Books of March

Thursday, 6 April 2017

March started off with so much promise. I had rattled my way through Watch Me by Angela Clarke and had picked up a few new books from Waterstones. I was excited to read something I’ve wanted to in years but then it all fell apart. The book I’ve hyped up for so long in my mind was awful and it took me half of March (and the first 2 days of April) to finish. Regardless, I got there but I still only managed 3 books in March.

Let’s start with the aforementioned Watch Me by Angela Clarke*. This is a book that uses social media almost like it’s a character itself. It’s both a hindrance and an asset to the story and, in some warped way, the dangers of living your life on the internet are prominent throughout.

Watch Me focuses on the kidnapping of a policeman’s sister and the countdown to her death. The police must find and rescue her before her twisted kidnapper murders her. Her kidnapping also correlates to the suicide of a teenage girl which becomes intertwined in the investigation. Watch Me is the second in a series and, although it works well as a stand-alone book, it references the “hashtag murderer” from the first book a few too many times.

While I enjoyed the use of social media throughout, I wasn’t overly taken aback by Watch Me. It’s not a terrible book but it’s very predictable and an incredibly easy read. If you’re looking for something to distract yourself with that doesn’t challenge you, Watch Me is a good way to go.

The next book I read was Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper*. I haven’t kept my new found love for Jodi Picoult a secret but I wasn’t exactly hyped to read this book. The subject matter really didn’t interest me but, as it’s Jodi Picoult, I chose to read it regardless.

My Sister’s Keeper follows a family as they deal with a cancer diagnosis. The eldest daughter was diagnosed with cancer at a very young age and her genetically matched younger sister carried the burden of providing bone marrow, blood and ultimately a kidney. The story is centred around the lawsuit that the younger sister has filed against her parents in a bid to be granted medical emancipation. There’s also a completely unnecessary love story woven into the book between the sister’s lawyer and former girlfriend; my assumption is this is added in to make the story a little bit lighter but it’s really quite dreadful.

I honestly didn’t really mind My Sister’s Keeper until the very end. I didn’t think I would enjoy it but, Jodi Picoult’s writing style captivated me and I found myself wanting to read as much as I could in one go. Unfortunately, the ending completely ruined it for me. I won’t give it away but it was a total cop out and felt like Jodi Picoult didn’t have the guts to end it the way it should’ve been. It’s a good book until the last 5 pages.

Finally, we have the book that ruined my reading schedule. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis* has been on my “must read” list for quite some time. I absolutely love the film and while I’ve learnt over the years that the books are always different from the movie (The Shining is the perfect example of this) I was still excited to finally get stuck into American Psycho. Sadly, I would only ever manage 20 pages every time I tried to read it as it’s just so boring.

American Psycho is about a 26-year-old rich misogynist called Patrick Bateman who gets his thrills from wearing Armani and killing people. He’s shallow, vapid and totally inhumane. He’s engaged but sleeps with other girls, he masturbates profusely to extremely odd sounding pornos and he forces a rat into a woman’s vagina. His life basically consists of working out, masturbation and eating dinner with the occasional murder thrown in for good measure.

It all sounds fine and dandy and while the gruesome murders made me recoil in horror (particularly the rat scene), absolutely nothing happens in the majority of this book. Maybe that’s the beauty of it, maybe that adds to the shallow, emptiness of Patrick Bateman and all his silly friends and maybe it put me to sleep several times. The one thing I did enjoy about American Psycho is, even after watching the film several times, I still can’t figure out if Pat Bateman’s tendencies are dark fantasies or things he really did.

I maintain American Psycho is a book everyone should read at least once in their life but only once. It threw my reading challenge into disarray but hopefully, I can claw it all back together. I do have another 2 Jodi Picoult books in my possession to read plus I have to pleasure of feeling sick while reading Trainspotting to look forward to (veins make me uncomfortable). I really wish I would allow myself to read children’s books.

Disclaimer: Anything marked with an asterisk (*) is an affiliate link.

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