• Book Review

    The Grave Tender

    Warnings: Violence My Thoughts The Grave Tender is a haunting and beautifully woven southern gothic about a broken family and the love that binds them together. The story starts slow as the story introduces Hadley, her friends, family, and their small town which on the surface seems idyllic. It’s the sort of town where everyone knows each other over generations, but the smiling town hides many secrets. What I loved most about this book was how it dealt with matters of appearance. It’s easy to point fingers and blame those that look the most guilty, who are the most eccentric. It’s the folly of letting appearances dictate our perception of…

  • Book Review

    That Weekend

    Warnings: Violence, Domestic Abuse, Mature Themes My Thoughts An intensely readable page-turner with more twists than an M. Night Shyamalan movie, That Weekend is a young adult mystery thriller about a trio of friends that disappear in the woods. The story begins with Claire, the only one of the three that is found injured and alone in the woods with no memory of what happened that weekend. It’s the perfect set-up for a summer thriller. The first twenty percent of the novel was slow, setting up Claire’s story and her relationship to her two best friends. It was essentially just Claire’s romantic drama with three different teen boys and while…

  • Book Review

    The Liar’s Daughter

    Warnings: Child Abuse My Thoughts I knew that this story was going to be a page-turner just by the look of it, and the brief synopsis hooked me. The Liar’s Daughter is less about everyday life in a cult, but about Piper’s search for truth and eventual recovery from the trauma that she has endured and tucked away. Piper is virtuous, obedient to her parents, and cares for the other children that she lives within an abandoned theme park. She dreams of being initiated into the commune and doing her part to better the lives of other people, away from the toxic influences of modern society. The setting feels like…

  • Book Review

    The Readymade Thief

    My Thoughts Well, this book is certainly interesting, so much so that I still don’t fully know what to make of it. The Readymade Thief is a love letter to Marcel Duchamp, a French-American artist that became famous in the early twentieth century for his influence on conceptual art. He is most famous for his readymades, manufactured pieces that he turned into art. His stance on what constituted art is an idea that could be applied to the novel. It’s art if the artist says that it is art. There are connections if that’s what you want to see. Duchamp’s life and work are threaded throughout the story, even some…

  • Book Review

    Into the Water

    My Thoughts Mystery can be a difficult genre to write. An author needs to strike a good balance between giving clues while not making things too predictable and adding twists that make sense but are not there merely for shock value. Now see, this book is marketed as a mystery thriller, and while it definitely follows the usual format and has some thrills near the end, as a mystery novel it falls a little flat. Both the perpetrator and the red herrings meant to throw readers off are extremely obvious and it’s easy to guess many of the twists in the novel well ahead of time. I realized pretty quickly…

  • Book Review

    Little Lies

    My Thoughts It seems like I either love or hate Gudenkauf’s work and there is rarely any in-between. She has a reoccurring theme of females investigating crimes and having access to information that they really shouldn’t and it can either be small enough that it can be forgiven or it can ruin the entire story. What bothered me the most about this book was how poor a representation Ellen Moore is of a social worker. Just think, if it was you or your own children that were involved in a case, would you want the CPS worker talking to other people idly about it? Carelessly giving personal information out even…