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review 2017-04-21 18:39
The Perfect Stranger: A Novel - Megan Miranda

Megan Miranda's debut novel, All the Missing Girls, was a smash hit last year and put her name on the map. Seriously, is there anyone who book blogs and isn't aware of this woman? I'd think not.


I somehow never got around to reading that book, though I do have it on my shelf. Instead, my first Miranda novel is her second outing, The Perfect Stranger. This one focuses on former reporter-turned-teacher Leah, who has recently moved in with an old college roommate and taken a teaching job in western Pennsylvania. One day, her roommate (Emmy Grey is her name) disappears . . . and it's almost as if she never existed at all. While that is going on, there is another mystery unfolding: a couple of people are found murdered in a nearby lake, and Leah seems to be the nucleus of all these strange happenings.


Truth be told, this novel's synopsis in any form is more exciting than the story itself. This one just plods, never finding its legs. The narrative has as much energy as I do after sixty minutes on the elliptical at the gym. Leah is a decent character, though, and I like that Miranda made her a teacher. I just like reading about that occupation; it's fun, for me. It doesn't particular serve or hurt the story in any way.


The Perfect Stranger just feels too safe. You can sense the author wanting to say more, do more; this story wants to be more, but it falls woefully short. It says nothing of import and leaves the reader sorely disappointed. I guessed the 'twist' (if it can be called that) at approximately the 5% mark. Oops. I haven't felt this let down by a novel since reading Ruth Ware's latest. Ugh.


I plan to read this author's debut novel at some point, simply because I always give writers two chances to impress (or disappoint) me. But that won't happen any time soon.


Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC (which I am just now getting around to reading and reviewing - sorry!), which was given in exchange for an honest review.

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text 2017-04-20 18:22
Reading progress update: I've read 62%.
The Perfect Stranger: A Novel - Megan Miranda

Still not sure if I like this one or not... 

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text 2017-03-01 17:20
Books I Read This Month (February 2017)
The Vanished Man - Jeffery Deaver
All the Missing Girls: A Novel - Ms. Megan Miranda

Image result for february


Geez, I am in some kind of way this morning. Stress due to work and a friend who is having a bad time and has deleted all of his social media and I just want to run out of work and make sure that he's okay. At least he's responding to texts. Sorry my brain is not with books right now.


I read 45 books/graphic novels/comics this month which is pretty good. My goal for 2017 is to read 337 books and I am at 21 percent at this point in time (72 out of 337 books).


My favorite book I read this month was "The Vanished Man" by Jeffrey Deaver. My least favorite book read this month was "All The Missing Girls" by Megan Miranda. 


Please note that my ratings below are based on my ratings on Goodreads. It makes it easier for me to post them here instead of breaking it out by half stars like I usually do. 


5 stars


Ravished by Amanda QuickLove Irresistibly by Julie JamesAngels Flight by Michael ConnellyTrunk Music by Michael Connelly


Lost Light by Michael ConnellyDark Tower by Robin FurthThe Closers by Michael ConnellyDark Tower by Robin Furth


Wolverine by Jeff LemireStephen King's Dark Tower by Robin FurthEcho Park by Michael ConnellyThe Vanished Man by Jeffery Deaver


The Murder on the Links by Agatha ChristieThe Cold Moon by Jeffery DeaverCrooked House by Agatha Christie


4 stars


The Secret by Julie GarwoodJessica Jones (2016-) #2 by Brian Michael BendisSuddenly One Summer by Julie JamesJessica Jones (2016-) #4 by Brian Michael Bendis


Jessica Jones (2016-) #3 by Brian Michael BendisWolverine by Jeff LemireNorse Mythology by Neil GaimanBitter Is the New Black by Jen Lancaster


The Drop by Michael ConnellyThree Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell


3 stars


Wires and Nerve by Marissa MeyerSecrets to the Grave by Tami HoagA Darkness More Than Night by Michael ConnellyJust Say Yes by Rosalind James


It Happened One Wedding by Julie JamesWolverine by Jeff LemireMy Not So Perfect Life by Sophie KinsellaThe Overlook by Michael Connelly


Nine Dragons by Michael ConnellyThe Black Box by Michael ConnellyThe Broken Window by Jeffery DeaverDark Matter by Blake Crouch


2 stars


The Distance Between Us by Kasie WestTrade Me by Courtney MilanIn Twenty Years by Allison Winn ScotchThe Burning Room by Michael Connelly


The Crossing by Michael ConnellyApprentice in Death by J.D. Robb


1 star


Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel CohnAll the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

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review 2017-02-21 14:14
Considering One is A Woman Who Goes Missing the Title is Also Messed Up
All the Missing Girls: A Novel - Megan Miranda

This book was terrible. Besides a gimmick of telling the main story backwards (which I swear I have seen before in books like "The Secret History") there was nothing appealing about this book. The main character was terrible, her family was terrible, and there was no development at all with secondary characters. I didn't get a sense of anyone at all and when I got to the letdown of an ending I was really ticked I had wasted any time at all with this.


Nicolette (or Nic) is reluctant to return to her hometown. We know that she is still haunted by her best friend Corrine that disappeared years ago. Nic left town and ended up going to school and settling in Philadelphia. She met a great guy named Everett and is finally engaged. However she feels stunted by her past and when her brother Daniel calls her to help with selling their family home she goes. Deciding to take two months off to help her brother Daniel, Nic is quickly confronted with an old boyfriend (Tyler) who is now dating Corrine's younger sister Annaleise. Things go sideways for Nic again though when Annaleise goes missing just like Corrine did years ago.


Nic sucks. Sorry, when you eventually go from day 15 back to day 1 you have all of these things revealed which just makes her a small and just messed up person. I don't see any "Gone Girl" comparisons here since with Amazing Amy you get a really cool reveal about her. Telling the book backwards like she did, Miranda hid things until they were revealed earlier on which doesn't work. There were so many plot holes that I skipped counting them after a while.


I had so many questions about Nic's family, but everything dealing with her father and brother Daniel was vague. There is barely any dialogue by the way by anyone in this story. So you are fully immersed in Nic's head at all times. People's motivations for doing anything was murky and downright stupid at times.


Tyler is pathetic from beginning to end. I still don't get what drew him to Nic or her to him. Once again I am going to blame this on the writing though. Maybe if Miranda had told the story with the setup of everyone involved and then jumped to the present it would have worked better. But instead we just glimpses of Tyler and everyone else in this book through the count back day gimmick. And Tyler acting like a spurned lover though he has been dating and having sex with other women and Nic acting like they had this bond was ridiculous. Once again I am going to blame that on the narrative structure.


The writing I found to be so-so. Honestly, there was way too much tell going on here. And I had a hard time with even understanding why thing on day 15 would be vague since by then Nic obviously knows what happens and who did what. You can't do it that way and then have readers go the whole way to day 1 and all of a sudden things suddenly make sense. Frankly Miranda should have said on day 15 what went on and who did what and then you can work forward that way. This makes me think a little bit of "The Secret History". "The Secret History" worked better for me even though you have the reveal of who did what and who was murdered upfront. You get to work forward (or backwards in a way) and get to see what was the final incident that caused the murder.


The setting of this small town does not come alive at all. Probably because of the structure of the book. Besides Nic and Daniel's childhood home no place felt "real" to me while reading.


The ending was a joke and a half.

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review 2017-02-12 17:58
All The Missing Girls
All the Missing Girls: A Novel - Ms. Megan Miranda

They were high school friends, just out having fun one night when something goes wrong. What really happened that night and why are all the stories all different? Why was this case never solved? That was ten years ago.


Nicolette is coming back home to get her father’s home ready to sell. He’s been in a rehab center and his plans to return back home to her childhood home are never going to materialize, so the kids are putting the house on the market. Her brother has started the process but Nic has two months off and they should be able to finish the process this summer. Tyler, Nicolette’s old boyfriend is doing work on the house to get the house in working condition. Old memories creep into Nic as she arrives back home. It’s been ten years since her childhood best friend went missing. What happened to Corinne that night at the fair?


Nic runs into Tyler immediately. They each are seeing other individuals, Tyler is dating Annaleise, a girl whose parent’s property aligns with Nic’s father’s and Nic is engaged. It hits the next day. Annaleise goes missing. Where did she go? It’s been exactly ten years since Corrinne disappeared, is this a coincidence? Let the drama begin…..

I felt that the story did a lot of jumping, from 2 weeks back, the day before, Day 14, Day 13, Day 12, etc. I know that it takes talent to write a story backwards, so I have to respect an author who can achieve this. I however didn’t like how this story worked itself backwards. I found myself stopping and telling myself exactly what I was reading in the story. It was confusing, it took away from my whole reading experience and I began to wonder perhaps I should have read this book backwards. Would I have enjoyed this novel more, had I read this book backwards? I thought the story itself was great but I felt that it wasn’t as suspenseful as it could have been because I was stopping all the time and analyzing what was happening.

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