Book Review: The Lying Game

The Lying Game Book Review

 

The Lying Game is the third of Ruth Ware’s books. and the third one I have read. If you remember, she also wrote The Woman in Cabin 10 and In A Dark, Dark Wood. I was really excited after I read the first two that a new was was coming out soon!

 

What would you do if the secrets you had as a teenager never went away? What if you continually worried that the past would rear it’s ugly head again? This is the reality that Isa Wilde and her friends Fatima, Thea and Kate live with. The girls were at boarding school together and were the best of friends. Although they rarely see each other, they have a deep, unbreakable connection that continues to haunt them as adults.

 

When Isa, Thea and Fatima receive text messages from Kate with only “I need you,” the three rush to Salten, the home of their former boarding school and where Kate lives at the old millhouse. As teenagers, the four girls were inseparable. They played what they called “The Lying Game” – telling lies about everything just to mess with other students and faculty. The game has lots of rules, like never lie to each other and abandon the lie if you are going to get caught, and they received points for different lies, but the points didn’t really matter. The game made the girls completely unreliable and isolated them from everyone else (not that they minded). On the weekends, the girls would stay at Kate’s father Ambrose’s millhouse, who was an art teacher at Salten, and Kate’s stepbrother of sorts Luc.

 

The girls were mysteriously expelled at the end of the year, co-insiding with the disappearance of Ambrose. And now, after all of these years, the girls are returning for the first time to where all of their lies began.

 

I really liked The Lying Game, but it took me a little while to get into it. It was kind of a slow burn type of book, if that makes sense. Having read her other two books, I kept thinking, “There has to be more to this.” The other two have a lot more action, whereas The Lying Game is a slow unraveling of events. I am not saying that is a bad thing at all. I am just saying it is a different type of suspense from the first two books. There are a lot of twists and turn, and it is definitely another great psychological thriller.

 

If you are looking for a new book, and like thrillers, I would definitely recommend it!

Book Review: Britt-Marie Was Here

Britt-Marie Was Here Book Review

 

After I read My Name Is Ove, I decided I needed to read more of Fredrik Backman (he has several books). The next one I picked up was Britt-Marie Was Here. It was really good as well. It was a little slow to start, but I thought Ove was too. It just takes a little bit to get going, and then you are hooked.

 

Britt-Marie is the type of woman who needs things to be a certain way – the cutlery drawer must be organized a certain way, dinner is always at 6 (because what kind of person eats doesn’t eat dinner at 6?), windows must be extremely clean, balconies are preferred. Britt-Marie isn’t the type to judge, of course, but some things just need to be the way they are meant to be. When Britt-Marie finds herself alone and jobless after leaving her cheating husband, she takes a job at a closing recreation center in a nearby town that is all but shut down. She soon becomes involved in the daily life of the townspeople, who are all a little bit odd, and somehow finds herself as the soccer coach for the group of kids in town.

 

Britt-Marie Was Here is a book about self discovery and about finding yourself after being lost for a very long time (or perhaps really finding yourself for the first time). Britt-Marie is seriously socially awkward. She doesn’t understand jokes (and she hates to be laughed at), and she doesn’t do well with small talk. She cleans like crazy and is obsessed with a certain brand of window cleaner. She is definitely an odd character. Actually everyone in the book is odd.

 

It is such a funny book. It is also really heartwarming and also sad. I laughed out loud, I cried. It is a feel good book, and you can’t help but love Britt-Marie.

 

Fredrik Backman is an incredible writer. I love that he isn’t overly descriptive. He is concise and to the point. I actually don’t like authors that are really overly descriptive. If you have to be that descriptive, I don’t think you are that good of a writer, but that is just me. But he is the tpe that you can see the characters and the setting so clearly without the lengthy descriptions.

 

Have you read anything by Fredrik Backman? If so, what did you think?

Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

I had seen something about Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine on some new releases something (I don’t remember where), but then when I saw that Reese Witherspoon picked it as one of her bookclub picks, I knew I had to read it! If you aren’t following Reese’s book club Instagram (@rwbookclub) I suggest you do. There are lots of good books recs and general book things, which I love. And we seem to be on the same page about books, I mean she did make Big Little Lies into a series!

 

So, I was really excited to start this one. I love books about crazy people. And Eleanor is definitely … different. She lives a very solitary life, and she is completely fine with that. She avoids most unnecessary human interaction. She works a not very exciting desk job that she has been at for many years with people she doesn’t really like. She has no people or social skills (and doesn’t really understand why). She generally says exactly what she is thinking. She has a scar on her face that people tend to stare at. She makes no effort in her appearance at all. She spends her week days working, and her weekends eating pizza and drinking vodka until it is time to go back to work.

 

Things change when Eleanor meets Raymond, the new IT guy at her work. He is a little sloppy, wears things like jeans and tennis shoes, doesn’t have the best manners, smokes … all things Eleanor can’t stand. The two witness an elderly gentleman, Sammy, fall and, together, save him. Slowly Eleanor starts to let Raymond in, and figures out maybe life doesn’t have to be so lonely.

 

It is funny, when I first started reading, I found Eleanor to be pretty unlikeable. But she really grows on you. And her bizarre interactions with, well, everyone are really funny. There were plenty of times I laughed out loud followed with something like “Oh boy…” As you slowly learn more about Eleanor’s past, you really start to understand why she is the way she is.

 

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is definitely a quirky book, but I really enjoyed it. In fact, I didn’t want it to end. When I finished, I found myself thinking, “BUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?” Eleanor’s character evolvement is really interesting, and I loved how extremely childlike she was in some ways. It is also a little unpredictable with a little twist towards the end, which is always fun.

 

Have you read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine? If so, what did you think? If not, I highly recommend it!

Book Review: The Couple Next Door

The Couple Next Door Book Review

 

I have read so many good thrillers lately. To be honest, I have read so many great books in general this summer. The Couple Next Door has been on my reading list for a while, so I was really excited to get started. And it did not disappoint! It is a psychological thriller / mystery, so if you like that kind of book, I definitely think this is a good one to pick up!

 

Anne and Marco seem to have a pretty great life on the surface- they have a new baby, a nice house, Marco owns his own business. But when they are invited to a dinner party next door (with a couple who hates babies) and the baby sitter cancels at the last minute, the couple decided to leave their daughter at home, take the baby monitor and check on her every 30 minutes.

 

But when the couple arrives home after the party, they find their front door is open and their baby is missing. Naturally the suspicion is centered around the parents – who leaves their baby home alone, even if they are just next door? The detective on the case is convinced that the couple is hiding things. And once the investigation begins, secrets are revealed about the not so perfect couple. Anne and Marco learns things about each other that the other didn’t know, and the couple slowly starts to unravel.

 

I really couldn’t put this one down. There were so many twists and turns, which always makes for a good thriller. It was crazy. I kept yelling at the book, to the point that Charlie would be like, “OK what is going on now?” And I naturally didn’t trust any of them. I’ve decided that dinner parties just aren’t safe to attend. This is the second or third book that involved a dinner party gone bad. Technically, Truely, Madly, Guilty was a BBQ, but same thing. So my advice is just avoid them all.

 

Looking for other thrillers? Check out my review on Into The Water, The Woman in Cabin 10, and In a Dark, Dark Wood.

 

Have you read The Couple Next Door? If so, what did you think?

Book Review: In A Dark, Dark Wood

In A Dark, Dark Wood Book Review

After I read The Woman in Cabin 10, I decided I needed to go back and read Ruth Ware’s previous book In A Dark, Dark Wood. The cover said it was an “Instant New York Times Bestseller” so it had to be good, right? And since I loved The Woman in Cabin 10, I figured her first book would

 

Nora is a mystery writer who lives a very solitary life. One day, she receives a strange email inviting her to a hen party weekend (bachelorette party) for a childhood friend she hasn’t spoken to in 10 years. She wasn’t invited to the wedding, and can’t figure out why she was invited. After much consideration, and discussing it with a mutual friend who was also invited, Nora reluctantly agrees to go.

 

The weekend is held out in the English countryside, with a strange group that really doesn’t know each other. The house where they stay is a large, isolated house in the middle of nowhere with large glass windows and lots of trees. The group is obviously rather uncomfortable around each other, since the only common friend most of them have is the bride. The first night, secrets start emerging, and the weekend becomes an uncomfortable, tense event.

 

I looked at the reviews for this, as I do a lot of times, and they were really mixed (but so many are!). I thought it was really good. It is definitely another psychological thriller, and it kept me interested! To be honest, it was really really, creepy. The fact that it takes place out in the middle of nowhere in the winter made it extra creepy.

 

I didn’t think it was quite as good as The Woman in Cabin 10, but I generally don’t think an author’s first book is as good. I guess it is just about getting into the groove or soomething. If you haven’t read either, maybe read this one first. Of course, it could have just been me. I think Ruth Ware is a fantastic writer, and I am looking forward to reading her newest release, The Lying Game.

 

Have you read In A Dark, Dark Wood? What did you think?