Top Ten Books I’ve Read in 2014 so Far

ImageBurial Rites – Hannah Kent
Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.
ImageThe Humans – Matt Haig
The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable novel about alien abduction, mathematics and that most interesting subject of all: ourselves.

ImageThrone of Glass – Sarah j. Maas
In the dark filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen year-old-girl is serving a life sentence. However, young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament.

ImageGrave Mercy – Robin LaFevers
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the Gods of old. Here she learns that the God of Death himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts – and a violent destiny.

ImageLost Lake – Sarah Addison Allen
Suley, Georgia, is home to Lost Lake Cottages and not much else. Which is why it’s the perfect place for newly-widowed Kate and her eccentric eight-year-old daughter Devin to heal.
ImageSea of Shadows – Kelley Armstrong
In the forest of the Dead, where the empires worse criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

ImageThe Program – Suzanne Young
Sloane knows better than to cry infront of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in the program, the only proven course of treatment.
ImageScarlet – Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison – even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealths most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Beniot’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother of the grave danger she has lived in her whole life.
ImageCress – Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #3)
In the third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Throne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who has only ever had her netscreens as company.

ImageWhat Happened to Goodbye – Sarah Dessen
Since her parents’ bitter divorce, Mclean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move – four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mothers new family, Mclean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva, but now for the first time, Mclean discovers the desire to stay in the same place and just be herself.

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Book Review: Gone Girl

Gone GirlImage
Gillian Flynn
Contemporary Mystery
Published: 2012
Publisher: Crown
4/5

            On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, Nick and Amy Dunne celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. The presents are being wrapped and the reservations have been made when suddenly Nick’s clever and beautiful wife suddenly disappears from their rented mansion on the Mississippi River.
            Husband-of-the-year Nick hasn’t done himself any favors whilst daydreaming about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary have revealed that the alpha-girl perfectionist could have been put anyone dangerously on the edge.
            Under mounting pressure from the police and the media – as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents – the town golden boy parades and endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is definitely oddly evasive, and he’s bitter – but is he really a killer?
            As the cops closing in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister Margo at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is if Nick didn’t do it then where is his beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
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            This book has more curves than a roller coaster, you think you know what is going on and then bam! You’ve found a whole new story line. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read in this genre for a very long time. 
            Gone girl was a great read, easy to follow and exceedingly clever. The characters are very twisted however and I can honestly say I didn’t like a single one of them. They were all bitter, stuck on themselves and every single one of them needed to take a good long look at themselves in a mirror and revaluate what it means to be a human. That being said, the characters were twisted enough to suck you in and the story was crazy enough to keep you hooked ‘til the very last page.
            I had never read anything by Gillian Flynn before and I was quite nervous about all the hype surrounding her novels. Often times things that have been really hyped fall flat for me so it was a great pleasure to discover that she did not fail in delivering a great story for me. I’m looking forward to reading more of her work in the future and have high hopes that all her stories will be as great as this one.
            A must read for people who enjoy mysteries, surprises and stories with lots of twisty turns.
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Book Review: People who Eat Darkness

People Who Eat Darkness: The True Story of a Woman Who Vanished in the Streets of ImageTokyo –  and the Evil that Swallowed Her Up.
Richard Lloyd Parry
True Crime
Page Count: 454
Publisher: Fsg Books
Published: 2011

                Lucie Blackman- tall blond, twenty-one years old – stepped out into the vastness of Tokyo and disappeared forever. For months, the police’s only lead was a suspicious message left with Lucie’s best friend claiming she had joined a religious cult. The truth would prove much darker.
                Who was the mysterious man she had gone to meet? What exactly did Lucie do at her hostess job in the notorious Rappongi nightclub district? How many others had suffered – and will suffer – her same fate?
                Richard Lloyd Perry, an award winning foreign correspondent, covered Lucie’s case from the beginning. He tracked the story across four continents, earned the trust of her family and friends, won unique access to the Japanese detectives and legal system, and delved deep into the mind of the man accused in Lucie’s disappearance, Joji Obara – described by the judge as “unprecedented and extremely evil.”
                The result is a book at once thrilling and revelatory, “a big, ambitious true crime book in the tradition of Norman Mailers, ‘The Executioner’s Song’ and Truman capote’s in “Cold Blood”

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                People who eat darkness is a well written true crime story about a young woman from England named Lucie Blackman who goes missing working as a Hostess at a club called ‘Casablanca’ in the Rappongi night club district in Japan.  There were many aspects in this story that were frankly bazar and disturbing, including the behaviour of the family members of Lucie Blackman when she went missing.
                Richard Lloyd Perry does a fantastic job describing the world in which Lucie was immersed into when she came to Tokyo, Japan. Japan has one of the most interesting and vibrant cultures that I’ve ever read about and it seems to me that unless you’re born and raised in Japan you’ll never completely understand them. There were a lot of interesting facts about Japan, like the conviction rate and the crime rate of Tokyo. You also learnt a lot about how their law system in particular how their police force’s politics worked. And you learned that ‘Western’ woman (and men probably) whom work in Rappongi (Not clear if it’s the same elsewhere) are not really treated with the correct amount of concern.
                There were some disturbing stories of woman complaining about the man that killed Lucie and no police officer ever looked into them, there was also one instance where they wrote some notes down on a scrap piece of paper, sent the woman away and never wrote a report or followed up with the information they had supplied. If they had looked into the issue more Lucie Blackman would have been saved from death and perhaps other woman from being hurt as well.
                Very well written for what it is, informative, grabs your attention and does not drag on or get boring.  It plays on your fears and shows some pictures of Lucie that leave you with a haunted feeling and a heavy weight in your gut. Everything is placed so strategically so you feel the whole impact of the terrible murder of Lucie Blackman. It was very sad, and despite knowing what was inevitably going to be written within the pages I was hoping that she’d turn out to be alive in the end.
                If you like to read true crime I would recommend People who Ate Darkness.

Book Review: Joyland

JoylandJoyland
Stephen King
Crime Mystery with paranormal elements
Publisher: Hard Case Crime
Published: 2013
5/5

College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible; the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child and dark truths about life – and what comes after – that would change his world forever.
A riveting story about love and loss, about growing up and growing old – and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time- JOYLAND is Stephen King at the peak of his storytelling powers. With all the emotional impact of King masterpieces such as ‘The Green Mile’ and ‘The Shawshank Redemption’, JOYLAND is at once a mystery, a horror story, and a bittersweet coming-of-age novel, one that will leave even the most hard-boiled reader profoundly moved.

 

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Joyland with its attention grabbing pulp cover and Stephen King’s name stamped on the cover it’s no wonder that so many people have taken this book home.  I absolutely love the cover, I think it’s fantastically fun, gorgeous and would make a great print, and the woman on the cover almost appears to be a pin up girl, she is exactly as I picture one of the characters in the novel to look.  This is honestly one of my favorite covers, I don’t know if I have ever found one that I find so enjoyable.
Joyland is told from the perspective of an older Devin looking back to his year at an amusement park in North Carolina in the year 1973. Devin’s a likeable character, with a well-developed personality complete with all the right flaws and the right amount of heartbreak.
The Ghost story is not over stated in the novel and actually takes almost a secondary seat to the heartbreak story line. Devin seems to use the mystery of the girl in the blue skirt that died in the house of horror as something to think about other than the recent heartbreak of his first love. I thought Stephen King did a great job blending both plot lines together and wove them with a fluid grace that I do not believe many authors have managed to staple down quite yet.
The Story progresses nicely and although it’s not action packed it moves quickly and you don’t find yourself getting bored. The Secondary characters make up for what could have potentially been a slow storyline. They’re all vastly different and all who you would assume would be ‘lifelong carnies’.
This book demonstrates exactly how diverse Stephen King is in his writing, he is brilliant and deserves all the fame he has gotten over the years. He is legendary and Joyland is a must read, a highly recommend read for your first Stephen King novel.
If you have read Joyland let me know what you think!