Robin’s June Book Reviews

Key for my personal rating system:

5.0 – A book I will never forget, will quote, will tell everyone I know they MUST read it.

4.0 – An excellent book, but doesn’t quite make the best books of all time list.

3.0 – A recommendation, good read, decently written.

2.0 – Some redeeming qualities, I finished it, but I’m not likely to seek out more by the author.

1.0 – Don’t waste your time.

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. One of my favorite authors, I was happy to see another book released. Her books are easy to get wrapped up and read all night. But this one was not my favorite. There is a tidbit, a mystery, which Moriarty uses to tease us. The first half of the book jumps back and forth in time from the fateful “Night of the Barbecue”, letting the reader know that something life changing happened, but never letting on what. This technique might have worked, but it went on too long. There was too much effort in hiding it from the reader, while other things regarding the complex lives of the characters were introduced. I found myself saying “Come on already,” impatient for something more to happen. It is still a good story, and once the event is revealed—about half way through the book—the story picked up for me. I do like how “everyday” relatable her characters are. Rate: 3.5 (I noticed in her acknowledgments she thanks her sister, “the amazing novelist Jaclyn Moriarty”, so I am looking into reading her books as well.)

The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty. I truly thought I had read all of these when I first fell in love with this author, but in reading her latest (above) I realized there was another one I hadn’t read. This one is from 2011 and I LOVED it. Ellen is a hypnotherapist in Australia and it is a clever love, relationships, tangled lives story. The story hops back and forth between Ellen’s thoughts and those of her boyfriend’s ex—who happens to be stalking him. Very entertaining. Rate: 4.0

City of Veils by Zoë Ferraris. I can’t believe I didn’t know about this book, published in 2010. Finding Nouf, the book before this one was one of my favorites! Katya and Nayir are back, solving another crime and working on their complicated relationship. This is a Saudi Arabian detective story…crazy idea but Ferraris really makes it work. As the reader I was drawn into the mystery, but also the life of women in Jeddah under Islamic law. Makes me pretty happy to be where and who I am. Rate: 4.0 (Just found out there is a third in the series and I’m off to order it right now!)

A Necessary End by Holly Brown. This is the second Holly Brown book I read, after liking her blog posts. I actually like this one better. It was written after the other one, and it isn’t so “genre formula”, in fact, it is quite clever, with unexpected twists. The story of Adrienne and Gabe, chapters told from each point of view. Two parents trying to adopt a child. Special interest to me is it takes place in the San Francisco Bay area, which I always like. Don’t get me wrong…it isn’t your typical adoption novel by any stretch. It is about people who have emotions who rule their behavior. Rate: 4.0