The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

2013 Reviewing Begins

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So with Christmas over I have time to read again. Blackberry Winter (B+) by Sarah Jio was the first book I picked up.  I can officially say that I am a fan of the author having now read all of her books. (The Violets of March and The Bungalow)

Claire Aldridge, a reporter for the Seattle Herald has been off her game since her accident a year ago. Her life and her career are in shambles. She has been given some banal events to report and now her editor wants her to cover the unusual weather. This spring, as in 1933, a blizzard has covered Seattle in enormous amounts of snow. What could be more boring than reporting on a weather event? With the help of her friend Abby, Claire uncovers the story of a child that went missing on the day of the 1933 blizzard.  Not much was ever reported regarding the “abduction “ of three-year-old Daniel Ray.  The unresolved crime tugs at Claire’s wounded heart and it becomes her personal mission to discover what happened to that toddler so many years ago.

True to Jio’s style, the story evolves into a very well written mystery that captures the reader’s attention until the very last word. Usually, I am not a fan of mysteries they make me anxious.  This is not the case when reading Jio’s stories.  She eases you in, keeps you involved and ultimately makes it a reading pleasure. I strongly recommend kicking off the New Year by reading Blackberry Winter.

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The second book that I  finished is Gone Girl (C+) by Gillian Flynn. Without a doubt this is the most discussed book of 2012 and from what I have read will be a blockbuster movie in the spring. Honestly I don’t think it’s worth all the hype.

The beginning part of the book relates the story of Amy and Nick Dunne.  They are to celebrate their Fifth Anniversary when Amy goes missing.  In chapters that are narrated first by Nick and then by Amy the days before and after her disappearance are discussed. The story develops in this fashion for about half of the book.  As Part II opens, the story does a complete 180.  At first I was excited for a twist, love a story with a twist.  Soon, I was not enjoying the story as much as before.  Clearly it was not going in the direction I expected.

I have said many times how I don’t enjoy mysteries.  Gone Girl is the reason why. I hate feeling anxious and while there should be a bit of tension in a good mystery, I don’t enjoy high anxiety. Without revealing spoilers, I will only say that Part II and Part III were extremely disappointing to me.  I have read some other reviews and comments and I know that there are many who feel the same as I do.  In an interview with the author, an article reported that she didn’t expect the reaction to her ending that she received.  For me, I felt as “had” as Nick was and thought Gone Girl went to close to becoming a copycat type of Fatal Attraction story.  If you read this blog regularly, you know that I don’t like that either.

So 2013 is off to a good start.  My book shelves are overflowing and I look forward to cold, snowy days cuddled up to them all and of course, I look forward to reviewing them all here on The Book Mark.

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