What I’ve Read This Month #9 September

Book reviews September
Despite having a holiday weekend right in the middle of this month, I haven’t managed to get down to much reading! The time I would normally have spent reading on a sunbed, I kept spending talking because I was with my grandparents who like to talk (as do I!). Plus I’ve spent a lot of time working on my new project. And I was also kind of lazy and decided to read something I didn’t think it was worth adding to the list: Harry Potter! I’ve been wanting to reread the series (again – for the umpteenth time!) for ages, and I was feeling a bit tired one day and wanted something nice and easy to read, and there it was. Aside from that, I also took my time over one of the books, Rebecca, because it was for my book club (yay!) and I wanted to make sure I didn’t skim past anything.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – 9/10 – I accidentally read the Gillian Flynn books in reverse order of them being written (although they’re not connected in any way, I just think it feels a bit weird to read them backwards!), so this was my final one (and I’m now desperately waiting for another!). As with her other books, the subject matter of Sharp Objects is pretty disturbing, or perhaps very disturbing, in parts. Reporter Camille is sent back to her hometown, a place she never intended to return to, in order to investigate the murders of two preteen girls. She returns to the family home where her mother still resides with Camille’s stepfather and a half sister she doesn’t even recognize. Despite the crazy things that go on in this book, I really enjoyed it. The protagonist, like other Gillian Flynn books, is not necessarily a likeable character. My favourite thing about her books seems to be the subversive image you get of women, and this one definitely does not disappoint with its plethora of strong, strange female characters. And the relationships in the book – Camille and her mother; Camille and her sister; her sister and mother; Camille and the out of town office – are really enticing. I wasn’t necessarily surprised by the ending because I suspected everyone at some point, and a few in particular, but it turned out just how I liked. I would put this just below Gone Girl in my list of favourites of the three, but only just.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – 8.5/10 – I’ve mentioned this was for my book club, and we surprised ourselves by talking about it for more than an hour! It was our first meeting so we weren’t sure if we would just end up chatting and forget about the book, but we did well 🙂 So I could talk about it for pages now, but I’ll try not to, and not to give away any spoilers!
Anyway, a lot of people will recognize the opening line: ‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again‘. I wasn’t sure I would like the book after reading the first chapter as I was a little confused, but when I carried on, I started to enjoy it more and more, until I really loved it. The narrator is unnamed throughout the book, which we agreed was particularly significant as Rebecca is the sole focus of Unnamed‘s perspective. The story follows the young woman as she travels to Monte Carlo as a companion to an older woman and meets the mysterious Mr de Winter. She is taken by him, and agrees to his somewhat sudden proposal of marriage. They spend their honeymoon in Italy together, then return to the fabled Manderley together. Immediately the woman becomes aware that she cannot live up to the standard of Maxim’s previous wife, Rebecca, particularly in the eyes of the terrifying housekeeper, Mrs Danvers. At first I wondered where the story might take the readers – were we just to follow her struggles through life in Rebecca’s footsteps or is there more to the story? I won’t spoil anything, but there is more to the story than that, and it certainly took me by surprise, which is what I like in a book!
On another note, we also watched the Hitchcock version of the film after discussing the book. It was really interesting to see how they had adapted it, and I though it was pretty good version. I particularly liked the ending which brought more of a sense of closure for me than the ending of the book did, but I suppose that’s probably a big difference between books and films – films give you a more immediate ending whereas books leave you stranded and thinking. So I’d recommend reading the book before watching the film (as I would with every book adaptation!).
Hidden by Kendra Elliot – 6/10 – This was just a nice murder mystery thriller type book for me – I had it in my list on my Kindle and asked Ben to choose me something off there for me to read, and this is what he picked. I did enjoy it, but it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. Lacey is a forensic odontologist who is called to examine the teeth of a skeleton that has been found buried beneath a building. Her world is thrown out of kilter when she realises that the skeleton belongs to her friend, Suzanne, who was kidnapped and subsequently murdered by the ‘Co-ed Slayer’, a serial killer who had murdered several people and left Lacey behind. She is dragged further and further into the case along with another man, an ex cop who owns the building where the skeleton is found. It was interesting to follow, although at some times was more romance than thriller, and had a good ending.


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