Feeling a bit duped by advertising


Red Leaves by Paullina Simons

Book Review:  2 out of 5 stars

I really had a difficult time getting through this book. The reason I chose it was that it was compared to Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History”.  There is no comparison other than the fact that the book involves a group of college friends.  There were several times when I wished I could just DNR this book but since I received a free copy from the publisher, I felt obligated to read the whole book in order to review it.  Apparently, this book was published by St. Martin’s in 1996 but has been out of print for many years and now William Morrow is re-publishing five of the author’s books over the next three years.  The author has received awards for her work so maybe it’s just me.

This story involves a young woman, Kristina Kim, and her very convoluted relationships with Connie, Jim and Albert. You know from the media’s blurbs that Kristina is going to be murdered.  She’s the narrator in the first section of the book, which consists mostly of repetitive conversations between the four “friends” about this one loves that one and that one loves this one and that one is cheating and that one wants the relationship to end, over and over and over again.  At one point, Kristina meets a policeman, Spencer O’Malley, with whom she has a flirtation.  It’s O’Malley who is assigned her murder investigation and he’s determined to find her killer.

There were so many times throughout this book when I thought “What??” Conversations were consistently a bit off, contradictory, stilted and unrealistic.  Events just didn’t fit together for me.   I didn’t find the end big reveal that shocking.  I did enjoy a few small sections of the book but then it would fall apart for me again.  I feel the story wasn’t a bad one but it was very poorly written.  My apologies to the publisher and author but truly, this book isn’t on par with “The Secret History” and shouldn’t be compared to it as it’s misleading.

This book was given to me by the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.


4 thoughts on “Feeling a bit duped by advertising

    1. I should know better by now and not believe comparisons. Donna Tartt’s book was such a good book and there truly was no comparison with this one. I probably wouldn’t have chosen the book if not for that comparison but if I had chosen it, I wouldn’t have had such high expectations as you mention. It would seem that advertising like this just sets up a book for failure. Anyway, thanks and happy reading ahead to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m not a fan of “relationship” books on the whole, so I don’t think this would be a good choice for me. Your description of who loves who and who’s cheating on who, made me laugh, but no thanks. You’re a hero for reading the whole thing!

    Liked by 1 person

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