Monday, October 31, 2011

Now You See Her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

A successful lawyer and loving mother, Nina Bloom would do anything to protect the life she's built in New York--including lying to everyone, even her daughter, about her past. But when an innocent man is framed for murder, she knows that she can't let him pay for the real killer's crimes.

Nina's secret life began 18 years ago. She had looks to die for, a handsome police-officer husband, and a carefree life in Key West. When she learned she was pregnant with their first child, her happiness was almost overwhelming. But Nina's world is shattered when she unearths a terrible secret that causes her to run for her life and change her identity. Now, years later, Nina risks everything she's earned to return to Florida and confront the murderous evil she fled.

This book is exactly the reason I stopped reading James Patterson. While they are light, easy and quick reads, the plot and storyline is just unbearable and ridiculous. Without spoiling anything, how many things can happen to one person? The things that happened to Nina were so absurd I actually said "Give me a break" out loud. No big climax in my opinion and the whole story was so unbelievable it wasn't even remotely entertaining.
1 star

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Ghosts of Varner Creek by Michael Weems

In the summer of 1909, Solomon Mayfield awoke to find his mother and sister had disappeared. Left with his alcoholic and abusive father, Sol lived his life believing the story he'd been told, the story all the people of Varner Creek believed about what happened that summer. But in a plot of twists and family secrets that will leave the reader reaching for their jaw upon the floor, Sol is taken back to his childhood by the spirits he knew in life when he passes away so many years later . . . it is only then he learns what secrets The Ghosts of Varner Creek have been keeping so many years.

Very engaging book. As I slowly found out what had happened it really bothered me, which usually doesn't happen with books. I really loved the way Sol ended up finding out the truth; it was very original. Very well written, keeps you reading long into the night. Looking forward to more by this author.

4 stars

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A House Divided by Deborah LeBlanc

Keith Lafleur, Louisiana's largest and greediest building contractor, thinks he's cut the deal of a lifetime. The huge old two-story clapboard house is his for the taking as long as he can move it to a new location. Its too big to move as is, but Lafleur's solution is simple:divide it in half. He has no idea, though, that by splitting the house he'll be dividing a long dead.

Not for anyone with a weak stomach. Some parts made me a little nauseous, but a good enough story. Not creepy or anything even though I think it was meant to be, but it was fun to read. I was hoping for more of the Louisiana flavor, but that is the one thing I did find it lacking. However the character to Tawana makes it all worth while.

3 stars

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Restorer by Amanda Stevens

Amelia has seen ghosts since she was a child. The first time she was with her father, a cemetery caretaker and restorer, who she found out he could also see them. He gave her a very specific set of rules to follow, because once the door has opened between the living and the dead, something comes through, and it can never go back.

Now in her 20's, Amelia works as a cemetery restorer, working in old and long forgotten cemeteries, cleaning them up and restoring the headstones and the cemeteries themselves to their original state.

She is working at Oak Grove cemetery in the south when she's approached one might by Detective John Devlin, a man haunted by his own ghosts who she develops a strong attraction to, the likes of which she has never felt before. A body has been found in Oak Grove, only it is not one of those buried there. A young girl who was murdered in a brutal way was buried recently in an already occupied grave. Amelia is called in as a consultant to make sure nothing is disturbed or ruined during the investigation. As she works closely with Devlin, more bodies are discovered. Trying to figure out who the killer is, she is drawn inexplicably to Devlin and his ghosts, and breaks one of her fathers rules: stay away from those who are haunted.

I'm not a big fan of books that are a part of a series but I can't wait for the next book to come out. If you are looking for horror this isn't it, but it is definitely creepy enough. Amelia is a very likable character and I may have a fictional crush on the haunted detective, John Devlin and I think any woman with a pulse who reads this will agree. The book manages to solve the case of the murders while bringing a few things up throughout that makes you want to read the next book to see what's going to happen. This was a very pleasant surprise.

4 stars

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Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER________________________________________________________________________________________

Told in the point of view of a governess sent to a pleasant country home to care for 2 orphaned children, the tale turns dark by the appearance of 2 ghosts. These ghosts, who are said to belong to the prior governess and a common man whom she carried on an affair with, both of whom died under curious circumstances, are seen by the governess, who believes the children can also see them. The kids come off charming at first, but ended up creeping me out as the story went on. Then there is the question of are there really ghosts at all, or is the house playing tricks on the governess? And if they really are there, why are they always staring intently at the children when they appear?

I can't write a description of this at all because I have no idea what the hell I just read. For a short book, this took forever for me to finish. I always have trouble with reading books written during this time period and this is no exception. The sentences carry on so long, and with so much punctuation, by the time I get to the period I don't remember what I just read. The whole story is very elusive, or was in my opinion. Probably a story for people a lot smarter than myself.

1 star

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Hill House has stood empty for years, being the backdrop to many stories that go around the town where it stands. But the townspeople stay away from Hill House, because whatever walks there, walks alone. Dr. Montague organizes a small group of sensitives to stay in Hill House for the summer and record what, if any, paranormal things occur. The guests are Luke, who is the young heir to Hill House, Theodora, an antique store owner who jumps at the chance to spend the summer at Hill House after a fight with her lover, and Eleanor Vance, a 32 year old woman who experienced a poltergeist phenomena as a child and who's mother, that she took care of full time, just passed away. Within their first week there, things are happening that no one can explain, Theodora and Eleanor have become friends but compete for the attention of Luke, and everyone is on edge. All of this culminated into an ending you will never see coming.

Unless you are like me and saw the movie The Haunting when it was in theaters. I had a hard time getting into it because I kept thinking about the movie and waiting for the same things to happen. I know the book and the movie are never the same, but I couldn't stop comparing the two. I think what really makes this creepy is there are no answers, no resolutions. The reader is left with their own thoughts and impressions about what really happened. It would be a great book for a book club to read because I think it would spark a lot of discussion and it would be interesting to see what other people took from it.

4 stars

Monday, October 3, 2011

Top Ten Shocking Book Endings

I saw this on another blog and thought it was a god idea. Since I can't sleep tonight to save me, I am going to try to come up with my top ten book endings that shocked me:

1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
2. Blood and Circumstance by Frank Turner Hollon
3. Come Closer by Sara Gran
4. The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder
5. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
6. Back Roads by Tawni Odell
7. Standoff by Sandra Brown
8. My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
9. I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
10. Family History by Dani Shapiro