A Thread of Fiction

A Thread of Fiction

I mainly read YA and general fiction, but I am open minded and will give anything a try!

2 Stars
The Girl in the Road - Monica Byrne

When I was choosing my next book, I pulled this up on Goodreads and saw a 3.75 average rating and so many people raving in their 5-star reviews. I thought to myself, well this must be a good book! It finally came in the mail and I dove right in. I wanted to love it, I really did. But, alas, I did not. I closed this book feeling unsatisfied and confused.
This book follows Mariama and Meena, two different girls living in two different time periods that share a common goal of getting to Ethiopia. Meena takes The Trail, a dangerous path of metal conductors strung across the ocean. Mariama takes a more logical approach, stowing away in a caravan, hiding between oil drums. And that is about the extent of my ability to tell you the plot of this book. I was having a hard time keeping characters straight, the names were very exotic and I couldn't remember who was who most of the time. They were not likable characters for me, I made no connection with them and couldn't engage in their struggles/journeys.
The plot in the middle of the book was good, I will admit that much. Throughout this portion of the story, I really did want to see what happened next. The adventure/plot line was building for both characters and you really just want to know what the outcome of their stories are. However, it lost me again, the characters got dull again, and I just wanted to get to the end of the story for the sake of finishing it.
I'm disappointed. The plot of this book had real promise. Some of you out there may still love it, but for me this book fell quite flat.

Reading progress update: I've read 84 out of 319 pages.
The Girl in the Road - Monica Byrne

I'm a little lost but based on reviews I have read, I'm going to keep reading.

4 Stars
Mother, Mother: A Novel - Koren Zailckas

I admit, when I started this book I thought to myself "Thriller? Psychological? I wouldn't call it that at all." But, whoa boy, once I really got into it, that psychology and thrill just snuck right up on me. This is a fast-paced thriller that I could NOT put down! I read this in one day because I really just had to see what happened next and how it all ended.

Dysfunctional does not even begin to describe this family. The mother, Josephine, is a few crayons short of a box; the father, Douglas, is an absentee alcoholic; the eldest child, Rose, is a runaway; the middle child, Violet, turns to drugs and ends up in a psychiatric hospital; the youngest child, William, is a 12 year old child diagnosed w/Asperger's whose mother flosses his teeth and bathes him. Wow. Just typing that out was overwhelming.

I would have to say that my least favorite character in this novel was Josephine. As soon as I started really getting to know her character, all I could think of was Munchausen by Proxy syndrome (for those not familiar: a form of child abuse wherein the caregiver falsifies or exaggerates a child's illness to gain attention for themselves.) No wonder her whole family has issues and doesn't want to be near her!! Those crayons she is missing hold the whole box together. So many times I just wanted to yell at characters in this story and expose her for what she really was. And the fact that she dressed and bathed her 12 year old son, as well as pinched his bottom and flossed his teeth, gave me the creeps. She was all Joan Crawford on these kids (no lie- it's referenced in the book!) As the lies and the stories all start to weave together and the truth finally comes to light, it all makes sense. But the thrill was getting to that point, trying to figure it out, riding the tide to the end.

One thing I really must say I enjoyed about this book is the fact that the story carried on after the main event. So many books that I have read get to the climax of the story and abruptly stop which leaves me wondering what happened next. Zailckas continues the story on, chronicling what happened to each of the family members and how they coped. It was nice not to be left in the dark for once.

I don't want to give too many details on the story at risk of giving something away, so I highly recommend picking this book up and checking it out for yourself.!

Recommended For: Fans of a good psychological thriller

*I received this book through Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

2.5 Stars
The City: A Novel - Dean Koontz

I know I am behind at releasing my review for this book, but it took me that long to read it. I had a lot of trouble getting through this one. The story line seemed to drag on, there were more details present than I thought necessary. It wasn't until the last 15 pages or so that I really started to enjoy the story and wanting to know what came next. This did leave me with a better taste in my mouth about the story as a whole, but it came a little too late.

This story is a retelling of Jonah's life by a 59-year-old version of himself. He goes through some major traumatic events as a child but he finds an outlet with piano playing. It turns out he is a real piano prodigy. He forms relationships with others in the community, including his neighbor Malcolm, through his music. Koontz does a great job at weaving relationships between Jonah and other characters including his mother and grandfather, his neighbors Mr. Yoshioka, Malcolm and Amalia; the woman who is the city, Miss Pearl. My favorite character in this book had to be Mr. Yoshioka. He was just such a friendly, genuine man who really cared about Jonah. Other characters, including Jonah's father, Fiona, and Drackman, seemed to be placed in the story to add some thrill and suspense but they just fell flat for me. We never really find out enough about them to add much to the story.

Koontz is well known for his thriller novels however this novel went a different way. Even so, he tried to fit in some elements of horror with a creepy ass character named Fiona. Being completely honest, these scenes did leave me a little shaken up and scanning the room to make sure no creepers were sneaking up on me. However, it seemed so forced and didn't add much to the story. Overall, I was disappointed in this story. It was a 2 star until the last 15 pages during which I bumped my rating to a 2.5.

Recommended For: Die hard fans of Dean Koontz

*Dislaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

3 Stars
Manga Classics: Les Miserables Softcover - Victor Hugo

This was my first Manga/graphic novel experience and it was so-so for me. I own the paperback version of Les Mis, and knowing that it is ~1,200 pages long, I was very curious how they would condense that much material into less than 350 pages of graphics. Admittedly, I have not read the paperback, so I cannot speak to how well the plot was transitioned. I feel like I have a grasp on the basic storyline but longed for more details.
The graphics in this advanced read copy were low-resolution but still beautiful. I will probably flip through this in the bookstore after its release to see the high-res version. All in all, if you are a fan of classics and/or graphic novels, you should probably check this out!

*This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

4 Stars
Bird & Squirrel on Ice - James Burks

I received this as an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


This is an adorable children's graphic novel! It details the adventures of Bird and Squirrel after they crash in an area with a bunch of penguins and a hungry killer whale. Cute pictures, a cute story line, and cute characters make for an easy read.


I would definitely buy this for folks in my life when they are in elementary school.

5 Stars
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands - Chris Bohjalian

This was my first Chris Bohjalian book and I don't know why I waited so long to pick one up! The writing in this story was raw, real, and graceful. Told in first person narrative, it really made you feel connected to the main character. I stayed up far past my bedtime many nights in a row because I just couldn't put this book down! Phenomenal read, I really won't be able to say that enough!


I cannot even imagine being in Emily Shepard's shoes. The only surviving member of her family, not allowed back into her own home or even her own town, and feeling hated by everyone just because of her name. Though this story is narrated by a teenage girl, I never got a whiny, high school voice through the writing. She is very adult in very real and very scary situations. Sure, a handful of times the way she acted screamed immature, but these were few and far between. I loved seeing her maternal side as she cares for Cameron and the desperation she had to keep him safe and cared for. 


The title of this book was perplexing. You start to read and assume that it will weave into the story somehow. When it is finally revealed, it is extremely hard hitting. I had to re-read this paragraph a few times to grasp the severity and the correlation from the title to the character's situation. As Emily said, "It seems to me that if you didn't know the context of those words, they were kind of pretty."


This has to be one of my favorite reads of the year so far. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone!