Get Scared Later (“When Did You See Her Last?” – A Book Review)

“When Did You See Her Last?” (All The Wrong Questions ?2)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Published: 2013

On Goodreads

WDYSHL

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Did you get the message? Who has the formula? What’s for breakfast?

There is a new mystery in the nearly inkless town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea. Cleo Knight has gone missing and S. Theodora Markson and her apprentice Lemony Snicket are on the case. While Markson believes this to be cut and dry, a term often meaning simple and to the point, Lemony thinks otherwise.

Is she a runaway? Or was she kidnapped? He seems to be asking all of the wrong questions. As he gets closer to figuring out what happened to Cleo, a bigger mystery unfolds, revealing something that could save Stain’d-by-the-sea. One that is dangerous and lead by the villainous Hangfire, who can mimic anyone’s voice.

But, before you go on to read this book and discover what more troubles Lemony is getting into, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Have you seen the missing girl?

                    [ ] No.                  [ ] Why would I tell you?

  1. Why aren’t her parent worried?

                    [ ]  That’s odd.            [ ] Well, some parents are like that.

  1. Can you read a note written in invisible ink?

                    [ ]  I’m not sure.        [ ] “         .”

  1. Is it safe to follow a suspicious woman through the streets of an empty town?

                    [ ] Probably not.                  [ ] Wait, where did she go?

Lemony Snicket is still reeling from Ellington Feint’s double-cross and can’t but wonder where she might be, and with the Bombinating Beast that she stole off with. Now, possibly a part of Hangfire’s scheme, which is still a mystery, a young woman, a chemist, named Cleo Knight has gone missing and S. Theodora Markson insists they go on the case. Along the way he discovers that Cleo was onto something that may just save this town. With the help of old and new allies, Lemony is on the case and determined to find out how a mythical beast ties into this ongoing mystery.

Ever since I read A Series of Unfortunate Events (and out of order, too, though it still made sense and was somehow even better that way), I’ve wanted to read more of Lemony Snicket, hence I’ve gotten my little fingers on All The Wrong Questions. He makes a mystery more than a mystery. It’s a curious, art piece of a puzzle that I wanted to put together. There’s more than just the who dun it. There’s all of the in-between, and there is a lot of that.

This is often the book when readers say, “This is a fragmentary plot.”, which here means that this book is a part of a much bigger plot that has yet to be reached. Ib other words, while you’re left hanging by the end, you’re also satisfied. A strange feeling that is. And freaking amazing. Book series that do this are exemplary. Working like puzzle pieces and creating a good long story, which is the beautiful point of a series! Just amazeballs.

mind blown

Lemony is still a mysterious as ever and leaving fun Easter eggs. While I can’t tell you about them because I hate being spoilery, I will say that there are some amazing mentions, and a cameo that really made me giddy. This series takes place before the Baudelaire orphans were born. A prequel of sorts, yet not at all. A beginning that’s not really a beginning.

This book took me deeper into the town and how it became drained of ink, its main source of income. It’s quite dreadful that the greed of this town lead to the extinction of a sea and its population of octopus, which painfully relates to the world and how greedy people are over similar resources. Delving into the history behind a story is always fun because it shows you more than what you’ve seen so far and just pulls you in that much deeper, making the imagery that much stronger. In the process of following every small lead Lemony gets to this mystery, he discovers Ellington Feint, and she’s got her own plan. A plan that he just can’t stay out of, proving he is a loyal and kind person, who’s almost thirteen.

Lemony meets Jake Hix, the young man who works at Hungry’s Diner and is in lover with the missing chemist, Cleo. This new ally, much like the Bellerophon brothers, the taxi drivers, and Moxie, the journalist, help him with this new mystery. Each character really encompasses something unique and so creative, that it makes you laugh out loud. I read this and thought, people don’t work like this and they certainly exist. They don’t hand out helping hands like this, and it leaves me hoping and wishing that they did. I just find these characters to be fascinating and filled with the extraordinary abilities of true heroes.

The artwork of this novel is something to behold. All done in the shade of one color-purple in this book-is both goofy while it edges on sophisticated and loud, capturing scenes perfectly. They’re crowded and truly give off the lighthearted feel for the book to show that it’s enjoyable on a level that isn’t overly frightening. Dangerous and humorous more than anything.

WDYLSH

After reading this, I was left wanting more. I’m so glad I bought the entire series before starting them. Clever plots and heroic allies within these pages kept me from putting this down until I’d finished it. There’s always something surprising around the corner and by the end you realize you’re left with more questions so you have to read the next one.

Quotables

“How could someone who was missing be in two places at once?” (Lemony Snicket, p. 1)

“Boredom is not black licorice, Snicket. There’s no reason to share it with me.” (Moxie to Lemony, p. 119)

“You’re chasing mysteries, Snicket, but you’ve been a mystery yourself since you arrived in town.” (Moxie to Lemony, p. 198)

“No reality has the power to dispel a dream.” (Associate to Lemony, p. 274)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Here’s To The Night by Eve 6.

 

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Stalker Much? (I Know What You Did Last Summer – A Book Review)

I Know What You Did Last Summer
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: 1973

last summer - amazon

My Rating:Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Four teenagers make a pact after a devastating car accident, promising to never talk about that night. A night when their lives changed forever. A year later the teenagers start receiving letters that remind them of what they did and worse, what they didn’t do. Being haunted and stalked, they try to figure out who is behind it all and what to do before one of them or all of them end up dead.

I know

First things first, this book is nothing like the 1997 film, which was a horror and went off of the urban legend of the man with a hook for a hand. There are so many differences between the book and movie from what the characters look like to what actually happened that made them form a pact of silence. Also, the body count was much lower in the book. However, both cover the theme of revenge and guilt very well.

This book is quite accessible as it read on a 7th-8th grade level. And I realize it took me two months to read, but in my defense, it sits right beside my pillow as my bedside reader. It wasn’t heart attack inducing or anything of the sort. Nonetheless, I found the story to be quite enjoyable.

Books like these are rare these days. The build-up and curiosity reeled me in. These kids had ordinary lives and now what should be the best time of their lives—going to college, getting an amazing job—is actually riddled with anxiety and dread. But I think what really surprised me was that it was both predictable and unpredictable. I discovered who the antagonist was. It was easy, but I certainly didn’t expect the plot twists and in depth explorations behind the accident. Lois explored each angle, detailing each family and showing how each of them struggled. It really opened my eyes about the varying relationships between parent and child.

I know

One of my favorite things about this is the consistent tone of the story and the way the language magnified the time period when pot and alcohol was revered as major gateways to a low life. That you wouldn’t go anywhere in life if you partook in these things. You were breaking all kinds of rules if you were out partying all night. The vocabulary itself showed just how much language changes over time. We certainly don’t talk like the way they do in the book anymore. It’s so light and simple compared to the complexities of today’s ever-growing language. These days we’ve even added emojis to our language base.

This book is an instant classic and it’s one worth reading again. One certainly gets a feeling for what it’s like to harbor terrible secrets. Definitely earned five bolts from me.

I know

 

Quotables:

“It’s like something out of a move. You think of things like this happening in New York and Chicago and places like that, not in peaceful towns with normal people.” (Elsa, p. 108)

“Something bad is going to happen and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.” (Julie’s mom, p. 268)

“The heavy blackness was all around her. And she knew at last what it was like to be alone in the night.” (Julie, p. 195)

 

More to come soon…

K.

 

P.S. Song today? Eighteen by Creed.

Secrets Become You (Beautiful Oblivion – A Book Review)

Beautiful Oblivion
Author: Jamie McGuire
Published: 2014

Beautiful Oblivion

Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

You fell in love with Abby and Travis. Now meet Cami and Trent.

Independent and determined, Cami Camlin is a bartender at the local bar, the Red Door, by night and a student at college by day. After a cancelled trip to California to see her boyfriend, she runs into Trenton Maddox and he gives her that teasing grin. Just as tough and rowdy as the rest of his brothers, he works as a tattoo artist at Skin Deep. Cami’s done well in avoiding his flirtatious ways since grade school, but then he insists that they have to at least be friends. Harmless, right?

Yeah. Right.

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With her current relationship on the rocks and her family life in constant shambles because of her alcoholic father, and Trenton being kind and pretty perfect with always there for her, she begins to feel like the two of them aren’t just friends. And that isn’t so bad, but it is. She can’t fall in love with him and not just because he’s a Maddox.

Like all Maddox brothers, Trenton doesn’t take no for an answer and he’ll do just about anything to prove himself to Cami and show her that he’s better than her California boyfriend. But when he finds out her secret, she’s sure that he’ll never want to be with her.

Handling the truth - Imgur

This is the first in the full-fledged series about the Maddox brothers and is attached to the Beautiful Disaster series. And like Beautiful Disaster, this book was a rollercoaster of secrets and falling in wild love that leaves your heart pounding. Personally, I loved the amount of stubbornness that Cami has and the loyalty she has to everybody she loves, including her troublesome brothers.

One of my favorite things that a book can do is exploring characters’ lives throughout the book instead of gaining all of it at once. Cami’s issues with her family that keeps her in constant avoidance of them, and the crippling guilt that keeps Trenton from allowing anyone else to drive with him in the car is what really pulled me in. Jamie McGuire did an amazing job with how realistic she made these issues and while to some people might not seem like it, all I can say is, if you have never been in any of these situations then you don’t understand.

I feel like Trenton’s issues weren’t explored enough, however. The picture was there, but unlike Cami, he never fully said what happened to him. It was just common knowledge to everyone in the book that he’d been in a car accident with a girl and he was blamed for it. I wanted to hear about it from him.

This book really pulled me in though. I can’t wait to read the next ones because I’m such a sucker for a crazy and steamy romance. But then there’s a big question isn’t there? Which Maddox brother do I choose? I’ll have to have that figured out by the end. Which one do you choose?

 

Quotables:

“I was pretty damn smart. Smart enough to have kept my distance from Trenton all these years. I’d seen him flirt, seduce, and evade since we were kids. There was absolutely no trick Trenton Maddox could play that I wouldn’t be ready for.” (Cami, p. 29)

“I wondered whether continuing  with something that seemed so futile was worth dragging my heart through the mud, and what it meant that he’d come all the way here to only see me for three minutes.” (Cami, p. 50)

“I was in trouble. Big, disastrous, Maddox trouble.” (Cami, p. 83)

“I froze for a moment, feeling like a cornered animal. He’d been giving me the third degree since the server set our dinner on the table, and I was becoming emotionally exhausted. Seeing him for the first time, and then being alone with my thought all day…it was too much. I was a runner without anywhere to go.” (Cami, p. 175)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Into Dust by Mazzy Star.