After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline ★★★★☆

Let me give you a summary taken directly from Goodreads before I get into my review:

Dr Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, is finally content after marrying Maggie. And they’re both thrilled when Maggie gets an unexpected chance to be a mother to Anna, the daughter she once thought she’d lost forever. But when seventeen-year-old Anna arrives, everything changes – and the darkest turn of events will shatter their lives in ways no one could have imagined.

Goodreads

Now let me start off by saying that I bought this book from a used bookstore in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada this past summer for $1. The book is in perfect condition and I can’t believe what a bargain I got! This made me realize that I need to go to used bookstores more often, not just because of the bargain I got on the book but rather how relaxing and therapeutic walking through a bookstore teeming with books in every corner you look is.

Here’s a photo I took at the used bookstore in Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada where I purchased this book from (it obviously was not in this section of the bookstore since this novel is not a contemporary romance novel, although one could make the argument that it is). I would place this book as a psychological thriller.

For over half of the book, I literally could not put it down. Any time during the day when I had free time, I picked this book up and read it for as long as I could. Scottoline has an incredible grasp of how to write a thriller. The character development was my absolute favourite part, as well as the back and forth between the present and the past in each chapter, which was enthralling.

I felt as though the book kind of fell flat after the major plot twist was revealed closer to the end of the book, which I will not delve into, and this is why I gave it a 4/5 stars. I would still highly recommend it though. I find it somewhat difficult to write reviews for thriller / mystery novels as I don’t want to give too much away because that will ruin the surprise(s) so I’ll leave it there. Let me know in the comments if this book is something that you’d be interested in reading.

It’s been a while…..

…..since I’ve posted on this blog. I honestly really missed it and considering I finally have time to read regularly again, I think I’m going to get back to writing book reviews. I am literally flying through books these days despite working full-time and studying for the LSAT. I mean, when you’re reading a good book, you really just can’t put it down.

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

★★★★☆

Here’s a little review on my opinion of Janelle Fletcher’s “Watch Me Disappear”.

This book took me about 3-4 days of steady reading a few times a day to complete. That’s actually quite good for my speed! I’m trying to get it back up to where it was when I was younger. I’m getting there!

Before I get started, I think you should have an idea of what the book is about. Here’s a summary taken directly from Goodreads:

It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a beautiful, charismatic Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. No body—only a hiking boot—has ever been found. Billie’s husband and teenage daughter cope with her death the best they can: Jonathan drinks, Olive grows remote.

But then Olive starts having waking dreams—or are they hallucinations?—that her mother is still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he knew about his wife. Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth—about Billie, their family, and the stories we tell ourselves about the people we love.

Image result for watch me disappear janelle brownI’ll start with the characters. Jonathan, the husband and father, is rather bland. He manages to develop throughout the book but not change at the same time, strangely enough. He’s just a boring old dad who is obsessed with his work and realizes this obsession too late. Olive has more depth. She’s the teenage daughter with an attitude that’s labelled “aggressive”, although I beg to differ. I can relate to Olive and her teenage struggles myself. She’s been through a lot more trauma than I have, however. Still, she is comparable to myself. Billie is more intriguing than Jonathan, and her POV is only shown in the prologue and monologue. Of course, she’s described in the book but, as I’m sure you can tell, I was quite disappointed in Jonathan’s character. He’s such a crucial character in this story and I feel as though an opportunity was wasted, just because his character rubs off as so pedestrian.

That being said, the plot was great. I’m not going to lie, when I read the blurb on the back and I saw that ghosts would be involved, I was ready to put the book right back on the shelf. I wasn’t looking for an unrealistic book. However, I was feeling generous and so I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did! The “ghosts” part was nothing like a fantasy novel. It didn’t feel childish or anything. It integrated into the book very well, actually.

If I say anymore, I think I’ll be giving too much away. I highly (!!) suggest you read this book. It’s got a very special, interesting theme that I don’t often see in books.

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