The Outsider #17

Hey booklovers!!

Am back with another book review. Am so excited to share this cause the book am reviewing is by none other than Stephen King. Admittedly this is my first king book, though I have seen quite a few movies based on his books. I never realised I could actually like his work since am not really a fan of reading horror. That’s the same reason am always stuck with Dean Koontz books. Maybe someday I might read his books too.the outsider by stephen king

Anyhoo, after careful consideration I decided to read The Outsider as part of my Halloween special books. Mainly because with just a few words Stephen king had hooked me. How can a man be in two places? Did the man really commit a gruesome murder or is it something else?

The book starts with corroborating witnesses on account of a murder committed couple of days back in Flint city. Our protagonist Ralph Anderson, chief detective sets out to arrest the perpetrator of the crime and does so in a grand manner which later in the book causes him a lot of trouble.

Terry Maitland is the accused, he is a football coach for boys and the allegations on him is that he murdered and raped an 11 eleven year old boy.

Despite evidence against Terry, including eye witnesses and fingerprints and a pending DNA test, Ralph realises there’s something missing but the angst of such a gruesome murder prevents him from thinking rationally and goes ahead with a public arrest. Later on we find many things missing and a baffling mystery as to Terry’s alibi. How can he have been at two places when the murder was committed?

I found king’s writing to be so effortless. Unlike other murder mysteries he dwells on the characters and creates something extra ordinary from the mundane. It’s hard to believe that the book goes on for 475 pages without making us feel like it’s dragging or that certain parts were unnecessary. Everything just fits. I was truly impressed and completely in awe.

Of course this is not a regular thriller murder mystery. Stephen king’s books are always doused with certain amount of the supernatural, and this is where “the outsider” comes in and he makes it look so natural. Like how could we not imagine it, right?

I definitely felt a bit creepy mid way through the book and started watching my back and having restless sleep till I completed the book and an extra day to boot. But this was unputdownable after the first two chapters and I can definitely add myself in the countless million admirers of Kings. Looking forward to reading another book of his.

Bibliogyan rating – what are you waiting for? Grab your copy and start reading!

Secrets Between Us by Valerie Keogh

Hey booklovers!!

Am back with another book review. Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for giving me this reader copy. I find myself reading a lot of thrillers and maybe that is my specialty genre. But sometimes I do need to lighten up and read other genres too and am looking forward to the next one on my TBR list in Goodreads.

Coming to the plot: Ellie and Tia are identical twins but other than their appearance nothing else is identical. Ellie is ambitious and headstrong and married to Will where as Tia is a little slow, gentle and lives alone in an institution for the differently abled. They haven’t seen each other for fifteen years but Ellie writes Tia a letter every week where she pours her heart out about everything in her life, to the minutest details. Soon it’s time for Tia to move and both Ellie and Will agree to let Tia stay with them till they can find another place for her. But once Tia stays with them something happens and that something changes their lives forever.

I felt all the three characters are horrible. The worst was Ellie. What a horrible sister. Unless there are concrete reasons to stay away from your sibling like death threat or drastic sibling rivalry there’s no reason for one to stay away. Especially when their father had begged her to look after Tia, she was the vulnerable one after all. She stayed away cause they are identical – what a load of bull.

Of course am not a twin and I don’t know what it’s like to be one. But how can someone be so heartless. Will on the other hand is so selfish like he can’t see anything beyond what he desperately wants. What’s wrong with you?

And Tia. I don’t know where to begin. She suffered a lot without any complaints so when it was time to have something for herself I am really confused if she is in the wrong.

By the way I saw this happening miles away. Yet I wasn’t sure if the writer was going in that direction specifically. I found Ellie to be so contradicting. One second she cares about her sister, feels guilty for not been there for her and the next she can’t wait to get rid of her. Horrible horrible sister.

I didn’t feel like I was reading a thriller and the pacing too didn’t feel like one. Maybe a suspense in the mild form but when you already have an idea of where this is going there is little that surprises you.

The writing is definitely good for an author I have never read before and hence had low expectations going in. But she doesn’t disappoint where as the plot is nothing great ( I also wonder if the title is slightly misleading?) I don’t care about any of them but yes, Tia just was in the wrong place but I can’t decide who’s right or wrong here. So the author must have done something right, huh?

Publication Date: 14th November 2018

Bibliogyan rating – Read it if you can bear unbearable characters but good writing 🤷

The Promise by Teresa Driscoll

Hey booklovers!

Am so excited to share with you this review after receiving an advanced copy (Thomas & Mercer) from NetGalley! Yay! I had reviewed another book by Teresa Driscoll on my blog this year – I am Watching You . A genuinely surprising thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed. So I figured it would be great to read another one of her books. Besides I wanna be able to read as many books I can get from NetGalley.

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So here is the plot: three childhood best friends – Beth, Sally and Carol share a secret. A secret so powerful, it could destroy their lives and everything they hold dear, if revealed. Beth and Sally have continued to remain friends while Carol chose to distance herself. So what is this secret they can’t face and threatens their lives even today?

Unlike her previous book – I am Watching You, here the author takes the longer route to establish her characters and their backstory. It’s told with alternating timeline as well as different POVs but I think she has gone a tad overboard with all the character settings. It takes quite a while to reach the dreaded secret by which time the less patient may lose interest.

The story builds slowly with a lot of character development as well as brimming the story to a climax. As much as I enjoyed the plot, it was hardly a thriller. The author definitely has some tricks up her sleeves, so to say, but the end result is disappointing which is rather sad since I had really enjoyed her last book but this one felt like it lacked depth. Almost pointless. I found Carol to be removed from the story yet she was the one who struggled the most, and despite this everything in the end feels rushed. The twists don’t feel shocking although not ‘predictable’. Sure as teenagers every problem may seem like the end of the world and yes they go through something horrifying but as adults I couldn’t buy their so called ‘promise’ to keep it a secret.

The writing is top notch and readers who like slow burning thrillers may like it, especially if you never expected the ‘twist’ but if I compare to her last book, this one was inadequate in its delivery. But a decent read for her fans.

Publication date: Feb 7th, 2019

Bibliogyan rating – Strictly for Teresa Driscoll fans (First timers try it if you like the blurb).

It movie

Hey booklovers!

I finally saw this movie I had been putting off since I was too scared to watch it. Ha!

Every book lover in the world must be familiar with Stephen king’s book IT. Said to be one of the scariest books of all time. I have to confess I haven’t read it. Yikes. I just don’t read a lot of horror fiction. I tried reading this one but after two chapters I quit. I know it’s absolutely shocking. I really wanted to read it.

Anyhoo I knew I will always watch the movie. I haven’t seen the 90s one but this one I knew I would watch it. Come what may. The trailer had me by the throat.

The movie It is about the town of Derry and focuses on a specific gang called the Losers. They notice kids missing from their neighbourhood, which started only a few months in when the movie begins. They have nightmares which are real but not everyone can see it. I was seriously reminded of the Boggart from the potter books where the creature takes the shape of what you are afraid of the most.

Despite been a movie I was constantly peeping through my fingers, closing my ears and moving my eyes away a lot of times. Like lot many. Yet you can’t take away your eyes either. The kids are so good. You don’t feel like you are watching a movie but been part of their group.

The Losers figure out what’s going on and decide to end this menace once and for all. But is it that easy? Can you overcome what you fear? Friendships are tested here and so are strength and courage.

I did find the adults of the town really annoying. There hardly were any and their answer to everything going wrong was ignorance. And the kids for all their bravery were really frustrating at times. But alls well if the ends well. At least chapter one.

P.S : psst.. if you lose a paper boat around the drain, good luck getting it back.

Bibliogyan rating – drop everything else and watch this movie right now!

Eliza and her Monsters #15

Hey Booklovers!

Finally am done reading this book! Whew! I took a reallly looong time to read this book…months I guess. I almost gave up reading it but I was adamant to finish it.

The story is so simple. Eliza mirk is a teenager who has an ordinary high school life with no friends and social life. But online she is lady constellation! The creator of a web comic ‘Monstrous Sea’.

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Monstrous Sea is huge online with fan fiction aplenty. She also makes money through it, enough for college but no one knows her real identity and her offline life is not so glamorous. Her parents and her two brothers love her a lot and they have their typical family conversations and dramas.

In her final year she meets a new kid. Wallace. He is a huge Monstrous Sea fan and writes fanfiction. Soon they get together and she becomes more outgoing and has something else to look forward to other than her webcomics.

I found the book to go on and on forever and found Eliza annoying the first three fourth of the book but she is just another typical teenager who has the same old issues with her social life and family. There are glimpses of her webcomics given in the book and I wasn’t really interested in it.

I really connected with her introversion. Her need to escape. Be someone else. But after a point I was a bit impatient with it. Where as Wallace was a contradiction. He had more layers to him but was unpredictable and strange at the same time.

The book deals with depression, anxiety, social pressure, parental pressure, introversion, awkward romance and everything a teenager goes through in high school. It’s aptly captured and I give the writer credit where it’s due.

Coming back to the story, her online identity is revealed and she has to come to terms with her new fame which not many high schoolers go through. I find it a bit weird how much your “online” life dictates your offline one. She gives it way to much importance but I guess it’s the age. But maybe not? Whats real to me may not be real to you.IMG_20180926_211517.png

I had a hard time reading the first 170 pages but after that I really started caring about Eliza especially after her identity was revealed and how she copes with it. The writer has infused real emotions in this without making it too dramatic. But it’s strange to take this long to like a lead character, right?

I know many have loved this book and with good reason but it’s not a book that I would, given a choice, pick up in the first place.

Bibliogyan rating – Makes for a good YA reading if you are into that genre.

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.