The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

hawkinsThis book has been on several “must read” lists, but I was hesitant to read it at first. However, I recently came across a movie trailer for the book, and I was convinced. I’m very much a read-before-you-watch kind of person. I have mixed reviews about the book, but I am very excited to see the movie.

Rachel is spiralling. She is an alcoholic still mourning the loss of her husband and the life she once lived. Every morning she takes a train to work, which scoots by her old house – and the house of Jess, a woman she’s been watching on every commute. Jess and her husband have a seemingly perfect life, the kind Rachel dreamed of living. But one day, everything changes. Jess turns out to actually be a woman named Megan, and Megan is missing. Rachel thinks she has some answers, but she is also surrounded by speculation and confusion. Rachel’s journey will have you questioning everyone – including her.

I think this book will make a fantastic movie. I actually think that it would have worked out better that way in the first place. While the book was mostly captivating, Hawkins sometimes is too vague and too mysterious for my liking. One of my biggest pet peeves with mystery/thrillers is when characters begin to change so that we will suspect them. I also felt like the vagueness of things became really confusing at times. From the very beginning we get “he” and “she” pronouns with no name so that we question who it is. Which is great…but I don’t want to spend 200 pages guessing. Lastly, the book switches between characters AND time periods. Two of the characters are told in a similar time frame while the other starts a year back. This got really confusing, for me, at times. I had to remember what happened and when. This is why I think a film adaptation will be better – the time can represented smoother. Overall, I give this book a 3 out of 5. I want to give it more, because I did enjoy it, but there were several things that really hindered my ability to read it.

Advertisements

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

secretI have seen this book on several “must read” lists in the past few months and decided to finally buy it. And I am sure glad I did! I couldn’t stop talking about it with my friends and family…now they just have to read it too.

In The Husband’s Secret, Cecelia Fitzpatrick comes across a strange envelope one day. It reads on the outside: “For Cecelia Fitzpatrick, my lovely wife, to be opened upon my death”. She knows immediately that it is written by her husband…who is alive and well. The contents of the letter will act as a wave, creating ripple effects upon various people in the community, and it will forever change Cecelia. This book is about the secrets we keep and the lies we live. They say secrets bring people closer, but they can also tear people apart.

This book was absolutely amazing. It was one of those books you can’t put down. I was clearing my schedule to make time for reading! One of the things I really like are the various perspectives the story is written in and how we see the role of secrets in peoples lives. She does a great job of creating parallel stories and keeping a time frame. Especially in the end, when things are very intense, the simultaneous stories helped build tension. Moriarty really keeps you captivated…even until the Epilogue. And man, did she go out with a bang. Incredible. I give this book a 5 out of 5. I would definitely recommend this one.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

leaving timeAfter reading and really enjoying one of Jodi Picoult’s other books last semester, I was super excited to pick up another. I had seen Leaving Time at a bunch of bookstores and it seemed to be popular. I thought to myself, “well here is my opportunity!” Jodi Picoult is a very well-known and popular author so I assumed I wouldn’t be disappointed. Turns out, I was wrong.

Jenna is a teenage girl in search of her missing mother. The last time Jenna ever saw her mother alive, she was three years old. Now, Jenna is thirteen and determined more than ever to find her mother. She enlists the help of Serenity, a psychic, and Virgil, a private detective, to make something of a ten-year old crime scene. Through lots of faith and determination, Jenna begins to answer her desperate questions. But will it be the answers she wants to hear?

So I have to be really honest. The first half of this book to me was a complete drag and seemed to go on forever. I was warned before I started that if I didn’t like elephants, I may have a hard time reading it. This is because Jenna’s mother use to be an elephant scientist of sorts so there is a lot of background into elephants. While some of the information is cute and interesting, I felt that it was overdone. We get it. Elephants mourn and they get really sad and make great mothers. But where is the mystery?! Cause that’s why I picked up the book. Once the second part of the novel rolled it got better but don’t expect too much. It isn’t until the last 100 pages or so the story really picks up. Yes, it is very touching. Yes, there is a huge plot twist. But I probably would have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t bored in the first 200+ pages. Overall, I rate this novel a 3 out of 5. Basically my way of saying, eh, it was okay. You won’t hate yourself for reading it but you might be able to find an equally touching/mysterious novel out there.

Better luck next time, Jodi.