A Thin Dark Line by Tami Hoag

tami hoagThis was one of the last books that I’ve picked up in my favorite second hand bookstore some time last year mainly because the cover gave me a slight creepy feeling and it was a pretty thick book which what I was going for at the time.

A Thin Dark Line is about finding the truth and giving justice. People of Bayou Breaux has been terrorized with fear when the mutilated body of the murder victim, Pam Bichon has been discovered in which the prime suspect was set free because of technicality. Nick Fourcade, the detective assigned with the case was suspected of planting the evidence and a number of people was convinced because of his tarnished past. But Nick was so determined to find out the truth and to give Pam justice and so is Annie Broussard, the deputy who found Pam’s body.

I liked how the story started, I thought the epilogue was written in a unique way that has really captured my curiosity. I remember feeling so frustrated as I was reading, the book also showed an ugly side of the law and the people who should be upholding it. But the frustration was more for Annie and how she was treated or should I say bullied by her colleagues for her conviction of a crime she witnessed. The way her coworkers played her, chewed her, looked down on her, those made me want to slap those officers in their faces left and right and give them a fiery flying kick. Those people really had gotten on my nerves. The book also had me guessing as to who the culprit was which I like of course, I had a few changes in mind which added to my frustration and enjoyment. The author’s misdirection was on point. The twist in the end was something I did not see coming which was a plus but I found it not that impactful for me. I also thought that the story was a bit dragged on maybe that’s why the thrill and anticipation wasn’t held on that much.

A Thin Dark Line didn’t disappoint me. All in all, it was a great and enjoyable read. The characters were believable and the differences in their personalities made it more interesting. All the loose ends were nicely wrapped – a huge CLAP CLAP for that – and with that I felt so contented and satisfied. Not supplementing my curiosity and/or not answering all of my questions in a story is the thing that I hate the most. Will I recommend it? Of course, I will. It’s a good book to read. Tami Hoag is definitely an addition to the list of crime-thriller authors that I like.

Rate: 👍👍👍👍

Rooms by Lauren Oliver

13579626I started reading this book without knowing anything about it so it kind of shock me when I found out while reading this that this is a ghost story in a unique way. It’s a story about a family who went back to their country house to claim their inheritance from their deceased father and husband, Richard Walkers. The house was inhabited by two ghosts, Alice and Sandra, who also once resided the house when they were alive. The story was told interchangeably by the characters, using each part/room of the house as the setting.

The whole concept was really appealing to me, I thought it was really good, the story of the living and the dead intersects in the present time. Sounds cool, right? But I don’t  know, honestly, I am not a fan of this book. The characters were all flawed, fighting their own battles with themselves: vices, sadness, loneliness, and even suicide. I did not find that weird or alien at all, maybe I just did not get as to where those negativities came from or maybe I was just not that convinced about it. They all seemed to hate Richard Walker, except for Trenton, but it wasn’t really explored as to why they hate him or maybe the reasons were not strong enough for it to be convincing. It was just plainly told, he was an asshole, but I don’t really understand as to how and why.  I was so eager and curious to know but that wasn’t given to me. Also Trenton was so engrossed with committing suicide but I just don’t get why he wanted it so badly, or maybe the reasons were, again, just too shallow for me. I don’t know, those parts really frustrated me a lot.

It was also a little bothersome for me that the story was told by many characters, if I’m not mistaken I was reading like seven point of views, and that was just too many for me. Good thing though that, the story wasn’t so repetitive, it may be a new character’s point of view but usually it picked up where it was left off. There were parts wherein the story being told from the present to the past then back to the present, I found some of that a little confusing.

I am a fan of the whole idea of it: the living people and the  ghosts residing in one house full of history, secrets and mystery and using every part of the house as the setting. It thought it was a brilliant idea, a big clap clap for that. I guess the execution and delivery just wan’t enough.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts about it? I’m really curious.

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

This was one of those books that I discovered and robyngotten curious of because it was talked a lot in pretty much everywhere when it first came out but I have managed to put off reading it until this time. At first I didn’t know that it’s a Young Adult book, I actually thought it’s like a self-help one, meaning I have no idea at all as to what this book is about.

The Beginning of Everything is about how the life of the golden-boy, Ezra Faulkner, changed after one accident that pretty much shattered his plans, career, and social life and status. From being the popular Mr. Perfect, awesome tennis player with a hot girlfriend to a walking mess with a cane, who lost himself after a car accident. It’s a story of Ezra discovering and finding himself.

The story started out good, I was thrilled when I realized that it was being narrated by Ezra himself, it was just unexpected because it has been a while since the last time I’ve read something in a guy’s perspective. It was light and a fast-read, I also found myself imagining my high school days a lot. One of the things that I liked about this book is that it’s relatable in general, like being a teenager trying to fit in, living in some standards and doing the things that other people expects them to do even though they don’t want to. The story itself was decent and good enough for me, I was actually content about how it all turned out but I was not at all satisfied about Cassidy’s reasons behind her mysterious and reserved nature which was the thing that really frustrated me a lot while reading.

Through this book, I discovered the word Sillage, the word for when you have a lingering impression of something having passed by (the thought of it amuses me). I also have found and highlighted a few quotes that I felt attached to, it just felt like it speaks for me.

“Keeping quite was safe. Words could betray you if you chose the wrong ones, or mean less if you used too many. Jokes could be grandly miscalculated, or stories deemed boring, and I’d learned early on that my sense of humor and ideas about what sorts of things were fascinating didn’t exactly overlap with my friends.” — This quote applies to me, couldn’t agree more with it. This is my reason as well as to why I choose to stay quiet most of the time.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do / With your one wild and precious life?” — I asked this to myself too since it’s so applicable to my life right now.

“I wondered what things became when you no longer needed them, and I wondered what the future would hold once we’d gotten past our personal tragedies and proven them ultimately survivable.” — This gives me hope that my problems and challenges in life are, just like what it says, survivable (I like that word). I’ll get over them, learn from them and be inspired by them.

“Oscar Wilde once said that to live is the rarest thing in the world, because most people just exist, and that’s all.  I don’t know if he’s right, but I do know that I spent a long time existing, and now,  I intend to live.” — Need I say more? The latter part is my favorite. I’ve found my new mantra.

All in all, it was a good read, a fast and easy one. Made me ponder about myself and my life.

Sight Unseen by Robert Goddard

SightUnseenThis is the first book that I’ve read by Goddard. I picked it up randomly in my favorite thrift bookstore so I started reading it not knowing what to expect. The story centered about an abduction of a two-year-old girl named Tamsin Hall and a murder of her sister Miranda Hall on 27th July of 1981 at Avebury while out in a walk under the watch of their nanny. One of the witnesses was a Ph.D student David Umber, who was sitting in a pub waiting for his appointment with Mr. Griffin, who was supposed to show him a velum bound books that he claimed could help Umber in his study about the Junius’ letters but he never showed up. Then twenty-three years later, the wounds was again reopened, and David Umber embarked on a quest to search for answers, to know what really happened that day at Avebury.

I have to admit though that the start has kind of confused me maybe because it was describing about a place or history that I wasn’t really familiar with. And speaking of which, there really was a history involved in this book about British politics, the Junius’ letters played a role in this. I must also admit that during the parts in the book wherein it was telling the story behind the letters and where it came from and who wrote them, I felt lost because I couldn’t really comprehend it and I told myself that it was somewhat understandable because it was something that I really had no idea, it was just so alien to me.

But the story itself was pretty much captivating, I had my guesses as to who the culprit was but I never stuck to any one of them for so long because of the twists and turns on the plot. I wouldn’t say that it was cleverly written as some parts were just weird or that they just came out of the blue and I wasn’t really that satisfied about the ending but I wasn’t too disappointed about it either. I also felt like the other characters were abandoned, in a sense that I would want to know what happened to them and that also pertains to the culprits.

I admire and have always been fascinated about the authors who can skillfully weave history into their stories while coming up with interesting twists and I am convinced that Goddard has that. All in all, this book is a good and decent read to pass your time and chill out with. And I am definitely interested to read more of Goddard’s works.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

41LaBpUJBHLI have set no expectations for this book because if you know me, I usually read crime thriller novels, young adults and yes romance and this book is not one of those though, technically, it is about relationships. My problem with humor books as to why I don’t usually lean on reading them is because most of the time I don’t get them, I just don’t understand them. I think my sense of humor isn’t really that great but I’m really glad that I gave this a try. I must admit though that it took me weeks to read this, well the latter half I just finished literally like two hours ago from typing up this post.

Modern Romance isn’t just about humor, which is actually a huge bonus, it also presents facts, analysis and statistics about how today’s romance works, which makes it like a legit study. Those things and add in to the consideration that he worked with sociologists, got involved with focus groups and made his own researches and even incorporated his own experiences that made me feel like I was reading a thesis but with a touch of comedy which I found really awesome and not really burdensome to read. Modern Romance covered everything about relationships, from how love and relationships differed and evolved from the 1950’s and the factors that ignited such changes to how it is today. He even tackled about the role of technology to love and relationships, its effects, the advantages and the disadvantages as well. He basically covered from the first acquaintance to marriage and beyond.

I can be the president of the No Boyfriend Since Birth Club meaning I have no experience at all with dating, commitments and stuff but I still found this book relatable, so how much more to people who have really experience such things. I can say that Modern Romance offers you knowledge and laughter as well. I’ll give you this quote in the book that still cracks me up until now.

“You are a lotion that moisturizes my heart. Without you, my soul has eczema.”

See what I mean by laughter? I’ve actually learned a lot from this book and I can say that while reading Modern Romance you’ll find that you’re unconsciously scrutinizing and analyzing yourself, your ways and your reasons. And you’ll even realize that you’re applying Aziz’s facts and examples to yourself.

Modern Romance is a fun and enjoyable read. Would I recommend this? Yes, of course, if you want to read something that can give you knowledge and entertainment and at the same time is very relatable. So, I’ll end this post with another quote from the book:

“Have faith in people. A person may seem just okay, but if you really invest time in the relationship, maybe they’ll be greater than you assume.”

Panic by Lauren Oliver

bookcover_home_panicThis is the first book I’ve read by Lauren Oliver. When I’ve read the title, Panic, the first thought that came to my mind was that it’ll be about a character’s mental state, you know the things that you can associate with paranoia, trauma and fear but of course that wasn’t the case.

Panic is a dangerous life-risking game which played by graduating seniors every summer in the small town of Carp with a prize money of over $50,000. Heather never would’ve thought that she would participate in the game but she impulsively did so, at first when her broken heart have seemed like overtaken her sanity then later on was driven and motivated for the money for her sister in order to start a new life. While Dodge joined the game driven by anger and used the game in order to take revenge for what happened to his sister.

For me, this is a “so-so” novel. If you are after a light and easy read and probably will read just to kill time or for entertainment, you know when you just want to have to do something then this is an okay novel to read through. This is in a third-person point of view, my first in a long while for I have been reading a lot in a first-person point of view. The story changes between Heather and Dodge.

The characterization and the story itself is just okay for me I must say because it is just the usual and ordinary novel. There aren’t a lot of twists, not really shocking and is kind of predictable. Good thing that I didn’t read the back-cover teaser of this before I read it because if I did, I would’ve been a lot more disappointed with this. The teaser will make you expect a lot setting the bar high, it’s kind of misleading.

I think Panic wasn’t explored that much, I mean there was no history about it. It left me with unanswered questions as to why the police didn’t really try hard to step in to stop or at least do something about Panic, being it a “legendary game” in which there were death and injuries occurred. I also wanted to know as to how the judges were picked and how did they organize and manage the game and how did they come up with all of those challenges. And I just don’t get it as to why the kids of Carp chooses to play in a dangerous game that will likely cost their lives just because they don’t have anything to do during the summer. It infuriates me to think that they will risk their lives just because of boredom. I don’t know, in my mind it just doesn’t makes sense. I also think that the climax wasn’t there. I was waiting for it towards the end; I was waiting for something big, for something shocking to happen until it literally ended. I was confused. It seemed so easy.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Jojo-MoyesThis is the first book I’ve read by Jojo Moyes, in fact I discovered about this book from a post of one of my favorite bloggers. She included it in her Things I’m Loving Friday post and because I’m always in the lookout for new books to read so I thought I should give it a read.

At first I thought this is just going to be a light read of your typical romance novel but I can assure you that isn’t the case. I read this novel without having any clue or any background of what it is about, I just assumed that it is just your typical romance book with all of its cliche’s. That is exactly the reason why I hate reading something without having any idea of its content because it mostly ends up with the book slapping me really hard right in the face with its unexpected story but it is also the beauty of it, I must say.

I don’t feel like giving a synopsis of this book. I just don’t want to divulge the story because I feel like, that will ruin the beauty of the story.

Me Before You is a heart-wrenching, emotional and thought provoking novel. I can say it is a realistic story without a lot of exaggerations. Though I’d better prefer for it to have more dialogue lines but not too many that it’ll look like a script. I also like that it is in a first person point of view not only with the main character but with the few of the other characters as well. It gives the readers a peak of the other characters mind and their story.

Me Before You touches a sensitive issue, it makes you think. It makes you wonder what are you gonna do if it is you in the shoes of the characters. The ending is maddening and sad and tore my hear into a million pieces that it left me in a river of tears but I cannot get myself to disagree with it completely. It makes you weigh the options and chances. It made my mind and my heart really ambivalent. This is the kind of novel that’ll leave a print in your mind. That’s how good it is and that’s why I highly recommend it to give it a read.

I should say that this is the best novel I’ve read so far outside of my comfort (crime, mystery, suspense, thriller) genre. I think I have made an excellent use of time reading this. To tell you, I am still heart broken up to this moment that I am reliving the story.

Me Before You is a novel I did not see coming. Not at all.

All Fall Down by Erica Spindler

245340When it comes to crime, mystery, thriller books, Erica Spindler’s Dead Run is my basis or standard to determine my thoughts and reaction to another book of the same genre. Yes, that’s how obsessed I am with her and Dead Run specifically. And when I liked someone that much, I may or may not be stalking about their works. I like to research about their list of works and read more of it so here I am about to share my thoughts about another book of hers.

All Fall Down revolves around the story of triplet sisters and touches stories/issues about abuse, cheating, revenge and don’t forget … a serial killer on the loose. Melanie May, is a small town cop who is very determined to go big in her chosen profession even though it means risking her career to convince a great and a very experienced FBI profiler, Connor Sparks, that the series of men dying is no coincidence at all. Driven by her certainty, curiosity and the profile of the suspect described by Connor, she delved into the case until she uncovered and came face-to-face with the horrible truth.

This is another cant-put-down book of Erica Spindler. This book manipulated my thinking big time, it made me guessing all throughout the story. Just when I thought I figured it out only to be confronted in the story that nope, not really. My brain have become kind of ambivalent while reading this, I have come back and forth in my guesses as to who the culprit is which something that really captivated me and held my curiosity until the end which I conclude that the author did a great job of convincing the reader that adds up to the thrill and suspense in the story. Though I feel like the ending is kind of so out of the blue and though it isn’t as chilling and terrifying as the Dead Run, it still is a great and enjoyable read that is hard to put down. A recommended read.

Erica Spindler doesn’t disappoint, so I must say, expect more of her works to be reviewed here.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

hollow-city-400x400-imads8sybfh9wh2pThis is the second installment of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs. I’ve read the first book a month ago and I remember liking it and this second book didn’t disappoint me. It picked up where the first book left of and many things have happened then.

The first book was a story isolated in Cairnholm, Miss Peregrines’ island, and in her loop. So, it’s really interesting to read and imagine in Hollow City how the children explored the vastness of the outside world while they journey to London, the capital of peculiardom. It’s also amazing how Riggs developed the characters and their abilities. I love learning more about them as their characteristics, qualities and powers explored further.

Hollow City also brought the readers to different loops and places which I must say was one of the things that excites me while reading this. It made me look forward and wonder as to how and where they’ll enter the loops and the things in it. It also introduced the readers to more peculiar being and creatures which have fascinated me even more. It thrilled me every time a twist unraveled and I must say that the event that happened towards the end really shocked me and I actually like having that kind of reaction while reading. It just makes me think that the book is good enough to ignite such reaction.

I’ve said before that I had a hard time imagining the characters and events in the first book which wasn’t the case in the second book. The author described it well that I can imagine them happening before my eyes and was also supplemented by authentic and bizarre pictures just like the first one which made it more vivid.

Hollow City is a recommended book to read which unlike the first book, is a fast-paced story as the setting have gone wider with plenty of interesting and unexpected twists and turns. When I finished reading the book, that was when I learned that this series have a third book in the making. So until then I’ll just wish that we don’t have to wait very long until its release.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

MissPPeculiarChildrenThis has been one of those books in which you have read the first few pages over and over again and yet you can’t seem to grasp any of it, nothing retains so you really can’t just go on reading it then you give up and try to read it again the next day. I think I have reread the first chapter plenty of times, I have no idea how many times exactly. This isn’t the first time that it happened to me, there had been quite a few books that had been like this. I don’t know it’s one of those books that just couldn’t hold my interest for long, so in the end I lose the appetite for it. I needed to really push myself to give it another chance and viola! I got hooked! Those books that have been such a pain to read at first all ended up with me not just liking it but loved it.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is about a sixteen year old boy named Jacob who thought that his life was nothing beyond boring and ordinary, or so he thought. He grew up to his grandfather’s stories about the adventures he had and the things that he had to go through in his life until one day he doubted if any of those stories was real. Then came the day his grandfather got killed or should we say murdered with something that haunted him in his dreams. His grandfather left him or rather told what seemed like a clue that brought him on an island to an abandoned orphanage and met the peculiar children and that was when his own adventure started.

The reading went pretty smoothly until the first twist hit me. I remember saying, “Ohhh, now it really got me.” pulling all of my interest and curiosity as to what will happens next. And then another twist came and I was all over it. I couldn’t shut my phone and put it down (I have this as an e-book). Though I had trouble picturing or imagining some of the events and characters, good thing there were photos which made the book even more interesting. The photos were really fascinating and I stare at it for quite some time in awe and with all interest. I wondered if the photos were real and turned out at the end of the book that all the photos were all actual and real photos from the personal archives of collectors themselves which made it even more compelling.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is a young-adult book (who wouldn’t enjoy a young-adult book once in a while, right?) is a fun and enjoyable read that can offer you fantasy and thrill. Will I recommend it? Yes, of course. I enjoyed it why wouldn’t I.  I learned that this book will be adapted into film and honestly I am not sure about that. I’ve had a fair share of disappointment for books made into movies but since this is directed by Tim Burton (who doesn’t know him?), I’ve kind of have a good expectation about it. I hope Time Burton is enough to save us all from the disappointment

This book has a sequel called Hollow City, which actually is the next book in my reading list..