Book review: The Woman in the Window

Book review: The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window is a book that everyone I know has read and reviewed already. So when my book club chose this one as our March BOTM I knew I had to read it. And having been focusing on the classics until now this year, I loved the chance of reading a contemporary thriller. So let us check how that turned out shall we?

About the book

Woman in the Window

Book Name: The Woman in the Window

Author: Finn A J

Genre: Fiction – Thriller

Characters: Dr. Anna, Ed and Olivia Fox, Alistair, Jane and Ethan Russell, Dr Fielding

Setting: New York, The USA

The plot

Dr. Anna Fox, a child psychologist suffering from agoraphobia, has not left her house for almost a year now. Her daily routine includes drinking a lot of wine while being highly medicated, watching retro movies and peeking into her neighbours’ house through their respective windows. Her life is fairly “usual” until the Russells move into her neighbourhood. 

Soon they become her new obsession, especially their young son, Ethan. But when she sees something untoward happening at her nieghbours’ she has no grounds to report about it. How she proves that she did not hallucinate and finds out the culprit form the rest of the story in The Woman in the Window.

My initial thoughts

Though a little long winded in the first half of the book, The Woman in the Window kept me fully entertained. The author takes a lot of time to get us into her world but once you get past the draggy first 100 pages, the pace fastens and the book turns unputdownable. 

If you have read as many thrillers as I have done or more, you will find the twists coming a mile away. Anna is not a protagonist that I liked or related to, but I think that is what the author was going for – an unreliable narrator with ‘the whole should I believe or not’ vibe. And maybe that is why there are a lot of comparison with the Girl on the Train, and rightly so. 

Things that worked for me

  • Despite the predictability, The Woman in the Window kept me hooked with its short chapters and fast pace (the second part).
  • Like me if you had a special interest in the unreliable narrator category, you are in for a treat.
  • There are quite a number of twists to keep the readers on their toes sprinkled all through the book.

Things that didn’t work for me

  • As I already mentioned, The Woman in the Window is totally predictable and it takes quite a while for something to actually happen.
  • I didn’t relate to any of the characters in the story, and the narrator was borderline annoying.

Bottom-line

The Woman in the Window might be old wine in a new bottle but will keep you occupied in a pinch, and might even turn to be unputdownable. With the movie version coming before the end of the year, you might wanna read it already.

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Woman in the Window

Let us chat

Have you read this one? Does predictability spoil the fun for you in a thriller? If not, what turns you off in a thriller? Let us talk.

Book review: The Woman in the Window

Sunday Musings #44: A restful week with a lot of ME time

I kinda took a break, unplanned of course, last week as I didn’t feel inspired to blog. I know taking such an unplanned break is a strict no no for most of us bloggers, but I have made peace with it. I just couldn’t get myself to switch on my laptop at all.

But it is a good thing because I found the mojo back and I am talking to you only because I want to, not because my schedule says so. I used this week to laze around the house particularly doing nothing, not talking to friends or family and got some reading done. I can say it was quite the quality ME time I was craving for. 

What I read this week

And yes, but now I am back to be the chatter box that I usually am.
After not reading for about the first two weeks in April, I had a great reading week finally. I read three books in a week and I liked them all. Isn’t that great?

  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 
  • Truth or Beard by Penny Reid 
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

What I watched this week

  • Boys over Flowers!
  • Meteor Garden! 

Tell me all you Kdrama freaks how come none of you recommended me about this series. I am so completely obsessed that I can’t even talk about it. I LOVED THEM BOTH. I will speak about them more once I have calmed the heck down. 

unplanned break
unplanned break

I finally watched Shazam last week and I loved it. But again I can’t wait for the Avengers Endgame this week. 

Around the blogosphere

I know I have not visited many blogs recently but hey, I will make it up alright? I will be around dropping in with a comment very soon. But here are some of my picks from the last week for now.

I will be linking today’s post with Caffeinated reviewer’s Sunday post Meme

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unplanned break

Let us chat

Do you take such unplanned breaks and then feel guilty about it? If you are good at planning holidays, oh please let us know how you do it. Let us talk. 

Book review: The Woman in the Window

Five websites for the unpublished writers

The online lives of writers (published or not) is quite hectic, right? While you might feel the need to be everywhere, most of us do not have the time to do that. Some of our favorite guest bloggers posted on their marketing techniques here. But here are a few more websites for the unpublished writers, especially if you are unpublished yet. Shall we talk to Victoria already, shall we?

Say hello to Victoria!

websites for the unpublished writers

Hello, I’m Victoria Jayne, a writer. For the longest time, I couldn’t even identify myself as a writer. I struggled with the title fearing I lacked the clout to call myself such.

I’ve since learned that to call oneself a writer, one must simply write. I do that. I am a writer.

Websites for the unpublished writers

With that sorted, I moved on to another handy dandy self-identifier, author. Ohh, this one is tricky. In my head, this one required a bit more validation than a writer. For me to refer to myself as an author, I decided I needed to get published.

This post is going to focus on some of the tools I used on my journey to calling myself an author. Translation: here are some websites a previously unpublished writer used before publication and will continue to use for future works.

1.Scribophile.com

This little gem has a lot to offer unpublished and published authors alike. The main thing I took away from Scribophile was the ability to get feedback on my writing. A writer can sign up for free with Scribophile and get an author page where you fill out all sorts of nifty things about yourself. You gain access to works by other authors both long and short.

Scribophile works on a critique system where you earn “karma” by critiquing other writer’s work. The amount of karma you earn is based on the length of critique and whether or not the work is “spotlighted.” You need five karma (points?) to post your piece. When a work is spotlighted, more karma is awarded. There are several avenues to “spotlight” your work.

I like to think of Scribophile as a way to get honest beta readers. Scribophile also offers a paid version allowing to post an unlimited amount of works, and other things. Scribophile also offers writing contests frequently which can earn you karma or cash! Yes, cash! It also has forums, comments sections on profiles, and a messaging system.

2.ManuscriptWishList.com

Finding ManuscriptWishList.com was like finding gold! This website contains the profiles of people in the publishing industry telling the world what they want. It is their manuscript wish list. In their profiles, they talk about what they want right now.

Writers can search by name; they can search by genre; they can search by keyword. As far as I can tell, this resource is free. This is a wonderful resource when you are at the query stage. This leads to my next two suggested websites.

3.Querytracker.com

I like lists. I like spreadsheets. And I like to track the crap out of things. That said, query tracker is a way to track publishers and literary agents you think might be interested in representing and/or publishing your work. You can search by genre, company name, agency name, location, and whether or not someone is open to queries.

Each agent gets a snippet of information about how they like to be contacted, and there is a comment section. This was invaluable. I got a peek at what this agent received. I got a glimpse at response times. In the free version, you can sort of gauge response times, or lack of response, by users updated their comments on the agent. In the paid version, you have access to this in graphs. I like graphs.

Additionally, querytracker hosts forums where you can feedback on your opening paragraph, chapter, your title, etc. You can also get some insight as to what it is like to work with some agents or agencies — a wonderful tool.

4.Twitter.com

Social media? Come on Victoria, that’s where I follow celebrity meltdowns and get my sports news. Well, this is where you are going to get your agenting information too. Agents and publishers have a twitter presence.

They often post about what they are looking for using #MSWL (manuscript wishlist, see how that ties in?) and they discuss horror stories. They talk about querying pitfalls and also provide updates as to where they are in their queries. You follow an agent you will get a lot of information about who they are and what they want.

Additionally, Twitter has a very active writer presence. #writingcommunity #amwriting These are other writers sharing their experience and supporting one another. There are also pitch parties. You can use Twitter to pitch agents. Yes, you can get published by reaching out to an agent via a hashtag!

websites for the unpublished writers Pinterest
websites for the unpublished writers PIn me

Also, if you are struggling with getting into the mind of your character, #authorconfession and #writerlywipchat offers daily exercises geared toward putting you in your characters heads. You can connect with your characters by answering questions like “what video games does your main character play?” or “who does your main character have a crush on?” These questions, while the answers may not appear in your story, will help you get a better understanding of your characters as well-rounded people and make them fully dimensional in your writing.

5. Reedsy.com

The wealth of information that is Reedsy, I really can’t begin to explore in this post. There just isn’t enough time in the day. As an unpublished writer, what can you get out of reedsy? Resources. You have access to articles about writing, some of which can be emailed directly to you.

You also have a directory of editors, promotion experts, and anything you can think of that will help you get on the road to publishing and if you have already been published. Seriously, this is a one-stop shop where you can get almost everything you need to get published.

Final words

websites for the unpublished writers

So that’s my top five. Those websites for the unpublished writers were a gift from the heavens. I learned a lot along this journey. My debut paranormal romance novel came out on December 4, 2018. It’s been a wild ride where I have learned more than I ever thought possible.

It’s all worth it to hold my first book in my hand. That was something I never thought I’d be able to do. Now, it is done. You can do it too. Happy writing.

Thank you, Victoria!

And I am back to thank Victoria for taking time off her busy schedule to write us a guest post. You can follow and contact her through these links.

Twitter | Blog | Facebook |Instagram | Goodreads | BookBub

If you have something to add to Victoria’s story, drop a comment here or send him a word of thanks on the social media. Both of us would love that.Also, if you are interested in writing a guest post for the independent publishing community, write to me right away. I am still accepting guest post submissions.

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websites for the unpublished writers

Let us chat

Authors, what are your go to sites for resources, motivation or maybe just networking? What are your fave websites for the unpublished writers? And readers do you even spend time scoring out Social media to read about the writing community? Let us talk.

Book review: The Woman in the Window

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: A Book review

Though Fahrenheit 451 has been on my TBR list for a while and it took a push from both the Banned book club and Classics N Christie book club to make me pick it up in March. And guess what? Like the other books the club has picked so far, it was great and I have no idea why I was hesitating to pick it up at all. Let us get with it shall we?

About Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

Book Name: Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

Genre: FictionDystopia, Science Fiction, Classics

Characters: Guy Montag, Norman Corwin, Clarisse McClellan, Mildred Montag, Captain Beatty, Professor Faber

Setting: The USA

Plot summary of Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is set in dystopian world where books are banned and if found in person or house firemen were set upon to burn them. This is just strategy by the government to control the minds of the masses. The people too have lost interest in reading and television screens have taken their lives. 

The protoganist Montag is a fireman who takes his job seriously and follows the rules to the T without any remorse until he meets his young neighbour Clarisse. Clarisse questions everything in life and doesn’t hide her enthusiasm from Montag. Her suspicious disappearance sparks something in Montag and he starts reading bits of books that he had stolen whilst on his job. 

The little knowledge he gains from the books changes not only his idea of life and to know how it does read Fahrenheit 451 right now!

Book review of Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 talks about censorship but it was more about the technological growth and how people can get dependent on them. It is also about political autocracy and the controlling the masses. Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which the paper burns but it is also about what makes the human mind tick and engaged. Reading does it. Period.

The first thing that happened when I finished the book was talk to everyone else who has read the book about its relevancy even today. The book is full of metaphor and I can’t believe how foresighted the author was, given the book was written in the early 1950s.

Of course the book was banned, and I would not be surprised if it were banned today had it been released now. I cannot emphasis on how powerful the book is, especially for the current global political scenario.

Things that worked for me

  • The book is full of metaphors and you can’t stop reading if you started matching it with real world.
  • The story and the plot are simple and direct, which helps it becoming the powerful book he is.
  • The book is filled with quotes and if you hoard quotes, you are in for a treat.
  • Fahrenheit 451 is still (or more) relevant to the current scenario.

Things that didn’t work for me

It was really hard to get into initially, like most other classics.

Bottom-line

Fahrenheit 451 is for all the bookworms out there. If you are look for a book, any book, PICK THIS.  If you want to read just one book in a year Fahrenheit 451 is the one for you. It will change your world and thoughts about books and reading. 

Similar reviews that you might like

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Fahrenheit 451

Let us chat

Have you read this book? Do you have it in your TBR? What do you think of this book, if you have read it? What other banned books have you read? Let us talk.

Book review: The Woman in the Window

Sunday Musings #43: One on the End of March Madness aka #monthlyWrapup

I love April and I am not sure if it had something to do with being my birthday month or the summer holidays we used to have when we were younger. Either way, I look forward to April right from January.

And this year I had huge plans for my birthday (this Friday April 12th) and the month as well but they feel through, thanks to the weird place am at with most of my relationships and friendships. Still, I am okay now and you guys (yes, you my online friends) have played a large part in that. Otherwise I would be too depressed to get out off bed.

But now I have posts to be written, books to be reviewed and DMs to be replied to. I guess keeping busy gets me through. For now. So let us get on with a quick recap on what happened in my life last month on the March’19 wrap up, shall we?

Quick March’19 updates

  • March 2019 started with a bang with Emirates Literature Festival where I got to volunteer for two weekends. I met so many cool authors like Sandhya Menon, Pierce Brown, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black et al, and got books signed up from them.
  • I met so many like minded readers in the form of other volunteers and attendees. And just seeing younger bookworms with their books  just makes me feel all warm and gooey. 
  • I found and joined a local book club called Bookworms of UAE, which is surprisingly active!
  • Oh before I forget we took a short holiday at the beach at Marjan Islands and somehow got a bit of the sun during the weird weather period. 
  • Speaking of the weather, Dubai, the desert city, had two full days of rain out of nowhere just as we returned from the beach. And to put all your questions to rest, we are back to the warm spring weather this week. 

What I read this month:

I read five books last month, bringing a total of 15 books for the year as of now. And I suppose I should be thanking all the book club choices because let us face it, otherwise I would not be reading as fast at all. 

So here are the ones I read this month on the March’19 wrap up , and remind me to update the A-Z 2019 page soon!

My monthly top picks

My monthly top picks from the movie world Why not make a list based on the entertainment value now that I have spent hours watching these series and movie right? So here they are on the March’19 wrap up!

  • The Umbrella Academy
  • Green book
  • Queer eye Season 3
  • Us
  • The Punisher Season 3 (now why would they cancel it!)
  • Captain Marvel
  • A star is born ( left me a sobbing mess)

Sorry couldn’t stop with five!

On my blog 

Here is a quick recap in case you missed my blog post last week.

Sunday Musings #42: One About A Short Holiday And The Spring

Review shots: Christie’s murder mysteries

Discussion: Kinds Of Unreliable Narrators (No They Are All Not The Same!) 

Quiz: Find The Book Title From Its Quotes 

I will be linking today’s post with Caffeinated reviewer’s Sunday post Meme.

Around the blogosphere

Let us talk about posts I loved from the blogging community last week now.

  • Being a multilingual myself, I resonated so much with Cat from Pages and Plots on her post on why she doesn’t read much in her own native language. Who else is with me on this one?
  • Dani’s post on Instagramming without being discouraged is a lifesaver, especially if you do not have a huge following yet, like me. Take a looksie!
  • Speaking about social media pressures, Sam from WLABB posted an awesome discussion post how she battles the social media game, which I seemingly have lost already. 
  • If you know Shruti then you have been warned enough. Read this hilarious post on the things that JK Rowling said about the Potterverse on her blog.
  • Ellyn posted this funny listicle of the problems that only bookworms face all the time. I couldn’t help sharing it.
  • Another awesome discussion post by Marie and this time it is on how we interact with the book blogging community.
  • The Orangutan Librarian posted this how to (not) read review guide and I wish every author read it, just to save the world from all the drama and personal attacks.

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Let us chat

How many books did you read last month? Did you watch any of these series and movies mentioned? What are your favorite posts of the week? Let us talk.