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techeditor has commented on (137) products.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
The Girl on the Train

techeditor, December 17, 2014

Riverhead is doing a great marketing job for this book, right down to its very clever cover. But, reader, be warned: after all this hype, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN may disappoint. While it will keep your attention, it probably won't be as unputdownable as claimed until the last couple of chapters. It wasn't for me.

The girl on the train is Rachel. She's a raging alcoholic who has opinions about people that are often based on nothing and are always wrong. The entire book is about her alcoholic blackouts and figuring out what really happened.

Some things about this book are aggravating. For instance, during tense moments, characters, especially Rachel, bite their lips, often so hard they draw blood. I could just imagine all the people walking around with bloody mouths they had chewed.

The biggest aggravation is difficult to describe without saying too much and spoiling the story. It has to do with how everything is explained in the end. It really wouldn't happen that way and is too hard to swallow.

Yet, even considering these criticisms, the book still rates four stars. That is simply because it kept my attention more than books I've rated with three stars.

I won this ARC from the publisher and librarything.com.
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Frog Music by Emma Donoghue
Frog Music

techeditor, December 13, 2014

I'm sorry I entered and won the contest for FROG MUSIC from bestsellersworld.com. If I hadn't, someone else could have won this book. They might have enjoyed it. I didn't.

Other reviews of this book say it is one woman's investigation of the murder of her friend. I found that is untrue. Blanche, a dancer and whore, did not actively try to solve the mystery of who killed Jenny, the pants-wearing (a crime in 19th century California) woman who ran into Blanch with a "two wheeler," the tall bicycle with the big front wheel. Rather, Blanche figured things out when facts presented themselves.

The good: this is historical fiction and almost all the characters are real. Although their details are fiction because historical records are unclear, they really existed at that time.

The but: too much repetition and too much wordiness. I was bored.
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In the Blood by Lisa Unger
In the Blood

techeditor, December 6, 2014

Probably if more people had more time to read all the new books that are published every year, IN THE BLOOD would have won the Goodreads Choice Award in its category for 2014. This book is a five-star unputdownable mystery/thriller.

Reviews of this book that try to avoid spoilers will tell you this is about a collage-age girl, Lana, who takes a job babysitting an emotionally disturbed 11-year-old boy after he gets home from school. While I applaud a book review that doesn't give away the story, those reviews don't say enough. This is also the mystery of Lana's life. As a matter of fact, this is even more about Lana than you will realize until the end.

I usually prefer mysteries/thrillers that are just as much mysteries to the main characters as they are to me so that we discover them together. The style Lisa Unger chooses in IN THE BLOOD is MOSTLY facts already known by the main characters but not by the reader so that only the reader discovers mysteries. But Unger presents the mysteries and their solutions so skillfully that she grabbed my attention and wouldn't let go.

My only problems with this book are editorial. Sometimes quotations are in quotation marks, sometimes they are in italics. The editor should have picked one style and stuck with it. Also, sometimes a past-tense verb is used when it should be present tense. Most people won't notice these editorial slipups.
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The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson
The Devil in the Marshalsea

techeditor, December 1, 2014

Surprisingly good, very good, THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA felt sort of like an old classic, say, a Dickens novel. Except, really, it's more interesting than a Dickens novel, more fun to read.

This is historical fiction about a prison, the Marshalsea, and its system, and its mostly actual inmates and administrators in England in 1727. Narrated by Tom Hawkins, it is the story of his several horror-filled days there.

It actually could be a Dickens story it is so filled with bad guys in authority subjecting the main character to one God-awful circumstance after another. But if you, like me, dislike reading Dickens novels just because of this, that is, because they are such downers, you'll want to try THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA for its difference. Along with its multiple horrors is a great mystery; who is the devil in the Marshalsea?

Hawkins is tasked with discovering the answer to this mystery. As he investigates, as he falls into more and more horrors, more and more mysteries are solved, then unsolved. This story contains so many surprises, so many twists and turns, right to the end.

As soon as I finished this book, I got on the Internet to read about the Marshalsea. That's one good sign this is worthwhile historical fiction.

Thank you to bookclubcookbook.com for this book. I enjoyed it so much! I'm not sure I agree with you, though, on your choice of recipe to accompany discussion of THE DEVIL IN THE MARSHALSEA. It sounds too good. Really, no food would go with this book. Prisoners died every day of starvation.
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The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars

techeditor, November 21, 2014

Thanks to my sister, I finally read THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. She had been encouraging me to read it for, what, a couple years? But I kept resisting. I knew the book was about teenagers, so it didn't interest me. But I gave in.

If you haven't read this book yet because it's about teenagers, do. The teenagers are exceptionally bright, well spoken, and mature. The story (which I won't tell you about because it's a short book, and anything I say is potentially a spoiler) grabbed me from page 1. Don't read reviews of it.

Something irritated me, though: Hazel really does seem stupid when it comes to her favorite book, which is a work of fiction. The end left her with questions about what became of three of the characters. (Yes, I consider a hamster a character.) And, boy, she really needs to know! It takes a drunk to tell her that nothing became of them because they aren't real.

But you probably already read this.
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