Publicat în Chris Bohjalian

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

Synopsis:

Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing.

When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police—she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home—Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean—or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did?

Review:

I stumbled upon an excerpt of this book and after I devoured the few pages, I was desperate to read the whole book. Probably what got me so hooked up was not necessarily the murder mystery itself, but the fact that Cassie, the protagonist, is a flight attendant. Since I’m doing the same job, diving into someone’s life who has so many similarities to mine was fascinating. It’s normal to look for things that make you relate to a book character. But most of the time, you have to imagine that character’s lifestyle, the job he or she does, all the small details that go on throughout a normal day to day life. This time, with Cassie, I didn’t have to… imagine anything. I just knew all those details. All the hotel rooms, all the flights details, the perks of the job, the crazy schedule, the bus trips to and from the airports, the parties, all the types of colleagues and their interactions. This was probably the main reason why, even when I started disliking the protagonist, the book still kept me somewhat intrigued.

The author’s work of documentation regarding airlines’ culture and systems, the aircraft work itself and the lifestyle of the crew is absolutely remarkable. And I’m assuming that his documentation about legal work, the international laws, the collaboration between countries, the FBI and other crime preventing organizations is just as strong as the one regarding the aviation industry. It seemed just as credible, well recorded and described.

My only problem was the heroine’s evolution, the way her personality develops into a more and more disturbed behavior, the way she paves her path with layers of lies, even during all the moments when they are completely unnecessary and the truth would be her best escape.

Somewhere in the middle of the story I started feeling so repelled by Cassie’s conduct that I can’t even see clearly if I slowed down my reading speed because of her or if the action slackened to an annoying pace.

Despite my problem with the heroine, I did love the whole storyline. I really enjoyed the chapters written from the antagonist’s point of view and almost emphasized with her more than I did it with Cassie. Secondary characters also have some surprisingly good stories so overall, The Flight Attendant was a satisfying read, even if my enthusiasm didn’t hold to the same level from the first few chapters.

Publicat în A.J. Finn

The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn

Synopsis:

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times… and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Review:

Of course I heard about this book when it was published and it started making waves, but the description didn’t really make me put in on my wish list. But then, a few weeks ago, the movie trailer came out. And I don’t think more than 5 seconds passed between watching it and going on Amazon to get the book. All of a sudden, I just HAD to read it!

Now the sad part is that after reading the whole thing, I’m just as unimpressed as I was after reading just the synopsis. The main idea of the storyline is interesting, yes. The writing is fine. And there are even a few cliffhangers from a chapter to another, or at least some suspense is going on here and there. I’m usually a very big fan of observing the daily, mundane habits of the characters, so in the beginning, I actually enjoyed following Anna going round and round in the same small circles, over and over again. But at some point, the chaos of Anna’s mind becomes… plain boring. There’s simply not enough to keep you motivated, not enough to keep you enjoying the experience and so, reading feels more like a task rather than a pleasure. I actually didn’t check how many pages the book has but it certainly felt like way too many!

By the time I finally reached the ending, I was so bored and uninterested that the supposedly shocking discoveries from the last pages didn’t even make me blink. The only feeling I got was being relieved to finish it and move on to something more interesting.

Just to be totally fair, I have to mention one thing: despite not being impressed with the story overall, I did find inside of it one of the most emotional descriptions that I recently encountered in my readings. There are exactly 3 rows in this book that are pure, raw, burning emotion. 3 rows that make swallowing difficult even now, after weeks had passed, that turn eyes hot and that actually make me happy that I did read this novel. I feel like it was worth going through all those pages only for those two sentences.

I know the majority of people’s reviews are not just positive, but overly excited. After all, if the public’s reactions wouldn’t be like this, they wouldn’t have turn it into a movie. So if you’re curious about the novel or if you’re planning to watch the movie, go ahead and get the book. Chances are, you’ll like it more than I did.

Publicat în Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Synopsis:

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.

You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.

You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.

You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.

Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Review:

I cannot think of a single thing that I didn’t like about this book. I’ve lived with it in my mind from the first to the last page, through all the moments when I had to put away the book and do stuff and even after I finished it a few days ago, my thoughs still linger around it.

If I would have to make a top 3 books that I loved this year, The Wife Between Us would definitely make it there. And considering that it will be soon turned into a movie, I’m assuming that I’m not the only one who thinks like this.

The story is deceiving from the beginning till the end. And the advice you get from the synopsis: “Assume nothing” is the best one that you could follow. Because every single supposition that you might come up with will crumble into pieces. There won’t be any moment when you will know for sure who is good and who is bad. You won’t know if a certain incidence was intentional, accidental or someone’s mistake. You won’t know whom to believe, even when you’re reading somebody’s direct thoughts. You won’t even know who is who anymore at some point. All you will know is that you NEED to read further, to get deeper into the story, into the minds of the characters, into their lies, in order to uncover the truth.

I cannot remember a book that kept me so hypnotized and I cannot recommend it enough. I throw an eye on people’s reviews on GoodReads before starting the book and I’m almost shocked that there were a few negative ones. Personally, I found it flawless and I’m still deciding on what I’m more excited for next: to see the movie, to read all the other books the authors wrote already or to discover the other novels that they will come up with in the future.

Publicat în Miranda Rijks

You Are Mine by Miranda Rijks

Synopsis:

Rupert has spent years searching for his perfect wife. Now he’s found her.

Her name is Charlotte Aldridge and she’s wonderful. A talented artist, modest and beautiful, she’s everything he ever dreamed of. Her hair, her eyes, her mouth – every little detail is perfect.

Rupert is confident that when they meet, she’ll fall in love with him just as he has with her. After all, he’s a wealthy British aristocrat. And he’s handsome – the relentless gym workouts and extensive plastic surgery have seen to that.

But what if Charlotte can’t see that they’re a perfect fit, that they’re meant for each other? Well, Rupert can be very persuasive. His father taught him certain methods which are extremely effective. Methods that can turn the most determined, ‘I don’t’ into a meek and submissive, ‘I do’….

Review:

Not good, not bad either. Or maybe I just read a lot of similar kind of books lately. Therefore, You Are Mine seemed just “meh”, even if I don’t really find anything specific to criticize.

Charlotte is a painter. Financially broke, with her heart shattered and not much to look forward to the future, she reluctantly accepts an offer from a young millionaire to move to his house for a few weeks and paint his portrait. But Rupert’s plan is not as innocent as it looks.

You Are Mine is yet another story about obsession, trauma, ignored sickness and mistakes that piled up until things explode. What seemed to be like an advantageous vacation will turn into a nightmare for Charlotte.

The story is entertaining, especially since the POV changes between the two main characters so readers will get a full view and see each fact from a completely different angle. Which is truly impressive and scary in the same time, because any small, innocent detail can be the trigger for a potential disaster. It starts slowly, but once the things are put in motion, they’re cascading with an unstoppable force. Just like Charlotte, the reader won’t even have time to prepare itself for the course of unexpected turns that follows.

Although not memorable, both Charlotte and Rupert’s roles are well written and realistic, not in white and black but in a complex palette of colors, with good and bad parts. And the most engrossing part comes in the end, when all the events that you knew from the beginning and that didn’t even seem intriguing will start to be connected in a very sick way.

You Are Mine will definitely keep you up at nights when all you wish for is an absorbing psychological thriller. It might be a great choice for a reader who’s just starting to explore this genre, but it won’t bring a lot to the veterans who are devouring this type of books.

Publicat în Livia Harper

Party Dress (Greta Bell #2) by Livia Harper

Synopsis:

Greta has her man, but paradise isn’t all she hoped for.

His frat brothers aren’t exactly welcoming her with open arms. Everyone still thinks she killed Amber. Especially the police. But her lips have been sealed by Blake’s kisses.

She adores spending all her time with him. She adores having such an amazing man to call her own. But her once-wild stallion is having a much harder time adjusting to life as a couple. He balks every time they’re seen in public together, and can’t resist the lure of wicked temptresses like Jessica James.

If Greta wants to keep him, she’ll have to find a way to fit in with his crowd. Luckily, Blake has plenty to teach her about being popular. His lessons are vile, hateful things that make her stomach turn. But she’s willing to do anything to have the life she wants—even if it means teaching Blake a lesson or two of her own.

He’ll learn. Eventually.

Review:

The story of the complete madwoman Greta Bell continues in this sequel with the same insane style that we got used to in the first novel of the series, but everything escalates to a whole new level. Perhaps some readers might find this progress as a good thing, but unfortunately, I couldn’t stop thinking that it’s such a disappointment…

Yes, the whole story grows from crazy to demented, to unbelievable. But that’s exactly the problem: that with every new, mad turn, the storyline loses its realism. The first novel of the series, Boyfriend Glasses instantly caught my interest mostly because of its strong grip in reality. Yes, it was very far from normal, yes, the protagonist was totally insane. But even so, her story looked like something that might happen in real life, something that you might read in the newspapers, something that might be the headline of the news that you’re watching on TV. There are sick, undiagnosed people that are walking freely, unsupervised between us, that are not treating their mental issues, that are pretending to be normal and it takes a while until everyone around them realizes that something is a bit off. So Boyfriend Glasses was exactly the story about someone like that. Shocking, but still so, so realistic and so, very gripping because of that.

Now, Party Dress, keeps up or actually increases the adrenaline of Greta’s story. Every new chapter is truly unexpected and mind blowing. But by doing so, you get more and more often the feeling that you are reading an invented scenario. You no longer think “Ohmygod, this could happen to anyone, people like this might live all around us!”. On the contrary, so many times I found everything exaggerated and just rolled my eyes on the improbability of all the events.

Depending on your preferences, you might enjoy this book more or less than the first one. It is a good story, it has every needed element to make you addicted, it leaves you breathless over and over again. But your own taste will actually be the one to determine how you will feel about it in comparison to Boyfriend Glasses. For me, the first novel was undoubtedly better. But for you, it might be the opposite. There’s just one more book left in the series and still, despite my current disappointment, I’m dying of curiosity to see how the story will evolve.