Last weekend I finished two books – one of which I’d also just started! I finished a 3rd book last night as well.
I had this book on my shelf from one of the book swaps I did in the past. I don’t usually read this type of book – a mystery featuring a main character that is repeated throughout the author’s books – but I found myself engrossed in not only the story, but the back story of the characters, and I could see myself reading more books just to find out what happens to Rainie. “An unspeakable act has ripped apart the idyllic town of Bakersville, Oregon, and its once-peaceful residents are demanding quick justice. But though a boy has confessed to the horrific crime, evidence shows he may not be guilty. Officer Rainie Conner, leading her first homicide investigation, stands at the center of the controversy. It’s hitting too close to home, bringing back her worst nightmares, threatening to expose her secret sins. But with the boy’s life at stake, she won’t let anything stop her from finding the real killer. With the help of FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, Rainie comes closer to a deadly truth than she can imagine. Because out there in the shadows a man watches her and plots his next move. He knows her secrets. He kills for sport. He’s already brought death to Bakersville and forever shattered the community. But what he has really come for is Rainie — and he won’t leave until he has destroyed her….” So, the mystery was about a school shooting that was more than it appeared. While it looked like a young, angry student was the perpetrator, there was evidence that someone else was involved. Obviously written before Sandy Hook, this book makes you think about the psychology behind school shootings and appreciate the lives of those who investigate them.
Being that this is a current movie in the theaters, I was shocked to find it on my library’s shelf! I read this book in one evening plus a bit of the next day. It was that good. “When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family. But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.” Nicholas Sparks definitely knows how to write a love story. This book also showed that he knows how to write pathology. The suspense of what you know is coming leads up to a climax of drama that really entertains. The twist towards the end of the book was cute, but probably not needed for the overall enjoyment of the story.
“Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss-her life-and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend’s memory and racked with guilt for not being able to help save her. In her most powerfully moving novel since Speak, award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia’s struggle, her painful path to recovery, and her desperate attempts to hold on to the most important thing of all: hope.” This was a hard book to read which makes it hard to review. It was a scary story of a girl struggling. Lia’s pain is portrayed lyrically and you feel it with her. The only thing I was missing was the why – I kept expecting there to be some triggering event that made her struggle the way she did, but all I found was what seemed to be a typical teenager / mother relationship. Lia also got along wonderfully with her step mother and seemed to really care about her step sister – not the kind of relationships you’d expect from a teenager. Maybe these relationships make Lia’s inner turmoil that much more surprising, both to her family and to me as the reader. This is the first book I’ve read by Laurie Halse Anderson, but I expect I will read more.
Have you read any of these books or others by these writers?