Day: May 13, 2017

Review: I Found You

Posted on Updated on

I Found You3+ out of 5 stars to I Found You, a 2016 thriller and suspense novel, by Lisa Jewell. Many thanks to NetGalley, Atria Books and Lisa Jewell for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Why This Book
NetGalley had the book listed as an option in the thriller section. I’d seen one or two reviews with positive feedback on Goodreads. After reading the description, I was intrigued by how the plot would come together. Requested it. Was awarded it. And it was the next date due on NetGalley.

Overview of Story
Lily and Carl have been married for a few weeks and are deeply in love. Lily’s waiting for him to come home from work in London, but he’s later than usual. Carl met her on business in Ukraine and married her within a week, bringing her home with him to England, where she knows not a single soul. He’s got a mother they spoke with on the phone once, shortly after the wedding, but she’s not met any of his family or friends. She’s about 20 and he’s in his early 40s. When he’s late, she gets the cops involved, and after their initial day of research, the cops tell her the man does not exist and must be using a fake name. They begin to search for him with whatever little information they have available.

Alice watches a man sit on the beach in the rain outside her small house. Her friend Derry tells her not to pickup another stranger, given her bad habits in the past. Alice, 42, has 3 different children by 3 different men, and each one ended in some sort of disaster, including kidnapping and violent attack. But Alice doesn’t listen and offers the stranger a place to sleep for a few nights, given she learns he has no memory of who he is or where he comes from. Slowly, Frank (40), as he calls himself for lack of any other name, begins to remember pieces of his life, believing he may have murdered someone and is looking for a young girl from years ago.

Twenty-two years ago, the third story takes place. A father, mother, daughter Kirsty who is 15 and son Gray who is 17, are on vacation near the beach. They meet a young man named Mark, who is 19. At first Mark seems like a great young man and is very interested in Kirsty. He introduces them to his aunt Kitty, who he is living with up on the hill. Slowly, we see Mark might be deranged, and when Kirsty tries to end it, a battle between the 3 of them begins. It ends in disaster that night, and as the chapters unfold, we see small pieces of the previous events.

By two thirds into the book, readers are questioning whether the stranger Frank is one of the two men from 22 years ago. We’re confident the husband Lily is missing is Frank, who has no memory, but is he the supposedly good guy from 22 years ago, or the bad guy? The stories begin to collide when Alice and Lily meet one another and realize they are each looking for answers. But who is he, what happened to Kirsty, the parents and Aunt Kitty?

Approach & Style
The story is told in the present tense and as a 3rd person narrative. There are 3 stories being told for the first two thirds of the book (alternating chapters), prior to their intersection. Readers can see how they could be connected, but we don’t know which person is which person, as there is memory loss and a possible fake name being used.

Strengths
It’s a strong psychological drama. And it’s one of the better books with alternating chapters between the three stories. Each one stops exactly at the point where you are about to get answers, and then you change characters.

Each character is strong and has distinct elements. You see major flaws in all of them, but somehow still root for things to work out.

The setting and descriptions are quite vivid. The writing is simple and easy. Everything flows and connects, with just enough mystery and suspense left all around.

Open Questions & Concerns
1. I’m not entirely sure I buy the memory loss story. I can’t give too many details, but it seems to occur a bit too conveniently.

2. I wish there was a bit more complexity in trying to figure out who is who. Once you know about 2/3 of the way thru, the last 1/3 is about bringing it all together. I would have liked the open questions to last longer.

Characters
Gray is really likable, but the memory loss makes me a little unsure of how stable he is.

Mark is just so intense. He seems to change his views and reacts too quickly.

Alice is strong, but I really question her abilities and judgment as a mother. She seems to let too many strangers around her kids, and it has caused problems in the past.

Why would the parents let their 15 year old daughter go out alone with 19 year old Mark when they barely met? Seems like a bad idea to me and I don’t have children.

Lily just married Carl after a week and moved to another country? I understand that she needed to get out of Ukraine, but really… where was the true motivation? I don’t buy her as being 20 years old… I think she should have been older.

Author & Other Similar Books
It’s definitely in the vein of a Liane Moriarty or Kate Morton book. It’s set in London and the surround suburbs / coastal towns.

Final Thoughts
It’s a good read. I enjoyed it. Took 3 days with about 80 minutes each day, so 4 hours in total. It’s an all around average good book with a little extra oomph thrown in and about. I’m not sure I liked all the characters and I felt some of their past or history was overdone. But I liked the author’s writing style and would definitely read another book by her.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Advertisements

Review: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Posted on Updated on

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's NestBook Review
4+ of 5 stars to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the third book in the trilogy written by Stieg Larsson shortly before he died. The series has been picked up by another author who’s published book 4 and set to release number 5 later this year. This is my second favorite of the series, as nothing can compare to the first one, as it focused on family history and genealogy. Lisbeth is so tragic. And you want her to get revenge. And what happens to her over the course of a lifetime, let alone the last few years, is more than anyone one person should endure. No one ever should, but to inflict this on a single woman for no reason other than who her father is… awful, but it makes for intense and fantastic drama. This is a thriller of all thrillers. And whens he’s a victim and can’t do anything to protect herself for a big piece of the time, it’s a good thing she’s made some friends along the way. These are not easy books to read… unparalleled violence, but an amazing pay off, assuming you are cool with getting exacting revenge in just the same violent, nasty ways. And I am, especially given what has previously happened to her. Larsson must plan his books for months… floating tons of ideas around his head, trying to decide the perfect moments to drag readers through every possible difficult moment, praying we can get satisfaction, and then… it finally happens, and you love it… but still want even more. Great series of books. Big fan of the work. Recommend to anyone who can take the brutality, sexual content and gore that comes with it.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Point of Origin

Posted on Updated on

Point of Origin Book Review
3+ of 5 stars to Point of Origin, the 9th thriller in the “Kay Scarpetta” mystery and suspense series by Patricia Cornwell. I enjoyed this book a lot, especially given the focus around Lucy and Benton. Cornwell gives such depth to her characters, you can’t help but love and hate them at the same time. They feel incredibly real, and almost as if you’ve met them before. The suspense is at an all time high in this book. It’s a very psychological book, especially given the two parts of they stories and how/when they might come together. If you’re looking for strong characters, can take the blood and guts, and like being angry with your characters, this series is for you.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Bitter Medicine

Posted on Updated on

Bitter Medicine Book Review
4 of 5 stars to Bitter Medicine, the 4th book in the VI Warshawski mystery thriller series by Sara Paretsky. I really enjoyed this book, more than many of the others. In this installment, VI is trying to help out a friend, but things don’t go well and both the young girl and her newly born baby die. VI’s convinced a malpractice suit against the hospital is the right thing, but she’s unsure what’s lurking beneath the surface. The best part of this series is the character of Lotty. Lotty’s like a mother figure to VI. She is the only person to put VI in her place when she is acting a bit out of control. And when Lotty is in danger, VI is a force to be reckoned with. In this novel, Paretsky takes on health care, clinics, the hospital, insurance, fraud, surgery and policy and procedure. It’s a great story, full of deep characters and lots of information about the inner circle of how things really work. A bit dated, given it’s nearly 20+ years old, it perhaps still rings a little true these days.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: Three to Get Deadly

Posted on Updated on

Three to Get DeadlyBook Review
4 of 5 stars to Three to Get Deadly, the third book in the “Stephanie Plum” mystery series written by Janet Evanovich. This was one of the more funny books, as the cast of characters just keeps growing full of hilarity. And if you love ice cream, you need to read this one. Stephanie’s kinda like that cousin or old friend who keeps popping back into your life, kinda needs a favor, but is a kick ass person who just sometimes doesn’t know how to get things under control. But she keeps trying and eventually gets much closer. Often with your help. Evanovich gets in her stride in this series with this book, as she has a good, repeatable pattern and formula, but always throws a few surprises in. Good mystery in this one… tho it spans the gamut of ice cream and drugs!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

Review: The Cat Who Went Underground

Posted on Updated on

The Cat Who Went UndergroundBook Review
3 of 5 stars to The Cat Who Went Underground, the 9th book in the “Cat Who” cozy mystery series, written in 1989 by Lilian Jackson Braun. I adore this series. It’s just plain comfy home. Sure, the mystery isn’t too complex. Yes, sometimes it’s a little silly. But it’s just good, easy, fun reading. In this little escapade, Qwill and the cat are staying at a remote cabin, even more remote than Pickax itself. And another murder starts driving the cats a little batty. The cast of characters in this series just keeps growing, and they sorta feel like an extended family. Perfect for a rainy day when you just want to lull yourself into comfort.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews

365 Challenge: Day 62 – Soporific

Posted on Updated on

Soporific: tending to induce drowsiness or sleep

For several weeks, the word “sleepy” has been on my mind, when conjuring up the choice for the day’s 365 challenge; however, it never felt quite right. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to convey, and the image of Sleepy, one of the Seven Dwarfs, kept popping up in my head. That wasn’t exactly right…

I woke up early this morning, around 5:30 AM, which for a Saturday, despite what some may think, is early. As I made way thru the bedroom, to the hallway and into the kitchen, I switched on the coffee pot, let Ryder out the door and noticed it was raining again. Ryder was back inside in less than a minute, then I took the first cup of coffee and meandered my way to the couch. Light on. Laptop out. And… I was still sleepy. It wasn’t a matter of not having woken up yet; I needed more sleep, but the snore monster affected my other half again… and the sleep deities would not be kind to me.

I googled the word “sleepy,” which is when “soporific” showed up in the returned results. What a beautiful word! I’d heard it before, might have even used it once or twice, but never really knew the exact meaning. Now I do. And how does that apply to the 365 Daily Challenge, the astute are likely thinking as they read this randomness… am I a soporific person I asked myself… am I so boring that I induce sleep in others? Ha… given I am not a big talker, often find comfort in silence and am usually not the first in line to try some crazy new fad/activity/thing, perhaps I am a tad bit of a boring individual. Yet I don’t believe I cause others to fall asleep around me. I do have some interesting things about me that keep people focused and alert, wanting to know me better! Eh, that’s not the point. The point today… is…

What are your sleeping habits and how do they affect your day? Not scientifically. Not medically. But just generally… do you find yourself sleepy during the day? Do you need a nap to get thru the roughly 16 waking hours? Are you always on high alert until the energy wears out when you go to sleep? Does it take you a long time to fall asleep or wake up? Do you sleep all through the night? So many questions!

I am a creature of habit, so unless I’m going out particularly late or need to be somewhere extremely early… I tend to send myself to the bedroom around 10 PM. I go through all the apps on my phone to check out any notifications or messages, then grab a book (often Kindle on the iPad, but sometimes a physical one) and read for about 45 minutes or until my eyes are too weak to stay open. And I’m asleep between 11 and 11:30. I do not fall asleep easily. My mind runs through everything that occurred that day, what needs to happen the next day or any lists of things I need to do/get/buy. Sometimes the dog cannot get comfortable and circles the bed, throwing himself against my leg, jolting me out of the first level of sleep where I’m still sort of awake but not fully aware of what’s happening. Or the snoring from the other side of the bed mimics a lumberjack sawing wood, and I am throwing pillows or jostling the culprit in hopes it’ll whimper down to a low background noise. (RARELY HAPPENS)

But by 7 AM, I am usually awake and ready to start the next day, regardless of what creature or sound kept me awake. I’m not able to nap during the day either, unless I am so tired I can barely stand up.  And then it’s only 20 to 30 minutes. Be it the noises of the daytime, the dog licking me or my phone chirping… I never get to rest. On a funny note, Ryder does not like when I nap. He can nap all he wants… and gets upset if I make too much noise… getting up and putting himself in another room to avoid me. But if I nap, he walks up to me, licks my nose, barks at me, paws at me…  I can’t sleep in planes, trains or automobiles. It’s a conspiracy to prevent me from sleeping, I know it.

Now that I’ve bored you to tears, was it a soporific experience? Are you ready to fall asleep? That was entirely my point today… to randomly discuss my sleeping habits, gently lulling you to an induced temporary state where you could catch a 5 or 10 minute nap. All while I sit here and finish this 365 post. Always fun! Hope you laughed a bit. With the rain coming down, the coffee not being strong enough and my lack of sleep last night, that’s the best we’re gonna get today! So yes, perhaps I can be soporific. But rather than end on that note… here are a few things that do make me sleepy:

  1. Watching TV after 9 PM
  2. Watching plays at night if I’ve had a long work day
  3. Drinking too much wine after 9 PM
  4. People speaking at length on topics I am not interested in
  5. Reading non-fiction after 9 PM

Maybe 9 PM is just a thing with me? What’s your go-to, sure-fire way to fall asleep?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.