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Review : Second Life by S. J. Watson

Posted by on May 19, 2016 2:08 am in 3 stars reads | 2 comments

second lifeSecond Life by S. J. Watson
Pages : 432
Genre : Psychological Thriller
Stand alone
My Rating : 3/5

About the Book  :

Julia’s life is comfortable, if unremarkable, until her sister’s brutal murder opens old wounds. She finds solace in her sister’s best friend, Sophie, but when Sophie reveals the extent of her sister’s online life, Julia becomes convinced that the truth about her death lies deep in the dark, sordid world of online chatrooms and internet sex.

What begins as Julia’s search for the truth about her sister quickly turns into an exploration of herself and her own desires. After all, the internet is her playground, and why be just one thing when you can be as many as you like? What could possibly go wrong? After all, it’s only cybersex, isn’t it? No one’s going to get hurt.

But then she meets the dark and mysterious Lukas in an online chat room, and things begin to get very dangerous indeed.

My Thoughts :

About five years ago (!!!) I was lucky enough to join a book tour for Before I Go to SleepI didn’t know at the time how popular the book would become, or how much I would enjoy it. It had its flaws, but it was really entertaining and I ended up recommending it to a lot of people, who also, for the most part, enjoyed it. So I was, of course, really looking forward to reading S. J. Watson’s new psychological thriller.

Second Life was certainly a gripping, captivating read. I was hooked from the first few pages and really enjoyed the narration. I liked the author’s writing, too, and it reminded me a lot of what I had liked of it in Before I Go to Sleep. It was a quick read that didn’t bore me for one moment.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for me to fully enjoy the story, and by the time I reached the ending I mostly felt disappointed. I felt the story didn’t explore anything new (cheating, online strangers, etc.), nor did the twists surprised me, really. I saw most of them coming miles ahead, and the ending wasn’t satisfying. I felt like the book was missing one or two chapters to fully tie everything together.

I can’t say that I recommend this book, but I also can’t say that I don’t recommend it. I would say though, that fans of Before I Go  to Sleep might want to lower their expectations, just in case. I’d give the author another chance, but while it was an easy read, Second Life failed to recreate what I had so enjoyed about the author’s previous book.

Wordless Wednesday – White Flowers

Posted by on May 18, 2016 2:33 am in My work | 4 comments

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Calgary Zoo, May 2016

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here!

 

Filling the Shelf – 212

Posted by on May 16, 2016 1:00 am in Book talk | 6 comments

Welcome to Filling the Shelf, or as many of you know it, Mailbox Monday! 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!)

Hello all!

Hope you all had a great week. Mine was… eh. Can you believe I got sick with a cold, again? I think I spent maybe 5, 6 days feeling good and then there I was again, caught in a cycle of cough-sleep-sneeze. Ick. I am so, so looking forward to feeling good again. Especially with the weather getting warmer and the projects we have for the rest of the month : my mother coming to visit, as well as a short trip to Florida. I’ve visited a few states in the U.S. before, but Florida is a new one, so this is very exciting!

Got a few new books this week, too. In fact, since next week I’ll be away and won’t be doing a mailbox post, I’m cheating a bit this week by including two books (A Court of Mist and Fury and The Rose & The Dagger) that will arrive this week. On top of that, I caught good deals for my ereader with Be Frank With Me and What Remains of Me, and I heard lots of great things about I Let You Go, so I’m looking forward to this one too. But most importantly, I am super excited about Sleeping Giants, which looks like a ton of fun but also looks absolutely gorgeous in real life, especially once you take its jacket off!

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Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel – Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson  – This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (audio)

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I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh  – Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin – The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Andieh

What books did you recently add to your shelves?

 

Review : The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight

Posted by on May 15, 2016 1:54 am in 3 stars reads | 2 comments

the outliersThe Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
Pages : 336
Genre : YA, Mystery
Stand alone
My Rating : 3/5

About the Book  :

It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help.

Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself.

This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him.

But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?

My Thoughts :

In the recent years, I’ve read and enjoyed both of Kimberly McCreight’s previous novels, starting with Reconstructing Amelia and later reading Where They Found HerWhile both books had their faults, I appreciated her writing and her characterization, and was looking forward to seeing what she would do with a YA novel.

I hate to say it, but I was disappointed. There were some good things : good writing, fast pace, intriguing setup. Wylie is a good narrator and from the start, there’s not a single boring moment. Everything moves really fast, with new clues and twists pushing you to turn just one more page.

And eventually, that was the problem for me. Just so many twists, so many revelations, with very little time to digest it all in between. I also had an incredibly hard time believing this would all happen over the course of, what… a day, I think?

And a lot of what happened felt so contrived. From my perspective, they didn’t happen organically because of who the character were or what was happening to them : they simply happened because they had to in order to push the story forward to the next twist/clue/revelation. Consequently, many of Wylie’s decisions left me confused or irritated. I went from reading the book compulsively to pushing through it, because what I had thought was interesting just sounded so unbelievable to me.

Right now, I’m still on the fence about whether I’ll be reading the sequel. I still liked the author’s writing, but the story lacked the depth I was looking for, which made the book feel a bit younger than I prefer. If you’re looking for a fast-pace action thriller which will surprise you with new twists every other chapter, you might enjoy this one more than I did, but I would say to jump into this carefully, especially if you previously enjoyed Kimberly McCreight’s adult novels.