Book Reviews

In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.”

This nonfiction classic spurred the revolution of what has become the true-crime phenomenon. The pioneering true story follows two ex-cons, their murderous actions, and the investigation that ultimately brought them down. Perhaps having high expectations for this book is what led to my perceptions of mediocrity. Perhaps I have read too much nonfiction lately. Perhaps I have been desensitized by the true-crime stories that have followed it. Or perhaps I just didn’t like the slow southern storytelling which really irritated me. Regardless, I did appreciate the story. It just didn’t blow me away, and I wanted it to. Three stars.

This is How It Always Is

This is How It Always IsThis is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“For my child, for all our children, I want more options, more paths through the woods, wider ranges of normal, and unconditional love.”

Exceptional. This unprecedented story tells the heartwarming tale of a transgender child and her poignant journey of self-exploration. It is a beautiful story of parental love and family dynamics that examines what it really means to be who you are meant to be. Sweet and sentimental, this book is a MUST read for teens and adults. Highly recommended. FIVE STARS

The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the WindowThe Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“Watching is like nature photography: You don’t interfere with the wildlife.”

Super-hyped as the breakaway psychological thriller hit of 2018, this story was only slightly more suspenseful than watching paint dry. I really wanted to care what happened to Anna Fox, except that I didn’t. Super slow-paced and totally predictable, I found myself sadly trudging along only to finish for my book club. There are no surprising twists and turns that make this genre so unique. Absolutely none. Sadly, the ending makes everything just worse. Two stars, only because I like the name Anna Fox.

Jane Eyre

Jane EyreJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”

Exceptional. The most moving, endearing love story I have ever read. What can I say about this classic that hasn’t been said before? I loved this novel for so many reasons; its virtue, sincerity, humor, mysticism, romance, morality, and wit. But mostly because Jane was passionate woman not afraid to remain true to her beliefs yet follow her heart.

House of Brides

The House of BridesThe House of Brides by Jane Cockram
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this contemporary spin on classic Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Cockram misses the mark in her attempt to create an ominous story with a gothic flair. I was hoping for a creepy and disturbing tale. Instead, we get a formulaic reproduction with weak characters that don’t hide anything dark or grim. I did appreciate her characterization of three interesting kids and their stories within an otherwise lackluster novel.

Catch and Kill

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect PredatorsCatch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“In the end, the courage of women can’t be stamped out. And stories – the big ones, the true ones – can be caught but never killed.”

Wow! In this tell-all investigative true story, Ronan Farrow (son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen) shows NO MERCY in his quest to unveil the disgusting injustices to women over several decades by two of the entertainment industries most powerful men, Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer. Even more shocking, he reveals how their open secrets were hushed for years by both Hollywood and NBC in a twisted conspiracy of complicity.

But this is not just an expose on the abuse of women, it is a scandalous disclosure of betrayal, double-agents, spies, and deception. Well-written and well researched, you will not believe what you are going to read!

Kudos to Farrow and his bravery in going up against the rich and powerful, risking his job (and even his life) to bring the evil entitled mercilessly to their knees.