The plot of this book was so implausible. A famous author kidnapping a widow who he had been blog stalking for the last 2 years? Really? Now, by the end of the book, I can understand what was going on and why he did that, but still, there seemed to be much better ways of going about this--ways that would have drawn less attention to himself and to Jules, the main character. But it's fiction and you can do anything you want with fiction so why am I fussing? I would like to read another of Rene's books and see what that is like. She definitely knows how to create great suspense.
Misery Loves Company was not a favorite read of mine. First of all, the whole premise of the book is so highly implausible to be almost laughable. The main character, Julia Belleno, writes and posts a book review on her blog with some criticisms of a book. Specifically, she states, “Don’t tell me it’s terrifying. Terrify me!” This had been a favorite author of hers who is just not delivering a great story, in her opinion, and her last line in her review says, “But I am confident one day soon, Patrick Reagan will capture me again.” Knowing that I said this is implausible, do you see where we’re going? She is somehow kidnapped from the local grocery store (in a manner never clearly explained) that same day and awakens to find scrawled above the bed she is lying on that very “terrify me” quote. Can you imagine being terrified of an author? They just don’t make the most fearful antagonists, and therein lies the first problem. At no time, even though the author describes Julia’s terror, am I in any fear for her safety. It’s just too silly of a thought, and interesting that the very criticism in the fiction becomes a criticism of mine.
My next problem with this book is the definition of “Christian fiction”. The only Christian mentioned in the book is Julia’s late husband. He was apparently so inspiring a Christian that in the first half of the book there are two prayers uttered for the help of Jason (the dead man) rather than God. There are two prayers mentioned (more of a fox hole type variety) in which a sudden unexpected rainstorm arrived to douse a car fire about to consume a person, and one that produced a silver sleigh just when it’s needed. Oh yeah, that happens for me ALL the time. THAT’S why I’m a Christian….God is so often like Santa Claus in my life. There is no clear conversion experienced by any character, no change in any one’s life, no consistent mention of Christ.
It was an interesting beach read, and certainly kept my mind occupied, but not in the way the author intended. However, I am somewhat concerned that by posting this review, I may also end up kidnapped and placed in a “terrifying” situation. If I’m gone tomorrow, someone please start looking for me right away. I may laugh myself to pieces.
Misery Loves Company is slightly creepy and sometimes humorous. The book does give me a new perspective on writing book reviews and being more cautious. The concept of the book has got to be fiction, right? An author would not do that, right? The book kind of has the flavor of Stephen King’s Misery. I did enjoy reading it and is definitely an interesting read. I found the plot to be unique and refreshing. Highly recommended. 5 stars
This was such a great book! It had me guessing the whole time! It reminded me a little of the movie "Misery". Jules Bellano is a hermit. She tries to never leave the house. Her father is very worried about her. She decides to go to the grocery store and bumps into her favorite author. The next thing she knows she is in a strange room. The author is very clever in how she weaves us in and out of this story. I kept wondering how this was going to turn out! I would recommend this book to everyone especially those who like a suspense-full story.
What a fast paced, crazy, intriguing book, with twists and turns all over the place! This book is extremely exciting and quick to read.
Jules Belleno is a blogger who, since the death of her policeman husband, has rarely left her house. But, one day that she does, she is kidnapped by her favorite author. Unfortunately, she has just written a scathing review on her blog about his most recent book. And he has a lesson to teach her. He also knows some secrets – not only about her but also about the murder of her husband. Of course, in the meantime, her husband’s best friend is searching for her and uncovering secrets as well.
Although this book is mostly a murder mystery, is also delves into heavier topics such as suicide, assisted suicide, depression, and alcoholism. But the characters are easy to get to know and follow. It does seem a little weird to review it though since that is what the main character did, which lead to a strange chain of events! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it!
My initial reaction was "Wow, this has got to be the strangest book I ever read." But I found that I really enjoyed it. I could not wait to find out what happened next, and was surprised by some of the things that Jules and Chris find out in the course of the book. The ending was nice, but kind of predictable, although the rest of the story wasn't.
I read Rene Gutteridge book Listen a long time ago and enjoyed it so much. That book really got you thinking and wondering. So when I saw that she came out with a new book and it was free through the Tyndale monthy freebie books, I grabbed it. Have you checked that nice little site out. Every month Tyndale post a few freebies and a few books at a way discounted price. I love seeing what each month brings. I finally got around to reading it and this book did not disappoint, I really enjoyed it!
Misery Loves Company was a real page turner, it kept you guessing till the end. Rene writes her characters so well you really feel like you know this people in the end. I enjoyed Juliet's character I mean she's a book review blogger, what's not to like. :) Juliet has been getting through a lot and when she runs into her favorite author she thinks her day couldn't get any better. Boy was she ever wrong, her day just went for Wow! to Oh My Stars, this can't be happening!!!! I won't tell you any more just that if you like thrillers and christian fiction then grab this book from your local library or book store.
As part of the Tyndale Blog Network I got the opportunity to review Misery Loves Company by Rene Gutteridge. It is also one of the Tyndale Summer Reading Program books so it was a double whammy. Jules Belleno is mourning the death of her husband by keeping to herself and focusing on her blog. She is a creature of habit and doesn't stray much from it. Also highly organized she is very predictable. But what happens when one of her favorite authors does not take kindly to her recent bad review of his book. Did he just kidnap her because she wrote negative things about his latest novel or does he know something that could change her life forever?
I had never read Rene Gutteridge before this but I would say she is a master of Christian suspense. She had me wondering what was going on from the very beginning. This book was intense and had so many twists and turns yet they were all believable. If you love suspense and a good mystery I highly recommend this book. Once summer is over I will definitely be getting me some more Rene Gutteridge. She has become one of my favorite authors.
I received a free copy of this product from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.
I like the way the writer built the suspense as she built up the characters. I was intrigued by the weaving in the process the writer goes through in writing in book. I enjoyed the complexity and unfolding of the mystery. I felt the main character's grief and terror, but I wished that she would have called upon the Lord a little earlier in her situation. I enjoyed the cop's determination and sense of morality, as well as loyalty toward his dead partner and his widow. I wished the father would have been less of a mess, but the real protagonist, ultimately did impact his life positively. I found the end surprizing and chock full of suspense and excitement. I always pass on my books, and I highly recommend it.
This is the first book I have read by Rene Gutteridge, and I will be sure to read more. Misery Loves Company was interesting up to the last fifty or so pages. After that it got really exciting. I liked the characters, and the plot was good. I have never read a book with a plot quite like this one. The only problem was that the author did not say Jesus is the only way to heaven. She talked about God, but she never clearly presented the gospel. Other than that, this was a great book! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian fiction.
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Review 13 for Misery Loves Company - eBook
Date:August 30, 2013
Jules (Juliet) is a blogger who has never recovered from the pain of losing her husband. She struggles with life and death issues and with trusting in God, though she knows her husband did.
There is a cop who wants to help, feeling he has failed her and her husband. When she goes missing, he tries his hardest to follow any clues, even to the point of possibly losing his own job.
I thought I would only read a third of this book or so the first day, but ended up finishing it all! It soon captured my interest, and though it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, it was fascinating.
There were twists, well-written characters, and a few good lessons, but it wasn't exactly a joyful read. (I know: what do I expect from this sort of book?)
Here's a good quote that partly sums up the lessons in the book: '"Most people believe we need each other to fill our lives with abundance and blessing. We believe we need people to show us all the good in ourselves. But I don't believe that's the case. We need people, Juliet, to show us our selfishness, to extract the ugliness that reveals itself in our hearts."'
I'm not sure the author believes in total depravity, but it comes close, which is better than most books these days.
The ending was a tense, riveting ride, with a few gruesome details, but nothing most people couldn't handle.
Overall a good, maybe very good novel, but not a particular favorite of mine, just because of the sadness and confusion of the main characters.
I do admire that in a murder mystery. Rene Gutteridge is becoming one of my favorite authors. She writes tense mystery, beautifully described scenery and characters, and a page-turner plot, leading up to excellent resolution. I am completely drawn in by her characters and the story. I find some intriguing insights into writers and their process, which was described so well, naturally, by such a phenomenal writer. I wonder if some of the actions that were taken went too far, but the results worked. I really like the theme of faith that runs throughout. It has no objectionable content, which I greatly appreciate. An awesome read.
Authors don't kidnap fans because of bad reviews . . . or do they?
If you liked Stephen King's Misery that was made into a movie starring James Caan and Kathy Bates, you are going to love Misery Loves Company. The story isn't the same but it provokes the same feelings of terror and apprehension.
Throughout the entire book I kept vacillating between thinking Patrick Reagan was truly crazy to having feelings of empathy for him. He is portrayed as having a brilliant mind but as soon as you start thinking he is out to help Jules he does something that makes you think he really has gone mad.
The heart pumping pace of the story made it a very fast read. It is one of those books that you wind up speaking out loud to the characters, giving them warnings, telling them to be careful, etc. I refuse to give away the ending, but I will say that it will leave you pondering different scenarios for days.
This is a fabulous read that I recommend to anyone that loves a good spine tingling thrill ride.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
Like Jules, the heroine of the story, I was totally bewildered by what was happening to her and why. Like she wrote in her blog, she wasn’t being told to be terrified, she was terrified. I wondered whether this would end up as some sort of G-rated version of MISERY. The interplay between author and fan was interesting to see develop, and Chris was a great hero figure.
The novel is packed with suspense, intrigue and a look at how our motivations and hang-ups can create their own misery for us. As dangerous secrets are revealed, the pace of the novel rushes to a satisfying end. The need for God’s mercy and peace is clearly presented. I recommend it for mystery fans who want a good story.
Wow! I've never read a book like "Misery Loves Company"! The setup of the story is unique in the fact that by the third chapter, one of the main characters has already been kidnapped and you know who did it, but neither she nor you has any clue as to WHY (a question that is slowly answered over the course of the story). The mixture of omniscience and ignorance was unique and very engaging, to say the least.
One line that comes up often in the book is: "Don't tell me it's terrifying. Terrify me." and Rene Gutteridge did an incredible job of that! As I read the book, in abject fear and absolutely creeped out at times, I found myself comparing it to an M. Night Shyamalan movie: a psychological thriller in which there's not necessarily anything obviously scary happening "visually", but you're still terrified out of your mind. I don't ever gravitate towards horror or really scary books, but I was very captivated by "Misery Loves Company" and I enjoyed the thrilling read.
I hesitate to go too much into the storyline, because there are so many twists and turns, with curveballs that just make your head spin. Additionally, there are layers upon layers in this story, like one of those Russian dolls, where you keep unearthing more and more to the plot, and I'd hate to give anything away beyond the simple synopsis you'd find under the "Book Description" on this website. (I will say, if you're a writer or aspire to be one, you'd learn a lot from the way in which this one is written and the literary styles that are described even in the plot.)
I'm giving "Misery Loves Company" 5 stars because it lives up to and surpasses what it promises and does what every good book is supposed to do: transport you to another world in which you're so immersed, reality and fiction are blurred, and as a bonus, teaches you a few things along the way. :)
Part of me wants to just leave it at that, but that wouldn’t make for a great review, would it? So let me give you a few bullet points instead. (I’ve been thinking in “lists” lately. Ha!)
-- Rene Gutteridge is a new-to-me author. -- I will DEFINITELY read her books in the future. And probably catch up on her backlist too! -- This is a true suspense novel … gritty, intense, but not gory. Reminded me of a James Patterson novel without the swearing, sex, and overly-described, gory crime scenes. -- Reading about a book blogger was fun. -- Although the things that happened to her were not. -- I’m a little nervous about posting a “bad” review now. :) -- I should not have read this late at night while home alone, but I did. -- It was just that good, and I couldn’t stop reading it. -- I highly, highly, highly recommend this book!!
Misery Loves Company is a suspenseful novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page. Jules is a young widow who mostly keeps to herself since the death of her husband, Jason. Chris a police officer who used to be Jason’s partner until he was found murdered. Patrick Reagan is a famous writer whose novels are on the best seller’s list. Jules is the type of person that follows a strict routine: she rises at the same time everyday, shops at the same store at a specific time each week, and she writes a blog daily. After she reviews Patrick Reagan’s latest novel on her blog, she goes missing and her alcoholic father demands that Chris and the police department find her. As Chris searches for Jules, he stumbles upon the last case that Jason was solving and he finds a link between Jason’s murder and his last case. As Chris looks for Jules and tries to find out who murdered Jason, Jules is having an unforgettable time with her captor, who claims that he kidnapped her not to harm her, but to teach her a lesson she needs to learn. Then, when Chris finally figures out the chilling truth behind Jason’s murder, the location of where Jules has been taken, and how Patrick Reagan fits into the whole situation, mayhem results threatening the lives of Jules, Patrick, and Chris. I really loved reading this book. There was just the right amount of mystery to keep you interested in reading and the characters just leapt off the page. After reading this book, I look forward to reading other books written by this author.
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Review 20 for Misery Loves Company - eBook
A light, lackluster read
Date:July 9, 2013
Provided to me as a complimentary digital copy by Tyndale, Misery Loves Company is the story of a grieving widow who writes a negative review about her favorite author, only to find herself kidnapped by him in a misguided attempt to "teach her a writing/life lesson." The widow Jules lives a lonely, monotonous life since the murder of her police officer husband. An aspiring author, Jules spends most of her time online blogging about her life and reviewing books. Her online habits make her an easy target for the famous author whose books have been losing their magic since the death of his own wife. Fortunately, the story also reveals another layer with the unsolved mystery surrounding Jules' husband's death. At first, I had a really hard time getting into Misery Loves Company. It seemed too trivial -- merely focusing on the writing habits of the famous author and the not-yet-famous aspiring author. But about halfway through the book, the suspense and action picked up enough to keep my interest. Misery Loves Company kept my attention and proved entertaining; however, it did not deeply inspire nor deeply move.