Time for mini-reviews again! This time, though, I did like both books, but still, I thought they could’ve been better. Keep in mind that these two are super different reads, so nothing in common whatsoever. My verdict? Liked them, didn’t love them.
The year is 1972, and the beaches of Los Angeles are the center of the world. Dropping into the embers of the drug and surf scene is Suzy Whitman, who has tossed her newly minted Vassar degree aside to follow her older sister into open skies and the borderless adventures of stewardessing for Grand Pacific Airlines. In Sela del Mar, California-a hedonistic beach town in the shadow of LAX-Suzy skateboards, suntans, and flies daily and nightly across the country. Motivated by a temporary escape from her past and a new taste for danger and belonging, Suzy falls into a drug-trafficking scheme that clashes perilously with the skyjacking epidemic of the day. Rendered in the brilliant color of the age and told with spectacular insight and clarity, Fly Me is a story of dark discovery set in the debauchery of 1970s Los Angeles.
I had a weird experience while reading this book. When I started, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. The writing didn’t appeal to me at first, but the setting had me definitely intrigued. I was about to give up, but something prevented me from doing so. I realized I wanted to know more. The more I read, the more engaging the story became. I wasn’t entirely happy with the way things were told, but at the same time, I was really enjoying the 70s and California, the beaches, the flights, the characters… The main character’s storyline was quite attractive, as she starts to smuggle drugs while working as a stewardess in order to pay for her father’s operation. And I knew that couldn’t end well.
To be honest, I think Fly Me was too long and I wish it had been shorter, especially the first section. The ending came as a total surprise, but I’m not sure I liked it. I think it was too crazy and out of the blue for my taste, but some people might be satisfied with it. Overall, this was a weird but strangely compelling read.
Netgalley, Little, Brown & Company, 2017
Reeling from a brutal attack that leaves her best friend dead and her badly injured, Lisa Fulbrook flees to the countryside to recuperate. With only vague memories of the event, she isolates herself from her friends and family, content to spend her days wandering the hills with her dog, Riley. However, Lisa is soon plagued, not only by vivid flashbacks, but questions, too: how did their assailant know them? Why were they attacked? And what really happened that night? As she desperately tries to piece together the memories, Lisa realises that there’s another truth still hidden to her, a truth she can’t escape from. A truth that may have been right in front of her all along.
Dare To Remember was one of those books that I would’ve loved more if I had read it many years ago. And don’t get me wrong, I really liked this tale of forgiveness and friendship and I thought it was well-written and compelling, I just didn’t fall in love with it. I’ve already read too many similar stories for the past few years. Despite the slow pace, I was thoroughly captivated by the plot, as I quite enjoy reading about women starting a brand new life after a traumatic experience (think I Let You Go, for example). I felt for Lisa and loved her interactions with her neighbour and Jessica, but the main plot, the “incident” wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be.
I think the book shouldn’t have been sold as a shocking psychological thriller because it was none of that. It was actually a contemporary drama and no, it didn’t shock me at all. Despite the weak “mystery”, I was never bored and I think this will be perfect for those looking for a slow-burning type of novel where characters are more important than action.
Legend Press, 2017