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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-17 23:02
Book review : YOU Caroline Kepnes
You: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes

September 29- October 11

        When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card. There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting. As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder. This book was all kinds of fucked up but I really enjoyed it . 

Review :This book is about Joe who becomes obsessed with a girl who came into the bookstore he works at he ends up stalking her and ends up taking the guy she's fucking hostage and eventually kills him . Beck and Joe are both terrible people Beck is very fake and her friend peach is totally obsessed with her . Joe and Beck end up dating and what I think is more creepy about this book it's not saying Beck it says YOU . Joe realizes peach is in his way and tries to kill her also and eventually does . Beck pulls away from Joe and Joe ends up seeing someone else but he's still obsessed with Beck but they end up getting back together but she finds out about everything all the creepy stuff of her's he was storing and he keeps her hostage in the bookstore in the basement and he ends up killing her this book was so fucked up .

       

Quotes : The problem with books is that they end. They seduce you. They spread their legs to you and pull you inside. And you go deep and leave your possessions and your ties to the world at the door and you like it inside and you don't want for your possessions or your ties and then, the book evaporates.”

 

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review 2017-10-17 20:13
We Have Always Lived in the Castle ★★★★☆
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson,Bernadette Dunne

Shirley Jackson is so good at taking us inside the heads of characters who really don’t fully understand how disturbed they are, and neither do we, until we do. And that a-ha moment, when clarity hits. This story leaves me with even more questions about what is real or not and fascinated with the dynamics between individual characters, their family unit, and between them and the townsfolk. And maybe it’s because I was reading Carpe Jugulum at the same time, I couldn’t help thinking of

those final scenes in terms of classic stories of villagers becoming a howling mob with torches and pitchforks to storm the castle where the monster lives. Or maybe that was intentional on the author's part. The girls in their isolation in that big old house with their almost mythic backstory of murder really kind of fit the monster in the castle and angry, frightened villagers, don't they?

(spoiler show)

 

Audiobook via Audible. Bernadette Dunn’s performance is as outstanding as it was for The Haunting of Hill House.

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review 2017-10-17 04:03
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novel - Mark T. Sullivan

5 stars for story

4 stars for narration

4.5 stars overall

 

I loved this. It's easily the best thing that has come out of Amazon Kindle First ever, and I'm so glad I picked it up. 

 

This is a "novel" only because the author wasn't able to verify all the facts of the story that Pino Lella told him about his time in Italy during the last two years of the war. As it explains in the foreword, a lot of documents were "lost" after the war, and many people who lived through it chose not to talk about it and simply let it fade into history. Being unable to 100% verify every detail, the author decided to call it a novel, but it is a biography. 

 

As such, I can't really critique this the same way I normally would any other story. These are real people and real events. There's no ultimate struggle of good vs evil (well, there is but as we all know, humans are complicated and things aren't always so black and white) and there are no tropes to rely on or subvert. This is just what happened, and it's both inspiring and infuriating. 

 

Without giving too much away - and assuming you're not a WWII history buff and might know some of these details already - Pino Lella was seventeen when the war came to Italy, and in order to avoid being conscripted and forced to fight on the German front in Poland, where many Italians pressed into service were losing their lives, he instead "volunteered" to work for Operation Todt. All he knew about it was that it was less likely to get him killed and would keep him off the warfront. Things don't go as planned and he ends up in a prime position to work for the resistance, getting them valuable information that helped the Allied invasion. 

 

For the first third of the book, things move pretty slowly. Pino is at first hidden in the mountains near the Switzerland border and helps refugees escape over the border. When his parents bring him back to Milan, things start to pick up and slowly get more complicated. And yet, things seem to almost go too well. Then the end of the war is in sight, and that's when things really hit the fan. The writing in the last third is especially strong and emotive, and I really had to work not to cry in the car as I listened to this on my daily commute. 

 

As for the narrator, Will Damron, he takes the Kevin Costner approach to accents. I would honestly have no accent at all than to listen to a really horrible Italian accent, so I wasn't bothered by this. He does do a decent German accent though. He's very clear and easy to follow along with, and he reads at a good pace. At first, his narration was almost matter-of-fact, but he can really bring the emotions when it's called for. I would say for the most part, he's a 3 star narrator, but the ending was strong enough to bump it up to 4 stars. (And he's certainly popular with audiobooks, so he has his fans.)

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review 2017-10-16 01:58
Dark Matter ★★★★☆
Dark Matter - Michelle Paver

Although technically a ghost story, the real horror for me is the sense of creeping dread and isolation and loneliness as the last man left in the endless night of an arctic camp. Most chilling of all is the man’s horror at contemplating the afterlife should he perish there and become a ghost himself – not just a winter of endless night alone, but an eternity.

 

Audiobook via Audible. Jeremy Northam proves he’s as wonderful an audio narrator as he is an actor, which certainly isn’t true of everyone.

 

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review 2017-10-14 19:55
The Haunting of Maddy Clare ★★★★☆
The Haunting of Maddy Clare - Simone St. James,Pamela Garelick

This could have been a much better book with a 75% reduction in Romance. And I do mean Romance with a capital R. Including the tortured Hero and shy, plain, Heroine who doesn’t realize that she’s actually pretty and despairs over having a great big jiggly bosom when 1920’s fashion is cut for boobless figures. Because what man would find big boobs attractive?!?

 

Still, the ghost story and murder mystery stuff were good enough to overcome all that. If I gave half-stars on ratings this would be 3 ½ so I rounded up to 4 stars.

 

Audiobook via Audible, with performance by Pamela Garelick, who did a great job on pacing and voicing the characters. Not sure how she did on the sex scenes, I FFed through those.

 

Thanks to Murder by Death for the book/author rec. This is the second Simone St. James book I’ve read, since you rec’d this book to me, and I have a third (An Inquiry Into Love and Death) on my TBR.

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