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review 2015-08-24 00:00
The Renegade
The Renegade - Amy Dunne The Renegade - Amy Dunne For 95% of the book, it looked to be a 5-starrer. Then it all fell apart--very rushed and inexplicable ending :(

Renegade is a dystopian post-apocalyptic tale similar in theme to "The Handmade's Tale" but much smaller in scope. Overall the book itself is written in a very straightforward and workmanlike manner. No fancy or long-winded prose but it efficiently gets the point across and the plot flows briskly.

It follows the adventures of Alex, a survivor of a mysterious 'Red Death' that kills off most of the human race. Her attempts to find other survivors lead her to danger, lasting friendships and a seemingly impossible love. The problem is, for all the training she got from her dad, Alex isn't very good at reading people, nor is she very tactful or careful, and sometimes her actions are just plain dumb, which was infuriating at times. None of these detracted from my enjoyment of the book, however, as Alex is young and brash, and basically, who wouldn't be this confused in a similarly desperate situation. The author's depiction of this bleak and violent dystopian world and its resulting power imbalances is not far-fetched, though somewhat simplistic. But her smart choice to limit the breadth of the book to a small subset of this world lets the author focus on telling the story of the two women's struggle, making the book very appealing and enjoyable to lesfic genre readers.

Like I said, I loved the book until the last 5%. This is the point where the author has wrote her characters into such a corner that there seems to be no way out. At least not in the time frame that they needed to effect their escape. But maybe because she's running out of pages to tell her story, she chose to use what for me was a deus ex machina to solve their dilemma. Okay, maybe keener readers might have seen it, but I didn't (I was somewhat distracted, lol). But nonetheless, another 20 or so pages would probably have sufficed to illuminate the reader on why it happened the way it did. Also there were some instances when logic was sacrificed for the requisite romance and erotic scenes. I also didn't like that for all the build-up and the feminist tone of the book, it felt like our heroines did very little in the end to bring about their own fate and had to rely on a man to save them. The awful thing was they were hardly trying and too busy being in love. And that goes for both MCs. I was particularly disappointed in Evelyn. The brave and headstrong doctor was amazing--standing up to the bullies despite being their virtual prisoner, fighting for other women's rights even at her own peril. I had high hopes for Evelyn. She was strong, resilient and smart but in the end, she was just an emotional mess. Pregnancy hormones maybe? Or falling hopelessly in love? The end is quite a bit of a letdown. Maybe if the author hadn't raised my expectations so high...

In summary, this is just another above average, enjoyable lesfic read. Dark and gritty, with a sprinkling of cute and romantic and a good mix of action. Well-balanced for a genre romance, but it could have been better.

Received ARC copy from Netgalley.

4.2 stars
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review 2014-04-06 15:38
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
“Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.”

I don't know how many times I've tried to craft a coherent review. I blame it on this book, because after 3 days my brain is still in the blender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

❄︎ the story ❄︎

When Amy Dunne disappears from her home on her fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne becomes the number one suspect. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media--as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents--the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter--but is he really a killer?

 

The first half of the story was meh, but once you hit 52% (Part Two), the action really kicks in. And by action I mean mind-fuckery. Of epic proportions.

 

One thing I can say is that Gone Girl will leave you on the edge of your seat. You think you know what's going on but in reality, you've barely even scratched the surface. The layers of effed up-ness is never ending. 

 

❄︎ the characters ❄︎

∙ Nick Dunne ∙

“Love makes you want to be a better man. But maybe love, real love, also gives you permission to just be the man you are.”

Well, I sincerely hope not. Because you, Nick, are an asshole.

 

Where to even begin with this train wreck of a man? I would have arrested him with 20 minutes of meeting him. That's how suspicious he was always acting. I understand the he and his wife weren't going to win any awards for Best Marriage but his behavior couldn't have been any more damning/idiotic. “Like a child, I picture opening her skull, unspooling her brain and sifting through it.” *facepalm* this is now how you convince me of your innocent, Nick! There were so many lies and omissions, you'd think as the reader you'd be able to discern between what was true and what wasn't since you're privy to his thoughts but no, he has the nasty habit of being able to lie in his thoughts too. Most of the time, I didn't know what was real and what was fake. ∙ Amy Dunne ∙

“It was silly but incredibly sweet, these people spending so much energy trying to figure me out.”

 

Oh, Amy. So much to say and yet, I'd spoil everything.

Everyone else ∙ I can't say there was a single character that I actually liked, but they were all well developed and contributed to the story perfectly. 

 

❄︎ overall ❄︎

Very interesting and fast-paced once you hit the 50% mark. This is a good, suspenseful mystery that'll have you thinking and reeling until the very last page. Literally.

 

Final rating: 3.5 stars

 

Awesome Buddy Read With: Amy (Foxy)TomKristin (KC)Sarah (SB) ღVeraJenAmy (BW)

Source: todreamwitheyesopen.wordpress.com/2014/04/06/book-review-gone-girl-by-gillian-flynn
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-01-17 23:03
Secret Lies - Amy Dunne

 I snagged a copy of this book from Netgalley when it was available as a 'Read It Now'.

An enjoyable contemporary lesbian romance. Which is always nice to see in YA books. When I read the blurb it was the relationship that appealed to me - nobody girl falls in love with popular girl and have a secret relationship.

Some mild plot spoilers. 

The two girls in the story Nicola and Jenny are very different, Jenny is from a good wholesome Catholic family, whole her parents believe Jenny is a good girl - Jenny has a secret life of partying, sex, drugs and drinking. Jenny lives in the shadow of her perfect bitch of an older sister Elizabeth. While Nicola is a nobody, suffering terrible horrific abuse from her mother's live in boyfriend. 

I didn't particularly like Jenny from the start - she comes off as rather bitchy herself and selfish. She has some serious issues

 self harming but she is seeing a councillor and getting help by herself (her parents have no idea

(spoiler show)

but at least she's trying to deal while keeping up with the image she's set for herself. She's chatting with some friends and they see Nicola walking past, a weird girl in trousers and long sleeves even though its hot weather. They make fun of her for being a freak.

Nicola's introduction is rather graphic, the abuse she suffers is awful and its shown right off. Its impossible not to feel for her. I did find her the much more likeable of the two girls. Even though Nicola can be stand offish and bitchy herself, though given her circumstances I found it easier to accept her. I just didn't like Jenny.

How they meet and get together and become friends is rather unbelievable, but the story progresses and the two get to know each other and realise they have more than friends feelings for each other. I found it interesting, even though Jenny as a character doesn't appeal to me personally, I can completely see why Nicola fell for her. Both try to open up though Jenny is more reluctant after their first kiss. It does get all angsty and a sort of will they won't they but its fairly obvious where its going.

There's also that feeling that something is going to go wrong at some point. Nicola has escaped from her abuser and ends up staying with Jenny, Jenny makes up a story to convince her parents to let Nicola stay. Jenny's parents were lovely people. Kind and helpful and really nice. Though as Catholics Jenny thinks they won't be accepting at all of a lesbian relationship between her and Nicola. So they keep their relationship a secret. And it looks like everything going smoothly but then....

There's a boat load of more drama thrown in when Elizabeth, Jenny's horrible overachieving perfect sister shows up. What a bitch! The drama goes a little overboard, and it was getting a little...irritating leaving me thinking oh come on, now what's going to go wrong?

Though I have to admit, Jenny really did come through for Nicola and did grow as a person by the end of the novel. The characters were well fleshed out and even though some of the story and plot was annoying and unbelievable, I did find the book to be a good absorbing read.

So thank you Bold Stroke Books and Netgalley for the opportunity to view this title a 'Read It Now'

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text SPOILER ALERT! 2014-01-13 23:04
Some thoughts on Gone Girl (the movie)

movies-gone-girl-ew-cover.jpg (618×824)

(Cover and article can be found here)

 

Nice way to keep people talking.

 

I have a few questions and concerns about the casting and age difference between the two leads, Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

 

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review 2013-10-31 16:50
Secret Lies
Secret Lies - Amy Dunne

Thanks to Netgalley for a free copy for an honest review. Since Goodreads hasn't added this book yet to it's archive, review will be just posted here, for the moment.

 

This book was pretty good. It was realistic, and very dark tale of abuse and healing.

 

One of the girls was a cutter, so if that is triggering, probably not a good book for you to read. The same girl, in my opinion, has undiagnosed BPD. Which in itself not a bad thing.

 

 

 

 

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