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 ~

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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 ~

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 ~

The Book Of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

Thank you to Penguin Random House and the First to Read program for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

When I selected this book, I did not actually read the synopsis. I just went by the title and the cover; they were both intriguing enough for me to just give this book a shot. What I read ended up blowing my mind and I am so happy I made the decision to read this book! Here is my review:

34503571Summary (Goodreads): Esther Ann Hicks–Essie–is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She’s grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family’s fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they try to arrange a marriage–and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media–through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell–Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?


So let me start off with a TW: there are quite a lot of scenes/mentions of abuse so if that bothers you, then you might not want to read this book.

To say I loved this book would not be nearly enough to express my feelings. I LOOOOOOVED THIS BOOK! It had everything I was looking for in terms of twists, and character development, and just …. rawness (yes, I just made my own attribute).

I know that this book has religious undertones to it. And usually, I stay away from books like that. I don’t like books that target a religion and say only positive or negative things about it. But this book is different. It really isn’t about religious beliefs as much as it is about the “commercialization” of religion and the way something innocent can be twisted for personal gain. This is something that various religions have shown. While this book features Christianity, I felt that many of the issues this book brought up can be seen in Hinduism, as well. The use of religion as a platform to make money and fame is quite common these days, and I did not think the author was ever trying to bash any religious tenets in doing so. It’s a tricky balance that could have become offensive – but it didn’t. And for me, that shows a lot of skill on the author’s part.

The writing style of this story was absolutely superb. It was tight and filled with tension, with character POV’s that had me hooked. It was absolutely brilliant and I had no issues with it at any point. It was just consistently good writing throughout the story. The scheming and the planning behind everything was so well thought out and each reveal shocked me more than the next. The author also ensured that there was great character developments so I felt very connected to Essie.

I know that if I keep talking, I’m going to start spoiling the story so I’m going to end my review here. Suffice to say that this is a very gritty and tension-packed story. It is disturbing but if you like messed-up books with brilliant writing, then you should check this one out. I’m giving it a 5/5 stars!

5 star

Happy reading ~

Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

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

Ever since the release of The Party, Robyn Harding has been a buzzing name in the thriller-writer world. So many people loved that book – but I was not one of them. Nevertheless, I wanted to give her another shot and see if maybe I would see the spark that everyone else was seeing. Here is my review:

36373379Summary (Goodreads): Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.
A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.

Until she meets Kate Randolph.

Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart…because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunick. And she’s a murderer.

 


Review: 

The best way to summarize this book is that it is about friendships and past secrets. And I know this sounds intriguing. I mean, it’s what drew me to the story in the first place. And in the beginning, it really was quite good. There was that typical start that I’m noticing in a lot of thrillers, where a woman who feels like she doesn’t belong with other “moms” meets a glamorous “mom” who becomes her best friend. The author also created a good amount of tension that pulled the reader into the story.

But ultimately …. nothing really … happened.

I mean, it was just so predictable. You’ve got these two women who both have “dark secrets” but it is quite obvious from the start who is the more “dangerous” one, just from the way the author relies on overused tropes. Now, I don’t necessarily have a problem with this. It’s a tried-and-tested trope that works so if it ain’t broke, why fix it? But there was nothing unique about the story. There was lack of depth in plot and character interactions, and I didn’t even really like the main characters.

But when I mean nothing happened, I literally mean that NOTHING HAPPENED IN THIS STORY. One character discovers the truth, and when the information gets out …. well, that’s pretty much how the story ends. It just felt like there was all this buildup and it led to pretty much a pointless story. The other character also had a “resolution” of her ghosts but it was quite disappointing; it basically happened in the last 15-20 pages of the book and there was no introspection or depth to it. And I know that the whole point of hyping this character’s past was to make readers suspect her intentions, but it was such a disappointing truth that I felt cheated out of an experience.

I know it seems like I hated this book. But my main problem was just with how things ended. I still think the idea behind the story is very interesting, and it reminded me a lot of the story of Karla Homolka (and that is all I’m going to say because NO SPOILERS). The actual writing of the story was quite good and it was a quick read. However, the ending left me unsatisfied and because the author had so hyped it up with all the tension, I just couldn’t get over the disappointment. For that reason, I’m giving this a 2/5 stars.

2 star

Happy reading ~

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

With the success of the movie The Greatest Showman, which is about the famous P. T. Barnum, it comes with no surprise that I was super excited to find out that someone had written a book featuring him. I had already read a previous work of Christina Henry’s before called  Lost Boy , which was absolutely amazing so I knew I had to give this one a go! Here is my review:

36358268Summary (Goodreads): Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn’t bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.
P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he’d heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he’s determined to hold on to his mermaid.

 


Review:

The first thing I want to start by saying is that this novel is very different from her other work. If you are expecting a dark retelling of the Little Mermaid, then you would be completely off the mark. While this novel features a mythical creature, there is no connection to any other tales about the mermaid and this novel would be better classified as a historical fiction than a true fantasy story.

BUT IT WAS STILL FREAKING AMAZING!

I loved that this story was more focused on the mermaid and her experiences interacting with humans. The personality created for her was absolutely amazing –  relatable and foreign at the same time. As she interacts with human beings, we see how she forms her opinions about them and it is such an interesting experience to see how someone alien to our species views us. I had never considered this perspective, and I’m really glad that the author allowed for this opportunity. I also loved seeing how the mermaid herself changed because of her interactions, developing more human emotions and desires.

I also adored the prose. It was so haunting and lyrical and moving. The descriptions that the author created were so vivid that I really felt like I was right there experiencing it. An to me, that is a mark of true talent. There was never a moment where I felt myself getting bored or losing connection to the story or to the characters. There was just so much depth to everything and it made this story feel very engaging, even when not much was actually happening in the story.

If there is anything I could nitpick about, it would be that I wanted the tension to develop a bit stronger in the story. There really wasn’t much of a buildup and it detracted a little from that final climactic moment in the story.

Overall, this was a very good novel that was deeply engaging. Although it wasn’t the dark fantasy retelling I had thought it would be, I enjoyed the historical aspects of the story and the amazing characterization. For those reasons, I’m giving this a solid 4/5 stars, and I cannot wait to see what else this author will create!

4 star

Happy reading ~

Mary B: An Untold Story of Pride and Prejudice by Katherine J. Chen

I love Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It was one of the first classic novels I had ever read and I thought it was so witty and lovely. I love rereading it, and watching movie adaptations of it, so of course when I heard about this book, I knew I had to give it a go!

36505861Summary (Goodreads): What is to be done with Mary Bennet? She possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the high-spirited charm of Lizzy. Even compared to her frivolous younger siblings, Kitty and Lydia, Mary knows she is lacking in the ways that matter for single, not-so-well-to-do women in nineteenth-century England who must secure their futures through the finding of a husband. As her sisters wed, one by one, Mary pictures herself growing old, a spinster with no estate to run or children to mind, dependent on the charity of others. At least she has the silent rebellion and secret pleasures of reading and writing to keep her company.

But even her fictional creations are no match for the scandal, tragedy, and romance that eventually visit Mary’s own life. In Mary B, readers are transported beyond the center of the ballroom to discover that wallflowers are sometimes the most intriguing guests at the party. Beneath Mary’s plain appearance and bookish demeanor simmers an inner life brimming with passion, humor, and imagination–and a voice that demands to be heard.


Review: 

If I’m honest, one of the reasons I was so intrigued by this novel was because I actually could not remember Mary’s character. I knew she was one of the Bennet sisters but she had such a minor role in the story that I had completely passed over her. I was so intrigued by how the author would shape her personality and show how she was affected by the marriages of her sisters.

There were some positives to this story…. but also some negatives.

The author really made an effort to have the story start off from where Pride and Prejudice began. I really liked that the story went beyond the events of the original novel and into a future that readers had always speculated about. I also appreciated the effort taken to maintain the same language usage as in the original novel.

There were quite a lot of mentions about how plain Mary was in terms of her looks and behaviour. Usually, I am not a fan of repetitive themes but it worked well in the story because it reinforced the idea of why people never really gave Mary a proper shot.

But here’s where the positives end.

While I was excited to see how this author interpreted Pride and Prejudice, I thought there were quite a few flaws. For one thing, there were quite a few discrepancies between this story and the original. I won’t go into the details but there were enough to affect the quality of the story. I also didn’t think that any of Mary’s romantic ventures were developed properly. There was a lack of elevation to it, making it seem very cheap and cringey. She may not have been the most beautiful or poised Bennet sister, but that doesn’t mean that her romance should be any less.

I was also very disappointed in the way other characters in the book were portrayed. The Colonel Fitzwilliam described in this novel was quite different than in the original and I found it hard to wrap my head around this new persona. I was also very disappointed with how the author portrayed Lizzie. She was (and continues to be) my favourite character from Pride and Prejudice and I don’t think the author was really fair in her depiction of her. Call me biased, but I don’t think there were any signs of Lizzie being cruel or selfish in the original, and yet the author in this novel decided to portray her as such. It was so disconcerting and unbelievable for me to read about this “new” Lizzie, who did not resemble the original Lizzie Bennet.

I think that the author tried to do something very interesting and unique here. While I appreciate her efforts in bringing alive a character that was hidden in the background, I do not think that it was executed too well. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 2/5 stars.

2 star

Happy reading ~