A Serial Killer’s Daughter by Kerri Rawson

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 7/10/19-7/12/19

2 weeks ago, I did a review on a book by Michelle McNamara about the Golden State Killer. Staying on brand, today’s book is on the BTK Killer (Bind, Torture, Kill). The BTK Killer (real name Dennis Rader) killed 10 people around Wichita, Kansas between 1974 and 1991. His arrogance and subsequent taunting (alongside Rawson’s DNA from a previous medical examination) eventually led to his arrest.

Rawson, as you probably figured out from the title, is the daughter of the BTK Killer. Growing up, she was completely unawares that her father had the potential to torture and murder people for decades. She learned of his arrest when the FBI showed up to her apartment in Detroit. Add in that we have a sick obsession with serial killers (hi, guilty), and that everyone is looking for an exposé, and moving on seems completely unrealistic. With love from her family, husband, and God, she began just that, taking every day in stride despite her anxiety, depression, and trauma.

While I find serial killers interesting, I have never been that interested in their descendents. Their children have always seemed like a “no go” area purely because they did not choose to be in the spotlight. HOWEVER, Kerri did a very good job of discussing the guilt and betrayal she felt when she learned the truth about her father.

One of the interesting aspects that I don’t think I ever considered was the family of the killer. When confronted with the choice to present to the jury a complete detailed description of his crimes with the expectation that telling the jury will give him his justice, I immediately would jump on the “yes” train. But nobody asks the family of the killer. Everyone asks the family of the deceased. The family of the killer are also victims, but when you are in the situation, you don’t want to think of them as so. They also have to grieve, also have to deal with guilt, confusion, and frustration, but they are expected to do so silently while the person they love is blasted online and in the media.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/8/19-

Funny story: About a week or so after I got this box, one of my friends went to BookCon. She ended up picking up this book because not only was she interested, but she thought I would be, too! I am making it a point not to read the back, although I am guessing it is a reimagining of Cinderella. So as always, here goes nothing!

Page 7

GUYS! HOLY POOP STICKS! I NOW OWN A REAL(ish) QUILL! Okay, I think that all of us after reading Harry Potter wanted to own a quill purely because we wanted to feel fancy. Now let’s be real, I seriously doubt I am going to be pulling out my quill to handle my business, but it is for sure going on my shelf to show off. Solid reminder that if I ever have a fancy invitation, this is the pen I am going to be using to sign off on it!

As for the book, it’s different than I was expecting. This gift marked the end of the prologue, and it is very dark and creepy. It actually reminds me of Aladdin (as weird as that sounds) where a creepy dude finds himself in a tower where he infiltrates the people and convinces them to do his deeds. It also reminds me of Spinning Silver, which is a reimagining of Rumpelstiltskin.

Page 144

Don’t mind me strategically taking a picture of a mirror without showing myself. This gift is cool to me for 2 reasons: 1) most of the gifts that OUABC sends are knickknacks and this isn’t, and 2) I have decor to go with it! Man, now I need to really work on my gallery wall!

The book is definitely outside of my comfort zone. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Spinning Silver, and this book falls into the same category. Surprisingly, when I do pick up the book, I am enthralled. The biggest issue for me is to pick it up in the first place. And don’t get me wrong, this book is good. It just isn’t a book I would normally read for myself.

We all know the story of Cinderella, but what happens to her “ugly stepsisters” once she gets her happily ever after? This story follows Isabelle (poor choice of naming, although I’m not sure she chose the name, or if the original story did) as she comes to terms with her new reality. Believing that her “ugliness” was her real misfortune, she meets Tanaquill, known as the “fairy godmother” in the popularized version of the story. In order to become pretty, Isabelle must find the broken pieces of her heart.

As Isabelle is trying to figure out where her missing pieces are, Chance and Fate are battling for the girl’s destiny. On one hand, Fate declares that Isabelle will die due to the dictator that is destroying France. But Chance believes that she will be the one that can defeat the dictator and save them all. Discovering Tanaquill has begun to change her destiny, Chance and Fate ask her where the broken pieces are. Once they find out that they lie with Felix (her young love), Nero (a horse), and Ella (her stepsister), it is a race to either help (Chance) or hinder (Fate) the challenge presented.

Page 204

Oof, regretting that close up of my finger, but this has to be the coolest ring box I have ever seen. While I probably would get rid of the stem (especially because I broke it trying to throw it back in the box, whoops), I probably would hold on to the rose ring box. The ring itself is small for me (which doesn’t say much because I have humongous fingers), so I probably won’t wear it much if all, but it is extremely beautiful (the stone is lavender in color, sorry for the poor lighting #bloggeronabudget).

I’m debating in my head about what I want to say about the plot. We are introduced to Nero in this section, and our storyline with Felix has progressed. We also start to see the progression of Isabelle as she becomes more courageous and proud of herself. The overarching feminist theme of the novel is punctuating more as Isabelle begins to solve her problems in order to find her pieces of her heart.

Page 261

Don’t mind the spacing, I was struggling to make it work! Okay, so here’s the thing. I got 3 really cool gifts in this box, and I also know that I should not be selfish. But all I got was a piece of paper. A piece of paper related to the story, but a piece of paper nonetheless. Not even a professionally printed paper. I am talking a piece of regular paper with this printed on it. And while I appreciate the thought, I am still really disappointed that this is all I get (millennial problems, am I right?).

As for the story, there isn’t much I feel comfortable telling you guys without giving away the story. What I will say is that Fate is playing super dirty and I am so proud of my girl Isabelle.

Completion

Let’s go! Way to go Isabelle! Dude, I love Isabelle! The overall story is one about the power of the heart, and the emotions that are attached to it. It is very empowering, beautifully written, and fun to read. I recommend it for anyone (and that says a lot because I don’t normally read these types of books). I will say that the Fate/ Chance storyline was a little confusing, especially in the beginning, but it clears up as the story continues.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 7/22/19-7/24/19

This story follows Cather Avery, a college freshman who is trying to figure out where she belongs at the University of Nebraska. Her twin, Wren, has asked to get her own roommate, and has continued her life away from Cath. Cath is stuck in a room with a junior, Reagan. Reagan has a guy named Levi who is always positive and optimistic. He is constantly trying to get Cath to relax and be open around him. In Cath’s fiction writing class, she meets a boy named Nick, who she writes really good fiction with. Eventually, Nick turns out to be a jerk, Cath begins to fall in love with Levi, Wren begins to spiral, and Cath’s father begins to have larger medical issues.

I did a really bad job explaining this book, but it is really good, trust me. It took me a really long time to get into it, but once I got to about the halfway mark, I was completely sold on the story. It wasn’t my favorite, especially because Eleanor & Park set the bar really high, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

I did think the relationships were a little flimsy, at best. I wish that they were a little stronger considering they were the focus of the story. I also thought that the fanfictions/ Simon Snow segments were better written than the actual book. BUT the story was still incredibly cute, fun, and overall enjoyable.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 7/14/19-7/21/19

Welp, that was a mistake. I really hoped that this book was going to be good, to the point I had it listed on my Audible wish list. THANKFULLY I was able to get both the Kindle and Audible story through Kindle Unlimited, so I didn’t have to pay anything extra to read this book because it wouldn’t be worth the money.

This story follows Jo, a graduate student whose focus is in ornithology (study of birds), while she is doing research along Turkey Creek in Illinois. A little girl, who chose to be named by the constellation she is from, Ursa Major, shows up at the cabin Jo is staying at. Whenever Jo tried to contact the police, Ursa would run away. Oh, also she has a puppy, which they call Little Bear. So yea, this little alien girl who is covered in bruises (TRIGGER WARNING: lots of talk on child abuse) and she is positive that she will bring good things to Jo since she took care of her. Oh, and there is a random love story, a random gun fight, and despite all that NOTHING HAPPENS. Literally nothing happens for the 300 paged of the book until the last 20 PAGES.

There is slow, and there is no plot at all. This falls under the no plot. It was incredibly boring and every time I hoped something would happen, nothing would. I am so disappointed.

I normally would not rate something so low, but this one deserves it, I give this book 1 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 7/8/19-7/10/19

Welcome to the dark side of my mind! Since I was in middle school, I have has an (to most people uncomfortable) obsession with serial killers. It all started with Criminal Minds, a CBS show depicting the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, the unit in charge of connecting, profiling, and capturing within a serial killer case. At the ripe old age of 13, I began seeing (TV appropriate) crime scene photos of people bludgeoned to death, and as sick as it sounds, I loved it. It was something I shared with my mom (and let’s be real, Agent Derek Morgan was well worth the watch), and I couldn’t wait until 5 o’clock came around so we could watch episodes together on A&E. At 23, I have seen every episode that is available on Netflix, and am patiently waiting to see the end.

Beyond the very real Criminal Minds obsession, I have watched Mindhunter (have yet to read the book, but strongly considering it), Manhunt: Unabomber, select episodes from The First 48, Forensic Files, The Confession Tapes, and Inside the Criminal Mind, as well as Ted Bundy’s confession tapes and the ever growing content on the History Channel about serial killers. That’s just TV. Okay, so I may have a problem.

Serial killers are “made for entertainment” news. While some people are completely disgusted, the rest of the population treat it like a car crash you can’t look away from. Soon, you start to question “why is this happening?”, “what led us here?”, etc., etc. Here’s the thing, there is a whole science behind it. And I know what you are thinking “I bet you know all about it, you freak”, and the answer is yes, I do. BUT, I also took a class on it. Yep, totally did. My junior year, I was offered the chance to take a class on serial killers, taking information from known serial killers to then make a profile of my own. I got an A.

This book focuses on The Golden State Killer (also known as the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, and the Visalia Ransacker), a prolific serial killer during the 70s and 80s throughout California. During his reign, he murdered at least 13 people, raped at least 50, and burgulared over 100 houses. Not a good dude. McNamara, who ran a online crime sleuthing blog, worked alongside the original detectives to try and piece together who committed these crimes and how to catch him.

In the early 2000s, 3 villains became one after DNA evidence when the 3 monakers were found to be of the same individual. At that point, the investigation referred to him as EAR-ONS (East Area Rapist and Original Night Stalker combined). With composite sketches, testimony, and other forms of evidence (including profiling, geo-profiling, and evidence left on or around the scene), McNamara begins her hunt for the Golden State Killer (GSK, a monaker she gave him, which became the official monaker, to the point where the police at the press conference after arrest called him the GSK).

McNamara sadly did not get to live to see him put behind bars, as she died in 2016. HOWEVER, in 2018, while her husband, Patton Oswalt, and the other collaborators for the book where on the press tour, news broke that the long manhunt for the GSK had finally come to a close thanks to the arrest of Joseph DeAngelo. He was captured thanks to ancestry DNA from GEDmatch. His name had never come up in McNamara’s research.

McNamara had this uncanny way of telling the story, keeping so many details in, without telling you all the grime and gore that more than likely was associated with the crime. This book is interesting for the average reader thanks to her memoir-like ability to discuss what her thoughts were that led her to this moment or discussion. I strongly recommend you pick it up and read it (if anything for Part 2 when she goes on a driving tour with one of the original detectives as he discusses evidence and his thoughts on the case as someone close to it).

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/7/19

The box is so cute!

Today I am going to attempt to read the November 2018 box (I know man, I’m late to the party). I have told myself that I cannot watch the movie (although, man, I really want to) until I finish the book. So here we are!

Every box comes with a 3×5 print!
The magical cover!

Page 2

First gift time! I can’t tell you really anything about the story, though the cover is by Stella’s sister. No idea who Stella is other than her lungs suck. Yea, I got nothing.

This one is supposed to be a picture of Stella and her sister. Here’s the thing. Cool idea, but what am I supposed to do with that? I’m not going to keep a picture of 2 girls I have never met for the sake of a box.

Page 210

Wow. A lot has happened. Basically, there is this girl, Stella. She has an amazing personality, but really crappy lungs. She has cystic fibrosis, and thanks to an infection, she is stuck in the hospital. Then there is Will. He has been in hundreds of hospital thanks to an infection of B. cepacia, which basically means that he has a bunch of bacteria growing in his lungs that laugh in the face of antibiotics. Like, antibiotics literally do nothing. For them to be with 6 feet of each other would spell death for both of them. They meet, and as all these types of books go, they begin to fall for each other.

Unlike the first gift, I could actually use this (if I wasn’t useless in the kitchen). It is rubber and it seems durable, so we’ll see if I end up breaking it out every once in a while!

Page 225

Ummmmmm… EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?!

You can’t just do that to me! That was completely uncalled for and I am going to be writing a STRONGLY worded letter!

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I love it! It is so cute and so in my comfort zone and I am going to be wearing this! Don’t you worry your little heart about that!

Page 262

AND I’m crying. I normally wouldn’t have ripped open this gift right away (shout out to my fingerprints that immediately ruined my shot, but I was hoping there was going to be a drawing AND THERE WAS! And while I won’t tell you the ending, because spoilers are no fun, I am so incredibly amazed by this book! What a great Sunday!

Five Feet Apart Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6472976/

They did an incredible job of matching the movie to the book. There obviously were details that were taken out, but the movie took the time to match other details from the book that I wasn’t expecting to see in the movie. It wasn’t a movie that I would watch over and over again, but it was a solid book adaption!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Nicholas Sparks

Welp ladies and gents, we made it. It’s been a crazy last few weeks, and while I am going to happily take a break from author series for a while, I am so grateful for the love and support this time around. We have reached every continent this series minus Antarctica (Side note: anyone with friends down there should give them a heads up!), and we have reached 12 countries, so thank you for the support all around the world! But we aren’t here to talk about me, we are here to talk about Nicholas Sparks, so let’s get into it!

Nicholas Sparks falls under the genre “romance”. His stories more often than not talk about two people who randomly meet and quickly fall in love. However, there is something that causes their relationship to disintegrate, and they either find ways to reconcile or there is a tragedy that separates them forever. With all that being said, he has included a “thriller” aspect to many of his books (See Me, Safe Haven, The Best of Me, The Lucky One, A Bend in the Road, The Rescue, The Guardian). This is used in conjunction with the love story to add to the disintegration and/or tragedy part of his romance.

Two by Two is the only book that he has written that does not follow his mold. Unlike his other stories, this one is not about falling in love, but about finding love in a difficult time. It also isn’t so much about a romance (though there is one in the book), but about a love between a father and a daughter. I think that is why this book is so much more memorable than his others.

Many of his books have the cult following they do because of movies. Sadly, there were a lot of movies that I felt did a better job at telling the story than Sparks did. He has a tendency to not time the romance with the storyline well, and his connections are often shaky at best.

In the scheme of things, Sparks always seemed like an amazing author to me. That was until I read all of his books in about 1 month. Then all I could see were the same patterns over and over and over. Ultimately, it took away from the magical appeal he seems to have to the female population. So basically what I am saying is read his books in moderation and you are good to go!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!