Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Book Report: Shining Girls and Ice Twins

It seems, lately, that I've been reading one AMAZEBALLS book, followed by a dud.  Is it me? Just bad luck? Do I think the second one is a sucks just because the first one was so great?  Who knows.

Let's start with the amazeballs- The Shining Girls.

I don't know HOW on earth I missed this when it made the rounds.  It's absolutely everything I love: some supernatural, some crime, fabulous character building, eighties, time travel, creepy serial killers...seriously, I don't know how I missed it.  And I didn't even go the library for it- I was there for something else and I saw it on an endcap and I remembered maybe Meredith mentioning it a while ago? So I grabbed it.

And devoured it in three days.

(Side note, after scouring her blog, I think Meredith reviewed Wicked Girls and I got confused? Lucky mistake!!!)

Here's what I had to say immediately following this masterpiece: I know I say this all the time, but seriously- one of the best books I've ever read. How did I miss this when it came out?!?! Gorgeously written, well thought out, edge of your seat plot, creeped me out beyond belief- absolutely perfect. I can't think of a single complaint. Two very enthused to thumbs up.

Is there really anything else to say?  The back of the book (my copy at least) was pretty vague:

 The girl who wouldn't die hunts the killer who shouldn't exist.

The future is not as loud as war, but it is relentless. It has a terrible fury all its own." 

Harper Curtis is a killer who stepped out of the past. Kirby Mazrachi is the girl who was never meant to have a future.

Kirby is the last shining girl, one of the bright young women, burning with potential, whose lives Harper is destined to snuff out after he stumbles on a House in Depression-era Chicago that opens on to other times.

And I kind of liked going into to it almost blind.  It jumps around in time (obviously, because this IS a time travel book) and I had to flip back a lot to remind myself of the dates, but in the end I don't think it really mattered.

It's pretty graphic when it comes to the murder scenes.  He doesn't rape anyone, but there are a few sex scenes. And Harper is CREEPY.  He's not like Hannibal where he's kind of cool, or Dexter where he's super sexy.  He's not a killer that you can have any feeling for other than disgust and horror.  He's disgusting, and horrifying.

And I just LOVED it.

Highly recommend, although with the caveats- brutally graphic killing scenes, and sex scenes with a grosso disgusting creeptastic all around BAD GUY.

Then we've got The Ice Twins, which I saw in EW. I think. Oh!! That reminds me, while I was on goodreads to say that I was 'currently reading' the Shining Girls, I saw that Stephen King himself had written it up as one of the best books of 2013, back when he wrote for EW regularly.  Sigh.  Those were the days. So that's probably why I recognized it when I saw it.

Anyway, EW let me down with this one.  And with Second Life, but that's another post for another day.

Right after I finished it, I got on goodreads to say:  At first glance, I'd give it five stars. I am OBSESSED with identical twins (CLONES!!!) and I like creepy, so that was all fab. But then when I think about how STUPID the parents were, the five stars start falling. Why would anyone think a good idea for a grieving family would be to pack up and move to a completely and totally isolated island? That's ridiculous. And, what, it never dawned on these people to get their kid some therapy? 

And I stand by that.  It was entertaining, even enjoyable, but it went so far past defying my beliefs that I just can't wrap my mind around it.  How could you NOT put your kid in therapy? Who on God's green earth thinks oh, my family has been shattered and we're grieving, let's move to a completely isolated island with no phones, no internet, no friends, and hope our creepy daughter gets all better all by herself? Plus, the mom's GP?!?!  GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK.  No one, NO ONE, let alone a professional!!! No one would suggest what he suggests.

I really do love identical twins though.  "You know what's NOT one of a kind?!?! TWINS!!!"

From the back of the bookA year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident,
Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.

But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity—that she, in fact, is Lydia—their world comes crashing down once again.

As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past—what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?
I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the ending.  Or maybe not enjoyed so much as was satisfied with. And I liked how even though it's written in the first person, every few chapters is told from someone else's point of view.  I would have assumed that I would HATE that because it's not possible- an I did this story shouldn't be able to take another view unless that other view is ALSO an I did this view, but it worked for me for this story.

I also enjoyed how thoroughly CREEPY Kirstie and Lydia were.  Apparently I really like to be creeped out? Who knew.

Ya'll read anything good lately? I'm always up for another trip to the library!!

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