behind closed doors

ARC August 2016 Wrap-Up

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ARC August 2016Well, I have to confess this year’s ARC August (hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat. ) was not nearly as successful as last year. I only read a grand total of four (!) books this month, much less than the nine I had hoped to get through (and the 11 ARCs I read last August). But sometimes life just gets in the way and you have to roll with it. Hopefully life will slow down soon and I can get back into my reading groove!

Read in August:

August2016 Reads

Already Reviewed:

Review to Come:

  • The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry – This is a great read for anyone interested in the Salem Witch Trials. However, it won’t be published until January so I will hold my review until then.

Currently Reading:

Aug2016-CurrentReads

  • Saving Phoebe Murrow by Herta Feely – I’ll be participating in my first-ever blog tour for this novel, so stop back in next Tuesday!
  • The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown – I started this in July, but set it aside for ARC August. I’m looking forward to picking it back up now, I had liked what I read so far.
  • The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North – I swear I will finish this book this month even if it kills me.

September Reading List:

I’m almost hesitant to even bother making a September list, since I’ve been so bad at following my reading lists the last couple months, but I like having something to strive towards, so we’ll give it a shot – although I think I’ll keep it down to five this time.

  • Open Season by Archer Mayor – I promised my boyfriend months ago I would give this series a try, so this will be up first in September once I finish my current reads.
  • Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty – This has been sitting on my stack since the day it came out and I’m looking forward to it.
  • My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Frederik Backman – I loved Britt-Marie Was Here and can’t wait to read this one.
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling) – I’ve been wanting to read this book for a very long time.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte– I meant to read this over the summer, but never got to it. Hopefully I will now.

And there you go! I wish my ARC August had been more successful, but it is what it is. Hopefully I’ll still get around to each of those ARCs I had planned to read sooner rather than later.

CJ Reviews Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

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Behind Closed DoorsTitle: Behind Closed Doors
Author: B.A. Paris
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
Format: Advanced Reading Copy
Rating: 2.5 stars

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace.

He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. Though, you’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie. (Goodreads)

I have to admit, I did not read this novel as thoroughly as I usually do. In fact, I seriously considered dumping it in my DNF pile and moving on, but I really wanted to know how it ended so I skimmed most of the book just to see what happened. Fortunately, I think the ending was possibly the best part of the novel.

My first problem with this novel was mostly personal taste – this novel was Dark. Extremely dark. While I do tend to read a lot of psychological thrillers and books that can get pretty dark, this one really bothered me almost from the beginning. It should really come with a trigger warning. The relationship in the novel was just so dark and disturbing that it really bothered me to read it, which was the entire reason I was skimming. But I just had to know if it had a satisfying ending.

My other problem was with how weak Grace is through most of the novel. Granted, it would have been difficult to fight back in that situation and she had her sister to think about as well, but I just found myself struggling to empathize with her sometimes, which bothered me given her situation. I was bothered by what was happening to her, but I didn’t really feel for her, if that makes any sense. She just didn’t seem to have any spark or spirit, even before she met her husband.

The most interesting characters in the novel are actually the smaller characters – Grace’s sister Millie and new friend Esther. Both these women are much more interesting and well-rounded than either of the main characters. Both of these characters are also much stronger than Grace had been.

Given Grace’s weakness through much of the novel, one could argues that the ending is actually implausible, but since I thought the end was better than the rest of the book I prefer to believe it’s the rest of the book that has a problem and the ending is the part that’s done well.

So, if you’re willing to suffer through a mediocre thriller delving into the darkness and evil of a sick, twisted mind and domestic violence in order to get to a satisfying conclusion then you may want to check this book out. Meanwhile, I am going to try to reading something much more lighthearted and fun while I try to scrub this darkness from my mind.

ARC August 2016
Behind Closed Doors was read as part of ARC August hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat. You can find more on the books I read during ARC August here.