The Life I Left Behind; Colette McBeth

life i left behind

It’s been a good few weeks since my last post, and even longer since my last book review. However, I am back with my thoughts on The Life I Left Behind and the mindset of posting a lot more frequently.

[The Plot]:Six years ago, Melody Pieterson was attacked and left for dead. Only a chance encounter with a dog walker saved her life. Melody’s neighbor and close friend David Alden was found guilty of the crime and imprisoned, and the attack and David’s betrayal of her friendship left Melody a different person. She no longer trusts her own judgment, she no longer trusts her friends. In fact, she no longer really has any friends. She’s built a life behind walls and gates and security codes; she’s cloistered herself away from the world almost entirely.

When I initially picked up this book, it wasn’t sure what to make of it, and I almost thought it would be something similar to ‘The Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold, however the book took me completely by surprise.

This book is written from three perspectives and it’s this dynamic that gives the book a different depth to other crime/ thriller books I’ve read in the past.  I’ve said already that I was expecting the book to be quite similar to The Lovely Bones, but as soon as I started reading this book I completely forgot about my initial reaction to the blurb and was engrossed in the story from the perspectives of Melody, Eve and Victoria.

Eve’s perspective is an important one in the telling of this story.  Although she is dead, and we know she knows who has killed her, at no point are we given any false implications of who the killer is.  I felt that Eve didn’t give too much away and I was able to make my own assumptions and predictions, and at no point did I actually guess who the killer is.  Also, I found that McBeth hit just the right balance of the supernatural element behind Eve’s perspective, she did well by not trying too hard to create a ghost story as such.

Melody’s story is a powerful one throughout this book.  She is completely beaten by the world when we first meet her.  She’s scared to leave the house alone, she can’t trust anyone and she does everything she can to distract herself from the real world.  When news comes of Eve’s death, it sparks something in Melody and slowly but surely it lights a spark inside of her.  She comes on leaps and bounds by the end of the book and I think it is her story that keeps you reading and completely unable to put the book down.  I made the mistake of reading this book on my lunch break in work, and I found it really hard to concentrate for the rest of the day until I could continue reading at home.

I hadn’t heard of Colette McBeth until reading this book, and I can safely say I will be reading more of her work.  I would love to hear recommendations of any similar books in the comments below!!

I rate this book five out of five stars.

five star

Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

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The Green Mile; Stephen King

The green Mile

As the only big reader in my family, I have tried and tried over the years to encourage my family and close friends to read more and really get into a book.  So when a relative of mine, who until this point had barely picked up a book, told me he had read a book by Jane Casey and wanted recommendations, I was thrilled to recommend Stephen King.  It was only two weeks later when he told me he had started reading The Green Mile, and I was so proud of him for reading for his own pleasure, that I decided to read along with him.

[The Plot]: At Cold Mountain Penitentiary, along the lonely stretch of cells known as the Green Mile, killers are depraved as the psychopathic “Billy the Kid” Wharton and the possessed Eduard Delacroix await death strapped in “Old Sparky.” Here guards as decent as Paul Edgecombe and as sadistic as Percy Wetmore watch over them. But good or evil, innocent or guilty, none have ever seen the brutal likes of the new prisoner, John Coffey, sentenced to death for raping and murdering two young girls. Is Coffey a devil in human form? Or is he a far, far different kind of being?

After reading Misery many months ago, I’ve been meaning to pick up more of Stephen Kings work, so as I’ve said above, this was the perfect opportunity to do so.  Over the last 6-9months, I’ve really gotten into crime and thriller books, and they weren’t really the type of book I would have gone for before hand.  Whatever it was that gave me the crime/thriller bug, I could not be more grateful.  I’ve read some incredible books over the last 6 months and Stephen Kings is so far top of the list.

I really enjoyed the tempo of this book, as you are reading from Paul’s perspective it jumps back and forth through his memories and it almost feels like you are being told the story in person.  Almost like when your grandparents tell you a story and they get side tracked on small details and forget the order of events.  This kept me fully immersed in the story as I imagined Paul sat in the sun room telling me his story over a cup of tea.  King really makes you feel all of the emotions as you read through Paul’s incredible past.

I must say that I am incredibly proud of myself for not crying whilst reading this book, as I’ve been known to cry for much less.  And saying that I did have a lump in my through on a couple of occasions whilst reading, but they way King makes you feel involved in the story and living through the memories with Paul, it’s not hard to see why.  This is a truly emotional book and after finishing it I just sat for while not really knowing what to do with myself.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I can not wait to get my hands on more of Stephen Kings work, and can’t see it being too long before I do so.

I rate this book five out of five stars.

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Those were just my bookish thoughts, but I would love to hear yours in the comments below.

Please like,share and follow if you enjoyed this post, and feel free to leave recommendations in the comments.