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review 2015-04-28 00:00
We Were Liars
We Were Liars - E. Lockhart


We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There's a ridiculous amount of feels and tears right now. Lots of angst.

 

We Were Liars is about Cadence Sinclair Easton, one of THE Sinclairs. The clan is tall, square chinned, and dripping old money. They are perfect, happy, and always right. At least, this is what Cadence tells us in the first chapter.Actually, very little is how it seems as first. Cadence is most definitely an unreliable narrator. She has selective amnesia and is on high doses of pain killers thanks to an accident that no one wants to talk about.

 

In a lot of ways, I felt sorry for poor little rich Cadence with her God complex grandfather and WASP-y mother. Especially when I read things like this:

It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the path, the steps to the porch.

She made me act normal. Because I was. Because I could. She told me to breathe and sit up.And I did what she asked. Again.”“Don’t cause distress, she said. Don’t remind people of a loss. “Do you understand, Cady? Silence is a protective coating over pain.

There’s nothing in our whole house that says he ever lived with us, except me. Why are you allowed to erase my father and I’m not allowed to—”“Erase yourself?” Mummy says.

But, then we get glimpses of how Cadence was before the mysterious accident. How she behaves with those closest to her, cousins Johnny and Mirrin, and love interest, Gat. She was a bit of a bitch, oblivious to those 'beneath' her.

 

We, the reader, eventually learn about the mysterious accident, which caused a sea of tears (from me). The writing was beautiful, the plot interesting, the characters varied and multifaceted. I was very, very impressed. Would I read it again? Probably not, but I enjoyed the prose and would recommend it to others.

 

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review 2014-10-10 21:10
If you've seen the movie, this is different
The War of the Roses - Warren Adler

Really, really different. The way Faye Weldon's Lives and Loves of a She-Devil is really different from the wacky film starring Roseanne and Meryl. You can enjoy both because one is a comedy and the other is a dark, twisted story that you just can't look away from. It's not supernatural horror, it's the much more pedestrian type of horror that people are consumed in and sacrificed to daily with no fuss at all.

 

Barbara and Jonathan Rose are those people. It's easy enough to see their points, but both are selfish, wrong-headed, and cruel. Barbara wants an entirely different life than the one they've led together for 18 years, while Jonathan wants exactly that life, whether she's happy playing her role or not. Or, more correctly, he wants her to be happy with it, period.

 

Of such mundane things are horrific tragedies made.

 

The last third of the book held me completely enthralled as I began to see another story emerge as both Roses assumed the house was not only sentient, but siding with each against the other. Neither feels truly endangered because each believes the house won't let the other hurt them. However, when it is observed through the eyes of a third party, she sees it as a thing that has been brought to life by the boiling hatred of its occupants, sentient, perhaps, but protecting neither. Perhaps even hoping the lure the observer inside.

 

So what began as a story about two people going through a bad divorce kind of turned into how haunted houses get their start. It was like watching The Overlook Hotel practice with its first set of puppet people, and I, for one, would love to see a series of books based on the unfortunate adventures of the Rose House's stream of future owners.

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review 2014-10-06 17:14
Taking dark tunnels to a whole new level
Darkbound - Michaelbrent Collings

I wouldn't call Darkbound a great horror novel, but I don't know when I last enjoyed one as much. At 280-some pages, the plot clips along at a nice pace, and while I figured out some of the twists I still couldn't put it down until the very end.

 

The gore is very gory, but as detailed as it is, the author doesn't spend pages and pages spelling it out complete with the victim's every feeling of fear and pain. It doesn't have the richly endless bloodbaths of Clive Barker or the luxurious suffering-every-paper-cut detail of Stephen King, which is a plus for me. Normally I try to skim over those bits, and while you totally can here (it's easy to do--any important story bits you might miss will be explained later), I didn't find it necessary. YMMV.

 

It might've been a mistake to pick it up as bedtime reading, but it's great quick, light, delicious horror that's easy to digest in one sitting, and not so easy to forget.

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review 2014-07-12 15:37
Don't Let Me Get Me
The Panopticon - Jenni Fagan

 

I’m just a girl with a shark’s heart.


Ming-fucking-mong.

I don’t necessarily know what that means (can anyone really trust urbandictionary nowadays?) or if I actually understood what Anais was talking about half the time but if there’s one thing I’m certain, my cuss vocabulary expanded a few pages more thanks to this book. And ming-fucking-mong is a new favorite.

Sometimes, you can just tell from the cover/title combo. Hard as we may try to not judge books by their covers, we do. And this book looks pretty intimidating. Any of The Panopticon’s edition appears to promise a lobotomy in the form of distressing accounts, evocative, visceral prose and hours of guessing and second guessing whether you’re understanding things right and what it says about you. 

And since I’m staring so intensely at my screen right now it would’ve called the authorities if it could, I think this delivered on those promises, maybe more. It varies for every reader of course, but Fagan managed to satisfy some latent fragments in my personality. Unfortunately it also left gaping holes of dissatisfaction from my end. Because this was not an easy adventure, structurally and thematically, to get into and the emotional payoff tepid, murky and this side of confusing. So overall...

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review 2014-02-12 03:59
Jagged Little Pill
The Hit - Melvin Burgess
One week was time enough to do everything in the world so long as you lived hard enough, fierce enough, young enough, true enough. The rest of it was just waiting to die.


And the moral of the story is:



I think.

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