Friday, August 8, 2014

The Witches of East End by Melissa De La Cruz

Title: The Witches of East End
Series: Beauchamp Family Series Book #1
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Published: 2011 by Hyperion
272 Pages
I Got It:
I Read It: August 5 - August 7, 2014
I Rated It: 4/5 Stars

Joanna Beauchamp and her two daughters, Freya and Ingrid, live in a quaint coastal town in New York. The three women seem to lead average lives yet they actually harbor a long-standing secret: they are powerful witches who have been banned from using their magic. Over the course of the book events happen that slowly encourage all three women to break the rules and begin using their magic again to unlock a centuries-old secret. 
I really liked this book. I found it to be very reminiscent of Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman which is one of my favorite books of all time. It was a fun, fast-paced and compelling read. Over the past few weeks I had been sliding my way into a reading slump. I was not enjoying anything that I was reading and I was not excited to start anything new. I realized that I was craving something in the paranormal/fantasy genre and this book hit the spot.
I liked all of the characters in the book. I especially enjoyed the three Beauchamp women and I really related to Ingrid. I felt like all of the characters were fully fleshed out and i am excited to see how they will continue to develop over the next few books. 
This book series has been turned into a TV show on Lifetime. I started watching the television show which is actually pretty different from the book, at least it is different from this first book, but the show is still good in its own right. 
I liked the beginning a lot more than I liked the ending. It took a weird spin towards the end that I didn't enjoy. There were too many references to events in the previous lives of the women that didn't get fully explained or resolved which was confusing and annoying. This was especially true in the last 1/3 of the book. 
I am excited to read the rest of the series and to start De La Cruz's Blue Bloods series as well. 
I would recommend this book to fans of witch stories, fans of paranormal books and to both young adult and adult readers. 
4/5 stars

Gone Girl by Gilllian Flynn

Title: Gone Girl
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Suspense/Thriller/Mystery
Author: Gillian Flynn
Published: 2012 By Broadway Books
Awards: Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best Suspense/Thriller; GoodReads Choice Award for Best Mystery & Thriller
Pages: 422
I Got It: Borrowed from a family member
I Read It: July 20 - July 24, 2014
I Rated It: 2.5 Stars

I cannot join the hugely huge group of people who loved this book. I did not love this book. I didn't even like this book (mostly). What I did like about this book was Gillian Flynn's writing style and that is the only thing that allowed me to give this book a 2.5 rating. I cannot for the life of me figure out why there is so much hype surrounding this book! I wish that I could say that people are loving it because of Flynn's way of writing, but I highly doubt that is the reason this book stayed on the NYT Bestsellers List for so long. I am excited to see the movie and how it will be adapted to the screen, especially since a large majority of the book is entries from Amy's diary. 

Amy is a spoiled rich girl whose parents made a fortune from writing a series of children's books based on Amy- the Amazing Amy Series. Being raised completely opposite is Amy's husband Nick who is now having to care for his ailing parents (Alzheimer's (dad) and Cancer (mom)). After the couple both loose their jobs they make the decision to leave NYC and move back to Nick's small hometown in Missouri to help care for his parents. 

This book is a macabre, psychological suspense thriller that majorly messed with my mind. I found myself feeling disgusted the entire time I read. Gone Girl gave me a sense of urgency as I read it. Though I did not enjoy it overall, I did feel a compulsion to continue reading, and at a quick pace. I had to know what was going on? What will happen next? Why is this happening? I had a very difficult time relating to any of the characters in the book. Adding to that, I also had major trouble cheering for any of the characters. I found myself not caring one way or another what happened to them. The alternating POV chapters between Nick and Amy allows readers to see just how equally disturbing the two individuals truly are. I especially hated the ending, though to avoid spoilers, I won't reveal anything about it other than the fact that I simply abhorred it. 
Let me reiterate here: Flynn's writing is excellent. Her writing never ebbs its way into cliche or overblown territory like a lot of mystery novels seem to do. Flynn has an amazing gift for blooming her characters into fully rounded, three-dimensional people and the writing flowed very well. Though I really disliked the subject matter of book, I do want to read another of her books since the writing was so exquisite. 
I would recommend Gone Girl to adult fans of suspense, thrillers, and mind games.