The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins | Spoiler-free Review

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Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Released: January 13, 2015
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336

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EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

review

 This book has been so hyped up that I expected so much intrigue and suspense. I got the suspense (if you ignore the fact that you can predict the killer right from the very start), but it wasn’t very intriguing to me. I keep seeing that this book is compared to Gone Girl or the next Gone Girl and let me just say this book is nothing like Gone Girl. Besides the, “who dunnit” aspect, this book can’t compare. It’s on it’s own and a little lacking. Almost a lot lacking.

For starters, I didn’t enjoy the writing format. Every day is told by “morning” and “evening” and many of those times the POVs are just recapping what happened before. For example, it will be evening and Rachel will be recanting what she did during the afternoon. Why couldn’t we just see it? Why do we need to be told? It’s not a huge problem, but it bugged me a bit and I quickly got tired of it. Plus, it made the POVs feel so choppy and rushed. Then we have the other two POVs. Megan’s (the missing woman) story takes place one year earlier to give insight on what was going on. Anna’s POV coincides with Rachels but feels completely unnecessary. It felt like she was just added to add more suspicions to the list. You know, like the blatantly obvious suspect at the end, if you hadn’t picked up on the clues during the whole novel.

As for the characters, they were flawed, they were unlikable, they were dark and twisted. I wish I could say I liked them, but I really really didn’t. I found myself for frustrated with them. Rachel is an alcoholic and can’t remember anything so we spend the entire book trying to figure out what happened that night while she “blacked out.” Yes, Hawkins handles Rachel’s alcoholism realistically and I am glad she wasn’t magically fixed, but still frustrating story wise. Anna thinks she is hot sh** just because she is beautiful, stole someone’s husband, and husbands check her out on the street. Her inner monologue was the worst. I dreaded her chapters because she was just a snob. As for Megan, well she is unlikable too but I actually liked her POV just because it was the only giving us clues as to what was going on. Besides Rachel, at the end.

Overall, this book was “okay.” I wasn’t blown away or completely shocked by the plot twist. But it was gripping and captures your attention because you can’t stop until you find out who did it. So I give it a star just for that fact alone.

If you enjoy thrillers, I’d recommend, but don’t have too many high expectations. You might be let down.rating22half

Have you read this book?
What did you think?
Have you seen the movie yet?
let’s discuss xxoo

 

until next time,
Dee

 

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Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4) by Diana Gabaldon

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synopsis

It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past … or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong….

myreview

*Slight spoilers in you haven’t read at least Voyager

Drums of Autumn takes place after the events of Voyager, where we find Brianna missing her mother and trying to find traces of Claire and Jamie. She enlists the help of Roger and when a surprising new discovery leaves them both running to the stones of Craigh na Dun many surprises unravel that I did not expect. It was a slow ride at times, but still very entertaining if you enjoyed the other books in the series like I have.

While I really enjoyed this installment in the Outlander series, I had a few problems with it. I didn’t really get wrapped into the story until about 300+ pages in. I felt like the slow build up was a little too slow and dull. I know this is the way Diana tells her stories, but usually there is a slow burn leading up to the intense climax. However with DoA, the slow burn led up to quite an underwhelming misunderstanding. A misunderstanding that could have led the last quarter of the book’s conflict resolved if one conversation would have taken place. To say it’s frustrating is a little of an understatement.

Another issue I had with DoA was Claire and Brianna. There is no doubt these two are mother and daughter because they are exactly alike. While Brianna takes after Jamie in her Scot Fraser stubbornness, she takes over Claire with her rashness. She is independent and often forgets the time period that she just stepped into. Plus, I wanted to strangle her for the way she talked to her father. Excuse you Bree, you’re being incredibly disrespectful what gives you the right?! While Claire is oftentimes too over dramatic in this novel. She overreacts over situations that she could have easily just rectified.

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While I had a few issues. I still really loved this novel once everything really started to pick up. I loved seeing the relationship between Jamie and Bree (their first meeting seriously brought tears to my eyes) as well as the growing relationship with Roger. I seriously fell in love with Roger in this novel. He was so sweet and understanding and perfect for Bree. He understands her and knows just how to handle her.

I really enjoyed the life that Jamie and Claire are building on Fraser’s Ridge. They are finally settling into a life that they deserve (but still has some conflict because it’s Jamie and Claire). Though I do have to admit I miss being in Lallybroch and around Jenny and Ian and all the other Frasers.

Overall,  I really enjoyed reading this book. It was slow but still great. I loved Jamie even more than before. He is protective and an excellent father. It’s so bittersweet to see him finally be the father he deserved to be. I love Jamie and Claire together, always. Bree and Roger. Wee Ian and Rollo. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for our beloved Frasers.

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If you love Outlander, have you been watching season 2? Are you ready for the finale??? let’s fangirl and cry together. 

Dee

 

Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown

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Publisher: Del Rey
Released: February 9, 2016
Series: Red Rising #3
Genre: Science Fiction Dystopian, Young Adult/Adult Fiction crossover
Pages: 524

synopsisDarrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.
Finally, the time has come.
But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied – and too glorious to surrender.

myreviewRed Rising has quickly become one of my favorite series of all time and Morning Star? One of my favorite finales. Even though Pierce Brown is now writing a new trilogy after the events of Morning Star. Yay. This novel had everything I wanted in a finale. It had a load of action. political intrigue, character development, and just so much heartfelt fangirl moments.

Morning Star takes place one year after the events of Golden Son and let me tell you, it was satisfying.  Darrow is a broken man. After experiencing torture at the hands of The Jackal for a year, he is losing his will to fight and it is heartbreaking. Everything that happens afterwards is so bittersweet. His relationship with Sevro, Mustang, Victra, and all the rest of The Howlers as he reclaims the fight.

The writing as always was impeccable. The action sequences were amazing and so vivid. I was constantly clutching my book because I was so scared for all my favorite characters. There was never a dull moment while reading this book and I loved that. It was so nice to see so many people come together to stand with Darrow and his cause. So bittersweet.

Also, I can’t not say that I am so happy my ship finally sailed!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
I was jumping up and down because I have been waiting for this for 3 books and it finally happened. Not only my ship, but my precious baby Sevro too! Sevro is such a delight to read and he brings a comic relief to an otherwise very serious and daunting journey. He has an colorful sense of humor and can annoy everyone, but he never fails in making me laugh. He is without a doubt my favorite character in this trilogy.

The plot was so engaging and brought one of the best endings I have read this year (as a finale). It was so heartbreaking and gives you a rush because you don’t know if everyone is going to make it out alive. To see Darrow and Mustang and even Cassius face off finally and bring out the outcome for the world to come after them? Such beauty. I am blown away by the events that transpired. Brown did an amazing job wrapping up this rebellion and I am so excited to see what’s in store next for our beloved characters.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed some serious tears. Even for our villain. I am so attached to these characters and this world that it will forever have an imprint on my heart. ❤

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If you haven’t read this trilogy, what are you even doing with your life? pick it up now! It’s so good and wonderful!
And if you have, what did you think? Let’s fangirl together! xoo

 until next time,
Dee

Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown

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Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

This book destroyed me. It gutted me out into small pieces and stomped on my heart. I feel victimized and betrayed. I feel empty. I have never been this affected by a sequel in such a long time. I don’t I’ve ever been this affected by a sequel. It had me laughing, crying, screaming, panicking, and clutching my heart at 2AM. I am being dramatic, but this is how invested I am with these characters and their story. Pierce Brown has just earned a special seat on my Favorite Authors Thrones.

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“Home isn’t where you’re from, it’s where you find light when all grows dark.

Golden Son picks up two years after Red Rising left off and at first I was really confused because I read Red Rising so long ago. I didn’t remember details and had to basically relearn the entire slang/lingo all over again. This is what slowed me down. This is what slowed me down with Red Rising to begin with, but I quickly was able to jump back into the world and find the rhythm again. Darrow is now a Peerless Scarred and still working for the ArchGovernor , Nero au Augustus. After Darrow loses in a space battle against House Bellona (Cassius still determined to avenge Julian’s death), Augustus decides to sell Darrow’s contract and let him go. Without Augustus’s protection against the Bellonas, Darrow makes an unlikely alliance. I actually really liked this alliance because you never knew what was going to happen. You were stepping on eggshells the whole time because you knew this person couldn’t be trusted, but there is just something so intriguing about him. I won’t say who it is, but if you’ve read this book you know.

“Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair.”

What I really like about this trilogy is all the characters. I have so many favorites and they are all precious little cupcakes to me. It’s so hard to love one more over another because they all carry their own light and shine. Mustang is smart and independent and strong. Darrow is loyal and self-sacrificing. Once he lets someone into his inner circle and heart, he will do whatever to protect them and even for the lowColors who don’t have anyone to protect them. Sevro is funny, strong, and loyal to Darrow and the Howlers. He adds just the right amount of comic relief. Roque, the poet, is also still one of my favorites. He’s so sweet and genuine that it broke my heart for what he had to go through. His rift and doubting of Darrow really tore my heart open and I was constantly worried for him. I am still not over everything that happened in the ending. THANKS PIERCE. THANKS A LOT.

“Wise men read books about history. Strong men write them.”

One of my favorite parts of the book was getting to know more about the Sons of Ares. We finally meet Ares and I have to say…I was shocked. I did not see that coming at all and I loved it! I really enjoyed hearing the story about why the Sons were formed and why everything was set in motion, why Darrow was chosen. I look forward to see what is next in store for the Sons because…ahem. I am anxious. I am scared.

The action sequences in this book really packed a punch! There was constant action and they were so vividly written that everything played out exactly like a movie. There was intense and nervewrecking which made the pacing of this book even better than the first book. Usually I will want to read quickly because I am anxious to know what will happen next, but with this book so much was happening that I had to stop and take a breath to absorb everything. It was just that great. I am that attached.

Now this book sets up Morning Star quite nicely. Golden Son left off on one of the most gut-wrenching cliffhangers and I am itching to get my hands on Morning Star. It will be nice to see how this trilogy ends. But if the past two books were any indication, I know Pierce won’t let me down.

“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

If you are skeptical about reading this trilogy, please do. Stick with it. It gets better and is a great ride.
If you didn’t enjoy Red Rising that much, give Golden Son a try. 🙂

Until next time,
dee (2)

Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon

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Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her… and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her…the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland… and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite or forever doom her timeless love.

This book was absolutely fantastic that IT GAVE ME SO MUCH ANXIETY!

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I am still in awe with the amount of research that goes into this series and how flawlessly Diana Gabaldon weaves history into this incredible journey all the while showcasing Jamie and Claire’s unforgettable love. If history was this much fun I think I would have paid way more attention in high school 😉

I would recommend reading this book quickly. I made the mistake of picking it up and then setting it down for over a month so I lost my momentum. But once I got into the rhythm again, I flew threw it. I am no longer going to go into too much detail in my reviews because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who have not read the series, but I will say that if you loved Outlander you will not be disappointed. Jamie and Claire are their adorable selves and I couldn’t stop giggling like an idiot every time they have a scene together.

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I love Jamie’s loyalty, strength, bravery, and love he has for his family, friends and Sassenach. With Claire, I love her sass! She doesn’t take anything standing down and isn’t afraid to take risks.

Voyager introduced many new characters that were great, sans wee Ian, as well as bringing in some favorites from previous books. These books have so many interweaving story lines and flows together beautifully. I am so glad I have decided to give this series a chance because it’s my favorite. If you have any reservations about starting this series, please do.

And if you have read Outlander…you are in for a ride with this one! ❤

Overall, this book was a wild “voyage” get it, get it? 😉  I think this is my second favorite book in the series so far, because I still have a soft spot for Outlander.

Until next time,
dee (2)