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December 2018 Books
One Day in DecemberEmilyRommel (1)
Quick delightful read

I do not usually read love stories but this book was delightful. Although it could be a little rom-com corny and predictable at times, I still looked forward to reading it each day and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick easy read with relatable characters.

SeveranceRebeccaW (3)
Not awful, but not my favorite

I will admit I struggled a lot to finish this book, despite its short length. The premise was intriguing and the writing style didn't get in the way of my enjoyment. What was difficult is that I struggled with the purpose of the story. I often found myself wondering what I was getting out of this story and where it was going (not in the intruding way). Liked it fine, didn't love and likely won't pick up again.

An Anonymous GirlJessica (3)
Not a fan

I loved The Wife Between Us and was really looking forward to this book. However I was disappointed very early on in the book. It was boring and uneventful. I think if the book was 100 pages less it would have been better. It took me a month read because it was so long and boring where as I finished The Wife Between Us in about a week.

I also didn’t like how the women were put against each other. One of my favorite things about The Wife Between Us was how the women banded together to fight off the man ie. girl power! I kept hoping some how Lydia and Jess would take on Thomas in some way to make the book more exciting.

Also I don’t get why Jessica was chosen to “continue” the study with Lydia. I feel like a clear answer was never provided or I just missed it all together

Overall, not a fan of this book. I normally pass my book of the months on to friends but this one I will not be sharing.

No ExitSierraTrogdon (10)
I don't know...

POSSIBLE SPOILERS. As I said in my quick review for this book, I was not expecting it to be as gruesome as it was. I was shocked by how graphic some of the scenes were. In most cases I like thrilling/scary books but for some reason this one left a bad taste in my mouth... Maybe I was expecting more of a Agatha Christie type feel but it was not like that at all. I love whodunit type books and this was definitely categorized and advertised wrong. I think it should be placed in more of a horror genre versus thriller/whodunit. The book reveals the kidnapper right away and the other characters involvement was predictable especially since it all unraveled so quickly. I know that I am in the minority here!! I really wanted to love this book but it was just a little too much for me, especially since I did not expect the goriness at all.

elizabeth (13)
Agreed! I was expecting a mystery and that was not what I got!
No Exit (1)
Ok Read

This was an ok read for me, not bad but not great either. If your looking for a fast paced book, that doesn't require a lot of thought or guessing then this may be the book for you.

The Far FieldDJ (2)
**Spoiler** Amina

I didn't get the timeline of Amina calling for Shalini's parents via Zoya and Latief...

Did she call after finding out about Riyaz running away with Shalini? or did she call when she realized Shalini never fulfilled her favor of talking to Riyaz about not going down the mountain?

I'm also just overall confused as to when exactly Amina became sour towards Shalini...

If anyone could shed light on these querries, it would be much appreciated!

The Far FieldLeaMichelle (6)
slow and not developed well

Spoiler alert I still have no idea why the main character even went searching for this random man. The relationship he had with her mother was never really defined and the ending when she just randomly had sex with some older general made no sense what so ever. Even weirder is why she trusted this person would help her friends. The whole story was pretty pointless. I did like learning about the politics in the region, and the writing style was good- but that is about it.

No ExitBrendaElliott (3)
Not My Favorite

I liked this book, however I felt like it was not as suspenseful as I would have liked. It seemed to drag in places. All the things that the heroine went through just did not seem physically possible for her to go through and still keep going and survive.

One Day in DecemberAlexlin322 (12)
Mediocre.

Am I the only one who was underwhelmed by this book? I wasn't really rooting for Laurie to end up with Jack because he was a jerk. He wasn't likable to me at all. And the whole thing dragged on longer than it really needed to.

DivineReading (2)
Omg yes completely I am glad I found someone who thought the same! They were both kinda annoying to me to be honest. Although Jack I found was more irritating.
(2)
I was more upset that it took so long from them to finally end up together! in the beginning I was totally for it but after a while meh. because after a while he started becoming annoying to me too! I didn't really want her to end up with Oscar either
An Anonymous GirlBrandyLatriece (2)
Loved this book

I don't know if is the fact that I studied Psych in undergrad and the Psych studies and theories facinated me, or the fact that like Jessica I sometimes find myself questioning my actions to make sure that I am making the right decisions. But I love this book. Of course it didn't seem totally realistic at points but those details did not take away from my enjoyment of the book, in fact I think it made Jessica a better character. Loved it. Definitely going to check out their other book.

Truly0510 (3)
I def started questioning my own actions and decisions too
tomtom1130 (2)
I thought this book was good as well. I found the situation not realistic of course, but I did like how in the long run the doctor was not trying to bring down her husband. Btw, I am reading their other book "The Wife Between Us" in between books and it is in the same format as this one. So the chapters go between the two main characters.
An Anonymous Girlarrianym (2)
One of the Worst Books I Have Ever Read

I cannot believe that this was one of the five books chosen. It was bland, silly, and predictable. Jessica was overdramatic from the beginning...why would you participate in a morality study and then get unnerved when you get asked general questions about morality?! Dr. Shields was clearly meant to be this cold, cunning villain. But instead she was just weird and creepy. Her "study" barely made sense, and it was even more silly that this was all for a guy. Even the "shock ending" about April and Dr. Shield's suicide was meh. Overall, a total waste of time. Insulted that I paid for this subscription and got this joke of a book. I even checked reviews on Goodreads before choosing it. How did it get a 4.1 rating? Am I missing something? Because this book felt rushed, lacked significant character development, and was pretty unrealistic for me.

kankrum3 (52)
I'm with you. It's a shame because I enjoyed there first book.
AshleyPoff (6)
I felt the same! The ending when they're all sitting together talking I was so bored.
Bhudson (2)
I agree!! It was so slow that when it actually did get interesting, the ending was like 'that's it??'.. I was really mad this was a highly rated book. I felt like I missed something too!
One Day in Decemberalgohr (3)
One Day in December

I felt like this book was an amazing holiday book. I think I might make this a regular read for the holidays. It truly put me in the holiday mood. Sometimes I can be a grinch around December because of how much work the holidays cause. This light-hearted book helped me get out of that.

The Far Fieldarrianym (2)
**spoilers** Great Read, but a bit slow

I thought that the writing style was engaging and thought provoking. Although it seemed shallow at first, and it definitely was in a way, I came to appreciate Shalini's immediate attachment to the people she met; they represented the warm, simple, affection that her mother never gave her. The ending was also devastating, yet realistic, which really intensified the impact of the book. I do think that the book was a little slow, and would have benefited from a stronger connection between Shalini's mother and Bashir Ahmed...I think that it would have made her mother's death more meaningful.

One Day in DecemberAlexandraPagani (1)
So Cute

I found this book to be so cute and entertaining for the holiday season. Kind of felt like I was watching a cute romcom Bridget Jones' diary kind of movie.. Loved it.

The Far FieldGrapes0521 (5)
Interesting Read

This book was as gorgeously written as you’d imagine from the cover art. I felt it was a little slow but very though-provoking. I enjoyed reading about Kashmir, an area I knew little about.

No Exitfuchs7 (8)
Slightly Disappointed

SPOILERS I was slightly disappointed with this book. I liked it, but I, like many others it appears, thought it was going to be a "whodunit" kind of book. So I was disappointed that we found out so soon who was involved. I was also really disappointed that Jay was the one that ended up killing Ashley. I think after everything she had been through, at 9 years old, that should not have been on her. I think after everything Darby went through, she should've been "awarded" that.

I was also really confused with the end of the book. I definitely was under the impression that Darby had died and Jay and her family had gone to visit her grave. It wasn't until Jay asked her about her relationship with her mother that I realized she still survived. And then I had to go back and read the epilogue again to make sure I was understanding it right.

I think this book could have been amazing, but the author just didn't take it in a very good direction.

No ExitJenniferSauceda (6)
Absolutely loved it-even all the characters!

This is one of the best books I have read in a while! I think I am one of the few who loved all the characters even Ashley because it just added so much to the story. I love how fast paced it was because it kept you guessing and kept the excitement up. It was definitely my impression that Darby lived which I was thrilled about and the cops caught Kenny as he was writing that e-mail. I am definitely still confused about sandi and would have liked more of a backstory like how did she know Ashley and Lars?

Kayla (108)
I agree with you about wanting more information about how Sandi and Ashley teamed up. The motivation behind the kidnapping was a bit ambiguous. I did enjoy this book but found parts of it to be a bit gruesome. It definitely held my attention and was different than other thrillers I read recently.
SeveranceAnnaMyers (2)
Disappointing

I appreciated the writing, there were some very eloquent thoughts throughout - but ultimately I found myself drifting off a lot - getting bored with the flashbacks. This is certainly not a typical post apocalyptic zombie novel - which is fine- but it felt lacking to me. The ending is disappointing.

Kristie (4)
I agree. I did not enjoy the flashbacks.
AmyImogeneReads (1)
I completely agree. After fighting through 300 pages, the ending just "happened" and I felt cheated. Fighting to finish a book that is so apathetic (both in terms of its writing style and its main character) and then reaching an even worse ending was frustrating. It felt like a wasted reading experience, which is a shame because the book sounded so unique.
AlexandraThomas (2)
Agreed. I think what was lacking for me was plot tension. Which is a weird thing to be lacking in a "zombie" book. I understand the point was for Candace to be in a rut - for lack of a better phrase - just going with the flow of things, but I just wanted to shake her and be like "care about something! anything!" Because it felt like there weren't really any stakes. And then it ended.
No Exitsmscott320 (14)
Trying too hard

I really wanted to like this book, but at the end of the day I felt like it was trying to do way too many things and none of them very well. It seemed almost like the author ran out of plot early and thought "What if I do this?" and came up with a very convoluted plot with too many gaps and not enough (any) characters worth caring about. Other than hoping the little girl survived, I wasn't really rooting for anyone.

An Anonymous GirlDinosaur (1)
Interesting Concept But Meh Overall

I found the plot line of this book interesting but that was it. The protagonist was irritating and I couldn't really sympathize with her for some reason. Perhaps if certain portions of her personality or experiences had been delved into more deeply it would have helped. Instead, there were two major experiences Jess went through (family tragedy and a separate sexual assault) but the ramifications were pretty much just glossed over and the reader was told "this happened. Protagonist feels this way about it. A lot. She is really screwed up about this/feels really guilty about this. So she does x." That's it.

I also didn't buy into how deeply impacted Jess was by the questions in the study when she first went. You are being paid $500 to answer some questions that appear on a computer screen and this is for a research study being conducted by a college professor. Who actually would sit there and think "whoa, wasn't expecting things to get so deep and personal right out the gate"?

All that being said, there were some things I liked, such as Jess's emotional dependence/need for approval from Lydia. I thought that was well done. I also think one of the best parts was very small and it would have been interesting if more of the book had followed in this vein (WARNING: Potential spoiler) - When Lydia has Jess dress up and go to a bar and purposely flirt with a married man, Jess gets upset and asks Lydia if she expected her to go to bed with him. Lydia, wide eyed, is all "what? No! Why would you think that?" What was interesting is that the way Jess seems to feel, you get the feeling that she would have done that if the guy had been open to it. It would have been awesome if the authors had explored that aspect of Jess's personality, how easily influenced she was and how desperate for approval that she was willing to go pretty far without really thinking about it.

Megs2593 (1)
I agree! I had such high hopes for this book because I love these types of novels, but it just fell flat for me. I couldn't quite put my finger on why- but I think you hit the nail on the head with some parts not really being believable and other parts not going into enough depth. I also thought the ending wasn't enough of a shocker for me- it was predictable in some ways and I am usually not good at predicting endings.
No ExitCaseyLynne (2)
SPOILERS!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

I just don't know how to feel about this book...

The non-stop action was INSANE! I just didn't stop. There were so many times when I thought "Oh this is it" and nope. It kept going.

Also, I am SO confused. Is Darby dead or not? I don't think she is. I think she survived. I have no idea how but then again, this book is insane and it was all pretty far fetched.

I recommend reading this book. It is VERY entertaining and could 100% be turned into a movie. I just don't know if I would call it a good book though.

MelAlex123 (5)
I had to reread the end a couple times myself, I came to the conclusion that she survived. The grave stone with Darby's last name on it is referring to Darby's mother's grave.
CaseyLynne (2)
That’s what I thought but then I saw someone write a post that they thought she was talking to Darby’s ghost and so then I was like....well wait a minute...
Chelebear98 (1)
She lived! It was making you think she didn’t but the gravestone was for her mother.
An Anonymous GirlLB (26)
Mixed Feelings. With Spoilers.

If you love a book up until the last chapter, did you really love the book?! That's what I found myself asking after reading this one. Some readers have commented on the pacing, I didn't think it was too slow, it felt just right for me. Most of the twists were predictable, but it was still an enjoyable read. I had problems with the ending though, it felt rushed and I had a hard time believing Dr. Shield would break down that easily after all the other behavior she displayed throughout the story. It felt out of character. I also have a huge issue with the cover of the book, for the first 53 pages, Jessica believes Dr. Shield to be a man, which would have actually been nice if the cover didn't already revealed that the story is basically about two women. But other than that I really enjoyed it, the writing was great and it's a shame the ending doesn't hold up as well as the rest of the book.

Amanda (18)
I loved this book but I agree about the ending, I don't think Dr Shields would've broken down that easily and I wished there was a twist at the end (i secretly hoped her husband was the one who killed April or something! It was too easy to predict that Dr Shields did it AND it felt kind of cliche to me that she killed herself in the same way). I honestly didn't even put two and two together regarding the cover, I thought it showed that the study was mostly made up of women, but focused in on one. Overall i really liked how twisted it was though.
One Day in December (4)
Great Christmas time book

I’m generally not a huge fan of love stories, but I wanted something light during the holidays. I loved the story of Laurie, Jack and Sarah and the way their stories each unfolded. It made you think how much your life changes over the years.

No ExitJamalT (18)
Pretty Fun Ride

This was a pretty fun, fast read. I can see it as a movie, and I enjoyed the battle of wills. The setup is really interesting and I've been wondering on and off what I'd do in that exact setup. Some of Darby's choices are dumb, but I don't know what I would do. I'd be curious to hear what other people think.

I would've preferred if there was more of a section where the reader is tense trying to figure out which person(s) own the van. Darby is quick to jump to a conclusion and (while she is correct) it forces the action very quickly, and then we just get a lot of people running around in the snow. I mean, she escapes through that bathroom window 3 times. We also skip over the dialogue where she confirms the van owner, she summarizes it afterward.

The villain was a lot of fun though, I particularly liked the slasher movie fakeout endings, but I can see how that would irritate some people. Also SPOILERS I realize gritty drama and all but I don't care how much revenge she's getting, I'm disappointed that the child killed him. That kid has been through so much, and the fact that she took a life, even to defend another is pretty fucked and really is the main thing that sat poorly with me.

Ultimately, I was invested in the characters, and was reading to make sure it turned out alright. I had fun reading it, and think it's good qualities outrank the bad.

JacquelineSchultz (4)
I also had a lot of fun reading this book! I do have to agree with you about the kid killing the antagonist though. I think it would have been really satisfying if Darby had been the one to eliminate him or if he had been arrested. I really enjoyed reading this one and could not put it down. I read it in one sitting!
SeveranceJamalT (18)
Very Good Read; Not Billed Correctly

I truly enjoyed reading Severance, and would recommend it to others but I think the way this book is marketed is incorrect and that could lead to some people being disappointed in the book itself.

This book is not the Walking Dead or really any iteration of it. It isn't a horror novel, a zombie book (really), it's not Shaun of the Dead level funny. And that's okay. This book is pretty deeply literary and has a particularly lovely section about Candace's connection to her parents and her status as an immigrant. And with that, Heavy Spoilers Ahead.

I've seen some people say that they weren't sure at the end if Candace was fevered or not--and I understand because initially, when she was vividly describing Johnathan's memory, it raised little red flags.

But I think it's the opposite. Before, Candace chose to be cut off from everything that would make her human--we see how these connections are slowly, slowly, slowly cut off. First, she loses her connection to China, a connection that, when she returns, we see is altered. It doesn't matter that she was born and lived there for 6 years, she's a foreigner.

Then she loses her parents, and chooses to not really deal with that loss directly, instead starting to just walk around like a zombie. Her life has no purpose, and eventually she replaces that grief with her work.

Her relationship to Johnathan is sweet, but she just lets him go, and for no real reason. She doesn't love her job, she doesn't have family or even friends to tie her back, and she's pregnant with his child. And she has an open invitation. But she refuses this change. She's dealing with her other losses by filling it with work, even as society strips itself away. She keeps working beyond common sense or reason, just like the fevered.

That's why the group finds her alone in a cab. She literally kept working until there was no way to work, and when that was taken away from her, she had no idea what to do. That's why she didn't get sick, even though she didn't even bother to wear protective masks or showed any concern about it (at least, never as protection from Shen fever). She was already there.

That's also why we jump around on the timeline, it's in some ways all the same until she make the decision to leave the Facility and the car.

Bob represents basically a chance to recreate the life she used to have. While I think some of the choices were perhaps too subtle or not fleshed out enough--I would've loved to know more about the group's different personalities--but she does say they were all white-collar workers who were used to corporate hierarchy of some kind.

The world ends, and these people cling to the wrong things to survive. The one woman went to her family home and the description of what happened to her father is gruesome, but she just focuses on weed and her belongings. We don't see her want to check on her parents at all, let alone grieve or acknowledge that loss. She became trapped by her memory of her things as a consequence.

Bob said the Facility would be a safe haven, but really it was a chance to relive his feelings of isolation and powerlessness and channel all that to hurt others and control them, notably isolating Candace. He prowled the Facility like he owned it; it owned him.

So in the end, Candace choosing to get out of the car and walk is an indication that she's ok. I think you weren't supposed to be sure, and there was supposed to be tension about what she would do, since she was running out of both gas and road to drive.

I don't think remembering your past life is the trigger to Shen fever, it's the motivation. In the end, Candace doesn't discard her time with Johnathan. He might be gone, but she clearly did care about him, she remembered his stories and his life. She remembered loving him. That and her renewed connection with her mother are what saved her.

The book had to end with her either becoming fevered or on a cliff hanger where she made a new choice. We got the happy ending, and while we don't know how her life is going to look, if she was fevered, she would have continued to "drive" even when the car stopped. Instead, she acknowledged change, and chose to walk off into the sunset. That's I think as happy an ending for her you could ask for (and maybe Johnathan and his boat will find her eventually).

So all in all, a fabulous book, one that improves when I think on it, and was a pleasure to read, but I think it's been marketed wrong. Also, the lack of quotations is an odd choice. It didn't trip me as much as it did other people, but I understand that complaint.

LB (26)
This was very interesting and very well written, I would have to disagree with her relationship to Jonathan as being sweet though. Yes, she may have loved him, but I don’t think she truly ever respected him, more specifically his lifestyle and going against the establishment. You can love someone and yet know that you are not meant to be together. His announcement of his departure was weird, he did make life changing plans without consulting her and only notified her just before he was about to depart. It’s a bit unrealistic to expect the other person to simply drop everything without a reasonable amount of notice. The fact the she doesn’t tell him that she’s pregnant is very telling. I’d like to think that Jonathan ended up in a community near Boston, as described by the cab driver whose name I cannot remember. I don’t think the ending is happy regardless of Candance being fevered or not, if she’s fevered she won’t notice or care about anything around her, but even if she isn’t, it will be pretty hard for her to take care of herself and her baby in a delapited world... On a side note unrelated to the book, I’m loving this discussion part of BOTM! It’s great reading everyone’s interpretation and opinions, good or bad!
No ExitChristie (1)
Page Turner but Not Much Depth

While this book definitely kept me flipping the pages, I found the dialogue to be unnecessary and written like a book for a very young reader.. Book should have just been written from Darby’s perspective. Not a whole lot of depth here but a quick and entertaining read.

Kayla (108)
The change of perspectives were weird because it often shifted from Darby to Ashley but only for a paragraph or so. I did not like that aspect of the book, either.
SeveranceJenniferSauceda (6)
Liked it but didn’t love it...

The lack of quotations bothered me just like many others and it definitely took me a few chapters to get into. I liked the back and forth of the story I believe it lent more to who candance was as a character. Definitely would have loved more of an ending or an epilogue. Would also to love a little insight into what happened to Jonathan!

SeveranceJenniferSauceda (6)
Liked it but didn’t love it...

The lack of quotations bothered me just like many others and it definitely took me a few chapters to get into. I liked the back and forth of the story I believe it lent more to who candance was as a character. Definitely would have loved more of an ending or an epilogue. Would also to love a little insight into what happened to Jonathan!

The Far Field (5)
Appropriately disappointed

I wished different outcomes for so many characters in this book but was not at all surprised by the lack of change in and for the main character. I saw her as a shallow brat who just didn’t get it. Her investment into others was short-lived and fairly shallow. Her own need for understanding and closure undermined everyone else around her. Appropriate ending for a character who likely evolved less than she could even know.

One Day in DecemberHG (12)
Best Book of 2018

I never read romance novels because sometimes they’re too sappy and predictable... but this book was absolutely wonderful and one of my favorite I’ve ever read! There were so many lessons about friendship, growth, forgiveness, and growing up inside these pages.. the romance was just an added benefit! I loved each character individually. This was an easy one/two day read.. especially on the plane. What a great pick!

Kelly8875 (1)
I loved it. People change and grow over time, and all these changes were well written in this story. Great weekend read!
ChristineDuane (58)
Agreed!! This was in my top 3 of the year!!
SeveranceMeganWhitesell (1)
<3 <3

I agree that the first half wasn't my favorite but I'd have to go back and read it again. I have a feeling I didn't like it because I kept expecting more details about the fever etc. Once I got past what I expected the book to be - I really really enjoyed the story and the style of writing! I thought it was very well written in the sense of the feelings it gave the reader :) I will say the take on whether Candace was fevered at the end is a really good one! I hadn't thought of that!!!

No ExitSquares (10)
Agreed - this was a let down

I didn’t hate this book I wanted to finish it, but I agree with a lot of the other reviews regarding the plot holes.

SPOILERS

First off, the whole time I kept thinking there is no way a bratty college aged girl would get THAT involved or be that clever when it comes to having that many people… against her. It was almost cringe worthy.

I disliked that the book was written in mostly Darby’s perspective then would all of a sudden be someone else’s. Had the book done that the entire time then fair but it seemed random.

What exactly was Sandi’s involvement? I get it she wanted the money and scouted the girl, but for a woman’s shelter? Huh????

As other readers stated, there was no surprise element. None. Darby knew who was responsible from the beginning and then it just sort of unraveled. I would have found it way more entertaining if Ashley had played along for much longer, not immediately given himself up.

I felt this book had so much potential but was a let down. The violence also escalated quickly and I had a hard time believing that Darby would have gone through all of that and a. survived and b. KEPT GOING. Also I felt her backstory with her mother was almost pointless.

I liked it was a quick read and could hold my attention, but there were zero surprises and the end was too tidy.

No ExitKelleyAlti (3)
plot holes?

SPOILERS I felt like there were some unanswered questions-- why would Sandi kidnap a girl if she only wanted money to give to womens groups? Jay is a woman.. And I wish there was a little more of an ending, it felt really rushed. I would have liked to hear more about wrapping up the investigation, Darby's reunion with her sister, arresting the Uncle... what was that email from him about anyways? It didn't really tie in, it was evidence but why did we need evidence if we don't even know what happened to him? I stayed up all night reading this book, it was definitely entertaining, but I still don't know how I feel about it.

JessicaKouns (1)
SPOILERS . . The email was the lead-up to the arrest. He was in the middle of drafting an email to the others about a couple of interested “buyers” who hadn’t even seen pictures of the girl. Those “buyers” were the under-cover cops coming to get him (they interrupted him before he finished the email). It’s all implied, but not explicitly described.
No Exitelizabeth (13)
didn't love it

It was fast paced enough for me to keep reading it but it was nothing like it was described. I thought that there was going to be a "whodunit" mystery element and spoilers Darby figures out who did it immediately and I thought that it was going to be a red herring or something but then it was him and I was like "what?" and then all of the other "twists" werent as shocking as I think that they were inteded to be and by the last person being revealed to have been in on it I wasn't even surprsied.

KelleyAlti (3)
i agree, the foreshadowing when (spoiler) ashley is telling sandy that the good guy is always the murderer... it just seemed so obvious from the beginning that it was going to be ashley. I also felt there were holes in the story, like why did Sandi want to kidnap Jay and then donate all of the money to women's groups? that makes no sense since 1) Jay is a woman and 2) she seemed to care about Jay. I did like the characters, i felt real emotions towards them-- hatred, admiration, etc.
Severanceelizabeth (13)
I enjoyed the second half

In the beginning it was really slow and I couldn't get passed the lack of quotation marks. After the first 100 pages or so it picked up and I started to enjoy it more. I liked learning about candace before the shen fever and the current timeline was exciting. Though I do agree with the others that the ending was unsatisfying and I would've liked it to be a little more fleshed out.

LB (26)
The more I think about the ending, the more I believe Candance was fevered? Twice she mentions that memories can somehow trigger the fever, when she’s driving through the Chicago she has Jonathan’s memories which she confuses as her own, and after that she leaves the car and keeps on walking. Which is the opposite of when she first left NY, she stayed in the cab until the group found her.
EmilyC (9)
I love that interpretation - changes my perception of the ending and I like it more! I actually wanted more from the this book regarding a satire of her life before and her life after- how the monotony of work is the life of the fevered already. It worked but she could have done more with that.
elizabeth (13)
I think that you're right! That would raise the concern of the implications of what would happen to the baby. I think that it would have been better with another chapter or an epilogue because the ending didn't really tie up any loose ends.
No ExitMollyMoody (1)
Great read!

I just finished No Exit. I haven’t read a book so fast like this in quite a while. I was satisfied with it although I kept thinking there would be another twist involving Darby and maybe she wasn’t actually good. That maybe she actually was Ashley’s girlfriend in on the plot and wasn’t lucid due to multiple personalities. However, I was happy with the ending though - that she lived! She was doing one of her grave sketches on her mom’s headstone with Jay and Jay’s parents with her.

One thing that stumped me was the email draft from fat Kenny to Ashley. Who was at the door? Was it the police? And why did Sandi pepper spray Darby when Sandi was clearly upset about how the brothers had treated Jay. That part annoyed me!

LB (26)
I believe the implication of Fat Kenny’s e-mail would be that yes, he got arrested while writing it. Sandi pepper sprayed Darby because Darby was just about to discover that Sandi was in on the scheme. Also, I believe Sandi was under the impression that if they just took care of Darby the kidnapping would proceed as planned? She didn’t know Ashley had different intentions...
The Far FieldHayleyStenger (13)
Good Start

I really enjoyed the experience of reading the novel, but felt let down by the ending. Did anyone else feel differently? Similarly?

Erin (1)
I described it to a friend as brilliantly, expertly disappointing. I had a lot of big feelings and even downright anger for 2 straight days after finishing. I still love it, I still recommend it, but wow...
Kacie (2)
***Spoiler*** I enjoyed this book a lot, and agree that the ending was a bit of a downer. It felt unresolved with the disappearance. I don't think the reader gets closure, and that is deliberate of course. I still liked it. Some stories just aren't going to be tidy at the end
SeveranceLB (26)
I liked it.

Like others have mentioned, I too was slightly annoyed by the lack of quotation marks for dialogue at first, but the more I got into the book not only did I get used to it, but I found that the ambiguity fit with the narrative perfectly. Some readers have mentioned their disappointment on the back and forth timeline, I really enjoyed it, it showed us that prior to the apocalypse, Candace had been pretty much living like the fevered, going from one daily routine to the next. It wasn’t until after the apocalypse that she really started to live and fight for life. I was pleased that they didn’t focus so much on the after events and the group dynamics, if I want to see people treating each other badly I’d just watch the walking dead. I was slightly annoyed at first, then pleasantly surprised. The first 100 pages did take me a while to get used to it; but after it just flew by. I loved the ending too, I thought it was perfect, given that these kinda stories are always tricky to reach a conclusion.

No ExitJayGuebert (5)
Fast Paced Thriller with Great Hero!

I really enjoyed this novel by Taylor Adams! You couldn't help but root for Darby Thorne in this novel. The action was so fast paced it was really hard to put down. As much as I loved and rooted for Darby, Taylor made sure you thought the opposite of his antagonist Ashley. Towards the end you kind of did get like "Come On!" but i kind of love that aspect of thinking will this never end! Can't wait to check out more of Adams work!

One Day in Decemberfuchs7 (8)
LOVED this book!

I loved this book. I intentionally picked this because I wanted a romantic story to read right before Christmas and this was definitely that. Laurie and Jack had a love that most people can only hope for. It was beautifully written and such a feel-good story for the holiday.

ChristineDuane (58)
Agreed! I loved this so much!! Gave me all the feels.
SeveranceNancyPhaup (10)
Liked it ok

I agree that the ending was unsatisfying. I enjoyed the way the story went back and forth between the present and the past. I found it a quick read and liked it a bit more than others here. I am glad I chose it because at least it held my interest. The book I had last month I could not finish.

One Day in DecemberAubreaVanderMolen (12)
Slow Start, Good Ending

This book DEFINITELY got off to a slow start. I found it very difficult to get through it and there were several times I just wanted to yell at the characters.

The ending was a pleasant surprise. Jack and Laurie developed so much over those 10 years and I'm happy it ended the way it did. I thought the whole calling into the radio station bit was so cute.

Severancehsrancher (1)
Wait, What???

This had the potential to be such a good book. But, what is with the ending. Very disappointing. I really wish I would have selected a different book.

No Exitemrjohns (1)
great plot twists

I did not think I was going to enjoy this book because of how quickly Darby finds everything out in the beginning about who the kidnapper is, and I was worried that the storyline would fall flat because of how rapidly the first 100 pages go. But, I liked how the author added in different perspectives, and I was hooked until the end. What I got from the end was that Darby survives and Jay is visiting her in her hometown. I couldn't put it down once I started it!

KateSmith (1)
Yes Darby survived! The date of death - Dec. 24th - was the day here mom died. And Jay didn't realize Darby's last name was spelled with a silent "e" but figured it out once they were looking at Darby's mom's grave. I had to read it a few times to put it together, but once I did I was impressed!
Hana (22)
Agreed! I was honestly a little worried when I saw reviews highlighting the more violent aspects that I wouldn't enjoy it; however the author really takes you on a journey. It all made sense in the end (I hate bad plot twists), but I did not see it coming.
SeveranceJAMIECOLGIN (13)
Quotation Marks... or the Lack Thereoff

I am about half way through this book and am about to lose my mind with the lack of quotation marks. The style (and I don't consider lack of proper punctuation a style) is really bogging me down.

lissajacobs (7)
I literally came on here just to complain about this, I'm only 5 pages into the first chapter and super annoyed. Is this some new literary trend, I don't like it, it adds nothing to the story and makes it more difficult to read. Why try to change something that was not broken? It's not edgy, it's stupid.
JAMIECOLGIN (13)
I'm glad I'm not the only one. It makes it really hard to follow!! I also feel like the author has a weird disassociation from the main character--it's just hard to get into.
SeveranceZillie (1)
Ummm did it end??

I’m disappointed that I chose this book. It had all the makings of a great post-apocalyptic narrative but nothing happened! The style of writing is too pretentious...please just use punctuation so readers can follow thoughts vs conversations vs narration ????. Lastly, what was that ending (or lack thereof)??? I wasted a few hours of my life.

CarissaLeek (9)
I too was disappointed! I ordered it thinking it was going to be mostly about the post apocalyptic world and how the group would survive and the issues and power struggle within the group but most of it just had to do with Candace’s life before and during the Shen Fever epidemic. I wish the author would’ve gone more in depth on the group that Candace became a part of instead of just making them kind of fluff. They weren’t a big part of the actual plot until the end when it’s hinted that Bob would kill her after she had the baby. Which the ending felt rather rushed to me as well.
No ExitHG (12)
The ending..?

I loved Darby's character. The author did a great job at making you root for her to keep persevering! It was easy to distinguish between heroes and villains and how your opinion towards them should be. There were definitely twists and turns that kept me on my toes. I read this book so quickly.. because I always wanted to see what happened next! The end kind of confused me though when they were in the cemetery.. Did Darby survive or was Jay just talking to her grave?

Jordan (1)
My understanding was that they were visiting Darby's mom's grave site and Darby survived! Had to read that part twice because it was a little vague/surprising.
HG (12)
It was confusing because in the chapter before the ending it basically said that Darby died. Idk.. the more I reflect over this book.. the less I realized I liked it..
sprklnh2o (1)
I was also super confused! I re-read it and still wasn't sure. I came to this discussion to see if someone could tell me if Darby survived....and I wasn't disappointed lol.
kankrum3 (52)
I felt the same way... read the ending twice. I decided that she was alive and they were just visiting her mom's grave. It was defiantly very confusing.
MandySimpson (8)
I had to read the ending twice, too! I read the book in one sitting and was left wondering if she died or not. Great book, just a bit confusing at the end...
LB (26)
Darby survived, but the author intentionally doesn’t reveal that until the very last couple of lines, when Jay asks her the question about her relationship with her mother. I liked how it was done!
An Anonymous Girlkankrum3 (52)
meh...

So I'm 106 pages in and it is just moving so slow and I haven't been hooked yet. hoping it gets better, as I really LOVED The Wife Between Us.

Bhudson (2)
I thought the same thing! They could have summarized it in 50 pages! Lol.. I was disappointed with this book.
MAdoor (7)
I also felt the slowness and days passed before I picked it up again. Then I began to notice that the pace seemed to mirror the characters. Jess: fast, scattered, smart. Dr. S: deliberate, calculating, plotting, bone-chilling. These authors are great!
kankrum3 (52)
yea I can defiantly see that. :) the 2nd half of the book picked up more for me.
ChristineDuane (58)
It starts to pick up a little around 170 I thought. But yeah, the pace was slow.
No Exitsoundslikeliar (18)
Great, but description needs work

The good news is that I really enjoyed this book. It was a complete page turner; I finished it within 6 hours. I loved Darby, I thought the setting was cool and original, and in general I just find books with sociopaths very interesting. However, I agree with others that the marketing needs work. This was presented as a thriller/mystery but it's more of a "final-girl-horror-movie" type scenario: violent, intense, and dark. Like a Criminal Minds episode. There wasn't much in the way of twists - the bad guys are obvious right off the bat. I liked it a lot but it's not what it proclaimed to be.

Hana (22)
Agreed! I liked it, but I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who likes thrillers, they would need to like horror as well.
No ExitLB (26)
NOT a whodunit. Possible spoilers.

Anyone else bothered by the misleading "Good-to-know" info on the website?! One of the reasons I picked this book is because it was marked as a "whodunit". This book, while enjoyable to a certain extent, couldn't be further away from a whodunit. Yes, there's an investigation, some twists and turns, but by no means you are left wondering who's behind it. In fact, that's actually revealed quite early on. It's definitely action packed and movie-ish, those descriptions were accurate. Also, I would suggest replacing "scary" for "gruesome" or "gory". I think because that information was a bit misleading, I didn't enjoy the book as much as I would have otherwise. Heck, I probably wouldn't have picked it.

smscott320 (14)
Definitely felt like it was less whodunit, more "whydunit" and even that wasn't super clear by the end.
The Far FieldBecky (34)
Beautifully Written

I really enjoyed this book. Almost a "love" for me, except that I didn't feel that the main character grew from her life journey which was a bit of a disappointment. I felt like the author did an amazing job describing mental illness and Page 298 broke my heart and left me in tears for some time.

Kacie (2)
Yes! I was hoping some more would be resolved. Devastating ending. I think the author circling back to how she began the novel was a good choice. Oh, how much would have been different had Mr. Ahmed never visited.
Ketzra (22)
That part was a shocker for me, too.
EmilyC (9)
So glad to hear this! It’s in my cart as an add on for January, really looking forward to it.
No ExitEmily (1)
Page Turner

Contains Spoilers!

This book was really engaging, fast read. I was pretty much immediately sucked in and couldn't put it down. And I love reading thrillers... but this one was a little too much for me. Did anyone else have a hard time reading about Sandi's murder? The whole thing was violent but that part seemed extra gruesome to me to the point where I felt kind of sick after reading it. I'm a little torn because of it. I finished it and was totally sucked in, but still think it was a little too gorey of a read for my taste.

Hana (22)
The deaths were much more gruesome than I expected. Honestly, while I enjoyed most of the book, I feel like it would be hard one to recommend, just because it is so so dark.
soundslikeliar (18)
I really liked this book but I agree it was way more gruesome than I was expecting, especially Sandi's death (especially since I have a bone-breaking phobia, yuck). I think the problem is that it was labeled as a thriller but really, this is a horror novel. That gave us some unrealistic expectations going in because it turned out to be less mystery, more slasher.
LB (26)
I just finished it and I would have to agree it got a bit gory at times... Ed’s scenario before his death was also pretty nasty... At times I kept asking myself, is this torture porn? I still can’t answer it... I’m still processing the book as a whole though, I felt that a lot of the foreshadowing was too explicit and might have ruined some twists...
An Anonymous Girlfuchs7 (8)
Really Enjoyed It!

I really enjoyed this book. It started off a little slow for me, but it got to the point of not being able to put it down. I always get visions of what books might be like before reading them and this was nothing of what I was expecting! I loved all the twists and I just got to a point where I didn't know what was coming next!

BrandyLatriece (2)
I agree I loved it, especially the chapters from the Dr. Shields perspective it made the store that much more creepy.
The Far FieldKetzra (22)
Half way through...

I’m loving this book! Seriously, the writer could describe something dry like how to pay taxes and I would be thinking, “such a lovely read!” The story has my interest and the writer has talent. If The Far Field was not your book choice for December 2018, I highly recommend it be your add-on for January 2019. Peace. Love. And read.

Kayla (108)
I am so happy to hear this! The cover is so lovely. I picked it as my BOTM and I cannot wait to jump into it!
(5)
Thanks, looking forward to this read!
One Day in DecemberLorainneGragg (2)
One Day in December

Loved everything about this book. I could not put it down. I don’t usually go for rom-coms, but I said what the heck. So glad I went with this book. It was written very well.

Kaaatie129 (2)
Same here! And I’m so glad I did becuase this was for sure my favorite book of 2018! If this love triangle doesn’t make it to the big screens one day, I’ll be shocked!
MandySimpson (8)
Same! I usually gravitate towards suspense books and steer clear of rom-coms, but I'm so glad I picked this book. It was such a sweet story.
An Anonymous GirlHana (22)
So different

I'm not sure what I was expecting - I'm about halfway through and it is so different than their first book. I'm enjoying it and I feel like something is coming, but it's almost more unsettling in a thriller when it breaks the previous pattern of the author. Hopefully I'll finish tonight - I want to know where this is all going to end up.

Samantha (1)
I agree.. it took me way longer to finish this title whereas with "The Wife Between Us" I read that in a day and a half. I felt really lost with this book and when it ended I felt like there was no clarification. The twists are there but I think that it was a let down.
Hana (22)
I think it was a solid “like” for me in the end. Not nearly as twisty, I liked the end, but nothing I’m excited about. I finished it two days ago and i haven’t thought about it much since.
No Exitelizabeth (13)
disapointed

I mean, I didn't hate no exit. It was definitely a page turner. It was just kinda disappointing. I thought that it was going to have more of a mystery element. Darby knew who the kidnapper was within the first 70 or so pages and the twists just sorta fell flat. I really liked the concept and it could have been done really well but I felt like this author just kinda put action in the place of actual substance and plot/character development.

No ExitBecky (34)
A Little Bit of a Letdown...

I had high expectations based off of the book club description. It was a fast, tense, page turner for sure. I read it in one day. However; I could have done without the fart dialogue, animal cruelty and contradictory statements. It was a good read, but not as exceptional as I was hoping for!

JessicaDozier (2)
I agree...I kep hoping for more mystery more twist and turns. It was just okay..
elizabeth (13)
My thoughts exactly! I had high expectations, especially bc it had such high ratings on amazon and goodreads (it claims to be an exclusive, but its been published since 2017 so idk) but it just kinda fell flat for me.
An Anonymous Girlmawicker88 (1)
Read before buying into

Not worth the money or hassle. No information or customer support at all to explain or help on simpliest things. The books are ok, not a very good diverse amount of books definitely caters to a specific style or reader and I’m an open book lol. Overall, what could be a great tool and inspirational, I’d even use this too send books to friends but customer service needs to improve, like even a simple phone number to call. Thumbs down on this. If the company wants a cool concept to go off of incorporate school districts Battle of the books/book fairs. Could be a great concept but I feel a fail.

elizabeth (13)
This might just be me, but I kinda get the sense that most people on the discussion boards for the books that they've purchased have already "bought into" it...
elizabeth (13)
Also, they have a FAQ just go to "more" and you'll see it and if u still need help with the customer service, I emailed them bc I was having problems with my account and they got back right away and were super helpful!
Becky (34)
I agree that this isn't the best place to post concerns. I can't speak for all members, but I use the message boards because I love this service. If you want to complain or need help there is a contact us link at the bottom of the webpage. I've personally had great luck with customer service whenever I've had any concerns.
EmilyC (9)
This may not be the right place to voice your criticisms of BOTM. If the service didn't work for you, that's unfortunate but not likely to convince anyone on the site's message board. Regarding selection, if you scroll through past books you'll find many many of the top books of the year offered before general release and at a savings over full hardcover price. It was the incredible selection and diversity that convinced me to try BOTM. Also, the company and their concept have been around since the 1920's as a monthly book subscription service, first by mail and now online. I think that's
Kayla (108)
I agree with you Emily. All organizations may have their weaknesses, but they shouldn't be voiced on the discussion board for monthly books. There are months when I dislike the selections for BOTM, but overall, I love the community and the opportunity I have had to read such amazing selections. I would encourage you to give BOTM another try - it really is a wonderful company!
An Anonymous GirlMellissaHodgson (9)
WHICH ONE DO I PICK?!?!

GUYS! I can't choose what book they all sound really good! Like, December choices are stacked! At first glance I wanted to choose "An Anonymous Stranger" because I LOVED "The Wife Between Us" and it's the author's next novel! But then I kept reading the other choices and "No Exit" sounded so intense! Like a thriller where you have no idea if/who will die next! And "The Far Field" just sounds like a nice classic. I need to go on Amazon and read more the plot of the books to help with this decision. What choices are you guys picking?

SJ (1)
I also made Anonymous Stranger my BoTM. I added on No Exit and One Day in December. I’ll probably see if I can add on Severance for next month, that’s how much I couldn’t choose. Loving this months choices.
Hana (22)
Agreed!! This was a great month. Honestly, Severance didn't grab my attention, but I heard something on the radio about it this weekend and now I might have to add it next month. Love BOTM!
Kayla (108)
I was torn this month also! I picked The Far Field as my BOTM and added No Exit to my box, too. I cannot wait for my box to arrive!
Becky (34)
Ohh - I got the same selections this month. :)
Ketzra (22)
Anyone else keep eyeing the mail tracker? First month for me waiting on my first selection and I’m acting like a child waiting for Santa!
damroberts744 (12)
I realize you'd either have to pick now or skip the month, but I picked Severance and added The Far Field.
RebeccaW (3)
I had the same issue! I will admit to skipping a month here and there because I did not like the selection but this month, HOW CAN YOU CHOOSE? I had to limit myself to two because of the holiday this month and went with Severance and No Exit, I can't wait to hear how everyone feels about the other books!
Ketzra (22)
I was torn between the far field and no exit. I selected the far field, because the writing style is so beautiful!
Alliedoll42 (1)
I chose Severance, and did The Far Field as an add on.
EmilyC (9)
I went with Severance as it’s not something I would normally pick up but I just read Station Eleven and adored that book so this sounds very similar with excellent reviews. Really regretting I didn’t add The Far Field as an add-on so that may go in the cart for next month though!
LB (26)
I picked Severance. And then An Anonymous Girl and No Exit as add-ons. Couldn’t help myself! Will probably have The Far Field as next months add-on, well, depending on the months selection really...
CandaceMose (1)
I chose an anonymous girl and decided to add on no exit. I am so anxious to read both books and see what they’re all about! Why pick just one? Right? Lol
MellissaHodgson (9)
Yeah I finally went with An Anonymous Stranger and added on The Far Field because that book is 400+ pages so I know I'll be reading something for awhile! My co-worker is part of BOTM so she got No Exit and we will book swap when all done. I'll just have to check out Severance at the local library or something. And that last book, the romance one or whatever I could care less about so boom all good! It was stressful deciding though. Nice work BOTM!