Jul 21, 2019

Review: The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison (The Collector, Book 1)

The Gardner loves butterflies and collects them to keep in his private garden. The garden is his secret place where he lives out his twisted reality. But his butterflies are young, teenage girls he abducts and holds prisoner, raping them whenever he wants. He gives them all new names and tattoos them with butterfly wings. In his sick mind he thinks he is caring for them and loving them in his own way. The girls who live in the garden don’t have much in the way of hope to escape but the bonds they share give them strength to live another day.

My Thoughts 

I really struggled to get through this book. It had been on my TBR list for a while and I remember all of the hype when it was first published. Having read it now, I can say that I am glad it was only 280 pages but it sure felt like a lot more.

Let me be clear, it wasn’t the dark, disturbing content that bothered me as I do enjoy dark and twisty thrillers. I will also say Hutchison has a unique ability to weave a very intricate, detailed story. However, I just felt it took for ever to tell the story and it didn’t change much through the pages. I was waiting for the twists and turns that some reviewers raved about but were absent in my view. I found the interaction between one of the girls in the FBI agents very tedious and sluggish. The one twist that came at the end left me more baffled than anything and not exactly worth the wait.

Probably the only reason I finished the book is because it was only 280 pages. Any longer and I would have had to question if I should continue. That being said, I doubt very much if I read the second book in the series. Again, I give the author credit for such a intricate, detailed story but the pace and the outcome just wasn’t enough for me.

Published 2016, Thomas & Mercer

Jul 9, 2019

Review: Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

In this story of three teenage sisters in rural Western Canada, the reader is taken on a terrifying, suspenseful journey of survival. On the run from an abusive home life, these young sisters find themselves in yet another dangerous situation. They will do whatever they have to do to get to a safe place where they can start new lives and forget the past. The story spans almost 20 years and confirms that you can run from your past but that it’s always with you.

My thoughts:

This is one of the toughest books I’ve ever rated. I was all over the place trying to decide on my rating. There was a point when I decided I didn’t like it and I probably wouldn’t read another of her books, but as I kept reading, there were times I thought Wow! Maybe I don’t dislike this book as much as I thought. Talk about mixed feelings!

First of all, the violent content of this book, especially in part one, made it very difficult for me to get through. That said, the intensity is what kept me going. Part two wasn’t as riveting but it showed how the girls were able to move on and I didn’t hate it. The part that really frustrated me was part three with two of the characters making bad decision after bad decision. By this time, I was invested and had to see it through. Surprisingly, by the end of the book my attitude had softened a little bit and I even got choked up.

The bottom line is that I’m glad I stuck with it, I liked the way the book ended, but I think it’ll be a while before I read another of Chevy Stevens’ books. This is the third book of hers I’ve read. (Still Missing and That Night) and it occurs to me this is how I feel after each of her books. Very conflicted. I’m torn between having problems with the story but unable to look away due to the suspense. Kind of like a car wreck you see on the side of the road. You don’t really want to look but you want to know what’s going on. That’s the best way I can describe how I feel about this book. For me, I gave extra marks for the intensity and the ending.

Published in 2015, St. Martin’s Press