Review: The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**********THERE ARE SPOILERS IN HERE**********

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

I finally managed to borrow this book from someone (thank you Caroline!) and I spent the weekend discovering what all the fuss was about.

I have admit that despite being someone who reads a lot of crime fiction, I did particularly enjoy this one. It was obviously written with a lot of care and attention to detail. The characters struck me as well rounded and human without being like those intolerable anti-heroes that seem to be popular these days but who I detest and can’t read about.

Anyway – I’m not going to go on and on about the gist of the story, but I will mention that I found it particularly refreshing that it didn’t turn out to be a Gone Girl situation. It was more real than that. All of it was real. From the gaslighting done by the main character’s ex, to the violence she experienced at the hands of not one, but two men.

Actually the whole thing was just creepy because it wasn’t too hard to imagine any of it happening for real.

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October Horrorfest

EvilClownIn the spirit of all things cliché I am hoping to dedicate the month of October to reading the very few horror novels that I own. I actually even went out and bought two new horror novels because I wasn’t sure I would have enough to get me through the month.

Of course I do have a couple of YA reviews that I still haven’t posted so if some of those pop up along the way, don’t be confused. Life is too short to be that serious.

Do you like my revolting clown pic? I don’t think I actually have any books about clowns…

Otherwise are you a horror fan? I think I might be a horror novel virgin (I’m going to say that Stephen King doesn’t count for now) though I am a cheesy horror film fan. Do horror novels give you nightmares? Do horror movies keep you awake at night?

In the realm of all things supernatural…what scares you the most?

The Girl With Glass Feet ~ Ali Shaw

The Girl with Glass FeetThe Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Girl With Glass Feet is a love story about a shy photographer and a girl who is slowly turning into glass. It is completely whimsical, utterly devastating, and astonishingly beautiful in every way. I loved The Girl With Glass Feet in that quiet understated way that one might love a good cup of tea.

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The Man Who Ate the 747 ~ Ben Sherwood

The Man Who Ate the 747The Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So you know how you aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover? Well I imagine the same sentiment is probably applied to judging books by their titles. I have to admit that I do both. I have bought books because they were pretty, and very often I buy the most random books simply because they have a cool title. I further admit that they usually end up just sitting in my bookshelf, but as I have said before, I am finally doing something about that.

The Man Who Ate the 747 is one of my weird title books. And you know what? It really is about a man who eats a 747 – who woulda thunk?!

I tend to like these kinds of books. Easy reading with a bit of quirk. It claims to be the greatest love story ever in the beginning, and you spend most of the book going “ah sweet – alas no not really” but he does defend his statement in the end so it’s all good. You kind of know that since the protagonist is of the impression that love is basically a case of a chemical reaction in the brain caused by encountering subconsciously observed pheromones and symmetry that the poor guy is in for a bit of a ride. Granted the “ride” part could have been a little more emotionally exciting but it was sweet none-the-less.

Not the best book I’ve ever read but also not at all painful. Kind of all I want from a reading session.

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The Austere Academy ~ Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events (book #5)

Title: The Austere Academy

Author: Lemony Snicket

Publisher: Harper Collins

Pages: 221

Where I got it from: Lana

Rating: 4

Goodreads Blurb:

Dear Reader,

If you are looking for a story about cheerful youngsters spending a jolly time at boarding school, look elsewhere. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent and resourceful children, and you might expect that they would do very well at school. Don’t. For the Baudelaires, school turns out to be another miserable episode in their unlucky lives.

Truth be told, within the chapters that make up this dreadful story, the children will face snapping crabs, strict punishments, dripping fungus, comprehensive exams, violin recitals, S.O.R.E., and the metric system.

It is my solemn duty to stay up all night researching and writing the history of these three hapless youngsters, but you may be more comfortable getting a good night’s sleep. In that case, you should probably choose some other book.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

My Thoughts: It was rather wonderful to see the children make some friends for a change. I am assuming that some sort of murder conspiracy is about to reveal itself and I imagine that the two triplet siblings are part of that conspiracy. This book made me particularly eager to get through the rest.

The Miserable Mill ~ Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events (book #4)

Title: The Miserable Mill

Author: Lemony Snicket

Publisher: Harper Collins

Pages: 194

Goodreads Blurb:

Dear Reader,

I hope for your sake, that you have not choosen to read this book because you are in the mood for a pleasant experience. If this is the case, I advise you to put this book down instantaneously, because of all the books describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, The Miserable Mill might be the unhappiest yet. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudeliare are sent to Paltryville to work in a lumbermill, and they find disaster and misfortune luring behing every log.

The pages of this book, I’m sorry to inform you, contain such unpeasantries as a giant pincher machine, a bad casserole, a man with a cloud of smoke where his head should be, a hypnotist, a terrible accident resulting in injury, and coupons.

I have promised to write down the entire history of these three poor children, buy you haven’t, so if you prefer stories that are more heartwarming, please feel free to make another selection.

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket

 

My thoughts: I was happy to move past the parts of the story that were done in the movie. The Miserable Mill wasn’t my favourite part but I did enjoy it anyway. It was rather particularly ridiculous! Which is what makes the series so fun 🙂

Dark Video ~ Peter Church

Title: Dark Video

Author: Peter Church

Publisher: Two Dogs Publishing

Pages:285

Where I got it from: Met the author at a book launch for his other book, Bitter Pill, and decided it would be a good idea to purchase both books.

Rating: 5

Goodreads Blurb: A minibus taxi flipping spectacularly on its head; two teenagers engaged in illicit sex in a shopping-mall rest room; a raunchy table dance in a Cape Town strip club… What have these scenes got to do with a beautiful young woman running through Newlands Forest early on a Sunday morning?

Alistair Morgan is the key. A gifted law student with a glittering career in the offing, Alistair seems to have it all: looks, charm and money – and the attention of the hottest girls on campus. But his privileged lifestyle is about to be turned upside down as he is lured deeper and deeper into the sinister online world of Dark Video, where reality blurs and morals unravel.
From the ominous slopes of Table Mountain and the murky depths of False Bay to a dusty Karoo farm and the limestone cliffs of Arniston, Dark Video is an intense thriller that will keep you spellbound from the word go.

A minibus taxi flipping spectacularly on its head; two teenagers engaged in illicit sex in a shopping-mall rest room; a raunchy table dance in a Cape Town strip club… What have these scenes got to do with a beautiful young woman running through Newlands Forest early on a Sunday morning?
Alistair Morgan is the key. A gifted law student with a glittering career in the offing, Alistair seems to have it all: looks, charm and money – and the attention of the hottest girls on campus. But his privileged lifestyle is about to be turned upside down as he is lured deeper and deeper into the sinister online world of Dark Video, where reality blurs and morals unravel.
From the ominous slopes of Table Mountain and the murky depths of False Bay to a dusty Karoo farm and the limestone cliffs of Arniston, Dark Video is an intense thriller that will keep you spellbound from the word go.

My thoughts: Ok so maybe I am one of those overly-enthusiastic proudly South African people – but I seriously loved this book! I tend to devour crime fiction on a regular basis but have been finding most of the stuff I pick up a little dissatisfying lately. Dark Video, however, was brilliant. The entire book kept me on my toes.

The Wide Window ~ Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (book #3)

Title: The Wide Window

Author: Lemony Snicket

Publisher: Harper Collins

Pages: 214

Where I got it: From Lana

Rating: 4

Goodreads Blurb: Fortunately for young readers, Lemony Snicket has dedicated his life to informing readers of all the misfortunes that plagued the three Baudelaire orphans — the unluckiest children to ever live. In The Wide Window, the third book in the series, the Baudelaire children are sent to stay with a distant aunt who lives on a cliff’s edge overhanging the aptly named Lake Lachrymose, a foreboding body of water serviced by the Fickle Ferry and filled with sharp-toothed leeches who have deadly appetites.

My Thoughts: The story of the children’s adventures with the afraid-of-everything Aunt Josephine is my favourite so far. This book just seems that much more “Snicketty” – I love it!

Shaman’s Blood ~ Anne C. Petty

Title: Shaman’s Blood

Author: Anne C. Petty

Publisher: JournalStone

Pages: 272

Where I got it: Library Thing Early Reviewers

Rating: 3

Goodreads Blurb: A spell gone wrong in a Queensland burial cave accidentally bonds a Quinkan, a shadow demon from the Australian Dreamtime, to a wicked mixed-blood shaman named Cadjer Harrow. Through his carelessness, the half-aboriginal conjure man has unwittingly cursed his entire family for centuries to come, and now there will be hell to pay.

My Thoughts: Well…. This was a review book from “Library Thing” which I only requested to see if I would get it and not because I actually paid any attention to what it was. I kind of had to groan a little when I saw the cover. I don’t do snakes. I have a rather pathological fear of them. As in I have snake nightmares at least once or twice a month. But… I enjoyed this book. It was kind of cool to read something different for a change, something I never would have picked out myself. The Australian mythology was especially cool. Aus is one of those places I have absolutely no interest in whatsoever, but reading this book made the place a little more interesting for me. I still won’t go there – too many snakes – but I like that it has a rich culture that I never actually considered before.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason ~ Helen Fielding

Title: Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason

Author: Helen Fielding

Publisher: Viking

Pages: 338

Where I got it from: The Momma Bear brought it for me when she went to the States in 2002

Rating: 4

Goodreads Blurb: “Bridget—if you somehow managed to escape Bridget-mania—is the heroine of former London Independent columnist Helen Fielding’s cult column. By the time Bridget reached these shores, she was all wrapped up in Bridget Jones’s Diary, a collection of the columns. Her self-obsessed daily diary entries began with lists: calories ingested, alcohol units imbibed, cigarettes (Silk Cuts, of course) smoked, lies told to “fitness assessors.” The content of the entries, always entertaining, went downhill in importance from there. The cast of characters included best friends, awful bosses, men-of-the-moment, and crazy family members. Insipid, narcissistic, over 30, and single, Bridget touched a collective cultural nerve.”

Well…I spent the last three pages of this book literally laughing out loud. That’s enough for me 🙂

 

 

Bridget Jones’s Diary ~ Helen Fielding

Title: Bridget Jones’s Diary

Author: Helen Fielding

Publisher: Viking

Pages: 267

Where I got it: Bought it while I was in the States

Goodreads blurb: At the beginning of Helen Fielding’s exceptionally funny second novel, the thirtyish publishing puffette is suffering from postholiday stress syndrome but determined to find Inner Peace and poise. Bridget will, for instance, “get up straight away when wake up in mornings.” Now if only she can survive the party her mother has tricked her into–a suburban fest full of “Smug Marrieds” professing concern for her and her fellow “Singletons”–she’ll have made a good start. As far as she’s concerned, “We wouldn’t rush up to them and roar, ‘How’s your marriage going? Still having sex?'”

Rating: 5

I would like to just say from the start that I am giving this book five stars because I loved it. I rate ALL books this way. I don’t rate books on their brilliant contribution to literature – I am truly not so arrogant that I feel I have the slightest clue as to what does and does not constitute good or brilliant writing. What I DO know is whether or not I like something. And yes, I did like this book a whole lot more when I read it for the first time ten years ago (strangely I related to Bridget more when I was 19 than I do now that we are closer in age!) but I do still love Bridget and think that as long as you don’t watch the movies just about any girl would sort of love her too. I must admit though that after a week of watching Will & Grace while at the same time reading Bridget Jones, I seem to find myself thinking that I should really take up smoking an alcohol abuse.Alcoholic smokers do seem to be much happier people… Oh an pill popping! And of course I MUST marry a very rich fat man who will not live long just like Karen Walker (who has nothing to do with Bridget Jones – I only mention her because both women have been inspiring me to drink more wine… I don’t know why….)

The Reptile Room ~ Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (book #2)

Title: The Reptile Room

Author: Lemony Snicket

Publisher: Harper Collins

Pages: 190

Where I got it: Borrowed from Lana

Goodreads blurb: After narrowly escaping the menacing clutches of the dastardly Count Olaf, the three Baudelaire orphans are taken in by a kindly herpetologist with whom they live happily for an all-too-brief time.

Rating: 4

I really do love how despite the dreadful events portrayed in this story you never feel like you’re about to fall into a heap about it. Just read and enjoy 🙂