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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!

The Weight of Blood: A Novel

The Weight of Blood - Laura McHugh This book is good, but please don’t buy it because you like Gillian Flynn. I get it—publishers need to lure readers in by dropping a huge name like Flynn’s, but it almost always leads to disappointment. This book is no exception.

Okay, so there is some similarity between Flynn and THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD. The chapters flip between two protagonists, the narrative takes place in two different moments of time, and there is a mystery to be solved. And yes, there are some surprises and twists along the way. And here’s the best part: THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD actually has a satisfying ending.

The writing itself has signs of a newer author. At times the description is rich and the wording luxurious, but at other times we dip back into the feel of its Missouri settings. It’s a mismatch. While the characters are interesting enough, at times they do fall flat. And then (without giving away too much) when first person narrative can’t be used to drive the story, it switches into third person. Some may find this interesting, but I think the author just got stuck.

The main story is about a girl named Lucy whose mom went missing in a cave and whose friend was found murdered. The other protagonist is Lila, whose own demons seem to surface later in history with Lucy’s. Now, it is a slow craw compared to Flynn’s works, but it’s still interesting. There’s enough suspense and twist to keep it going. And like I said before, unlike Flynn’s GONE GIRL, this ending wraps up nicely.

So if you like a mystery and can appreciate good writing, then give this a shot. It doesn’t have the punch a seasoned and more edited work has, but it still offers a good ride.

Thanks to Random House and Spiegel & Grau for providing me with a review copy of this book.