Tuesday, August 9, 2016

With Malice & You Know Me Well » Mini-Reviews #2


With Malice is supposed to be a suspenseful, psychological thriller. Ellen already wrote up an excellent review a little while ago (HERE). I didn't have much to add, so I thought a mini-review would work out best.

At its core, With Malice is a story of 2 girls and their love for each other, and how important of a part the media can play in determining the innocence or guilt of an individual. Jill is a quiet, bookish girl who is focused on her studies while Simone is an outgoing personality who is more focused on having a good time than thinking about college. The other major difference is their families. Jill's parents are divorced but well-off while Simone's parents are religious and still married, but struggle with their finances. Despite these differences, Simone's and Jill's friendship thrives from the time they were little.

Since this had been marketed as a thriller, I was expecting a lot more out of this novel. For one, I didn't realize that most of the book would be Jill recovering from the car accident in the hospital/rehab. We get bits and pieces from her memories as she slowly recovers them. It is interspersed with interviews, transcripts and any other evidence collected by the Italian authorities. It was interesting enough, but it lacked actual action.

Perhaps it is as Ellen said in her review. I'm too old for teen angst and drama. I suppose more importantly, I'm too old to invest and believe in teen angst and drama. Nothing came as a surprise to me.

I rated it 3 stars because I didn't have very high expectations. It was a quick and easy read. After having written this review, I am considering lowering my rating to 2 or 2.5 stars. But I will let my original rating stand for now.

I am glad that I chose to borrow it from my library, however. I don't foresee ever re-reading this one.

[rating stars="three-stars"]

[book-info number="1"]

This was unexpected. It's the only way I can describe my reaction to reading this book. Ellen (as always) has written up a wonderful and more coherent review (HERE).

You Know Me Well is not a work of genius by any means. If I had picked this book up at any other time, I would have given it the requisite two to three stars and moved on. I still decided on the three stars because while I could relate to the book, I didn't feel the magical spark for the entire novel, just for very specific bits and pieces of it.

Kate & Mark

I can see why a lot of people wouldn't enjoy Kate's character. However, I could relate to her. The running away, the questioning of friends and relationships. I'm in a similar position myself, so I could sympathize with the alienation she was feeling with her friends. I could Understand.

And Mark just broke my fucking heart. I'm sure many of you out there have gone through the process of unrequited love. It's awful. It's always there nagging at you in the back of your mind and you just wish you could STOP. It appears at the most inconvenient times. It pops up as a painful reminder just when you wonder if you're finally getting over it all. As you might be able to tell, I'm in the midst of that process myself.

Mark's sadness made me relive my own sadness. It was cathartic, and much needed.

It's time for me to go wallow in ice cream guys...


  1. (HUGS)

    Books tend to unearth memories and emotions that we sometimes don't really want to be reminded of.

    No interest in With Malice whatsoever. I have a copy of You Know Me Well - someday, I hope.

  2. Thanks for the hugs, Joy! I will say that You Know Me Well is a very quick read. Which is always a plus :).

  3. I felt the same about With Malice. :-) I do love a mini review!

  4. I wish I had borrowed With Malice from the library too, as it really missed the mark for me. I really thought going in it would focus more on the action that happened abroad, rather than the post-mystery rehab.

  5. UGH, I feel you, Mark made me feel ALL those things too- it was hard to read because it was SO damn realistic. I swear, sometimes it NEVER goes away. Now I am about to cry. You are not alone, my friend. ::Hugs:: But I really agree with your thoughts on You Know Me Well overall, too. It was just a so-so one for me as well. I am bummed that you didn't like With Malice more, especially since the reasons you didn't like it are probably reasons that would be hard for me to take, too. Is it bad that I mostly want to read it because the cover is super pretty? Well, and that I traded for it and might as well ;) Great reviews, and I hope your heart feels better soon ♥

  6. Mini-reviews are so nice when you have a lot of backlog :P.

  7. Right?! I feel like they need to warn us of that beforehand. NO ACTION HERE. Haha

  8. Thank you so much for your kind words Shannon!
    And no it's not bad that you want to read it for the cover :P. I'd love to know your thoughts about it!