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For those of you who plan to read up on the meeting notes to prep for the Christmas Party quiz and waited for the most recent ones, you may be cramming. Sorry to get these to you so close to test time, but if you pull an all-nighter you should be fine.

Yes, there WILL be a quiz at the party, for those of you who can attend. Jeff is not the reigning champion, as Lorraine knocked him off the pedestal last year, but that just means that you all need to be on your game because he’s probably really preparing for this year.

In November we met to discuss The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz. It was the second book in the Orphan X series and not quite the same as the first. Yes, that means that many of us didn’t all really care for book #2. Jose and Chris were our highest scores and those only reached a 7. On the low end, Terri only gave it a 3, and Pat, Tammy, Denise and Jennifer (who only got 2/3 through) only reached a 4. We also has one 4.5 (thanks Jay for spoiling my near run of no decimals), four 5s, and two 6s. Connie and Allie couldn’t even finish the book. There was also an emailed score from Janine, who gave it a 7.5, which ended up being our highest score. Janine was unable to attend the meeting to plead her case, though, so we may want to interrogate…..I mean question….I mean ask her for more information at the Christmas party. No pressure, though, Janine.

Our main complaint about the book—ok maybe I should have made that complaint(s)—was it was disappointing when compared to Orphan X. Many of us had to trudge through it, were unable to grasp how Evan was invincible in book 1 but couldn’t seem to escape a compound run by a narcissistic psychopath in book 2, and quite a few of us were bored as hell that the scene didn’t change from the Chalet for almost the entire book. Quite a few people thought that the first 2/3 of the book was just too slow and that it only picked up in the last 1/3 (which coincidentally was when Evan was actively escaping, and then escaped, the chalet). Denise kept falling asleep while reading, not a good sign. Allie pointed out that the concept would have made a better short story, and this is a very good point. It might have alleviated a lot of pain we all suffered from Evan hanging out too long in the chalet if it were say 100 pages instead of 432.

A few people enjoyed it, though. There were a few twists that were appreciated. One was the phone calls from the young boy that turned out to be Evan hallucinating. We all liked his mushroom trick to poison the guards too. Amy said that his imprisonment in the bullet proof room was quite a Blacklist comparison. She also noted that it read like a screenplay, which since we all know it will be a TV (or is it movie) series, it makes sense. Jay pointed out that there were a few interesting techniques that Evan used to escape and we kind of felt like the author had a bunch of great escape ideas and just wanted to put them all in one book. I remember a few comments in Ghostman by the late Roger Hobbs where it seemed that Jack was just spouting his knowledge of things rather than the author using that knowledge to tell a story.

My favorite quote, though, came from Pat. Her rating of the book came with her opinion of it, and I think it really summed things up. Pat was heard to say that the book was “partially interesting.”

Lastly, rather than having a slap vote, Dave asked for a hug vote. He thought he’d give us a chance to give a bit of positive reinforcement to our favorites rather than punish those we couldn’t stand. Despi had the most votes, but Peter was a close second. How can you not love that kid?

Thanks to Dave for not only leading, but for bringing a birthday cake for Jeff as our snack. I just wish we’d had a better book to discuss for Jeff’s birthday.

Here’s to hoping that Hellbent is better, since we’ve already voted it in for next year!

I will have a signup sheet at the Christmas party for leading and bringing snacks for the upcoming list of books. If you can’t make it and have a burning desire for either, please email me and I’ll mark you down. Here is the list in case you forgot:

  • Feb: I See You by Clare Makintosh
  • March: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
  • April: The Late Show by Michael Connelly
  • May: Crime Scene by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman
  • June: Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz
  • July: I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen
  • Aug: Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly

I will see many of you for the Christmas party when we discuss, um, A Christmas Party by Georgette Heyer. Remember to bring a wrapped book for the exchange and a dish to pass. For those who can’t make it, we will toast to your honor (or mock you, it’s really a coin toss there).

In January we will meet to discuss Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica. Everyone will need to check with the library for a copy, since I won’t have them to pass out at the December meeting. There is a spot open for a snack in January.

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