#42 Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer
A few years ago, I came upon the Life As We Knew It trilogy of books by Pfeffer -- the story of what happens in various parts of the country when the Moon is suddenly thrown off course and comes much closer to earth. I thought the first book was great (seriously, how is this not a movie?), the second book was interesting, and the third book was actually pretty “meh”. Still, I went into Blood Wounds optimistically, hoping for the best. Too bad.
Blood Wounds tells the story of Willa, who lives with her mom, perfect step-father, and spoiled, over-achieving step-sisters. One day she finds out that her estranged father has murdered his wife and the three daughters that Willa knew nothing about, and that he was potentially on his way for Willa and her mom.
The story starts out well enough, but really, ends up being about how terrible it is to repress your feelings. Willa is a cutter BECAUSE SHE CAN’T TALK TO ANYONE ABOUT ANYTHING. Ugh.
Not recommended, especially if you liked the “Moon” trilogy.
#43 Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson
I had heard a lot about this book before I got it from the library waiting list. I keep seeing it pop up on Top-10 lists for 2011 and was quite excited about it.
Before I Go To Sleep tells the story of Christine, a woman with absolutely no memory of anything that has happened to her in the past 20 years. She wakes up every day as a “blank slate” -- she doesn’t know where she is, she doesn’t know who is lying in bed next to her, she doesn’t understand why the reflection in the mirror is of a woman who is in her late 40s.
And every day, Christine’s husband must explain to her that she was in a terrible accident that caused her to lose her memory.
At the urging of her therapist, Christine begins to keep a journal, to help her put her day-to-day life in order. And as she writes -- and reads over what she has previously written -- she finds herself starting to piece her life story together, realizing that many secrets are being kept from her and many lies being told to her.
The book and the mysteries within start off strong -- but I found that by the end I was really disinterested. I was really hoping the book would be as mysterious and exciting as Memento (the only other amnesia mystery I can think of), but it didn’t quite pull it off.
#44 Austenland by Shannon Hale
Jane Hayes is a 30-something New Yorker who finds that no man in her life can compare with Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy. Her wealthy great aunt thinks Jane needs to get over her obsession and sends her on a three week vacation to Pembrook Park -- a British estate where guests (along with hired actors) must dress and act as if they are in Jane Austen’s era.
If you can get past the absolute ridiculous plot set up, the book isn’t terrible. I knew exactly what would happen to Jane at the end of her three weeks, but it was a fluffy and enjoyable story that was written fairly well. Not literature at all, but a nice way to pass the time for less than $3 on Kindle.