Welcome to Friday Reads. Each Friday, I’ll review any books I’ve completed that week, as well as share what I’m reading right now.

And by “Each Friday,” I mean “some Fridays.”

It’s been two weeks so let’s catch up.

Finished reading:

  I See You – Clare Mackintosh – 3* (Jan 31)

Something about it never came together for me. A clunkiness I can’t quite put my finger on. I don’t mind that almost everyone was a suspect. I wasn’t a huge fan of the final twist. There was something too omnipotent about the villain. And it took a long time for me to sort the two protagonists since they were differentiated only by writing style, not with section headings.

The Last Mrs. Parrish – Liv Constantine – 4* (Feb 16)

I found this hard to rate. Compared to other books I’ve read recently, it was fast-paced and easy to read so I went with 4*.

The protagonist is a horrible, awful young woman. She purposefully befriends a neighbor as a means of getting closer to that woman’s husband. It’s all part of a long con to steal him away from his wife and children. And yet, as unlikable and horrible as she is, I found myself fascinated at how methodically Amber went about her plans.

I also didn’t find the wife to be extremely likable until later in the book. A lot of that was based on Amber’s opinions.

Which leaves the other main character, the husband. Other than being rich and good looking (ok, I know, isn’t that enough?), I didn’t see why he was such a catch. I couldn’t figure out why Amber chose to target him.

In the end, it worked out in a way that was enjoyable to read, if not necessarily believable.

Meddling Kids Edgar Cantero – 2* (Feb 14)

It’s been awhile since a book left me so puzzled. The premise sounded amazing – it’s very loosely based on the Scooby Doo series of cartoons (and later movies), though the characters are largely tweaked.

The idea is that 12 years ago, four kids and their dog solved a mystery. And somehow (I was never completely clear on this) there’s unfinished business. So they get the band back together, minus Peter, who became a big movie star and then died of an overdose. And including Tim, the grand-dog of Sean, who is not a Great Dane with an affinity for Scooby Snacks but instead a Weimaraner who can’t get enough of a squeaky toy penguin.

Where this book lost me was in its attempt to include adult topics (some language, drinking, drugs, sex, suicide, mental illness) and its requirement to accept a lot of weird Scooby-Doo style mystery and monsters. I’d lose myself in the chase of the creatures, only to have a mentally ill character seeing visions of their dead friend. It kept me off-balance for the entire book and by the end, I had given up trying to put much of a plot together.

Cantero did something with dialogue that I’ve never seen before. When characters engaged in rapid conversation, he switched to a script style. He’d drop any attempt at dialogue tags and instead have several lines in a row of a character’s name, a colon, and some speech. It unsettled me every time I saw it.

I’m disappointed I didn’t like this more, as it was a gift from a friend and I loved Scooby as a kid.

Currently reading:

All The Missing Girls – Megan Miranda – 10%

No way, another psychological thriller! Imagine that!

Next up: (This is largely decided by the library – I’ve waitlisted a bunch of books so as they come available, I have to read them before they expire.)

  Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

This novel is the second for Hawkins, whose popular Girl on the Train was made into a (kinda lousy) movie. But the book was interesting, so I’m curious about this next book.

  Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson

I follow Maureen on Twitter and she’s hilarious. I’ve enjoyed her other books, so this YA detective story sounds promising.

I still haven’t started a short story collection, but I have my eye on a couple.

What are you reading?