Monday, December 29, 2014

Now You See Her by Joy Fielding

December 29, 2014

This was a Christmas stocking book.

I am conflicted about this book.

Here's the thing: I couldn't put it down. I NEEDED to know the ending. I HAD to know what everything would lead to. It took me two days to read it, which is quick for me because I procrastinate from everything, including reading. (I know... Crazy!)

Although I couldn't put it down, and had to know the end, I'm conflicted because I actually don't think I liked it.

I hate saying that because I want to like most books, especially when I already like the author. I've read many books by her. 

This book was frustrating. Both in the way it was written and the plot line.

At times, I was reminded of her book Lost, but only in the way she treated her children. (One got all the attention, while the other just kind of survived). I liked Lost better. I liked the main character in Lost better.

I'll start with the way it was written. The character had SO MANY thoughts going on in her head at once. She was written to be thinking back to one conversation, while at the same time, conversing with somebody else from a conversation she had even earlier. It made my head hurt. Seriously. I don't see why it was needed. She can have memories without having memories during her memories of a conversation an hour ago. If that sounds confusing, it is because it is. That's my biggest pet peeve for the writing.

As for the main character, I don't know that I liked her. For somebody who spent her time watching other people with mental illness, she sure was off-beat herself. I'm not making light of mental illness. I just think she could have used some counselling. 

She took a trip to Ireland by herself in what was planned to be a second honeymoon for her and her husband before he left her. She didn't tell anybody she was going. That's strange. Her own son didn't know she was in Ireland. I mean, I get going on your own. I think that's brave. I didn't understand why people were shocked and upset that she was there until I got to know her a little better. 

She made a lot of poor decisions. A lot of them. She was desperate, and apparently trusted everybody to help her, even if she only knew them for five seconds. 

I do admit that I didn't know how it would end. I wondered at times, and guessed who I thought was involved with what, but I didn't completely understand. Also, I think I teared up a little bit as her heart broke at the end. (Not in a romance heart break, but real life, crappy things heart break.) So, while I didn't love the book, it did make me feel sad for the main character. 

Mostly, I found this book to be frustrating. Really frustrating. 

Also, a side note, I can't read in an accent, which is unfortunate, but it would have been nice if the writing style had seemed like they were talking in wonderful Irish accents. It didn't.

I'll continue to read her books, but I'm probably not going to read this one again. 

This is probably going to be my last post of 2014. I have a goal to read AT LEAST one book a month next year, so if all goes well, I will have more than 12 posts. 

All the best in 2015.  

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

The Woods by Harlan Coben

December 29, 2014

I read this before Christmas, but I forgot to write about it.

First of all, I've read this before. Luckily, I've got NO memory at all, so while I kind of remembered some of it, I couldn't remember at all how it ended. Or what all the twists and turns lead to.

I chose it because I wanted a quick book to read before I received more for Christmas. My family gives books, so I knew I'd get some.

I think this was my very first Harlan Coben book (the first time). I've read many since then.

The book was good. I think I may have liked it better the first time, but that also may be because I spent a lot of time this time trying to remember anything from the last one. I don't want to say it's forgettable, but I think I can pick this up in another couple of years and read it again with no problems. It may be more my memory than anything though.

The book has a lot of twists. It's hard to know who to trust. It also has characters I like, which always makes me happy. I've read one too many books lately with unlikable characters. I need the occasional laugh.

I forgot to look back at my posts to see if I've already talked about this book, but for now, that's all I have to say.

There are some of his books that I like better, and some that I like worse.

I have another post to do next. Today is catch up day for books I've read.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

October 30, 2014

I am struggling with what to say. Usually, I can do a book blurb (I don't know if I consider this reviews) without really talking about any specifics so I don't ruin it for other readers.

I'm going to try not to. If I do though, I'll add *spoiler alert* into my title.

I think I can do it without any spoilers, but it will be tough to do. Telling the ending of a book is okay if it isn't filled with twists and turns and mountains of CRAZY.

First, a complaint, this book is separated into three parts. To separate them, they are big black pages, with big titled names for the parts. I don't read ahead in books, BUT I did see the name of Part Three by accident, before I made it to Part two. I spoiled it for myself by accident, and was pretty annoyed at the Part Three Divider page that my eyes were drawn to. I had even stopped myself from watching the preview all the way through in case something in the trailer tipped me off.

I don't know if you remember (or read) my review for About the AuthorRight here. But Gone Girl gave me with the same sort of feeling of 'Who am I rooting for?" There were different reasons for disliking the main character in the former book, but still, same response.

Who do you cheer for when everybody appears to be bat-shit crazy? I'll tell you who, Nick's doting mother who is dying from cancer. She has about five scenes in the book, if that. She was my favourite. I actually meant this statement as a joke, but then as I was writing it, I realised I could give examples about why she wins, hands down, for my favourite character. Strong, optimistic, loving... I could probably go on about the good qualities of this tiny character.

There was one thing in the book that got me thinking, and that's that if you take away the freaking crazy out of the story, it actually could be a realistic story about a failing relationship.

People are different at the beginning of the relationship than they are 2-5 years down the road. It's not always a bad thing, but it can make people lazy. This is the story of two people that got lazy in their relationship, and started falling out of love with one another because of it. ALTHOUGH, in this case, I'm guessing if they (one in particular) knew about the others mental state, the whole story would have been a bit different.

Did I enjoy the book? Yes. It was a quick read (which is good because I had a deadline to be done before November 1st). Did I like the end? No. Not at all, but I'm not sure if there was an ending I would have enjoyed. I guess it got one more twist in, and it was something that shocked me a little. I took note of something earlier in the book, and even though I took note, I completely forgot about it by the end. If you've read it, you may know what I'm talking about. I didn't like the last page, but the twist made sense.

My mom is reading it right now (which is strange because I thought I stole her copy). I'm looking forward to hearing what she thought of it.

EDIT/UPDATE AND SPOILER: I just realised something that has been bugging me since I read the book. The main character - His wife was missing. And I get that he had to be written VERY carefully so we would wonder if he was guilty or not (I'm not spoiling anything). But, at some point in his thought process, he should worry that his wife is missing. He should wonder what's up with her when he doesn't know anything. It's weird that he wouldn't. Even when you fall out of love, you still worry about the other person. 
And as always:

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Friday, October 24, 2014

About the Author by John Colapinto

I can't remember how I found this book. I'm not sure if it came from my parent's house, or if I picked it up at a second hand store. 

I can guarantee I picked it up because of the title. I can't even say if I read the description before I picked it up to read.

My instincts were correct. Goes to show, you can judge a book by both the title and the cover. (Which means I'm going to have to make sure mine are both good when the time comes.)

About the book - I really enjoyed it. I liked going into it having no idea what to expect. I also liked the fact that I really didn't like the main character. He didn't have a lot of qualities that made me appreciate him, and yet, I still wanted to find out how he'd get out of his situation. I guess he made me laugh at times, and that was his redeeming quality. Even when the novel got a little bit ridiculous, the narrator admitted it. He wasn't that funny though. I found him to be a dick for most of the novel. I may have liked the novel more because of this.

I didn't find anything particularly predictable while reading it, which made me happy. 

I also finished reading it while on holiday, and I think any book that keeps my interest while I'm on holidays is a good book. I've taken books on trips before that I hated. (I know holidays aren't for reading, but it's a nice way to relax.)

I would recommend this. However, I don't know which of my friends or family would read it. I'm sure they'd like it once they got into it.

I liked it though. Nice change from what I'm used to reading.

And as always:

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

That Forgetful Shore by Trudy J. Morgan-Cole

Aug 6
It has taken me too long to write about this book.

I finished it in July.

First, I need to explain how I ended up buying it. While in Newfoundland, we were in A LOT of gift stores. I spent a LOT of money in Newfoundland gift stores. Something I noticed:  in every single gift store was the Newfoundland book section. It made me happy to see the support for local writers, and I knew I wanted to buy at least one book. Finally, I chose this one.

I'm so happy that I did!

Triffie and Kit were the main characters. Best friends that grow up in the same town. It was set in the 1900s, and one of them was able to leave and go to school while the other stayed in the town.

They wrote letters to each other, but each chapter showed a portion of the letter, and then focused on their separate lives.

I loved both characters, but was also angry at both characters at different times. They were honest about resentments they had, and I thought maybe they should just appreciate what they have. That being said, appreciating what you have is NOT real life. I also don't know what it was like to live in the 1900s in Newfoundland, but I would imagine it was not easy.

I would recommend this book to anybody.

However, the only thing I really want to say about this book is that I usually have a favourite character in all books. In this book it was not Triffie or Kit. It was Triffie's husband. I kind of thought he was wonderful, and I wished that Triffie could see him as I did.

That's it. Great book, great characters, and any book based in Newfoundland that describes the beauty of it is wonderful!

And as always:

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham

Someday, Someday, Maybe By Lauren Graham

First of all, I love the characters Lauren Graham plays. Gilmore Girls and Parenthood are two shows that I LOVE. Gilmore Girls wins over most shows, and I will admit right now that I have watched the DVDs a lot. I found out she wrote a book through twitter because I follow her. In other words, I already have great trust in the actress as a writer.

I saw it in the bookstore one day, and even though, I think $18 is almost a ridiculous price to pay for a book, I was curious, and had a great feeling about it. (It's my own fault for not giving into an e-reader).

I was also a little jealous. It's funny how different I feel about books now that I have an unpublished novel waiting for a publisher to fall in love with it. I was jealous because I'm guessing she had an easier time getting a publisher because of who she is. I might be wrong though.

That being said, this book needed to be published. It was wonderful. It made me laugh, and made me tear up at times. It was a good book. I loved Franny (the main character). I loved her honest roommates. Especially Dan. If I wasn't already with the perfect boyfriend, I'd be wishing he was a real person in my life.

Also, not everybody can say Diane Keaton encouraged them to write a book. That made me smile.

Obviously, my jealousy soon evaporated. It was only a moment, and not a long moment because I'd rather love and be happy about something than have feelings of jealousy. I'm pretty sure acting is one of the hardest careers to start, and to have a successful career as well as write a fantastic book, is pretty impressive. 

Actually, I thought there were a couple of quotes in the book about the struggle of actors trying to get jobs that fit how I need to look at things, trying to get into the professional writer field. "You lost a job  you never had." Basically, if my first choice publisher says no (which is not going to be a surprise), I have to remember it wasn't mine to begin with. Mine will come.

The book was about Franny trying to get her acting career on track (and started) before her deadline. Once the deadline arrives, she's going to find another path in life. That part of the novel has nothing to do with comparing to my own life because I already have a job, I'm just hoping to get into the book writing field. I don't have a deadline (nor will I give myself one). 

It was set in the 90s, which is a nice change of pace. It made me miss the times when you are excited to come home and check your messages. I don't even have a home phone to answer anymore. I guess some of the surprises and expectations are taken away now.

The only thing I didn't love about the book was the ending. It didn't feel like an ending, but I guess that leaves it open for my imagination, and (maybe) a next novel. I felt so much chemistry between two of the characters, I wanted to see more of them. That isn't the point though.

I'm literally writing this 10 minutes after finishing the novel. That's why I have so much to say.

This book was my 'lunchtime reading'. I had to bring it home this weekend, and finish it. I couldn't wait until Monday. I wish I had kept it until my trip to Newfoundland. Looks like I'll have another book to talk about. I just have to pick one. C thinks it must be time to get back to the third Game of Thrones book. He's probably right.

So: long story short: good book. I recommend it to anybody, especially those fighting to follow their dreams.

And as always:

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

May 28, 2014
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Basically, I loved this book. I loved the narrator choice (death), I loved the characters. I loved the love of books, and I LOVED the beautiful writing. To me, the descriptions could only be described as beautiful.

I spent the last half hour crying while reading the book. I mean, I guess I knew sadness was coming, but I still wasn't prepared for it.

The back of the book has some answers from Markus Zusak. There was something he said, they I loved.

I think to love your characters, and miss them when the book is over is wonderful for both the writer and for the reader.

(Side note, I have missed my characters in the book I wrote, but am still editing, so I still get to spend some time with them.)

Anyway, I recommend this book to basically everybody. I don't know if I want to watch the movie. I haven't decided.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Dead Rock Stars by Wes Funk

I really enjoyed this book. Wes Funk is a Saskatchewan author. (Also the third Saskatchewan author I've written about on my Book Blog).

I've been reading this book during my lunches. I finally got to the point today where I couldn't put it down. I stopped reading when lunch was over, and counted down the hours until I could get home and finish it.

It's a short novel, but was the perfect length for lunchtime reading.

I really liked it. I wasn't sure when I started reading it, but liked it more and more as I got through it. Being from a small town (but not a farm), I kind of understood a lot that he said about the small town in the novel. My situation was obviously not the same as his (anybody who has read this knows why), but I still liked the small town theme. 

It was about family; it was about lost love and new love. It was also about getting over loss.

I sometimes feel jaded when I read love stories (or a love story within the novel). I never see it happening like it does, but I know love does come quickly for others. 

This is going to sound terrible (and a bit like a plug, but it's not), but now that I've written my unpublished book, I see different things. I actually think the love interests were similar. As I was writing him, I kept wondering if he was too good to be true. I felt the same about this guy. 

Anyway, it was a good read, and it feels good to have finally finished a book. I've taken too long off from reading, and it feels good to get back at it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Six Years by Harlan Coben

I recently was reading a blog somebody was writing, and it had book reviews as well as life stories. I loved it, but it reminded me that I have not touched this one in a long time.

I'm doing two blogs right now that are pretty important to me, but this one is just as important. It's about reading! I am pretty sure I loved reading before I loved writing.

So I will talk about the book I just read.

Six Years By Harlan Coben

First of all, I'm pretty sure I've talked about other books he's written. They all have twists and turns and usually keep me interested until the end. I finish these books quickly (usually two days) because I'm excited to see how everything ties together.

I think this is his second newest book. I am sad to report, I didn't love it. I didn't love all the tie ins, and I actually was getting pretty frustrated (as the characters would have been as well) about the situation, and upset that nobody could figure out what was going on. (THIS MIGHT BE A SPOILER) Some of this may have been mob related because I guess they like to beat people up or shoot them instead of asking questions and talking. Although it seemed that was the case with pretty much all of the characters, mob related or not.

I did read quickly, and I must have enjoyed it because I didn't set it down, but I wasn't really happy with the ending. I think maybe I wanted more happiness. They focused on six years of unhappiness and missing somebody, and even more so on the two weeks (or so) of mostly terror and confusion. It made me tired and sad.

I know I'll read more by him though. I'll admit, I'll put down another book I'm reading to read one of his because I know it'll be a quick and pleasurable read. Plus, Harlan Coben is funny. His books aren't funny, but I have a feeling his characters have his sense of humour.

And that's my start back into writing about novels. We'll see how often I post. High hopes on this end.