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The Butterfly Garden – Book Review

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

I am not even sure where to begin on this one. Having just read a psychological thriller I enjoyed so much I wanted to kind of stay within the same genre. Thtbfgis one kept popping up in my recommendations on Amazon. The cover is so simple and creepy that I finally gave it a go. Boy was I not disappointed.

Kidnapped girls, marked with butterfly tattoos and hidden away in a secret garden. This book is so completely disturbing because it could actually happen. Or could be happening right now and nobody would be the wiser.

The girls are taken and the kidnapper who is known by the girls as the Gardener tattoos them and makes them live in his Butterfly Garden. They are literally living inside a greenhouse within another greenhouse on his estate. The story is told by one of the survivors after the Garden is discovered. It alternates briefly between her and the FBI agent. Even though the content was disturbing, I was captivated. I couldn’t put it down. Reading about these girls and the bonds they had together when they had no choice but to live their lives out in this garden was fascinating. I couldn’t help putting myself in their shoes (or wings). The Gardener was obviously sick and twisted but it was hard to hate him, he cherished them and wanted to preserve their beauty. It was depraved and intriguing. Definitely a must read. 4 stars!

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Exhume – Book Review

Exhume by Danielle Girard (Dr. Schwartzman , #1) exhume

Psychological Thrillers are hit or miss with me usually. I either hate them or love them. This one, I loved. I’ve never read this author before. This was my choice for the August 2016 Kindle First read.

The one thing I can say that bothered me was the fact that Dr. Schwartzman was mostly referred to as “Schwartzman” through most of the novel. I am not even sure why it bothered me but it did. I found myself calling her Anna a lot of the time.

Anna is the ME in San Francisco where she ended up after leaving a psycho husband. Sort of Sleeping With the Enemyish but without the fake death. She is called to investigate a murder of a woman that’s her spitting image. This is the start of a series of events and I had no idea how the story was going to end up. I kept guessing and kept getting it wrong.

Anna or ok, fine, Schwartzman, was a very likable woman and you couldn’t help but root for her. She was strong and cautious and at times didn’t always make the right choices, however, I think that made her more real. The ex-husband. Wow a total and complete narcissistic psychopath.

Overall this book was enjoyable and fast paced, I had to know what happened and read every chance I could get. 4 stars on this one.

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Book Review – Me Before You

Me Before You

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is about Lou, a girl who loses her job and as a last resort takes up a caregiver position (sans bum wiping) for a quadriplegic named Will Traynor. Lou is a big personality and Will is hardened as I suppose an able bodied man now confined to a wheel chair would be.

This book was recommended to me quite awhile ago. It has been sitting on my Kindle for the better part of two years, if not longer. I was terrified it would leave me in a state of depression because there couldn’t be a happily ever after in my mind. I guess that makes me a cynic? Anyway… it came highly recommended and with the average review on Goodreads being a 4.31, I finally sucked it up and read it.

I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

I’m not going to lie, this book broke my heart, tore it into tiny little pieces and all I can say is it was worth the heartbreak.

Lou was completely likable and loud and just herself. I’m so thankful to have not read about a character whose main theme was to fit in, be the same, or blend. She just was, crazy outfits and all. I loved Will, a-hole qualities and all. I think it was sort of excusable for him to be how he was. It was completely lovely to watch these two sort of grow on each other and blossom.

Experiencing things in Lou’s head was quite the experience and I connected with her in so many ways.

Do you know how hard it is to say nothing? When every atom of you strains to do the opposite? I had practiced not saying anything the whole way from the airport, and it was still nearly killing me.

&

I hadn’t realized that music could unlock things in you, could transport you to somewhere even the composer hadn’t predicted. It left an imprint in the air around you, as if you carried its remnants with you when you went.

It was as if she was in my head.

I absolutely loved reading Will’s, Nathan’s, Katrina’s, Mr. Traynor’s and Camilla’s perspectives. It allowed me to get into their heads and helped me feel the story that much more. Camilla being Will’s mother especially spoke to me.

It’s just that the thing you never understand about being a mother, until you are one, is that it is not the grown man – the galumphing, unshaven, stinking, opinionated off-spring – you see before you, with his parking tickets and unpolished shoes and complicated love life. You see all the people he has ever been all rolled up into one.
I look at him and see the baby I held in my arms, dewing besotted, unable to believe that I’d created another human being. I see the toddler, reaching for my hand, the schoolboy weeping tears of fury after being bullied  by some other child. I saw the vulnerabilities, the love, the history

Now, my oldest child is only 8 years old and I felt this paragraph just as if it was me. Tears couldn’t even convey the emotion I felt, the heartache.

In the end, although I was sobbing my heart out (and part of that I will admit could have been that my daughter made me watch Tinkerbell and the Legend of the Neverbeast twice the day I finished it) nevertheless I felt every last word of this book. It was beautiful and tragic and romantic and lovely.

This ranks right up there with The Fault in Our Stars for me. Even if you’re skeptical, even if you hate endings you deem unhappy or sad, read it. You won’t regret it.

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Book Review – We Were Liars

WeWereLiarsJacketFinalWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I thought I was going to hate this book. Spoiled little rich girl goes to her family’s private island every summer of her life and behind the family lies secrets? I didn’t even think I’d care about them. I have to admit that at first I didn’t even know it was a mystery and once I started reading I had to keep going because I needed to know what this big secret was and I’m glad I did.

Cadence was well written and easily likable. The author’s unique way of using metaphors to describe how certain things affected her particularly caught my attention. I mean look at this quote. How can you not feel this?

“Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,
then from my eyes,
my ears,
my mouth.
It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the path, the steps of the porch. My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.”

It made her more real to me and less like a spoiled, bratty, teenager. The fact that she was going through normal teenage experiences just like any other just made her that much more interesting to me.

The flow of this book was sort of choppy and weird however; it made the story somewhat poetic. Ms. Lockhart was really trying to get her point across and I think she nailed it. I’m also a fan of short chapters because I cannot stop mid-chapter.

As I was reading I felt like I was inside Cady’s head and I felt myself imagining I was her trying to piece together this tragic accident and summer via post it notes and random pieces of paper taped up on a wall? Seems insane and yet totally something I could see myself doing. I was there with Cady as this story unraveled and was completely shocked at the outcome. It’s always refreshing not to guess the story before the last page and with this I was absolutely surprised.

This is definitely a 4 star book for me. I am very glad I splurged and bought the hardcover for my bookshelf.