Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins {book review}

GirlTrain

**NO SPOILERS**
This debut suspense/psychological thriller by Paula Hawkins created a ton of buzz before it was published. It was immediately compared to ‘Gone Girl’ (Gillian Flynn) and ‘Before I go to Sleep’ (S.J. Watson) and quickly became the must read of the year. Or so it seemed. Naturally, I wanted to know what the hype was all about and an ecopy was soon sent my way.* Having just recently read ‘Gone Girl’, that book was fresh enough in my mind that I couldn’t help but make comparisons. Obviously, these books aren’t exactly the same, so is it a fair assessment to like one over the other? I don’t know. However, I love this genre. It takes seemingly everyday people and places them in events where the truth is murky, and as a reader you’re not sure who to believe. Naturally, when you’re introduced to a “main” character, that’s whose story you want to believe. At least that’s what I tend to do.

The protagonist of “The Girl on the Train” is a commuter in London named Rachel. She is introduced to us as a lonely, down on her luck kind of a woman, who drinks too much and is still pining for her ex-husband, Tom. Along the way we learn that Rachel is still obsessed with Tom and has had a few run-ins with Tom and his new wife, Anna. This whole scenario doesn’t make for a happy person, so it’s no surprise that Rachel has become enamoured with a couple who she only knows by passing their house on the commuter train. The couple whom Rachel names “Jason and Jess” appear to be the ideal version of wedded bliss. As the story unfolds, “Jess” disappears and Rachel feels she has the answers about what happened, but they are clouded after a night of drinking. Soon, the mystery becomes an obsession.

After a bit of a struggle getting into this book (I don’t know why as I’ve read many British books in the past), I finally got to the point where I just couldn’t put it down! I can’t say that any of the characters were too likeable – I’m still not sure how I feel about Rachel. But, I appreciate her perseverance in learning the truth and finding a way to crawl back from her bleak life. I think she had to be this way in order for the story to unfold.

For me, this book was another one that had me thinking long after I put it down. It’s just so hard to believe – yet, I’m sure it happens – that people really act like this. There’s a lot of cheating, deception and malice to be found in psychological thrillers, and “The Girl” does not disappoint. Do I like that about this genre? Yes and no. Maybe it’s the whole point. It’s like a car accident you come across while driving – you can’t help but turn your head and look. I think most people want to know why others act so unseemly – what drives them to it? What’s their motivation? Are they truly bad people? So many questions, and with books like these, you don’t always get the answers. You’re left to come to conclusions yourself, good or bad.
It sometimes makes you want to scream. Or, you get yourself to the nearest book club, online forum, or wherever else people might be chatting about this book, and start talking! Share ideas! It’s *that* kind of book. So compelling, that I can’t help but recommend it.

Have you read “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins? How did you feel about it (without revealing any spoilers)? Did it compare, in your mind, to either “Gone Girl” or “Before I go to Sleep”?
And finally, what did you think of the conclusion? I will say now that I liked the conclusion more than I was expecting. It was interesting and *somewhat* satisfying. Not entirely, but I’ll take it.

I hope we see more books from Paula Hawkins, especially in this genre. I’m sure we will.

*Note: I looked at borrowing a copy from my local library system, but well over a 1000 holds had been placed. That’s the sign of an anticipated book!

March New Release Book Hop {giveaway}

**March 2015 New Release Giveaway Hop**
Hosted by Librarian Lavender and It Starts at Midnight

As mentioned in an earlier post, I am participating in the March 2015 new release book hop and GIVEAWAY this month! For those joining from another blog along the hop – welcome! I’m so glad to have you here. Confession: this is my very first book hop and I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to participate. I’m learning quickly that the Book Blogging community is a very gracious one. For this hop, I am giving away a book up to $15 value $20 value (paperback or ebook of your choice) WORLDWIDE from Book Depository as long as they ship FREE to your country – find that out here.

As for this month’s new releases – what book am I most looking forward to reading (once I’ve plowed through my TBR pile – it never ends!)? So many choices! I’d have to say that ‘Mosquitoland’ by David Arnold has been on my radar for months now, so I hope to read that as soon as I possibly can. It is March break so maybe my children will let me. One can hope. I’ve captured a few great book covers below (of books I want to read). Happy Reading all!

Follow the froggy to hop along to the other book bloggers on the hop!

For the GIVEAWAY, click on the Rafflecopter linky below 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FREE ebook – The Mark of the Hummingbird, by Jessica Gollub

Hi Readers!

A quick drive-by post to alert you to a book FREEBIE!! Jessica Gollub has written a series and is offering the first book for free. Simply click here to claim your FREE ecopy:  The Mark of the Hummingbird, Jessica Gollub

That’s pretty exciting! What a great way to get introduced to a new series. For those who don’t know, Jessica Gollub is a Canadian author from Manitoba. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this book (I own the hardcopy myself) and hope to embark on a new series once I finish The Hunger Games trilogy (*cough* yes, I’m still reading that).

If you’re the type who likes to read a synopsis beforehand, check it out here: Book Synopsis

Jessica is active on both Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to check her out on those platforms.

 

Library Book Haul and News!

Hey there and happy Monday! Mondays can be happy, right? Yesterday I finally got around to going to my local library. What used to be a weekly (or more!) event has fallen by the wayside to a many-months-in-between-visits event. But, I had a great time browsing the shelves and picking up some books for both myself and the littles. As you can see by the photo, I only borrowed a few books. Yes, this is “a few” by my standards. Some good reading ahead, it looks like! One of the titles, “Much ado about Anne” is a middle grade read which ties in quite nicely with my first announcement below.

Library book haul

Library book haul

Announcement #1:

I am really excited to share that I will be participating in a *Book Blitz* for a middle grade book called “Reality Natalie” by Katie Sparks. A book blitz is a way to share and create buzz about new releases. I have an ebook copy to review and will be sharing that with you within the next 10 days or so. The book blitz is being hosted by Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews. By the end, you will be able to find my review (and other participants) on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as reading it here on My Homemade Library. There are so many cool things one can participate in as a book blogger, and I like that I can showcase my joy of reading children’s books, too.

Announcement #2:

I am also thrilled to announce that I will be participating in the *New March Release Book Hop & Giveway* hosted by Lavendar Librarian and It Starts at Midnight! This will be my very first giveway on the blog and I’m so excited! As a reader of blogs, I love entering the contests and I know I’m not the only one. My favourite wins are always books and makeup. So, I think many of you will really enjoy this. The Book Hop is being hosted by Lavendar Librarian which is such a cool and fun blog. I’m excited to catch up on some new releases and share a review of one. I haven’t decided on a book yet, but that is forthcoming and I will be updating the status on the hop very soon.