Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Review ~ The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

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The idea of someone's new boyfriend having a stalker seemed like it could be a rather interesting premise, so I was excited to read this book. There were a few events that were predictable yet unexpected at the same time. You could guess that the stalker would (pretend to) be one of the hypnotist's clients, but you weren't sure which one she was. What was troubling about this book was that it was somewhere between disturbing and on the edge of being scary but was presented in such a matter of fact way that it lacked suspense. Perhaps this was the author's intent and the fact that the hypnotist's boyfriend had a stalker gave her a thrill, rather than a scare was more the point of the story.

I had to struggle a bit to get through it, but could imagine that others may be swept up in the story in a way that I was not. So overall, I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this book to anyone, but wouldn't tell you it was the worst thing I've ever read, either.

Thanks to G.P. Putnam’s Sons, An imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. for sending me an ARC.

Book Review ~ Red Rain by R.L. Stine

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I was really disappointed with Stine's Red Rain, really disappointed! I don't remember reading Goosebumps as a kid, but my students love them (and Fear Street too). I figured if he had that many kid followers, then an adult novel would be a slam dunk! What a disappointment! I highly recommend he stick with writing for kids.

If you took out the sex, this one could've been for kids. It felt almost like he did write a creepy kids book and then decided to market it to adults, so he added in some R-rated content. The story itself was creepy, but was hugely lacking in its delivery.

The twins were creepy, and just annoying. Stine may have intended their accent to be a clue, but it fell short, "don't you know?" None of the characters were developed beyond a superficial level and everything they did felt predictable.

If you're seeking a thrill, you're not going to get it by reading Red Rain.

Thanks to Edelweiss & Touchstone for access to this title.

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Book Review ~ Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

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Cold Light was a struggle to get through and I almost gave up on it a few times. I kept waiting for it to get better, but was repeatedly disappointed. All told, it was a rather depressing book that fell flat in its delivery. While I'm usually intrigued by the back and forth between the past and the present, much of what was occurring in the present was boring and dragged out the story rather than contributing to it. The relationships between the characters lacked depth and some should have been developed more or eliminated completely. I'd like to say that the fact that it was set in the UK may have had some impact, but the teenage experience is universal and should be easily translatable, regardless of location. I was hoping to have found a book I could recommend to my students, but I don't think they'd make it through this one. It was difficult for me to finish, so I can only imagine that most students would give up after a few chapters. Thanks to William Morrow Paperbacks and Edelweiss for access to an advanced copy of this title.