September 18, 2016

‘H’ is For Homicide by Sue Grafton

After a three-week-long investigation, Kinsey couldn't wait to get home. What she needed most was a few quiet days by herself--but two things happened to change all her plans.

First, she ran into a murder case. Then Kinsey met Bibianna Diaz, and before the night was over they were sharing a prison cell..
This book was. . . different. I didn’t feel like I was reading a Kinsey book because she was undercover for the majority of it. She wasn’t leading her usual bad-ass private investigator life. She was undercover in a life of crime.

It was strange to read, and I didn’t like it. But even though I didn’t like that aspect, I liked the book. The book hooked me and I kept turning the page. I couldn’t put the book down. Because she was around the people she was investigation so much, they became humanized. Usually you can just see them as the bad guy, but there was a human side to them in this book which added more depth.

I was hoping that Kinsey would be able to bust out more of her badass self, but aside from playing her undercover role well, we didn’t get to see it as much.

I am so conflicted on it, but I can say that I did enjoy it. The characters were very well developed and the story was different.

I am excited to read the next book, though. I am hoping it is more of a normal book for her.

4/5 stars

Memorable Quotes: “Life was good. I was female, single, with money in my pocket and enough gas to get home. I had nobody to answer to and no ties to speak of. I was healthy, physically fit, filled with energy.”

“I tried to look like an especially law-abiding citizen instead of the free-lance private investigator with a tendency to fib.”

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September 17, 2016

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

Confessions are Rose Baker’s job. A typist for the New York City Police Department, she sits in judgment like a high priestess. Criminals come before her to admit their transgressions, and, with a few strokes of the keys before her, she seals their fate. But while she may hear about shootings, knifings, and crimes of passion, as soon as she leaves the room, she reverts to a dignified and proper lady. Until Odalie joins the typing pool.

As Rose quickly falls under the stylish, coquettish Odalie’s spell, she is lured into a sparkling underworld of speakeasies and jazz. And what starts as simple fascination turns into an obsession from which she may never recover.

This book is so frustrating, yet so intriguing and mysterious. It is hard to keep in mind that this book takes place in the 20’s. The main character, Rose, speaks a lot about femininity and what a woman is supposed to be. It is so wildly different from the culture we live in now.

Part of me wants to smack her at times. Other parts of me just feel bad for her.

Then you think about her fascination with Odalie, and it is all very mysterious. Half way through the book and you still don’t really understand how deep her fascination goes.

It is also hard to figure out whether Rose is into women platonically or whether she is into them in a romantic sense.

This book follows the two of them and then it reaches a peak at the end. All I can say about that is, I am confused.

I was still confused after I read the last line of the book. Yes, it threw a twist at us, but I am not really sure what they twist was.

Maybe I am just being dumb with this one.

I did like the book overall, Rose was a very frustrating character to read about, but it was mysterious and kept me hanging on.

3.5/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: “A good typist knows her place. She is simply happy, as a woman, to be paid a reasonable income.”

“I am quite skilled at watching people, and I believe this habit has given me something of a true education in the world – perhaps in more ways than one.”

“I wasn’t as sure as Odalie seemed to be about the prospect of my falling in love with what promised to be a group of derelicts posing as intellectuals, but I was becoming increasingly sure I was about to allow myself to be charmed by Odalie herself.”

“There is something darkly thrilling about standing on the balcony of a very tall building and looking over the edge with the silent knowledge that is in one’s own power to jump.”

“You see, doubt is magnificently difficult pest of which to try to rid oneself, and is worse than any other kind of infestation. It can creep in quietly and through the tiniest of cracks, and once inside, it is almost impossible to ever completely remove.” 

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September 11, 2016

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Sixteen-year-old Min Green writes a letter to Ed Slaterton in which she breaks up with him, documenting their relationship and how items in the accompanying box, from bottle caps to a cookbook, foretell the end.
I have a love hate relationship with this book. I heard it talked about all over the internet, so when it went on sale, I bought it. I didn’t know when I started it, and I still don’t know now, why this book got so much hype. Both Min and Ed are painfully generic characters that feed into their stereotypes.

I never really ended up caring about either of them, and that made it difficult to finish this book. It got to the point where I was half way through it and I figured that I might as well just finish it incase it gets better at the end.

To me, it never did. I guess there must have been something about it that kept me reading, but I wouldn’t openly recommend the book to anyone.

2.5/5 Stars

Memorable Quotes: “I’m telling you why we broke up, Ed. I’m writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened. And the truth is that I goddamn loved you so much.”

“You could never truly see the movies in my head and that, Ed, is why we broke up.”

“It was everything, those nights on the phone, everything we said until late became later and then later and very late and finally to go to bed with my ear warm and worn red from holding the phone close close close so as not to miss a word of what it was, because who cared how tired I was in the humdrum slave drive of our days without each other. I’d ruin any day, all my days, for those long nights with you, and I did. But that’s why right there it was doomed. We couldn’t only have the magic nights buzzing through the wires. We had to have the days, too, the bright impatient days spoiling everything with their unavoidable schedules, their mandatory times that don’t overlap, their loyal friends who don’t get along, the unforgiven travesties torn from the wall no matter what promises are uttered past midnight.”

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