Tuesday, November 8, 2016

what I read in october

I managed to read two books in october: black eyed susans by julia heaberlin and second life by s.j. watson. black eyed susans was recommended to me by a coworker, and the plot sounded so good. I bought it on amazon and started reading it a couple months ago. unfortunately, I wasn't loving it and read a couple other books instead, while putting it on the backburner. I had a bit of guilt for buying a book and not reading it, so I decided to power through it. conversely, I finished second life in one day... and it's just short of 400 pages. I traveled to chicago last month, which always means I read more but I was honestly impressed with how quickly these pages turned! of course, linking up with steph and jana for show us your books.


second life by s.j. watson
how well can you really know another person? how far would you go to find the truth about someone you love? when julia learns that her sister has been violently murdered, she must uncover why. but julia's quest quickly evolves into an alluring exploration of own darkest sensual desires. becoming involved with a dangerous stranger online, she's losing herself . . . losing control . . . perhaps losing everything. her search for answers will jeopardize her marriage, her family, and her life. {amazon.com review}

my take: A
something about this book just kept me coming back for more. maybe because it ended up detailing an illicit affair that was full of dangerous moments and questionable morals, which I wasn't expecting. I kept thinking "no, don't do this" and of course, julia kept doing it. there's something weird about reading a book that chronicles a bunch of terrible, immoral decisions that will completely rip a family apart. I think I assumed more guilt just reading than the main character in this book ever felt. the plot becomes pretty obvious toward the end and everything is intertwined with high stakes in terms of the future of her family. this author also wrote before I go to sleep, and I definitely preferred this book if that helps.

black eyed susans by julia heaberlin
tessa cartwright was found in a texas field, barely alive amid a scattering of bones, with only fragments of memory as to how she got there. ever since, the press has pursued her as the lone surviving “black-eyed susan,” the nickname given to the murder victims because of the yellow carpet of wildflowers that flourished above their shared grave. tessa’s testimony about those tragic hours put a man on death row. almost two decades later, tessa is an artist and single mother. she is shocked to discover a freshly planted patch of black-eyed susans—just outside her bedroom window. terrified at the implications—that she sent the wrong man to prison and the real killer remains at large—tessa turns to the lawyers working to exonerate the man awaiting execution. as the clock ticks toward the execution, tessa fears for her sanity, but even more for the safety of her teenaged daughter. is a serial killer still roaming free, taunting tessa with a trail of clues? she has no choice but to confront old ghosts and lingering nightmares to finally discover what really happened that night. {amazon.com review}

my take: B-
I really wanted to love this book. the plot sounded fantastic and I was partial to all the references to texas throughout the book (texas-born here). unfortunately, I just couldn't deal with all the back and forth between teenage tessa and current day tessa. even after I finished the book, I had to ask my coworker what I was missing. some things did not connect even after I figured them out, which I found to be frustrating. anyway, not the worst book ever but definitely not my favorite.

I am now reading goldfinch, which many people have told me is their absolute favorite book. it happens to be something like 800 pages, so I am reaallly hoping I can finish it in time for next month's linkup. what are you reading this month? looking forward to reading all of your recommendations and thanks for stopping by!

16 comments:

  1. i haven't read black eyed susans, though i know a lot of people who did and either loved it or hated it. i also haven't read the goldfinch, such a huge book! lol. maybe one day. can't wait to see what you think of it!

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  2. I haven't read either of these books, but the synopsis for Second Life sounds really suspenseful! I hope you end up enjoying The Goldfinch-- it's one of my favorite books!

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    1. I can't wait to finish the Goldfinch since so many people have loved it... it's so long, I'm chugging along slowly!

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  3. I tried The Goldfinch twice. No real reason I didn't finish it except that I just didn't. Maybe because I had it as an eBook? I don't know.

    Thanks for linking up with us!

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    1. I wonder how far you made it into the book, I'm in the 200s or so out of almost 800 pages. I normally don't like books this long but so far, so good.

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  4. I loved Before I Go to Sleep (have you seen the movie?), so I definitely want to read Second Life!

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    1. ummmmm, movie... no. how did I not know about this?? will add to my thanksgiving break to do list. thanks!!

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  5. Second Life sounds really interesting and adding to my TBR. I always wonder what makes a person do something they know will destroy their family. Black-Eyed Susan is already on my TBR. And I hate when a books ends and things don't fully connect. It makes me twitchy.

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    1. ok then I doubt you will like Black Eyed Susans, but you never know :) let me know what you think!

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  6. So I think that I might be one of the few people that didn't love Before I Go To Sleep, so that makes me so happy that you actually preferred Second Life! It was really cheap on Nook one time so I had to snag a copy because I'd heard such great things! Bummer that you didn't care for Black Eyed Susans! I want to read it because it's set in Texas too!

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    1. I kept waiting for Before I Go To Sleep to end... I mean, the plot was so obvious and it just kept going even though there was really nothing left to discover. maybe that's too harsh. but really I liked Second Life much more!

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  7. Black Eyed Susans has so many mixed reviews! It sounds good, but I don't know if I will like it.

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    1. I think if you like books that flip back and forth between time periods, you will like it! I am not a fan of that style.

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  8. I enjoyed BES. I read it in October as well. I thought the ending was alittle rushed with no info on why the killer was killing everyone but I liked it for what it was.

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    1. yes, for sure. I had to ask my coworker why?? she tried to explain it to me and we decided that it just didn't make sense. HA!

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