Review: All the Missing Girls

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Review for “All the Missing Girls” by Megan Miranda (to be published on 6.28.16)

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

It’s safe to say that I liked this book, but for some reason I wasn’t quite smitten with this story as I should have been.

‘All the Missing Girls’ is told from the perspective of Nic Farrell. At 18, Nic’s best friend Corinne disappeared from their North Carolina hometown of Cooley Ridge. Everyone was a suspect, including her then-boyfriend Tyler, but Nic takes a chance anyway and leaves Cooley Ridge behind. Ten years later, she returns to town to tie up loose ends and deal with her ailing father. Nic then finds herself caught up in the disappearance of another local girl, her neighbor, Annalise Carter. Annalise, it turns out, has a connection to the events of 10 years ago and the mystery of Corinne deepens for Nic and the characters around her.

Once the scene is set, the story is told in reverse order, a Memento style narrative that starts from a 15 day period 10 years ago and progresses backward. While I didn’t mind the unique way that the story was set, for some reason, I didn’t feel invested in the characters here. I liked Nic and I kinda liked the other characters, but I didn’t feel a pressing need to know what had happened or why. Perhaps I’m picky when it comes to thrillers, preferring a certain tried and true formula…or perhaps I’m a little leery at this point of suspense books with “Girls” in the title, I’m not sure.

I recommend this book, however. It’s a great adult thriller.

[Note: I received a free digital copy of this book by NetGalley and Simon & Schuster publishers in exchange for an honest review.]

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Review: Bleed Like Me

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Review for “Bleed Like Me” by Christa Desir (2014)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This book touts itself as “a Sid and Nancy-like romance full of passion, chaos, and dyed hair.”

In a lot of ways, this novel does deliver on that promise. Amelia Gannon’s (called Gannon by her friends) home life is not a happy one. Five years ago, her parents adopted three boys from Guatemala whose chaotic behavior overwhelms her parents to the point where they have no energy left to give her. Other than her job at a local hardware shop, cutting herself with a razor is the only relief for her anguish. She eventually meets Michael (called Brooks by his friends) and they immediately begin an obsessive, dangerous relationship. When Brooks first appears you immediately know he’s bad news: he’s a drug user, paranoid, controlling, and equally damaged, selfishly demanding all of Gannon’s heart and soul.

This book was not an enjoyable read. Both of these people were so toxic by themselves, together the ol’ proverbial ‘train wreck’ metaphor didn’t do them enough justice. I read this book in about 4 sittings, and honestly I believe that was way too many. I didn’t want to finish this book but found myself so emotionally invested in the characters that I wanted to find out what happens, just to see how far down the rabbit hole they would go.

The ending of this book felt rushed. There’s an interesting story unfolding, and suddenly everything explodes and subsides within three pages. Big let down. Big big let down.