Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend To The Reluctant Reader

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is: Top Ten Books I’d Recommend to “X Person”. I chose The Reluctant Reader – the person that doesn’t understand the concept of reading for fun. The following are books I would recommend from various genres to get someone into reading again.

Recommended to the Romantics/Lovers of Chick Flicks

Attachments  I've Got Your Number

1. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
2. I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Recommended to the History Lovers

The Passing Bells (Passing Bells, #1)  A Voice in the Wind (Mark of the Lion, #1)

3. The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock
4. A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

Recommended to the Crime/Mystery Enthusiasts

Defending Jacob  Gone Girl

5. Defending Jacob by William Landay
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Recommended to the Young at Heart

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)  Divergent (Divergent, #1)

7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
8. Divergent by Veronica Roth (I hated the last book in this series, but the first is still one of my favorites)

For the Sci-Fi/Paranormal Fan

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)  Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

9. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

 

 

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison – 2 stars (out of 5)

The Silent Wife

*I received a copy of this title from NetGalley for review*

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept.

I was pretty excited to start reading The Silent Wife, mostly because it was being called this Summer’s Gone Girl. I feel like that comparison was a great disservice to this book. Sure, there are some parallels, but they are actually really different. The tone. The characters. The pace. I’m not going to go into any more comparisons. I’m just going to say that I loved Gone Girl and this was not Gone Girl. But it shouldn’t have to be.

It took me a month to read this book. That’s basically unheard of for me. I usually finish a book in about 2-3 days. Sometimes less if things like work don’t get in the way. The pace was incredibly slow. A lot of the time was spent relaying the past and going into great detail of daily routine. I’m not a big fan of such minute detail, so my attention wandered.

We also find out in the opening pages – in the synopsis even – that Jodi kills Todd. I’ve read books like this before, knowing the ending before the story even starts, and they’re not usually my favorite. I like to be surprised and there weren’t really any surprises in this book.

The characters, all of them, were also very unlikable. I’ve read some other reviews that debate whether a character has to be likable to enjoy a book. For me, I want to have an emotional connection with them – at least just one of them. But I can also appreciate a good villain. If the characters are unlikable, the reader should at least like to dislike them. For those most part I felt Todd and Jodi were just very broken, very sad people.

I did, however, find Todd to be at times very interesting. He was kind of despicable human being and had zero self-awareness about it. Listening to him explain away his behavior as normal with no need to apologize for anything was kind of fascinating. I even found that when his death finally comes, I’m a little sorry for it. I wish he had an opportunity for redemption. But even if he did, I’m sure he wouldn’t have found a need to take it.

Overall, The Silent Wife was just ok for me. The writing was solid, the attention to detail was impeccable, but it just wasn’t the book I wanted it to be. I would recommend it to people who enjoy in depth character studies and caution them to ignore the comparisons to other books.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d love to see as a tv show or movie

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme is top ten books you’d like to see as a tv show or movie.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)

1. Divergent. Yes I know this is going to be a movie, but it would be a great tv show. Action, romance, intrigue. And I would love to recast some of the characters.

2. The Night Circus. As either a movie or tv show. If the special effects are awesome and not cheesy. This would be amazing to see on screen.

Sworn to Silence (Kate Burkholder, #1)

3. The Kate Burkholder series. There was a Lifetime movie based off the first book, but it was pretty horrible. A little recasting and new writers and it would be a great serial/procedural.

4. The Passing Bells. Pretty much everything I read about this series compares it to Downton Abbey. I’ve never seen Downton Abbey, but this would probably have the same type of mass appeal. And Fenton Wood-Lacey and Martin Rilke in person? Sigh.

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

5. The Lux series. Teenage aliens. Perfect for the CW.

6. The Mortal Instruments. Enough humor, romance, action, and surprises to make this a long running series. And I would love the opportunity to recast from the movie.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

7. Shatter Me. Juliet, Adam, Warner. This could be paired with the Lux series on the CW and be the best night of tv.

8. A Voice in the Wind. Action, faith, romance. This book has a little bit for everyone.

Gone Girl

9. Gone Girl. Yes, this is going to be a movie, but it has enough potential to be a series. And there’s ton of opportunity to add to Amy and Nick’s backstory.

10. Anna and the French Kiss. This would be an adorable little show on ABC Family.

Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay – 4 stars (out of 5)

Never Look Away: A Thriller

Never Look Away centers on David Harwood, reporter at small town newspaper, husband, and father. He’s working on a story of corruption about the town council members accepting bribes from Elmont Sebastian, the owner of Star Spangled Corrections, a private prison that’s looking to build in town.  David is also dealing with the sudden, inexplicable depression of his wife, Jan, who has been taking off from work and hinting at having suicidal thoughts.

Things seem to be getting better with Jan when she orders tickets for the family to go to the local amusement park. Things quickly take a turn for the worse when Ethan is abducted shortly after their arrival, causing David and Jan to separate to try and find him. David finds him after a quick, frantic search, but can’t reach Jan on her cell phone to tell her. He returns to their planned rendezvous point and she never shows up. Park security and the police are soon part of the search for Jan Harwood.

As the search goes on, the park finds no record of Jan Harwood having ever entered the park. And no one but David has noticed her depression. The search for Jan begins to turn into a suspected murder investigation, with David as the sole suspect. Knowing he’s innocent, David starts an investigation of his own, which leads him to question everything he’s ever known – or though he’s known – about his wife.

Thoughts: (Beware of possible spoilers)

-This book reminded me a lot of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Read it. Love it. You’re Welcome.), but less psychotic.  So I wasn’t entirely surprised when Jan went missing and David was taking the fall for it. What made it so interesting was seeing how it all played out, all the work that Jan put into it to make sure all roads led to David.

-David Harwood is a smart, likable character. He loves his parents, who live nearby and often help out with Ethan, he loves his wife and is genuinely concerned about her depression, urging her to seek professional help, and he loves his son. He’s a good reporter and doesn’t sell out when he’s given the opportunity. But, he did drive me crazy at times. For a smart guy, he seemed to keep shooting himself in the foot when it came to the investigation. Everything he did made him look more guilty and even though he recognized he shouldn’t say or do certain things, he did them anyways.

-Though it kept the story moving, there were almost too many side plots. The private prison and Elmont Sebastian’s desire to intimidate David into revealing his source for the corruption story, *SPOILER ALERT* the parents of the real Jan Richler, who David’s Jan pushed in front of a moving car as a child, Jan’s trip with her old partner Dwayne to cash in on their diamonds they stole from a man several years earlier, and that man’s plan of revenge to get back at them for cutting off his hand. *END OF SPOILER* Barclay did a good job of connecting all of these sub plots to the main story, but I would’ve liked more time spent with David and less time with everybody else.

Never Look Away is the first book of Linwood Barclay that I’ve read, but his other books are definitely going on my To Read list. He writes smart, empathetic characters and the story was well paced and contained enough twists to keep me guessing, without ever going overboard or into the completely unbelievable. I give this book 4 stars and would suggest it to lovers of crime/mystery/suspense/thrillers.