Can You Hear Me?

In the August of 1978, the summer I met Anna Trabuio, my father took a girl into the woods.

First sentence

Can You Hear me? By Elena Varvello is a book I recieved from BookBridgr. I loved this book, I thought it was great, although there were times when I lacked understanding of what was going on, but I’ve just put that down to the fact that it was originally written in Italian but was later translated to English.

The book is based in 1978. Ponte is a small community in Northern Italy with peaceful woods, discarded rubbish and a closed-down factory. An unbearably hot summer wilted flowers and trips to the waterfalls.

Elia Furenti is sixteen and living in a secluded house with his parents, a life so unremarkable that even its moderate unhappiness is considered normal, until the day the beautiful and damaged Anna returns to Ponte and propels Elia to the edge of adulthood.

However, things then start to unravel.

Ettore (Elia’s father) is let go from his job and loses himself in the darkest corners of his mind. A young boy is murdered, which shakes to small community to its core. And a girl climbs into a van and vanishes in the deep, dark woods.

This book is a story of Elia Furenti and his father Ettore, it is a story of one summer and one night and everything that happened. What I liked about this book, is that in alternate chapters, there is a different story being told, It’s what keeps you glued to the book, you carry on reading and can’t put it down because you want to know what happens next within both of the stories being told within the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, at the end of every chapter I was left wanting more, I wanted to know what was going to happen next, it was very cleverly written. This book gets 4 stars from me.

The life we have left, this is all it is, and we must not waste it.

Last sentence

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See What I Have Done

Lizzie Borden took an axe,

And gave her mother forty whacks

When she saw what she had done,

She gave her father forty-one.

I feel like I’m the only person who had never heard of the Lizzie Borden case before reading this book. The poem gave it away a bit, but it was so intriguing I instantly wanted to know more.

For those people like me, who have never heard of the Lizzie Borden case, here a few things to get you started:

  • August 4th 1892 – Andrew and Abby Borden’s bodies were found by their daughter, Lizzie Borden. Both of them had been brutally murdered by an axe.
  • After some time, Lizzie Borden was arrested for their murders and her trial was one of the first nation-wide news sensations which was covered in America, she was then released in June 1893.
  • There was no murder weapon found.

Sarah Schmidt wrote a historical fiction of the case on true events of the Borden Murders. After I had read the book, I went straight to Google to do some research about the case because for this type of books, the facts NEED to be accurate. I’m glad to say that most of the events she wrote about were true to the real life story.

I think that Schmidt did an amazing job with writing this book, from the first page to the last I was completely engrossed and intrigued with the story. From the first page, she puts you right in the middle of the action, with the discovery of Andrew Borden’s body. However, I was instantly made aware that there was something not quite right.

It wasn’t until references’ to Lizzie’s age within the book, and especially when I finished the book that I realised her actual age: 32. I had thought she was MUCH younger than that because she acts very much like a young teenager. She continuously makes demands off of her parents and practically suffocates her older sister, who is in her forties. This also adds to what I said previously about being aware that there is something not quite right, it adds a sort of creepiness within the book.

At the time of this story, Lizzie should be married and have her own children, instead, she is still living at home with her father, step-mother and sister and she remains very childish. Maybe because the family was trapped in a time-warp, and even though they were all aging, they all stayed the same age at heart? Particularly Lizzie.

It is very clear throughout the book that Lizzie loves her family. She loves her sister Emma and looks up to her, she loves her father and she so badly wants to feel loved by him and make him proud of her. But could she really get angry enough to kill her own parents?

I know my opinion, what’s yours?

Lie With Me

Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant was an AMAZING book, i mean, just WOW. I borrowed this from my sister, you can find her blog here. This book had such an amazing twist. It left me needing to talk to someone about it. Thankfully, my mum had already read this book, so I ran straight downstairs to talk to her about it. I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by it.

Sabine Durrant is such a clever writer. The book starts off with Paul Morris, an unlikeable character right from the beginning. He is arrogant, pretentious and a womaniser. I hated him, and it made me so happy when he had to move back in with his mother and that he was so miserable, he deserved it, he was a horrible person. However, by the end of this book I was rooting for Paul and I felt so sorry for him.

Paul lied a lot, he did it for no other reason than to make himself look better than he actually was, but there was no proper reason behind it, as if to hide something from someone, but he certainly was not evil and did not deserve what happened to him. It was someone else who was evil, but because Paul had lied so much, who would believe him?

This book was so easy to read. There are some books, where you just pick it up and cannot put it down again, where you completely forget that you’re reading a book and you feel like you are part of the story, like you are right there, watching it in real life. This book was just so relatable. Everyone tells little white lies occasionally for no reason at all other than to make yourself feel or look better.

This is probably the best book I have read so far, not only for the plot, but the way it was written and I seriously recommend that everybody reads this book. This book is definitely 5 stars!

The Disciple

The Disciple by Stephen Lloyd Jones was given to me from bookbridgr. I absolutely loved the sound of this book. It sounded like the type of book I would have LOVED, and therefore I was so excited to start reading it! I had never read a book from this author before, but there was something about this book that caught my eye and I was dying to read it.

This book is about a girl who is like no other. On a storm-battered road near Devil’s kitchen, a woman survives a fatal accident and gives birth to a girl who should never have been born. Edward Schwinn must protect this girl and her arrival triggers a chain of terrifying events that no one can explain. She is being hunted by an evil beyond measure. This book had the potential to be AMAZING, but for me, I was disappointed. The story line was great, it just didn’t catch me in the way other books have.

The first few chapters were slow-paced and were unable to grab my attention. Unfortunately, this made initial reading a struggle rather than an enjoyment. It did, however, get slightly better as I read on – but only to let me down again as I kept reading. For a lot of the book, nothing really happens, there are a few bits here and there, and the last few chapters, but that was it. I think for me, what didn’t catch me was the way it was written. The story line was so amazing, and it was clever, and there was the occasional unexpected twist, but overall, I was so disappointed with the book.

The most annoying part of this book is that the ending was so good and interesting, and if Jones had gotten me so into this book that I couldn’t put it down, I would have no negatives. However, I found myself just continuing reading this, so I could finally finish it and move onto the next book. AND THE ENDING. It was a good ending; however, it felt like the book shouldn’t have ended where it did. I know, it was probably meant to be a cliff-hanger, but it didn’t feel like that. It felt very strange to me that the book ended where it did. I felt like the last chapter was completely pointless.

Maybe my interpretation of the book is all wrong, maybe I just didn’t understand it, but personally, I was happy when I finally finished it, rather than being left to want more like I usually am. It has some good reviews such as “so gripping you’ll want to read late into the night; so terrifying you shouldn’t” and personally, I disagree. Therefore, I would give this book 2 stars.

Her Darkest Nightmare

Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak was a book that I received from bookbrigr. I absolutely LOVED this book. From the moment I picked this book up, I just couldn’t put it down again. It was so gripping and intriguing and I was left wanting so much more!  It is so gut-gripping and it really does leave you breathless and wanting more, it is impossible to stop reading after a chapter has ended because it makes you want to find out what is happening now, and what is going to happen next.

Dr Evelyn Talbot has learnt to live with fear. When she was 16, she was targeted by her boyfriend, Jasper Moore, and survived days of torture. She escaped with her life, however, Jasper managed to disappear before he was caught. Now Evelyn lives in a world of psychopaths. As the head of the Hanover House institute in Alaska, she engages daily with killers who have no remorse, no conscience and a desire to murder her. All Evelyn wants to do is to try to figure out why they do what they do and how to stop them. But when a mutilated body is found in her Alaskan town she is forced to question herself, her inmates and whether her darkest nightmare has come back to taunt her.

This book completely kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book. Novak was brilliant whilst writing this book. The plot was amazing, she used emotional intensity and she had true to life characters. This book was so satisfying, it’s such a great book to get lost in.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves mysteries, anyone who, like me, has a huge passion for books and loves to be left wanting more and really enjoys constant cliff hangers throughout a book. I can’t fault this book at all, therefore  I would give this book a big 5 stars.