No Exit by Taylor Adams | Book Review

★★★★☆
June 27th

No Exit is a thriller. I don’t know why, but for some reason I was under the impression that this book was a mystery. Maybe it was the premise? Darby Thorne is a college student who’s driving to see her sick mother through a really bad snowstorm in Colorado. On her trip, she gets snowed into a rest stop with a few other strangers. One of these strangers has a child in the back of their van, locked in a cage.

I thought that most of this book was going to be trying to solve who had the child in the backseat, but I was totally wrong. This book was way more about the repercussions of Darby’s discovery, and what she does with this information.

The whole time that I was reading it, I had the feeling that this book was written for the screen. Less of a novel, and more of a screenplay. Even without a lot of long descriptions, I found the book very visual, and could clearly picture what was happening and each location. Reading into Taylor Adams a little bit, his film background makes that even more apparent, and makes the book make a bit more sense.

I felt on the edge of my seat the entire way through this book. I loved the pacing, and the book did a great job by continuing to thrill me and push me through. About 50-75 pages in, when I realized that this was decidedly not a mystery, I wondered if the author was going to be able to continue the thrilling momentum though the book. In my opinion, they totally did.

My biggest complaint about this book was the dual perspectives. I found it uncomfortable to go between Darby and Ashley, sometimes just for a few paragraphs, although I understood the necessary context that it provided, especially towards the end of the book. I think that it could have been introduced in a slightly less jarring way.

Overall, this was a great read. I’m definitely going to go back and check out some of Taylor Adam’s previous novels, as well as any thrillers he comes out with in the future.

-Siobhan

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart | Book Review

★★★★☆
July 24th – 26th

We were liars is the type of book that I feel like I missed when I was a teenager. This book came out right after I graduated high school, and every time I walked into Barnes and Noble, I felt like I was missing something by having not read this. When I look at the book on Goodreads, basically everyone that I know has read it. So why didn’t I?

It’s not my type of book, to be completely honest. It’s contemporary, it’s about rich people on their own island, and it speaks to a very particular time in YA, a time when I was totally checked out of reading and was definitely not interested in this.

I found this book difficult to rate because of that. With increasing frequency, I’m having trouble rating YA. It’s not for me. I’m not the target demographic, so what validity do my ratings as a 25 year old human being have, on these characters who were 15/17?

There were parts I related to, and parts that I definitely didn’t. I think that the twist ending, though predictable, was done very well. Especially for this demographic, I can see how this may be the first time that someone of that age group encounters that twist, and I think this is a great way to introduce it. I also think that this is a great book for someone who reads mostly contemporaries to start delving into something a little more mystery/thriller.

What I’m most confused about by this book though (spoiler warning) is the possible paranormal aspect? As with a lot of the information in this book, it’s a little bit vague and open to interpretation. I took most of that with a grain of salt, since the main character was sick, but I would have liked some more clarification on whether or not there was a fantasy/paranormal aspect to this.

Definitely a good summer read, and I’m glad that I finally got to read this. I know that E. Lockhart has plenty of other books, but the next one I’m interested in by them is Genuine Fraud, so I may check that out soon.

-Siobhan

September Recap | 2019

September was a tough month for me reading-wise, and was the first month since February that I didn’t finish a book. I’m hoping to change that in October. Here’s the tentative list of books I’m looking to get to in October.

Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell
The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab
Dry by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing