It was pretty good! Set in LA in 2003 - before iPhones & before social media - before selfies! An artist goes missing on the day of her new gallery show called, Still Lives, where the art is all self portraits of her dressed up as famous murdered women like the black dahlia and Nicole Brown Simpson. It has a smart female protagonist and supporting characters. Would make a great book club read too!
For kicks, I keep up with the Reese Witherspoon bookclub, and some early picks remain on my TBR. Although this book has less than stellar reviews, I‘m committed to my goal. ...I didn‘t not like it, but didn‘t care about the MC. Also, it‘s weird the author questions the motives of the Still Lives artist - creating art based on IRL murdered LA dead women. Because wait, isn‘t the author doing the very same thing in the writing of this book!?
This was a book club selection and it was just okay for me. The summary sounds so compelling and I read it quickly but the execution fell flat with a truly anticlimactic ending. I felt distanced from all the characters and think it would've worked better for me if it had been told from different POVs, but that's only my two cents.
Three stars just because it kept me turning the pages right up to the disappointing ending.
Week 2 check in and we‘re back from our 9-day vacation. NYC was amazing! We got to see 2 shows: Burn This with Keri Russell and Adam Driver (swoon), and The Book of Mormon which was HILARIOUS!! The good thing about NYC is all the walking and we got no less than 15K steps a day! Reminder: I‘m in a boot! I hope everyone else had a great week as well!! #bfcround2 📷 the Guggenheim in NYC
Started a new one on vacation. Book 2/4 for the challenge. We are in Boston for the next 2 days and we love it! It‘s our first time here ❤️ Today we‘re going to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and hoping to get in over 10K steps like yesterday (even with my boot) #teamnewbie #bfc @wanderinglynn @Econaghan @BookBridget @laura311 @WriterAtHeart @jmtrivera @Honeybeegirl @BookishBelle @crazyspine
The artist behind Still Lives, an exhibition about women from famous murder cases, goes missing. Was it her boyfriend? Or perhaps his ex?
I seem to be hitting a run of just okay reads. This one does say something about the consumption of images of murder victims, especially attractive girls & women. Ultimately though, it‘s not a read that will stay with you. 3⭐️
Still Lives by Maria Hummel is a slow burning tale about a woman who, even though she is haunted by her history as a reporter's assistant, just can't help but snoop around and put herself at risk in order to try to solve a murder case. Unfortunately this one fell totally flat for me. I pushed through because it was a book club pick... definitely a thumbs down from me.
What was even the point of this book? For being only 275 pages, it was filled w/pointless tangents & boring personal history of the main character that had fuck all to do w/anything. Took way too long to even get to the “thriller” part, & I use quotes b/c it wasn‘t a thriller at all. Reveal was 100% predictable & trite, w/no further twist to give it any depth. Boring, pretentious, & not at all feminist like it seemed to be striving toward. 1/5 ⭐️
Uhhhhh the police are investigating the “disappearance” of a grown adult not even two full days after she was last seen, and the very next morning after she texted with someone? That‘s........not realistic.
(Oh God, the author is doing that thing I hate of referring to a character over and over by their full name. But it‘s only one person she‘s doing it with and I suppose it‘s because she‘s an ~*artiste*~ or something. But uggghhhhhh major pet peeve. I‘ll keep reading but this on its own will probably affect the rating, LOL)
This has pretty low ratings/reviews on Goodreads and Litsy, but I‘m working on clearing out the books that have been on my TBR shelves the longest, and I want to at least give it a try. #nowreading
I ordered this book from BOTM last year ... I started it and then quit after about 30 pages. I'm back at it now and eager to cross this off my TBR list. The reviews for this one were really mixed - which is surprising since both BOTM and Reese's Book club picked it. I'm hoping I'm not disappointed!
Did anyone else read this one yet?
Maria Hummel‘s literary thriller is a love letter to Los Angeles that‘s strong in its observations of the modern art world and its inhabitants but the mystery element quickly tails off under the weight of Maggie‘s backstory and the final quarter falls apart as she makes leaps of seduction based on a knowledge of the other characters that isn‘t previously shared on the page, concluding with an overblown denouement that made me roll my eyes.
I enjoyed this mystery set in an art museum in LA. On the night of her grand opening, the artist goes missing. Told from the point of view of a museum employee, whose personal history sometimes colors her ideas on what happened. There are also some interesting commentary on being a single career oriented woman.
I loved this novel: it's a mystery, but it's also a thoughtful examination of the contemporary Los Angeles art world, the role of women in art (as artist and subject), and how we view violence against women. I would gladly read a book about any one of those things, so to have them all in one book thrilled me. Counting for #HelloSunshine, #Booked2019 (new to me author), #PopSugar2019 (2 books, 1 title) and #LitsyAtoZ [full review on my blog!]
Maria Hummel is highly skilled at suspense writing, and she really knows how to plant one question after another to keep the reader intrigued. But I actually desire more than just a whodunnit, and here there‘s that too—plenty of explorations about our disturbing (and heartbreaking) fascination with violence inflicted on women‘s bodies. It also investigates fame...ambition...and I could keep going. It‘s creepy at times, and Gillian Flynnesque.
Strong noir mystery. Hummel builds a surreal world centered in LA and focused on the art world. Maggie, the protagonist, is a perfect balance of insider and outsider, someone who enters the drama without being a part of it. The author's message about violence against women is perhaps the most interesting part of the novel; the way that menace plagues these women and provides a form of entertainment is an indictment the central plot reinforces.
I'm either putting a pin in it or bailing at 24% / 2:19:41—not enjoying the subject matter/plot.