Book Review

Blake Crouch

Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive?

This book was so captivating that it did not make a good bedtime read because I kept resetting the sleep timer so I could continue. The storyline was filled with ups and downs and each time I thought I was seeing where it was going, it would change directions. At one point, I thought “this is just as intriguing as the television series Twin Peaks.” To my pleasant surprise, so did the author when he talked about the qualities of the book in comparison.

The language literally brought the setting to life. One scene was so vivid and creepy that I couldn’t even pretend to try to go to sleep while listening to it. Blake stayed away from flowery descriptions but he made you feel like you were in the story. Your heart raced, you felt dizzy, you struggled to understand what was going on, and you wanted a safe place to be able to relax.

I have to say that I never say the ending coming, couldn’t even imagine it. Things were getting a little fishy at one point, but man this was a hum dinger. And Blake made it believable!

I’m definitely going to see what else this author has written.


Book Review

David Baldacci
Wish You Well

This was for an online book club that I am participating in through The Hadley School for the Blind. All books in this club are in accessible format somewhere.

I read some YA fiction, but usually only if it has been recommended to me because I generally like a darker story. This was an enjoyable read, even though I did not catch all of the time period references. Since I am used to reading SF and Fantasy most of the time, the references to historical events went unnoticed because a well written story makes me believe that this is how the author created the world. Thanks to “club” aspect, I learned that this was set during WWII and that led to most of the men in the story being either too young or too old to go off to war.

The story is set in the rural mountains and isolated from current events. The isolation is what led me to be immersed in the world and only the things that the author created. The main character has a strong female personality, which I think is key for the target audience. The two children that we follow are strangers to their grandmother’s rural world and that gives the reader the perspective of having the same knowledge as the character. They face three tragedies in their short lives, and that makes their world come alive with emotion.

I would consider this a sentimental story with tough edges. Sentimental is not always bad if that is what you are looking for, and this one adds just enough grit to make it stick.