CGG Book Club: All Is Not Forgotten
Get ready for it! My summer book club is ramping up with plenty of suggestions to get you through these final weeks of hot weather and lazy weekends of reading.
First up, a quick look at the final book in The 5th Wave series. Chances are you heard about this series this year in particular, as it was also made into an (apparently underwhelming) movie that likely won’t roll out into a planned trilogy. I also wrote about the first two books on my blog here and here. To recap, the series follows the viewpoints of a few different characters in the midst of some sort of alien apocalypse, although your entre to the world is a girl named Cassie who is determined to track down her little brother Sam, who ends up crossing paths with Cassie’s high school crush Ben, who himself bonds with a girl named Marika (the latter three all have nicknames earned at the military base they all end up at together – Nugget, Zombie and Ringer, respectively). Cassie meanwhile, is aided in her quest by a mysterious guy named Evan Walker, who may or may not be more than he seems.
The story actually takes place over a relatively short period of time, considering it has been written out into three books. The last book is actually just shy of five days long, and in total, not including flashbacks, you’re probably looking at a few short months of story. As you may imagine, those four-five days are the final days before the aliens lay their final blow. Cassie and her crew have realized there is no evading the enemy anymore – so instead, they’re willing to go down, with a serious fight.
While I felt a little disconnected from the characters at this point (the second entry in the series came out nearly two years before I read this last one), I still appreciated the way Yancey chose to wrap up the series. It’s as action-packed as ever and reads very cinematically, and I get why they chose to make it a movie, even if it flopped. If you were hoping for some big screen alien adventure action, instead of watching TV, pick up this series and binge it instead. I definitely didn’t love it as much as some other series when all is said and done, but I have a feeling if you read it all at once it’ll come off a lot stronger!
Onto this week’s book club read! Check out Wendy Walker’s fresh off the presses All Is Not Forgotten.
What’s The Buzz?: Author Wendy Walker is in the same vein as Liane Moriarty – writing stories of suburban bliss gone wrong. Her newest thriller has already been optioned by Warner Bros with Reese Witherspoon as producer, who has made a name for herself in recent years for choosing top books for possible film adaptations (see: Gone Girl, Wild).
What’s The Plot?: The story opens rather graphically, with Jenny Kramer, the teenage daughter of Tom and Charlotte Kramer, being attacked and raped for an extended period of time outside of a party. The scene, curiously, is reconstructed in a rather clinical tone by an outside voice, with interludes of interviews woven in by the primary characters. In fact, the first seven chapters of All Is Not Forgotten carry on before it’s revealed just who is speaking – a psychiatrist name Dr. Alan Forrester who is working with Jenny and is trying to put together the pieces of what happened to her that night. See, the tricky thing is Jenny’s parents made a decision to administer a controversial drug treatment (one somewhat rooted in some semblance of reality, notably) that caused her to forget the specific details of what happens to her…although it’s definitely still bubbling underneath, as we learn, and Jenny’s parents are coping with the tragedy in very different, calamitous ways.
How Summery Is It?: /4 suns I think, although that depends on what you define as a summer read. If you were looking for something suspenseful and a dishy mystery to dive into and theorize on, then All Is Not Forgotten easily earns a much higher ranking – probably/4. But the subject matter is much darker than a typical summer read, so I say proceed with caution if you want something like and bubbly and effervescent. There are bright spots – the mystery is solved – but it’s a dark road to get there.
Who Should Read This Book?: I referenced Liane Moriarty above and I think she’s a perfect touchstone for Wendy Walker and what she writes about – if you’ve dug her books, you’ll enjoy this family drama wrapped around a mystery. The psychologist-as-narrator work makes All Is Not Forgotten feel fresh and different compared to other books in this vein, as it’s not quite a detective novel (especially as Jenny’s memories come into focus) but rather, a truth novel.
Want to win a copy of All Is Not Forgotten? Here’s how to enter:
1) First & foremost: you must be a subscriber to the Canadian Gift Guide to enter this giveaway. It’s as simple as finding ‘The Gift of Gab’ box in the righthand column and dropping in your email or clicking follow. Then, tell me in the comments below by August 22, 2016 – why are you interested in reading All Is Not Forgotten?
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around August 23, 2016 to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: Follow Raincoast Books on Twitter, tag them and me (@cdngiftguide) in a Tweet about why you want to read this book! Post a link to your Tweet below in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.
5) Bonus Entry #2: Add this book to your to-read list on GoodReads, and leave a link back to the page it’s on below in a separate comment to earn yourself another bonus entry.
6) Bonus Entry #3: Follow me (@cdngiftguide) on Instagram and share the cover of this book in your own post, tagging me and Raincoast Books, telling us why you’d love to read this book. Post a link to your photo in a separate comment below to earn yourself an extra entry.