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This book started out promising, even as I joked, "Is this going to be like that Guy Ritchie and Madonna movie?" Looking at some of the other reviews for this book that thought terrible things like cannibalism would come into play while reading this, I wished I'd been more creative with my question. I will admit that I initially picked it up because I was hoping that I was going to get something like The Woman Who Wasn't There (a documentary about a woman who faked being a 911 survivor for many years). The more I got into the story, the more dissatisfied I became with it.
My main problem with this book is the whole idea it's based on. Why did Lillian and David feel the need to make up such a complex story? You were stranded on an island. You didn't think you were coming home. No one thought you were alive. While hurtful, no one can blame you for whatever happened there in such a stressful situation. I get there are things that happened on that island that would hurt their partners. Just tell the truth so people can heal and move on.
I'm not so much annoyed that they chose to lie, but what they chose to lie about and the types of lies they chose to tell. Some of these lies, like Kent's death (and Kent only served to be the mustache twirling villain who knew exactly how to survive on a deserted island making him feel necessary to the two), weren't even worth the effort to lie about. If you feel you have to lie, why would you unnecessarily complicate your story with excess lies? Not only that, one of the lies you told was perhaps the easiest to debunk because of the wonders of modern medicine, and it was debunked because of the wonders of modern medicine.
The dialogue was so trite. It just didn't feel like things that people would say to each other. I could see this dialogue being in one of those old 80s young adult books I used to read, just real shallow, banal quality for the most part. I found myself unintentionally frowning up at most of it. Some of these other points of contention, I'm not even going to comment on because I'll never stop talking about it, such as Paul. Insert ominous music here.
Two-thirds of the way into this book, it just fell apart completely as the romance plot completely took over. Two attractive, married people (though they don't think of themselves as attractive, but the writing proves that this just isn't so) on a beach alone together after the villain's demise... what else is there to do? Apparently, have the book lose its shit altogether from that moment to the ending.
The ending wrapped everything up so neatly. They all lived happily ever after. The truth came out to the ones that mattered despite all the lies, and everyone is okay and they're all one big happy family. Literally. I don't have anything against HEA endings, but this just didn't fit the context of the story. However, considering how the book just fell apart and the general shaky premise, maybe it did fit the book.
After I finished reading it, I was so disappointed. It wasn't a badly written book, which is why I can't rate it lower than 2 stars. The story is actually intriguing in parts, and the concept of the story itself isn't bad just not executed well. I also think that she mostly got it right with media feeling entitled to every piece of a story, as if their opinions are the ones that really matter. (I still found the woman doing the interview to be a bit of a caricature of the ambitious reporter herself.) I think I'm more perplexed at how such a promising start could go so absolutely wrong.
142 of 150 people found this review helpful
'Wreckage' is a good attempt at a novel by Emily Bleeker. The story is about David and Lillian and Kent- who are stranded on an island after a plane wreck. There are inevitable deaths from the plane crash and then the shock of it all. There are burials and then the 'Cast Away' cliches- fish spearing, weight loss, muscle gain, tooth aches. The three survivors get along well until Kent starts to be a major jerk and decides he wants to rape Lily. The dynamic of the surviving trio changes rapidly, and when David and Lily are rescued, they have to stick to a story that they must tell again and again. The first thing in the book is Lily telling the reader that she is a liar- so this sets the tone nicely.
The narrators do well- the book goes back and forth between a woman and man narrator, and it also skips to the time on the island and present day. It seems as though 'Gone Girl' has taken the lead on this formula and it's the going thing in new fiction- I personally like it and find it more exciting.
'Wreckage' fails simply because the story is altogether too basic. It's predictable and cliche, and it's all been done before. I could have guessed what each character was going to say or do. I found myself not liking the characters much- they had no depth and no real personalities.
Overall, the book is an easy read and I would classify it as a chick-lit beach read. I didn't hate it, but it wasn't fantastic either.
3 stars all around
46 of 48 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book written by Emily Bleeker or narrated by Kristin Watson Heintz and Luke Daniels ?
I didn't enjoy the story at all, I guessed the big secret by the end of the first hour. I like foreshadowing as a literary device but it just didn't work here. I had no sympathy with any of the main characters. I found myself wishing that the journalist would rat them out on live TV just to add a bit of excitement. The narration was fine, just a shame about the material.
What will your next listen be?
I've just downloaded Sleep Tight by Rachel Abbott
Which scene did you most enjoy?
I suppose the plane crash and the days in the lifeboat, quite vivid descriptions
You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?
Some nice characterisation and setting descriptions of the island, making for a nice contrast with their respective lives back home.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Great debut novel, was surprised with negative reviews. Definitely worth listening to and will keep you gripped till the end.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful