Sadie by Courtney Summers

When I read the synopsis for this book, I thought this would be right down my alley. You know how much I love reading books that are seriously messed up, and a revenge story with this premise DEFINITELY fit into that category. But after reading this novel, I must say that this is so much more than that. Here are my thoughts:

34810320Summary (Goodreads): Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.


Review:

Wow. This book. Wow. I’m struggling to write this review because there is just so much I want to say about this novel. To say it messed me up would be an understatement because it SERIOUSLY messed me up. And I mean that in the best way. This novel has a lot of triggers for child abuse and assault so please do keep that in mind if you plan on picking it up.

The story has a very unique writing style in that it is told mostly through Sadie’s perspective but also through a podcast, where you can read the transcripts (or listen to them, if you have an audiobook version – and I really recommend that experience). This allows the reader to see the story from an outsider’s view, which is very much appreciated because it just added more depth and realism to the story.

There is so much going on in this story from an emotional perspective. As the plot shows Sadie’s journey to get justice for her sister’s murder, we also see Sadie handle her grief and get a glimpse into what her life has been like. And let me tell you, it is heart-wrenching. The author does not hold back the punches when delving into dark material like abuse, murder, pedophilia, and sexual assault. Readers get to really understand the experiences that Sadie has been through and how she has tried to stay strong and be mature for her sister. I loved Sadie’s character, even though there were times when I didn’t feel like I could connect with – at times, her reticence made her distant to the reader. But the rawness of the emotions, and the significance of the message of the story were so real and I was completely drawn into Sadie’s world.

There aren’t very many books that I say everyone should read. But this is one of those books. It is gripping, it is heartbreaking and it is completely relevant. If you haven’t tried this novel, I highly recommend that you do. I’m giving this book 5/5 stars!

5 star

Happy reading ~

Advertisements

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

So remember how I said I was back? Well …. it seems I lied. Once again, I underestimated my workload and put too much on my plate. But fear not, I have continued to read and I think (and I say this very hesitantly) that I am ready to get back into writing blog posts. I have a lot of books I want to get through and I feel quite motivated to do so …. and I thought this book would be a great one to start with, so let’s get started!

13623848Summary (Goodreads): Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.


Review:

To say I loved this book would not do it justice. It was absolutely amazing and months after reading it, I am still in awe of the author’s ability to create this vivid and fantastic story.

I went into this book completely blind; apart from vaguely knowing that Achilles was a Greek hero who fought in Troy, I knew nothing about this Greek legend. This story was so different than anything I have previously read and the direction of the story was not what I was expecting at all – and I mean this in the best way possible!

One of the first things that drew me to this book was the writing style. Told from the perspective of Patroclus, the prose is lyrical and rich in its detail. Every single scene, every single character, every interaction was fleshed out beautifully, giving it a realistic feel that the reader could really believe in. The author manages to accomplish this while still maintaining the simplicity of the language, making it easy to just keep reading.

I also thought the author went about telling this story in a very intelligent way. Rather than focusing on the actual fighting that usually is the central point of the Iliad, the author chose to explore the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles, and by doing so, she revealed a side to Achilles that I don’t think many people will have seen or read before. Instead of being this strong, untouchable demigod, Achilles has been rendered as a simple man, capable of love and humor. Achilles is given a personality that readers can connect with, which makes us understand why people were so enamored by him, why Patroclus loved him as much as he did. And while Achilles is definitely the star of the show, Patroclus’ character is in no way diminished by him. In fact, it is easy to see how this is the story of Patroclus, as we get to read about a character that is usually kept in the sidelines. While this means that the story didn’t necessarily have a great deal of action, it gave a lot of depth and nuance to a tale that most people are very familiar with.

The ending of this novel had me in tears, which is really a testament to how strongly the author made me connect with the characters. The love (because really, this is a love story over all else) between Patroclus and Achilles is timeless and strong and enduring; it is everything you dream of when you think of love. I was rooting for them from the start and seeing their love bloom and endure was absolutely beautiful. I was moved by their emotions and the lengths they would go for each other, and there was never a moment where I didn’t believe in their love for each other, even though they never declared their love for each other in the story.

At the end of the day, this was a masterful rendition of the story of Achilles, and one that I would encourage everyone to read. At the heart of it, this is a love story and it is a beautiful and tragic one, which will definitely make you emotional. I am so glad that I picked this book up, and I cannot wait to read more from this author. It should come as no surprise, then, that I’m giving this a 5/5 stars!

5 star

Happy reading ~

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

With the advent of Halloween, I thought it would be nice to read a horror story. I love a good haunting, even if I don’t personally want it to happen to me! I chose this book because I had absolutely loved  The Broken Girls by this author, and I wanted to read more of her work. So let me just jump straight into my experience:

11832043Summary (Goodreads): Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah’s task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy’s ghost is real, she’s angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair’s assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, where she came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?

 


Review: After reading this, all I can say is choosing this book was a really good idea. Because I really enjoyed it.

This novel is a blend of historical fiction and the supernatural/paranormal. I found the historical setting of the story to be interesting but not necessarily important to the story; it added some depth to a few characters but there were too many times where a character’s “emotional scars” were mentioned and it got old fast.

I loved the paranormal elements to the story and the writing style created the perfect atmosphere. I actually read this in audiobook format and I think that just amplified my experience. There were times when I truly had chills from a scene, even though I knew how it would play out.

The strength of this novel comes from the superb writing, which created the perfect ambience to convey the story. The plot wasn’t necessarily unique and the characters were not the most memorable (but there was some steamy romance that was pretty well executed), but none of that mattered because I was truly scared at certain points of the novel – and that’s what I honestly wanted. Sometimes, not every element of the story needs to be perfect: you just need to enjoy the experience of it. And that’s what happened for me. For those reasons, I’m giving this novel a solid 3/5 stars!

3 star

Happy reading ~

Children of Daedala by Caighlan Smith – Children of Icarus #2

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

When I was approved for this title, I had not realized that it was part of a series. I went through a lot of trouble to order the first book Children of Icarus and read it prior to this one. You can find my review of the first book here. Suffice to say, I did not enjoy the first book. However, I was determined to not let my previous experience cloud my judgement with this next installment. Here are my thoughts:

36049722Summary (Goodreads): Six months alone in the labyrinth has made her strong. But the search for the exit means gambling on an old ‘friend’ and going against everything she’s been taught to survive. You know the labyrinth will have yet more horrors lurking in its depths. You’ve learned few people can be trusted. But freedom is tantalizingly close. Are you ready to take the risk?


This book is an improvement from the first novel. But not by much. I still didn’t love this story as much as I had hoped. NB: you will definitely not understand this book if you haven’t read the first novel in the series!

The main character – who was still Nameless – wasn’t as irritating in this book as she was in the last. She came into her abilities a lot more in this novel so I wasn’t as mad when reading. But there were so many new characters that were involved and they all were just so flat and one-dimensional that it was hard to tell them apart. I had a tough time telling who was an ally and who was an enemy because they all sounded the same.

There was less violence in this story but it was still unnecessarily violent and graphic at times. Now, I love gore but even I had to say that there was too much of it in this series – and that’s saying something! I also thought that the book was unnecessarily long. It could easily have been a good 100 pages shorter, without losing any plot. Maybe that’s because not much happens in the story. I kept wondering when things would get going but it never really did. I definitely felt that this novel suffered from second-book-syndrome in that it was just filler until the next book came out.

I also felt that there just weren’t enough questions answered. The first novel left me with a lot of questions and I was hoping this one would provide some answers. Instead, it presented more questions. The story also lacked a solid backstory. I wanted to know more about how things got to be the way they were but that didn’t really happen, which was disappointing. I wanted more mythology and more explanations about mythology for those people who perhaps weren’t as familiar with mythology. This was definitely lacking in both books in this series.

Overall, this novel, while an improvement from the first in the series, was still not what I wanted or expected. Since it has gotten better, I’m going to give it a 2/5 stars. But I don’t think I’m going to be sticking to this series.

2 star

Happy reading ~

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

Lisa Jewell is an author whose work can be a hit or a miss with me. But when I read the premise of this novel, I knew I had to read it. It was just so unusual and I could tell it would give me the tension and thrill I was seeking. So here is how my experience went:

35297426Summary (Goodreads):

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s
golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW
It’s been ten years since Ellie
disappeared, but Laurel has never given up
hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?

 


My feelings when it comes to this novel are very divided. There were things I felt were very well done, and things I thought could definitely have been improved.

Let’s start with the positives:

I really liked the writing style. It was very easy to read this book because it had a very good flow. I had no trouble at all getting through this story, and I thought the descriptions of the various scenes was apt. I also loved the way the author drew up the emotional elements of the story. This is where Lisa Jewell shines. She is able to make the reader connect so well with the characters and really feel the emotions that they are going through. Clearly, there is no problem with this writer’s ability to write.

But then there comes the negatives:

This story was just so predictable. The mother-daughter relationship in this book is nothing unique. I’ve seen it a million times already and while I’m not expecting some crazy variation, there just wasn’t anything there to set this one apart. I also didn’t like that the first few chapters contained all of the major revelations. It didn’t leave a lot to the imagination.

Now I’m pretty bad at guessing what happens in thrillers. In fact, that’s why I like them so much: they always have me barking up the wrong tree. But in the case of this story, I had it pegged from the very start. Every prediction I made turned out to be true. And that was really disappointing. Predictability is never a good thing when you’re trying to serve up a mystery or thriller because it will make the reader bored. And that’s what happened with me. I just wanted to get through the story quickly to see if I was right, and when I did, I felt nothing at all. There were also some parts of the story that didn’t really make much sense and that also affected my enjoyment of the novel.

Overall, I have conflicting thoughts on this novel. On the one hand, the writing and the emotional elements of the story are really well done. But the actual plot suffered due to its lack of originality. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 2/5 stars.

2 star

Happy reading ~

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

I’ve had a very interesting relationship with Shari Lapena. What I mean is I have pretty much disliked all of her previous books. And yet, I am always intrigued by the premise of whatever books she puts out and I find myself gravitating towards them. I was a little worried when I decided to give this book a chance. What if it ended up being another dud. But let me just say …. THAT WAS NOT THE CASE! Here are my thoughts:

38240386Summary (Goodreads): It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing – maybe even romantic – weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off all electricity – and all contact with the outside world – the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead – it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, everyone starts to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something – or someone – is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm – and one another

 


One of the first things I noticed about this book was that it was very reminiscent of Agatha Christie. I could imagine this story in a Poirot or Miss Marple case. And you know what? I’m not mad about it. It’s a style that works and if it’s doing a good job, then why knock it? So I really enjoyed the style of the story.

I liked the different characters and their interactions with each other. Were they all very unique? No. But they weren’t extremely redundant so I wasn’t too upset about it. I thought that their POVs were well done and it definitely took me a while to figure out the identity of the killer. The idea of there being another person in the hotel was intriguing and I wish that had been explored more; it was mentioned at one point but then it disappeared from thought.

I also thought the plot moved along at  a very good pace, with killings happening often enough to keep me interested. Each death brought on more intrigue and more erratic behaviour from the remaining guests. I think this could have been ramped up, too, with everything becoming a crazy mess near the end. Although the tension and fear was palpable, everyone was still quite composed and I would have preferred to see a disintegration of their carefully maintained behaviour.

Altogether, I had quite a good experience with this novel, which is different from my experience with other books by Shari Lapena. I thought the story was solid, the motives were interesting, and the tension kept increasing as the story went on. This wasn’t perfect: there could have been more of a breakdown, and the characters could have been more unique with less repetitive dialogue. But for the most part, I enjoyed the story. For that reason, I’m giving it a 3/5 stars!

3 star

Happy reading ~

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

I love dark fantasy stories. And this one? Well, it sounded pretty dark to me. I was very excited to get the chance to read this ARC, especially when it has such a pretty cover. And the best part? This is a standalone so I knew I didn’t have to worry about waiting forever for the next book in the series. So let’s get on with the review:

32824058Summary (Goodreads): Once, a witch made a pact with a devil. The legend says they loved each other, but can the story be trusted at all?

Long ago, a village made a bargain with the devil: to ensure their prosperity, when the Slaughter Moon rises, the village must sacrifice a young man into the depths of the Devil’s Forest.

Only this year, the Slaughter Moon has risen early.

Bound by duty, secrets, and the love they share for one another, Mairwen, a spirited witch; Rhun, the expected saint; and Arthur, a restless outcast, will each have a role to play as the devil demands a body to fill the bargain. But the devil these friends find is not the one they expect, and the lies they uncover will turn their town—and their hearts—inside out.

 


Review: Initially, this novel started off quite slow, which worried me because I wanted something with a ton of action. But after a few chapters, the story started to shine and I was hooked.

I actually really liked the plot of this story. The entire premise of a place where people could live a peaceful life in exchange for a sacrifice once every 7 years was very interesting, and the mentality of the people about this was both bizarre and understandable at the same time. I think the author set up the story very well and there was a lot of depth and darkness to the plot; this is in no way a light and happy read. The author took a unique approach in that she did not make the events in the forest the main part of the story; instead, the story could be divided into before entering the forest, and after entering the forest. Most authors would have tried to capitalize on the experience in the forest itself, making it the entire plot of the story. I actually enjoyed this new approach because it added more intrigue to the story. What happened in the forest? How did it change the various characters? What is the big secret?

I did think that the two major reveals in this story weren’t that hard to guess. Well, okay, let me be more fair. I think the first reveal that occurs right after the forest wasn’t really explained well enough to give me that shock factor. When that truth came out, I thought … wait, isn’t that how it was supposed to be? There was a question raised from that secret (sorry for being so cryptic in my explanation but I really don’t want to spoil anything!) that I don’t think was ever properly addressed, so that was a bit of a bummer. Nevertheless, I did like the way things came to a climax and the final conclusion of the story. It was well-rounded and tied up all loose ends.

My one issue with this novel was with the main characters, specifically Mairwen and Arthur. I just couldn’t get my head around their personalities. Arthur has a very abrasive personality, and while the author tried to justify it, I felt it was a bit too abrasive for me to connect with him. I couldn’t really empathize with a character that was constantly attacking people and sneering at those who cared for him. And that brings me to Mairwen’s character. She supposedly cared for Arthur but I never really felt that? Perhaps the author was trying to portray a love-hate relationship that was complex, but it felt quite forced for me, with no real tenderness to it. I also didn’t really get a sense of Mairwen’s personality. All I knew was that she kept getting “called” or drawn to the forest. Apart from that (and her confusing feelings for the other characters), there really didn’t seem much to her. She kept being called weird but I didn’t really see what was so weird about her? It was all a bit strange and I think this aspect of the novel could have been strengthened.

This novel started off slow, but as the darker elements of the story began to unfold, I was drawn into it and could not wait to see how things would end. However, the characters were not developed as well as I would have liked, which affected my ability to fully connect with this story. For those reasons, I’m giving it a 3/5 stars!

3 star

Happy reading ~

Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

In accordance with my plan to read books about marriage (yes, I’m still doing that), I decided to give this one a shot. What made it more interesting was the fact that it centered around more than just one woman. I wanted to see all of the different issues that could be brought to the forefront by each character. So let’s get on with my review:

40787693Summary (Goodreads): What causes a woman to murder her whole family?

Jo’s idyllic life would make most people jealous. Until one day her daughter is abducted and the only way to find her is to unravel her dark past.

Ellie is a devoted wife… until she discovers the pain of betrayal. Now vengeance is all she can think about.

Party-girl Shayla knows how to hide her demons. But when she’s confronted with a life-shattering choice, it will cost her everything.

June knows suffering intimately, though the smile she wears keeps it hidden.

Soon the lives of these four women intersect and one of them is about to snap…

 


This book started off with a bang. Too bad it didn’t continue that way.

My first major problem with this novel were the names of the main characters. Okay, I know this may sound petty at first. But think about it: Jo. Jayne. Jude. Janyn. June. Seriously, why?! The names did NOT have to be this similar and it made it so hard for me to distinguish them. Not only did their names sound the same, it was also hard to differentiate their personalities at times. It became cumbersome for me to read this book, so much so that I needed to make a little flowchart of who everyone was and how their story line was developing. That is way too much work for a reader.

I also had a problem with their “problems” with their marriage and role as mothers. Now, I’m not a wife or a mother so there’s a limit to how much I can understand about the pressures of both of these roles. But some of the problems they mentioned just seemed so bizarre. For instance, one mother described taking care of her kids as a thankless and suffocating job. And I get the suffocating part because I know (from my own mother’s exasperation with me and my sister) that kids can completely consume one’s life. But do you honestly expect your little children to constantly thank you? In that case, all children are thankless, terrible monsters. Some of the perceptions about marriage and children seemed a little too naive, or rather, too dramatic. I just couldn’t understand why the women were making certain complaints about things that are honestly very common? But like I said, I’m not a mother or a wife. Maybe once I get to that stage, the emotions that these women were feeling would make more sense to me. But there was just something about it that was overly dramatic and I didn’t enjoy that. I guess I just don’t like characters that are materialistic and whine a lot.

I think the writing style and the plot itself were both interesting. Despite the negatives mentioned above, I did want to know what was going to happen and how things would be handled. I thought the writing was very poetic and flowed nicely. The pacing was spot-on and the twists were well executed. Some of the parts of the story were quite predictable, but while the ending took me aback, I wasn’t as convinced with the motive behind it; it just seemed so weak and could have done with some more development.

This novel just didn’t work for me on a lot of fronts. I think the writing style was good but the final reveal combined with the lack of connection with the characters was a real downfall. For that reason, I’m giving this a 2/5 stars.

2 star

Happy reading ~

Dear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pierce

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

I don’t read many historical fiction novels. But when I do, I try to read ones that are as unique as possible. This one really popped out to me because I had never read about a columnist – even in a non-historical fiction book. I was interested in seeing the direction that the author would take with this story and the way this character would be affected by war.

36373413Summary (Goodreads): London 1940, bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.
Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

 


I actually quite enjoyed this story. It was very wholesome and sweet and uplifting during a point of time in history where things were dismal. It was nice to see a book that was, for the most part, positive and cheery.

I thought Emmeline was a very spunky heroine. She was strong-willed and bubbly and I liked her character very much.

The author also showed good writing skills by staying true to the mannerisms of that time. I also thought that the perspective chosen for this story was a very good one. It allowed the story to showcase some of the more emotional concerns women faced during this time period. There have been other books that have looked at the “woman back home” and her struggles, but in this story, we can really see how this war affected many women, and how their problems were both similar and different all at once. It also shows a shift from maintaining “proper” decorum to addressing the needs of women. I really appreciated that aspect of the story and the way characters became aware of this shift.

Of course, there were parts of the story that were clichéd but those are to be expected and I didn’t really feel that it detracted from my enjoyment of the whole thing. Sometimes it’s okay to not have everything be very different. The choice of narrator and the way the author talked about social issues was unique enough to make the story entertaining!

Overall, I quite liked this book. Despite its stereotypical events, I thought it had nice characters and an interesting perspective. For those reasons, I’m giving it a solid 3/5 stars!

3 star

Happy reading ~

The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

I read the synopsis of this book and knew I had to read it. A horror story about a home invasion? SIGN ME UP! Seeing this novel being compared to books by Stephen King just made me more excited to read it. Here are my thoughts:

36300727Summary (Goodreads): Seven-year-old Wen and her parents, Eric and Andrew, are vacationing at a remote cabin on a quiet New Hampshire lake. Their closest neighbors are more than two miles in either direction along a rutted dirt road.
One afternoon, as Wen catches grasshoppers in the front yard, a stranger unexpectedly appears in the driveway. Leonard is the largest man Wen has ever seen but he is young, friendly, and he wins her over almost instantly. Leonard and Wen talk and play until Leonard abruptly apologizes and tells Wen, “None of what’s going to happen is your fault.” Three more strangers then arrive at the cabin carrying unidentifiable, menacing objects. As Wen sprints inside to warn her parents, Leonard calls out: “Your dads won’t want to let us in, Wen. But they have to. We need your help to save the world.”

 


I really really really wanted to love this book. But that didn’t happen here.

Don’t get me wrong, the premise was great and the beginning really captured my attention. But there was just something about the execution that didn’t work for me.

For one thing, there was a lot of detail given to parts of the story that didn’t necessarily need that much detail. Maybe it was to try and bring depth to the characters but all it did was make me feel disinterested. It made me want to skim parts of the story to get to the juicier bits.

I also thought that there was too much repetition in the story. There is a part in the book that is literally all about Wen’s parents saying “Go away”, and the intruders saying “Let us in.” Literally. That was an entire chapter. There was some action to it but the repetitiveness caused some of the tension to fade away, making the story dull.

This problem with repetition is pretty much my complaint about the entire book. There was too much of it and not enough of a backstory or explanation about how things led to this. And the author NEVER clarifies this. There is never a definitive period where the reader knows if the apocalypse scenario is real or fake. Now, this may have been the intention of the author but again, the execution of this wasn’t that great. There was just so much back-and-forth happening that I became frustrated. I almost put the book away because I just found it so annoying. But I pushed through … and still didn’t feel rewarded. The ending was just so … blah and weird. After all the tension (and lack of tension) and back-and-forth exchanges, I felt like I had read this book and gotten very little out of it.

The one positive of this novel was the amount of violence. It really did work with the horror of the story and it was absolutely crazy and imaginative, which I really liked.

While the premise of this book was very interesting, I did not love the actual execution of it. Other reviewers on Goodreads have talked about the audiobook version of this novel being a different (worse) experience as compared to the physical book so please do keep that in mind if you choose to read it. For me, this book gets a 1.5/5 stars rounded to 2.

2 star

Happy reading ~