Review: Here and Gone

Here and GoneHere and Gone
Author: Haylen Beck
Publisher: Crown
Genre/Themes: Thriller
Release Date: June 20th, 2017
Format: Ebook

 

 

Synopsis

Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother’s desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities. It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she’s pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they’re gone than she must have done something with them… Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.

Review

Here and Gone has the kind of plot that immediately grabs me. I love thrillers because I like how fast-paced and adventurous they are. I never go into a thriller expecting amazing writing, but I do expect a good plot and decent characterization. Fortunately, I did get that from this book.

The plot was extremely fast-paced and kept me turning the pages, and the story was interesting and unique enough to keep me reading. A lot of the times, the book felt very cinematic, and I could see this book as a movie without any problems. The plot is very suspenseful and as the story unfolds, it gets a lot darker.

I also thought the characters were all really impressive. The story switches between the perspectives of quite a few characters, and they were all well-written. Their voices felt different and I was impressed with how dynamic they all were. My only qualm was that Audra’s backstory was really cliched. I think women with her backstory have been seen in thriller novels over and over again. My favourite character was Danny, and I wish there had been more chapters from his perspective.

I enjoyed the book’s writing style, but there was nothing literary or very impressive with the writing since this was a plot focused novel. However, this was a very enjoyable read and I recommend it to fans of thrillers.

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. This has affected my review in no way.

Review: The Glorious Heresies

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
The Glorious Heresies
Author: Lisa McInerney
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Genre/Themes: Contemporary, Ireland
Release Date: April 9th, 2015
Format: Ebook

 

Synopsis

One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has dangerous repercussions, while Maureen, the accidental murderer, has returned to Cork after forty years in exile to discover that Jimmy, the son she was forced to give up years before, has grown into the most fearsome gangster in the city. In seeking atonement for the murder and a multitude of other perceived sins, Maureen threatens to destroy everything her son has worked so hard for, while her actions risk bringing the intertwined lives of the Irish underworld into the spotlight . . .

Review

I tried really really really hard to get into this book, but I just couldn’t do it. There’s nothing inherently bad about the writing or the plot, I just felt no connection to the characters and no desire to know how the story would unfold.

I usually really enjoy stories that are about a multitude of characters all linked together, but this one just couldn’t draw me in fast enough and it felt like a chore to keep reading. I think the fault is completely mine though because everyone else seems to love this book.

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. This has affected my review in no way.

Review: The Wolf Road – Beth Lewis

The Wolf RoadSince the Damn Stupid turned the clock back on civilization by centuries, the world has been a harsher place. But Elka has learned everything she needs to survive from the man she calls Trapper, the solitary hunter who took her in when she was just seven years old.

So when Elka sees the Wanted poster in town, her simple existence is shattered. Her Trapper – Kreagar Hallet – is wanted for murder. Even worse, Magistrate Lyon is hot on his trail, and she wants to talk to Elka.

Elka flees into the vast wilderness, determined to find her true parents. But Lyon is never far behind – and she’s not the only one following Elka’s every move. There will be a reckoning, one that will push friendships to the limit and force Elka to confront the dark memories of her past.

This is the second novel in the space of a few weeks that I’ve read with the same premise. Like the book I recently reviewed, A Desolate Splendor, this is a post-apocalyptic novel that’s written in the “hick-speak” that I found completely off-putting, but that’s where the similarities stop.

I was expecting a lot from this novel because the premise sounded so intriguing. I love the idea of a young woman forced to confront all of her realities and go on a grand adventure to figure out the truth about her life. While the plot of this book was adventurous and exciting, I couldn’t enjoy this novel at all due to Elka’s terrible style of speaking and her personality. I understand the purpose of Elka’s way of talking since she was supposed to be poorly educated, but the hick-speak fully repelled me. I’ve read Winter’s Bone as well, and while it didn’t annoy me at all in that novel, it really did in this one. It was just too overdone. This novel also has my least favourite literary device where at the end of each chapter, the narrator foreshadows what will happen next. It completely takes me out of the story.

I also had a hard time warming to Elka. In some ways, she was so knowledgeable, tough, brave, smart, and resourceful, and in other ways, she was unbelievably naive. I only had sympathy for Elka in one scene, and her personality just turned me off the majority of the time. I will admit that all of the characters were well-developed, even the secondary characters. I loved Magistrate Lyon, she was by the far the character I was interested in the most. I’d love to read a novel about her and her experiences, but Elka as a main character didn’t do anything for me.

The one thing I will admit to really liking in this book was the strong female friendship. While Elka and her friend (I won’t mention anything about her due to spoilers) had secrets from each other, the way they supported each other and worked together even while being from different backgrounds was really rewarding to read. I loved the way their friendship was written and developed. It was the one thing that redeemed this book for me.

As things stand, I’m in the minority with my opinions about this novel. Most people who have read it have enjoyed it a lot, and I can understand why. It’s full of action, it has a capable and strong protagonist, and a really solid cast of supporting characters. Personally, I just didn’t connect with this novel, but I recommend anyone who is interested in this book to check it out.

I received this novel from Blogging For Books and Netgalley. This has affected my opinions in no way.

Review: The Invoice – Jonas Karlsson

The Invoice A passionate film buff, our hero’s life revolves around his part-time job at a video store, the company of a few precious friends, and a daily routine that more often than not concludes with pizza and movie in his treasured small space in Stockholm. When he receives an astronomical invoice from a random national bureaucratic agency, everything will tumble into madness as he calls the hotline night and day to find out why he is the recipient of the largest bill in the entire country.

What is the price of a cherished memory? How much would you pay for a beautiful summer day? How will our carefree idealist, who is content with so little and has no chance of paying it back, find a way out of this mess? All these questions pull you through The Invoice and prove once again that Jonas Karlsson is simply a master of entertaining, intelligent, and life-affirming work.

This is a very quiet, contemplative novel and unlike any other book I’ve read. It’s such a strange premise for a novel. This book revolves around the idea that depending on the quality of your life and your experiences, you have to pay a one-time fee. This book really made me ponder how much money I would have to pay and what I would do in the same situation as the narrator.

This book also raises some really interesting questions about how happiness is relative and how people can see their lives in a subjective way. The idea that a person’s happiness is dependent on how they view their experiences is something I always try to keep in mind, even though it’s really hard to remember at times. This book forces you to examine your life and how you’ve viewed the experiences you’ve had.

My only issue with this novel was that because it was so quiet, it was never really exciting to read. I also didn’t feel much connection to the main character. His role and personality wasn’t really fully developed and the book wasn’t about him or the plot. They were secondary to the message the author was trying to convey.

I felt the writing style and the translation from Swedish was fine, but once again, it didn’t elicit much of a reaction from me. Overall, this is a lovely short novel, but I wish it had been slightly more powerful and memorable. However, I still think it’s extremely unique and I definitely recommend it.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books. This has affected my review in no way.