GOOD ME BAD ME – ALI LAND

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This was a heck of a roller coaster.

This is a truly disturbing story of Milly, a young girl whose mother is a serial killer. People see her and instantly think she’s ‘the spit of her mother’ which frightens her the most, and therefore – as she lives with her new foster family – struggles to decide what she really is. Is she Bad, or is she Good?

After beginning to read Good Me Bad Me, I learned that when people say this is ‘the new The Girl On The Train’, they mean it is quite similar to Paula Hawkins’ writing in general. It is so beautifully lyrical and poetic.

I loved how, at first, the reader might deeply sympathize with Milly, the protagonist, but then at the end of every few chapters she speaks to us through her mind and says something that is completely astonishing, because apparently, the reader thinks they know all what she is about but they don’t.

Milly’s struggle to figure out who she really is is truly nerve-racking because her good side can’t help but keep being haunted by her mother Ruth’s voice, ‘Annie this, Annie that.’ And what’s more interesting is the environment that surrounds her- that being her current foster family ‘The Newmonts’ and the school she goes to- and how it affects her self-discovery in an extreme way.

You can really feel for Annie as she awaits for and counts the days until her mother’s trial.
Milly fears to be her mother but still loves her and tries to please her. Although, it doesn’t make her any weaker. It’s the most complex mother-daughter relationship.

There are a lot of terrifying scenes in the book, but what terrified me the most was the way Milly describes her mother crawling like a ribbon or a snake from under her bedroom door and into her bed…So daunting.

The reader can easily underestimate Milly and judge her personality, but she compares to no other protagonist I’ve ever read about. It’s only within the latest pages that she shocks everybody around her and also the reader, precisely at a prolonged courtroom scene I was sweating through reading it.

Afterwards, the book proceeds with shock after shock. Especially during an incident in the end where the author tests our patience as she so skillfully leads us to acknowledging what it is and how it was done, and if I could explain ‘it’ in one word, it would be: Vertigo!

Milly doesn’t cease to astonish us. Her character is addictive, like, you reach a part in the book where you care about nothing but what Milly feels, thinks or what happens to her next. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed a heroine that could easily put her mark on me like she did.
I, one hundred percent, recommend reading this book!

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THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE – STEPHANIE PERKINS

This book is a YA slasher revolving around a serial killer – The Osborne Killer, as dubbed by the media- who goes around brutally murdering college kids as he/she follows a certain pattern.
I’ve been searching for a halloween read, and this had been quite a promising one.
The beginning vividly reminded me of Scream, so if you’re a fan of the Scream franchise, you’ll enjoy reading this. It’s almost the same thing, except it’s THE OSBORNE SLAYER instead of GHOSTFACE.
Also, when a certain murder occurs, it is presented in almost the same way it does in The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. And the dialogue is just so smart it should turn into a script and then a movie ASAP.
Without giving too much away, I recommend you start reading this book. Incredibly satisfying. (less)

ONE OF US IS LYING – Karen McManus

One Of Us Is Lying talks about the murder of one of five students who walked into detention one Monday afternoon. The victim, Simon, is the founder of a gossip app that shattered most of other students’ personal lives. Which means that every student at Bayview High has a motive for killing Simon, especially the last ones to see him alive, who later on divulge to the reader their deepest darkest secrets.
This book is amazing. It’s the kind of the book that, if if had hundreds of other more pages, would still be thrilling to read.
Every character felt so real, it was like I was actually living their lives and grieving with them through every devastation.

Murder On The Orient Express – Agatha Christie

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Oh Mon Dieu! Wasn’t this a magnifique read! This was indeed a delicious read from beginning to end.

This book is about a luxurious trip that brutally turns into a murder investigation. One night, Mr Rachett had been stabbed twelve times in the chest. Famous Detective Hercule Poirot embarks on a journey of investigating the crime in question, by questionning every passenger on the train before the murderer strikes again!

I don’t know how to start expressing my feelings about this book. First, I very much loved how every chapter title is a summary of the chapter the reader proceeds to read, preparing them for what’s to come.

Second, who doesn’t like reading about train thrillers? I mean I loved The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins and Strangers on A Train By Patricia Highsmith but they surely do not compare to this.

When I read Crooked House right before this book, I didn’t think it could be topped. But here, and somehow with Poirot present, everything is so much better.

No Poirot, no fun.

It was indeed very satisfying to just live in those scenes in the dining-car, as Poirot fetches the train passengers one by one. And It struck me at first how none of them seemed to be telling lies while speaking about their whereabouts the night of the murder and about their knowledge of the Armstrong affair.

What was really intriguing in the first hundred and fifty pages is that, although every suspect on the train answered every one of the Detective’s burning questions, nothing was exactly adding up, but neither Poirot, nor Dr. Constantine and Mr. Bouc, the director of the Wagon Lits company stop here. And it only gets interesting from then on because the reader begins to be acquainted with the fact that there’s a lot of elements involved in the story such as the intensity of trust, fidelity and also the architecture of the crime, especially how cleverly it was plotted and the amusing way Poirot decides to handle the case after actually discovering the guilty party.

I believe Murder on The Orient Express is the ultimate thrilling and terrifying read I’ve ever experienced. And I therefore highly recommend it.

 

WE WERE LIARS – E. LOCKHART

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There were numerous fascinating aspects about this book.
I like how even though it’s YA genre, it’s also filled with thriller vibes and mystery. And the writing! It was beautifully articulated and so cleverly written. Our main protagonist Cadence Sinclair is one of my favorites from anything YA I’ve read; her emotions are clearly complex and she often tends to do this thing where she explains herself using fairy tales, which was a strange and yet very exciting thing to read. I couldn’t wrap my head around how it ended, a very dark ending that teaches the reader so much about what it’s like to choose to do what you’re afraid of, the effect of the quarrel of love and hate among family and how tragedy can turn one into a completely different person.
It was a lot of fun at the beginning but then it all converts into seriousness and consecutive catastrophies.
I 100% recommend this read, and I certainly can’t wait to see the adaptation in 2018!

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE – GAIL HONEYMAN

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Eleanor is completely fine as long as nothing comes between her and her daily routine – work days ending with a meal at home, a book or tv show; Friday afternoons with pizza and vodka, and weekends spent with what’s left of the vodka bottles.
Almost nobody comes by her house. That way she feels almost disconnected from the world, and therefore happier, until Monday comes around to bring her back to reality.

The book features experiences of how people with anxiety go through- worrying about the smallest things -an upcoming unexpected phone call, visitors; being misunderstood by others and fearing the unknown.

Once a particular incident involving Eleanor and her work colleague Raymond saving Sammy, an unconscious old man on the street, the book starts to develop into the idea where under certain rules, contact with other particular people can be quite pleasant. Eleanor knows she’s fine on her own, but she discovers how healthy it was for her to be, as I like to call it, selectively-social, which was shown when she went with her work colleague Raymond to visit his mother Mrs Gibbons.

All throughout her chaotic journey of social encounters – from visiting her colleague’s mom and meeting with Sammy’s family to going to Sammy’s son’s birthday party, Eleanor suddenly finds herself exploring this new world where she has to integrate with other people. And sooner rather than later, she’s acquainted with the consequences of social interaction. Does it cost you things? And if so, is it worth it?¬†Will she remember the causes of her constant depression and face them once and for all?

I like how the book teaches a lot of things such as what it means to have a friend, the decision to accept one’s help when they genuinely offer it and how to banish your fears from being an obstacle to your well-being.

This is a perfect read for introverts. It really does help you understand that it is not obligatory to be just like everyone else and become a social person. Instead, you can stay exactly as you are and still own sufficient confidence to guide you through your life moments.

This read was just so brilliant, filled with both humorous and heart-wrenching moments. It made me laugh and cry. It may only be fiction but it is also completely realistic and relatable.

Are you sleeping – kathleen barber

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Thirteen years ago, Josie’s father Chuck Burnham was murdered. His killer, according to Jo’s sister, Lanie, is their neighbor Cave Warren. Lanie claimed that she saw Warren Cave pull the trigger and shoot her father.
On present day, reporter Poppy Parnell has started a series of a podcast called Reconsidered, where the one being considered is Chuck’s murder, in order to uncover the truth and possibly prove Cave Warren’s innocence.

Jo’s family isn’t perfect, and in fact their life is only going to get worse…
There’s Erin, the mother, who is marked by the horrors of her past, having to watch her brother die in front of her, losing her parents and then going through her husband’s murder.
Lanie, the rebellious sister, has been a complete mess ever since she was a teenager, with a love for satanic music, booze and drugs. And also, thirteen years later, sleep deprivation, and hauntingly confusing dreams which I think are the main liaisons to the book’s title Are You Sleeping?, which makes the reader wonder, was Lanie awake when she saw the murder in front of her eyes, or was she sleeping, seeing it all in a dream?
And then there’s Josie who, abandoned by both her mother and sister after the death of her father, tries to escape this life of misery. So she changes her name and moves to a new home with Caleb, her loving boyfriend, to whom she had lied about her family and her past.
And it isn’t until this podcast ‘Reconsidered‘ starts bringing up Chuck’s death, Erin’s mental illness and Lanie’s dark past, that Josie begins to be haunted by the things she has tried so hard to forget.

From the beginning, it was obvious that it wasn’t all just about finding the truth about who the killer was. It was much more than that. Kathleen, through this brilliant thriller, not only thrusts suspenseful scenes and entertains the reader with impeccable writing, but she also carefully tackles important subjects like the importance of family, especially the bond of sisterhood, sacrifice, and also how lies, indiscretions and a death of a family member can all present themselves as the beginning of the end.

But whose fault is it? To what lengths will the guilty party go to punish themselves?

Only when I thought that it had all come to an end, one character’s letter is uncovered and it was enough to wreck my mood. It was the perfect ending, but also sad as hell.
I had been longing to read more about this character ever since the start of the book, for it was so clear their role was quite a crucial one in the story, and so I was slightly disappointed as I leafed through the pages because they weren’t given the chance to say their part of the story, until there was this letter that connected all the dots and made everything fall into place. Obviously, Kathleen Barber knew what she was doing, and where to place each character. She’s just that kind of a genius.

Sure, everything sought in the beginning is discovered at the end, but clearly it is not all sunshine and rainbows; the last ones standing still have flaws and doubts provoked by the past, and are clueless about how they’re going to go from here.¬†Also, how will things be after numerous truths have come out? Will the characters be able to start over like all of this never happened? Will they be able to move on?