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11.25.2015

Book Report - Dark Places and The Call of the Wild

I read a few more books as part of my Pop Sugar 2015 Reading Challenge. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, checked off "A mystery or thriller" and the classic, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, checked off "A banned book."

First up, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.
Libby Day was just seven years old when her mom and two sisters were murdered in their home. She testified against her brother, Ben, putting him behind bars. Now twenty-five years later and low on funds, Libby is far from a functioning and healthy adult; so when she is contacted by a Kill Club - a group of individuals obsessed with true crime - she agrees to work with them for a fee. She soon finds herself investigating the night she has tried so hard to forget, and questioning whether what she thought she always saw that night was actually the truth.

Dark Places hooked me pretty early, and I enjoyed the style of writing. It would jump back and forth, first telling what a character thought had happened; then go back and show, through another character's point of view, what really happened. It was a really useful tool to move the story along. Unfortunately, the big reveal, which really makes or breaks a good mystery/thriller novel, was a let down. I was hoping for a big OMG moment, but it was more, "really, that's what happened, huh". I was much more impressed with Gone Girl than I was Dark Places.

Incidentally, the "murder" at the center of this novel really reminded me a lot of the murder written about in Truman Capote's, In Cold Blood (see my review here). If you're at all interested in true crime, then check out In Cold Blood instead. You'll be so glad you did.

Next, The Call of the Wild by Jack London.
The Folio Society edition
Buck, a strong and loyal dog, was living a sheltered life on a beautiful California ranch when he is kidnapped and sold as a sled dog in the Yukon. Facing a harsh environment unlike any he's known before, Buck faces enormous obstacles - cruel masters, canine hierarchy, and bitter cold - as he takes the journey of a lifetime; all the while never shaking his unbreakable spirit.

The Call of the Wild was another one of those books where I was asking myself, "How have I gone my entire life without reading this amazing book?" It may be a story about a dog, but there is so much humanity in Buck's story that it really just grabs the reader and won't let go. I absolutely loved it!

What have you been reading lately? I love talking books!

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