I had more fun with RIP this year than I have in all the years I’ve participated. It really was a blast to read spooky stories all fall and I’m really not ready to give that up. As we speak, I’m reading The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and I have Sarah Waters’s Affinity coming for me from the library. I’m just not ready for all these chilling stories to end. So your spooky reading may be over, but mine is not.
That being said, I guess RIP VII is really over, so I might as well do a final wrap up post.
Iron-Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Here by Denise Grover Swank
Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
Amelia Anne is Dead And Gone by Kat Rosenfield
Red Rain by RL Stine
I already talked about most of these books in this post, except for the last three.
Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay – This book was way out of my typical comfort zone. I don’t really read what I call “airport thrillers.” Not for any particular reason, but I just don’t enjoy the tropes and the characters. That being said, I do enjoy reading them occasionally, and Trust Your Eyes was a good one to try it with. I really cared about the characters, so immediately that problem I often have with this type of book was gone.
I liked the concept a lot. Essentially, the main character’s brother has a manageable form of schizophrenia and he is obsessed with a Google Earth-like program called Whirl360. He memorizes the streets for every city in the world, under the impression that he is working for the CIA. While doing that, he comes across a murder that was captured by the Whirl360 cameras. He doesn’t like to leave the house, so he sends his brother to check it out. The murder was done by a hit woman hired by the manager of an NYC political candidate and the brothers get swept up in a major political scandal.
It was a little slow at the beginning, but once the story caught on it was definitely fast-paced and I liked the mystery. There were definitely a few twists, though I can’t say I’m particularly pleased with the final twist of the story that happens on the last page. I just didn’t know what to think about it.
Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
This novel is very well-written, but I just didn’t have a lot of feelings about it. I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t click with this novel about a young girl in a small town where there is a grisly murder of another young woman. Their lives are connected somehow, and the story is told in alternating chapters from the perspective of Becca, right after Amelia’s murder, and then Amelia Anne’s perspective leading up to the murder. The “twist” at the end of this novel is a good one, but I found the pacing of this story to be off. I will definitely be reading the next thing Kat Rosenfield writes, because I do really the melancholy tone and lyrical writing.
Truthfully, I never read Goosebumps as a kid, so I don’t know why I was so intrigued by Red Rain. It’s not my usual book and I have no nostalgic reasons for reading it, but read it I did. First, there were a lot of factual errors that drove me nuts. A hurricane? In April? That doesn’t even make sense! There wouldn’t be a named hurricane then! Not even a creepy twin producing hurricane. It just doesn’t make sense. And yes, I get that it is a magical hurricane, but no one would call it a hurricane. Hurricane is not synonymous with “big storm.”
Okay, now that I got that off my chest… I don’t know why I kept reading this book. It was pretty awful. Creepy twins! It’s very overdone, but their murders were particularly creepy. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one other than if you are a regular horror reader or a fan of RL Stine’s you will probably read this one, but it really didn’t do a whole lot for me. That being said, I did finish it, which in some ways is a recommendation all its own, because it’s not like I finished it just to hate on it. It’s a book I would have gladly given up on, but something kept me reading. I guess I just wanted to see how the family got out of this mess.