Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Review: The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live

The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live by Heather B. Armstrong
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I am so conflicted with this book.

The good is that the author is honest about her depression and describes it so very well. Her writing is compulsive and her relationship with words is enviable. I applauded anybody who is willing to write an honest memoir. But that is where my conflict comes in. It is certainly her choice to share what she wishes to share of her personal journey and I acknowledge that. What drove me crazy was the little tidbits that hinted of a much, much bigger story that is probably relevant to her journey but then, after one sentence, she drops it. Why mention it at all if it isn’t going to be fleshed out adequately for the reader? There are deep issues with her father and I respect her discretion as she has a continued relationship with him yet she intimates how very horrible he was to her in her childhood by making a reference to TV bombshell and then drops it.

I found the author very, very good at describing how it feels to be so depressed that she wanted to be dead but much of the book is a lot of description of the sounds of her mother’s shoes as she walks quickly a conversation about constipation. Her writing tends toward promising something deeper but leaves me wanting as it doesn’t deliver.

Apparently, there are also inside jokes or references that I didn’t get. I don’t like to feel stupid or excluded when I read a book. I enjoy an intellectually challenging read but the references were not that. They were inferences made within her mind, pop culture, or her blog. Truthfully, I’m not as trendy as she is.

I admire the author for who she is and what she has accomplished and continues to accomplish. Fans of her blog will probably understand a lot more than I did. My review is based on my frustration level and not on Ms. Armstrong’s writing style.

View all my reviews

Monday, February 4, 2019

Review: Even If I Fall

Even If I Fall Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting and intriguing premise. What happens after the “Whodunnit” in a small town? Best friends, a murder, a confession with vague details, the convicted goes to prison, two families are left broken. The protagonist, Brooke, is the younger sister of a brother she loves very much and visits him every Saturday at the penitentiary. She is isolated both socially and within her family as each member carries the sin of the brother.

Meet Heath, the brother of the murdered best friend. Trapped and isolated because of the crime against his brother, living with a different family dynamic that holds him hostage. A unlikely friendship with Brooke. How do either of them or all of them move forward? What happened that night and does it really matter?

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Review: My Lovely Wife

My Lovely Wife My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I did not like the storyline of this book, yet... I simply could. Not. Put. It. Down. First chapter is short and sweet and I’m hooked. I really wasn’t going to read the book based on the premise which is that a seemingly normal suburban couple with two teenage kids get an adrenaline rush by killing women. Ick. Not my cup of tea. Here is why I didn’t put it down.

It’s not graphic. Even when other details come up, the descriptions are left to the reader to fill in the dots. Just enough detail to know but not enough detail to be completely offensive. Yet I’m disturbed that I wasn’t offended enough to put it down. That’s good writing.

The story unfolds with twists and turns. The POV is the husband. You kind of understand him and want to like him. They both have secrets. Neither are innocent yet I had to stop myself from wanting him to get away with it. I was justifying his level of guilt. They each play different parts in the crimes and THAT is the hook.

The last 50 pages or so even disturbed my plan to make chocolate chip cookies. Could. Not. Put. It. Down. I guess my summation is that the story is really not about the crimes. In fact, as disturbing as these people are, the author writes a very well written novel that focuses on events outside the crimes.

View all my reviews