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Book Review: The Date by Louise Jensen

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4.5 stars to the thrilling mystery novel, The Date, written by Louise Jensen and published in 2018. I always look forward to savoring a creepy and well-written suspenseful story, and this one definitely delivered a strong and fantastic punch. Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy.

Have you ever woken up and forgotten what happened the night before? I’m sure it’s happened to all of us at some point. Most of the time we recover those memories. Then again, most of the time we also recognize our own face in the mirror. Unfortunately for Ali, neither is happening when she wakes up one morning after a date with some online mystery man that her friends convinced her to finally take a chance with. She’s separated from her husband, trying to figure out how to move forward after some problems, and suffers from something traumatic in her childhood. All three of these things remain center stage as Ali tries to piece together the night without telling her friends or brother that she doesn’t have a full memory or can’t recognize people’s faces anymore. Something happened to her and the blood and head wound must be the place to start.

This is a psychological horror of a novel — in a good way. It’s well-written and not medically technical on any level. Enough details are explained so readers know why she can’t remember and what type of reality this is in the world. Although rare, if a certain part of the brain is injured, it’s possible to not continue to remember what someone looks like. Ali’s other senses need to step up, but it doesn’t seem to be happening quickly enough. When her roommate disappears, Ali starts wondering if maybe she’s the one who did something bad and not the other way around. Even the police grow suspicious, but she continues to receive support from 3 or 4 people. We all know one of them is lying, but it’s not easy to tell what’s happened behind the scenes. Is it the brother? The aunt? The best friend? The guy next door? The hypnotist? The soon-to-be husband? Or someone else lurking in the night and scaring her with notes and messages all over the house.

I read this book all in one day. I started in the morning before the gym and assumed I’d read 30 or 40 pages to see if I liked the book. Next thing I know, I’m 200 pages in and late for the gym. I had to finish reading later in the afternoon and I’ve held off writing the review because it’s so hard determining what to say without giving away the plot. I kinda figured out what was going on, or at least who was behind it all. But the reason blew me away. I wasn’t expecting to find out the true details of the past so late in the game, but as soon as they were revealed, the whole story made sense to me. Great job, Jensen. I’m definitely going to be reading more of your novels.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read 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 find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also 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. 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. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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365 Challenge: Day 64 – Camera-Ready

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Camera-ready: (1) photogenic, in the right form and of good enough quality to be reproduced photographically onto a printing plate, (2) ready and able to take a picture

Today’s word has a double-meaning, at least when I think about how it applies to me. When people hear the word “camera-ready,” they likely think about whether they’re ready to go live on-air, but since most of us are not in the television or video profession where we have to spend a few extra minutes on our appearance, the definition is slightly different. It really means “are we ready to have our photo taken?” And the answer for me is undoubtedly “NO!”

For a variety of reasons, I am not a photogenic person. And this is not a commentary on whether I believe I am attractive or good-looking. The camera and I, be it video or photo, have a mutual hate/hate relationship. Here is why the camera is always cruel to me:

  1. A camera is only supposed to add 10 pounds, but I’m special and it allots 20 pounds for me. And in the weirdest places…
  2. Cameras find the devil inside me and show the brightest shade of red in place of my eyes. “Reality shining through?” I question…
  3. Even if I can find a tiny little smile to actually show up (smiling feels forced and awkward for me!), the camera decides only to take or keep the ones with the flat smile or the frown.
  4. Despite every intention I have of looking directly into the lens and holding still, I come out blurry and with my eyes in the middle of blinking. Next time I plan to try to glue them open.
  5. I’ve confessed to being quite pale, but the camera thinks of me as a ghost and chooses to lighten it up even more, almost to the point of translucent skin. I might be part vampire.

Five is enough, though I could go on forever. Whether it’s a good camera or a bad one, a friend taking the photo or a selfie, or even when I had a few done by a professional photographer for LinkedIn or school photos, I’m a mess in it. And it’s not the photographer’s fault… it’s just me! But I am OK with it. We are not all camera-ready. But I am envious of those who are able to just turn around so the flash catches them in the right position, and they end up looking perfect.

How???? OK, I’ll stop ranting. If you’re lucky enough to be one of those people, cherish it. It’s a good talent or skill or natural ability to have. I could never be an actor, nor anyone in front of the camera as part of my job. And if I ever become famous and need to do TV spots or videos, I’ll find a stand-in. It’ll be better for everyone involved… what should take 30 seconds to capture the right look will undoubtedly take 30 minutes for me.

But that’s not the only problem I have with a camera. I cannot take a good picture to save my life. Love that expression, by the way… “Take my photo. And if it’s not perfect, I’ll kill you!” That’ll probably be how I leave this planet some time in the future. A random drive-by camera-skills death. Gives new meaning to the phrase, “Stop or I’ll shoot.”

I’m also not inclined to retrieve my phone or a camera to take the photo. It’s not something that naturally happens in my mind. Some people are always snapping photos, sending them away on SnapChat or Instagram. By the time I get it all sorted out, I’m exhausted and then to try to upload it and provide some witty comment… it’s not the technical know-how… I’m good with all things digital. I just find the whole process tedious. But I love looking at other people’s photos… my better-half has given me a photo album as one of my Christmas presents for the last 5 years, highlighting all the photos of us and our friends and family from that previous year. All the photos are loaded onto our AppleTV as the screensaver, which means anytime the screen is not moving (and you’re not actively watching a show), thousands of random photos circulate. Kinda fun to see everything show up from over the years from both our families.

So… when it comes to the camera, I’m not strong on either side of it. I leave that to other people. The best I can manage is the occasional group shot for other people, when randomly asked on the street to take someone else’s photo. And I’m fine with that… we can’t be good at everything all the time. And I like to admit my faults. Wait… no, I don’t. Ugh, why don’t I just end here for today.

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.