The Roanoke Girls

The Roanoke GirlsThe Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel
Published by Crown on March 7th 2017
Pages: 276
ISBN: 1101906669
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four-half-stars

Sweet Mother of God…this book is like Flowers in the Attic on Crack. Seriously, this book has some serious ick factor…but it was also seriously good. I found that even though it was icky, I could not put this book down. I had to know. What is going to happen? Will the truth come out?

Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.

Fifteen year old, Lane Roanoke moved in with her grandparents and her cousin Allegra after her Mother’s suicide. Her cousin, Allegra, is very excited to have another teenage girl living in the house. Lane does not know any of her family members. She has never met them. She had no idea that Allegra existed. Her Mother left the family home in Kansas when she was a teenager and never looked back. Her Mother never wanted Lane to ever know about the Roanoke family or history.

Lane attempts to make a life for herself at Roanoke, spending a lot of time with her Cousin Allegra and forms a relationship with a teenager boy, Cooper, in town. She thinks life on the farms, although sometimes strange, is good. Until one day she goes looking for her cousin and discovers a secret. A very dark hideous family secret. Lane cannot get away from Roanoke fast enough.

Years later Lane is contacted by her grandfather informing her that Allegra is missing. She decides to come home but at what cost? Did Allegra finally run away as some of the other Roanoke girls did? Did she harm herself? Coming home to look for Allegra, also means that Lane needs to face the demons from the past. Demons which are real and lying in wait. Coming home also means seeing an old friend (Tommy) and the boyfriend (Cooper) she left behind without notice.

The story is told through “Then” and “Now” chapters. There are also chapters about other Roanoke girls. This is a twisted family and boy do they have one doozy of a family secret. This book is not like anything I have read before but as I mentioned in the beginning, I thought of the book “Flowers in the Attic” while reading this book. Very original story line which is strangely compelling. The subject matter may be gross but somehow the Author is able to pull off a book which I found hard to put down. I had to keep reading. I wanted to know if this families secrets would ever see the light of day and of course, what happened to Allegra.

Even though this book has uncomfortable subject matter, there are no graphic scenes. There doesn’t need to be and I appreciate the Author not including any in this book. I liked the pacing of this book. The writing is wonderful. Everything flowed nicely and as I said, I hated to put this book down.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

four-half-stars

The Fifth Petal

The Fifth PetalThe Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry
Published by Crown on January 24th 2017
Pages: 448
ISBN: 1101905603
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three-half-stars

I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink.
-Sarah Good, 1692

Twenty five years ago 3 women were murdered. Their homicides were dubbed “The Goddess” murders. The women were descendants of witches killed in Salem during the Salem witch hunts.Surviving that night was the 5 year old daughter of one of the victims named Callie and a woman named Grace. Their murders remained unsolved.

John Rafferty, Salem’s chief of Police begins investigating this cold case after a young boy dies while bullying Grace (one of the survivors and an initial suspect in the Goddess Murders). Grace is now a homeless mentally ill woman who talks to the Oak trees in Salem hoping she can find the original hanging tree of the Salem witches in 1692. She is known around town for her strange behavior and predicting the death of townspeople. She has always stated that banshee murdered the woman and that she, Grace, has imprisoned her inside of herself in order to save the town.

Now an adult, Callie has returned to town and is surprised to learn that Grace is still alive as she tries to put together her past, she has visions at night and little glimpses into her past and that Halloween night that her Mother was murdered. She is also feeling a growing attraction to a man who has the same eyes as a man she saw years ago.

This book sounded so intriguing. I love Salem! I have visited there numerous times when I lived in Massachusetts. All of my visitors wanted to go to Salem and do all of the touristy things to do there.
There are parts of this book that are very good. This book needed better editing in my opinion. I have to agree with the other reviewers who said that this book had a lot of “filler”. I will be the first to admit, that I did not read “The Lace Reader” but I do not feel that is necessary in order to read and appreciate this book, but I do feel that some of the filler in this book, is tying up things from “The Lace Reader”. There were parts that dragged. I think this book would be a 4 star book for me if about 60 pages had been edited out.

I actually found myself thinking about this book around 3 a.m. when I could not sleep. This book has a lot to offer: witches, history of witches in Salem, murder, mystery, magic, romance, family secrets, etc. I thought of all the ways this book could have been better and it did keep coming back to the filler. I also thought of some things I would have liked to have seen answered as to who was the old witch that was visited by the killer? Did I miss something there

Received this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars

The Grownup

The GrownupThe Grownup by Gillian Flynn
Published by Crown on November 3rd 2015
Pages: 64
ISBN: 0804188971
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two-half-stars

Well Hell, What am I supposed to say about THAT?!?

That ENDING? Seriously?

The first two parts of this book/novella were interesting. I’ll even go so far as to say in intriguing..but then…I am left thinking…”That’s it?” Seriously? What the F^%

Really?

so yeah, not a fan of the ending…

This book could have been good. It could have gone in so many directions, but then it just …well, if you read the book you know how it ended.

So, t hanks Gillian, now I am going to be up all night thinking of how the book should have ended, or rather, how I would have liked it to end (it’s what I do when I can’t stand something about a book)

So if it isn’t obvious, I thought the ending blew chunks. just sayin

two-half-stars

Dark Matter

Dark MatterDark Matter by Blake Crouch
Published by Crown on July 26th 2016
Pages: 352
ISBN: 1101904224
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Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Well, Well, Well Blake Crouch has done it again. When I saw this book offered on NetGalley, I felt like the kid in class: you know the kid that sits in the front row: sitting straight up waving his/her arm in the air as if to say “pick me pick me”. I selected “Request it” and crossed my fingers and silently whispered “pick me pick me”

and

I was picked! This is my second Blake Crouch novel and it will not be my last. There is something really compelling and intelligent about the way Crouch writes.

“I feel the wind in my face as I ride in the bed of an old pickup truck down a county road at night, dust swirling red in the taillights and the entire span of my life yawning out ahead of me. It’s the beautiful thing about youth. There’s a weightlessness that permeates everything because no damning choices have been made, no paths committed to, and the road forking out ahead is pure, unlimited potential.”

I don’t really consider myself a big fan of science-fiction type books, but I’m a fan of Blake Crouch books. He has a way of writing that makes sense. I can picture the scenes he has created. I am drawn into his worlds. In this book, Jason Dessen is kidnapped at gun point, taken to an out of the way location and drugged. When he wakes up, he is told “Welcome Back” by a man who claims to be friends with him, and his wife and son are nowhere in sight. He soon learns that his son does not exist and his wife is not his wife. Thus begins the Dark Matter journey.

As I mentioned, Crouch is a gifted and intelligent writer who can take a subject such as physics/quantum physics and make it sound not only interesting but makes it almost understandable to us, the reader. That is a gift in and of itself. As I mentioned this is a science-fiction novel but it is also a love story. It’s a story about physics, love, life choices, and coming home.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read it fast and then wished that I hadn’t. Isn’t that the way of great books? I just have to keep turning the pages, I need to know more, I want to read more, it’s past my bedtime but I don’t care because I need to finish this book to see what happens. That is what I experienced when I read Pines (by Crouch) and when I read this book.

I highly recommend this book. Don’t be intimidated by it being a book that may be outside of the book genre you most enjoy. This book is so well written that I think just about anyone will enjoy it. It has depth and some of the writing is just plain beautiful.