Book Review: I Will Remember You by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-11-56-04-pm

3.5/5 Stars.

This atmospheric ghost story wasn’t quite as scary as I expected, but it had an undeniably creepy vibe to it and a solid mystery at its core.

The chapters switch back and forth between two concurrent storylines. The first storyline focuses on three friends who venture out to an abandoned village in Northern Iceland to renovate a rundown house—only to find out that they’re not alone. The alternating chapters follow a psychiatrist investigating a series of unusual deaths that are seemingly connected to his missing son.

The most interesting part of reading this book is trying to figure out how the two storylines intersect. While I was able to piece together small parts of it as I was reading, there were other parts that kept me guessing until the very end. Personally, I enjoyed this mix of gradual reveals. Sigurdardottir does an impressive job overall crafting an intricate mystery that never feels forced or ridiculous.

There were certain aspects that didn’t work for me quite as well though. Possibly due to the translation from Icelandic to English, there was some clunky dialogue and times when the characters acted in ways that didn’t seem entirely consistent. Also—and this may just be a personal pet peeve—one thing I noticed throughout was that the paragraphs are long and dense, which isn’t my preference (particularly for a horror-mystery).

If ghost stories and mysteries are your thing, give this one a try. The Icelandic setting helps set it apart from typical books in its genre.

Advertisements

Summer Beach Reads: 10 Mysteries & Thrillers To Keep Your Lazy Summer Brain Entertained

Maybe you’re the kind of person who reads Ulysses on the beach. Hey, if that’s your thing, more power to you. I love me some literary fiction, but when I’m on vacation, I’m in relaxation mode, and that applies to the books I bring, too.

We’ve all got our personal go-tos for fluffier, less challenging books that don’t require a whole lot of brain power. Mine happen to be mysteries and thrillers, and I have a sneaking suspicion I’m not alone here. So without further ado, here are some page turners to kick off your summer.

Think of these as a step (or two or three) above the mass market paperbacks you’ll find at the convenience store around the corner from the beach, but nothing too highbrow.

I LET YOU GO BY CLARE MACKINTOSH

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 4.56.42 PM

Believe me when I tell you: You will not see the major twist in this book coming. Even if you’re looking for it. Trust me. This is the kind of book that keeps you on your toes until the very last page. The best part? The twists actually make sense; they don’t feel like they author threw them in there just for the sake of it.

Learn more about I Let You Go

ALL THE MISSING GIRLS BY MEGAN MIRANDA

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.04.13 PM

Early reviews for this book about a series of small-town disappearances told me that I wouldn’t be able to put it down — and they were right. This is a smart, fast-paced thriller with an interesting stylistic twist: the story is told in reverse. It’s a gimmick that could easily fail, but in Megan Miranda’s capable hands, it works.

Learn more about All the Missing Girls

THE PASSENGER BY LISA LUTZ

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.09.25 PM

There’s a trend in thrillers where the unreliable female narrator isn’t very likable. What’s cool about The Passenger is that you actually like the protagonist. This is a fast-paced book about a woman escaping her past, rife with changing identities and surprising reveals.

Learn more about The Passenger

The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.14.21 PM

Okay, so it’s not quite as twisty as some of the reviews make it out to be, but this is a compelling story about a marriage gone horribly awry, with plenty of moral ambiguity to keep things really interesting.

Learn more about The Silent Wife

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.21.05 PM

I’m going to be honest with you: I didn’t love this one as much as many of my fellow book lovers did, but this list isn’t about me, it’s about you. I have friends who swear by this book as one of their favorite thrillers of 2015, so I feel compelled to include it. There are more than enough twists and turns to keep things interesting. Just beware: You will hate the protagonist for most of the book.

Learn more about Luckiest Girl Alive

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.26.14 PM

You may have heard of a book called Gone Girl? Kidding. We’ve all read Gone Girl by now. Many of us are sick of hearing about Gone Girl (not me, because I loved it, but the point is Gone Girl has had its time and now we all need to move on). Well, hey, if you loved Gone Girl as much as everyone else with a pulse, you’re in luck, because Gillian Flynn has a couple other books, and they’re pretty awesome. Dark Places promises Satanism, a secret club obsessed with famous murders, and a shit ton of seedy people. Can’t go wrong there.

Learn more about Dark Places

You: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.33.06 PM

This one sucked me in and wouldn’t let go. I didn’t want to put it down. It places you directly into the mind of a psychopath — and damn, is he a creepy motherfucker. The writing isn’t going to win any awards, but if you want dark and disturbing and utterly absorbing (with more than a hint of satire and social commentary) this is for you. BONUS: There’s also a sequel.

Learn more about You: A Novel

The Stranger by Harlan Coben

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.43.21 PM

The Stranger is an anonymous person who goes around ruining people’s lives by exposing their deepest secrets to their loved ones for reasons that aren’t immediately clear. If that sounds intriguing to you, Coben’s your man. The dude can tell a good story. I read this in one day because it’s such an easy read and it moves along at such a fast pace.

Learn more about The Stranger

GOOD AS GONE BY AMY GENTRY

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 7.40.43 PM

Imagine if your daughter – kidnapped nearly a decade ago – suddenly showed up on your doorstep. Now imagine having doubts that it’s actually your daughter. It’s an uncomfortable premise, and it just gets more interesting from there. Disclaimer: This one doesn’t come out until July 26th, so you’ll have to make it a mid-summer read.

Learn more about Good as Gone

EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU BY CELESTE NG

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 7.45.22 PM

A moving story about a Chinese American family in the 1970s struggling to find the truth about their teenage daughter’s tragic death. There’s certainly a mystery at the heart of this novel, but it’s by no means a heart-pounding thriller. It’s more of a quiet, nuanced account of a family in the wake of a tragedy.

Learn more about Everything I Never Told You