Murder, Mayhem, and Grief…Two books, One Theme!


This past Spring one of my 4th grade boys asked me if I ever DIDN’T like a book. I found this to be an interesting question, because the answer is, “of course there are books I don’t like!”. But I was curious as to why he asked me that particular question. He said, “Well, you are always so excited about everything you read to us and you are always telling us what books are good, that I just figured you liked every book.” WOW! What a reminder of the influence we adults play in the lives of kiddos. I went on to have this awesome conversation with this kid about books…my likes and dislikes and his own book interest…likes and dislikes. I think we both got something out of it, but I bring this up because this is a conversation that has been on my mind recently…Do I like everything I read? Here is what I have come up with so far.

Yes, I believe I DO like everything I read, in some way. Every book has something of worth to the reader. I am a lover of stories and I love going into that world of fiction.  To me, it is extremely difficult to commit to a book and when finished not have something that you liked. Come on…you know you agree! 🙂

I think from now on, I will put books I read in the following categories:

  • Books I LOVE and will read again and again
  • Books I LOVE, but will just recommend to others to read
  • Books that I liked
  • Books that were popular, so I read it
  • Books that while I finished it I really didn’t enjoy

There you go! But enough of  the incite into my book selections and on to the books up for discussion! The first of these I’ll say,  I LOVED and will recommend it to others and the other one, I didn’t enjoy, but you might. So here we go!

First up, HeartSick by Chelsea Cain. This book was published in 2007 as the next “Silence of the Lamb”. Now I don’t know if I would compare the two, because other than having a serial killer I didn’t see much of a comparison, but that it for each reader to decide. I however enjoyed this book a lot! There were points in this book that I had to close my eyes to get the disturbing visual out of my head. Gretchen Lowell is NOT your everyday serial killer! Let’s just say, she is VERY creative in her torture.

I don’t want to say much because I do not want to spoil the book for anyone, but this is a gripping crime novel that does not disappoint! The characters are wonderful and so different from other crime novels. I have to say that while reading this story, I found the characters to be fascinating. They were all messed up and gritty…LOVE IT!!!  Oh yeah, I almost forgot…there are 2 serial killers in this book! This is a must read!

The next book is Good Grief by Lolly Winston and while it is well written, it was not a favorite of mine. This book is about Sophie Stanton, a 36 year old woman who after being married for 3 years finds herself a widow. The book, as expected,  is about her dealing with this terrible grief of losing her husband, but not only that loss, but the loss of her job, home, and basically everything from her old life.

At times, it was all a little TOO much for this reader. I didn’t like the main character of Sophie. I found her weak, wish-washy, and I had a hard time relating to the character.  She seemed to let her life fall apart in the weirdest ways…ways I didn’t understand. I also found the supporting characters to be a little over the top and really didn’t like any of them or care about what happened to them in the end. There were some touching and funny moments; Sophie going to work in her bathrobe and slippers, but overall I just didn’t connect. I know I am being a little rough on this book, but it just left me feeling empty and I don’t like that feeling. 😦

So readers, pick one and give it a try! Just be sure to share you thoughts with me!

Happy Reading!

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