Colorado Springs | Member Since 2011
I have always loved the Plum series. The characters are so funny and I find myself laughing out loud. But this book didn't explore any of that great character development I have found in most of the series. The book bored me. No surprises. No belly laughs. I was bitterly disappointed.
There were none of the really great scenes with grandma. That is just one example of what left me wanting.
I am a first time reader of Tami Hoag, and based upon this book I will read more. The storyline is good although I wish we had learned more about the horrors of Dana's own experiences. May I suggest a prequel?
The truth is I am a reader who is more interested in character development than plot line so my reviews tend to focus on the characters. This book presented provocative characters who were dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and family dysfunction. I really enjoyed the twist of having both Dana and John dealing with these issues but for different reasons. When they knew one another 7 years earlier they had no respect or esteem for one another. They separated due to the loss of a mutual friend. But now when they are reunited it is due to their similar experiences. It was a cruel and brutal twist in each of their lives which set up the story.
Dana was strong and feisty despite her own tragic and damaging past. She remembers very little and is frustrated, contentious, and angry. But she is also superbly intelligent and challenges herself to learn and remember. John was someone for whom I had sympathy and empathy. His anger pushed him to act rashly and I found myself cheering for him; hoping for his ability to escape the speculation of those in town and the viciousness of his father. A minor character for most of the book, Roger, created tensions for Dana, set up more reasons for Dana to squabble with her mother, and provided the reader with another character to blame. These three individuals were my favorite characters.
I love when a mystery isn't solved for the reader until late in the book. Often the author "spills the beans", but Ms Hoag allowed me to blame John, John's father, Doc Holliday, Roger, and even Tim. We don't get to know the true killer until the last three chapters, and I appreciate that.
Ms Whelan was excellent. Her reading syle uncomplicated, effortless and honest. It allowed me to forget there was a narrator and hear my own voice. What a treat!
Not really. The book was predictable and the most interesting part of the story didn't even begin until we were almost halfway into the book -- that is Jade;s life and its limitations. The blurb on the back of the book coerced me into reading this book. I expected the sisterly relationship to be explored, but instead a third of the story was spent just setting up the story - Riley is cleaning out her dad's house and wishing for a better relationship with her brother. Page 1, page 3, page 47 ... all the same. Boring.
It isn't terrible, so I didn't return the book. But it isn't good either. The plot twisted several times -- but I guessed where it was going next every single time.
Yes, if they made it about the story of the sisters and their pasts.
This book was engrossing from start to finish. Though I longed for a happy ending, I am glad that the author didn't take the easy route and wrap up the story in a pretty bow.
I found myself laughing, thinking, and exploring each character in my mind. I found myself hooked. and I listened to the entire book on 1.5 speed because I wanted to discover what lied deep within the story. The book was done in the course of a day.
The pacing was quick and tense. The story kept me guessing until the end. I am usually a fan of extremely well-defined characters where the novel is driven by character more than plot. But this story is different. The story kept my interest even though I wished to learn more about the main characters.
Scott Brick is outstanding with his narration. And the pairing of Scott and Harlan is superb. The narration added so much to the development. At times I do not like audio books because the narrators get the voices of women so wrong. Not here. Scott doesn't try too hard to speak with a high voice which comes off wrong. It is easy to listen and get lost in the plot because Scott never takes me out of the story -- which happens when the voices are wrong.
I dont regret listening to the story -- in fact as I think about this book while thinking about what to say, I realize how much I loved the narration. It was superb. Jenna Lamia gave very specific voices to the characters and never missed making the switch. The story is mostly fluff. I would categorize the story as "junk food for the brain." But we can read for enjoyment only.
Most interesting: CeeCee's trip to the beach. Least interesting: The unanswered questions. Why did her dad give her away so easily? Why don't we hear more about the death on the beach?
I am betting it will be made into a movie.
I rarely read short stories, and when I purchased this book I didn't realize that it is essentially short stories. A reviewer on Amazon describes it as though a chapter was ripped out of 20 different books about Olive and compiled into one book. The characters all disappear from the canvas when the chapter ends. I just began to like the people when the story changes and revolves around another character. Yes, Olive is in each story, but I fond her to be an unlikable character and so this doesn't rescue the story. I will not read this again.
I enjoyed this book very much. I worried that Koryta would be a one hit wonder, but he proved me wrong. This novel is intriguing, confusing and unpredictable. Added together the book is a hard-boiled, edge-of-your-seat, exciting mystery, I will read #3 very soon.
My daughter was assigned this book as part of her summer reading for her Honor's English class. I got to it first and spent two nights awake until dawn listening in wonder. I expected a murder mystery set in the World's Fair. It was so much more. Really there were two stories running concurrently. We did follow HH Holme and know what he was up to while living in Chicago. There was nothing gruesome -- Mr Larson writes about Holmes' machinations in a straightforward way. For me this mad it feel less sensational and I was glad for the writing style.
The other story interested me further. Following the preparation for, the buildup towards, and the financial consequences of the Fair was fascinating. It allows the reader to understand the culture of our home country at a time more than 100 years in our past. We meet world leaders, owners of the largest businesses, the father of a son who later be known as WALT DISNEY. But we also meet people that some might not recognize. FREDERICK LAW OLMSTEAD played a large role throughout the book. It was fascination t flesh out his life as I knew him only as the designer of Central Park in New York. Interspersed throughout the entire story are came performances. I particularly liked the the short moment shared between Pulham and Helen Keller.
i loved everything about the book -- with one caveat. Really more advice. Don't let your mind wander. You won't want to miss any of the hidden gems.
About two very disturbing people. The center of the book for me is neither Nick or his missing wife ... But their relationship. The book is extremely well-written. The author takes you back in time when Nick remembers moments with his wife or when she writes her journal. Then she flashes forward to the present ... The slow early days after she disappears. We see Nick floundering to convince the police that he isn't involved. And then we see him grasping desperately at his own theory about what happened to his wife. We watch as he seems to dissolve into himself, going a little crazy. And the whole time your horror at his wife's story grows. Eventually I found myself relieved to leave the insanity of these two people when the book ended.
Saying that you might think I didn't like the book. This isn't true. I found myself repulsed by these two people and their relationship. And that repulsion is exactly why I liked this book. It was a tight and gripping story about unlikable people.
But not much more. I hoped for more description of the PCT, more exploration of the things she learned over months of hiking, more analysis of the characters she met along the way... I really just hoped for more depth.
I admire her perseverance and think I would enjoy hearing her speak of this adventure. But I probably wouldn't recommend the book.
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