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Six Years - Harlan Coben

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2 Reviews
  • twists and intrigue.
  • Interesting plot twists
  • Sickly sweet
  • None
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    2 Reviews
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    • More +
      05.09.2014 10:18
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      2 Comments

      Advantages

      • "Interesting plot twists"
      • "Wit and sarcasm keep it entertaining"
      • "Intelligently written"

      Disadvantages

      • "Sickly sweet"

      An engaging, gripping read I would happily recommend

      We're introduced to Jake Fisher, who is currently teaching freshmen at college whilst living on campus in Massachusettes. 6 years have passed since meeting and spending a few months with the love of his life, Natalie, whilst on a workshop style retreat. At the end of the term, she breaks his heart, telling him she's realised an ex, Todd, is the love of her life. Almost instantly afterwards, Natalie and Todd have a shotgun wedding and Jake watches the love of his life marry another man. It was all rather bizarrre for Jake, who believed Natalie felt the same way about him. But she married Todd and told Jake not to contact her again, to leave them alone.

      So he does, until he spots Todd's obituary. In a somewhat insensitive move, Jake attends the funeral, hoping to get a glimpse of his former love. However, the grieving widow isn't Natalie. So where is she? Did Jake go to the wrong funeral? He goes in search of answers, but more questions arise instead.

      As the story continues, we see his journey through trying to get the truth. It becomes clear that all is not what it seems and that he's on very dangerous ground. But alas, a man in love will stop at nothing apparently to find his sweetheart.

      This novel is written in first person from Jake's point of view. I find this tactic can be a bit hit and miss, but as with Coben, it's his writing style that makes it entertaining and gripping.

      I love the wit and comical injections. Coben breathes life in to each character and makes them colourful and unique. The sarcasm and intelligent aspect of the humour never fails to bring a smile or smirk to my face. You could argue that this takes away from some of the darker elements of the book, which it does to a degree. Tension and thrills are somewhat diluted, however it's this edge of sarcasm that made the novel so readable and is true to form for Coben.

      The premise was a little far-fetched at times but on the whole Coben was able to make it believable. The downside for me was the level of mushy-ness. By this I mean the romantic elements of Jake, a guy blinded by love and referring to Natalie and his feelings for her in overly cheesy ways. It was too sickly sweet. However, he did counter this at times acknowledging it's mushy-ness, but the fact the whole novel is centred around this love made it rather inescapable.

      Having said that, the sickly sweet romanticism didn't distract too much from my enjoyment of the novel. I got through it fairly quickly because I was hooked on reading it. I found it gripping and comforting, wanting to keep turning the pages and go back to the book whenever I could.

      Coben is talented at creating his characters, entertaining us and being imaginative in his plot twists, so it's one I'd recommend.

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      • More +
        20.08.2014 15:21
        Very helpful
        (Rating)
        2 Comments

        Advantages

        • " twists and intrigue."
        • "Great readability"

        Disadvantages

        • None

        Another gripping Coben thriller!

        Six years ago a confused and hurt Jake Fisher, watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man.
        Following Natalie's wishes, Jake promises to stay away from her. However, six years later, after seeing an Obituary notice for Natalie's husband, Jake decides to attend the funeral. More confusion follows for Jake, when he discovers the grieving widow is in fact not his Natalie, but a complete stranger. And the confusion does not end there, as Jake starts to ask questions and finds out it's as if ever Natalie never existed.
        Jake sets outs to try and find Natalie and get some answers, but in his quest for the truth he soon finds his own life is at risk as a deadly secret threatens to destroy him.
        Right from the start of Six Years it is obvious that Jake does not understand why Natalie marries Todd who she claims is an ex of hers, instead of Jake. Jake has been suddenly and inexplicably dumped for Todd, and after believing he was the love of Natalie's life, he struggles to accept this sudden turn of events.
        The confusion and shock Jake feels, transfers well to the reader and right away I was hooked, wanting to know what had happened to Natalie and why suddenly nobody appears to remember her.
        I found Jake's character a little weak at first but I did warm to him and understand his character. He wants answers and therefore is determined to pursue the truth, heightened by the fact he can’t even find someone who admits remembering Natalie and there is no record of her marriage to Todd.
        I enjoyed the character of Benedict, Jake's friend and colleague who also features in an intriguing twist, which is a Coben speciality. My only real niggle was that I wished the 'bad guys' had featured more here, as bad guys are another Coben speciality, with some making returning appearances in other Coben novels.
        I did have a minor niggle with the overuse of the word 'stumble.' As Jake stumbled out of here and stumbled out of there and thoughts hit him so hard he almost stumbled, I did find myself wishing Jake would stop stumbling or that Coben could have came up with some alternative words! It was almost amusing thinking back to this after reading.
        Intriguing twists and turns are what I love about a Coben novel, as you can guarantee nothing is ever as it seems. I have never failed to be surprised at how Coben can introduce so many twists and turns to keep you guessing and then marvelling at how he ties everything together at the end.
        Whilst Six Years isn't the most complex Coben novel I have read, nor is it my favourite, it still managed to keep me gripped througout and although I began to guess at certain things, there was still a great twist I never saw coming.

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