What Remains of Me

What Remains of Me

A Novel

Book - 2016
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"The USA Today bestselling author of the Brenna Spector series returns with her most ambitious book to date, a spellbinding novel of psychological suspense, set in the glamorous, wealthy world of Hollywood-a darkly imaginative and atmospheric tale of revenge and betrayal, presumed guilt and innocence lost, dirty secrets and family ties reminiscent of the bestsellers of Laura Lippman, Gillian Flynn, and Harlan Coben"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ©2016.
ISBN: 9780062369857
Characteristics: 374 pages ;,24 cm


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Jun 21, 2018

Meh. I can't believe I wasted time reading this but I powered through just to see what other 'twists' and 'turns' came out at the end *insert eyeroll*
I figured out the plot 150 pages in. The characters come off as basic. I feel like I don't know kelly lund's story as an adult. And what is up with that husband of hers? Flat and boring. So it goes around and around in circles until the obvious villain is unveiled.

Jul 04, 2017

This is a powerfully suspenseful book. I thought it was going to be a predictable mystery but it wasn’t. The moral of the story for me is the life of the rich and famous is not so wonderful.

Jan 31, 2017

This is the first book I've read by Alison Gaylin and I will be looking to read more by her. The story flips between past and present. I was finding it difficult to get into and was starting to skim through and thinking about flipping to the end to see who did it when I really got hooked and found it hard to put down. It kept me guessing right to the end. A really good read.

Oct 14, 2016

Two murders have occurred and Kelly Lund is involved in both them. Alternating from 1980 to 2010, the book is a journey in uncovering all of the truths and finding out how both murders are connected, as well as how Kelly is involved. Fast-paced read with lots of twists, some of which I totally called, but the book was so fun I couldn't even be mad about it. Solid 4.5 stars.

Jun 19, 2016

The story begins in California. 1980. Kelly Lund is 17 years old. Still suffering the death of her twin sister Catherine two years earlier, Kelly befriends the celebrity kids her sister was entangled with before her death. By the end of the year, Kelly is charged, tried, and convicted of the murder of famed Hollywood director -- and father of one of her best friends -- John McFadden. Three bullets: two to the chest, one to the forehead. Is Kelly guilty? Around this central mystery is a story about revelations and redemption.

Time-shift narration takes readers between 1980 -- before Kelly goes to prison -- and 2010, when she is released on probation. When a similar murder happens after her release, Kelly is once again under suspicion. While the plot is tight and contains the right amount of twists and surprises (one more surprise and I might have docked this one star), it is in no way a typical mystery-thriller. It's more like a slow-burn episode of Dallas, Knots Landing and Beverly Hills 90210 mashed up with some folksy novel about familial connections and love triumphing over suffering (Grapes of Wrath?). It's about people with secrets, parents and children, brothers, sisters and best friends.

Alison Gaylin writes really believable characters, a remarkable feat especially when you consider the characters are "Hollywood" and Gaylin takes us right into their darkest secrets without making the novel overly-lurid or corny like a Sidney Sheldon novel. The teens talk like teens in the early 80s might talk, and it's really interesting to see how much attention Gaylin paid to how her characters converse, but avoids describing their physicality in great detail. I can't even tell you what colour hair the two main female characters have, but it doesn't seem to matter.

Great book. Waiting for Gaylin's next one.

Apr 07, 2016

"What Remains of Me" was recommended by Megan Abbott in her NPR interview "The 'Girl' in the Title: More than a Marketing Trend" from February 2016. The author also thanks Ms. Abbott at the end of the book in the acknowledgements and I can see why. Megan Abbott explores the psyche of teenage girls in several of her novels. Alison Gaylin alternates between the teenage world of her protagonist, Kelly Michelle Lund, and present day. The moving back and forth - from 1980 to 2010 - really worked in this thriller. I don't know how an author who went to Northwestern and now lives in New York state can write so vividly of Southern California, but she did it. She also captures so well the push/pull readers have with tabloid journalism and internet gossip sites. I was reminded of Dominick Dunne and his brilliant Hollywood exposes from "Vanity Fair." There were some twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I can't wait to read more from this very talented writer.

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