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July 18, 2013 / Melanie Rosson

Couldn’t Keep it to Myself by Wally Lamb and the Women of York Correctional Institution

lamb, wally - couldn't keep it to myselfthumbs_side ) This book is basically a compilation of short stories about the lives of different women within the York Correctional Institution. It’s good, but not as good as Wally Lamb’s writing. I didn’t realize it wasn’t actually written by him when I picked it up.

The stories range from child physical and sexual abuse to tales of crime and punishment. It delves deeper into what influences crime and the different ways people grow up. The authors are good writers, but none of the stories hit me deep the way Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone did.

July 4, 2013 / Melanie Rosson

Life As I Blow It by Sarah Colonna

colonna, sarah - life as i blow it ( thumbs_side ) When I saw that this book was associated with Chelsea Handler, I knew I was going to like it. And it was good, but not as hilarious as Chelsea’s books.

There are stories about Sarah Colonna’s love life, growing up, and developing her career. It’s all got a very comedic spin to it, which is great. It’s fun to read, but maybe I’m just biased because I’m so familiar with Chelsea Handler, and she’s the best female comedian I know of.

I liked reading this book. I went through it fast. But I wasn’t super impressed by it, just slightly enterained.

July 3, 2013 / Melanie Rosson

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

flynn, gillian - dark placesthumbs_up ) Gillian Flynn is one of my new favorite authors. She just keeps delivering!

Dark Places is a mystery novel that unravels a gruesome family murder that happened 24 years ago. Libby Day and her brother, Ben, were the only survivors out of the large family slaughter. Libby’s testimony blamed Ben for the murders, which landed him in prison for life. However, there are many things that don’t add up about the crime. For example, Libby didn’t actually witness the crime, only heard it. But at 7-years-old she was impressionable and coached to say that she saw what happened. Further, facts about Ben were exaggerated, and crazy events coincided with one another on that date.

Libby only decides to investigate further into what really happened when she is approached and funded by a group who studies famous murders. Soon, she is drawn into figuring out the truth. The twisted ending is not predictable in any way – it’s very intense. It’s a suspenseful read that’s hard to put down.

June 28, 2013 / Melanie Rosson

She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

lamb, wally - shes come undonethumbs_up ) Reality. It’s gray, it’s a mess. It’s not pretty, but not all ugly either. This story captures it perfectly, or not perfectly at all, if you want to think of it that way.

Dolores is the main character. The book follows her from her childhood up until her mid-adult years. She suffers the trauma of a rape which haunts her for life, as well as the usual struggles of childhood. Plus, her mom is sent to a psychiatric ward, so Dolores lives with her grandmother. Her father has already nearly abandoned the family. In her teen years she becomes obese, using her fat as a sort of armor to the outside world. She attends college for short time, but leaves after a series of incidents. She is sent to a psych ward herself for about 7 years. She leaves, and loses the weight. She marries someone she orchestrated a relationship with, but she soon finds he isn’t who she thought he was. They divorce, and she moves on with her life.

There is no fairytale ending. She finds happiness, but nothing for her is solved. She only moves on with life and accepts it as what it is. The important lesson is to always accept happiness in your life – don’t be afraid of it. But also to roll with the punches when they come.

I really enjoyed the down to earth nature of this book. I’m going to find more by this author, for sure.

June 18, 2013 / Melanie Rosson

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

flynn, gillian - gone girlthumbs_up ) This book was really slow in the beginning. It was hard to push through at first because it just seemed like your average “who done it?” mystery novel. But my persistence in reading it paid off, because it got good, really really good.

People have faked crimes before, but no one makes it an art form like Amy does. She goes missing from her house shared with her husband, Nick Dunne, with evidence of a struggle left behind. Most of the evidence points towards murder, with her husband being the prime suspect. Meanwhile, Amy goes into hiding. The motivation behind this staged crime – her husband was having an affair.

This book is twisted and gets even more psycho as the story goes on. Once you get about half way in, it’s hard to put down.

June 14, 2013 / Melanie Rosson

Never Tell by Alafair Burke

burke, alafair - never tell  ( thumbs_side ) This is the first fiction novel I’ve read in a while. It did not impress me, but it was not bad either.

It all starts off with a teenager named Julia supposedly committing suicide. However, the note that was left gave indications that this may not have been a suicide after all. Ellie, the main detective, investigates further.

It’s a complicated case that delves into the promiscuity of Julia, prescription drug abuse, and a blog author that is being threatened. I got a little lost at some parts of the story, but I got the gist of it. It doesn’t end at all how you’d expect.

As I said, it’s not bad, but not good. I wouldn’t have continued reading if I wasn’t desperate for something to fill my time with.

June 12, 2013 / Melanie Rosson

White Girl Problems by Babe Walker

walker, babe - white girl problemsthumbs_up ) Hilariously funny. This can’t all be true, can it? It must at the very least be extremely exaggerated.

Babe Walker is born to rich lawyer father and a model mother. The mother abandons her to the father at birth. Babe never hears from her again until a chance encounter at a rehab facility later in her twenties, where Babe is battling a shopping addiction.

This book chronicles some of the many crazy events of Babe’s life, including disastrous birthday parties to a personal trainer whose workout method is constant sex. She’s spoiled, self-centered, and barely eats. Her problems are not just white girl problems, but wealthy, upper-class bitch problems. It’s a read that will have you cracking up the whole time. I couldn’t put it down!

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