Monday, 29 September 2014

Book Haul: eBooks Lately.

Some of the eBooks I've acquired lately, most of them I am saving up for October, to read as part of my creepy books in October! I am so excited creepy/scary/thriller reads are some of my favourite types of books to read. 

Rooms by Lauren  Oliver 
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld 
Ruined by Paula Morris 
Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Haley 
Between the Spark and The Burn by April Genieve Tucholke 

I am especially excited to read Rooms, which is a Gothic style horror story about a haunted house. Yay! Also Elizabeth is Missing sounds amazing. I read Between The Devil and The Deep Sea last year and I will eventually get to it's sequel, luckily this is a duology, so the story will wrap up in this book. 

Happy Reading guys. 

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Vignettes: Colours.

1. Crayons: I'll always love my colouring tools. Crayons are so fun and always a good is to be had when crayons are close by. 

2. Red: A red book and Kit-Kat. Books and Candy are such a cute couple! 

3. Painting: Some stripes and experiments with water colours. 

4. I Choose To Be Happy! 

5. Stickers: For ever and ever! 

I am having a pretty chilled out Saturday, I made a yummy cup of Spiced Vanilla Latter and loved it. It will definitely be made numerous times during the winter time. Yay! 

One of my mum's close friends passed way this evening, she had been ill for a long time but her death still came as surprise. Her death reminds me of how sudden life is, how nothing in this world is guaranteed. This family was planning for the festive season, buying new clothes and making plans, now all of that is just gone. It makes me want to do something that makes me happy every single day. Since tomorrow might never come around. 

Sorry to be so grim, 

Have a good weekend. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Review: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Book: Wintergirls

Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Pages: 278

How Long It Took Me To Read: 1 day

Read on: My iPad

Plot Summary: “Dead girl walking”, the boys say in the halls.
“Tell us your secret”, the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friend’s restless spirit.

In her most emotionally wrenching, lyrically written book since the multiple-award-winning Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s descent into the powerful vortex of anorexia, and her painful path toward recovery.

General Thoughts: I have wanted to read a book by Halse Anderson for a while now, since I've heard amazing things about her writing style and her stories. I wanted to read Speak but I haven't managed to get my hands on it and it deals with rape so that kinda puts me off reading it. But I'll read it soon. 

This book and it's premise is of interest to me, I studied Eating Disorders (ED) in a academic set-up while doing my Masters in Clinical Psychology, I did a paper on the topic and spend months reading up on ED and was surprised to find it was almost a sub-culture of it's own. Girls battling with EDs were a support system to each other. Things like Pro-Ana websites were very popular and girls all over the world shared tips to fool parents, doctors and other when weighing them. It was fascinating and disturbing all at once. But I hadn't read about EDs in a fictional world and this book was a great way to re-visit a topic I was interested in. 

Things I Liked: 

1. The book does a fantastic job of getting inside the head of girl battling Anorexia Nervosa. Her thoughts, her battles, her view towards food were all on point. Every thought is geared towards losing weight, getting skinny and fighting the urge to eat. The constant counting of calories, the hunger was all powerful and poignant. 

2. I loved how her fight with food was shown so well in the book. Her relationship with food was a complicated and messy affair. She wants it, she is constantly hungry and craving food but she reminds herself of her supposed fat thighs and abstains from eating. The calories counting and the cheating she does and how she fools her family into thinking she has eaten was all so good and shown well. 

3. The book doesn't shy away from gore-ish detail and packs a punch, with the horrific details of what can happen when you abuse your body. 

4. I loved Lia and her step-sister's relationship, it was the only relationship where Lia was remotely honest and didn't lie or grudge her. 

5. I liked that the book went back and forward, it went as far as Lia's childhood and her friendship with Cassie and her descent into ED. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. The writing though powerful and strong wasn't as great as I thought. There were words written and crossed out, this was done over and over and it got a bit old. 

2. The hallucinations and the visions bit was a bit much. 

3. I would have liked more Lia and Cassie in the book. Especially more Cassie. 

4. Overall, I found this book a little pointless. It sounds a little cruel but this was just a story of a girl suffering from ED and then eventually deciding to get better. 

Rating: 2.5/5 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Review: Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell.

Book: Rooftoppers

Author: Katherine Rundell

Pages: 276

How Long it Took Me To Read: 7 hours

Read On: Paperback

Plot Summary: Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck which left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive, but that means still possible. You should never ignore a possible. So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Paris to look for her mother, starting with the only clue she has - the address of the cello maker. Evading the French authorities, she meets Matteo and his network of rooftoppers - urchins who live in the sky. Together they scour the city for Sophie's mother before she is caught and sent back to London, and most importantly before she loses hope.

Things I Liked: 

1. I loved Charles, Sophie's guardian, he was eccentric, kind, smart and a loving guardian. The off-beat and quirky parenting style of his was nice to read about. Also, what's not to love about a scholarly, eccentric and dishy (I am guessing) Brit man! :) 

2. The thing I loved best about this book was how old-fashioned it seemed to me. It reminded me of the books I read as a child. Full of cleverness, resourcefulness and bravery. I loved it. 

3. Paris, in a book or in a movie, Paris is always delightful to visit. 

4. I loved the other Rooftoppers we met in this book, especially the sisters who live in the trees were simply delightful. 

5. I also liked the little search for Sophie's mother that Charles undertakes and the little investigation that is being done. 

6. The writing was lovely too and I highlighted quite a few lines in the this book. I am curious to read more from this author. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. This is certainly a book I would have enjoyed more had I read it as a 10 yr old. I still enjoyed it, but I would have liked it loadsssss more if I read it at the right age. 

2. The ending was a bit abrupt for my taste. I wanted more answers and I wanted more time with the mother. 

3. Overall, I enjoyed the London bits more than the Paris bits. And Paris was the bigger chunk of the book. 

4. Matteo, however  was my biggest disappointment in the book. I just didn't like him at all. I found him to be rude, slightly obnoxious and unkind. I didn't understand why Sophie would want to hang out with him? 

Rating: 3/5 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Book Haul: Books from Crossword Bookstore.

Two weeks ago, on a rainy evening, I found myself with an hour and a half at my disposal and a bookstore to browse through. :) Basically my idea of a perfect evening. Better still, I had a 200 rupee discount coupon sitting heavy in my wallet. :) 

I bought these gorgeous books, some of them I had never heard of before but chanced upon them on the shelves and brought them home. 

I am super excited about The Little Friend and of course the new Agatha Christie! 

The Monogram Murders- Agatha Christie, Sophie Hannah 
The Secret Children- Alison McQueen 
The Little Friend- Donna Tartt 
Collected Stories- Raja Rao 
The Book of Fate- Parinoush Saniee
Vivien's Heavenly Ice-Cream Shop- Abby Clements 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Vignettes: Mugs, Lights, Sky, Pages and Owls.

Pages of my sister's beautiful journal. Lined with gorgeous Washi tapes. My sister uses this journal as a daily planner and a place to jot down thoughts and draw doodles of our daily adventures. 

A darling little pouch with darling little owls on it. It's from Accessorize, my sister had her eye on this baby for months and month and finally got it on sale. She uses it to keep her iPod and earphones in her handbag. 

Two adorable mugs from Art n Light. They were a gift of love from one of my sister's BFF. We love, love, love them! So pretty! 

Pretty lights in our living room.. and some art.. 

 The gorgeous evening sky from my bedroom window. The colours of the evening sky are just brilliant. 

Have a lovely Sunday, everyone! :)

Friday, 19 September 2014

Review: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Book: The Paying Guests

Author: Sarah Waters

Pages: 576

I Read: The Kindle version

I Read it in: 7 hours (across two days)

Plot Summary: It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa — a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants — life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

With the arrival of Lilian and Leonard Barber, a modern young couple of the “clerk class,” the routines of the house will be shaken up in unexpected ways. Little do the Wrays know just how profoundly their new tenants will alter the course of Frances’s life — or, as passions mount and frustration gathers, how far-reaching, and how devastating, the disturbances will be.

Things I Liked: 

1. I liked the post-War (World War I) setting of this book. It captures the sense of loss, despair and disillusionment of the people as Britain was recovering from the loss of sons, fathers, brothers, husbands and just able-bodied men in the War. This manifested itself in big and small ways, which have been beautifully and poignantly captured by Waters in the book. 

2. The changing social order and the challenges that this created for the 'gentlemen' class was also interesting to read about. Sarah Waters has a real gift for capturing the sense of loss that comes with the transition of the 'old order' to the new one. She has done it beautifully in her other, much acclaimed works as well. 

3. The characters were very well etched out. I particularly enjoyed reading about Frances- her inner and outer struggles, her sense of responsibility, her conflicted feelings, her sacrifices and, ultimately, how really human she is. 

4. Lilian was also very interesting and also, deliberately, intriguing. I liked that her motives could be explained away or understood or analysed in either way (sorry, can't say more; don't want to spoil things), which leaves it up to, as the reader, to make up your mind about her. 

5. The writing, of course, is lovely, 

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. The book could have been crisper. There was a fair amount of superfluous stuff in the last third of the book that should have been chopped up on the editors' block. 

2. I would have liked to know more about Lenny (Lilian's husband).. he is rather like a shadow and not fully fleshed out as a character. 

Rating: 4/5 

This book is well written and raises some interesting questions about morality and doing the right thing. 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Book Haul: Books of September 2014, Part- II.

My second book haul of September. 

I got all of these books on Flipkart. I got a nice mix of books. I finally treated myself to Why We Broke Up, a pretty book full of gorgeous illustrations and I stocked up on some Agatha Christie books. Plus the lovely new Murakami. All good things! 

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage- Haruki Murakami 
Why We Broke Up- Daniel Handler and Moira Kelman 
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society- Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows 
Pippi Longstocking- Astrid Lindgreen 
Death on the Nile- Agatha Christie 
They Do It With Mirrors- Agatha Christie 

I've already read 2/6 books and might read two more before the month is up. 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami.

Book: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Author: Haruki Murakami

Translated By: Philip Gabriel

Pages: 298

Read On: Hardback beauty pictures above.

How Long It Took Me To Read: 2 days

Plot Summary: Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine', and Oumi, ‘blue sea', while the girls' names were Shirane, ‘white root', and Kurono, ‘black field'. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it.

One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn’t want to see him, or talk to him, ever again.

Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.

General Thoughts: I didn't pre-order this book, I thought I'd be sensible and wait for the paperback. I still haven't read IQ84 and have had it for 2 years. So it made no sense to get this book. But...but have you looked at this book-cover? This is a beautifully made book. The dust jacket is gorgeous and minimal and the actual hardback cover is a riot of colours, it's stunning. The spine is beautiful. And I got a set of free stickers!!!! I wasn't expecting the free stickers and I may have squealed and hugged the book when it arrived. I think I more than freaked out my father. 

Things I Liked: 

1. The writing is wonderful, as usual. Murakami's writing is golden, dipped in diamonds and with a hint of genius. 

2. The premise of this book was great, a close group of friends who were inseparable as young adults end their close relationship out of nowhere and how it effects Tsukuru for the rest of his life. The traumatic end of this friendship changes Tsukuru in a very profound way. It changes him and marks him for life. His change and his life is written about beautifully. You really see his isolation and his sadness like it is a living breathing thing. 

3. I loved the slight mystery of this book, why had his friends abandoned him? What had he done? I was looking forward to find out the answer to this question. 

4. I really loved the meetings between Tsukuru and his long-lost friends. To see where his friends were in life and how the last 16 years had treated them, also it was nice to get the answers I was curious to find out. 

5. Tsukuru himself was a interesting character to read about and see the world from his perspective. I liked him, his quiet and simple life and his interest in railway lines and stations. 

6. I loved how this book showed beautifully how we see ourselves is so often dramatically different from how others see us. Sometimes we are blind and oblivious to our own qualities and don't appreciate in the good us. I liked that in this book, Tsukuru felt that he  wasn't anything special and was insecure and felt he wasn't deserving of his 'colourful' friends each of whom are a special quality. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

This book didn't blow me away. In all other cases, in all the other Murakami books I've read, I've put down the books and just stared into space marveling at the brilliance of his work. This book didn't quite leave me spellbound. I liked this book, seriously, I enjoyed this book. But it didn't dazzle me. Maybe the problem is that I had very high expectations from it, like I do with every Murakami book. This book was good and enjoyable and wonderful but it didn't blow me away. 

The big problem was me, honestly it was me and not this book. 

I am not one to have such intense friendships and the end of friendships just don't effect me this severely. I have had close, very close friendships in high-school and college and even later, and there are three instances when very close friendships ended and I was the one in two of these cases that called off these friendships. It upset me ending these relationships I cared about, but it didn't mark me for the rest of my life. I just don't get that involved in a group of friends. So reading about Tsukuru and how he fell apart at the end of his friendship, was after a point a little jarring. It irked me, how this young man was torn apart and had given up on life, just because his friends didn't want him in their lives anymore? 

I know there are super-intense friendships. I also know of people who mourn the end of romantic relationship for decades and never really recover from their broken heart. So none of this was out of the ordinary, but it just didn't resonate with me. 

Rating: 4/5 

I'd recommend this book, in fact I'd even suggest this as a good starting point for Murakami, I normally recommend Norwegian Wood as a great way to jump into Murakami, but this book works just as well. 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Review: The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee (Man Booker Shortlist 2014)

Book: The Lives of Others

Author: Neel Mukherjee

Pages: 416

Read On: Hardback copy pictured above.

How Long It Took Me To Read: 3 days.

Plot Summary: 'Ma, I feel exhausted with consuming, with taking and grabbing and using. I am so bloated that I feel I cannot breathe any more. I am leaving to find some air, some place where I shall be able to purge myself, push back against the life given me and make my own. I feel I live in a borrowed house. It's time to find my own. Forgive me.'

Calcutta, 1967. Unnoticed by his family, Supratik has become dangerously involved in extremist political activism. Compelled by an idealistic desire to change his life and the world around him, all he leaves behind before disappearing is this note .

The ageing patriarch and matriarch of his family, the Ghoshes, preside over their large household, unaware that beneath the barely ruffled surface of their lives the sands are shifting. More than poisonous rivalries among sisters-in-law, destructive secrets, and the implosion of the family business, this is a family unravelling as the society around it fractures. For this is a moment of turbulence, of inevitable and unstoppable change: the chasm between the generations, and between those who have and those who have not, has never been wider.

Ambitious, rich and compassionate The Lives of Others anatomises the soul of a nation as it unfolds a family history. A novel about many things, including the limits of empathy and the nature of political action, it asks: how do we imagine our place amongst others in the world? Can that be reimagined? And at what cost? This is a novel of unflinching power and emotional force.

General Thoughts: I first heard of this book when it first came out and I read about it mentioned in the papers. It sounded lovely! But I thought I'd wait till it came out in paperback since the price for the brand new hardback was a little too steep.

Fast forward a month or so and I found out that it was Long Listed for The Man Booker Prize and my resolve to wait for the paperback melted away. Plus, hello, this hardback is a beautiful book! Vintage books have done a smashing job of designing the cover. It's a very pretty book and the spine is lovely too.

There are so many things about the premise of this book that drew me in....

Family Life
Some joint family drama.
Bengal in a turbulent time.

All things I love. Simply LOVE!

The only fly in the ointment was The Naxal Movement. Like I mentioned in my review for The Lowlands, my family has had a tragic connection with said movement. So I don't normally read anything to do with the Naxals and the savagery they stood for. I am biased and I don't particularly care for the Naxals, and I am OK with it. The only reason I read The Lowlands because it was Jhumpa Lahiri and I will read anything and everything she writes and I loved the way she dealt with the Naxal angle in her book.

Since I had read one book dealing with the Naxals I decided to give this book a go. So I did.

Now on to the review.

Things I Liked:

1. The writing is great. I am curious to read other books by the author, since I immensely enjoyed the writing in this book.

2. The book is told in alternating chapters between the life of the Ghosh family and the next showing the letters Supratik is writing to to mysterious someone  about his life in a small village where he is working with the poor farmers. I enjoyed this, the drama of Ghosh family juxtaposed with the suffering of the farmers and Supratik's new life.

3. I learnt a lot from this book, meaning I learnt about how Naxals spent some time with the very people they worked for. I didn't know about this. Supratik living with struggling farmers was very interesting and also at times very hard to read about. The descriptions of abject poverty and the hopelessness of the situation and the hard work they put in was done so well, it felt like I was there, watching these scenes unfold.

4. This book has so much going on, the family feuds, fights and petty clashes between daughters-in-law to a young man willing to give up family and comforts for the cause he believes in to a family losing their former way of life to the chaos of the times to a love that defies all social conventions. I was engrossed in all that this book had to offer. I really appreciate the scope of this book and all that it held within it's pages.

5. The prologue of this book was fantastic. It will stay with me for a long time to come. I knew I would enjoy this book at the end of the prologue.

6. Similarly, I was very pleased with the ending. The two epilogues settled the fate of a character I grew to care about deeply and cheer for and also told us of the Naxal movement in it's present avataar.

7. I think this is a great book for someone who wants to read about the Naxals, I can't imagine that research that must have gone into the writing of this book! This book does an amazing job at taking you inside the movement, the life of these young boys who believed in the cause and sacrificed so much to do what they felt was right.

8. My absolutely favourite thing about this book has got to be The Ghosh clan. God, I loved these people. I didn't like most of them but I loved reading about this family. They seemed real and I could imagine them easily as a family living and breathing in a city I know well. It's a big, joint family with members from three generations and servants living in a house slowly shedding it's former glory. They are minutes away from financial disaster and their old way of life is slowly slipping away. I loved reading about their dynamics and petty and not-so-petty family politics.

9. This book is full of deviously delightful characters. Vile people really but aren't they so much fun to read about? The unmarried Pishi was a my favourite, she was terrible, horrid and a complete pleasure to read about. I wouldn't want someone like her in my family, extended family or even as an acquaintance. I loved how her character was written, her bitterness, her venom and her hate did make sense given that way life turned out. She was so much fun.

Things I Didn't Like: 

1.  There is a lot of transliteration in their book, common Bengali phrases translated into English pretty much word for word. I am not a big fan of this in general. As a Bengali, I enjoyed it, since I could just easily imagine the characters saying the things in Bengali, but I don't think I'd enjoy it remotely as much if I weren't Bengali.

2. There was no one I really liked in this entire book. They were a bunch of unlikable people, the lot of them. While I get that the world isn't made up of wonderful people full of light and sunshine, it is still is little tiring to read a book full of pretty much not nice people.

3. My biggest grouse was the bits with Supratik. I really, REALLY did not like him. Nothing about him made me even warm up to him. His diatribe against his wealthy family just seemed like a privileged boy throwing a tantrum. His 'journey' and his life for the 2 1/2 years he spends in the village while interesting to read, did nothing to make him a character I cared about. By the end of the book, I wanted to slap him a little bit, and what he did to a servant in the house made me want to punch him in his self-righteous face! Ass!

4. There is a lot going on in this book, a LOT. And sometimes it just felt too much was cramped into a book that was already heavy to begin with.

5. There is a sick, sick, sick sexual fetish in this book that made my stomach turn. I am no prude but this was just a bit much for my system. (If you've read the book you know what I am talking about!)

6. There was equal focus on the family aspects and the Naxal elements in the book for most part, but somewhere around the middle of the book, I felt the focus tipped over to Naxal side of things. Now this is entirely my personal preference but I wasn't a big fan of this. I felt Supratik took over the book and I'd much rather have read more and spent more time with the Ghosh family.

Rating: 3.5/5

I read this book way back in August and I took all this time to review it because I needed to sort my feelings about this book. I will recommend this book if you like the premise of it and are interested in reading about family life and times in Calcutta and West Bengal in 1960s.

I plan on reading all 6 books Short-Listed for the Booker, one down and five more to go. Wish me luck. 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Review: The Monogram Murders- A 'New' Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah (and Agatha Christie)

Book: The Monogram Murders

Author: Sophie Hannah

Pages: 373

I Read: The paperback pictured above (nice black and gold cover, right?)

I Read It In: 5 hours (over 2 nights)

Plot Summary: Since the publication of her first novel in 1920, more than two billion copies of Agatha Christie’s books have been sold around the globe. Now, for the first time ever, the guardians of her legacy have approved a brand new novel featuring Dame Agatha’s most beloved creation, Hercule Poirot.

‘I’m a dead woman, or I shall be soon…’ 

Hercule Poirot's quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered.  She is terrified – but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.

Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim. 

Things I Liked: 

1. It is always exciting when the estates of my favourite dead authors permit someone to write a new story featuring the beloved characters created by that deceased author. So, the moment I saw this book on Book Riot, I decided that we must have it! I also read and loved the new Sherlock Holmes novel that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's estate allowed Horowitz to write! Read the review of The House of Silk HERE

2. The premise of the book was interesting- three connected murders and the possibility of a fourth?! What is not to love (in a totally fictitious scenario, obviously)?! 

3. Sophie Hannah does a good job of capturing the essence of Poirot. Her writing did not seem jarring or not like Agatha Christie's, so that was good. She stayed true to the tone and cadence of the original canon. 

4. The mystery at the core of the book was fairly riveting.. and tragic.. and like a lot of Agatha Christie books, the victims got what they deserved in some sense. 

5. The book was fun to read, overall. The story and motivations of the various people involved were sufficiently complex and interesting. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. There is a new Scotland Yard detective that is introduced in this book called Edward Catchpool.. and I am not a fan of him at all. He is the 'voice' of the book (and not our beloved Captain Hastings!) and it is not a voice that I took to. Sad. Also, if you can resurrect Poirot, why not resurrect Inspector Japp and Hastings? They are also equally beloved characters.. 

2. There were some very rambly, repetitive bits in the middle of the book, which slowed down the story quite a bit. Those could have been avoided. 

3. Also, this book is set in 1929.. and the author makes it seem like Poirot was on a break or some such. Now, in the original canon, Poirot does not take a break up until he is fairly old- in the 1940s or even mid-1950s.. or maybe even later. So, this seemed a bit weird and I could not place where in the Poirot timeline this book fit in. For an avid Agatha Christie fan, this was not a good feeling. 

Rating: 4/5 

This is a good book- with a good mystery and a writing tone that is similar to Agatha Christie's- a good tribute, overall. Read it! 

Review: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas.

Book: Dangerous Boys

Author: Abigail Haas

Pages: 336

Read On: My Kindle

How Long it Took Me To Read: 3 hours

Plot Summary: Three teens venture into the abandoned Monroe estate one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder?

Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces. 

General Thoughts: Last year, I read Dangerous Girls and absolutely loved it. Loved it. Read it in one sitting and adored it. It was deliciously twisted and dark and I loved that it drew upon some recent high-profile cases and made me think of how media makes murderers out of people even before the courts decide one way or another. 

When I heard about this book I wanted to read it immediately and got it on my Kindle to get my reading on!!! 

Things I Liked:

1. The premise of the book, obviously. The idea that there is this girl who can't wait to get out of her small town and get started on her real life. How she meets a boy and how things get complicated. 

2. I enjoyed the style of storytelling. The book moves between the present time and to a few months ago when Chloe first meets Ethan. You get to learn more about both these characters and see how things evolved gradually and also how Chloe's life was slowly not going according to her plan.. basically, how it was falling apart. 

3. Chloe was an interesting character. I liked how the author was very subtle in showing her evolution... devolution from the girl we first see at the beginning of summer and the girl we get to see at the end of the events of the book. 

4. The pace was great. You don't really get bored or feel that there were superfluous scenes in there that didn't belong. Always a great thing when you are reading a thriller. 

Things I Didn't Like:

1. There were a few character-related things that happened way too suddenly. I don't want to get into  that because they will spoil the book completely. While I liked how subtle Chloe's character development was but I wonder if it was too subtle? Perhaps that is why the events towards the end seemed very rushed? Anyway, the bottomline is that the end was rushed and the character-related aspects that led to those events seemed a bit out of the blue. 

2. Oliver was so predictable. There was no subtlety whatsoever in who/what Oliver is and what his entry into the story would herald. Not very fun to read about at all. 

3. The absolute last few paragraphs of the book (the ending, basically) was ridiculous and so hard to believe! The 'bargaining chip' that a character uses to do something is super-lame and, like I said, utterly ridiculous! 

Rating: 2.5/5

This book starts off well, builds up to what seems like a great mystery and then everything seems sudden, weird and rushed. Read it, but, perhaps don't expect a world-class mystery. Dangerous Girls (click HERE for the review) is a better book.