Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book Review: Guilt Trip by Maggie Farrell

Alright y'all...I know I went AWOL for a week or two but I have a really good reason!  I was down at the beach and didn't have a lick of internet access besides what was on my phone.  We spent the entire week eating good fried food, walking on the beach, collecting shells and generally having a nice relaxing time.  Oh, and....

Yup! I got engaged over the weekend.  He proposed at the beach Saturday morning while we were on vacation and it was perfect.  Everybody I know is really excited but apparently I have been remiss in my upbringing as a Southern Lady as I do not have a date, location, caterer, cake and wedding colors already picked out and on deck.  Ah, well at least I have some ideas.  The color pink is already off the table as well as there is a requirement of bourbon and or scotch to be at the reception.  I think I can accommodate both fairly well.

Moving onto a book review.  This isn't a wedding blog, it's a book blog!  Time to get back into the rhythm of things and I have lots of books coming your way!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review through the Goodreads group, Lovers of Paranormal.

I've honestly been in a bit of a reading slump as far as Read 2 Review stuff goes.  It has been hard to find a really good well thought out book that was intriguing enough to keep me happy with it.  This book broke all my expectations and blew me out of the water!

Guilt Trip by Maggy Farrell is sort of an unassuming book at first.  It is about a young girl who is suffering from Survivor's Syndrome after she escapes a car wreck and her mother does not.  As a way to take her mind off things, her father takes her on a holiday while he photographs the geologic features of the English moorlands and judges a photography competition.  Melissa has been struggling to cope with the events of the last year and is medicated to take the edge off the hallucinations and nightmares that plague her.

Melissa thinks it is just another symptom cropping up when she starts to recall memories that aren't hers but when they start to involve the older yet attractive landlord of the hotel, she realizes that something much more than nightmares is going on.

The cover itself isn't all that thrilling but as I understand it, it is a depiction of some interesting limestone cave features that are somewhat prominent in the book.  I loved that this book included so much as far as geology.  It helps place the setting well and adds to the spookiness of the book.  The pitch black of a cave is a great location for some of the action.

Melissa is a wonderful character to read, mostly because it is so easy to sympathize with her.  She is a victim from the beginning and plays the role well.  I mean, her mother died right in front of her.  I can understand how that would torment you and follow you around everywhere.  Melissa pushes her father away to some extent in order to protect him from her sad realities and instead becomes attached to a much older man.

Luke is somewhere in the range of 35 and she, I believe, is 16.  Yes, it's creepy.  Yes, it is a bit of insta-love but it really works in this context.  He is also the landlord so it adds some more of that forbidden nature to the relationship and local people keep saying that she reminds them of someone else that Luke was somehow connected to.

That's another well written aspect of this book.  There is a small town feel with small town gossip.  While people talk among themselves about rumors and scandal, they do not let outsiders in and that contributes to the thriller feel.  There are closed doors and whispers behind backs that make up a decent portion of the story.

And the plot twists.

This book cannot be predicted in any way.  In the middle of it, you are sort of going "Alright, so x, y, and z are going to happen" but it was so different that what I expected.  It had me flipping pages back and saying "No way!"  It takes a lot for a book to catch me off guard in such a way that it makes sense but this was perfectly done.

So overall, 4 out of 5 stars.  Some aspects of the story could have been written better but it was a great read.

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