As I may have mentioned about a hundred times, I haven’t read much at all this year. That being said, I still want to share reviews from the books I read during 2012 … And then hope that with the new year comes a renewed love for reading.
Image courtesy of www.goodreads.com.
Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon
Back in August, I shared a review about another of McMahon’s novels, Promise Not to Tell. I gave that book three stars because everything just sort of fell apart in the end. I also hated the fact that I figured out who the killer was early on, and that she resorted to the supernatural to explain away certain things. It just seemed so out of place since the rest of the book was pretty realistic and read like a “normal” murder mystery. (If you’re interested in a more detailed review, you can read that here: Just Because I Lost It Doesn’t Mean I Want It Back.)
I thought Island of Lost Girls was much better. Granted, Promise Not to Tell was her debut novel so I’d expect any following books to be better. I think that’s just natural for most authors … You’re writing more, so you’re getting better. The whole “practice makes perfect” idea.
The premise of this book is a little strange, which is actually part of the reason I was initially drawn to it. Rhonda Farr, a recent college graduate, makes a stop at a gas station before a job interview and sees something so surreal she doesn’t even realize it’s a crime in progress. A giant white rabbit (yes, a rabbit) gets out of a car, gets a little girl in another car (whose mother is inside the gas station) to come with it, and the two leave together in the rabbit’s vehicle.
As the realization of what just happened hits Rhonda, she decides to throw herself into the search for little Ernie Florucci. In doing so, though, she begins thinking about another missing little girl she once knew … Her childhood best friend, Lizzy, who disappeared years ago.
Like Promise Not to Tell, this book alternates between the past and present. While I was kind of like, “Oh, Jennifer McMahon is doing this again?,” I felt like it actually worked a little better in this book. (Though maybe I just felt that way since I thought it was a more effective book overall.)
One thing I liked about this book was the fact that it wasn’t clear until the reveal (at least not to me!) who had taken Ernie Florucci and why. Not only that, but I didn’t think the twist in the Lizzy subplot was obvious, which was refreshing. There were clues throughout that made more sense as everything was revealed, and I appreciated that by the end I felt more like “Oh, she did a nice job tying everything together!” as opposed to “But what about x, y, and z that never made any sense?”
I was actually pretty satisfied with the ending, and I think I will probably give another one of her books a read in the future. There was another one I saw on Amazon a while ago that sounded pretty good called Don’t Breathe a Word, though I do dislike the fact that it has such a similar title to her first novel. (I probably shouldn’t judge, though … I’m terrible with titles as well.) I think I might also read another of her books called Dismantled, though the plot sounds a bit like she was inspired by Pretty Little Liars or something similar. I guess that’s not really a bad thing, though, since that show has done a pretty good job of sucking me in.
I would recommend this book to others, and will probably reread it at some point in the future. With books like this, though, I definitely have to wait a considerable amount of time before reading it again … Otherwise, the plot twists aren’t very exciting. I like to forget a lot of what happens in a book before reading it again so it feels fresh. (I know that sounds kind of weird, but it’s really not.)
My rating for Island of Lost Girls is FOUR STARS.