The Girl Before by JP Delaney | Released January 24, 2017 by Ballentine Books | Rating: 3.5/5| Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction | Amazon | Goodreads
This book is the exact reason why you shouldn’t get a “smart” house.
As far as thrillers go, The Girl Before is one I would recommend. Yes, it is vaguely reminiscent of some other thrillers I’ve read lately, but it’s paced well and held my attention.
I will say that I have slightly mixed feelings about the books female characters, Emma and Jane; their development, attitude/outlook and overall believably. This definitely wasn’t enough for me to dislike the book or stop reading. I won’t go into much further detail to avoid spoilers, other than to say it would be nice to read a book with more fully-formed, multidimensional female characters. I think, at times, this book tried, but just missed the mark.
The long and short of it – it was a good, quick read. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat and there are no jaw dropping moments, but it held my attention and I enjoyed it.
Synopsis: Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.
The request seems odd, even intrusive – and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant – and it does.
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street, she is instantly drawn to the space – and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror as the girl before.
I will admit it.
I am kind of a book snob.
Actually, there is no “kind of” about it. I am a book snob.
There. I said it.
But I have my reasons and if you’re anything like me, you too, have your own eerily specific book/reading preferences that make other, less picky readers, tilt their head at you in mock derision.
So here are my little book quirks. See if any speak to your book loving soul:
The Library is My Best Friend
I really don’t buy many books. I mostly get my books from my local library using the Overdrive app (if you don’t have this downloaded, you really should). A lot of the books I “read” I actually get on audiobook and listen to while I’m working. It’s one of the main reasons I’m able to get through as many books as I do.
I will say that audiobooks can be tricky. A great book can be completely ruined (or at least made less enjoyable) by the wrong narrator. I’ve come across a few books where I have been thrown off by the choice of narrator. Books that if I chose to actually read, I would probably enjoy (these books are still on my TBR list).
The downside to the library is that the book you’re most aching to read at any given moment isn’t always available; especially if what you’re aching to read what everyone else is aching to read.
I’ll Buy the Book But There Are Conditions
It may or may not surprise you to learn that I do not have an overflowing bookshelf of books.
Technically, my shelf is overflowing but in my defense it’s a small shelf.
I am very selective of what books I’ll purchase, mostly because I don’t very often read books more than once. Therefore, I usually only buy books that I’ve already read and feel that I would enjoy again or by authors that I love and am fairly certain I will enjoy.
Here’s where things get particular and well, snobbish. Let me explain.
I really dislike paperback books. They’re too flimsy and its much easier for them to get ruined than hardcover books. That, and hardcover books just look nicer, in my humble opinion. If I really want a book, I’m willing to pay a little extra for a hardcover.
My second snobbish quirk is that if I’m going to shell out the money for the hardcover book, I want a first edition. Depending on how old the book is, this can mean some hunting in used books stores and sometimes I don’t always get my way and have to settle for just a hardcover. I’m not so stubborn that I HAVE to have a first edition, but I’d definitely prefer it.
You Can Borrow My Books But There A Rules
Because I am so picky about the books that I do buy, I am exceedingly protective of them.
There will be no making notes or highlighting (unless it’s a textbook) and if you dog-ear a page or break the spine, heaven help you (mom!!). I have seriously considered implementing a check out system for those who want to borrow my books but that seems a bit high maintenance. I’m not that crazy… yet.
So now you know, I’m a bit OCD about my books…
What are you weird book quirks?
As much as I’d like to pretend that I’m super sophisticated and well-read all the time, it’s really just not the case. After reading so many murder/mystery/thriller books in a row, I start to question my own sanity and need to take a break from said genre and have a nice little pallet cleanser. Usually, this pallet cleanser comes in the form of a fantasy, science fiction, or young adult book. That being said, the last classic literature book I read was last year (Fahrenheit 451) and I’m thinking it’s time I give one of those timeless ladies another crack.
I just saw the new trailer for Mary Shelley, about the author of Frankenstein, and it looks kind of good. Not sure how I feel about Elle Fanning being British but I’ll hold my judgement until viewing. The trailer is intriguing and it made me realize that I have not yet read Frankenstein. I think it may be time to rectify that.
Peep the trailer for Mary Shelley with Elle Fanning and Maise Williams below:
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King | Released June 3, 2013 by Scribner | Rating: 4/5 | Genre: Crime, Mystery, Fiction, Thriller | Amazon | Goodreads
Synopsis: In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.
In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.
Man, I love a book that has literal jaw dropping moments!
This is only my third Stephen King novel after The Dark Tower and Sleeping Beauties (the later of which I highly recommend!) and I loved it.
Granted, I am a total detective/murder-mystery novel junkie, but this book is fantastic. I “read” a lot of my books via audio books while I’m working. Sometimes this is problematic. Sometimes, I find I’m focusing more on work and miss key points in the story, and sometimes the book is sooooo gripping that I find I’m not actually working but just sitting like an idiot, listening in shock, or wonder, or awe.
Mr. Mercedes is one of those books that proved to be an issue listening to it while working. I was so engrossed that I found myself zoning out and just listening to what was happening and not actually working – this really doesn’t happen that often and I’m usually able to focus on both work and the book so I use this as a measure of a great read.
In short, this book was gripping, engrossing, and thrilling the entire way through. It should be no shock that Stephen King, knows how to get into the mind of and create a twisted killer antagonist and create an interesting protagonists.
The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz | Released June 28, 2016 by Mira | Rating: 3/5| Genre: Romance, Mystery, Fiction | Amazon | Goodreads
Synopsis: When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it’s to discover he’s been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it’s property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris.
How many books have you read where you have an actual WTF! moment? For better or worse, if a book can make you gesture wildly while reading it, it’s doing s o m e t h i n g!
I started this book and was instantly hooked. I love a good family mystery/dark secrets story and this has it all and then some. Usually, I am not one for much of any romance in books, and I didn’t even mind it in here. Reisz knows how to write a steamy story that has chemistry jumping off the page. Not to mention, a plot that keeps you guessing and grappling the whole way through.
Here’s the bummer. There’s a big shock moment. I won’t go into detail about it but it’s there and I was not a fan. Honestly, it’s the big flaw in an otherwise awesome story. I finished the book, but my excitement waned quite a bit after this WTF moment.
Because of this, I gave the book barely 3 stars. It would have been a wonderful story, a great story except for that left turn.