May Reads 2015

A couple years ago, I was interning and one of the managers asked me to run an errand to the Upper West Side (about an hour ride on the subway from the office). His guilt evident, he asked me “Hey Camille, read any interesting books lately?” My answer was “Yes, actually!!!” much to his surprise. I had just finished Cloud Atlas and really loved it (and was excited about it) and was currently reading Love in the Time of Cholera. Is it really surprising to meet someone who reads? Anyways, it was a slower month but a happy month full of second-books-in-series!

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The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
One sentence summary: David is a writer of trashy horror books when he meets the mysterious publisher Andreas Corelli , which when things start to go downhill.
This book is sort of a prequel to The Shadow of the Wind so I knew I would like it. It was a little odd because I ran into some grammatical errors but overall I enjoyed it. There’s one big difference between this book and The Shadow of the Wind though. (I guess this is a little bit of a spoiler so… beware.) Everything that happens to Daniel in The Shadow of Wind, while fantastical, could supposedly happen in real life but the ending of The Angel’s Game was really surprising to me because it was fantasy….. Hmm , as I write this, I realize it could just be that David is an unreliable narrator and you have no idea what is made up or not…. maybe the third book in the series will help me figure this out. If anyone out there reading this has somehow read this book, please let me know what you think!
4.5 stars

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
One sentence summary: The continuation of A Discovery of Witches, Diana and Matthew travel back in time in their search for the mysterious manuscript they seek.
Oh yeah, don’t worry, the cheese has not died down in this one!  It’s kind of lacking the feisty Diana that we know from A Discovery of Witches but I think it makes sense in the context of the story (in that she’s back in a time Matthew has lived through and she needs his guidance), it will be interesting to see if this is the case in the final book when they’re back in modern times. This is just such a weird series because the separate books don’t occupy different stories within an overarching one, they’re just parts of one story split into three books. The first book is the why, the second the how, and  I can only imagine the third book is the actual action of the story. So frustrating, but luckily the story has been so addicting,  it works!
4 stars

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
One sentence summary: Rachel sees something suspicious happen to a women she often observes from the train and feels compelled to say something when she disappears, getting wrapped even further into the mystery.
My friend lent me this book and while she guessed the ending, I didn’t, but I can’t say I was surprised. I don’t know how to say why unless I completely give away the whole ending so stop reading now if you don’t want to know! Scroll down to below the next book if you want to keep reading!
3 stars

Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson
One sentence summary: Pete is a social worker in rural Montana where he meets a conspiracy theorist and his son who live in the wilderness, getting caught up in their lives, even as his falls apart.
It took me a little bit to get into this book, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. It gets more interesting in the second half because the story starts to take off for Pete and the Pearls, instead of us just getting to see how miserable Pete’s life is.
Continuation of The Girl on the Train: So yeah, I guess I felt like you hated Tom the whole book and then he turns out to be even more of a dick, because you could already tell he was emotionally abusing Rachel, so it’s not like taking that a step further was that shocking? I think that’s why the ending didn’t leave me reeling or anything. I didn’t guess it but it wasn’t the twist I was hoping for. It was like, Oh it was Tom. Got it. Definitely don’t understand the hype around this book, it’s not a bad read but it left me feeling unsatisfied.

 

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