Book Review | Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas: Absolutely Mind-Blowing

Title: Dangerous Girls
Author: Abigail Haas
Genre: Young Adult – Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: May 16, 2014
Pages: 400

Synopsis:

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.

As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

As she awaits the judge’s decree, it becomes clear that everyone around her thinks she is not just guilty, but dangerous. When the truth comes out, it is more shocking than one could ever imagine…

Review:

Is my blog turning into thriller central? I think it’s the winter season influencing me. But no worries, my next review will be for a different genre of book. For now, let’s talk about what is likely the best YA thriller you could possibly read.

Dangerous Girls is officially categorized as YA, but it’s got some adult themes: violence/murder, sex, drugs, alcohol, etc. If you have kids or there is some younger person that would be reading this, definitely think about that. The writing style definitely reads like YA, but some of the content is more mature.

I read this book in a couple of sittings. At one point I was reading for about 30 minutes and I’d gotten through 140 pages. WOAH. Once you start you won’t want to stop. Her writing is really easy to read, but also very gripping. I desperately needed to know who the killer was. When we finally did find out who the killer was, my mind was blown. Even if you figure it out, I feel like you will still be mindfucked. It was the most satisfying ending I’ve read for a thriller in a while.

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

“Wouldn’t we all look guilty, if someone searched hard enough?”

I had a lot of thoughts while reading Dangerous Girls. I thought a lot about how certain evidence is presented in trials or how people are portrayed in the media. It’s so hard to know what’s real and what’s been manipulated. Honestly, the quote above is completely right. If you look at anything in just the right way, it can look bad to others. It can make someone who is innocent look guilty. It’s such a simple thought, but it stirred me a lot.

I think you can tell that I totally recommend this book. Read it then come back to this review and tell me what you thought! I could not think of anything I would change or anything Haas could have done better, so Dangerous Girls gets…

5 Stars!

star-1    star-1    star-1    star-1    star-1

Advertisements

Book Review | The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins: A Satisfactory Thriller

The Girl on the TrainTitle: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Genre: Literary – Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Pages: 325

Synopsis:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. 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.

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 offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Review:

The name of this book is often uttered in the same breath as Gone Girl, which (I believe) is why it gets as much flack as it does. I was able to successfully remove myself from the hype of this book, and I found it to be a gripping and enjoyable read! So I’d say not to just trust people who say it’s not good and try it out for yourself.

This book is told from the point of view of three women – Rachel, Megan and Anna. It’s mostly told by Rachel and Megan, though. I would say the biggest problem I had with this book was that Rachel and Megan’s voices really ran together a lot. They felt too similar, especially in the first half of the book. I would have to check while I was reading sometimes and make sure it was in the POV I thought it was. No bueno.

We learn early on that Rachel is an Alcoholic who has black-out spells and is generally unstable. Her black-outs are a pretty convenient plot device as she cannot remember anything she has said or done when she blacks out. I didn’t have a real problem with that, but like I said…it was convenient.

The Girl on the Train is chock-full of unlikeable characters (which I think was purposeful). The only “good” character is Cathy, Rachel’s super patient flatmate who is constantly putting up with her shit. At the beginning I felt sorry for Rachel as her life seemed to be in shambles, but later she was honestly just bringing it on herself. I mean, girl… shut the hell up!

Some people can’t take it if a book has too many unlikeable characters. For me, I’m finding that I generally don’t mind if the book is a thriller/mystery. I’m not really reading a thriller to fall in love with the characters. I just want to get my mind blown! If it’s a contemporary or something, that’s when I have an issue.

I think the creepiest thing about this book is how grounded it was. Rachel is just a commuter who rides the train every morning and evening and she got herself tied up in all this crazy shit! Granted, she isn’t the most stable person, but it’s not something that could never happen in real life.

I like to read thrillers and mysteries and see where the ride takes me. I don’t actively try to figure things out, so I did not see the ending coming. I do think that if you pay attention you could most likely solve it, though. Definitely give this book a try if you so desire. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it! Give it at least 100 pages, and if you aren’t feeling it then it’s probably not for you. My rating for The Girl on the Train is…

4 Stars!

star-1   star-1    star-1    star-1

Have you read The Girl on the Train? What did you think of it?

Book Review | After the Crash by Michel Bussi: Great Premise, Lackluster Execution

Title: After the Crash
Author: Michel Bussi
Genre: Literary – Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Hachette Books
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Pages: 384

Synopsis:

A night flight from Istanbul bound for Paris, filled with 169 holiday travelers, plummets into the Swiss Alps. The sole survivor is a three-month-old girl–thrown from the plane onto the snowy mountainside before fire rages through the aircraft. But two infants were on board. Is the miracle baby Lyse-Rose or Emilie? Both families step forward to claim the child–one poor, one powerful, wealthy, and dangerous.

Filled with delicious twists and riveting psychological suspense, After the Crash is an electrifying story of a two-decade mystery, secret love, and murder–perfect for the readers who swarmed to Stieg Larsson, Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train

Review:

The title is pretty much what it all boils down to. The premise is so unique and interesting. In a time before DNA testing is possible, how can you figure out someone’s identity? That line of thought really drew me to the book. Unfortunately, I feel like it could have been executed better.

Detective Crédule’s journals are used as a mechanism to give the backstory on both families, as well as share all the clues he has found over the 18 years he has been investigating. Personally, I felt like we spent too much time in his journals. I would have liked to see a more original way of sharing that information. The journals are probably at least 50% of the novel, if not more. While we are on the topic of his journals, they were written as if talking to the person he expected to be reading it, so there would be sentences in it like, “But you don’t care about that.” or “Don’t worry, I’m getting to that.” I found that really annoying because if you know I don’t care, then just get to the point! It felt slightly patronizing.

Another gripe I had with this book was that Lylie is supposed to be the center of this book. She is what the whole book is based around, but we hardly got any time with her at all. I felt like I didn’t get a chance to really know her which is a shame.

After the Crash - Michel Bussi

This book was originally in French and has been translated to English.  It’s always awesome to get more translated works. I found the writing to be pretty straightforward, nothing too fancy so it was easy to read. There were some clunky spots here and there, but that is to be expected, I think. As someone who is learning another language, I know some things simply don’t translate well.

When it comes to mystery books, I’m the type of person who doesn’t actively try to figure out the mystery as I’m reading. So if I figure it out then I know they dropped some heavy clues! There were some things that I predicted in After the Crash, but there were a couple twists I didn’t see coming at all. Overall, I must say I did find the big reveal to be a bit anticlimactic.

Despite all this, it was an addictive read. I needed to know definitively who Lylie was so I was picking up this book whenever I had a free moment. Would I recommend this? It depends. I think someone who doesn’t normally read mystery books would enjoy this a lot more than someone who reads mostly mystery. I didn’t love this book, but I definitely didn’t hate it either. So for that it gets…

3 Stars!

star-1   star-1    star-1

I received this book from Hachette Books in exchange for an honest review.

TBR (To-Be-Read) | December 2015

Usually I end up reading some eBooks or library books, but I decided to end the year by tackling my physical book TBR pile. I think I will be able to get to all of these since I have almost half the month off work!

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
  • Wolf In White Van by John Darnielle
  • My True Love Gave to Me (Edited by Stephanie Perkins)
  • After The Crash by Michel Bussi
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I’m currently reading After The Crash and I am intrigued by it so far. It’s a mystery/suspense novel that has been translated from French and will be released in America in January 2016. Interested to see where it goes!

I had to put My True Love Gave to Me on the list because if I don’t read it this month I’m fairly sure I won’t read it until NEXT winter, haha.

I had started reading The Name of the Wind months ago and I was really enjoying it when I was reading it, but then Queen of Shadows came out and I dropped everything to read it. Then I just kept reading new releases and The Name of the Wind kind of got put on hold. There has been a surge of people reading it on goodreads lately and they all LOVED it, so that really pushed me to read it this month.

I’ve heard that Dangerous Girls is a really amazing YA suspense/thriller with a mind-blowing twist that you will never see coming. That is right up my alley! Say no more, lol.

I’m excited about what I picked out for this month! Have you read any of these? What’s on your TBR for December?