Behind Her Eyes

By Sarah Pinborough

Source: Purchased

Series: n/a

Publication Date: January 31, 2017

Published by Flatiron Books

My Rating: three-half-stars

Behind Her Eyes

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.

And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?

As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong, but Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.

This book was on my radar for a while. I saw it described on my bookish social media feed as a twisty thriller, and saw some comparisons to Gone Girl, one of my absolute favourite books. I am unable to resist books that get compared to Gone Girl, so I knew I had to check this one out.

I so wanted to love Behind Her Eyes. I found it impossible to put down. It was definitely a page-turner. Even when I wasn’t sure what was going on, I knew that something was off. The author kept me on edge and uneasy the entire time, which was fun.

But overall, the book was missing something that would have made me love it. Still, recommended for mystery/thriller fans (although if you are like me and read a lot and think you are tough to truly surprise, this book may lack some of its punch).

I think this is a book that we’ll be hearing a lot about, certainly due in part to that ending, which is unusual enough that I strongly recommend reading Behind Her Eyes before it gets spoiled for you!

Read on for more detailed, spoiler-y thoughts:

I can accept all sorts of worlds and rules and premises in my books. Yet something about the lucid dreaming (or whatever was going on) didn’t sit well with me. It’s a great plot device to achieve that bonkers ending, but felt clunky to me throughout the story.  When Lou realizes what she can do, why doesn’t she look into it more? Or talk to Adele about it more? It just struck me as such an unusual thing to be able to do, yet she didn’t even bother to Google it or something.

And I lacked some sort of connection to the characters. David never felt like a fully realized character to me, and while I sympathized with Lou and liked her at first, she was falling into Adele’s trap so easily and predictably that I got more and more frustrated with her as I read on.

As for the final twist (and I do like that there were a couple of twists at the end) – that it isn’t Adele in Lou’s body as it seemed at first, but Rob – it was great but had occurred to me earlier in the book as a possibility. I like the twist a lot. It’s pretty big, coming after what is already a big twist, but the end, with Rob-as-Lou plotting to get rid of Adam, Ian, and Lisa – the people in Lou’s life – fell flat for me, and I think it was supposed to have a bigger impact than that.

My overall impression was of a story and characters built around a great twist (Adele takes over Lou’s body, which is the first twist, and then the reader learns it’s really Rob who was in Adele’s body – having taken over Adele’s body years ago – and has now taken over Lou’s).

Plot-wise, it was a fun read, but on an emotional level, I lacked any sense of connection. I should have felt something at the end, after both twists – sadness maybe for Lou, or David, or the real Adele – but I didn’t. The only person I came close to feeling anything for in the end was Lou’s son, Adam.

Overall, a fun read, and one that I think will be really fun to discuss with others who have read it.

In Your Room

By Jordanna Fraiberg

Source: Purchased

Series: n/a

Publication Date: October 16, 2008

Published by Razorbill

My Rating: three-stars

In Your Room

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

Molly and Charlie have fallen head over heels in love, although they’ve never met. Molly is a fashion-conscious city girl in L.A., and Charlie is an earthy, mountain-biking dude from Boulder, Colorado. Each of them has big plans with their respective friends for the summer until they discover that their parents decide to swap houses! Luckily there’s no amount of homesickness that a bit of snooping can’t cure. Charlie and Molly begin crawling under beds and poking around in closets to find out a little more about each other. Can Charlie and Molly’s long-distance romance survive jealousy, misunderstandings and the thousand miles between them?

This book sounded so fun and cute. I loved the concept, and was happy to get it from Book Outlet for a great price.

I really liked the setup and the alternating chapters, telling Molly and Charlie’s stories. The romance was cute, although I found myself more frustrated as the story went on with Charlie’s relationship with Celeste.

On the whole, while not a great book, it was a fun, cute read, just what I was in the mood for at the time.

Week In Review

February 13 – 19

Happy Long Weekend! Tomorrow is Family Day here in Ontario, and I am so happy that the long weekend is here! All I want to do is curl up on the couch and read (so pretty much like every other weekend).

 

via GIPHY

In terms of books, I received an e-ARC of Julie Murphy’s Ramona Blue via Edelweiss (thank you!). And my pre-order of one of my most anticipated books arrived on Friday:

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab!!! This is the last book in the Shades of Magic trilogy, and I’m so so so excited to read this book.

I finished four books this week, so I’m at 24 books finished so far this year, on my way to my goal of 100 books for the year. I read:

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio;

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (re-read);

Behind Her Eyes, by Sarah Pinborough (read this before it gets spoiled for you!); and

The Perfect Stranger, by Megan Miranda (ARC).

Currrently, I’m still reading A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis, Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, by Kelly Jensen (Ed.), and I have started to read Good As Gone by Amy Gentry.

I had two reviews on the blog this week: Devil’s Advocate (X-Files: Origins #2) by Jonathan Maberry, and Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins.

Now it’s time for some coffee and reading. I hope you’re all enjoying your long weekend!

Rebel Belle

By Rachel Hawkins

Source: Purchased

Series: Rebel Belle #1

Publication Date: April 8, 2014

Published by Putnam Juvenile

My Rating: four-stars

Rebel Belle

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.

I have this entire series already on my bookshelf. It’s like I knew I would love the first book and immediately want to read the rest of the series!

The humour and snark in this book reminded me so much of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is one of my favourite TV shows. I loved the premise, action, and humour in this story.

I also enjoyed the romance aspect of this book, and SPOILER I totally loved that Harper’s ex-boyfriend Ryan became the Mage and is now part of the team with her and David! I’m very excited to see how the relationship between the three of them plays out in the next book.

Rebel Belle was such a fun read! Recommended!

Devil’s Advocate

By Jonathan Maberry

Source: Library

Series: The X-Files: Origins #2

Publication Date: January 3, 2017

Published by Imprint

My Rating: three-stars

Devil’s Advocate

Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:

How did Fox Mulder become a believer? How did Dana Scully become a skeptic? The X-Files Origins has the answers in this young adult origin story.

The X-Files Origins: Devil’s Advocate will explore the teen years of Dana Scully, the beloved character depicted in the cult-favorite TV show The X-Files. Her story is set in the spring of 1979, when serial murder, the occult, and government conspiracy were highlighted in the news.

The book will follow Scully as she experiences life-changing events that set her on the path to becoming an FBI agent.

I was really excited when I heard about the X-Files: Origins books, one about a young Dana Scully and the other (Agent of Chaos, by Kami Garcia) about a young Fox Mulder. I put a hold on these at my library as soon as I could, and was really excited to pick them up in early February.

I like The X-Files TV show, but I’m not knowledgeable about all of the show’s storylines and mythology. I was a little too young when it first aired to watch it, but over the years I’ve seen a number of episodes. And because this is a story about Dana Scully in her teens, in high school, I didn’t feel like I was missing out by not knowing everything about the show (although if you are a fan, there may be references in this book that went over my head – but I did catch some!). I am a fan of the character of Dana Scully, and reading about her as a teenager was so fun!

Sadly, the mystery that is central to the story failed to really capture my interest. I thought the culprit was pretty clear from the start, but it was still somewhat fun to see Dana work at solving it.

This was a fun read but in the end it was just okay for me. I am hoping that I’ll like Agent of Chaos more.