So, according to the...err...data among my friends, I'm a bit of an outlier here.
I thoroughly enjoyed this second chance. It was a total mess of a real life-type second chance. None of the characters were perfect, and the story itself was crafted well enough to wrap around me like a hug. It's isn't the best romance, but in terms of Bowen, this hits a higher note on my scale.
The solidly mature hero, who made a huge mistake, but was open, honest and loving was a huge selling point. The prickly heroine who had a heart of gold and worked her ass off wasn't too shabby either.
Sure, a couple of points pissed me off. And yes, at times I felt Mike was out-of-bounds in his pursuit. Just like I felt Lauren looked a bit unreasonably reluctant. What do I like though?
+Lauren makes friends. Yay for gal pals
+Lauren and Mike are reasonably open and adult with each other
+There was no malicious feelings toward the "others" in their complicated relationship. And each person seemed to own up to their failures and take responsibility.
+I really did feel for Lauren; her hurt was deep and didn't just disappear upon further explanation.
I've had this on my radar for awhile. Noticed the library had this on Overdrive audio and thought "I need to give that a try." So I listened to this on my commute this past week., narrated by Mindy Kaling herself. I found myself laughing out loud, she's got an excellent sense of humor. I'm a year older (yes, I'm turning 40 in April, holy shit!), so we can of age about the same time. Best of all, she came across as someone I can relate to. Bonus: she's nice, intelligent, talented, and opinionated.
Bossypants is next!
~ABOUT THE BOOK~
It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.
But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's most high-profile company, and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.
Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.
With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of the question, can you ever outrun your past?
~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~
Krysten Ritter, who plays Jessica Jones on the Netflix series, wrote a novel. It's not bad, either. Bonfire is compulsively readable or listenable, considering I did listen. The mystery is atmospheric and layered. The characters are clearly flawed.
On the surface, it reads like another small town girl who was tormented in high school returns home to face her enemies and bring down the company that is her hometown's savior…Erin Brockovich style. Then somewhere along the way it turned into something much more lascivious and diabolical than poisoned water.
While not without its flaws, and despite my confusion with the MC's constant state of drunkenness and her dreamlike memories that come to surface whenever she is in this state (it seemed to me that she never remembered how she came to be drunk in the first place), I found this to be an engaging read. After my last two Audiobooks, I needed something that I would like, and this stepped up to the plate.
3.8/5 STARS - GRADE=B
~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~
Main Characters~ 3.8/5
Secondary Characters~ 4/5
The Feels~ 4/5
Theme or Tone~ 3.5/5
Flow (Writing Style)~ 3.8/5
Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5
Ending~ 4/5 Cliffhanger~ Nope.
Book Cover~ I like it…it goes well with the story
Narration~ My Grade for the narration by Karissa Vacker is a B+, I found her voice is easily listenable.
Setting~ Barrens, Indiana
Source~ Audiobook (Library)