Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Review 2016: The Silkworm and Career of Evil

I'm horrible about posting my book reviews. I still have several from last year (I will get to them eventually). Today I thought I would combine two since they are in the same series. I actually finished The Silkworm last year, but never wrote the review. I just finished book 3 of the series, Career of Evil, last week. If you would like to check out my review of the first book in this series, The Cuckoo's Calling, click here.

**All reviews published on Randomness With Rachel are done on a five-star rating system. The reviews are solely my opinion and no one else's. Randomness With Rachel does not receive any incentives or compensations for reviews.**

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

This is the second book in the Cormoran Strike series. After finishing the first one, I couldn't wait to start this book. This time the private investigator and his sidekick secretary assistant Robin Ellacott are hired by the wife of novelist Owen Quine to track down her husband. She is convinced he has gone off to escape from the world for a few days and she wants Strike to bring him home. 

During the investigation Strike and Robin discover that Owen has written a "tell all" book, revealing intimate details about the lives of several people, including fellow authors and some women in his life. Although it was "supposedly" a work of fiction (and names were changed), it was written in such a way that the "guilty" parties would know who was who. It's no surprise that Owen is later found brutally murdered and that there are many suspects. (Note: the author does go into some great detail describing the murder scene, so just a warning if you are squeamish). 

I will confess this book started out a little slow, but once it picked up, I really enjoyed it. This book is over 450 pages, so it's not the kind you can sit down and read on a Saturday (unless you have absolutely nothing else to do except read all day. Honestly, those are my favorite kind of days). 

The Silkworm takes the reader more into Robin's personal life and her relationship with fiancè Matthew. I'll leave my personal opinion of those two out of this review (so I don't spoil anything for those who will read this series). It also shows the growth of Strike and Robin's professional relationship (which I really liked). Robin moves past being just a secretary to a colleague that Strike can rely on, and someone he truly respects. 

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

I checked out the first two books of this series from the library. When this book came out, there were 53 people on the waiting list AHEAD of me, so I broke down and bought it. (Okay, I bought the first book in the series eventually because a certain friend of mine was too lazy to go to his library to check it out. I finally bought it so he could borrow it. He loved it (I knew he would). He's hooked on the series too. Lol.

I absolutely LOVED this book. I keep bugging friends to finish it so we can discuss it. :)

The book starts with Robin receiving a severed leg in the mail (I know, gross, right?) The package was addressed to her, but Strike is convinced it was meant for him. Strike can think of four people from his past who are capable of doing such a horrible thing (for the record, I don't know ANYONE who could be capable of mailing a severed leg). 

Strike and the local police have different theories on who is responsible (of course they do), so Strike and Robin set out on their own to track down the killer (mailer?) J.K. Rowling I'm sorry, Robert Galbraith, once again gets very descriptive in some of the scenes (so that is another word of warning for my squeamish friends). In my opinion, this book is creepier and darker than the first two. Of course this would be my favorite of the series. Lol.

SPOILER ALERT! Only click this button if you have read the book (or just don't care about spoilers).

Robin is helping Strike with this investigation all while planning her upcoming wedding to Matthew. Matthew is obviously jealous of her working relationship with Strike, and this is causing issues between the couple.

This book made me desperately wish that book 4 was already published. But sadly it's not. And there isn't even a release date. OH THE TORTURE! I decided to tweet about it on Friday afternoon (copying Robert Galbraith and J.K. Rowling's Twitter handles). For those who didn't read my review of book one, Robert Galbraith is J.K. Rowling's pseudonym. When I checked Twitter later that evening, I noticed that J.K. Rowling had "liked" my tweet. I'm convinced we are best friends now. Lol.

If you have read this series and would like to discuss, please let me know! I'm desperately wanting to talk about it with people. Lol.

I promise more book reviews to come soon! 


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Just Be Nice

I know, I know. I haven't updated my blog in over two months. You should know by now this is probably going to happen with me.

Sometimes thoughts are jumbled in my head and I'm not sure what to do with them. My therapist tells me I need to find an outlet and let these thoughts and emotions out. Because according to him, I have issues with keeping my emotions bottled up inside of me, and evidently, that is not healthy. Lol. Anyways enough about that- back to finding an outlet for my thoughts and emotions. My outlet is writing. Since I have a blog, this is where I let my thoughts out. Since you are my friend (or you randomly clicked on this link on some social media site), you get the job honor privilege of reading my random thoughts. Lol.

I don't know if it is just me, but has the world seemed crueler lately? It just seems everywhere I look, people are being mean. Or just NOT nice. I don't know. Maybe I'm too sensitive and my heart hurts too easily. Maybe I'm too much of a goody-goody. Maybe I'm trying too hard to be a "Pollyanna". Regardless, I honestly believe if everyone was nice to at least ONE person a day, the world would be a better place. (BTW, if my life was a musical, there would be a song and dance number right here).

I'm not even talking about a huge act of kindness here. It could be as simple as letting a car into your lane during rush hour (although you know that they waited until the last minute to move over). It could be telling the person at the drive-thru window of Whataburger to have a great day. It could be returning a shopping cart you see in the middle of a parking lot to the cart return location. It could be not losing it when Taco Cabana takes 35 minutes to give you the two tacos you ordered. It could be complimenting someone on their outfit or hair. It could be acknowledging a coworker in the elevator instead of pretending that you are on your phone (okay, I'm so guilty of doing that). It could be as simple as smiling and saying "hi, how are you?" to a stranger. 

I love social media, but sometimes I think people use it solely as an outlet to be mean to others. I have to stop myself from reading the comment section of Facebook posts because people can be downright ugly. It can be the cutest video of a dog or a kid, and someone will find something negative about it. It goes back to the old phrase "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all". I actually found myself deleting a tweet last night because after I posted it, I realized it just wasn't nice. I personally stay away from controversial topics on social media: Politics. Gun control. Abortion. War. The correct way to hang a roll of toilet paper. I know there are people passionate about those topics, and that is fine. But if you and someone disagree on something, there are ways of discussing the topic in a respectful manner. Odds are, neither one of you is going to change the other person's mind. No need to be flat out mean and call each other names. Personally if I see a friend post something and I disagree with it, or it makes me angry, I just keep scrolling. I'm sure someone else has posted a cute picture of their kids or fur babies, and that will take my mind off of it.

Don't worry, I'm not going to go off about cyber bullying (although I know it's there- and not just with kids. Adults can be 10 times as cruel). I know it is so easy to be mean when someone has been mean to you. I think it's human nature to react that way. It's also easy to let other people bring you down. I'm not saying if you react with kindness that it's going to make everything better and you and the other person are going to hug it out (but you never know). A little kindness can go a long way.