I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS by Iain Reid (Review)

I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Shout out to thats so reaghan and her marvelous cat Buffy for this picture.

210 Pages

So I picked this one up at the “Staff Recommended” shelf at The Strand in NYC, with such blurbs that said things as:

“Absolutely chilling. I can recall very few times in recent memory I’ve been so physically unnerved by a novel.”

–Bustle

And the fact that this was a “thriller”, I was like, “what the hell” and I bought it.

So, they say the best way to go into this novel is not knowing anything, but I’m just going to tell you up front that, in the end, I didn’t like it.

Like, at all.

And I’m going to list the reasons, but, since I do agree that, if you’re going to read it, you need to go in blind. So, I would consider the rest of this review filled with spoilers. So stop now if you don’t want to know anything about it.

Review:

So, the basic premise behind this novel is that a girl is dating this man named Jake, and they’re going to visit his parents. But, she’s thinking of ending things with him, with herself, you don’t really know. You just know she’s “Thinking of ending things” (don’t worry if you forget it, because the author makes sure to tell you about 20 times, not to mention it’s the title of the book.) But, anyway, minor thing.

So, my main issue with this is that I don’t really like books when the author is clearly trying too hard. This was one of those cases, in my opinion. To me it felt as if the author sat down in front of his computer and was like “hmmm, let’s see…what’s a plot twist I can think of that, in the end, the reader is going to have to re-read the entire novel (or at least the ending) to maybe, vaguely understand what was going on…or even better…leave what happened open to interpretation!”

I think I have learned my lesson now when the cover promises an “ending that you’ll never see coming”, because I now know that just means an ending that makes no f-ing sense or is confusing as hell.

The writing, overall, is pretty good. I liked the style, at times. Whenever the girlfriend was describing things, it was good. But, once I read the ending, I just found it extremely pretentious, to be honest.

Another major problem I had was that this “girlfriend”, or the main narrator, is never given a name. Once you find out the ending, it all makes sense, though…kind of. But, it’s still annoying and just adds on the the pretentiousness.

So, now I’m going to talk about the ending. So, if you’ve made it this far and don’t want to know, then turn away.

So, once you reach the end, the “girlfriend” is in the middle of a school being chased by a lunatic. Oh, wait, the lunatic is Jake. Oh, wait, Jake is the girlfriend. What? 

So, turns out Jake made up this whole “girlfriend” character in his head, because he was deciding whether or not someone would date him and he would commit suicide or something something something…I looked up at the explanation on GoodReads, because I honestly had no ambition to re-read the entire freaking book (especially after it turned into this whole “we” perspective).

But, all in all, Jake is crazy and has just been imagining this all in his head. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Throughout the novel, the way the “girlfriend” was describing Jake just seemed unlikely with someone with a multiple personality, though I can’t really say, just the way it was presented I don’t think works with the novel. There were just descriptions of intimate relationships that I don’t think would have worked the same.

The one thing I will give it props for is that, before the “big reveal”, the scenes where the girlfriend is running around the school were a little creepy, when the notion of having three characters was still an option (the girlfriend, the person chasing them in the school, and Jake).

All in all, this book started off interesting and turned into something too pretentious for my taste, but I was entertained at times, so that’s good (and why it will get an extra star).

I mean, why would you write a book forcing your reader to re-read the work in order to get the ending completly? It just doesn’t make sense and is not something I have time to deal with when there are so many other books on my TBR.

Skip this one.

Final Rating:

Untitled design-5

Notes:

If you ant to give this mess a go, here’s the link to buy it.

Best,

Daniel

 

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THIS IS MY GENRE TAG + 5 WORD STORY CHALLENGE (Book Tags)

this-is-my-genre.jpg

I was tagged by the amazing Sara @ The Bibliophagist!!

The Rules:

The Questions

1. What is your favorite genre?

That’s a hard one. But, currently, probably contemporary thrillers or detective mysteries. But, it can very by month or minute.

2. Who is your favorite author from that genre?

Definitely Tana French!! Wow, if you haven’t read a detective mystery by her, you are missing out! The way she intertwines contemporary nuances with the classic mystery is absolutely brilliant. I honestly can’t get enough of her novels.

3. What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?

The thrill of trying to figure out what’s going on! Solving the crime, watching everything unfold and being like AHAA! I KNEW IT or being completely blindsided (usually blindsided haha).

4. What is the book that started your love for that genre?

While I’m still kind of new to it, probably Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. While the book definitely has its flaws (mostly towards the end), this book was the first “adult” thriller I read (senior year of high school), and it had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

5. If you had to recommend at least one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

Oye, this is a little difficult. I would say something like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. While this is not even close to being in my favorites, I feel like a non-reader would connect with this pretty well, as it has a lot of twists that someone who is unfamiliar with reading a lot might not see coming to keep them interested.

6. Why do you read?

Well, that’s like asking why I breathe.

TAGGED:

Becky @ Velvet Spade Reads

Shaz @ Shaz Reads

Kayla @ Books and Blends

 

Five Word Story

While I’m sure a tag like this has been done before, I felt this post needed a little bit more, so I made up this little ditty.

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Close your eyes, open to random pages, and point your finger on a random word in the last book you have read. Articles do not count.
  • Repeat the above rule 5 times.
  • List the 5 random words you have.
  • Create a 5 sentence flash fiction using your 5 random words. Each sentence must contain at least one word from your list. You can change the tense of the word as needed.
  • Tag 3 people.

My Last Completed Book: The Trespasser by Tana French

5 Random Words:

  1. Disgraceful
  2. Giggles
  3. Making
  4. Stick
  5. Caffeine

Story:

The caffeine hit me the second I drank the shot of espresso. I could feel the rush of coffee make my pupils dilate with excitement, tingle my tastebuds – the rush! Everything around me was suddenly in immediate focus – the giggles from the group of girls in the table beside me, the man talking on the phone with his wife, saying he’s almost home even though he was sitting right beside me with a bagel in his hand, the woman ordering a triple, decaf latte, no foam at the counter and sliding the hot barista a $20 bill, telling him to keep the change. It was almost disgraceful at how intimate this all was, what a single boost of energy could do in such a tight space. I could feel the memories of all of this try and stick in my mind, but I knew I would forget it all in a few minutes once the rush subsided.

Tagged:

Sara @ The Bibliophagist

Richard @  Richard Rabil, Jr.

Ivy @ Ivys Well Used Library Card

Best,

Daniel

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BONFIRE by Krysten Ritter (Review)

BONFIRE-2

288 Pages

I’m going to admit that I had no idea who Krysten Ritter was until I read this book. I was pretty hype for this one, and I’m not ashamed to say it was mostly because of the cover (it’s a pretty fire cover, if I say so myself ha). The Thriller/Detective Mystery genre has slowly become one of my favorites, so, needless to say, I was pretty excited to dig into this .

When Abby Williams, now a hot-shot lawyer, goes back to her hometown to work on a case involving a major company scandal involving the towns biggest company, Oculus, pertaining to the public drinking water, she soon finds herself diving head first into a pool with no water, opening a can of worms she never wanted to remember. Discovering an old friend may be in danger, Abby realizes she may have bit off more than she can chew and realizes there may be a bigger problem than just the high lead count in the water.

Review

*may contain slight spoilers, but nothing major*

Boy, oh, boy do I have a lot of issues with this book.

While I will give Ritter a slight break since this is her first dabble in writing a novel, let alone a mystery/thriller (as Gillian Flynn’s first work was not the best in my opinion), I still have a lot of issues with this one.

The first one I have to point out is the stigmas that Ritter surrounds with what a “small town” is. Coming from a town with a population of about 10,000 myself, I found that her descriptions and stereotypes that go along with some of the characteristics were a little blasé (for example, having only 2 stop lights). While I can attest to some of them being true, I just felt very underwhelmed with the way she was describing some of the situations and people. On the flip side, a lot of her descriptions were pretty accurate, but overall could have used more sensitivity and work.

A compliment I do have towards this book is that it was very easy to read. When I read this book, I didn’t feel bogged down with information – it was very smooth reading in terms of she knows that the audience knows what a barn looks like, so Ritter doesn’t go into a page and half of description of one, which is nice and used well.

My main issue with this book, and probably the most important one to a mystery, is the actual mystery! I don’t know who the hell actually blurbed this as “dark [and] disturbing” and a “stone-cold stunner”. When I read a mystery, especially one of a crime that has been going on for 10+ years, such as this one, I want to actually believe they could have pulled it off. But, with Bonfire, I just do not think that the antagonists could have gotten away with this for nearly twenty years and not been found out. I just don’t think it’s possible. Then this girl who has been away for so long comes along and cracks it, just like that. Like…really? Also, the climax is completely predictable, and the main character, who has been pretty smart up to this point, makes such a stupid mistake in the end that it just made me wish I could hand her a V8 (non-sponsored). If you’re reading this book, you’ll come to a point where you make a pretty major prediction about what’s going to happen next and who the “bad guy(s)” is/are, and I would bet that you’re right.

Overall, the mystery was kind of lame. The entire novel is completely underwhelming. I was never on the edge of my seat, which is how I should expect to feel with a thriller such as this. The only reason I’m going to keep this one around is because the cover is so damn good.

That being said, I think this author does have potential, as (mentioned above), Flynn’s first novel had me feeling much the same way, yet her next two books were knock-outs. I have not given up on Ritter, and I look forward to see what she comes up with next.

Final Rating: 2 out of 5

While I wouldn’t recommend you buy this particular book, I would say that if your library has it and you want something to entertain you slightly, you could probably read this in one or two sittings. Anyway… Would love to hear your thoughts!

Oh, and if you feel compelled to buy it after that, then here ya’ go.

Best,

Daniel