Month: July 2016

Watching Edie by Camilla Way

Posted July 29, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments


I received this book for free from First to Read, Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Watching Edie by Camilla WayWatching Edie by Camilla Way
Published by Penguin on August 2nd 2016
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Psychological, Crime
Pages: 320
Source: First to Read, Penguin Random House
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three-half-stars

A story revolving around an unhealthy friendship. The chapters alternate between Heather’s perspective as a teenager and Edie’s perspective as an adult. A traumatic event destroyed their friendship, but seventeen years later Heather reinserts herself into Edie’s life.

“I’ll look after you. Don’t worry. I’ll always look after you.”

After (33 years old): Edie is shocked when Heather shows up at her door. The past trauma they shared comes rushing back to her. What could Heather possibly want after what happened between them? She quickly dismisses Heather, but Heather arrived in London at a vulnerable time in Edie’s life. After Edie gives birth, she is hit hard by postpartum depression, which is further compounded by resurfacing memories. Heather seizes this opportunity to worm her way back into Edie’s life and take control.

Before (16 years old): Heather zeroes in on Edie the moment she sees her. Heather has always been an outsider, even in her own family. She is different from her classmates and is constantly bullied. When she sees the beautiful new girl registering for school, she sees the chance to finally have a friend. Soon after their friendship develops, Edie becomes infatuated with an older boy, Connor. Heather is jealous when she sees her one chance at friendship begin to drift away. She sees it as her duty to protect Edie from Connor.

“You don’t know, do you, when you’re a kid, how hard it is being a grown-up? All you want is to be a grown-up too. I thought I’d be so much better at it than [my mom] was, and now that I am one, I realize how stupid that was.”

Watching Edie reminded me of I Let You Go—not in the super twisty sense, but the writing style and the domestic drama/suspense split. I was more engaged with the Before chapters leading up to the mysterious event than I was with the After chapters that constantly allude to the event. The After chapters focus heavily on Edie’s pregnancy and struggles with postpartum depression. Edie’s PPD is empathetically handled, but I really wanted to get back to Heather! Edie occasionally thinks about the past, but she isn’t able to tell the reader what happened that day since she isn’t ready to deal with it.

Heather’s creepy obsessiveness is the star of the Before chapters. Heather has strict parents who resent her for something that happened to her younger sister. They expect her to study hard and go to medical school. Heather’s dedication to her schoolwork is pushed aside when Edie, a rebel and talented artist, becomes her main priority. Heather latches on to Edie at the first sign of affection and Edie relishes in the feeling of being idolized. Both girls showed a lot of promise in high school and I was desperate to know what happened to lead them to their sad present-day circumstances.

He never speaks about her, but you can somehow see the memory of her there still, in his eyes and his smile, the way they do remain a part of us, those people who have hurt us very deeply or whom we have hurt, never letting us go, not entirely.

I appreciated the evenness of the story. Forced romances are my least favorite part of suspense novels, but the potential for romance in this book was gradual and made sense. There were no moments that felt completely out of left field. The characters weren’t overly memorable (especially the after version of Edie) and it was sometimes too easy to put down, but it did make me feel something. It was really sad in a way that I didn’t expect! This story is s a good reminder that situations and relationships are sometimes more complex than they first appear. Recommended for those looking for a good book to read on a rainy day.

three-half-stars

Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

Posted July 25, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

A quiet, character-driven, post-apocalyptic novel filled with gorgeous nature descriptions. An astronaut in space and an astronomer in Antarctica search the airwaves in hopes of connecting with another living soul, despite evidence that everyone on Earth is gone. It’s being compared to Station Eleven (the covers are even similar), but it won’t be a slam dunk […]

The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

Posted July 19, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan

3.5 Stars. Three people living their day-to-day lives in a time of great upheaval. 5-star character/setting & beautiful writing, but I was at a 2-star level of engagement. It was slow moving and not much happened. That isn’t always a deal-breaker for me, but I just didn’t click with this book. All the villagers look worried […]

The Trap by Melanie Raabe

Posted July 18, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
The Trap by Melanie Raabe

A solid thriller with a REALLY unreliable narrator. The central character’s internal conflict and descent into madness is the main point of interest. “A book must be an axe for the frozen sea within us.” – Franz Kafka Bestselling author Linda Conrads hasn’t left her home for over a decade, since around the time she […]

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Posted July 12, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Unsettling sci-fi thriller. No one tells you it’s all about to change, to be taken away. There’s no proximity alert, no indication that you’re standing on the precipice. And maybe that’s what makes tragedy so tragic. Not just what happens, but how it happens: a sucker punch that comes at you out of nowhere, when […]

The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson

Posted July 12, 2016 by Taryn in Reviews / 0 Comments
The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson

It didn’t stir any strong emotions in me, but it was an extremely quick read. A part-time employee at a video shop receives an invoice for 5,700,000 kronor (≃671,635 US Dollars) from World Resources Distribution. Surely it must be a mistake, so he calls the company to inquire about the absurd bill. WRD informs him […]