Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Don't You Cry

by Mary Kubica
narrated by Kate Rudd & Kirby Heyborne

"In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to "My Dearest" is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate, Quinn Collins, to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she's the person Quinn thought she knew....

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where 18-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther and Alex is drawn further under the stranger's spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes listeners on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end."
*****

I hated this book. I hated it. Okay, maybe "hate" is a strong word (despite the fact that I just said I hated it twice, and even went so far as to italicize the word once), but I didn't like it at all. 

 This was the first book I listened to on Audible. As far as Audible goes, I enjoyed it much. It's a great way to pass time during my commute -- so this is not a negative review of Audible. For awhile though, I did wonder if I would have liked this book better if I was actually reading it, as opposed to listening to it. However, in the end, I've decided that I would have disliked it either way.

Even though, as I stated, this is not a review of Audible, I will start my review with the Audible portion of this book. Both of the narrators -- Kate Rudd (as Quinn), and Kirby Heyborne (as Alex), were fine. In a different book, I might have even liked them. However, Quinn's character is no older than 25, and Alex's character is 18, yet both of these narrators spoke like, and have the voices of individuals in their mid-40s. Alex's voice was especially unbelievable -- and it annoyed me the entire time. Further, the characters sometimes used slang words or phrases, which all sounded absurd coming from these voices. 

But for me, even perfect narrators couldn't have saved this story. First, I've read other novels by Mary Kubica. After my sister's wedding -- because I didn't get to see her before she went back to the midwest -- my biff left The Good Girl at the reception desk in the hotel for me. I read that one and liked it. Following this success, I decided to read another by Kubica, this time Pretty Baby, and it was okay. I thought that a Mary Kubica book would be a good choice for my foray into Audible -- I thought it would be exciting and keep me captivated.

This novel is supposed to be a psychological thriller, but it is really just a slog. Quinn is a horrendously annoying character. She's whiny, and selfish. She has no ambition, but complains repeatedly about her how bored she is at work. She has no money, but still manages to eat a lot of Chinese takeout, and while her mouth is stuffed with lo mein, she complains about how expensive Chicago is (been there, done that, try living on the East Coast, hun). She complains and feels sorry for herself the entire time. She even manages to make her roommate's misfortune an attack on herself. But beyond this, she's underdeveloped -- Kubica's fault -- and even though I preferred her portions of the story to Alex's portions, it wasn't because of her; it was only because the Quinn portions didn't lull me to sleep.

Now, Alex, is a bore. He's not selfish, and he's not annoying (necessarily), but he becomes obsessed with a woman he sees in a coffee shop, and despite the fact that she won't tell him her name, and despite the fact that she's clearly insane, and despite the fact that she continues to showcase a completely psychopathic set of personal traits, he's endlessly enthralled with her. Why? Well, because she's pretty. Fairly typical of an 18-year-old boy, I suppose, but still -- my eye rolls were intense enough that I could have passed out.

Characters aside, the writing was completely sloppy and repetitive. The analogies and metaphors employed throughout the novel could have been better written by my former first-graders. The plot twisted well enough (though it was completely unrealistic) -- and admittedly I didn't predict the ending -- but I also stopped trying about four chapters in. Finally, despite the tornado-havoc plot, the ending wraps up neatly -- with a bow on top. It was almost as though Kubica thought, "I'm tired of writing this; I'm done now. The end," which I would actually understand, because I was tired of reading it. 

Anyway, all things considered -- this book wasn't about a pedophile -- (looking at you, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things), and I did finish listening to it, after all, so I guess it could have been worse. I don't recommend it though, and if you're looking for a "psychological thriller," Kubica has written many others I would suggest you try first (or, read a book by any of the other authors -- hundreds of them -- who write competently in this genre).

Luckily for me, I've moved on to a new Audible book: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk  -- and two chapters in, I'm already in love with Lillian.          

Goodbye, Don't You Cry -- the only tears I will shed for you, are tears of joy that I'm finished listening.

Rating: 🌟⋆

Buy this book here.

Up Next and Coming Soon: The Leavers (hardcover), Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk (audible)

4 comments:

  1. Wow - so what did you really think? I loved this review - too often reviewers try to give credit where none belongs. I loved reading Lilian Boxfish - I can imagine the audio version has a lot of potential!

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  2. LOL! Your comment made me laugh out loud. Yeah... I didn't love this one LOL. However, I have heard only good things about Lillian Boxfish - and so far, the narrator is spot-on. I'm only a couple of chapters in, but this narrator is a perfect choice. I'm fairly certain that review will be nothing like this one! :-D

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  3. It's Meg! I did this book on audible, too, and it was a huge waste! Totally forgettable! I can recommend a million better narrators and books. (I've literally listened to roughly 200 audiobooks in the past year. That is a literal number.)

    Lillian is delightful! I did the written book from BOTM, but I've heard the audio is excellent! I hope you love her as much as I do.

    Anyway, if you need audiobook recs, I'm your girl. Or look up Lierate Housewife's blog or Beth Fish Reads. They're two of the top bloggers in that area.

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    1. Meg - I'm so glad (though not even remotely surprised) that you felt the same way about this book that I did! It was awful.

      I love Lillian so far! The audio is fantastic - and the narrator is exactly what I would picture the real Lillian to sound like.

      I'll be in touch with you about audiobooks as soon as I finish Lillian! I'll need about a dozen recommendations then.

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