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Pines by Blake Crouch

I’m not a fan of twist endings in long story formats. This includes two-hour long movies. I feel like if you are going to make some crazy twist, then respect the time and effort I put into your story and do it in a short story/thirty-minute-long format like The Twilight Zone.

I mention this because reading Pines by Blake Crouch was one of the most frustrating book reading experiences I’ve ever been through. Nothing happens the first four chapters. I mean, I guess we set up this strange town and mystery, but we are given nothing to work with. I almost quit the book there.

Then over the next few chapters, we finally get some backstory and few hints that something isn’t right. It’s just enough to keep you reading.

Then you finally get to the end, and the big reveal happens and well… it’s interesting. But was it worth all the effort to get there? I’m not so sure.

I read Pines over three nights and every night before I began to read, I had to ask myself if continuing was something that interested me. It was so hard, because there was enough there to keep me engaged but I feel like too much focus was put on trying to make Wayward Pines quirky and weird, but there was no reason to really care for anyone other than the protagonist, Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke.

Thankfully the book is short, and I kept reading, because once the truth is revealed I was intrigued. I wanted to learn more and see where the story would take me and of course, there are two more books that explore that. Now, I just got to figure out if I want to put myself through that again because I’m not sure I’d say reading Pines was an enjoyable experience.

Pines is the first book in a trilogy that inspired the television show Wayward Pines starring Matt Dillon. I haven’t seen the television show that was originally intended to be a one season event and now that I know what a slow buildup occurs, I doubt I’m going to check it out. Still, there is something just weird enough and interesting enough to make me think I may have liked this story. I think I’ll need to sit with it a few weeks to really decide.

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