Book Reviews: March 2015

book reviews, hausfrau, hausfrau review, the girl on the train, the girl on the train review, the mime order, the mime order review

Hausfrau This was my favorite read of the month. Anna is a housewife who lives in Switzerland with her husband and three kids. On the surface her life appears perfect, but she is bored, lonely and severely unhappy. In an effort to feel something, anything, she begins a series of affairs. Soon she can no longer hide her secrets and her life begins to unravel.

I thought this was so well-written. It’s really a character study of Anna. Anna takes German classes to improve her speaking abilities and her German lessons are woven throughout the book. It’s really interesting the way that the author plays with words and applies the German lessons to Anna’s life. The reader is also an observer of Anna’s psychoanalysis appointments with her therapist, so you get a good sense of how Anna thinks and what she feels.

Warning- she’s an unlikeable character and the sex scenes do get a bit graphic, so if you’re sensitive to either of those things, I’d steer clear of this one. If you love beautiful writing and really delving into a character’s psyche, then I think you’ll find Hausfrau quite intriguing.

The-Girl-on-the-Train You’ve probably seen this book everywhere. There was so much buzz that I couldn’t wait for my library hold and ended up purchasing it. Rachel is a middle-aged woman living in the UK and every day she takes the train into London for work. Her train typically stops at this one particular junction, and from her seat she can see a house owned by a beautiful couple. Since she sees them so often, she gives the couple nicknames and daydreams about what their life is like; she really feels like she knows them. One day when her train stops, Rachel sees something out of the ordinary…

Since this is a thriller, the less you know going in, the better. Like every thriller these days, it’s been called the next Gone Girl. I kind of had high expectations since this book has been so buzzy, but I’ve also learned to lower my expectations because nothing so far that’s claimed to be the next Gone Girl has actually lived up to the hype. All that preamble is to say that I thought this book was solid. It was not amazing, but I did find it interesting enough to keep turning the pages. The twist was not surprising to me, but like I said, I’ve learned to lower my expectations, so I was not majorly disappointed.

Rachel is kind of a hot mess of a person. It’s a bit intriguing since that’s outside the norm, but it can also be a bit tiring because I just wanted her to get it together. She’s an unreliable narrator to the max. As the reader is questioning Rachel, she’s also questioning herself within the story.

I think the hype is still going strong for this one, so if you want to see what all the fuss is about, I’d say give this ago. It’s good for a light, quick, entertaining read, but don’t expect it to blow you away.

The-Mime-Order This is the second book in The Bone Season trilogy (I wrote about the first book, The Bone Season, last year), so I won’t really delve into the plot, to avoid spoilers. The main point you need to know is that it’s set in a futuristic London where possessing and using clairvoyant abilities is a crime.

I had a few issues with the first book, but not enough to prevent me from continuing with the series. I think I actually like this sequel better. The author doesn’t have to spend as much time explaining everything, since we’re already familiar with the world. It picks up right where the first book left off, is pretty solid in the middle, and then for the last 150 pages or so, it was a real page-turner. I still feel like I don’t quite know the main character, Paige. I mean, I have a good sense of her after reading the first two books, but I want to know more about her backstory and what motivates her. It ended on a cliffhanger, so now I’m jonesing for the next book. According to the author’s blog, she’s nearly done writing it, so perhaps it will be published next year.

What are you currently reading?

  • I’ve heard both good and bad things about The Girl on the Train, but I’m glad you liked it, so I’ll probably give it a go sometime this summer. I love reading thrillers in the middle of summer!
    ~Sara

    • I’d say it fell right in the middle for me. Not amazing, but still relatively entertaining. Sometimes that’s all you need from a book!

  • Akaleistar

    Hausfrau does sound interesting, and I keep hearing about The Girl on the Train!

    • I felt like everyone was reading The Girl on the Train, so I had to read it too!

  • I definitely agree she’s a hot mess so it’s been hard for me to follow and get into the story. I’ll keep trying… sigh

    • It does pick up eventually!