The Woman in the Window #14

Hey Booklovers!

Finally I have finished reading this dump of a book. I am not usually so scathing in my review and believe me am not writing anything harsh as it may sound.

But rarely do I read a book where nothing is happening for the first 200 pages or so in a 427 page book. Am all for reading books with huge page counts. Especially if it’s good I like taking my time to finish it but this book was a slog fest.

Basically the book is about a woman who is suffering from agoraphobia. She stays put in her house and for extra entertainment watches her neighbours or specifically spies on them. From the beginning I had four theories going on in my mind as to what is going on in the book and I was more or less apt.

The woman is Dr. Anna fox, psychologist. She also counsels others suffering from the same online and basically her whole world is controlled online. After been stuck inside for 10 months, a new neighbour settles opposite her building. The Russell’s. They remind her of her own family. But of course nothing is as it seems. After all who can say what goes on in a family huh?

Anna fox is hands down the worst protagonist I have read about this whole year. Her backstory is definitely heartbreaking and made me teary eyed for sure but I find her dependance on alcohol beyond irritating. This is the third female protagonist, after TGOT and TWBU, who is facing hurdles in life as an alcoholic (that I have read). Whats with that? What’s with this pattern?

And the first half of the book is all about her time sitting in her home. Which is fine but I feel it could have have been given lesser attention and page count. This book could have been one fifty pages short in my opinion. I don’t know if the writer is doing this to show off her writing skills or what.

Coming to the plot, once the neighbours settle in, Anna sees something she shouldn’t have and is having a hard time convincing everyone about the truth. So did she really see it or was it hallucinations? Well you can read the book to find out.

Despite the negative start to my review, there are some pros to the book as well. I did find myself rooting for the character in the end despite half heartedly agreeing with the antagonist (which never happens). The writing is funny and heart-wrenching all at once. The character development is engaging and the book does hook you towards the last one fourth. Up to the reader to decide if it’s worth it.

Bibliogyan rating – Tests your patience. For thriller/suspense fans.

I am Watching You #13

Hey Booklovers! So I finished reading this book – I am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll despite not having it on my TBR list! I happened to come across this book while I was browsing for other books in the library. The book cover and the synopsis had me interested and once I started reading I was not disappointed.

So the story. Two girls on board a train in London. Our protagonist mostly known as The Witness is also on the same train. She happens to see them mingling with recently released convicts. Young and attractive they strike up a conversation with the girls. At first she panics for their safety but later decides to ignore it for reasons best understood whilst reading. The next day one of them turns out missing. One year later the case gets fresh lease of life. What happens forms the rest of the story.

iam watching you

The author includes a lot of personal data for our characters. It’s not just about the missing girl anymore, you see. It’s also about her family, her best friend who was with her and her family. Their issues. Everything comes out in the open. It made everything seem more personal instead of just reading something as a third person.

I loved the writing style. It was clever, not too much, just enough to hook you. The characters were fresh and given enough meat to justify their presence. The villain was lacklustre to be honest. Could have been given more attention to it. The story unfolds rapidly and there is no dragging here unlike the many authors who do so.

Again the villain is the only weak point in this book which can be overlooked as you reach the end once its all revealed anyways.

Bibliogyan rating – A perfect weekend read.

AUDIOBOOKS #1 THE WIFE BETWEEN US

I have been wanting to listen to audiobooks for the longest time. But everytime I began to listen to one I would be distracted with something or the other. In all honesty I just don’t have the patience to listen when I can read the book much faster. Either ways I decided to listen to this one – The Wife Between Us (TWBU).

Written by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, and read by Julia Whelan TBWU is a story about an ex wife, Vanessa, her ex husband Richard and his new fiance. Vanessa wants to stop her ex husband getting married again at any cost.

Just like the synopsis we would assume its a jealous ex wife wanting to stop her ex getting married but just like in the synopsis Assume nothing.

In the beginning I was irritated with Vanessa. I wanted her to get a life and move on but once the first twist is revealed everything else slowly falls in place.

The book is written like a maze where the author reveals nothing in the beginning but brings it all together in the narrative as it goes on.

I found the audiobook narrator Julia to be very entertaining for sure. Her performance of various characters was spot on except for Richard. I didn’t like her way of sounding male characters. It gave no connection to the character itself. Anyhow, she was a joy to listen to otherwise.

The book is definitely worth reading/listening to for it knows everything we might assume but is nothing like it at all. But I have to say I have read enough and more books so I know where things become predictable. This one was definitely harder to predict but I knew some parts were going to be the way I imagined them.

Vanessa maybe a slow character in the beginning but once you understand her the story propels forward quickly though there are many scenes that may not have been necessary, I felt it was a tad bit dragging at places.

It felt more thrilling than a suspense but it definitely exceeded expectations. I was a bit hesitant in case it was all hype and nothing else and I can see how some may feel duped especially since a lot of the book is told by way of backstory. So only read if you have patience.

Bibliogyan rating – A good friday night read.

Pines #11

Hey Booklovers. Am going to review the book Pines by Blake Crouch from the trilogy of Wayward Pine series.

Seldom do I come across a book that I both dislike and get hooked into at the same time. Either I like it or I don’t. The story is about a secret service agent Ethan Burke. He is in Wayward Pines to investigate a missing persons case – two in fact. What happens when he reaches there and how he finds everyone in pines forms the rest of the story. It seems something sinister is going on underneath the facade of this perfect town. Yet he cannot put his finger on it. Worst still, is that he doesn’t remember much having woken up from an accident a couple days before.

I kept thinking about a shutter island kind of twist to this story which in hindsight would have been better but the story when it did reveal itself I found it way too far fetched.

The writing is of course brilliant. The author hooks you in from page one but once I finished the book I had more questions than the answers given at the end. Basically I wasn’t satisfied with the reveal. Not entirely. It kinda fit for the way the author wrote the story line but could have been so much more.

The author also gives a specific backstory for the protagonist whereby he serves in the afghan war and has seen horrors beyond measure as well as endure it. I found that a bit distracting but not annoying.

I haven’t watched the TV series based on this and dunno if I would. It’s got that weird 50s vibe going on and the author acknowledges his inspiration for the same. You can also compare it with the Truman show and Plesantville, I guess. Also I can assure you I won’t be reading the other two books in the series. I found it perfectly satisfactory as an end to Ethan Burkes story and don’t have the appetite to entertain another.

Bibliogyan Rating – A quick read on a lazy day.

All The Missing Girls #10

All-the-Missing-Girls-Teaser

Hey Booklovers! So today the book am about to review is All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda. It’s a thriller about a girl named Nicolette Farrell and the supporting cast and the disappearance of two missing girls – a decade apart. One her ex best friend and another a girl from her locality.

What sets this book apart from other thrillers is the way its written – backwards. At first I was curious how that would pan out and as I read the book I kept trying to guess whats gonna happen next. The book starts at the beginning laying out all its card right and then is told backwards as to what happened in the last fifteen days that led them to that point in time.

I am not sure everyone can enjoy this book mainly because it feels so personal the way the story unfolds – like about someone we know and they are recounting this story to us in a painfully detailed manner. The plot comes out beautifully describing the protagonist’s past by weaving it in the present. I felt like it could make a scrumptious mini series. Throughout the time I was reading the book I imagined how it would look on the big screen (your mobile, more precisely).

The struggles, the experience, the heartache everything feels very nuanced and I was fascinated by the amount of details the author packed into this book. We come to know Nicolette in just a few pages but by the time you reach the end, you are in a for a big surprise – thats both predictable yet astonishing.

I don’t think many are going to enjoy reading this book and I must confess, I feel the book is ambiguous and can be read both backwards or from day one as well – in fact I plan to skip through from day 1 to day 15 when I get time and see how it goes.

What I liked about the book was the settings, the characterisation and plot structure and not necessarily that its told backwards but the whole structure in itself. I loved how she brought these characters alive. Except for Everett (Nic’s Fiance) every other character felt lived through and real.

My experience reading this book was a good one. I enjoyed the thrill of discovering what the author unearthed but it wasn’t an edge of your seat thriller either. I can see how some may connect it with The Girl on the Train – which I confess I didn’t read but watched the movie – loved Emily Blunt and very mysterious indeed but this one is not up there. Just like the plot, I find myself ambiguous about my preference for the book, while I was blown away with the writing, the ending could have been – for a lack of better word – something more but nevertheless a satisfying read.

Bibliogyan Rating – Read it for something different in the thriller genre.

Stillhouse Lake #5

Let me start by saying this is one of the best books I have read in thrillers/suspense so far. In fact I could have finished the book in few hours, it was that enthralling except I didn’t want to end it so soon and so I took my sweet time to finish it.

The story is about the other side of fiction which we never think about and that’s what attracted me to this book. What happens to the loved ones of criminals? Do they exist? If so what happens to them?

It may seem very obvious that people related to criminals should have known they were deviants but what if they genuinely didn’t? This is one such story.

We meet Gina Royal in the beginning of the book along with her two kids Lily and Brady. But their world collapses pretty soon and we are introduced to how they have survived from there on.

As parents how do you protect the one thing that matters to you most? Your kids. I loved how she reinvented herself and yet was still vulnerable. Her determination to protect her kids despite all the hurdles including typical teenage problems was inspiring, to say the least.

The writing is crisp and characters drawn out neatly. You root for this one from the get go. The only thing that nagged me though very quietly was how she convinced herself of someone’s loyalty. Not giving away anything but maybe that’s something you will understand once you read the book.

Stillhouse-Lake-book-review

Am reminded of the movie “Enough” starring Jennifer Lopez which shares similar leading ladies. Yet the book packs a punch of its own.

But the thing other than sharing similar protagonists is the question – how long will you run? When will you face your fear and stand your ground? Will you fight one last time so you never have to fight again? That’s what faces our leading lady here. What’s endearing is her love for her kids which oozes out from her every being. Like they are the only reason she’s alive.

Despite the creepy tone of the story the central characters makes this a must read book and hence I highly recommend it. Also a bonus is that the it ends in a cliffhanger and is followed by Killman Creek.

Bibliogyan rating – two ๐Ÿ‘

 

Origin #2

One of the books I have read for this year’s goodreads challenge is Origin by Dan Brown.

It features our beloved protagonist Prof. Robert Langdon, Harvard Symbologist in his fifth outing. He has been immensely popularized by Actor Tom Hanks who plays the character in the movie adaptation of the books.

Coming to the plot, it starts in a typical Dan Brown style where something explosive is about to be revealed but not without a lot of info dump.

This time the story revolves around a discovery made by an atheist cum philanthropist cum millionaire technology enthusiast Edward Kirsch, who is also an old student of Robert Langdon. His discovery is tried to be banned at all cost amid a vast conspiracy. The settings is in Spain and this time it’s art that Brown focuses on as the books running theme.

This time too the author makes for an interesting read but half of the book serves as Wikipedia with information dumped on every page served as a delaying tactic to reveal the twist more than anything else.

Just as in Angels&Demons and Da Vinci code we have a typical villain who is one step ahead or step to step with the protagonists trying to thwart their efforts at revealing the secret.

In Origin we have a typical strong female protagonist in Ms. Ambra Vidal, director of a museum and engaged to the heir of Spain’s King. Langdon and her are forced to escape the authorities and go on a fact finding mission to discover what Edward was about to reveal before the accident and release his finding to the world so as to not be subverted by an evil church and this forms the crux of the story.

The story in itself is disappointing but Dan Brown pulls you in to keep reading till the end. Not a bad Sunday read if you have nothing else to do.

Bibliogyan rating – For Dan Brown fans๐Ÿ˜Ž