Saturday, 20 August 2016

Book Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Nora is invited to a hen (bachelorette) party, but it’s been ten years since she’s seen or talked to the bride-to-be, Clare. After contacting Nina, the only other person she knows on the invite list, Nora begrudgingly agrees to go to the party, only to find out that Nora’s ex and the groom-to-be are one and the same.

As Nora tries her best to appear happy, her old friends and anew acquaintances remind her of why she left town after graduation without looking back.

  • Clare – Nora sees, after only a few minutes, that Clare hasn’t changed much from her stuck-up, popular days
  • Flo – very high strung, intense, and trying to become a replica of Clare; appears as the most psychologically unbalanced member of the party
  • Nina – outspoken and uncensored Nina still hasn’t learned to watch what she says before she says it; the part of her that was once envied is now seen as her downfall 
  • Melanie – too wrapped up in her six-month old to enjoy anything or be a team player 
  • Tom – seems to fit right in as one of the girls 
  • James – Nora’s first love that she thought she’d gotten over, and now he’s to marry Clare

In a Dark, Dark Wood is very readable with lots of suspense and thought-provoking moments slipped in throughout the story. It is very well crafted and I will definitely enjoy returning to it.

I wish to thank Simon & Schuster Canada and Ruth Ware for providing me with a review copy for an honest review.

Cross-posted on Goodreads

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Book Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark, aka Lou, comes from a close but poor family, is in an okay long-term relationship with her boyfriend, has a steady job that helps contribute to the family finances, and lives in a close-knit village where she has lived a cozy life. But is her life too cozy? Is she really as satisfied with her life as she thinks she is?

When the diner where she waitresses closes its doors for the final time, Lou wonders where she can turn to get a job. She lives with her mom, dad, grandpa, sister, and five year old nephew. They have barely made it with the added wage and tips that Lou helped bring in, and now her sister wants to spread her wings and needs money to do it. No formal training or a strong career path, Lou is left worrying about what she’s going to do.

Will Traynor is wealthy, educated, and pissed off at the world. So when Lou begins work as his caretaker, Will does nothing to hide his cantankerous, ill-humoured, and disparaged self. He has been resentful of still being alive since the day a motorcycle ran him over in front of his house and left him a quadriplegic from a spinal cord injury. Beside themselves with worry about his deepening depression, Will’s parents have hired Louisa to clean around his house, keep him company, and try to cheer him up. But Lou finds she has a lot more to deal with than Will’s negative self-image the longer she stays into her 6-month contract. In the end, will Lou be able to figure out what Will really needs to be happy? Does she even know what her own happiness looks like?

Jojo Moyes takes some very emotional subject matter, two very opposing personality types, and one helluva plot line, dumps them all into her magical writing blender, and produces the most outstanding, tear-jerking, heart-pounding emotional ride that I have read in quite a while. From the snazzy outfits Lou wears that make you laugh to the vulnerable moments at the bedside that bring tears, you will fall in love with these characters as they find out what loving each other really means.   

Cross-posted on Goodreads