Monday, January 2, 2017

Tony and Susan

Tony and Susan by Austin Wright

Plot: Edward, Susan’s first husband, has sent her his novel, Nocturnal Animals, to read before he comes to visit.  Susan, a little at loose ends with her husband in New York at a conference, reads the manuscript and is caught up in Tony’s dilemma.

Brief personal backstory: Comparing movie adaptations to the book they're based upon is one of my favorite things.  After gifting my grandma "The Girl on the Train" for her birthday and then making her both read and see the movie with me, it became one of her favorite things as well.  I picked up Tony and Susan as a last minute Christmas present for my grandma after finding out that's what the movie Nocturnal Animals is based upon.

My thoughts: At a quick glance the plot sounded interesting enough, however it didn't take me long to realize that just about every review I had already read on this book was correct.   I would have liked this book so much more had the author of it put more effort into the Nocturnal Animals bit of it and less into Susan's details.  While having and A and B story going does sometimes work, I didn't feel as though I ever cared enough about Susan's life to make that section of the book interesting to me.  Without spoiling too much for those who haven't picked it up yet, the ending of Nocturnal Animals itself fell short for me and left me disappointed.  I can see how some might have enjoyed it, but it somehow felt like taking the easy way out for me and I was expecting it to go in a different direction, but that's just my opinion.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Pleasure and a Calling

A Pleasure and a Calling by Phil Hogan

Summary: A real estate agent keeps copies of the houses he sells and visits the families while they aren't around.

My thoughts: Let me start off by saying that I really wanted to love this book.  Upon reading the plot it seemed to check all of my boxes.  Disturbing?  Definitely.  Keep you up at night?  You bet.  Make you question who you can trust?  Without a doubt.  While it does have a very creepy premise, this book just didn't do it for me.  The entire first half of this book dragged on and during that portion I had planned on giving it a low rating, but then something unexpected happened.  For a brief moment, it got better.  During this small section of the book I was sitting on the edge of my seat as I quickly turned pages, unable to put it down until I found out what happened next.  Unfortunately, just as quickly as it captivated me, it lost my interest.  Slow beginning, engrossing middle, and a weak ending.  Without a doubt Phil Hogan is a great author, however I found his writing style too "heavy" in this particular book.  A Pleasure and a Calling is worth the read if you have a lot of patience or simply must finish something you started, no matter how much it drags on and makes you want to pull out your hair.

Pro-tip: Be sure to change your locks upon buying a new house!

Rating: 2.5/5 stars.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

After I Do

After I Do by Taylor Reid Jenkins

Summary: Lauren and Ryan have been together for 11 and a half years, and have reached a point in their marriage where they are questioning whether their marriage is worth saving.  The couple decide to take a year long break from each other with no contact whatsoever, this is their story.  The author paints a picture of how Lauren and Ryan fell in love and takes you through their journey, showing the reader how easy it is to lose that spark and how hard it is to get that back.  

My thoughts: I should preface this by saying I never saw myself as someone who would ever read a "chick lit", let alone enjoy it, but this book completely changed my way of thinking.  From page one I was invested in Lauren and Ryan's story and couldn't put it down.  If I hadn't started reading it at one in the morning it's safe to say I would have finished it in just one sitting.  This book took me through a roller coaster of emotions; it made me cry, it made me feel betrayal and sadness, and it also taught me a lot about love.  Now that all might sound cheesy but this is a chick lit after all, what do you expect?

Rating: 4.5/5 stars.