Publication Date: 1966 | Rating: 5-stars!
A classic! An absolute masterpiece of true crime literature. Gritty and intelligent. This should be on everyone’s ‘books to read in a lifetime’ list. As many of you may know, In Cold Blood is the true account of the heinous murders of the Clutter Family in 1959 Kansas. In my opinion, the writing style of this account is absolutely flawless. Through Capote’s words, you are transported to this small town; you get alternating accounts from the family, from the killers, from other residents close to the crime. The account of the actual murders is bone-chilling and can disturb sleep, believe me!
This is my second time reading this book and I found it just as impactful during my reread. To me it is interesting to think about Capote compiling his research for this. He actually went and lived in this town, along with one of his closest friends, Harper Lee, and they painstakingly interviewed hundreds of people associated with the events. Just the sheer amount of data compiled and how it was intricately woven together fascinates me – yes, I know that is what nonfiction novelists do but this was a truly groundbreaking piece of journalistic writing at the time and should be appreciated as such.
Another interesting aspect of this for me is how interested Capote was in the psychology behind the killers motivations and actions, as well as their complex relationship with one another both before and after the crimes. I think anyone who enjoys true crime, criminology, psychology and even sociology will find this book absolutely captivating. If you have been putting off reading this for any reason, please stop, read this…now!
Do you like nonfiction books? If so, what is your favorite sub-genre within nonfiction? I want to know! Tell me about it in the comments below and you can reach me through the contact links to the right >
Publication Date: June 7, 2016 | Rating: 5-glorious-stars
Why did I wait so long to read this? Bad life choices, I guess. I loved this so much – now I can FINALLY watch the movie! There really isn’t too much I can say about this book that hasn’t already been said. I think pretty much everyone knows the basic premise of this so I won’t reiterate that here. What I do want to touch on is how this book made me feel. I am in a long-term relationship, having been with my partner for 11-years this month. In the beginning of our relationship we were long-distance. A lot of our initial ‘getting to know you’ period was perpetuated through online correspondence, via email. I absolutely adored the use of mixed media in this, showing the emails between Simon and his love interest, known as ‘Blue’. It just made my heart sing reminiscing on that feeling you get when you see a new email has come through, opening it up to behold what the person you are crushing on has written you, seeing the initial low-key flirting and how that grows into more and more over time.
Ugh, I just can’t. It was so freaking great and I thought the transformation as they explored the boundaries of their relationship was really well handled. I liked Simon’s family a lot and in particular, I felt his relationships with his sisters were supportive, well-formed and great examples of kind sibling relations. I also enjoyed his interactions with his parents, in particular, his father. As far as Simon’s closest friends are concerned, I really enjoyed those relationships as well. At times I got a little frustrated with a couple of them, particularly Leah, for the way they were treating Simon. I felt at times he was treated a little unfairly by them, held to a higher standard so to speak, but maybe that was just because I was so attached to him, I instantly took a Team Simon stance. He was like a sweet, precious baby bird I wanted to put in my pocket and protect from all harm. If you have read this book, you can probably relate. If you haven’t read this book, what are you waiting for? 🌈💖☆☆☆☆☆
Publication Date: March 8, 2018 | Rating: 3.5-stars
I liked this one. Some aspects of the story I really enjoyed and others were just okay for me. There were moments, toward the beginning in particular, that I was a little confused as to what type of story this was trying to be. Thinking back on those early chapters, I am still a little confused by them. A literary sleight of hand perhaps; they got your brain going in one direction which, at least for me, ended up being flipped completely on its head. The book follows multiple perspectives but the two main ones being, Anna and Murray. Anna is a young woman who recently lost both parents to suicide. Murray, is a semi-retired criminal investigator, who ends up looking into Anna’s parents suicides when she begins to suspect that foul play may have been involved.
There were plenty of twists and turns in this and the end in particular was so wild in bordered on ridiculous. This being said, ridiculously far-fetched plot points aside, it was also wildly entertaining. It did keep me engaged the whole way through; I was particularly drawn to the chapters from Murray’s perspective. Although his chapters were not as wrought with turmoil as Anna’s, there was something very relatable and likable about his character and experiences. I also liked the way this book took classic societal gender roles and challenged them; it challenged what the reader would typically expect to happen. I really enjoyed that actually. I felt like someone had played a trick on me which made it very unique!
Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, for providing me with a copy of this book to read and review. I very much appreciate the opportunity! I had some fun with it and really look forward to checking out other reader’s reviews now that I am done.
Publication Date: June 12, 2018 | Rating: 3.5-stars rounded up to 4
Jar of Hearts is the first book I have ever read by Jennifer Hillier. I was immediately impressed with how the story was constructed. We follow the perspective of two main characters, Georgina ‘Geo’ and Kaiser. The narrative flows seamlessly between the two characters and also flows particularly well between past and present. For the majority of the book I was confident that I would end up giving it a solid-4 stars however, at the conclusion, I am somewhere between a 3.5 and a 4-☆ rating. I am going to round up to 4 because I think overall it lies closer to a 4-star read than a 3-star read.
Trigger Warnings for dating abuse/violence, date rape, rape and murder. Hillier definitely does not shy away from the gritty sides of this story and scenes of rape are described in vivid detail; if you are a reader who is particularly sensitive to these heavy subject matters please tread cautiously.
I feel a bit stuck with this review because it is hard to talk much about this book without giving anything away. For me, the build-up to the reveal was more exciting than the reveal itself. I think about 3/4 of the way through the end is pretty clear and plot points that make the ending possible are a bit far-fetched, to say the least, but overall, if you are just looking for a gritty psychological thriller with a bit of mystery and long buried secrets coming to light, you should definitely check this one out. It was fun and I would definitely read more from this author. She definitely knows how to spin a great web of intrigue.
Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with a copy to review. I appreciate the opportunity and look forward to seeing other readers reviews now that I am done!