Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn - Battle of the Book

Hello everybody.

April's battle of the book is here!!

This month we're gonna be talking about The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn.

I'm hoping that this month, you guys will find this battle a little more interesting than last month's.

Jess's review can be found here.

I'm going to jump to my feelings on this book. 

(But for those who haven't read Jess's review yet; the book is about a woman who has PTSD induced acrophobia. Anna can't leave her house- so she watches her neighbors out of her window. With her Nikon camera. While she's drunk and high on her meds... Yeah.)

I give this book a 3.5 coffee beans out of 5.  (If you check out my account on Goodreads- you'll see I gave it a 4 because there are no halves there!)


I didn't like the story. 

I thought that it was VERY slow to start.  There were moments when my heart hurt for Anna. I found the story of what happened to be sad and I did hurt for her.  

But the rest of the book...? I didn't like it.  I didn't find it to psychological or to be a thriller.  It was just there.     

I was frustrated by Anna. A lot.  

I know that in order to accept help and move forward, you need to admit to yourself that you have a problem and want to make those changes.  I understand that her past was very big to her and that she wasn't able to move forward right away.  But her character did grow and I was proud of that.  Even if it was basically at the end of the story. 

I felt like the book did wrap up at the end though and that there weren't any loose ends.  

I was surprised by the character who committed the murder.  I wasn't expecting that to happen! 

The way that the murderer had approached Anna and, for lack a better word, "played" her - really WAS creepy! 

I will admit that the book was a page turner for me.  For most of the book, I kept turning the page for more.  It was just that that "more" wasn't really there. 

But it was such a short time frame for the psychological thriller part of the book.  It wasn't very satisfying, if you will.  There was such a slow and prolonged buildup to that WOAH moment in the story- that I felt like it fell short. 

If you're looking for a real thriller, I would recommend The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda.  I thought that was creepier and more twisted. 

~ Jillian

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn - Battle of the Book

Hello Dewey Readers!

As we've mentioned before, Jillian and I are in a book club called The Spine Breakers.  We break spines.  Our second book club selection was The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn.  We were both disappointed with last month's selection, The Lying Game by Ruth Ware, and Jillian didn't seem like she was in love with this novel either (she read it before I did) so I wasn't sure what to expect.  (You'll have to read her review to see her thoughts.)  So, I went into this novel half thinking that I wasn't going to enjoy it and that it would be draggy.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  

This novel is a psychological thriller about a woman named Anna who has agoraphobia caused by the result of a traumatic experience.  What was this traumatic experience?  We're not quite sure, but we do know that she won't leave her house...she can't leave her house.  However, just because Anna can't leave her house does not mean that she doesn't know what's going on in her neighborhood.  She sees into other people's homes from the safety of her front window.   

Now, Anna is heavily medicated with anti-anxiety medications that should not be mixed with alcohol, that being said, Anna is also an alcoholic. So one day when Anna claims that she saw her neighbor get stabbed, not only dos the reader begin to wonder if Anna is hallucinating, but the characters and even Anna herself do as well.  

Now without giving too much away...
What I liked about this novel:  
-It was fast paced with REALLY short chapters which made me read faster
-Anna's mind was... interesting 

What I didn't like: 
- The ending of the novel seemed too...theatric and even borderline cliche... I wanted something else.  

In comparison to last month's read, where I walked around wondering "wtf did I just read?"  to the point where I didn't even remember it, this novel kept me interested and wanting to find out more.  I read this book in about two days, and for that fact alone, I am going to give it 4 out of 5 Coffee Beans


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson -- Reshelved Books

Hello again, Dewey Readers!

There's snow out there. 
Another day, another book review! 
I read Peter Swanson's Her Every Fear in one day.  That's how good it was.  Needless to say, I did read it during a snowstorm, but still.  I could not put it down. 

This novel is about two cousins, Kate and Corbin,  who live in London and NYC respectively.  The cousins have never met before, but they make an arrangement to trade apartments for a period of 6 months.  Kate has terrible anxiety, and she isn't sure if she should be worried or if it's just her mind that makes her worried.  She also suffers from terrible panic attacks that make her feel like she is going to stop breathing and die.  But she knows the panic attacks will not kill her, and that the attacks will eventually pass.  However, it does not stop her overwhelming fear that there is something out there that WILL kill her.  

Having suffered from panic attacks myself, I sort of related to Kate.  I get where she's coming from and and how the attacks can make her anxiety escalate.  However, unlike me, her panic attacks stem from trauma that she experienced.  Previous to the novel's start, Kate had been in an absuive relationship with a man who as jealous and violent.  After Kate broke up with him, she came home one day to him sitting on her bed with a gun.  He locked her in the bedroom closet and committed suicide outside the closet door.  Kate was locked in that closet for days until she was found.  

Now in NYC, Kate walks into the midst of a crime scene where her would be neighbor was violently murdered, the body mutilated.  Police suspect that her cousin may or may not be a suspect.  It is also possible that the killer is on the loose and perhaps has killed women before.  Kate has the suspicion that something isn't right in her apartment. Doors that she felt like she shut are slightly ajar, the eyes of portraits that she drew aren't quite the way that she remembered drawing them... but she tells herself it's just her anxious mind.  

This novel is as much of a thriller as it is about trusting yourself and your instincts.  Jillian and I both hated the last thriller we read (check out our Battle Book Reviews of the Lying Game) but this one was refreshingly fast paced and different.  I also liked how while parts of the novel took place in London, more than half of the novel took place in the U.S.  perhaps this kept me culturally in tune...  

So Dewey Readers  I leave you with a review of 5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.  If you're thinking of reading a thriller, pick up this one.