Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Read a Book: The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly {Book Review}


I forgot to post my book review for April! And barely missed May! So I was going to do a double one in May, but decided against it and glad I did since it's June! I didn't read too much in April, and fought through this book in May. As a result I'm going to use this as a "practice" to test out my scoring categories. Plus reading this book took me forever!


I'm trying my best not to give spoilers here and be as vague as I can be. there is some slight foreshadowing in the beginning (is that what it is when it is past tense, but not revealed until the end?), but after the half way point it starts to become more frequent. You read just to figure out what her 'secret' is.  Hint: don't read the reviews on goodreads, people give it away!

Story Line/ Content
-The story bounces back and forth between present and past, which the author does fairly well. At least it doesn't cause to too much confusion. For my overtired momma brain, it was a bit much.
-I would have to reread the book to search for any foreshadowing, but there was nothing that stood out to me.
The beginning of the story dragged on. It wasn't until you meet the father who was originally presumed deceased, though wasn't, where the story picks up. Then the thrill and suspense kicks in!

Character development/
Honestly. I was not captivated by the characters. It felt like "Anniversary Party" meets "Daria" with a cross of "The Dreamers" thrown in, but not at all in a good way. The characters seem annoyingly flaccid in their interactions in the beginning. Biba is the only one who feels like her energy isn't dull or drowning like the rest of the characters. I see the attempt to juxtapose Karen's rich school mates with the delinquency from privation of Rex and Biba. I am annoyed by the characters and their interactions together. But without the conflicts between Guy and Rex, and Karen's search (almost feels like a search for herself), there would not have been much interest for this story.
I found myself mad with the characters once events started to unfold, even though I didn't feel drawn to them in the beginning, I grew to care for them as I read further. I found I loved the characters you were meant to love and in the end, sighed a relief with Karen!

readability/ writing style
It is easy enough to read. The story line moving so slowly with tense changes within each chapter and often times jumping back and forth multiple times within the chapter is almost too much. I feel I need to sit and re-read straight through. I would often jump back into the book after taking care of the kids and forget if I was in the present or the past. It was rather annoying, but it might have been because I was tired with too many interruptions to keep up with the book. Of course, it's not really the books fault!

Aside from it being hard to read in the beginning it was easier from the middle to the end. I was finally able to delve into it and immerse myself in her world.

The book itself reads like a modern day noir fiction. Well, it is a modern day noir. I loved it about this book!

Conversation worthy
For me? No. I honestly don't have much to tell you in reference to this book. Aside from the fact that I felt excited that I am able to label it as modern day noir fiction. It would be hard to talk about the book with people who have not read it! Too much mystery involved and not wanting to give it away!

If you read it, I'm sure we could spend some time discussing it! I am sure there are things I am missing. Honestly. If you were Karen's situation, would you do as she had done? Me, I probably would... Probably not... I don't know! Honestly, you have to read the book!

Invokes personal thought/ reflection
It does remind me of the want to rebel, to throw cares to the wind and who cares what happens. The alluring carefree days of young adulthood and the thrill of doing and behaving in a way that is just this side of bad. I don't know a single person who did not experience such a phase, short lived or not. This book takes a seemingly innocent rebellious behavior and throws in what happens when it's pushed over the edge too far. What happens when innocence Something about that late 90's and bringing back My So Called Life and the feelings that time era evokes.

Overall
I was excited about it being like a modern day noir ( I know I have said this multiple times but it's the most exciting part of the book for me, recognizing and feeling that it is as such!)
The story itself is pretty decent, though I think the delivery (to me) felt choppy. It's not a book to read intermittently. It needs to be read without so much interruption. That's hard to do with 3 kids demanding attention constantly!
For me, I wanted to give this book 2/5 stars originally. 1 for the story line (noir) and 1 for personal thought (emphasis on the story line). Other than that, it was hard for me to enjoy this book. Well, up until at least the last 40%. I would have given up reading it if it weren't for this 'rubric'.
I am giving it 5 stars as as it does deserve way better than I am giving it. The book deserves more focus and attention than I can give it. And to be honest I would want to pick it up again later when I have the time I can devote to this story and take it in all at once instead of small confusing piece by small piece.
But, it was a really good read and I am glad and excited to have pushed through!once you got to the last 25% (poor kids were ignored), I had a hard time putting it down. And then I had to hold them tight afterward!
What starts off as slow and sludgy does not end as such!

Books read in April:
The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian

Books read in May:
The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
The Martian by Andy Weir
Sherlock Holmes Theater (3 Plays audiobook)

Check out my other books reviews here

Join me on GoodReads here, I'm always on the lookout of a new book!