The Crying Boy – Jane E. James

34738926  1 Star

Almost all of the books I got from NetGalley are due not until next year. So I thought this would be a good time to read some books I bought myself. But apparently I am better at choosing books from NetGalley than find some of my own on amazon. This book is the third or even fourth in a row of books I bought which I really disliked.

 

The blurb sounds promising and I heard about the cursed paintings many years ago. And I am always looking for a good horror book (which is hard to find). I saw all the good reviews and I happily started reading. But this book took ages to get started. I almost gave up. But somebody wrote that the story gets better after 25% into it. I can confirm that. But it doesn’t get much better. I was so annoyed by the characters. Clifton is dumb and Avril is just horrible. She is so changeable in her feelings for her husband. One minute she despises him almost, the next minute it is quite the opposite. Each conversation between them changed everything. And I really could not understand Clifton’s urge to move on and his mixes feelings for his dead child. This whole situation was just chaotic. Maybe I would have be Ok with that if at least the story would have been good. It’s not the thing with the picture. It is more how it was developed. The story was very weird, but not in a good way. Everybody is a mess and changes their opinion all the time. The story is not gripping or even frightening. Just chaotic and nothing makes sense. And it is a loooong book. I don’t know why I did not stop reading. The end annoyed me even more when stupid and stubborn Avril makes the dumbest decision ever to go back to that house*eyeroll*.

 

This was just a waste of time.

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The Good Widow – Liz Fenton

33852868  3,5 Stars

I expected this book to have more thriller elements. It is more about a woman comes to terms with the fact that her husband died in a car accident in Hawaii with his mistress.

I could criticize many thinks. The characters for example. I did not like Jacks, she is weak and obviously needs always somebody to take care of her. Her annoying and dominant sister. The dead macho husband James. Mousy Dylan. The pace is quite slow. There is also a love story (I don’t like chit-lit) and twist you can see coming from afar. But somehow and to my own astonishment, I enjoyed reading it. It is well written and easy to read. Maybe it was a mixture of me sitting relaxed in the sun and be reminded how I used to read love stories when I was a teenager. I don’t know. This book just flows and does not invite you to think too much about its story. It is just an easy summer read. You don’t really have to read it but it does not hurt you if you do. I could go deeper into its flaws but I think I just don’t. It was a nice and uncomplicated read.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

 

Louise Candlish – Swimming Pool

The Swimming PoolThe Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very dark story that takes you deep into the not so pleasant places in a human soul. The characters are all not very likable but that makes them very realistic. They all have their flaws. I realy dislikes Natalie and her husband Ed. They are so self-rightous. When Natalie gets drawn to beautiful and glamorous Lara all her guidelines went out of the window. I loved to see her downfall, stumbling over herself and her pomous actions. I really disliked how she howerd over her daughter Molly. I must admit, I felt schadenfreude when everything went down for her. I really enjoyed reading this book . It is very realistic and I think this could happen to almost everybody. This book is dark and uncomfortabel and because of that very enjoyable.

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Nuala Ellwood – My Sisters’s Bones

My Sister's BonesMy Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow this was an intense read. I don’t know what I expected but I did not expect THAT.

There is much going on in this book. I struggled a bit to get into the story. I was confused about the chapters about Kate being interviewed by a doctor. Something happened and we don’t know what for quite a long time. Kate is a war reporter and she has seen a lot of horrible things. She is haunted by the vision of a boy who was killed in Aleppo. She has a massive PTSD problem which she somehow denies. I was a bit annoyed by her stubbornness. There was clearly something wrong with her but she refused to see help. But after a while you see there is much more going one.

The second part is from her sister’s view. Sally deals in a different way with her demons. While Kate depends on her pills, Sally numbs herself with wine. So we have two unreliable narrators and a story I did not know where it is leading to. My first bad apprehension I would not like the book soon vanished. At least when Sally is the narrator the book gets almost unputdownable .I really enjoyed the last half immensely. The book turned out to be something completely different than I expected even after starting reading it. The way the story turns is completely different than I thought it would be after I learned about Kate and her PTSD and her hallucinations. Which is a really good thing.

After all it is a sad and disturbing and tragic story. The author did a great job, the writing and structure is superb. I enjoyed it not from the beginning but I got more captivated the further I read. This book is definitely different to other thrillers and I highly recommend it.

4,5 Stars

I received an ARC from Netgalley and Penguin Books UK in return for an honest review

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Sarah Pinborough – Behind her eyes

Behind Her EyesBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second book this year which I wanted eagerly to read for a long time and then failed to live up to my expectations.

It is right, you should not know too much about the story. It is a kind of love triangle. There was so much raving about the ending. Seriously? You can see where it is heading too almost as soon as Adele and Louise become friends. Maybe the ultimate twist is something you would not expect. But at this time I already did not care anymore because logic and realistic behavior was long gone until then. The story itself was very unrealistic.

Mostly, I have to say, I disliked the writing style. You can clearly see that the author usually writes YA-books. The writing is quite simple and uncomplex. There is much talking about the affair and Louise feeling great about here wickedness. I read this book in German and there is a very childish expression for sleeping with someone. I don’t know what word was used in English, but in German it sounded very strange. Like teenagers would say it. But besides that, the story unfolds too smoothly, the perfidious plan plays out exactly as it should, everybody plays his/her part as he/she should. It’s all too simple But that’s my problem with YA-books. For me the author did not manage to alter her writing to a more mature style..

This was my second book from Sarah Pinborough after “13 Minutes”. I did not like this book neither because it was definitely a YA-book and way to long and boring. So I think I just delete this author from my reading list

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Watching Edie – Camilly Way

Watching EdieWatching Edie by Camilla Way
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was on my wishlist as soon as I heard about it. Unfortunately my wish for an ARC from NetGalley was declined so I had to wait until it was released. Then I thought it to be quite expensive. So I waited and waited with the purchase. But recently I got an amazon gift voucher and so I finally got it. And read it immediately.

I read “The Dead of Summer” from Camilla Way years ago and I absolutely loved it. I recommended it to everyone I know. But obviously my expectations for this book were too high. I have read so many reviews about it from bloggers I follow and rely on for their opinion. Unfortunately this book turned out to be a disappointment to me. Almost immediately I was bored. I missed the pace. I was annoyed by Edie’s depression after giving birth to her daughter. I know that is not fair, but I just could not stand reading about it for pages and pages. I found it quite boring. I was waiting for the twists and turns everybody raved about. But I could not find them. The end was exactly as I thought it would be. I think it is very easy to see who the victim here is. One of the girls is so different in the “Before” and “After” that it was really no surprise how everything turned out.

Maybe I read too much psychological thrillers which promise twists and turns. Or maybe I just was expecting too much. Maybe it’s both. So it was just an average book for me and I can only give 3 stars.

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Nancy Star – Sister One, Two, Three

Sisters One, Two, ThreeSisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have to admit this book was not for me. I was so happy when I was approved from Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley. I am always up to a good family secret book but unfortunately I could not connect to this family.

I disliked simply everybody. I don’t have to like the characters in a book, but I have to connect on some level with them. Here I was annoyed by all of them. Glory was just so egocentric and egoistic; her behavior was just stupid and selfish. Ginger just got on my nerves with; the same with supermom Mimi. All other characters faded into the shades. There was no proper male character. Husbands, sons, neighbors, there were all background actors. I also found that big family secret strange and I really did not get why everybody acted like they did. First I thought Glory was funny and just sarcastic in her way. But after a while I really started to dislike her. She is the worst. Half of the book I was asking myself what this story is all about. There was almost nothing happening. Way too much introduction for this strange and absolutely not understandable family secret. But after the secret was revealed it did not get any better.
I am sorry but I just did not get the point of the book. There are far better books about dysfunctional families and their secrets. Maybe it is just me, probably it is me. But sometimes it happens that you don’t get into a story and dislike a book.

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