Book Review: What Was Mine

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Gallery Books via NetGalley. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be on sale on Jan. 5, 2016.*

Synopsis from Amazon:

Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ordinary woman who does something extraordinary in a desperate moment: she takes a baby girl from a shopping cart and raises her as her own. It’s a secret she manages to keep for over two decades—from her daughter, the babysitter who helped raise her, family, coworkers, and friends.

When Lucy’s now-grown daughter Mia discovers the devastating truth of her origins, she is overwhelmed by confusion and anger and determines not to speak again to the mother who raised her. She reaches out to her birth mother for a tearful reunion, and Lucy is forced to flee to China to avoid prosecution. What follows is a ripple effect that alters the lives of many and challenges our understanding of the very meaning of motherhood.

Honestly I requested this book on a whim and when I got it I had forgotten what it was about. Despite this I immediately dived in and I was hooked from the very first page.

Told in various point of views, including Lucy’s, the baby girl she kidnaps, and the woman she stole the baby from, Marilyn, you get every angle of this story. There was one quote I loved from this novel about how Lucy doesn’t see things black and white and constantly lives in a gray area. That’s how I felt about this book.

Helen Klein Ross doesn’t choose a side in the novel. She doesn’t tell you who’s right and who’s wrong. She let’s you decide that for yourself. For me, I couldn’t decide. There’s so many aspects to this story and although obviously kidnapping is wrong and doing it was a terrible thing, Lucy was still a good mom who loved her child, and how she came to have her didn’t change that fact.

I really appreciated the little stories and side notes we got in this book as well. Because we’re given so many point of views you really get to see how this kidnapping affects everyone, not just Lucy, Marilyn, and their daughter. Ross also shows us the girl’s nanny’s backstory and both Lucy and Marilyn’s husbands get a chapter or two. We even get a little tidbit from the detective on the case and some chapters from Lucy’s sister, Cheryl.

Although at first I was worried that having all these point of views would make this story confusing and hard to follow it actually did the opposite. By changing the point of view Ross added to the story, filling in blanks the reader didn’t even know needed to be filled. Ross could’ve written this story in third person but instead she gives a first person view of characters that readers may have otherwise ignored but now see how they play a role, whether it’s big or small, in the bigger story.

What Was Mine is definitely a must read. It’ll keep you hooked until the very end and you may even find yourself wanting to know more. Make sure to pick a copy when it’s released on Jan. 5, 2016.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

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Book Review: The Girl On The Train

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Honestly, I’m not sure if The Girl on the Train or Go Set Watchmensold more copies this year. Either way, The Girl on the Train was a runaway bestseller and I can see why.

I absolutely loved this novel. This is what I like to call “Miss Your Stop On The Train” good. I was so sucked into everything going on this novel. Told in three different women’s point of views: Rachel’s, in the present; Anna, the wife of Rachel’s ex, also in the present; and Megan (“Jess”), in the past.

Recently divorced and an alcoholic, Rachel is having a tough go at it. She’s struggling to let go of her past with her ex-husband, Tom, and gets enthralled with a couple that lives a few houses down from her former home. Referring to them as “Jess and Jason” Rachel sees them as the perfect couple she wishes she and her ex-husband could be, or rather, could’ve been.

Paula Hawkins perfectly weaves the narratives of these three women together, giving readers and air of mystery by making us wonder who to believe. Each woman has her own story of events and it’s impossible to figure out the truth until the near end. I was happily shocked once I figured it out and wasn’t disappointed by the ending at all.

At times, I will say, Rachel and the other narrators did annoy me with their whining, but I’d say the only one I really couldn’t stand was Anna and I believe she had the smallest parts so that was fine. Rachel was my favorite. Although she definitely has her faults, I couldn’t help but root for her to get better. Of course a lot of her troubles were of her own doing but not all of it was and I felt sorry for her. More than that, Rachel consistently tried to do what she believed was right and I loved her all the more for it.

I greatly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I’m interested to see what Hawkins will come up with next.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!! So great. I’d love to give it a second read, knowing how it ends now.

Favorite Line:

It’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.

Stars:

5 stars

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POLL: Do you reread books?

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I really enjoy rereading some books. Especially if it’s been a long time since I read it and I don’t remember specifics about the book I love going back and reading it again. However, I know there are some people that are a once and done type of reader and that’s fine too.

So which are you. Only one good read or do you enjoy the occasionally reread? Vote in the poll and comment below whey you like rereading or not.

 

Results of last week’s poll:

YA or Adult Novels?

Although winning by only 10% more than just YA, both was the winner. I guess most of us just can’t choose.