Book Review: Before The Fall

Book Review: Before The Fall

“To try to predict the places we’ll go and the people we’ll meet would be pointless.”

Reading has become a big part of my life, and I’m so happy I get to share my thoughts on the books I read with all of you! As I write this I am almost finished with another book, so expect yet another book review sometime in the next month.

Today’s review is on Noah Hawley’s suspense novel Before The FallIf you haven’t noticed already, my book reviews tend to be less plot-focused and more general thoughts about the book. So if you’re looking to learn more about the plot, I found this New York Times review by Janet Maslin which I would recommend reading (before or after coming back to my review, of course).

Not only is Hawley an author, but he is also a TV producer/writer (best known for creating the award-winning show Fargo). As I read this book, I could definitely see elements of a TV script in his writing. He added a lot of details and descriptions of the characters, which helped them come to life on the page the way I’m sure he has to do when creating characters for the screen. I’m a sucker for good character development, so this caught my attention right away.

Another element of the novel that I liked was that each chapter switched perspective, giving you a look inside the mind of all of the main characters, similar to the way Paula Hawkins wrote The Girl On The Train. I always enjoy novels that are set up like this, because I like to get to know all of the characters instead of being stuck hearing the story from only one point of view. I also think it works well with mystery/suspense stories, unveiling pieces of the puzzle from different angles.

The one part of the novel that was a bit disappointing to me was the ending. It felt rushed and abrupt, and I didn’t feel satisfied the way I did at the end of The Girl On The Train. Like I said, Hawley adds a lot of details into the novel, and when I reached the end I realized many of the details hadn’t been relevant to the conclusion. I know this is a typical ploy to throw off the reader and ensure the ending can’t be easily guessed, but I was left wishing there had been more essential details to explain the ending.

Overall this was a well written and entertaining read, and it kept my interest the whole way through. If you like stories that include a lot of character detail and plenty of mystery, you will enjoy this book! Like I said, the ending wasn’t my favorite, but it is still well worth the read.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this book, and if you agree or disagree about the ending. Have you read any of Hawley’s other novels? If not, what is the last book you read?

Book Review: The Girl On The Train

Book Review: The Girl On The Train

girlontrain

I’m back with a much-overdue book review! If you read my October Favorites blog, you’ll know the I loved the book The Girl on the Train, and have been planning on writing a review of it since, well, October. So without further adieu, let’s jump right in!

“I have lost control over everything. Even the places in my head.”

The story follows a thirty-something named Rachel, who leads a rather depressing lifestyle that is hugely made up of lying to her roommate, drinking excessively, and crossing boundaries with her ex husband, Tom, and his new wife, Anna. As a form of escape, she obsesses over watching a certain couple every morning as she passes their house on the train. She thinks they look like the perfect couple, and invents an entire backstory and life for them, complete with what their names would be and what careers they have.

This alternate reality is shattered when the woman, who turns out to be named Megan, goes missing. Rachel feels somehow drawn to the mystery and feels like she needs to find out what happened, even though in actuality she has no real tie to the couple. The book is a suspense thriller, and you are taken along for a ride as Rachel and other characters try to figure out the mystery.

The two main aspects that I enjoyed the most about this book were the changes in perspective and the changes in time. Basically the majority of the chapters were from Rachel’s perspective, but Paula Hawkins also threw in chapters from Megan and Anna’s perspectives as well, which only added to the confusion and suspense in the plot. Also, each chapter jumped around in time, making it even more difficult to decipher what was happening.

If you’re the type of person who loves books that really make you think and keep you on your toes the entire way through, then you are sure to be entertained by this book! It’s actually being made into a movie with an awesome cast, and I can’t wait to see how that turns out. I think it has great potential to be a very gripping movie if done correctly. Think Gone Girl.

If you want another opinion on the book, I really enjoyed Janet Maslin’s New York Times review. Let me know in the comments if you’ve ever read this book and what you thought, or if you’ve read another good book lately that you’d recommend! I’m always on the hunt for new books to read.