Halloween Non-Horror Recommendations!

Top Ten Tuesday(93)

So as I promised I’ve done up a post for those of you who want to read some spooky books for Halloween but don’t necessarily like horror or want your pants scared off! These are mostly all thrillers or have a paranormal factor present.

If you want to see my Halloween Horror Recommendations you can check that out here.

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Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

(Review Here)

A great diverse read featuring a Latino family of brujas (witches) and when Alex tries to rid herself of her powers her entire family vanishes. This is a very magical adventure full of family love and who doesn’t love a good witch book?


The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

(Review Here)

This is a thriller about a girl who lied about who murdered their babysitter when they were younger and must now hunt for the true killer. This doesn’t have much for Halloween vibes but it is a very dark and twisted story full of surprises. It definitely gets gritty and you’ll get chills reading through it!


Coraline by Neil Gaiman

(Review Here)

Who doesn’t think “Coraline” is a Halloween classic now? Because I sure do! It’s subtly creepy and just absolutely perfect for reading this time of year.


The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook

(Review Here)

Another thriller but this one has some psychics involved making it all the more perfect for some Halloween reading. A girl who fakes being psychic must now help the police find a missing girl but she may just have some insider information….


Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel

(Review Here)

Harbingers of Death? That screams Halloween in my opinion! A mysterious boy shows up in town accompanied by flocks of strange crows and when he saves Angie from something supernatural she realizes he may not be human either. Paranormal elements and a slightly creepy atmosphere makes this another great read for non-horror fans!


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Another book that shouldn’t surprise many of you but “The Graveyard Book” is about a boy who is raised by the supernatural residents of a graveyard. It’s full of adventure and just straight up adorableness.


I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

A mystery thriller revolving around Jasper Dent the son of the most infamous serial killers in the world. Jasper was being groomed to take over the “family business” and therefore can see crime scenes from a criminal’s POV so when a new serial killer shows up in his small town he’s determined to prove it’s not him.

So, so, sooooo many twists and turns with this one it’s especially great if you have a morbid curiosity about serial killers, like me.


The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

(Review Here)

I could honestly recommend any of Flynn’s books but this short story fits the best in my opinon. It’s about a woman who fakes psychic readings and help from the beyond for money. When a woman wants her help ridding her house of something evil our main character may just start believing in ghosts….

Super quick read and open ended so if open endings aren’t your thing I’d skip it.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

(Review Here)

Psychics, ancient sleeping kings, ley lines, and magic trees I think it’s safe to say this isn’t your run of the mill paranormal romance or urban fantasy. It’s full of magic and sets a very fast pace not to mention you will definitely fall in love with the characters!


The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

This is more Middle Grade than YA but it’s still super interesting and full of supernatural spirits and creatures and there’s more than a few creepy moments too as Thomas learns about how to be a Spook.


The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

(Review Here)

This one is filled with monsters, demons, undead, and spirits and while it has a few dark moments it mostly follows a girl named Tea learning to control her powers of necromancy.


This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

(Review Here)

This book fits into a kind of neat genre but it’s about a girl who wants to hunt monsters and boy who is one of those monsters in a city torn into two sects. The monsters are very unique and fun to read about and the characters are a bit morally grey, definitely a fun read though and the monsters aren’t TOO creepy either!


Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta

(Review Here)

Another witch book makes the list! This one is about a girl who visits Scotland and learns a bit more about her family’s past as she continues having visions of two women and a bit more about witchcraft and blood magic. Honestly the background of Scotland makes this book worth the read as well!

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Have you read any of this books? What did you think?

Will you give any of these books a try?

What are some of your favorite non-horror Halloween reads?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved The Year I Started My Blog

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Another week, another Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s theme is a throwback freebie so it can be anything you’d like to discuss about older books such as: books published 10 years ago, older books you forgot you loved, or books from the year you started blogging (which I’m doing!).

There are so many books I read a while ago that I don’t talk about enough and some of them I do talk about plenty. This is going to be a list of my favorite reads from 2015 back when I started this blog!

These are in no particular order and I do have reviews up for each of these books but I’m not going to link them since they’re older and slightly embarrassing! Still though they are available if you want to hear my full thoughts on some of them.


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10.) A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

This was one of the first books I read when I started my blog because there was a ton of hype and glowing reviews for it! Of course I’m super happy I gave Schwab a try because she’s one of my favorite authors now.


9.) Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I had read “Gone Girl” as well as “Dark Places” before I gave this one a go because I really enjoy the way Flynn tells her stories, they’re also super twisted. This one is probably one of my favorites of hers now as well because of that twist at the end!


8.) Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

This was a new release when I started my blog and I had heard a few good things about it and I’m ALWAYS looking for some great, creepy YA horror books. This is an anthology and pretty much all of the stories were fantastic plus some of them definitely did not fail to give me nightmares!


7.) Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

I actually mention this book quite frequently but when I first started blogging I was digging around for some great books to read that I hadn’t heard of before. “Lips Touch” was one of the ones I found and it definitely is very underrated. It’s three short stories told by Laini Taylor and her writing here is just as beautiful as it is in her other book “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”. Highly recommend checking out if you’re a fan of hers!


6.) The Girl From The Well by Rin Chupeco

I bought this book when I got “Slasher Girls & Monster Boys” as well because I had heard mixed things about it and was looking for more scary reads. I’m really terrified of Japanese horror stories every since getting nightmares in the fourth grade from the movie “The Grudge” so I was easily scared reading this book, which was fun!


5.) The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

I hadn’t actually heard much about this book but I saw it in my local bookstore and the cover was so intriguing and creepy that I HAD to buy it. It’s also told in a really unique format consisting of transcripts of video footage, journal entries, and even drawings. It’s an interesting and pretty suspenseful psychological thriller.


4.) The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

This book….broke my heart! It came highly recommended when I was searching Goodreads for new books to read since I started my book blog and while it was fantastic and very well written….it was also completely emotionally devastating!


3.) Alice by Christina Henry

Okay, okay I KNOW I mention this book all the time but that’s only because it’s so fantastic! I think it’s pretty good for me to still be recommending a book two years after reading it! This is a very twisted, gritty retelling of Alice in Wonderland and is very much worth reading through in my opinion.


2.) Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

This book was actually recommended to me by one of my blogging besties Arianna @ The Quirky Book Nerd and I of course always take her recommendations to heart! This was such a hilarious graphic novel and I enjoyed every minute of it, it’s a great book to brighten up your day!


1.) Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Probably my most highly recommended book I’ve read and I was pretty proud reading two of Schwab’s books in half a year too when I started all of this! It’s got morally ambiguous characters with freaking superpowers….so yeah I was definitely impressed. I’m also DYING to read the sequel!!!!


A Few Honorable Mentions:

  • You by Caroline Kepnes
  • The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

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Have you read any of these books as well? What did you think?

What are some of your favorite books from the year you started blogging?

How about some older favorites in general?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Top 5 Auto-Buy Authors

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Hello everyone! If you couldn’t already tell by now I looooove making lists and so a lot of my posts are bookish lists. Today I bring you a list of my top 5 auto-buy authors which are authors that no matter what they put out there I WILL buy! These are authors where I’ve already read a few of their books and have decided to buy anything and everything they ever write….including shopping lists.

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5.) Kara Thomas

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While I have only read “The Darkest Corners”  by this author I thought it was absolutely mind-blowing, so much that I cannot wait to get my hands on any of her other books. “Little Monsters” comes out in 2017 and I’m practically frothing at the mouth to get a hold of it! Her plot twists are crazy and the writing is genius I highly recommend checking her out!

You can also read my full review of “The Darkest Corners” here.


4.) Dawn Kurtagich

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After really enjoying her debut novel “The Dead House” I was really curious to see what else she would come up with and what I got was “And The Trees Crept In” which was even better! I think Dawn Kurtagich is definitely going to be a staple author for YA Horror books and I look forward to any and all new books she releases!

You can read my full reviews of “The Dead House”& “And The Trees Crept In” here.


3.) Laini Taylor

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How do I explain my love for Laini Taylor? I have only read two of her books: “Lips Touch: Three Times” and “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” and loved both of them. Her writing is so beautiful and lyrical that I could read anything she writes, seriously anything, it’s definitely safe to say I’ll buy anything she writes. I do own the rest of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and the first book in her Faeries of Dreamdark series.

You can read my full reviews of “Lips Touch: Three Times” and “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” here.


2.) Gillian Flynn

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Gillian Flynn is the master of mind-fucking plot twists and if there’s anything I love in a book it’s a shocking, unpredictable plot twist. I’ve read all of her books and am currently impatiently awaiting a new book from her because I need it! Her writing is just so damn good that I want more and read through everything already!

You can read my full reviews of “Dark Places”, “Sharp Objects”, and “The Grownup” here.


1.) Jay Kristoff

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A recent favorite of mine he is currently the ruler of my auto-buy authors. If all 5 of these authors had new books out at the same time and I could choose only one, it would be whatever Jay Kristoff wrote. He has fantastic, poetic writing and his plot twists and characters are insane! Not to mention all of his stories are so unique and filled with awesome world-building. I think “awesomely crazy” is a fitting way to describe his books. I have currently read all of his books except the last 2 in his Lotus War series and have rated all of them 5 stars. (I have read “Gemina” but have yet to review it. It may be getting a 4 star rating instead of 5 though……)

You can read my full reviews of “Stormdancer”, “Nevernight”, & “Illuminae” here.

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Have you read any books by these authors? What did you think of them?

Are any of them auto-buy authors for you as well?

Who are some of your own auto-buy authors? What is your favorite book by them?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

The Harry Potter Tag

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I was tagged to do this by both Michelle @ Book Adventures and Ariana @ The Quirky Book Nerd , these ladies are both absolutely fantastic bloggers so make sure you head over to their blogs and check it out! Seriously, do it.

This tag and all of these lovely Harry Potter themed images were created by Lashaan and Trang from Bookidote! The only rule of the tag: you cannot use Harry Potter books for any of your answers.

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flagrate

A book where you found the theme interesting , but you’d like to rewrite it.

Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

Unhooked

A darker Peter Pan retelling with a potential love triangle between the MC and young adult versions of Hook and Pan? Yeah that drew me in right away, but it was not dark or twisted, the love triangle wasn’t as great as it should have been, and these versions of Hook and Pan were boring. If it were up to me to rewrite it I would actually add some darker, creepy elements to the story as well as make Hook and Pan a little more swoon-worthy.

You can find my review here. 

alohomora

The first book in a series that got you hooked.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

I haven’t finished this series YET but as soon as I finished the this first book I went out and bought ALL of the other 3 books. So yeah, I guess you could say I was hooked and I can’t wait to finish!

You can find my review here. 

accio

A book you wish you could have right now.

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

And the Trees Crept In

There sure are a lot of books I wish I could have right now! Normally I would probably go with “Gemina” but I REALLY need some good old fashioned creepy horror right now and this book is sure to be perfect! I really enjoyed Kurtagich’s other book “The Dead House” and I’m sure I won’t be disappointed with this one either.

avadakedavra

A killer book. Both senses. Take it as you like.

Alice (The Chronicles of Alice #1) by Christina Henry

Alice (The Chronicles of Alice, #1)

This book definitely falls under both senses! It was a five star read for me it had everything I wanted: a dark, twisted plot, morally ambiguous characters, and fantastic writing. Not to mention it is a horror book so it definitely is “killer”.

You can find my review here. 

 

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A book that you found really confusing.

Bliss by Lauren Myracle

Bliss

I read this book a looooong time ago and never reviewed it but I do remember when I read it that I was confused as hell! I felt like there was too much trying to be crammed in and at the same time nothing was explained well enough which all lead up to an unsatisfying ending. Not a fan.

epectopatronum

Your spirit animal book.

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Stormdancer (The Lotus War, #1)

I am a sucker for fantasy novels. Especially when they contain 100% badass heroines, unique and in depth world building/mythology, Thunder Tiger companions, and chainsaw katanas. There’s a lot going on but seriously best way to sum up this book: badass. I just really feel like “Stormdancer” is my spirit animal book, read this and you will know me! Not really but you should read it anyways!

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A dark, twisted book.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places

Dammit! I already used “Alice” by Christina Henry….well just so you all know that’s my real answer! The next best thing to that, though, is anything Gillian Flynn writes especially “Dark Places”. It shows the very dark and twisty side of human nature.

You can find my review here.

adaasd

A book that surprised you in a great way, reveals to be more than it is.

Lips Touch: Three Times

So at first glance at both the cover and the description you’d think this is some sappy, trope-filled, romance book when in fact it’s so much more. While it IS a very romance focused book it’s very unique, the writing is absolutely gorgeous and the stories are filled with original mythology. This was such a wonderfully surprising book!

You can find my review here.

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nominees

***No obligations to do this tag and sorry if you’ve already done it before, if that’s the case please leave a link to it so I can check out your answers!!***

Brooke @ Brooke’s Books

Isabella @ The Book Pandas

Esther @ Chapter Adventures

Beth @ Reading Every Night

Nessa @ Bookish Nessa

Cassidy @ The Little Book Cottage

Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews

Christine Joyce @ The Book Harpy

Britt @ Geronimo Reads

Hannah @ A Mortal Reader

Donna @ Chocolate ‘N Waffles

Carrianne @ Carrianne’s Cuppa ‘N Critques

 The Sassy

Book Review: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

 

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A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

review

I’ve said it a million times and I will say it again, Gillian Flynn is an evil mastermind. She’s brilliant and she has yet to disappoint me with any of her writings and “The Grownup” is definitely no exception.

So the beginning of the book introduces us to our nameless MC who narrates the entire book, she’s exactly the type of heroine you come to love and expect in any of Flynn’s stories. She’s flawed, manipulative, and clever. She’s not afraid to do anything it takes to get what she wants including screwing you over completely. I said she’s manipulative and that’s really the best word to describe her.

From there we escalate towards our MC being invited over to Carterhook Manor to do a cleansing of the house. Susan, the client, believes the house is harming her stepson by turning him into an evil, harmful, and maybe even murderous monster. His name is Miles and let me tell you he’s the scariest part of the whole book, he makes Damien Thorn from “The Omen” seem like a saint.

Granted Miles is 15 and not 5 but you get the point, the kid is scary as hell.

Anyways though our MC tells Susan she can cleanse the house and cure her stepson, which is basically her way of extorting money. She knows she can’t really help them but she’ll pretend to in order to get paid. Though once some creepy stuff starts happening our MC realizes she  needs to get the hell out of Dodge, she then tells Susan she needs to seek out real help because she can’t help her.

This is where you’ll start trying to figure out if the story is just another thriller or if there’s actually something paranormal happening in the house.

The homestretch of the book is where we get slapped with not ONE but at least two or three plot twists that you will not see coming at all. This is a book by Gillian Flynn after all so of course you won’t see it coming. They’ll leave you wondering what the hell you just read.

My one complaint is the open ending, we’re left to determine what happened ourselves. I’m all for it if it’s done right but this was just a little too unexplained for my tastes.

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I’m still really happy with the book it’s true to Flynn’s writing style and I’m a big fan of hers so obviously I loved this one as well as all of her others. I definitely can’t wait to get my hands on whatever else she’ll be writing in the future.

RECOMMEND

Yes, I recommend this to anyone looking for a short story that will absolutely blow your mind and if you enjoyed any of Flynn’s other books I definitely recommend reading this one as well.

However if you’ve never read Flynn I would recommend waiting with this one until you’ve read at least one of her other books. I just feel like for your first Flynn book it should be something else that isn’t so open ended. I would recommend starting with “Sharp Objects” (click here for review).

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy

Book Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.
NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.
HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.


review

Gillian Flynn has NEVER failed to disappoint me with a book, I have now read all three of her novels and they are all simply amazing . Was “Sharp Objects” amazing too? Yes. Is it my favorite of her books? No. That, however, does not mean it is any less impressive than “Dark Places” or “Gone Girl”. If you are a fan of Flynn’s too, then you will find this book to be as appealing as both of her others.


What You’ll Love: 

  • A mystery that you won’t be able to guess right until it’s revealed at the end of the book.
  • Complex characters with secrets to hide and deep psychological problems.
  • A plot that grabs your full attention and keeps the twists coming.
  • Women being the major players.

Things That May Not Be Your Cup of Tea: 

  • Graphic violence, abuse, drug use, etc.
  • The pacing could be considered slow to some people.
  • The mystery is not solved until the very, VERY end of the book.

The Writing: 

It’s haunting, creepy, atmospheric, and thrilling. Flynn captures your attention as well as your imagination and doesn’t let go until you’ve finished reading. It is also very descriptive in all of the right ways, you get every insight imaginable. You’ll get creeped out and uncomfortable but it will be worth it, trust me.


The Plot: 

Absolutely twisted and thrilling, this book’s plot was flawless in my eyes. You will not see these twists coming either, Flynn is a master of taking your attention away from certain details even though she does give them to you. That’s why you never see it coming. It’s also ALL about nasty women, you think men are the problem? Think again, not in this story. The plot revolves around reporter Camille Preaker as she returns to her hometown to write about the killings of two young girls, if that doesn’t pique your interest I don’t know what will. I would NOT read this if you are squeamish or in any way easily unsettled because with “Sharp Objects” you are in for a nasty piece of work. Nasty and unsettling in every way and still undoubtedly perfection. Once you finish you will be thinking “What the fuck did I just read” I guarantee it, I know I did.


The Characters: 

Oh yes, the characters are the best part of any psychological thriller but ESPECIALLY one of Gillian Flynn’s. They are deeply complex, twisted, and as I said before nasty. We don’t get to just explored their minds though, oh no, we get to explore their problems and man do these ladies have problems. You could get introduced to a character you see one time in the story and still get that feeling of knowing their every secret. “Sharp Objects” is definitely a study into the dark side of human nature. Camille is not a shining protagonist of perfection, no she is seriously messed up but then again….so is everyone else. You can’t trust anyone.


“Sharp Objects” is overall a very dark and thrilling ride, I highly HIGHLY recommend reading it Although it isn’t the most comfortable of reads, so consider yourselves warned!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy

Book Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

 

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Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars. Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben’s innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother’s? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back? She begins to realize that everyone in her family had something to hide that day… especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find. Who did massacre the Day family?

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I’ve gotten to the point where I’m ready to just throw my money at anything Gillian Flynn writes, she’s absolutely brilliant and yet I’m terrified of what goes through her mind when she writes these books! I’m warning you now, this book is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach.

Libby Day, was only seven years old when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas”, she then testified that it was her brother, Ben Day, that did the deed. The story starts now ,twenty five years after the murders, where Libby’s trust fund is finally dwindling down to nothing. This is when she’s approached by the Kill Club to start digging into the mystery of her family’s murders in exchange for money, and Libby will start to call a lot things she thought she believed into question.

So Things You Will Love About Gillian Flynn’s “Dark Places” :

1. The plot twists! Now since this book revolves around a mystery a lot of people will think they can figure it out before Libby does. You are wrong, I’m sorry I know a lot of people can do it but believe me when I tell you that you will not be able to do that with this book at all.

This will be your face, like it was mine. For real.

And this is how I picture Gillian Flynn as readers reach the end of “Dark Places”

2. The characters! Yep the characters are very VERY disturbed, all of them, it’s insane. Libby is a great, strong character and witnessing the murder of her family at a young age messed with her head royally, but who wouldn’t be messed up after something like that? However, despite Libby’s struggles she pulls through a lot of crap to get to where she is by the end of this book. We also get a lot of insight into the minds of Patty Day and Ben Day, all I have to say about them is that Patty put up with a lot of shit and that I liked her for the most part. I was not fond of Ben….at all.

3. The writing! Gillian Flynn is a damn good writer, seriously, I would read this woman’s shopping list. She does an excellent job of making you feel what the characters feel, even though I didn’t want to because the characters are all very troubled. I mostly felt creeped out, that’s the whole book, creepiness. I’m fairly positive that’s what Flynn was shooting for, and she nailed it.

Overall I am recommending “Dark Places” it really is a fantastic book.

Recommend?

I would recommend this for anyone looking to get their mind blown or anybody who is a fan of Gillian Flynn, this one will not disappoint.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy