Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Hungry: Learning To Swim

The Author: Sara J. Henry
The Publisher: Crown (a division of Random House)
The Book Hungry Biotch Who Chose This Month's Selection: Karla *points at self*
The Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Summary (as jacked from Amazon):

"If I'd blinked, I would have missed it. But I didn't, and I saw something fall from the rear deck of the opposite ferry: a small, wide-eyed human face, in one tiny frozen moment, as it plummeted toward the water."

When she witnesses a small child tumbling from a ferry into Lake Champlain, Troy Chance dives in without thinking. Harrowing moments later, she bobs to the surface, pulling a terrified little boy with her. As the ferry disappears into the distance, she begins a bone-chilling swim nearly a mile to shore towing a tiny passenger.
     Surprisingly, he speaks only French. He'll acknowledge that his name is Paul; otherwise, he's resolutely mute.
     Troy assumes that Paul's frantic parents will be in touch with the police or the press. But what follows is a shocking and deafening silence. And Troy, a freelance writer, finds herself as fiercely determined to protect Paul as she is to find out what happened to him.  She'll need skill and courage to survive and protect her charge and herself.  

My Thoughts (as jacked from my own zombies):

I am a huge fan of mysteries.  I read them.  I watch them.  I play out my own twisted scenarios in which I believe people of nefarious deeds and then go on stakeout missions which have me hiding in my rosebushes while watching the 'suspects' in order to catch them in the act.*

That said, I can usually tell who the killer/bad guy is within the first few pages.  If not then, I definitely know the minute the "bad guy" shows his/her face the first time.  This does not deter me from finishing or enjoying the book.  Like Troy is supposed to be in LEARNING TO SWIM, I am a puzzle/mystery-solver by nature. I make no apologies for this.  I am how I am.

Maybe, this is why I didn't care for Troy all that much.  I mean, throughout the book, she tells us how much of a Nancy Drew she is, but I don't see it.  When she goes through Madeline's emails, she is wracked by guilt in snooping and actually stops herself from snooping.  On more than one occasion.  Take it from me, peeps.  When you're a real Veronica Mars, YOU JUST CANT LET IT GO.  Especially, when you KNOW that there's something wonky going on in the ole chocolate factory.

So, yeah. I didn't connect with her on that.

Also, I find it difficult to believe that Troy would--being the "mystery solver" that she professes to be--just take someone/anyone's word for something.  I know that sounds weird, but I don't want to spoil this book too much for you.  Let's just say, I knew who was behind the kidnapping/dumping Paul over the side of the ferry from the moment he finally talked to Troy.  I KNEW.  And I just couldn't believe that Troy didn't question certain things because I was questioning them, and I believed Troy when she told me she was Veronica-freaking-Mars.

Okay.  Rant over.  Maybe.

This was a good book.  I'm not saying it wasn't.  I just got the distinct impression that the author was deliberately making Tory obtuse to certain things to propel the mystery along, which irritated me a bit.  In fact, if Troy hadn't been so dense about said certain things, I might have been more forgiving when the middle of book became a dry read.  The beginning was awesome-sauce.  The end had me riveted.  But the middle?  Meh.

What about all you fun folks?  Have you read LEARNING TO SWIM?  How about the companion, A COLD AND LONELY PLACE?  Do share.

Until next time, when Blake has chosen CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare.  I loved that book back in the day when I read it, so I will be interested to see how I feel about it upon the re-read.  Later, gators!

*you bitches laugh, but I'm not joking.  I do this.  A LOT.


  1. this is a fascinating review in that you basically ripped apart the main character, but finished it by saying you liked the book. HA. oh, karla.

    though you do have a point re: a person not letting go of a mystery, ala YOU and v.mars. that comment made the most sense to me and pinpointed what was frustrating about troy. well done, K, well done.

  2. Uh-oh. I was intrigued when I read some of the other Book Hungry reviews, but now I'm not so sure...

    Guess it'll go a little lower in the TBR pile. *grin&

  3. Oh, Karla, you had us DYING last night during our discussion. I need to know where do you buy night vision goggles anyway?

    I love this review; you said your piece without divulging spoilers - no easy feat - and summed up my problems with the middle, too. I liked the story overall; my issues weren't severe enough to make me hate it -- but yeah, there were some eyebrow raising moments.

  4. Great review! The "meh" about the middle is disappointing to hear, but it sounds like the end makes up for it. Will keep on my TBR list.

    I,too, am curious to find out how I feel about City of Bones after the reread. I'm looking forward to joining you guys for reals next time! ;-)

  5. Just so you know the night vision goggle story is going in my current work in progress. She will be a nosy neighbor, ~cough~.

    Great review. I didn't find the middle of the book as "meh" as you did. For me, it was that this book is still with me. You know. I think it's b/c as we discussed last night, the ferry incident when it all shakes out. I am still furious and want the kidnapper to be dismembered. Okay, mini rant over.

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