Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

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What a thrill it must be, as an author, to have your debut novel reach the top of the best seller list.  To have everyone talking about it, recommending it.  To have it made into a movie, even.  But as wonderful as this all must be, there’s a downside.  Everyone expects your next novel to be just as good if not better.  Unfair, probably.  Still, the bar has been set.

There’s a river that runs through town.  It’s a river filled with mystery and intrigue.  It’s where many a woman has met her fate over the years.  The latest death isn’t like the others, though.  Nel’s death seems different, both to her daughter Lena and to her sister Jules.  Did she really kill herself?  Or was she digging too deep, uncovering the town’s hidden secrets?  If that’s the case, then everyone connected to her is in danger as well.

Did I enjoy this one as much as The Girl on the Train?  Not really.  There’s a lot going on, and there are a lot of characters to keep up with.  It seems like the story is trying to be too much at once.  It’s a mystery/thriller, of course.  But there’s also a supernatural-paranormal element at work although that aspect is never fully developed.  That doesn’t stop me from recommending it, though.  It’s a good story, well worth your time.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Into the Water

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Revisit: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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I’m a bit late to the game on this one.  While most people who’ve read it did so last year, for some reason I’m just recently getting to it.  Not sure why, because it was definitely worth my time.

I knew before going in that there was a girl on a train who saw something.  Beyond that, I was clueless.  Sometimes that’s the best way to be when starting a book that the entire world has read.  Rachel is a pretty sad and lonely character.  She’s a divorced, unemployed alcoholic whose free time is spend riding the train back and forth to London.  During her daily travels, she becomes obsessed with a couple who lives surprising close to her ex-husband.  She begins watching them, inventing stories of their lives. Then one day she notices something amiss.  And next, somebody goes missing.  Is there a connection to what Rachel witnessed from afar, from the anonymity of the train car?

I must admit, as Pegasus did in a previous review, that I cringe whenever I hear someone refer to a book as “The next Gone Girl” for many reasons.  Mostly because I don’t want another Gone Girl.  I want something equally well-written but at the same time different.  So I kinda wish that description would just go away.  But still, this was an outstanding book for me.  Rarely have I come across a character as unlikeable as Rachel was.  Highly annoying and not particularly bright, she failed to elicit any sympathy from me.  Even towards the very end.  That can be said for ALL of the characters in this book.  They’re all dreadful people.

I imagine many of you have read this book by now.  But if, like me, you’re a bit of a book procrastinator,  there’s no time like the present to jump on the bandwagon!

~Thalia

Buy it Now:  The Girl on the Train

 

Review: The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

22430677Hip Hip Hooray!!! I am soooooooooooooo glad I picked this book to read out of the thousands I have on my TBR list….I’m not at all sure that I could have found any other book like it….what a delightful change!

I don’t even know where to begin….I mean, I’m very sure that many people would find a book that starts with a 10-year-old girl, born and raised in a whorehouse fighting her way into a boxing ring, against both men and women, completely horrible….I admit to finding myself cringe at bits of this tale! Especially once the reader finds out that the boxing is some of the more pleasant bits of the story!

No, the novel isn’t all about boxing. Yes, it’s a huge part….HOWEVER, the actually boxing takes up only a small portion of the novel…..

Not only do you have the one young girl who grows up right before your eyes, you have several other key characters…and Freeman ties them all together with ambition, lies, deceit, obsession, love, and hate. You have key players that would do anything for one another….and those that are nothing short of unfeeling opportunists..you see what lengths some will go to for loyalty and how others feel not an ounce of it and look out only for themselves….

Finally we find out that the old adage is true….beauty comes from within and has nothing really to do with how a person looks….

What I especially loved about this book is that we see the flaws in the characters we love…and at times, as much as it pains me to say, for the characters we absolutely hate, Freeman made us feel pity for them…

I should also point out that for a very long time now, I start out all excited about a book but my enthusiasm often wains after a short while….I can still enjoy the novel and the story and the characters, but I lose my feelings of excitement over the whole experience…..with this novel….I have to say…..it only built and built….that hardly EVER happens…..sometimes my enthusiasm doesn’t leave me….but I can’t ever recall a book that had me liking it from the very start and my love growing with each new chapter….near the end of the book I had to walk away for a bit because I was NOT willing to say goodbye to some of the characters that I was so enjoying….I was also fearful that it would not have a happy ending….I’m not a reader that has to have a happy ending for a book…but I really wanted it for some of these people….

I know this book isn’t for everyone….however, I don’t really care….I absolutely loved it and I encourage everyone to step outside their comfort zone and give it a try….I won’t hesitate to recommend this to any and everyone…and that isn’t something you’ll see me doing often…

Until next time….

Urania xx

Buy it now The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman