin the book), is that the book is called The Sleeping Doll, but that character is only in the book for a very brief time. Regardless, I thought it was a good read.
Hope everyone has a great weekend!!