Tag: 3 stars

The Lying Game

Author: Ruth Ware
Published: July 25, 2017
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 20- October 8, 2017
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description from Amazon:

From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game.

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

Atmospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill that will keep you wrong-footed—which has now become Ruth Ware’s signature style—The Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller.

Jessica’s Review:

I have enjoyed Ruth Ware’s previous novels, my favorite of hers being The Woman in Cabin 10.  The Lying Game just wasn’t for me. It is about four girls who become friends and they play ‘The Lying Game’. There are five rules to the game:

  1. Tell a lie
  2. Stick to your story
  3. Don’t get caught
  4. Never lie to each other
  5. Know when to stop lying

 

Books with unreliable narrators are hit-or-miss with me and the premise of the novel deals with unreliability: lying. Therefore, I knew going in that it may be hit-or-miss for me, but having read the book description and also enjoying Ware’s other novels had me wanting to read this one.

Isa is our narrator and she goes between the past and present.  She has lost contact with her friends until Kate sends them all a text saying “I need you”. The other women drop what they are doing and rush to help their friend Kate out. They all share a secret, but has one of them been breaking their own rules for seventeen years?

Over the course of the novel we learn what happened in the past. In the present Isa is a new mother, her daughter Freya is constantly with her and Isa’s only concern.

There was promise with The Lying Game. It is a slow burning, character driven novel that is well written. At times it seemed too long for me with too much narrative. I liked Fatima and wanted more of her in the novel. Even though I was not fully involved in the story, I wanted to know what was going to happen, but when it was over I did not feel anything.  Again, there is nothing wrong with Ware’s writing; this novel was just not for me. There is also a lot of foul language in The Lying Game. This doesn’t usually bother me, but I just got tired of hearing the ‘f’ word so many times.   I will continue to read Ware’s future novels and I do recommend The Woman in Cabin 10. Imogene Church has narrated all of Ware’s novels (I have listened to all of them) and she is perfect! I really enjoy her narrations even though my husband teases me by calling them “tea and crumpets” books due to Church’s accent!  LOL

Look for Me By Moonlight

Author: Mary Downing Hahn
195 Pages
Published: September 8, 2008

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 Stars

Description from Amazon:

When sixteen-year-old Cynda goes to stay with her father and his second wife, Susan, at their remote bed-and-breakfast inn in Maine, everything starts off well despite legends about ghosts and a murder at the inn. But Cynda feels like a visitor in Dad’s new life, an outsider. Then intense, handsome stranger Vincent Morthanos arrives at the inn and seems to return Cynda’s interest. At first, she is blind to the subtle, insistent signs that Vincent is not what he seems-that he is, in fact, a vampire. Can Cynda free herself-and her family-from Vincent’s power before it’s too late? Full-bodied characterizations and page-turning suspense ensure that this eerie, riveting novel will appeal to middle school fans of mystery and horror.

Kim’s Review:

Ok, puff read!!! Seriously, this was nothing more than brain candy. This book was a place holder while I waited for another book to get here in the mail. Hahn is usually my go-to for a quick, scary read and most of her books are awesome. But this one was more cheesy than scary. Don’t take it too seriously, because you’ll be disappointed if you do. Just a fun little romance-y vampire story. If you want something light and fanciful to read, then I recommend this book.

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The Very Thought of You

Author: Rosie Allen
340 Pages

Published: July 5, 2011
Reviewed By: Kim

Kim’s Rating: 3 Stars

Description from Amazon:

England, 31st August 1939: The world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic, childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unraveling relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair with unforeseen consequences. A story of longing, loss, and complicated loyalties, combining a sweeping narrative with subtle psychological observation, The Very Thought of You is not just a love story but a story about love.

Kim’s Review:

This book was ok. I got excited by the WW2 setting in an old manor house in the English countryside. Little Anna Sands is a likable, smart little girl. She’s innocent and slightly emotional. I liked her. But if the story had been only about her, I probably would have liked the book better. But dang, all the affairs, and the complete disregard for the marriage vows they entered into willingly . . . this book became a list of excuses for why it’s ok to cheat on your spouse. I understand gray areas and how reality can get messy and complicated, but I’d like to think that no matter what the situation is, there’s never an excuse to cheat. Unfortunately, the infidelity ruined this book for me. I would probably recommend this book as a cautionary tale to anyone who is or is looking to be married. Actions, no matter how hidden or even excusable they may seem, have consequences.

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