Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sharp Objects

by Gillian Flynn
February 6-26, 2013

Whoa. Have you ever read a book where almost all the characters are unlikeable? And the more you read, the more you dislike each and every one? Sharp Objects is a perfect example of that. I would be so tense after reading a few chapters each night that I had a hard time falling asleep. I'm quickly learning that this is one of Flynn's strengths (I just started Dark Places this week and am already engrossed).

Camille has escaped her mother and dead sister by moving from rural Missouri to the bright lights of Chicago. Working for a small newspaper trying to make her way as a reporter, she accepts an assignment to return home to investigate two child murders. Her mother, a hypochondriac, is not too happy to see Camille appear on her doorstep. She also forbids Camille to speak about the murders in her presence, claiming to have been close to the dead girls. Camille is also reintroduced to her half-sister Amma, a precocious 13-year old with a wicked mean streak. Despite herself, Camille begins to bond with Amma, and they form an unhealthy, unbelievable relationship.
“Safer to be feared than loved.”
Between Camille's self-loathing, what 13-year old Amma had already experienced, and the ruse she kept up at home, made for incredibly difficult reading. Their mother's flamboyant ways and her husband's blind-eye were enough to make my heart pound. I have never been great at figuring out the plot of a book, and this one was no exception. I'd bet most people would be kept guessing until the last few pages.

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

One Last Thing Before I Go

by Jonathan Tropper
January-February 17, 2013

I am a fan of Tropper. Light-hearted, yet sometimes with deep underlying messages, his books really lend themselves to audio. This one saw me through a drive down to Coshocton and back; four hours total, somehow making the trip a little more bearable (we all know I hate road trips and tend to whine a lot).

Silver is a washed-up musician; divorced, shitty father, and all-around failure in his own mind. When his valedictorian daughter confides her pregnancy in him, his attempt to be a good father is by taking her to the abortion clinic. While in the waiting room, he suffers a mini stroke and soon finds out that he has an aneurysm in need of immediate repair – the repair to be performed by his ex-wife's financĂ©. Being the loser he claims to be, he decides against the lifesaving operation and begins "waiting to die" by living in the moment and trying to become a better man. His entire family is exasperated and each makes an attempt to prove that life is still worth living.

Poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, One Last Thing is the easy kind of reading I look forward to.

“We don't stop loving people just because we hate them, but we don't stop hating them either.”

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