Monday, February 11, 2019

Book adaptations I'm most excited to see in 2019

I honestly get tired of seeing so many books turned into movies, especially the YA ones. I mean, how many post-apocalyptic worlds and teenage savers can we get? 

Having said that, of the more than 30 movie-to-screen adaptations, I am really excited to see what they can do with the following four stories:

Monday, February 4, 2019

The 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Summary on Goodreads.

"Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m. There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit. We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer. Understood? Then let's begin...
Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others..."[+ More].

Well... this was a fast read, since I DNF it not even half way through. I was bored. Completely bored with the repetitive "who am I" and "what is happening" and the sense of the host of not knowing anything.

The writing is very... literary (if I even know what that means), but I didn't find it engaging.

My disappointment started in chapter one when the host witnesses the murder of a woman (I guess that would be Evelyn? ). And what does he do? Does he go over the body to see if she is still alive, or even to confirm that she is actually dead? No. I found that awkward. A little further I realized that the plot is set in a different time period where "Sir" and "Madam" are in order.

Did I care for this dead Evelyn? Not at all. But that is not even the point of the plot. The thing here is for this man to find out who killed this woman.

I was wondering if through the whole story he was going to be as confused as the first two times when he woke up in a different body, because boy! That would be dragging the same scene eight times.

In short, this book was not for me.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Perfect Girlfriend Karen Hamilton

Rating: DNF

Available on March 26, 2019.

Summary on Goodreads.

Well, this is a short review because this book is so insipid that I don't even want to waste my time coming up with something substantial to explain why I didn't like it. I just don't care but, because I received a free copy of this title from Netgalley, I feel obligated to write something.

This story is so pathetic. Right away I figured that the MC, Juliette, must have had some type of mental disorder because, why else is she stalking her ex MONTHS after they broke up?

And what stalking this is! Not even interesting. I was getting a headache with all the little side things that were going on in here.

This book is more like a lot of useless blah blah blah to fill out pages. Really, this is beyond boring but... books must be written and printed, right?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Defense of an Other by Grace Mead

Rating: 2-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Defense of an Other begins in the French Quarter with a day in the life of a young lawyer named Matt Durant gone horribly awry. After a few beers, Matt works up the courage to visit a gay bar, where he meets a stranger named Joey Buckner. When Matt and Joey duck into an alley behind the bar to take a leak, three drunks target them for a hate crime and beat up Joey, which forces Matt to attack and kill one of the men. Matt is then arrested for murder, thrown in Orleans Parish Prison and calls his boss for help, forcing him out of the closet. The novel then follows the course of his trial and explores its consequences..." [+ More]

I liked the writing and I liked the main character, Matt, but something about the whole story didn't click with me. I enjoyed the trial and the gathering of evidence but as a whole I found the whole thing odd. Why was such a rush and determination to convict a lawyer of good character?

The fourth part of the story (as it was divided in 4) was irrelevant to me; and even more irrelevant was Matt's journey trying to find out if he was gay or not. Was this a thriller or psychological journey?

I think that the whole gay dating thing and support should've been a different book because the way it is described in the summary, this story is about a man being accused of murder for trying to save his and someone else's lives.

I know that in trials things get distorted to fit an agenda but I was given no reason of why the jurors believed what they believed (and I can't say more because then I would give away the story).

Thanks Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

Rating: 3-Stars

Available on February 5, 2019.

Summary on Goodreads.

"Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her. As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died..." [+ More].

It was an interesting read. I was fully into it trying to figure out who killed her sister and man, I didn't see it coming (but I never do!).

The story is told in the present but Sylvie gives us flashbacks of what was before and I liked this format to tell the story.

I also liked that Sylvie told her mother things the way they were; she wasn't like "oh! my mom is sick, I cannot say that..." No, the conversations here seemed real, the way people in real world would talk.

Why not give the book more than 3 stars? (I ask myself). And I don't know! I liked it but I just find that I had read the same story/plot before, written in a different way, of course. That is why although I liked the book, I wasn't blown away by it.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Night Before by Wendy Walker

Rating: 1-Star

Available May 14, 2019

Summary on Goodreads.

"Rosie and Laura are as different as two sisters can be. One is stable and has the perfect family. The other struggles to break free from her troubled past. When Laura disappears after going on a blind date, Rosie takes matters into her own hands. But as Rosie begins to search for her sister, her greatest fears come to the surface. Could Laura be more of a danger than the stranger she meets or is the night before her last night alive?
Told in dual timelines—the night before and the day after—The Night Before is a riveting thriller about family loyalty, obsession, and what happens when the desire for love spins out of control... [+ More].

Not completely badly written but close.

Laura might or might not be a murderer; but she is made out to sound like bad news, at least, because her trail of bad men in her relationships (as she claims, not that I actually read it).

So Laura is the bad sister and Rosie is the good one. One night, Laura goes out with a man she met online and doesn't come back home that night which makes Rosie to start going crazy, worried about the date because, holy shit! What if Laura killed the poor guy (because...)? So now I wonder if Laura is some type of psychopath.

Rosie goes on to find out why her sister hasn't come back (because, you know, having sex on a first date would be as impossible as being abducted by aliens).

Laura and this guy go out and the whole fucking date is about them baring their souls to each other because apparently, that is what people do when on an first online date.

Even more, tough girl Laura cries her heart out to this unknown man (real tears people, real tears). Their whole conversation was "blah blah blah; and then what happened?; and then what did you do?" Weird conversation; it was like forcing a story out of a mental patient.

At the same time, throughout the date, Laura just keeps thinking about her life and her parents, which I guess was an attempt to show how "bad girl" Laura is, but I couldn't see this.

So the only thing to find out for me was: did she kill that boy back in her teens? And, is she really a psychopath or not? Oh! Also, was she going to kill her date?

I really liked Walker's previous book All is not forgotten and found Emma in the night okay. But this one, The night before, was a big disappointment. I didn't like the characters and found the writing... Complicated.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Still Standing: Finding Light Inside a Guatemalan Prison, The Battle of an Innocent Woman by Anaite Alvarado

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"Anaité Alvarado was at home caring for her children when she noticed Guatemalan police on her street. She sent her children to school just minutes before the police burst into her home, handcuffed her, and dropped her in a dirty Guatemalan prison. In prison, we meet face-to-face the women in the shadows who the Guatemalan government attempts to forget. We hear firsthand accounts of crimes and atrocities, by free will or by force, but we also see how even in the most deplorable of conditions, friendship, kindness, and humanity persevere. We see how women can become violent criminals, murderers even, and yet still have empathy and compassion. We also see how women, like Anaité, are left to linger in jail for crimes they didn’t commit..." [+ More].

Who is Anaité Alvarado? Why should anyone care about her story or the justice system in Guatemala? Well, if this case was famous in Guatemala, it makes sense to publish this book; otherwise, I don't see the point of this book.

I didn't find the story interesting; actually, I didn't care at all about it, therefore, I stopped reading it.

It is not badly written, it is just that without a connection to the narrator, this would just be another fiction book (which would then be badly written).

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Friday, January 4, 2019

The Suspect by Fiona Barton

The Suspect (Kate Waters, #3)

Rating: DNF

Available on January 22, 2019

Summary on Goodreads.

"When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years since he left home to go traveling. This time it’s personal.

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think...[+ More].

Am I the only one not to like this book? I loved The Widow but found The Suspect completely boring.

These two girls disappear in Thailand, and Kate's son (Jake) is in Thailand. One thing leads to another and Jake becomes a suspect (or not). I mean, this didn't have any thrill. Why were two teenagers backpacking to a country of dubious security by themselves? And how old was this Jake that he needed to get away to "find himself" traveling? Then we have this long emails that one of the girls sends to I don't know who detailing their trip (as if I cared for what two girls who were dead from the beginning of the book were doing before they disappeared).

The story also has the "my daughter doesn't do drugs" and "Jake won't do drugs" lines. Probably, but what do you expect of kids traveling by themselves with no adult supervision?

I didn't like the plot, the narrative, the characters... I didn't like anything at all. I DNF it at 85% because I wasn't interested in knowing if the girls' death was an accident or not. And obviously, Jake wasn't going to be the culprit because that is not the way that books work (so I gather).

Jake has disappeared, as in 'he doesn't want to be found' (remember he was traveling to "find himself"). Initially, Kate went to Thailand to cover the story of the two girls but now she has to find out where his son (Jake) is to clean his name...

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Friday, December 28, 2018

The Silent Patient by by Alex Michaelides

Rating: 5-Stars

Available on February 5, 2019

Summary on Goodreads.

"Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.... " [+ More].

Oh! How I enjoyed this one. This book is coming out on February and it has already been bought for a movie. Yes, it is very good.

I liked the narrator and the twist.

This is this author's first book and it has already been a hit.

In terms of the plot, I can't really say much but that Alicia killed her husband and then has been silent for years. It is up to this new doctor to make her talk so we can know for sure if she really killed her husband or what.

Definitely, psychological thrillers are my favorite.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

How She Died, How I Lived by Mary Crockett

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"I was one of five. The five girls Kyle texted that day. The girls it could have been. Only Jamie--beautiful, saintly Jamie--was kind enough to respond. And it got her killed.
On the eve of Kyle's sentencing a year after Jamie's death, all the other "chosen ones" are coping in various ways. But our tenacious narrator is full of anger, stuck somewhere between the horrifying past and the unknown future as she tries to piece together why she gets to live, while Jamie is dead.
Now she finds herself drawn to Charlie, Jamie's boyfriend--knowing all the while that their relationship will always be haunted by what-ifs and why-nots. Is hope possible in the face of such violence? Is forgiveness? How do you go on living when you know it could have been you instead?.." [+ More].

DNF because nothing was going on here for me. From the summary you know that one girl was killed and the other feels guilty for it. Why, I wonder? Because you didn't reply to the message? Neither did the other girls.
I found it hard to relate to the feelings of guilt because the death of the girl had nothing to do with the narrator.

Now on to the romance: It is just what YA is, romance romance romance.

I liked the MC (the narrator) and the writing but I just wasn't interested in reading about the MC's life just for the sake of it. I guess the story is about the aftermath of this high school girl (MC) after a horrible crime is committed, and that is fine. It just didn't hold my interest.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Ten After Closing by Jessica Bayliss

Rating: DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"10PM: Closing time at Cafe Flores. The door should be locked, but it isn't, Scott Bradley and Winsome Sommervil are about to become hostages.

TEN MINUTES BEFORE CLOSING: Scott's girlfriend breaks up with him over the phone while he's in the cafe's basement storeroom because he's late picking her up for the big end-of-the-year party. Now he can't go to the party, but he can't go home, either--not knowing if his dad will still be in a drunken rage. Meanwhile, Winny wanted one night to let loose, away from her mother's crushing expectations. Instead, she's stranded at the cafe after her best friend ditches her in a misguided attempt at matchmaking..." [More +]

Not a fan of this one. I thought the story was gonna be more about the hold up and less about the drama going in the lives of the narrators.

The timeline jumps between "X minutes after closing" and "X minutes before closing (actually hours)". I didn't care about what went on before closing, at all. And what was actually going on after closing was extremely... Slow and uninteresting for me.

Right from the beginning, the author tells you who is doing the hold up and why. So what was left was to find out if anybody who worked there was actually going to be killed.

Ohh! There is also romance in here. Why, didn't Scott's girlfriend just break up with him? Well, I guess YA without romance is not really YA...

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Competition by Cecily Wolfe

Rating: DNF

Summary on GoodReads.

"For Mary Sofia, The Penultimate writing competition is more than a chance at a free college education; she wants to show her younger siblings that they can all rise above their violent family history. For Raiden, the pressure to succeed comes from within, although he knows that family traditions play a part in his determination. For Camara, writing fiction is almost compulsive, but her own dark secret may be the best story she can ever tell. For Michael, swimming and writing fit his introverted personality perfectly, but meeting a smart and beautiful girl at The Penultimate makes stepping outside of his comfort zone easy. All four will compete against each other along with 96 other high school juniors for the chance of a lifetime: a full scholarship to a prestigious private college. Some students will do anything to win, but others may pay the price...." [+ More].

A book about a writing competition would engage all writers out there, right? Unfortunately, the plot didn't hold my interest. Starting with the poor and rich students (Jada and Mary Sofia), and the boy (Michael) who looked at Mary Sofia differently on the bus (is romance coming already?), and the typical "I don't care how he looks at me" line... It is all too bland and predictable.

And why is a rich girl (Jada) competing for a full scholarship, anyway, thus probably robbing the poor student (Mary Sofia) of the opportunity? Obviously, Mary Sofia is a much better writer and there is no way that the author is going to give the scholarship to a rich girl, but still...

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Friday, November 16, 2018

My sister, the serial killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Rating: 3-Stars

Summary on Goodreads.

"Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer."

Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola's third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede's practicality is the sisters' saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her "missing" boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.
A kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where Korede works, is the bright spot in her life. She dreams of the day when he will realize they're perfect for each other. But one day Ayoola shows up to the hospital uninvited and he takes notice. When he asks Korede for Ayoola's phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and what she will do about it.
Sharp as nails and full of deadpan wit, Oyinkan Braithwaite has written a deliciously deadly debut that's as fun as it is frightening... [+ More].

I liked it even thought didn't like any of the characters, but I liked the writing and the little bit of cultural integrations in the story.

So Karode (the plain sister) helps her serial killer sister Ayoola (and the beautiful sister) by cleaning up after the murders and getting rid of the bodies. Well, doesn't that make her a serial killer too?

There was no insight as to why Ayoola likes killing men... But I guess that is what psycopaths do.

Apparently, Korode is happy to live her life j Ayoola and Karode ended up being the same characters they were before.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Collector’s Apprentice by B.A. Shapiro

Rating: 2-Stars/DNF

Summary on Goodreads.

"It’s the summer of 1922, and nineteen-year-old Paulien Mertens finds herself in Paris—broke, disowned, and completely alone. Everyone in Belgium, including her own family, believes she stole millions in a sophisticated con game perpetrated by her then-fiancé, George Everard. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she creates a new identity, a Frenchwoman named Vivienne Gregsby, and sets out to recover her father’s art collection, prove her innocence—and exact revenge on George..." [+ More].

I enjoyed the beginning but then things started to rush and the story lost its charm.

For instance, Vivienne finally sees her ex and in about half a page she discovers that he is not who she thought and sends him away. I was expecting a little more drama to the moment.

If you love impressionism (or post) you will enjoy this book.

I just got bored, maybe because of the 3 storylines: present (how the story started), near past (how Vivienne made it to the US and found herself in the situation she was in), and distant past (how Vivienne met her fiance before she became poor and met the collector who brought her to the US). Ah! And I also saw some chapters about Vivienne's ex and his activities which I didn't care about.

I like historical fiction and enjoyed the writing; the story, unfortunately, didn't hold my interest.

Monday, October 29, 2018

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Rating: 4-Stars

Available on March 26, 2019.

Summary on Goodreads.

"Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.

We look like a normal couple. We're your neighbors, the parents of your kid's friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.

We all have secrets to keeping a marriage alive.

Ours just happens to be getting away with murder..." [More +].

Oh! This turned out to be a good one! The summary doesn't say much though; it turned out to be much better!

At first I was interested, then (like any good reader) I thought I knew where the story was going and was about to lose interest. But then it turned around and surprised me! Mainly, I enjoy two evil people doing evil things to each other to see who wins.

One thing I didn't like at all was the wife's name, Millicent (I even looked it up) because every time I read the name I would read it "Maleficent" so the name for me was like, hello! The woman is maleficent!

Anyway, I also liked (very much) the voice of the narrator (the husband).

I can't say more because then I would give it away but, despite minor things, this was a good read for me.

At 90% I couldn't see how this was gonna get solved so I thought that a second book was coming, and I was already looking forward to it. But somehow, the author managed to wrap it up in a couple of pages and not ruin it.

I did not like the hobby the couple shared but I so liked the characters!

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.