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News from the Curio – 15

Posted by on March 2, 2015 12:13 am in Book talk | 8 comments

Happy Monday, readers!

How was your weekend?

If you follow me on Instagram (@infinitecurio), then you already know that my weekend had an amazing start after the Man kidnapped me on Friday morning. We spent the day and the night at a really great hotel where we enjoyed winter in all its beauty. We walked a little, gave ice skating a try after 15+ years without practicing (I only fell once!) and ate amazing food. I absolutely loved the room, especially for its glass fireplace which could be enjoyed from the bed, the living space and the bath once you slid open panels in the bathroom.

But my favorite part was certainly taking a hot bath in the afternoon and then again at night, lit by a fire under the winter sky. It feels really great to soak in hot bubbles while breathing the fresh, ice cold air, and that night I slept better than I had in weeks. I really needed that!

It was one night but it felt like 3 – in the best of ways. I came back relaxed, happy, and feeling really lucky.

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Filling the Shelf – 160

Filling the Shelf simply is Mailbox Monday, but with a title that suits my blog! If you’re interested in joining the fun or seeing what other bloggers added to their shelves, click away! (but beware, visiting other mailboxes will probably add to your neverending wishlist!)

There were also new books added to my shelves this week!

Dangerous Boys, which I couldn’t go without after enjoying Dangerous Girlssimilarly, after having a fun time with J’adore New York, I had to read its sequel. I’m also happy I’ll finally be giving Liane Moriarty a try after hearing so much good about her novels!

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Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas – Unteachable by Leah Raeder

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J’adore Paris by Isabelle Laflèche – What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty 

What books did you recently add to your shelves?

 

Review : California by Edan Lepucki

Posted by on February 27, 2015 12:19 am in 3 stars reads | 1 comment

californiaCalifornia by Edan Lepucki
Pages : 393
Genre : Speculative Fiction
Stand alone
My Rating : 3/5

About the Book  :

The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they’ve left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable despite the isolation and hardships they face. Consumed by fear of the future and mourning for a past they can’t reclaim, they seek comfort and solace in one other. But the tentative existence they’ve built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she’s pregnant.

Terrified of the unknown but unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses its own dangers. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust.

My Thoughts :

I was going through abandoned drafts  from last fall when I stumbled upon California’s half-done review. Interestingly, even though the book failed to amaze me, parts of it had been on my mind lately.

For me, the book started well. It’s incredibly slow-moving and internal – which I liked, especially in contrast to the trend of action-packed dystopias YA fiction has given us over the years. I was enjoying getting a more intimate view of things. The gloomy atmosphere was heavy through the page, and I thought that was well done.

And even though both characters annoyed me immensely, I was interested to see where this was going, as much as I was interested by what they had gone through in the past. How did the world go wrong? What happened with Frida’s brother? Who were the mysterious neighbours, and what happened to them?

But then, the characters move from their original setting to a new one, and that’s where it started to go wrong for me. I wasn’t interested in the new characters or the world they built, and the twists felt predictable to me. I kept reading, hoping to be surprised, but in the end, it was just okay. Frida and Cal’s flaws, which I didn’t mind when by themselves, only annoyed me more when confronted to a bigger world.

(I honestly can’t decide who I liked less, Cal or Frida. Huh!)

So while California definitely left an impression with its dark, gloomy and realistic atmosphere, the overall result failed to really impress me. Luckily for me, there’s plenty more dystopian fiction waiting around to be read!

Review : The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Posted by on February 24, 2015 11:49 am in 4 stars reads | 2 comments

the girl on the trainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Pages : 336
Genre : Psychological Thriller
Stand alone
My Rating : 4/5

About the Book  :

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?

My Thoughts :

I think it’s impossible, right now, to be a blogger or reader and not having heard of The Girl on the Train. Claimed to be the next Gone Girl or Before I Go to Sleep, this thriller uses some of the same tricks that made the previous books successful : unreliable narrators, unlikable characters and a twisted plot come together to create a can’t-put-it-down thriller.

And it works. Told from three different point of views, the story is quick to captivate your interest and make you wonder, what happened? It’s not even a surprise that at least one of them is unreliable as a narrator, so you get to spend the whole book wondering whether she’s lying or not. On top of that, none of these three characters are really likable, and all of them are mostly miserable. It creates a very gloomy, very pessimistic atmosphere in which doubt and suspicions can only fester.

The Girl on the Train was a quick read for me, one that occupied my mind with its questions even when I wasn’t reading. I did wish the culprit had been a bit more unpredictable; I guessed very early on who it was, just not the how it happened, and how it all related together. Still, I loved how unapologetic the author was about her characters; she created them flawed and then used those flows to propel the story, rather than excuse them or try to put them on a dedemption path.

I also loved how Rachel, the main of the three narrators, constantly works on assumptions – and very often wrongly so. I think it’s true of life; it’s fun to people-watch and imagine their lives, and it’s easy to assume what is going on – but we rarely are right, for sure. It’s a super interesting approach, and I loved that it wasn’t used as a cheap device (you know, like when in romcoms the girl assumes the guy is cheating on her but NO it was only his sister!) but as a theme for the story.

All in all, The Girl on the Train was quite a fun thriller. While for me it didn’t rank as high as Gone Girl or Before I Go to Sleep, it was still a captivating read I would happily recommend to fans of a good suspense novel!

Filling the Shelf – 159

Posted by on February 23, 2015 10:46 am in Book talk | 9 comments

Filling the Shelf – 159

Filling the Shelf simply is Mailbox Monday, but with a title that suits my blog! If you’re interested in joining the fun or seeing what other bloggers added to their shelves, click away! (but beware, visiting other mailboxes will probably add to your neverending wishlist!)

Hi all!

I am happy to report that my finger has not fallen off, and is mostly completely back to normal. I can type words and stuff!

My mailbox this week was small and virtual. It’s fun to get my hands on some new work by an author I have enjoyed in the past (Megan Miranda for Fracture) and to finally give a try to Colleen Hoover after hearing so much about her!

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Hysteria by Megan Miranda - Never Never by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

What books did you recently add to your shelves?