The Girls by Emma Cline

My first inclination is to say this book was waaaayyyy overhyped. It is a very interesting read but I was expecting for some brain melting awesomeness, and it fell a little of flat of that. That being said, it is a first good novel for Cline.

The story flashes back and forth between the present and the childhood of a woman who got caught up in a Manson style cult. I thought there were many moments of the text that I found really intriguing but Cline didn’t dig into them or flesh them out enough. This book felt too short for me. I think ti was around 300 pages but I honestly would have read a longer book if she had dug more into moments with the cult and the devolution of the family. I don’t know if this is a SPOILER or not but I will give you the chance to skip to the next paragraph here. I really wished that the main character had had to kill Connie.

One thing that really stressed me out about this story what the parental negligence. The way that the main character’s mother treated her made me really physically angry. I think thought that is one of the strengths of the novel too. Parents are people as well, and often far from perfect. They are planets whose children are sucked into their atmosphere and have to deal with the ups and downs, and way downs the parents have as well.

Suggest for people who like:

-Cults

-Macabre stories

-The 1970s

-Coming of age stories

 

Level of difficulty: Read on your commute

Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling)

This is the second book in the series by the incredible Galbraith (Ms. Rowling). I love Sherlock, Elementary, Bones, Criminal Minds, etc and I never really consider that I would love mystery/detective novels but Cuckoo’s Calling (the first in the series) and¬†Silkworm¬†really have me reconsidering this.

These books have highly complex and well interwoven plots that keep the reader hanging in suspense until the end of the book. After watching so much crime TV I am usually pretty good on figuring out who the murderer is or at least some of the motivations behind it. With Rowling’s books I can never figure them out until the big reveal, which is always a surprise but when the logic is given make absolute sense. All the clues are there over the course of the novel, one just has too keep their eyes open for them.

One way this suspense is accomplished is that the book does not suffer from what we could call “Evil Genius Syndrome” where the characters says, “My evil plot xyz” and goes into every detail of it. Occasionally detective Comoran Strike will say that he has a plan, or has uncovered a new detail but the book will leave it at “Strike told Robin his plan”. It makes the reveal much more dramatic.

In this book we also get more information on Strike and Robin’s backgrounds and family. I am looking forward to see how that pans out in the next books.

Suggested for people who like:

-Joanne Rowling

-Detective novels

-A bit of twisted narrative

-Literature/literary world

 

Level of difficulty: Read on your commute

 

Choke By Chuck Palahniuk

Let me tell you something: every time I read a book by Palahniuk I wonder how could someone come up with such a twisted story. The thing is despite being so twisted, the plot works…every time. Palahniuk sews together such outlandish eyes in a way that you accept them as logic in a very strange universe. Choke had me intrigued slightly off put and shocked. Choke is about a Colonial Theme Park worker who once was on his way to become a doctor and is now sidetracked by an ailing mother. And he is a sex addict.

 

Read if you like:

-Dark/Twisted stories

-Healthcare…kinda

-Mother-son relationships

-Mental illness

 

Level of Difficulty: Read on your commute