Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Late one summer night, Elizabeth Sanderson receives the devastating news that every mother fears: her fourteen-year-old son, Tommy, has vanished without a trace in the woods of a local park.

The search isn’t yielding any answers, and Elizabeth and her young daughter, Kate, struggle to comprehend his disappearance. Feeling helpless and alone, their sorrow is compounded by anger and frustration. The local and state police haven’t uncovered any leads. Josh and Luis, the friends who were with Tommy last, may not be telling the whole truth about that night in Borderland State Park, when they were supposedly hanging out a landmark the local teens have renamed Devil’s Rock— rumored to be cursed.

Living in an all-too-real nightmare, riddled with worry, pain, and guilt, Elizabeth is wholly unprepared for the strange series of events that follow. She believes a ghostly shadow of Tommy materializes in her bedroom, while Kate and other local residents claim to see a shadow peering through their own windows in the dead of night. Then, random pages torn from Tommy’s journal begin to mysteriously appear—entries that reveal an introverted teenager obsessed with the phantasmagoric; the loss of his father, killed in a drunk-driving accident a decade earlier; a folktale involving the devil and the woods of Borderland; and a horrific incident that Tommy believed connected them all and changes everything.

As the search grows more desperate, and the implications of what happened becomes more haunting and sinister, no one is prepared for the shocking truth about that night and Tommy’s disappearance at Devil’s Rock."

My Thoughts:

I don't even know how to begin sharing my thoughts on this book.  It was a reading experience that I won't be forgetting about anytime in the near future-that is one great way to describe it!  I went into this book expecting a thriller and you could definitely describe it that way.  But it was also one of the most dark and disturbing books that I have read in a very long time.  I tweeted about this book at one point while reading and I think that this describes it best: a dark and haunting read that was not always easy to read but hard to put down.  That describes this book so perfectly in my opinion.  I cannot tell you how horrifyingly real I found this book at times especially when the author talked about the way that this young boy pulled away a bit from his mother.  Here she thought that she knew everything that was going on in his life and to find out otherwise was just terrifying for her.  As a mother myself I can't even begin to tell you how hard this was for me to read.  There were quite a few times where I just wanted to stop reading and set this book down.  The author made this book so readable though and I just couldn't.  I needed to see what was going to happen next even if I didn't really want to know.  I don't know how to explain it any other way.

From the very beginning of this book, the author created this feeling where you know something bad is going to happen but you don't know what or how (well you kind of know if you read above summary but you are left wondering what else might happen).  That feeling intensified throughout the entire book.  It was so creepy and I was honestly worried at one point that I might end up with nightmares from this book.  That is how spooky I found it to be.  There were just all of these questions that the author was creating in regards to Tommy and what had happened that dark night.....it set such a dark tone and feeling to this book.  I can't describe it any other way.  The ending of this book had me reading at such a frantic pace because by that point I was so invested.  I don't even know if I can share my thoughts on the ending in a way that makes sense without spoiling anything for anyone?  It was good- very good and I felt that it fit with the story that the author had been telling perfectly.  I was left with a few questions which really made me wish that I could discuss this with other readers.  If you've read this book, please let me know what you think about the ending of this book!  I want to know!  It has been close to a week now since I've finished this book and I'm still thinking about it.  That should tell you something!

Overall, I feel like this is a book that made me want to read more by this author.  It wasn't an easy read especially for me as a mother of a pre-teen boy.  It is one of those books that won't be for everyone and that is okay.  I think that you should probably go into reading this one in the right frame of mind.  Think Gillian Flynn and how dark her books can be.  That's a decent comparison in my opinion although two very different kind of writers.  The darkness of subject matter though is why I say that.  I myself will be reading more by this author in the future for sure.  I will also be waiting a decent amount of time and will mentally prepare myself.  Ha!  Funny but so very true.  I would recommend this one but with a word of caution.  Be ready for a dark and haunting read!

Bottom Line:  A book that left me thinking about it for days.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour. 



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How Secrets Die by Marta Perry (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"As Laurel Ridge embraces a stranger hungry for answers, a sinister truth is awakened.

A hard-hitting reporter, Kate Beaumont unearths the deepest lies and brings harsh truths to light, but the story that lures her to the gentle town of Laurel Ridge, Pennsylvania, is closer to her heart than anyone knows. The details of her half brother's sudden death have never made sense. She owes him justice, yet the one man who can help her is the stubborn sheriff she can't stand.

Protecting his town is Mac Whiting's top priority. Everything else, including pacifying a beautiful crusader on a mission best left resting in peace, is secondary. But as Kate's search embeds her in his world and attracts a skilled criminal, she needs Mac's protection. Drawn together by deadly secrets, they must find a way to trust each other before a killer silences them both."

My Thoughts:

This is an author that I've always added to my TBR list but had never tried until now.  I am so glad that has changed because I really found this book to be a pleasurable read.  I'm always looking for good romantic suspense reads and I believe that this book would fit that genre.  The focus was more on the mystery in comparison to the romance but that actually worked really well for me.  I liked that the main characters realized that they had something more important to worry about but were still trying to work through their feelings for one another.  In fact, their relationship just came to life in the pages of this book and I loved every moment of it.  They went from not particularly liking each other at all (there is some strong resentment on Kate's part but you will have to read the book to see why) to working together to figure out what really happened to Kate's brother.  The mystery of Kate's brother's death was definitely a good one.  I found myself intrigued by it from the very beginning but especially because of the circumstances surrounding his death.  The question of what Kate was actually looking for/if she was going to get any answers was a constant presence throughout this book, and I feel like it added to the suspense.  It sure did make me want to turn the pages of this book that much faster!

What I enjoyed most about this book though was how easily I was able to immerse myself within it.  I found myself reading it between innings at my kid's baseball games.  I found myself reading this book basically every free second that I had.  And with how slow my reading has been going lately, that is really saying something!  I didn't want to set this book down so I didn't.  I just read to my heart's content and enjoyed every minute of it.  I found the ending of this book to be pretty intense although I did manage to figure out part of it.  It didn't matter though because by that point I was just trying to read as fast as possible to see how it would all end.  This was the perfect book to read during this reading slump or whatever I seem to be going through.  It left me excited to read more by this author and to find other books just like this!  I've got more of this author's books on my TBR list so I at least have more to look forward to.  Fans of romantic suspense should definitely give this book a try- I can easily recommend it!  

Bottom Line:  A perfect summer read with both romance and mystery!  

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher as part of a TLC Book Tour.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

#COYER Summer Vacation - Let the Fun Begin!

YES!  One of my favorite challenges to participate in is back and I am just thrilled.  Both my blogging and reading has really slowed down thanks to ball and other summer fun activities.  I need this challenge in my life to get my reading (and blogging mojo) kicked into high gear.  Because what is summer if you aren't reading a good book, right??  The best thing about participating this time around is that all of the rules are basically thrown out the window.  I can read print or e-books this time around and they all count for the challenge.  As I'm basically drowning in books right now, this pleases me to no end.  I'm going to focus entirely on this challenge for the rest of the summer and hopefully just read, read, read!

It isn't a COYER post if I don't share with all of you some of the many books that I would like to read for this challenge.  Goals wise I am shooting for reading a minimum of 10 books.  I honestly can't tell if this seems like too small of a goal or not.  My reading time has really gone down lately so it seems reasonable right now.  I have very high hopes that I will be able to blow this number out of the water but let's start with a goal that isn't overwhelming.  I'm including only e-books in my COYER pool just because I have so many that I need/would like to get read and off of my kindle.  Here are the books that I would like to read for this challenge:

I swear I could add fifty more books to this list of possibilities and it wouldn't feel like enough.  SO MANY BOOKS!  I want to read them all!  This challenge will at least allow for me to read some of them and that is really all that matters.  I have plans to try and visit all of the other participants so that I can cheer you all on.  There are always Twitter parties to participate in which are super fun.  I am just super excited and cannot wait to get started.

Happy Reading!!