Book Reviews: August 2018

The Breakdown – B.A. Paris

I couldn’t resist this book after reading ‘Behind Closed Doors’ earlier in the year. This is the story of Cass, who is driving home at night through a storm when she passes a parked car deep in the woods. She has a battle with her conscience before deciding to drive on and ignore the parked car. The following morning, she discovers the woman in the parked car has been brutally murdered and the book shows how the events of that night have a traumatic effect of Cass’ life; inevitably causing her breakdown. The reader follows how it affects her friendships, marriage and work life. I loved Paris’ writing style and was gripped by the book from the start. The only fault I could find with the novel is that I did find the twist in the story a little predictable. Therefore, I believe this book to not be as good as ‘Behind Closed Doors’ but definitely worth a read. 4/5.

Find me – J.S. Monroe

The book flits between point of view and diary format which I found made the book extremely difficult to follow. The story follows centres around Jar whose girlfriend, Rosa, killed herself 5 years prior to when the story is set. Jar doesn’t believe his girlfriend is really dead and when her secret diary comes to light, the story begins to unfold. I struggled with the pace and changing narrative of the story throughout the first three quarters of the novel but persevered and felt the book made a good stab at redeeming itself throughout the final quarter. However, the story does take a very dark and twisted physiological turn. There is some quite graphic descriptions of torture and at points the book was very challenging to read. Towards the end there is shocking accounts of animal abuse which I personally felt adding no depth to the story and was unnecessary. 2/5.

Room – Emma Donoghue

Room is the story of five year old Jack and his Ma, who are trapped in Room, held captive by Old Nick. Every night Jack is forced to sleep in a wardrobe whilst Old Nick assaults his beloved Ma. Jack doesn’t know how tragically sad his life is as he is a product of one of these assaults – so has never seen life outside of those 4 walls. This book is uniquely narrated by Jack, which made it very difficult to follow. This novel is very much a love it or hate it kind of story, and I must admit, after the first 40 pages I was willing to put the book down and give the story up. However, I continued and I am so glad I did. The story comes to life in the second half and has the reader feeling every emotion from anger, sadness and pure joy. The second half of the novel allowed Jack and his Ma’s personality to develop, intertwining new characters from the unique narrative of the protagonist Jack. If the story had gripped me throughout as much as it did in the second half it would have for sure been one of my best reads of the year. 4/5

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