The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

The Hypnotist's Love StoryPublished a few years ago, The Hypnotist’s Love Story is another great book by Liane Moriarty. Always fun and engaging, Moriarty does a fantastic job of transforming ordinary life and complicated relationships into stories worth reading. A quick read, it’s easy to get swept away with this book for a cozy afternoon on the couch.

This story focuses on Ellen, a kind-hearted hypnotherapist, and her new relationship with Patrick. A widow, Patrick comes not only with emotional baggage and a cute 8-year-old son, but with a stalker as well. Saskia, Patrick’s ex-girlfriend, cannot let go of their relationship and continues to follow Patrick’s every move as he begins to date Ellen. The Hypnotist’s Love Story switches between scenes from both Ellen and Saskia’s perspectives and we see their intense fascination with one another. As Ellen and Patrick become more serious, it’s clear that Saskia’s little obsession cannot continue on and something must be done…

I really enjoyed this story! The characters are interesting, their interactions are both realistic and amusing, and once again (I’ve read a few of her novels) I found myself completely absorbed in another book by Moriarty.

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Dream by Day meets Facebook

Dream by Day

After much consideration, and some nagging from friends, I’ve decided to create a Facebook account for Dream by Day book reviews. Originally, I wasn’t sure whether or not Facebook would be a relevant platform for my blog, but I’ve decided to give it a try! This way many of my friends (yes, the same friends who wouldn’t join a book club) can view my reviews easily, especially if they don’t have WordPress accounts.

Click here to check it out for yourself!  I would love to connect with you on Facebook as well as through the blog!

I also want to say thank you all for the support and interaction – this book blogging community is such a considerate and intelligent group of people and I have so enjoyed connecting with you all!

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

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As a huge fan of the Millennium Series by Stieg Larsson, I was very excited to read The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz. This fourth book didn’t turn out to be as good as the original three, but I didn’t really expect it to be with a different author. Either way, I was happy to see some of my favorite mystery novel characters come back in a new story!

In The Girl in the Spider’s Web, trouble strikes again for Mikael Blomkvist when his magazine starts to go downhill and another mysterious case lands in his lap. When it turns out that Lisbeth Salander, his previous partner of sorts, is involved in the case already, he decides to take it on. Once again, Blomkvist and Lisbeth work together to unearth an entire series of crimes that hide just below the surface.

Through this book we get more insight into Lisbeth’s background and her very troubled childhood. She is a very interesting character whose good intentions hide behind her tough exterior. She is a defender of women and children and I can’t help but root for her. She might just be one of my favorite characters because she is so intelligent (her computer hacking skills are beyond anything I can comprehend) and simultaneously such a badass (in a good way).

Unfortunately, there wasn’t as much character interaction and depth as in the first three. For example, while the first three had me gripping the books in anticipation, I wasn’t quite as engaged in this one. It’s also shorter than the original books; which may have had something to do with it.

While it didn’t hit the same mark as the original three, The Girl in the Spider’s Web a good book and I’m always happy to read a lively mystery novel.

INCONCEIVABLE! by Tegan Wren

imageINCONCEIVABLE!  by Tegan Wren is a story about how love can bring two worlds together. Hatty, an American going to school in Europe, meets Prince John, the handsome and witty heir to the throne. As they begin to spend more time together, they quickly fall for one another (what a dream right?). Coming from different worlds, the pair has many hurdles to jump in order to be together that we see throughout the book. Overall, I enjoyed this book, but there were some areas that I was disappointed by as well.

There are difficulties in every relationship and I felt that some of the issues in this story were resolved too easily and quickly. On the other hand, one issue that wasn’t easily resolved was the couple’s inability to get pregnant. A serious and heartbreaking issue, Wren did a good job of getting inside the head of a woman in this situation. The feelings of frustration and failure that Hatty feels throughout the story are powerful and I was pulled in by her story.

Even though this book didn’t flow as well as I would have liked, it’s Wren’s debut novel and I did enjoy the plot and the focus on a royal family during modern times. I love keeping up with British royalty, including Kate and William and their darling children, and INCONCEIVABLE! is a fun story with similar themes.

A sweet book, INCONCEIVABLE! is a quick read about the ups and downs that come with any relationship.

*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

 

Fates and Furies: A Novel by Lauren Groff

Fates and Furies

To be honest, I was expecting more from Fates and Furies: A Novel by Lauren Groff. Maybe I picked up the book with expectations that were too high, but the choppy writing and negative tone disappointed me. That isn’t to say that I didn’t like the book entirely, the story has many intriguing aspects including a look into the relationship of marriage.

Fates and Furies: A Novel is split into two halves, the first told from the view of Lancelot, known as Lotto, and the second from Mathilde. Meeting when they were each 22 years old, the pair marries two weeks later to the shock of their peers and families. While Lotto is a lover and has a charisma that people are drawn to, Mathilde is a loner who had a terribly sad childhood. Despite their differences, or possibly because of them, the couple fits together well and ends up outlasting other’s expectations of a divorce.

I was both frustrated and absorbed by the couple’s relationship. Lotto is arrogant and unaware while Mathilde is conniving and manipulative. It was clear from her section of the book that she plays on her husband’s weaknesses. Theirs is an interesting relationship because they love each other deeply, but each doesn’t feel that they deserve the love of the other.

I was intrigued by the sense of rawness throughout the story, of uncensored humanity, including the good, bad and the ugly. It was also interesting to experience scenes from the different perspectives of the husband and wife. The idea that people view and remember the same experiences so differently is one of the reasons why I chose to read this book in the first place.

Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting into the story and even when I finished, I didn’t feel like I was ever completely engaged. The story is choppy, skipping around from different perspectives and time periods, and while some characters interested me, others were dull and had me rushing through the pages.

Fates and Furies: A Novel is focused on one of the most fundamental relationships of all, marriage, and I felt sad after finishing it. I’m glad to have read it, but I don’t plan on picking up another one of Groff’s books anytime soon.

The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

The Knockoff: A NovelA light story, The Knockoff: A Novel by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, is a quick read. I listened to this one as an audiobook while commuting to and from work. While it was cheesy at times, it was an entertaining alternative to the same five pop songs playing from the radio on repeat.

The Knockoff: A Novel centers around Imogen, the editor in chief of a fashion magazine based in New York City. When Imogen returns to her job after a six month medical leave she finds that her magazine has been transformed into a website. As Imogen tries to keep up with the advancing technology and an office overrun with millennial employees, she finds herself to be irrelevant.

I have some opposing opinions on this book. One the one hand, parts of the story were funny and I related to the feeling of falling behind in a tech driven world. On the other hand, many aspects of the book are very unrealistic. Would Imogen’s magazine really convert to an entirely web based venture in only 6 months with an almost entirely new staff? Probably not. And then there is Eve; Imogen’s former assistant who has returned to the company after graduating with an MBA from Harvard Business School and who now runs the business. Eve is the character that you love to hate. A raging sociopath, the character is completely out of touch with reality. I think Eve’s unprofessionalism and bullying tactics are very unrealistic as well.

While I found Imogen to be endearing, at times I was completely fed up with her lack of self-preservation and that no matter how much she was pushed and bullied by Eve, she wouldn’t stand up for herself. While reading, I was raging in my head about all of the things that she should be saying instead!

The Knockoff: A Novel isn’t my favorite story, but it gives an interesting and funny view of society as we depend more and more on technology.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the DawnI didn’t realize that The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh is the first book of a series so I was very confused when I was winding down to the final pages and the story wasn’t wrapping up. Upon finishing the book, and reading a very frustrating finish, I freaked out, shouting to my roommate about the irritating ending. What a cliffhanger of an ending it was and now I can’t wait to read the next one. Ahdieh totally hooked me and the sequel doesn’t come out until May of 2016! Let the waiting begin…

I wasn’t sure about The Wrath and the Dawn at first. Do you ever read a book and get so sucked into the smoothly constructed writing that you forget you’re reading? This story wasn’t one of those for me. BUT, and that’s a big but, I really enjoyed the book anyway and was completely enthralled by the ongoing relationship between Shahrzad and the boy king Khalid. A conflicting relationship of hate and passion, honesty and secrets, it’s definitely intriguing.

This story begins with the marriage between Shahrzad and Khalid. A mysterious young man, the king has been marrying a new bride each day and has had them each executed at dawn of the following morning. After a dear friend marries, and dies, at the command of the king, Shahrzad volunteers to marry him. Defying all odds she lives through the first dawn and vows to get revenge for her lost friend. The closer she gets to Khalid, the more conflicted her mission becomes…

Ahdieh’s debut novel is a good one, and with themes from Arabian Nights and Aladdin, there are elements of fantasy as well.