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review 2018-07-21 14:39
An unsettling page turner recommended to lovers of first-person narratives.
The Party - Lisa Hall

Thanks to NetGalley and to HQ for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

This is an unsettling novel. It starts with a woman, Rachel, who wakes up after a New Year’s Eve party not remembering what has happened and feeling quite vulnerable, and as she tries to get her bearings and find out what went on, while keeping face (as she’s in one of her neighbours’ houses and feels more than a little embarrassed), she comes to realise that something horrible has taken place. The author’s use of first-person narration immerses the readers in Rachel’s mind and makes us share in her fear, confusion, and contradictory feelings. There is physical evidence that something has happened to her, but she cannot recall what, or who might have done the deed.

The story moves between the immediate aftermath of the story, in chronological order, and interspersed chapters that share the events prior to the party, always from the protagonist’s point of view, but they don’t reach into the faraway past and only takes us a few months back, giving us some background that helps us understand why the people closest to Rachel (especially her husband, Gareth) react as they do to the events.

In the present time, somebody starts playing with the protagonist, in a game of cat-and-mouse (which sometimes takes on gaslighting characteristics) and manages to make her doubt herself and everybody around her, from mere acquaintances to those closest and dearest to her.  The first-person point of view works well at making readers feel the claustrophobia, paranoia, anxiety, and sheer terror of not knowing who to trust and seeing your whole life crumble around you.

The book, which fits into the domestic noir category, uses well some of the tropes of the genre, including the protagonist who feels trapped and not taken seriously by the police and therefore has to do her own investigating. There are also plenty of red herrings and a number of credible suspects that make us keep turning the pages to see what will happen next, although readers of thrillers will probably guess who the culprit is (I did).

On the negative side, personally, I did not feel a connection to the characters, particularly Rachel. I empathised with her circumstances, and with the terrible crime she has survived, but I did not feel there is enough information provided about her to create a credible individual. One of the other characters at some point talks about her belief that she is a strong woman, and I wondered what that was based on, as we are only given snippets of her current life and her recent past, and nothing that makes her come alive (What does she like? What did she do before she got married? Does she have any passions, apart from her relationships? She has a friend but other than calling her for support, there is no indication of what that friendship is based on). She does things that are morally questionable, but that was not my issue (I have long defended unlikable main characters, but I still need to feel that they are real, somehow). I wondered if this was intentional, trying to make sure that everybody would be able to identify with Rachel and her plight, rather than making her too distinctive and individual, but, for me at least, the opposite is the truth, and we know enough about her to make her different from us, but not perhaps to make us feel as if we know who she is. This would not bother me so much in a standard plot-driven thriller, but when the book depends so closely on the protagonist’s voice and on her sense of identity, it didn’t gel for me. There were also some things that I thought readers who are not fond of first-person narratives might find annoying (like the character looking at herself in the mirror as a way of providing us a description, something that is frown upon in general writing advice, and a leaning towards telling rather than showing in the bulk of the writing).

The novel moves at a good pace, it creates doubt and hesitation in the readers’ minds, and it has a good sense of timing. And the ending will probably satisfy most fans of the genre. It also touches on an important and, sadly, topical subject, although it does not cover new ground. It brought to my mind C.L.Taylor’s The Fear and I noticed the author, Lisa Hall, had reviewed that novel. I have not read the author’s previous books, but I am curious to see how this compares to her other novels.

A page-turner I recommend to lovers of domestic noir, particularly those who enjoy claustrophobic and unsettling first-person narratives.

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text 2018-07-11 04:47
Find the Most Reputed Kids Party Entertainment

What can be more exciting than planning for your kids birthday party with good visitors? Well, for this, you should never make the mistake to think that you can manage the gathering all yourself. It would be quite hectic to manage the party where you would not have much time to take care of your guests, entertainment, foods, etc.

 

 

Therefore, in order to lower your burden, you should try to seek the best entertainment group that would make your guest busy with their unique and beautiful performances. The best one would also make sure that it turns out to be the most memorable event for your guests. Your kids would really feel special for organizing such a big event.

 

So, in order to make your best choice for kids party entertainment, you should definitely try to connect with the best performers at Rumple and Friends. This would surely be the perfect decision where your guests would be enthralled by our breath-taking performances.

 

You would also find that by choosing us, you have been able to get the maximum good entertainment in the best way. Our professionally trained performers always make sure that you get the perfect entertainment. Our performers have got their own style, where you would be able to enjoy the best time. Kids and adults would really appreciate our performances that would, in turn, make your family feel proud of the best choice that you have made.

 

Therefore, you can always make the best decision to connect with our team of expert performers that would make the evening a grand one. We come up with different party ideas such as Rumple the Clown, Pirate Pete, etc that would really prove to be quite unique as well. A party is not completed without the best acts of magic. So, here at Rumple and Friends, you can expect the best children's party magician where it would prove to be the most interesting event.

 

We would make sure that your guests would be captivated by our perfect magic and tricks which they have never witnessed before in their life. So, by choosing the best entertainment group by connecting with us, you would surely find it to be the best performance by us. You can have a look at our party gallery which would help you in getting a good idea of our services. We would make the best attempt to make your child’s birthday event an unforgettable evening.

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text 2018-07-10 18:45
June 2018-That's A Wrap!
Providence: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah
Hyenas - Michael Sellars
The Tea Party - Charles L. Grant,Matt Godfrey
Lucifer, Book One - Neil Gaiman,Ryan Kelly,James Hodgkins,Dean Ormston,Peter Gross,Chris Weston,Scott Hampton,Mike Carey
The Cabin at the End of the World - Paul Tremblay
Sea of Rust - C. Robert Cargill
They Feed - Jason Parent
The Woman in the Woods - John Connolly
An Exorcism of Angels - Stephanie M. Wytovich,Corinne Gahan

I only read 11 books last month! 

 

 

Graphic Novels

 

 

Lucifer, Book One by Mike Carey 5*

 

Total: 1

 

Novellas

 

Total: 0

 

Audiobooks 

 

Born a Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood by Trevor Noah 5*

The Tea Party by Charles Grant, narrated by Matt Godfrey 4*

An Exorcism of Angels by Stephanie M. Wytovich, (poetry) narrated by Corinne Gahan 4*

Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill, narrated by Eva Kaminski 3.5*

 

Total: 4

 

ARCS/Reads for Review

 

Hyenas by Michael Sellars 4*

Providence by Caroline Kepnes 4.5*

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay 4*

The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly 5*

Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets & Outright Lies From a Lifetime of Writing for The Simpsons by Mike Reiss 4*

They Feed by Jason Parent 4*

 

Total: 6

 

 

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

Challenge: Read 40 Books Already on my TBR

 

1. City of the Dead by Brian Keene

2. The Warblers by Amber Fallon

3. October by Michael Rowe

4. It's A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World by Curtis Lawson

5. Bad Pennies by John Leonard

6.Cold in July by Joe Lansdale

7. Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

 

 Running Total: 85

 

 

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review 2018-06-17 21:58
Tea Party Rules ★★★★☆
Tea Party Rules - Ame Dyckman,K.G. Campbell

Cub will put up with almost anything to eat cookies, but he can’t suppress his essential bear nature forever. I’m not sure what the moral is here, or if there is one, but poor little Cub is so relatable, and the illustrations are great.

 

Hardcover, borrowed from my public library

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review 2018-06-13 13:47
Yacht in Goa

A trip to Goa is incomplete without a yacht party in Goa organized by Champions Yacht Club. We can customize the yacht as per your cruise packages needs- photoshoots, bachelor parties, corporate gatherings and so on. Take some time off from your busy schedule and enjoy with the best people and an open bar, lovely deck and picture perfect moments!

Source: www.championsyachtclub.com
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