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Sunday, November 20, 2016

My Mini Thoughts: The Thriller Edition

So thrillers, psychological thrillers to be exact. They have kind of been my thing lately. I have read three in short succession and I want to share a few thoughts on them. So, today I bring you my thoughts on Paul Tremblay's A Head Full of Ghosts, The Couple Next Door by Shari LaPena and Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris.

The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts' plight. With John, Marjorie's father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface--and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

I read Paul Tremblay's A Head Full of Ghosts because I had seen a number of people recommend it and they have been raving about this book and how much of a mind f**k it was. I was curious.

A Head Full of Ghosts is an interesting story- is she suffering from a mental illness or is she possessed?  This is a question that is explored throughout the whole of the story.

This book was hard for me to dig into, but at the same time, it was really easy to read. I found when I was reading I was in it, but I also had no problem putting the book down and I didn't find myself overly eager to pick it back up.  Because of this, it took me ages to get this book finished.

In all honesty, this book was a little boring. I was super interested in the concept and I was expecting a lot of twists in the plot, but I didn't get any of that. I would have given this book a straight 3 stars, but the end really ticked me off. I felt like it was a bit gimmicky for shock value and which really bugged me, so I gave it a lower rating of 2.5 stars. People seemed  to have loved the end, so it must have worked.

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora, but one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents, but the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they've kept for years.

I was dying to read Shari Lapena's The Couple Next Door once I had initially heard about it. As soon as I read the synopsis I wanted to know what happened. Who was behind everything and what happened to that baby.

I read this book pretty quickly, and not because it was good. More because I needed to know what was going on. There are very few likable characters in this book. Really, The baby was the only one I liked, I was rooting for baby Cora.  What bothered me about The Couple Next Door, was appearance of a big reveal was in the middle of the story, after that things piddled out I got bored.

The story was predictable, which I don't mind, but when it's predictable and meh, that's not a good thing. So, I was disappointed with this one. I don't particularly understand why this is a Goodreads award contender. It was a little bland.

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

I saved the best for last. I saw this book at the bookstore, and I was curious about it. But I had to wait eons for it at the library. I was like number 67 when I first requested it. When it finally came and I powered through it.  I started one night at 7 and read until 10:30 without stops, I went on to finish it the next night within 2 1/2 hours.

This book was crazy! Super addicting and very entertaining. Behind Closed Door is everything a psychological thriller should be. It's crazy intense, pretty twisted and it totally kept me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed this reading experience.

However, Behind Closed Doors wasn't a perfect read. The main character, Grace was a bit annoying, and the end was a little weak. However, this is B.A. Paris' first novel and I am convinced she will only get better as she goes.

I only gave this one a 3 stars on goodreads, but I think I may up my rating to a 4. I had a good time reading this one.

This has been my experience with thrillers, thus far. It may seem like I am not a fan of the genre and will give up, but that is certainly not true. I like the mystery found in these novels. I am looking for recommendations, if you have any thrillers that I absolutely should read, please, pass them along.

~Happy Reading Everyone

1 comment:

  1. Well I must admit I haven't heard of any of these so I am out of the loop when it comes to thrillers and not in a place to recommend any. The last two that I read were ones that were made into movies that I wanted to see (Gone Girl and Girl on the Train) and so I needed to read them first to see what the hype was about. I enjoyed my reading experience with both!
    It's too bad these reads were more lacklustre to you despite the recommendations and award nominations. I would def try out Behind Closed Doors though because I am often in the mood for a crazy WTF read, haha


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