Review: The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?


I decided to read this one because I saw it mentioned quite a few times on my Twitter timeline, and everyone said how good it was and how everyone should read it. I got curious and needed a new book to listen to on audible, so why not go for the one everyone was recommending?

I have to say, I was really disappointed.

The characters were not even slightly interesting, you didn’t get the feeling of wanting to get to know them better and not even once was I interested or even surprised about the things we got to know about their past. This was probably what disappointed me the most. The characters were so predictable that no matter what we got to know about them, it didn’t surprise me, and not a single time I had that feeling of wanting to know what would happen next.

And the so called twist? When you were supposed to get the whole what the fuck feeling? Didn’t happen. The “twist” was also predictable, hell I guessed it way earlier than they even started hinting it, and when Rachel got her oh my god it was Megan revelation I just sat here like, “Gee, you think?”

I thought, it can’t be this easy? Can it? There must be more! There is no way people think this is amazing enough to spam my timeline with? Hell these people I see recommending it writes the most amazing stories, they can’t really mean that this is the book everyone should read? There must be more.

But no. There wasn’t. It really was that easy. And I was extremely disappointed.

Not sure what else to say, to be honest. I guess I can mention that the ones reading the version I listened to, Clare Corbett, India Fisher and Lousie Brealey, did it kind of badly. I don’t know who did who, but Rachel’s chapters were alright, I guess, even though I couldn’t at all feel the characters feelings or relate her to the voice. The one doing Megan sounded stressed, like she couldn’t wait to get done, but she still became my favourite because I felt like yes, this sounds like Megan. Then we have Anna… Anna’s parts were so horribly bad and boring, I can’t with words express how happy I am her chapters were always so short. I couldn’t stand listening to them.

To me this book was a waste of time. I give it two stars because it didn’t bore me so much I never finished it, but I would never recommend it to anyone. Don’t spend your money on this one, it won’t be worth it.

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Review: The Lake House

The Lake House
The Lake House by Kate Morton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.

Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone…yet more present than ever.

A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.


Judging by the reviews I’ve read on this book I think it was good that it was the first one by Kate Morton that I read. My sister’s been telling me over and over to read them, (or rather, listen to them on Audible) so eventually I did, and even though it took me pretty long to get through the whole thing, I liked it quite a lot.

I must admit that unlike many others who I’ve seen review this one, I thought the first half of it, if not more even, was pretty slow and boring. I had problems keeping up with the characters, what year it was and who they were talking about for quite a while. There were so many names, and sometimes it would be back when they were kids and then they were grown up and it jumped back and forth a lot and so many different ones that it took me quite a while to figure out who was who, and what part they had in the story, eventually I got a hang of it, and when the clues started to make me come up with my own suspicions I finally started to get a lot more curious about how it would all fit together in the end.

The ending to the mystery was, in my opinion, pretty brilliant. I found myself shouting “What?!” Out loud quite a few times at that final conversation between the characters that would eventually lead to all the answers they were looking for, and when that part was over I was left out of breath. Which is absolutely amazing, I love getting that kind of feeling when I read (listen to) a book.

However. The very end was too perfect to me. I don’t like the fairy tale kind of endings where everything is sweet and sugar. It was a bit too perfect, and the epilogue, together with the confusion I felt in the beginning, is what took this book down to four stars instead of five. I didn’t like it at all, and I think the story would’ve been much better without it.

But it was still a book I’m very happy I got through, and I’m looking forward to download another of Kate Morton’s books to my library in the future.

Review: The Scorch Trials

The Scorch Trials
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Solving the Maze was supposed to be the end. No more puzzles. And no more running. Thomas was sure that escaping meant he would get his life back. But no one knew what sort of life they were going back to…

Burned and baked, the earth is a wasteland, its’ people driven mad by an infection known as the Flare.

Instead of freedom, Thomas must face another trial. He must cross the Scorch to once again save himself and his friends…


*Contains a few Spoilers* 

I think this is the very first time I’ve read a book and not having a single favourite character when I finish it. When I read The Maze Runner I could at least say that I really liked Minho and Newt, but after reading this… well it’s not like I like them any less, because they’re probably the only characters who feel real to me in this one, but I don’t have enough interest left to even care about characters anymore.

It sort of feels like this story was written as a way too long filler, just to make sure the series ended up as a trilogy instead of just two books (plus the prequel) and that the whole thing was just made up while being written. The twists and so called suspense is just annoying, every time you feel like they might finally get a moment of rest there’s something new to almost kill them, and in the end I barely even bothered to read it properly, I basically skimmed half of the book through just to finally get to the end of it.

I’m not gonna say all twists were bad, because they weren’t. Some of them did make me hold my breath and at times I was really curious about what would happen, but after reading about half of the book the curiosity was replaced by annoyance and the feeling of just wanting to get the whole thing over with.

The story is fast going, you don’t really get a chance to understand what’s going on before something new happens. You get no real answers through the whole thing, it rather wakes even more questions, and it’s actually quite exhausting to keep track of it all. There are so many questions now, and this book didn’t make you understand it any better at all. It’s all just very confusing, and not in an interesting way, just annoyingly confusing.

Then of course, when you think they finally are safe, after once again being given empty promises, the author ends the book with yet another pain in the ass cliffhanger. Did you know that you can end a book in a way that makes people want to keep reading without making them want to rip the book in pieces? Apparently this author doesn’t. They’re supposed to be safe but suddenly we find Thomas locked in a room, away from the others and once again without explanation. Now where have I read this before? Oh that’s right, the whole damn book.

I guess I sort of have to read the last one as well, to find out if the author in some way can actually save this, but I can’t say I’m even a little bit excited anymore. I really just want the whole book series to be over.

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Review: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
The Maze Runner by James Dashner

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.


*Includes Spoilers* 

I just realised I never actually reviewed this, and now when I’ve finally gotten started (and almost finished) the second book I thought – maybe I should get this thing done.

I have some problems deciding what I really thought about this book. At first thought I loved it. I fell in love with the story and the mystery and the whole world with the maze and secrets and a puzzle that’s gotta be solved in order for them to escape. I loved following the clues and see the characters figure them out, and I felt the excitement when we got closer and closer to the end and a hopeful escape from the place they’d been sent to.

So when I first finished it, I was absolutely amazed. Now I’m reading the second book, and I’m starting to think back at the first one and wondering, did I really love it as much as I first thought?

Looking through other peoples reviews I remember things that actually did bug me while I was reading, but that I sort of forgot about when I got lost in the excitement.

First off, one of the things I find most important in a story ever is really poorly written, and that’s something I didn’t realise until I was half way through the second book and started to think, and then I went back to skim through the first one and I figured… hell this is so crappy written, I’m not even sure why I didn’t see it the first time. This thing is feelings. What I find the most important when I read a story, no matter if it’s a book, a short novella or a fanfic online, feelings is what I focus on the most. I don’t want the writer to constantly tell me what’s going through in their characters minds. I don’t want to read that someone is scared, happy, confused, sad or angry. I want to understand it anyway. I want it to be shown in the way the character moves or talks. I want it to be written in a way that I feel it myself, so I can put myself in the mind of the character I read about and feel what they feel.

In these books, so far, I don’t.

I’ve been completely blinded by all the mystery and need to find out what the hell is going on to focus on the one thing I always find the most important, and sure, creds to the writer for that, because it’s something that usually makes me stop reading very fast, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s something the writer should’ve put some more focus on, instead of repeatedly tell us what he wanted us to know.

Thomas is pretty annoying, and so are many others. I got so sick of them giving him a “stop asking questions” kind of replies instead of just explaining what the hell was going on. Yes, I know it’s a part of keeping the suspense, but come on it’s not realistic. A whole place of young men and no one cares enough to take the time to explain some shit to the newbie? Nah, I’m not buying it.

And with that we move on to all the damn secrets and Thomas oh so conveniently remembering things from his past, just to not bore us to death. As it is right now, I’m starting to feel like I’m only still reading to find out what the hell is going on, but I have no connection to the characters anymore. That’s also a big ass warning to the writer doing something wrong, main characters dies and I barely even raise a brow. Then we have other writers that makes me cry, yell and scream at my book when a character I barely even knew I cared about dies… So that’s clearly something this writer needs to work on a bit more – to wake the emotions of the reader.

I feel like I’m not saying anything positive at all, and yet I actually claim to like the first book… let’s see. Positive things about The Maze Runner:

The whole idea – Even though I at many times feel like this could’ve been done a lot better, I do love the whole universe this writer has built up for us. The flare, The Maze, the world outside they don’t remember, Thomas being a part of WICKED (even though we don’t really know much about that yet), Theresa and Thomas having a special connection, The way the gladers have built up their life and have their own important roles, what happens if you get stung, the creatures only coming out at night, the different clues bringing us closer to a way out – all this I love. I just wish the writer had handled it better. I wish the characters felt more alive and that I actually felt something when bad things happened to them. I wish I had been afraid when they got stuck in the Maze over the night, I simply wish I had some connection to them at all.

The idea is great and the book isn’t bad. It’s really a page turned and when you’ve started it’s difficult to put down, and I do really recommend it, but I still wish it would’ve been… well… more.
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Review: Marked

Marked
Marked by P.C. Cast

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire Water, Earth and Spirit. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is mis-using her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny – with a little help from her new vampyre friends (or Nerd Herd, as Aphrodite calls them)

The first time I read this book I got bored after just a few chapters and I pretty much gave up before I had even read half of it. I read it in Swedish that time though, and I don’t think Swedish made it fair. When I got older and started to read more and more in English I gave it another chance, and it quickly became one of my favourite series. The first few books are a bit boring, so this one I’m still not a huge fan of, but it gets much better later on and when I had managed to get through the first few ones I started to really love the whole story.

I like the idea of modern vampires, and something as cool as a vampire school was what made me keep reading, also I’m a bit in love with some of the side characters, even though the main character, Zoey, mostly just piss me off.

I think this first one is a nice way to introduce us to this universe, we get to learn some about the school, we get the first glimpse of things that will make a huge difference later and we get to meet some of the most important characters. The characters are all different, realistic and most important, they’re not perfect. They all have flaws which makes them more real, something I feel like we don’t get enough in books nowadays, and while Zoey might be powerful and special she’s for sure just another teenager who makes a lot of mistakes and needs her friends to get her back on track.

A good start to a great series, if you’re into vampire stuff you should really give this a try. It’s different, modern and have lots of interesting features we normally don’t see in vampire stories.

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Review: Tithe

Tithe
Tithe by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother’s rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms – a struggle that could very well mean her death.

This is one of those books you’ll probably either love or hate. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to someone who’s said “it’s ok” or “it wasn’t bad”, it’s either “I loved it!” or “I hate it”.

I’m one of those who absolutely love it. The characters are amazing and from the first time we met Roiben I fell in love with him, however I think some parts are too rushed and there are many things that are so confusing that I had to reread them more than once to understand. There are also some parts I still don’t really get, and I’ve read this book three times now, two times in Swedish and once in English, and I’m still a bit confused.

I really like this book though, it’s one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read and I’m so happy I finally found it in English, it made it ten times better.

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Review: Obedience

Obedience
Obedience by Will Lavender

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When the students in Winchester University’s Logic and Reasoning 204 arrive for their first day of class, they are greeted not with a syllabus or texts, but with a startling assignment from Professor Williams: Find a hypothetical missing girl named Polly. If after being given a series of clues and details the class has not found her before the end of the term in six weeks, she will be murdered.

At first the students are as intrigued by the premise of their puzzle as they are wary of the strange and slightly creepy Professor Williams. But as they delve deeper into the mystery, they begin to wonder: Is the Polly story simply a logic exercise, designed to teach them rational thinking skills, or could it be something more sinister and dangerous?

The mystery soon takes over the lives of three students as they find disturbing connections between Polly and themselves. Characters that were supposedly fictitious begin to emerge in reality. Soon, the boundary between the classroom assignment and the real world becomes blurred—and the students wonder if it is their own lives they are being asked to save.

I kind of liked this book, but at the same time I kind of hated it. It was one of those books I couldn’t stop reading when I had started and I really, really wanted to find out what the big mystery was and how it all would connect to each other. The end disappointed me a lot and I ended up being very happy I never paid any money for it.

A page turner? Sure, it has you hooked for quite a while.

Worth reading? If you got nothing better, then why not.

Worth spending money on? No.

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