Those Who Wish Me Dead

Finished Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta.  I received a copy from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

The newest thriller from Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author

When 13-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he’s plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare.

The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are slaughtering anyone who gets in their way in a methodical quest to reach him. Now all that remains between them and the boy are Ethan and Allison Serbin, who run the wilderness survival program; Hannah Faber, who occupies a lonely fire lookout tower; and endless miles of desolate Montana mountains.

The clock is ticking, the mountains are burning, and those who wish Jace Wilson dead are no longer far behind.”

First to warn you, I don’t want to discuss the plot too much because it runs the risk of ruining it and you don’t want any aspect of this book to be ruined.

I absolutely loved this book.  I read it over the course of my vacation and it was the best/worst decision I could’ve made.  I didn’t have much free time for reading and it was so hard to walk away from these characters and plot (even though I had a great time).

So I would advise you to learn from my mistake and read this when you have time to read it all in one gulp, because that’s what you’ll want to do.

Like all of his books, this novel is completely intense and the last hundred pages especially are impossible to put down (that’s when I finally basically told Jen to do whatever she wanted to do and that I couldn’t do anything until I was done).

The easy comparison to this book is to The Client, but it’s a lot better.  (No offense to The Client, which I enjoyed when I read it.)  I think the main reason this book completely surpasses that one is the characters. I liked Mark Sway but I love Jace.  Everything about him is believable, including the fact that he’s so obviously a kid who’s way, WAY out of his depth.

But I love everyone—Ethan and Allison and Hannah and all the characters you’ll meet here.  Even the Blackwell brothers, who are the creepiest killers since Anton in No Country For Old Men—they’re unlike anyone I’ve ever seen and I guarantee they’ll give you chills, too.

Highly, highly recommended.

Landline

Finished Landline by Rainbow Rowell.  I received a copy from the publisher.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?”

I am so in love with Rainbow Rowell’s books.  I’ve read all four and they are all so different but all are excellent.

I could relate to Eleanor & Park and Fangirls, but this book was different for me.  I’ve never been married and I’m not anyone’s mother, so I was a little worried initially.  I shouldn’t have been.

This book is amazing and perfect and I didn’t need those relationships to appreciate it.

I loved Georgie and the fact that she had a career and a family and didn’t apologize for it.  (And I loved Neal and the fact that he was comfortable enough to be a stay at home dad and that the two of them were just this fantastic couple.  We didn’t see it so much in the present day but I loved the conversations between present-Georgie and past-Neal.)

And I love the fact that this book absolutely made sense and it didn’t feel cheesy or contrived (like, say, Peggy Sue Got Married).

Highly, highly recommended.

Vacation, Day 10

This was my last day of vacation, but also a great one.

We met my friend Christa and her husband Zack and their baby Jamie for lunch and it was really fun. If you get the chance to hang out with them, do it. :)

Then Jen and I went to see Deliver Us From Evil, because if I can see a horror movie, I DO see a horror movie. It was fun but not that scary (although there were definitely scary parts).

Then we went home and watched Teen Witch, as you do.

Now back to reality…

Vacation, Day 9

This was our “Groundhog Day.”

We ate at our favorite Chinese place, went to Changing Hands and saw 22 Jump Street.

We also went to the post office and mailed most of the books home (six boxes worth).

Like yesterday, I didn’t take pictures. :(

Still reading Those Who Wish Me Dead. It’s amazing, even if it’s taking forever.

Vacation, Day 8

We saw The Fault in Our Stars, finally. It was a great movie but I cried. Buckets.

Also, we had dinner with Jen’s dad and watched Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (he was a child actor and he’s in the movie).

Day was topped off with what is probably our 36,728th viewing of Dirty Dancing.

Still reading the Michael Koryta. :)

Vacation, Day 6 (Vegas, Day 2)

This was the first day of ALA and I loved it. It’s so much more chill than BEA.

I got to meet Markus Zusak and Katherine Howe, who were very kind.

After the show, we went ziplining, which was crazy fun. And terrifying. I had to take my glasses off and for some reason I went backwards for half the ride. But I felt like a superhero. ;)

Then we went to the Harlequin Teen party , where I got to meet Michelle Madow and Julie Kagawa. (Both wonderful!) And I spent a bunch of time with Michelle’s family, who are also from Baltimore!

Then we went to see Evil Dead: the Musical, which was so fun. :)

20140628-225459-82499685.jpg

20140628-225500-82500289.jpg

20140628-225459-82499988.jpg

20140628-225459-82499367.jpg

20140628-225529-82529998.jpg

20140628-225530-82530633.jpg

20140628-225530-82530986.jpg

20140628-225530-82530309.jpg

20140628-225601-82561112.jpg

20140628-225601-82561446.jpg

20140628-225601-82561795.jpg

20140628-225602-82562151.jpg

20140628-225602-82562507.jpg

20140628-225603-82563061.jpg

Vacation, Day 5 (Vegas, day 1)

This is the first day of Vegas!

It was a six hour drive and we stopped in Sedona to get jerky at Buck Thornton’s World of Jerky (I got whiskey barbecue buffalo, sweet and spicy elk and teriyaki venison).

We saw the Cirque du Soleil show LOVE (the Beatles one) and it was amazing. I highly recommend it.

Less exciting: the headboard on my bed was loose and fell. Pro tip: you will not get a good night’s sleep if you worry that the headboard will fall on your face while you are sleeping.

20140628-072644-26804098.jpg

20140628-072644-26804781.jpg

20140628-072643-26803795.jpgrd

20140628-072643-26803460.jpg

20140628-072644-26804432.jpg

Screw You, Change

I’m one of those people who is not good with change.  (If you know me at all in person, even a little, you realize how much of an understatement that is.)

I really, REALLY hate change.

A lot.

A LOT, a lot.

Which is pretty funny, because the last year and a half has been a big change-fest.

I’ve had to deal with several people close to me dying which has been awful but if anything good has come of it, it’s the fact that my notion of a good day has changed.  I’m always ridiculously easy to please (“I got a card today! It’s a good day!” or “My People magazine came! It’s a good day!” or “BOOK MAIL! GOOD DAY!”) but now it’s this: if I go to bed and the number of people I love that are alive at the end of the day is the same as it was at the beginning,  it was a good day.

By that standard, I’ve only had a few bad days since last January.

But there are other changes too.  I work in TV news, and a bunch of people are leaving on Friday.  (Well, three.  I didn’t really know one that well, although he was always nice to me when we did interact; one I got along with fairly well and one is an actual friend and coworker in my small department.  Which, obviously, is going to make our lives harder as we find a replacement.  And I can feel myself focusing on that fact because it’s easier to think, “REALLY, I have to be here one night and back the next morning? REALLY? There’s NO WAY AROUND THAT?!” than it is to think, REALLY think, “Wow, a friend is leaving and I won’t be seeing her again, probably ever, because people say they’ll keep in touch but they never do.”  I’m happy for my friend, but I’m very sad for me.  And maybe we will keep in touch, at least on Facebook.

That’s the thing with this job—you become close with people (because of course you do, they’re the people you spend nights and weekends and holidays with) and then people get new jobs and go away, typically even out of the city.  And you’re happy for them, but you’re sad, too.  Because things are different, typically worse, without them.  But new people come, and they’re usually nice, too.

But Baltimore is not typically the place you stay. If you stay in TV news, it’s a steppingstone, typically either to New York or LA, or back to the city you came from.  If you don’t, you tend to leave and go into PR or a communications spokesperson gig.

Honestly, though, I’m talking about all of this to avoid talking about the rest of it.

I think I’m thinking so much about the coworkers who leave because it’s easier to think about them (because we COULD keep in touch, whether or not we actually do) than it is to think about the people who’ve died.

My vacation was great, but now I’m home and my distractions are all gone.  I miss my cousin and I miss Kathy, and I know that won’t change.  I still miss my dad and my grandmother and I feel like sometimes all I do is miss people.

So basically, people I love, please stop dying.

Vacation, Day 4

Day four was awesome. We got pedicures, went to Changing Hands and got Mexican for lunch with one of my favorite authors, Amy Fellner Dominy. There was also a bit of last minute prep work for Vegas. AND we went to the Hollywood Costume Exhibit.

I’ve known Amy since her first book came out (OyMG, which I absolutely love) but we’d never met before. I always get nervous meeting authors I love, because what if they’re horrible? But Amy is lovely, so crisis averted.

The costume exhibit is amazing. They have actual costumes from various movies (for example, the green suit Kim Novak wears in Vertigo, Rocky’s trunks from Rocky III, the iconic dress from Seven Year Itch) and I hate that I couldn’t take pictures. Anyway, trust me, it’s amazing.

Books read: Still reading the Michael Koryta.
Books acquired: 3 (see picture)
Movies watched: Nightmare on Elm Street 3
Movies acquired: 0

20140626-171915-62355482.jpg

20140626-171915-62355759.jpg

20140626-171915-62355064.jpg

20140626-171915-62355287.jpg