Just Beneath My Skin (****)

Alright, so it’s been awhile. Sorry but not sorry. I’ve been busy okay! I’ve read a lot of books (okay, not a lot, but a couple of books). I don’t remember them all, but I’ll start this off as my new and improved self. Well, maybe.

The book I finished reading was Just Beneath My Skin by Darren Greer. It’s a Nova Scotian/Canadian book based in a small rural community in mainland Nova Scotia. Growing up here in Nova Scotia, allows me to have a deep connection with this book, I feel. It’s been a part of the One Book Nova Scotia program, which is how I learnt about it (I went to the Word on the Street Festival in Halifax almost a month ago), and I picked it up at my public library.

It follows 2 characters, a man named Jake, and a boy named Nathan. Jake returns to North River after living in Halifax for a number of years, to see his son Nathan. He had decided that he wanted to take Nathan to Halifax to live with him, as he was afraid that his boy would be lost in the perpetuating cycle of poverty and violence that had taken over the small community. While back, he visited his anti-social (and I mean in the psychopathic way) friend Johnny Lang who had taken it upon himself to “bring him back down where he belongs” and stalks Jake and tries to run him down with his shot gun. In the end, after a vicious fight with Carla (Nathan’s mother) he takes off with Jake to his father’s place, and decides that the next day, he would leave with Nathan for Halifax, but first he had to go get his car. And that’s when trouble occurs. Johnny was waiting for him. There was a short chase, and the book ends with Nathan watching his father get shot and dying.

I enjoyed the book because of the mention of Nova Scotia (it’s not usually mention in books!), however, I HATED the short chapters (only a few pages max), and the ending. It did provoke feelings of sadness about the loss of Jake, but I’m not sure if that’s because I had just spent a good 10hrs watching Grey’s Anatomy (that show always hits me right in the feels!). Either it’s a good book, and really shows how nasty rural living can be, and how the cycle of violence and poverty can be perpetuated. Overall, I have to say I think I was a little disappointed by the book, especially when it’s supposed to be a “book club” book. But oh well, you win some, you lose some, I suppose.

Until next time, cheers and happy reading!

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Between the Lines (****)

It wasn’t long to finish Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer. This one was definitely meant for a younger audience, which made it very easy to read thankfully. I was a little discouraged, because the last one I read was so confusing, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it definitely renewed my faith in her writing ability!

Synopsis:

Delilah is your typical teenage loner, but when she finds a fairy tale book in her school’s library, things change for the better. Well, kind of. She falls in love with a character, and realizes that she’s able to talk to him, and he talks back. So she then goes on a journey to see if there’s a way for her to free him from the book, so she can be with him for real.

It’s a cute premise. But at the same time, kind of dumb. I’m a bit of a cynic, and I don’t think you can find true love at age 15. You’re still growing physically and mentally, so your true personality isn’t developed. I mean I know for some people it does happen, but I think in the majority of cases, high school sweethearts don’t work out. But anyway, I still enjoyed the book either way 🙂

I’m not sure what I’m going to be reading next, so until then, Happy Reading!

Game of Thrones Book 3: A Storm of Swords (****) (WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)

I’ve been attempting to get through the Game of Thrones series before watching the TV show (I’ve seen the first season, but I read the first book before it came out and became popular). They’re just so unbearably long, that I had to switch to audiobook form, that way when I’m driving, or during my long runs, I can listen to them, and hopefully get through them quicker than reading (which I think is doubtful haha, but I’m trying to be positive here).

Anyway, I’ve FINALLY finished book 3 A Storm of Swords. It’s hard to say the synopsis, as SO much happens in this book, but the most important key points are: Rob Stark is killed at his uncle Edmund’s wedding due offending the bride’s family (he was supposed to marry into the family, but didn’t). Catelyn is also killed. Arya is still trying to find her way to Riverrun (was found and kidnapped by Sandor Clegane, but then escapes). Jon makes his way back to the wall, and ends up becoming Lord Commander. Bran is trying to make his way to the wall also with his cousins. Joffery is poisoned at his wedding to Margaery Tyrell and dies. Tyrion is blamed and sentenced to death. Cersei is still scheming away. Jaime makes it back to Cersei, but is disowned by his father (can’t remember why. Must not’ve been important haha). Sansa is also blamed for Joffery’s poisoning, but escapes Kings Landing, and is no where’s to be seen. Daenerys docks on land, and takes over 2 cities with her dragons (not much is really said about her. I guess she doesn’t feature much in the book).

I think that’s all the main points that I can remember. If I remember more I guess I’ll edit the post.

Other than being excruciatingly long, I do enjoy the books, but I’m so glad I switched to audible though. Makes it so much easier to get through them, and I wasn’t sure I’d remember the points, but I did! I can’t wait to start watching the series. Perhaps I will do that shortly. Just one more book review to write!

See you all in my next post (which will be shortly)! Happy Reading!

Second Glance (***) (WARNING CONTAINS SPOILERS!)

IMG_1836I finished another book, quite quickly actually. However, it is a Jodi Picoult novel, so that’s probably why. I really like her books, however, I just didn’t find this one up to par. It didn’t pique my interest as much as some of her others, and the twist at the end, just wasn’t there unfortunately. The novel was Second Glance.

This book has many storylines (at first I had a really hard time keeping the names straight! There was a Rod and Ross, who I consistently got confused until the characters were fully defined), which end up being tied together. Basically, it follows a man named Ross who lost his (he thought) one true love as he searches for his lost girlfriend’s ghost. It also follows his sister Shelby and nephew Ethan (Ethan has a condition where he can’t go outside in the sun as he’s severely allergic to sunlight). It also follows a geneticist Meredith and her daughter Lucy who sees ghosts. Anyway, in Shelby’s town weird things start happening due to a supposed Native burial ground being bought and developed into a strip mall. Ross goes to investigate, falling in love with a ghostly woman (Lia) who he wants to find out her history. As it goes, Lia lived on the land in the 30’s, and committed suicide when she delivered her supposed stillborn child. Lia remains a ghost as the reason for her death has been hid by her husband who was at the top of his game for eugenics. Her husband was surveying the Native population and other populations of Vermont to determine which ones should be “voluntarily sterilized” in order to rid Vermont of “feeble-minded-ness” and other detrimental characteristics. As it turns out, Lia’s mother had an affair with a Native man, and when Lia’s husband finds out that their baby is part native, he smothers the child, but the baby actually survives. DUN DUN DUN.

Anyway, as you can see it’s a super-convoluted storyline, and is very difficult to explain to anyone who isn’t currently reading it. The ending was kind of awful, in that it had a lot of extra bits, that weren’t really needed, when she could’ve ended the story with Ross finding out who the baby was. But anyway…

To be completely honest, I wouldn’t recommend this novel to anyone who doesn’t already read books by Jodi Picoult. It’s just not worth struggling to keep the storylines straight.

Gone Girl **** (WARNING: A FEW POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT!)

IMG_1788I’ve finally finished another book. It feels like I say that every time haha. I guess I should come up with a new intro 😛 Or start reading faster/more. Anyway, today’s book is called Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’m sure most if not all of you have either seen the movie or read the book by now. I’m usually the one who reads the book well before anyone else, but apparently I’ve fallen off track in that department. Anyway, I really really liked this book, and it wasn’t what I expected it to be. I do have to admit, that halfway through I couldn’t stand it any longer, and I did Wikipedia the shhh out of it haha so I knew the plot twist before I finished it (I should really stop doing that…) but to be completely honest, it wasn’t what I had expected AT ALL. Gillian Flynn does a superb job at making the main female character creepy as eff, and at the beginning I thought the husband was a terrible human being, but by the end I completely switched my views.

Synopsis:

On the day of their 5-year anniversary, Nick’s wife, Amy randomly disappears without a trace, leaving only a few clues and a destroyed living room. An investigation follows and all evidence is piling up towards Nick.  After Nick and his sister discover the final clue in his traditional anniversary treasure hunt, Nick determines that his wife is actually trying to frame him, so he then goes on to try and hunt her down and prove his innocence. Amy is a true psychopath, manipulative, controlling, and shows no remorse.

Although it throws me off that Amy was in fact the villain, it’s a breath of fresh air to be perfectly honest. It’s crazy to think that there probably are women out there who are actually like that, and that poor men get sucked into relationships with them.

Anyway, I definitely recommend this book to anyone! So please read it and let me know your thoughts!

Happy reading!

Trinda

The Gargoyle ****

The Gargoyle-Andrew Davidson
The Gargoyle-Andrew Davidson

It’s been a loooong while since I’ve finished a book. Do any of you readers feel guilty when it takes you forever to finish a book? As if you’re insulting the author, or letting yourself down by not taking the time to sit down and read? I always feel that way. Unfortunately, my life is over-run with the internet (mostly Netflix. A terrible addiction, I tell you!), which eats up most of my day, and a big reason I’m a procrastinator. Anyway, time to come back from that tangent, and get on with this post.

I finished Andrew Davidson’s The Gargoyle on Monday, I started well before the new year. It’s about 450ish pages long, and yet it took me almost 2 months to read! Which, I’m sure to some of you seems like a normal amount of time, but honestly, I could’ve been through it a lot faster if I had put my mind to it. It’s not even that I didn’t like the book, and was just dragging my feet about ending it, I just wasn’t that into reading. I go through stints where all I want to do is read, but after about 3-4 books, I get tired of it, and don’t read as much. But on GoodReads, I created a goal to read 24 books this year (double my last year’s goal!), it certainly seems scary, seeing as I’m already about 2-3books behind schedule. So I really need to back away from the Netflix, and start reading more in my spare time. The good thing, is I’m going to include my Audible books in that goal (if I ever finish the 3rd Game of Thrones audiobook…. -.-). Dear Lord, another tangent. Perhaps I need more caffeine…Back to the book at hand. This book has a strange macabre feel to it, even though it has nothing to really do with death, or murder. I just go this creepy vibe off it. I think also it has a deeper meaning than what I got out of it, but alas, I am a concrete thinker, and those abstract ideas just won’t come to me. I know they’re there lurking in the hidden depths of my brain, but my fishing line just hasn’t hooked it yet. I need enjoy it, as I could really get into the characters and their stories (even though I did have to skim over some parts as I was getting impatient…whoopsie!). I can’t say I really identified with the characters, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

This book is based on a man’s life who was a drug addict porn star who got into an unfortunate (or a fortunate more like) car accident that caused him to have 3rd degree burns over his entire body. While recovering from his burns, a woman visits him in the hospital who says that they have known each other for hundreds of years. They develop a relationship (albeit a strange one) and she tells him stories (which all tie into objects that she gives him as gifts). I guess the meaning behind the title, that she carves out his true personality just as an artist carves out a gargoyle out of a hard piece of stone, so that when he’s revealed, although he is ugly in the physical sense, his personality is true and honest (Wow, I just surprised myself with how insightful that comment was!). Anyway, it was a great novel, though not based in reality (which sometimes, one needs). I would certainly recommend it to anyone who wants a more abstract book, that makes you think about the possibility of past lives.

Now, I get to start Gone Girl! So far, I really enjoy it!