Monday, October 20, 2014

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Title: The Shining Girls
Author: Lauren Beukes
Publisher: AudioGo
Publication Date: August 13, 2013
ISBN: 9781478952152
Number of Pages: 375 (in hardcover)
How I Got It: Library
Format: Audio CD

Goodreads Description:
The Time Traveler's Wife meets The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in this story of a time-traveling serial killer who is impossible to trace—until one of his victims survives.

In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and starts hunting him back.

Working with an ex-homicide reporter who is falling for her, Kirby has to unravel an impossible mystery.

The Shining Girls is a masterful twist on the classic serial killer tale: a violent quantum leap featuring a memorable and appealing girl in pursuit of a deadly criminal.(less)

My Review:
I saw this on a lot of reading lists last year and missed it. I saw the eye-catching cover at the library and thought I'd give it a try. I'm glad I chose the audio format because I believe I would have given up if I was reading this story. I'm comfortable with multiple characters and story lines, even large spans of time, but this story had those plus time travel. In all fairness, I knew this when I began listening but the problem was that I couldn't understand the chronology of the killer's days. I'm sure this was deliberate disorientation on the part of the author to parallel the unlikely clues and search for the killer, but it was a bit too jumbled. In different hypothetical situations, I've wondered what I would do if I won the lottery, could hold a dinner party with famous people, or could time travel. I think that most people would do somewhat similar things to me but this novel poses the option of someone choosing quite differently than me or you. If I was time traveling back and forth between 1990's Chicago and 1930's Chicago, I would have bought the "magic house" in this novel with the "magic money" so that I'd be sitting pretty on a great real estate investment right now. But Harper Curtis wants to kill women then jump back into his "magic house" to evade police.

I was interested throughout the novel's entirety but I wasn't excited to continue like so many other great audio options.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Talk with R & T: SPOILER Day for Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman

I hope everyone is loving this week's feature on Book Talk. Today we are talking *SPOILERS* of Ruin Falls. T & I were DMing on Twitter all the jaw dropping pages and now we want to chat about them a little bit. So if you haven't read this Thrillerlicious novel .... read no further!

Me: "I'm on page 38. Trying to figure this out. Hmmm."
I can usually figure out a plot line pretty quick but I was still not sure where this was going.

Me: "Gah. I can't put this one down. I'm on page 140. This is a very fast read for me."
This was right after I read: "Of the cast of characters back then, the first was missing and the second was dead. Which meant that Liz had better track down the third." I thought this would just be about Liz trying to find her kids but here we started getting some back story of why her husband may have done what he'd done.

Tamara: "Good grief you were right, RF is soo good! I'm on pg 100 & I'm all 'omg' & 'wtf'!

Me: "I know! I'm thinking survivalists. Is he going to take them to some kind of bunker? I'm on 142 & a ton happens between 100-142. Whoa!" Paul is teaching some end of the world shit to his students, poor Madeline Jennings' mother is hijacking her pregnancy, a child falls out of Liz's tree, Marjorie tells Liz about the accident and Coach being in prison, Paul's memorial garden. 

Tamara: "Whoo, idk! That's kind what I'm thinking. I mean even b4 he took the kids he was a bit on nutty side so that makes sense!" What not every dad monitors the carbon footprint of fruit snacks?

Tamara: "168 & PEW is giving me the creeps."

Tamara: "She's just found his chat in PEW."

Me: "What p are u on? I just hit 195 & oh shit!" When the PEW acronym is explained, you knew that shit was going to get crazy. 

Me: "I just got another eye popper on 198!" The man who called himself the Shoemaker spoke up for the first time. De-lurking after the initial flurry of posts. "WELL? LET'S DO IT." (I just got goosebumps typing that now!) My heart was racing when I read this and I was like "WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?"

Me: "I freaked out: 195 when u find out what PEW means, then 198 when The Shoemaker posts his 1st comment & u make connection between story lines"

Tamara: "Yes! Total freak out moment"

Me: "236!!!!!!!" " I need a Xanex. Lol" That was the best stand-off scene! So intense! I was holding my breath!

Me: "I love Earl" Earl is just reminiscing about making love to his wife in the afternoons and finds himself in a hostage situation. But he keeps his cool and protects those kids! I love Earl!

Tamara: "I'm on pg 288 & am getting nervous/tingly feeling! Shoemaker just attacked Liz cpl pages ago!" Reid has made the kids' second phone call and now Liz is on to where they might be. Finally, a clue!

Me: You know when u watch a movie through your fingers because you do and don't want to watch what happens?  That.    P 307" Now she has all the kids but needs to get away...and the only option is crossing at the falls? Oh no!

Tamara: "It's not going to be Annabelle or The Conjuring scary?!" T & I do NOT like scary movies and we do NOT like the commercials for these two movies either! No dolls and no hand clapping, please!

Me: "No. Not that kind. I keep thinking she can't surprise me anymore....then she does!"

Me: "Ok. Finished. I need wine"

Tamara: "I finished...omg, so good. I was curled up with tension waiting to see how it would end. And the shoemaker?!!  Wow. he was a character. He really was!" Total #LiteraryCreep  When he was in the house with Liz and when he talked to the women on the farm. Never mind that he killed a mother and took a baby from another mother. His parents screwed him up good!

Me: When he revealed he was the coach's cell mate my jaw dropped when my brain was making the connections." That's a lot of time to plan your revenge...only to be taken down by your target's son. Ouch. Karma's a bitch, Shoemaker!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book Talk with R & T: Movie Cast for Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman

Yesterday Tamara featured a great interview with author Jenny Milchman. Today we are giving our suggestions for who we would choose to have cast in the movie version of "Ruin Falls."
Tamara's suggestions are here.  I didn't read them until I made my own choices. I wonder if we have any similarities?


Liz made choices that were logical and smart during her search for her children. She was focused, not flighty, so an actress would need to be perceived as stable and intelligent. I would suggest:  Michelle Williams.


Paul is a self-centered sleaze ball who thinks he knows what is best for his family with no regards to anyone else's opinions. Who better to play this part than Jim Marchese from Real Housewives of New Jersey?!


As Liz's best friend she is supportive but has her own problems with her teenage son. There is also an air of suspicion around her in a few parts. I would suggest: Emily Blunt


Tim is now the police chief but he dated Liz when they were younger. I would want a strong man with a soft side so I would suggest: Ryan Gosling, duh.


Creepster to the max. You need an actor who is cold and ruthless: I would say Christian Bale.

Did you read Ruin Falls? Who do you think some of the characters should have playing them in a movie? Did Tamara and I have any matches?