Tag Archives: Fiction

Review: The Boy from the Woods

The Boy from the Woods

The Boy from the Woods
By Harlan Coben
Grand Central Publishing, 9781538748145, March 2020, 384pp.

The Short of It:

Eagerly anticipated this one but it just didn’t work for me.

The Rest of It:

The Boy from the Woods is the first Coben book I’ve read and as you probably know, he has many. I was curious about his books after watching and enjoying several Netflix shows based on his books. I mean, I could not get enough of them so when I realized he had so many books available, I decided to try his new one.

The story centers around Wilde, a boy who was literally found in the woods many years ago. As an adult, he’s close to Hester, an abrasive but witty lawyer who also happens to be a popular TV personality. Wilde was a good friend of Hester’s son who died in a car accident so he is more like family than an old friend.

In this story, a girl goes missing. Her classmate is worried about her and since that classmate is Hester’s grandson, she becomes involved as does Wilde, who is kind of a rogue detective of sorts. There is a lot of back and forth about the girl who is missing and then another classmate goes missing. What is going on here? Are the two cases related?

This was a disappointing read for me. The characters are one-dimensional but my main issue was the dialogue. It was so stilted and unnatural. You say this, I say this. You say this, I say this. Plus, the plot was so ridiculous. Before the big reveal, I almost gave up on it because I just didn’t care what happened to any of them.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this one. I heard good things about it so maybe those readers are die hard fans because I tried to enjoy it and was so looking forward to it but it was choppy and just not good in my opinion.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty

Truly Madly Guilty
By Liane Moriarty
Flatiron Books, 9781250069801, 2017, 560pp.

The Short of It:

What could go wrong at a barbecue? Plenty.

The Rest of It:

This is the second Moriarty book I’ve read, the first being Big Little Lies. As much as I liked Big Little Lies, I think I enjoyed Truly Madly Guilty a bit more.

Both books open with the knowledge that something bad has happened. In this book, this “incident” takes place at a neighborhood barbecue. Just your everyday, neighborhood barbecue with a few neighbors and a couple of mutual friends. As the story unfolds, the chapters count the reader down to the event itself. This method of storytelling creates a lot of tension in the best way possible. I could not turn those pages fast enough and the book stands at 560 pages so that’s telling you something.

The story mostly focuses on three couples, Erika and Oliver, Clementine and Sam, and Tiffany and Vid. These couples are vastly different from one another. Their views on marriage, children and social gatherings are flaunted for all to see as the tension builds between them. All presented in the most delicious, dishy way. Erika and Clementine were tossed together as kids but do they even like one another? Vid and Tiffany are over-the-top with their lifestyle and a bit flashy but what harm could a little barbecue cause? It’s just a meal among friends. Clementine and Sam have their own issues to deal with so why are they always roped into other people’s problems?

The storytelling feels so personal. Almost voyeuristic. When the details of the incident are finally revealed to the reader, you immediately wonder how they will survive it. How will each couple deal with the information they have in front of them? The not-knowing makes it even more of a page-turner.

Friends, this was a good one. Plenty of tension, good story, suspenseful without being unrealistic and characters who come full circle. This is one of those complete package reads. For me, a perfect read.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.