Monday, July 2, 2018

June Book Review

After spending the past two weeks reading a book I really didn't want to read, I'm changing my position on when to give up on a book.  Up until a couple of years ago, I had never left a book unfinished.  I love to read and I feel that it's okay to not love every single book you read.  What was it that made me pick up that book and add it to my list of books to be read?  There had to be a reason why I wanted to read it in the first place and so even if it isn't the best book ever, I usually feel enlightened in some sort of way by reading it.

I put down a non-fiction, well regarded book two years ago because the first three pages read like a textbook and while I'm sure I would have learned from this book, it was super long and I didn't want to invest the time to read it.  I also dropped a fiction novel almost immediately and I have absolutely no regrets so I'm not sure why I didn't simply stop reading this one.  Which book?  Read on . . .


The first three books I read in June were in the trendy thriller/suspense category.  Honestly, they all sort of blend together in the sense that one doesn't really stand out from the others, but that doesn't mean that they weren't enjoyable to read.  I've listed them in order of appeal - for me.

If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar - This is listed in the thriller/suspense category, but I find that a bit of a stretch.  It was more a novel to me with a mystery element.  Cassie is unable to tell the police how she ended up unconscious in a coma but another patient in the same hospital ward can help if only he could speak.  The story unfolds through different characters and flips back and forth in time.  I did enjoy reading this despite the lack of advertised suspense.

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell - Normalcy is slowly creeping back into Laurel Mack's life ten years after the mysterious disappearance of her 15 year old daughter.  She begins a relationship with a mysterious man only to discover that his young daughter closely resembles her missing daughter.

As with most thrillers, there's a lot of coincidences in this one.  You just have to go with it and not over-think anything.  I found the ending to be a bit odd, but maybe that's me.

How It Happened by Michael Koryta - I'm not sure what happened but when I started reading this, I thought it was a different book.  It was definitely on my list of books to read but I must have confused it with another book.  Again, this was enjoyable enough to read but the police/FBI aspect was meh for me.  You also have to go along with believing all of what happened could have actually happened.

An FBI expert is the only one who believes Kimberly's confession of her role in the murder of local sweethearts.  Kimberly is a drug addict and jailhouse snitch, rotating in and out of jail, unable to care for her own child.  Almost immediately after her confession, the bodies are found 200 miles from where Kimberly claimed they would be.  Why does the FBI agent still believe her?


MacBeth by Jo Nesbo

IF I had known from the get-go that this was based on MacBeth by Shakespeare, I probably would not have opted to read it.  I did pick it up based on the plot description of a police force attempting to clean up a drug-ridden, run-down 1970s industrial town.  I knew from the first paragraph that I wasn't a fan of the author's writing style, but yet I still read on.  What really killed this for me were all the murders. (No pun intended.)  Instead of a tragedy, this felt more like a parody.

Okay, so reading this wasn't torture.  I didn't mind reading it but at 460 pages, it was a long, slow read and I did become frustrated that I had invested the time to read it.  Going forward, if I don't like it from the first few pages, I'm not going to read it.  There are too many books out that I want to read and really, not enough time.  I'm the person who can read anything but that doesn't mean that I have to read everything I pick up.

To see what I've read so far this year, click here.

To see the list of books I read in 2017, click here.
To see the list of books I read in 2016, click here.
To see the list of books I read in 2015, click here.

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