How Safe Is Your Mind from These Books? #amreading #Books

Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Book Discussions | 1 comment

You better slow down quick!

Here are five books sure to mess with your mind!

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger’s cinematic storytelling that makes the novel’s unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler’s Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

Becca’s Notes: Time travel stories always hurt my head. That’s not to say I’d never write one (that may or may not be a hint about my next book…) but it’s one of those things that, the more you try to understand it, the more confused you become. Books like these can be enchanting and fun, but often they can also be thought-provoking  . . . in a break your brain kind of way, unless you find it really easy to suspend disbelief. Even in books that do a good job of “reasoning” the time travel elements, I still find my brain fried just short of FULLY embracing the invented logic of such a event. It doesn’t add up, but you can’t quite put your finger on why. That said, this one is a charming tale of star-crossed lovers, and Niffenegger will not spare you pain or heartache while reading. It’s bitter sweet.


Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth — musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies — the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.


Becca’s Notes: Mark, you get into people’s heads in the worst way. You get in people’s heads even when they don’t want to admit it. Even when they avoid it, curiosity ultimately gets the best of them. It’s a bit like deciding to test a bear trap with your skull. Then those big zig zag teeth get good and hopelessly latched, all and anyone can do is perform a glassy eyed stare as their brain bleeds onto the concrete. If they still had the capacity for thought, they’d think, “What the hell just happened.” It’s a surreal and challenging read, and when you are done you will feel as though you’ve woken from a nightmare.


Chloe’s older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can’t be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby’s friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

Becca Notes: You know when you walk into the middle of a conversation and you have no idea what anyone is talking about and by the time you do the conversation is over and you weren’t able to offer much thought because you’d spent most of the conversation just trying to figure out what everyone was talking about. This isn’t like that. But it’s close. Some books have that effect because it starts SO in the middle of things that you’re lost for a few chapters. Well, this book does start at the beginning, but the confusion comes mostly from being in the psyche of someone who knows the events that transpired, but not the details that make those events make sense. As frustrating as it may be for some, it simply wouldn’t be near as rewarding nor evocative if it had been written any other way. This an intelligent Young Adult read and one that might pay off to read at least twice. 


 In Coraline’s family’s new flat there’s a locked door. On the other side is a brick wall—until Coraline unlocks the door . . . and finds a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only different.

The food is better there. Books have pictures that writhe and crawl and shimmer. And there’s another mother and father there who want Coraline to be their little girl. They want to change her and keep her with them. . . . Forever.

Becca Notes: Oh, hi there, Coraline! Why am I not surprised to see you here. Now, don’t give me that. I realize I am the one who brought you here, but you have to admit that this is where you belong. You do agree, don’t you? This is a highly visual story, and I think one only a master like Neil could pull off without boring the reader with imagery. The dark, the sinister, the surreal . . . it’s all palpable in this story without being too much. And if the story isn’t enough to mess with your head, you’re still screwed, as one is always left marveling at all  of Neil’s books, if only for the talent and skill of his writing alone.


On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the slice. To her horror, she finds that her cheerful mother tastes of despair. Soon, she’s  privy to the secret knowledge that most families keep hidden: her father’s detachment, her mother’s transgression, her brother’s increasing retreat from the world. But there are some family secrets that even her cursed taste buds can’t discern.

Becca Notes: Aimee Bender brings an innocence to Rose’s voice, and there are so many “moments” in this story to love. It’s enchanting, it’s charming, and it’s . . . bizarre. The characters and their relationships are quirky enough as it is, and the story’s premise is fun, despite this being a entirely emotional tale. I was moved to tears a few times. But what messed with my mind in this book was the rules of Rose’s gift/curse and where the story ultimately, led. It’s one of those stories where the subplot becomes the main plot out of nowhere, and the main plot comes to play a secondary role. And yet you need the original plot in order to suspend disbelief when you finally do hit the point where the subplot takes a deeper paranormal dive than you are prepared for. By time I finished this book, I wasn’t sure WHAT to think. I am glad I read it, but part of me really would love to have a char with Aimee and ask her how her story led her to THAT point. You’ll have to read it to see what I mean. It’s definitely original, it definitely makes you think, and it definitely surprises you.


So there you have it. Five books to threaten your sanity. And if these books don’t question your sanity, you’re either thinking too much or thinking too little 😉 What books have messed with your mind?

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Rebecca Hamilton is a USA Today bestselling Paranormal Fantasy author. Her bestselling Forever Girl Series is available at online retailers and has been optioned for film with Witten Pictures. The Hungarian edition has been published with IPC books and the German edition has been published with Darkiss, a Harlequin imprint.

1 Comment

  1. The last year has seen my Neil Gaiman obsession grow fanatical, but I STILL have not read Coraline. Your comments here just make me more rabid to read it!


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