Sunday, 26 April 2015

Mini Reviews: The Adult Fiction Edition

Title: The Three 
Author: Sarah Lotz
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Buy this book: Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK) / Book Depository
Four simultaneous plane crashes. Three child survivors. A religious fanatic who insists the three are harbingers of the apocalypse. What if he's right?The world is stunned when four commuter planes crash within hours of each other on different continents. Facing global panic, officials are under pressure to find the causes. With terrorist attacks and environmental factors ruled out, there doesn't appear to be a correlation between the crashes, except that in three of the four air disasters a child survivor is found in the wreckage.   Dubbed 'The Three' by the international press, the children all exhibit disturbing behavioural problems, presumably caused by the horror they lived through and the unrelenting press attention. This attention becomes more than just intrusive when a rapture cult led by a charismatic evangelical minister insists that the survivors are three of the four harbingers of the apocalypse. The Three are forced to go into hiding, but as the children's behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing, even their guardians begin to question their miraculous survival...
I really had no idea what to expect from The Three when I started it. There was a small part of me that was a little nervous that it was going to be a really creepy read and that I might wimp out when reading it. It turned out that it wasn't creepy at all, even if it was probably trying to be. It's told completely through interviews, phone conversations, messages and media reports that slowly unravel the story of Black Thursday and what happens to the three children who survive.

Black Thursday took place on the 12th January 2012, four commercial planes crash around the world, killing almost everyone involved. However three children survive, from three separate crashes and these children become known as The Three in the press. Mystery surrounds the children as more information comes out about the crashes, and conspiracy theories start to gain more and more support as time goes on. 


My ending feels.
This book really grabbed me at first and I was sucked into the story. The style took some getting used to, but I liked it because it was all speculation. Everything was the opinion of someone, so you had to try and figure out what was really the truth. I got more and more nervous as the story went on because I felt like I knew what was going to happen at the end. I didn't know. I was so very wrong and I was left so very disappointed. 

I'd thought it was a very smart look at how powerful the media can be. How quickly rumour can become truth to people. But it just wasn't that at all. I was left completely disappointed by the ending and thought it was really poorly done. I'm certain I could have written an ending that was a million times more satisfying and powerful. I'm clearly not going to be continuing the series and reading Day Four. 

2/5 Butterflies

* I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. 


Author: Emily Giffin
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Buy this book: Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK) / Book Depository
Shea Rigsby is content enough with her life in the small town of Walker, Texas. She has her dream fangirl job working for Walker's football team, a mostly satisfactory relationship with her boyfriend, and even if she's got the sneaking feeling life is passing her by, she doesn't quite have the confidence to do anything about it.But everything changes when the mother of Lucy, Shea's best friend, dies suddenly. Lucy's father, now a widower, is the town's charismatic football coach, and Shea's hero since she was a young girl. Coach Carr is now alone as he and Shea grow closer than ever, Shea realises she can't help how she feels . . . for the father of her best friend, who's grieving for his wife
I was really surprised when I read Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin and ended up loving it. I even enjoyed the sequel Something Blue. But I've not enjoyed any book by her that I have read since. So I probably should have already learnt my lesson and not even bothered with The One & Only, but I think a part of me is still hoping that she will write another decent story. But apparently she won't.

Some of you may end up loving this book and thinking the story is really romantic. I just couldn't, wouldn't and never will. This basically tells the story of a woman who ends up falling in love with and having a relationship with her best friends father. Not too long after that best friends mother has died. The best friend she has been best friends with since she was a child. This guy used to babysit her when she was little. Am I the only one who finds that ridiculously creepy?

I don't care how much I love my best friend, if they tried to sleep with my father they would no longer be considered my best friend. They wouldn't be considered any kind of friend, I would disown them. Then I would probably disown my dad for sleeping with someone who is the same age as his youngest daughter. IT'S JUST CREEPY! Why did Emily Giffin think this was a great idea for a romance novel?

2/5 Butterflies

* I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review.


Title: Away From You
Author: Kay Langdale
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Buy this book: Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK) / Book Depository
The heartbreaking novel from the author of CHOOSE ME, about the sacrifices parents must make and the anguish that can befall them. When Monica is offered a three-month placement in LA, she knows that for the sake of her career she must accept it - even though it means leaving behind nine-year-old Ruby, toddler Luca and her husband Daniel. She hires Ursula as a housekeeper and nanny during her absence, although the older woman is oddly reluctant to agree to a childcare position. What is the dark secret in Ursula's past, which has left her so closed-off and reserved? Will her growing attachment to Ruby bring it to the surface? And will Monica regret leaving the children in her care?
This is a hard one for me to review and I still don't think I am entirely sure what I make of this book. I did think it was really well written and I liked Langdales writing style, but I struggled with her characters. Especially when it came to Ruby, who seemed more like a forty-year-old woman than she did a nine-year-old girl. She spoke like an actual grown up and it didn't seem very realistic to me.

Ursula's past absolutely fascinated me though and I was kept guessing for a lot of the novel. I had to know what had happened to her in her life. And when I finally did my heart actually broke a little. This book also introduced me to a term I hadn't heard of before, but probably should have. It makes me sad to think it happens so often that we need a term for it. This book was beautifully written and incredibly moving. It's not a favourite of mine, not something I will read again but I do think it was a great story.

4/5 Butterflies

* I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review.



Title: The Life I Left Behind
Author: Colette McBeth
Publisher: Headline
Buy this book: Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK) / Book Depository
I'm the only one who knows the secrets her friends have hidden, the mistakes the police have made.I'm the only one who can warn her she's still in danger.I know exactly who attacked her.He's the same man who killed me.
I really enjoyed this one, even if the mystery aspect wasn't as hard to guess as I would have hoped. My first guess and only suspect ended up being right, but it didn't affect how much I enjoyed this book. I still enjoyed the story and the characters and watching it all unfold.

Melody, our lead character, grows so much over the course of this novel and I liked watching that. She has been struggling for years since a man, always assumed to be her next door neighbour, tried to murder her. Years later another murder seems to link back to the guy who tried to kill her. But the more she delves into it the more she realises that an innocent man might have gone to jail for the crime.

I thought this story was a very believable mystery novel, especially in comparison to other ones I have read recently. I also loved The Lovely Bones element to the story, as we get to continue Eve's story, the girl who was murdered, as she watches Melody try to hunt down her killer. If you're looking for an interesting mystery read then I highly recommend this one.

4/5 Butterflies

* I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review.


Title: Keep Quiet
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Publisher: Headline
Buy this book: Amazon (US) / Amazon (UK) / Book Depository
One decision. One family's future in ruins.When Jake Buckman decides to let Ryan, his sixteen-year-old son practice driving home along a deserted street, he has no idea of the deadly consequences.But in the darkness of night, a runner comes from nowhere and the hit is fatal.Now Jake and Ryan have two options: admit Ryan's responsibility ... or drive home as though nothing happened. What follows is not a clear-cut hit and run, but a split-second decision by a father who will do anything to protect his son. How much should a parent sacrifice for their child? And could any family survive the burden of such a terrible secret?
How I felt after reading this book.
I was incredibly disappointed with this one, and also surprised by how utterly ridiculous the story was. I thought it was going to be another one of those hit and run stories that I have seen far too often. The one where the parent tries to take the fall for their child. That would have been bad enough, because it's a story that I have seen so many times before. But this just had to push that story into the realm of absolutely ridiculous.

This is going to be a very mini review because I don't want to waste more time on this novel, it's bad enough that I wasted hours of my life reading it. Just know that I wouldn't recommend it in a million years.
1/5 Butterflies

* I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review.


Title: Leaving Time
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Buy this book:   Amazon(US) / Amazon(UK) / Book Depository
For over a decade, Jenna Metcalf obsesses on her vanished mom Alice. Jenna searches online, rereads journals of the scientist who studied grief among elephants. Two unlikely allies are Serenity Jones, psychic for missing people who doubts her gift, and Virgil Stanhope, jaded PI who originally investigated cases of Alice and her colleague. Hard questions and answers.
Jodi Picoult has been an auto-buy author for me since I read My Sister's Keeper and absolutely loved it. I have bought and devoured every single book the woman has ever written and I have mostly loved each and every one. But in the last few years I have found myself not enjoying her latest novels. I feel they were getting a little too predictable and like I knew just what to expect from them. She's known for her twists, but they start having the same power when you spend the whole novel expecting it.

This one was really interesting and the mystery element worked really well. But the twist was actually what ruined this for me. I know that it totally shocked some, blew them away and really impressed me. But it mostly ruined this story for me because I just didn't get it. Not that I didn't understand the twist because I did. I just didn't get why that was where the story ended up. It's a twist I've seen before in novels, but also a twist I have seen before in a Jodi Picoult novel already.

This was definitely not one of JP's best books. This one felt a bit all over the place and maybe something that I would enjoy more on a reread. The elephant facts that are put throughout the novel start to get a little boring. There's only so much I need to or want to know about elephants. This novel will probably be more appreciated by people who are completely fascinated by all things elephant. I am just not one of those people.

3/5 Butterflies


20 comments:

  1. Oh man, boo for crapping endings but yay for all the ones that did work for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right. So fed up of books with disappointing endings!

      Delete
  2. Great to see how much you've been reading!!

    I was super interested in The Three, now? I'm not so sure... Especially if it's a series, what is wrong with standalones people?! I'm undecided on this one.
    The One and Only... that cover sure doesn't give that story away! I think that's a really interesting idea for a novel, messed up, but interesting. And I'm pretty sure it has happened in real life... I was sick in my mouth a wee bit though.
    Away From You has definitely intrigued me, and it probably isn't one I'd have automatically gone for based on the cover and blurb. Still not sure if I'll pick it up, my TBR is HUGE.
    You've sold me on The Life I Left Behind.
    Keep Quiet? I'm STUNNED. I had such high expectations from this read - like old school Picoult high expectations. Le sigh.
    As for the actual Picoult read, I'm sad to hear that it wasn't a hit for you. Have you read The Storyteller? It is a reasonably newish release of hers that I loved. She can be a little hit and miss, but I've never gone below 3/5, so that's something, right?

    Love the idea of mini reviews when you don't have tons to say about a book and always threaten to start doing it. I might do a DNF round up to kick me off. R x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if it's like a proper series or just a companion series, but I don't know. That book really hasn't sold me on The Three.

      The One and Only just really grossed me out. It wasn't even written in a way that could make me think it was romantic. It just did not work at all. If you can tell stories about being around the guy when you were a little girl and he was a grown man with a wife and kids, then that is not an okay relationship!
      Loved The Life I Left Behind, especially for The Lovely Bones element of it all.

      Delete
  3. I have missed this blog!! Massively massively massively. What a mix of opinions! The Three actually does sound appealing to me, as creepy as it is. I've heard of Keep Quiet! It's not my type of thing, but still, a shame you didn't like it. The thing about elephants made me laugh. but let's see... the highest rated one here was The Life I Left Behind. The blurb seems so unusual. O_O

    I may have to take a leaf out of your book and do a bunch of reviews all together, because honestly now, I have SO many reviews I need to post. they were such a while I'm starting to forget how I felt O_O Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The blurb is and so is the book itself, but I really enjoyed it. Especially The Lovely Bones element, of having the dead person looking down on everything.

      Delete
  4. The One and Only does sound very creepy.

    Even though you didn't think Leaving Time was one of her best books I am excited to give it a whirl. I feel like even if it wasn't her best she still always writes a good book.

    Thanks for the reviews! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She really does always write good books, I think maybe my expectations are just a little too high now.

      Delete
  5. A lot of books here! I know you do read adult fiction as well as YA so it's good to see that you decided to include some of it in here as well this time round. I do think I should try a bit more of it, and I have been meaning to read some books by Jodi Picoult. There really were a mix of good and bad here as well :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There really was a mix, just wish there had been more amazing books than rubbish ones!

      Delete
  6. Oh man. Good job doing all these mini reviews!
    I've been interested in The Three since it's release. It does sound super intriguing. Since I'm doing really well at getting books from the library, I'll add this one to the list. I don't want disappoint.
    I love Giffin. But I've continually heard that this one is far from her strongest work. And I didn't realize that was the story line. It actually almost mirrors one of good friends life. But we won't go there.
    I really like the sound of the The Life I Left Behind. On to Goodreads it goes!
    I've only read two of Picoult's books; My Sisters Keepers and The Pact. I enjoyed both, so I should try something else from her. At some point...
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Three is a really interesting read, but it just went downhill the further the book went on and started to bore me. And I just was not happy with the ending at all, which sucks.

      HAHA! Yes, let's not.

      I hope you enjoy The Life I Left Behind if you get to it.

      Delete
  7. Eeek.. disappointed that you couldn't enjoy The One & Only. I read her other books before, and I liked Heart of The Matter the most. I have yet to check this one out. Loved the small mini reviews though :) <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi - I've read quite a few Lisa Scottoline books. Some of hers do fail (like Everywhere That Mary Went), although I haven't read Keep Quiet yet. Still it's on my list to be read.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straighforward Fiction Book Reviews

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it better than I did when you finally get to read it! :)

      Delete
  9. okay I have a TON of books to add to my "to read" list. I review books as well, http://dinoheromommy.com/book-reviews/mommys-book-reviews/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy them if and when you read them.

      Delete
  10. Too bad about that disappointing ending for Three, it sounded promising with the rest of your review, especially when you got sucked into it!

    Something Borrowed, ewww what a disgusting premise for a romance novel! Like what!

    Away From You - Glad to hear you found this to be a moving book!

    The Life I Left Behind sounds like a great thriller but *shudders* I can't do The Lovely Bones.

    Keep Quiet - what a shame because the premise sounded really good!

    Leaving Time - A shame you were disappointed with this one, I did enjoy My Sister's Keeper but haven't read her other novels.

    Lovely mini reviews Charnell!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was quite promising, I wish the ending had been as good as I was hooping.

      Yup, not a good premise at all. Not sure why she ever thought it was and why she'd think I could ever find that romantic.

      Delete

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, it always makes my day! Because of time restraints, this is now an award free zone but thanks so much for considering me! Feel free to leave a link to your own blog and I will come visit.