I’m going to try and make my great return to blogging! I hope it sticks because I have seriously missed you guys. Where have I been you ask? Well! First, after school ended, I traveled far and wide. I spent some serious time just recuperating from the past semester and didn’t do very much reading. Then I got home and realized I really needed to find a job. I applied to over 50 jobs and got one… but I wasn’t too excited about it. Then I went on another trip to a wedding in Rhode Island. I have never been to Rhode Island and it was GORGEOUS. Amazingly beautiful, just like the wedding. I was all excited to return to blogging when the most terrible thing happened – my computer crashed. By my computer crashed I mean I spilled water all over it and it refused to turn on. It was tragic and I really felt like there was someone out there who did not want me to continue blogging. As you can see, however, something must have happened because I am posting! Well, I did not buy a new computer. Instead of trashing mine and throwing it out the window and smashing it until it was unrecognizable as a machine a la Office Space, I let it rest. Let it have its me-time. And guess what?! It turned on!
It was a truly magical experience.
In all of this mess, I have two tour stops I missed for TLC Book Tours. I really apologize! I hate missing book tours! It’s something I’ve never done before and I just feel awful. But here they are, better late than never (I hope!).
The first is Black Water Rising by Attica Locke. I was so excited to read this one, because it is a thriller, which is something I’ve recently discovered, and it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. So did it live up to all of my expectations? Yes and no.
What it did live up to was being an incredibly smart book that took me on an exciting journey. It was, for the most part, interesting and suspenseful. The plot follows a young lawyer, Jay, who one night, while out to dinner with his wife on the bayou, gets entangled in a brutal web that goes much deeper into Houston society than he ever thought possible. Pulled by his natural desire to do what is right, to help people, he gets sucked into this dangerous web out of which there really is no return. I loved the connections we got with Jay’s Civil Rights past. I loved how intricate the plot was and I really enjoyed Locke’s writing style. It’s clear that she has experience in film, because this book read like a movie in the best way possible.
But all of the things I loved about the book, I also in turn disliked. Often the connections to the past weighed down the plot, when all I was interested in was what was happening in the present. Similarly, the intricate plot was sometimes too intricate. When there would be a big reveal, I sometimes wasn’t sure what was supposed to be revealed. I didn’t always understand the connections that were being made. There were also times when Locke’s movie-like writing style turned into, “And then this happened. And then this.” All of these things worked at one point and then didn’t work at others.
All that says to me that even though I wasn’t Black Water Rising‘s biggest fan, I really enjoyed reading this book and I honestly cannot wait to see what Locke has to offer in the future. She’s an author to watch and I guarantee you that she has more stories to tell.
The second book I have to tell you about is Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon. I really wanted to enjoy this book, too, because it has such an interesting premise. The Compassionate Dismantlers are a group of college friends who have the manifesto, “To understand the nature of a thing, it must be taken apart.” But their senior year, one of the Dismantlers, Suz, dies. And the other Dismantlers decide they need to cover it up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish this book. I gave it until page 50, but really couldn’t keep it up.
At first I had trouble articulating what I disliked about this book, but once I opened to random pages and read paragraphs I realized what it was. I think the writing style just isn’t for me. Let me give you an example:
Henry thinks of the mayhem. The photos. The ransom note and chair looped with rope. Suz’s things. So many of her things lying around the cabin. Evidence. What if it’s still there? And what happens when the private investigator shows up, starts snooping around and finds the cabin?
Someone’s got to go check it out, clean it up. He promised Tess that someone would be him.
Henry the brave. Henry who makes bad things go away. (80)
Okay, there’s nothing really wrong with that passage at all, other than the choppiness. I just could not get into the prose. Combine that with main characters that I had trouble sympathizing with and you have the recipe for a book that I simply couldn’t finish. I rarely post about books I don’t finish (and there are a lot of them), so it was really interesting to sit down and figure out what it was about a book that really made me turn away. It might be an activity I try here and there, even if I don’t always post about it.
Once again, I’m sorry I didn’t get these posts up when they were scheduled, but I should be back in business! Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me these books to review.