what I’m reading: horrorstör by grady hendrix.

The employees at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio are mystified. Every morning they arrive at work only to find rearranged furniture, broken bookshelves, and graffiti in the bathrooms. When three employees volunteer to spend the night at the store to figure out what is going on, they find something more sinister than they ever believed.

You guys, this book is creepy and twisted. If it were a movie, I would have watched it with my hands in front of my face, peeking through my fingers, and I never would have watched it at night in the dark.

I thought this might be a good book to read on vacation. It wasn’t. The reviews for this book said it was fun and funny and light-hearted. I have to wonder if we were reading the same book. I kept waiting for something amusing to happen, and while the beginning of the book starts off light and humorous by comparing store employees to zombies, the book soon takes a dark turn.

This book was clever, as it’s a horror story set in a knock-off Ikea store. I’m not dissatisfied that I read this book, but I wish I knew what I was getting into.

If you’re looking for a scary book to read with ghosts, this is one for you.

Advertisements

what I’m reading: behind her eyes by sarah pinborough.

One night, single mom Louise meets a man in a bar. They hit it off, share a kiss and then he leaves. Louise is riding on cloud 9, thinking she has finally met a man who likes her, only to be thrown the next day when her new boss David walks in and it’s the man from the bar. Oh, and he’s married. Louise is determined to forget about the kiss, but David can’t stay away. Things only become more complicated when Louise meets and befriends Adele, who turns out to be David’s wife. As Louise is drawn more into David and Adele’s lives, she discovers that everything is not what it seems.

This is a difficult review to write. I don’t want to say too much, however just by saying that you know that something bizarre is going to happen at some point in the book. I will say that this book took a sharp turn from the direction I was expecting it to take and the ending was completely unpredicted.

I was a bit surprised that I enjoyed this book. Characters who cheat are one of my pet peeves. However, Louise is just naïve enough that you feel sorry for her as she stumbles through her relationships with Adam and Adele. Is Adele really the victim here or is she a manipulative housewife? And why does Adam appear drunk all the time? None of these characters are very stable and it’s not always clear who we should be rooting for.

Apparently the marketing for this book came with the hashtag #wtfthatending. And, yes, this book is crazy enough to warrant it.

what I’m reading: blackout by marc elsberg.

When the electrical grids collapse across Europe, everyone thinks the failure is temporary and that the power will be restored soon. However as the hours and days go on and the power remains off, panic starts to ensue in the cities and the governments and bureaucrats realize they don’t know what is going on. Former hacker Piero Manzaro believes he has discovered who is behind the attacks. But when he tries to warn officials, his hacker background soon makes him a prime suspect. Forced to go on the run with an American CNN reporter, Piero races to uncover who has turned off the power before everything gets worse.

This was a thought provoking page-turner and another book that made me think. There were so many things I’ve never thought about that would happen if the electricity was cut widespread for more than a few hours. Not just the food in my refrigerator would spoil, but all the food in storage warehouses that is waiting to be transported would go bad. Livestock would die because they need electricity to keep warm or cows in massive milking facilities would die because the machinery to milk the cows would not work. Generators supplying electricity to hospitals would fail because they ran out of fuel and gas could not be pumped from electric pumps.

I found myself looking around my apartment, taking note of where my candles were and where the flashlights are. Do I need more candles?, I thought. What would I do if the power were to go out for more than a few hours?

While Piero Manzaro is the main character and the hunt to figure out how the electrical grids collapsed is the main focus, I felt the real point of this book was showing how dependent we all are on electricity and how quickly that can be taken away. The book spans a period of a couple of weeks, but the destruction that occurs in that short time frame was alarming.

This book can be a little confusing because there are so many characters introduced in the beginning. Scenes change frequently and the story shifts between Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Brussels, and France roughly every page or 2. Every time I read about a new character I would wonder if I needed to remember who they were or if they were going to show up again and I struggled a bit to get straight all the people and places.

In all, an interesting story about something I’ve never really thought about before.

what I’m reading: dark matter by blake crouch.

One night on his way home, Jason Dessen is attacked by a masked stranger. When he wakes up, he is in a strange building with a bunch of people looking at him. He doesn’t recognize where he is or anyone standing around him, but everyone claims to know him. Jason isn’t sure what’s happening – is he is a different world? Is he dreaming? Has everything up to now been a dream? Nothing is the same as he remembers.

After seeing and reading all the great reviews for this book, I decided I had to read it myself. I put it on hold at the library and a couple of months later, it became available.

I have conflicting emotions about this book. On the one hand, I was completely captivated. I read this in about one sitting and could not put it down.

On the other hand, I didn’t fully understand what was happening and what the exact plot was until the very end. This is another book where there was a bunch of science that I didn’t understand and I just had to go with it. I told myself to keep reading and hoped that it would all make sense at the end.

And it did make sense. I think. There’s a lot going on in this book.

I don’t want to say a lot about the plot here. I know the book has been out for almost a year, but I think it’s best read if you don’t know too much.

Still, this was a suspenseful novel that kept me on the edge of my seat. It was thrilling and exciting and definitely made me think. The ending was nothing like I expected and the only thing I can say is, it’s good.

what I’m reading: behind closed doors by b.a. paris.

Grace seems to have it all – a great husband, perfect house. She eats all she wants and never gains weight and can cook the most perfect meals. But why does she never go out alone without her husband? Why does she never talk on the phone or answer the door? The truth may be more shocking than you realize.

The only word I can use to describe this novel is chilling. This is an excellent psychological thriller, complete with a psychopath at the center of the story. At times I felt like I was reading the way I watch horror movies – with one hand covering my eyes. I didn’t want to read on, but I had to know what happened.

This book isn’t necessarily a suspenseful book like The Girl on the Train or Gone Girl because you figure out what’s going on fairly soon. It’s more of a book where every time you think it can’t get any worse, you turn the page and it does. This book is centered very much on the action and what’s going to happen next.

This is a great first novel and I look forward to see what else this author comes up with.

what I’m reading: the twelve dogs of christmas: an andy carpenter mystery by david rosenfelt.

the-twelve-dogs-of-christmasThe Twelve Dogs of Christmas is the 15th novel in the Andy Carpenter series. I haven’t read any books in this series. In fact I’ve never heard of this series. I mainly checked this book out from the library because it had “Christmas” in the title and dogs on the cover. However, I was surprised to find this cozy mystery/legal thriller quite entertaining.

Martha “Pups” Boyer raises the puppies that the overcrowded local animal rescues can’t handle. When her neighbor reports Pups for violating zoning laws for having too many dogs in her home, she hires Andy Carpenter to defend her. Andy is quick to get Pups off, but when that same neighbor is killed and Pups is seen running from the crime scene, Andy finds himself in the middle of a murder trial. Did I mention Christmas is just around the corner?

This was a really fast read; I read it in a few hours. The story is told from the point of view of Andy Carpenter and I really enjoyed his outlook on life. He was witty and had a funny sense of humor. The mystery kept me entertained and although I thought I knew who the murderer was, I was left guessing until the very end.

It was clear that this book was part of a series. Characters are introduced and it’s understood that we are supposed to know who they are and their backstory. Despite not having read any of the other books in the serious, I found the book fairly easy to follow.

A great book for those who love mysteries, interesting characters, dogs, and Christmas.

what I’m reading: the widow by fiona barton.

the widowThe Widow is the story of Jean Taylor, whose husband Glen has been accused of a horrific crime. Throughout the investigation and criminal proceedings, Jean has stood by Glen. But now Glen has died and Jean can finally tell the truth. Everyone wants to know about the crime Glen was suspected of committing and now Jean can reveal what really what happened.

I really enjoyed this novel. Right off, you know that Jean’s husband is not a good guy and that he probably has done something bad but you don’t know what it is. For me, this book wasn’t necessarily suspenseful in that you were wondering whether Glen had committed a crime – I was fully in the guilty camp for him. But it’s more about how the crime was committed and what happened after.

The author did a good job at depicting marriage and how people act in marriages. Jean strived to be the perfect wife and stand by her husband, even when she had her doubts. Glen wasn’t a good guy and he knew how to manipulate Jean, but there were times when I felt he genuinely cared about her. Both of them have their secrets which are revealed as the book goes on.

The ending wasn’t anything spectacular and there was no big reveal (at least for me). But what I liked most about this book was the way the author took me on an emotional journey. I got angry, I got sad, then I was understanding, then I got frustrated. But mostly I wanted to know what the truth was.

The Widow is another book told from alternating viewpoints with unreliable narrators, leading us to always question who we can trust. This is the author’s debut novel and I look forward to seeing what she publishes next.