Categories
3 Muffins Book Reviews

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

review_post_graphic_txt

I was very excited when I saw Paula Hawkins was releasing a new thriller, since I loved The Girl on the Train, and was ready to read more from the author of such a great book! Unfortunately, I was disappointed, possibly because I went in to it with such high hopes. Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

33224064

‘Into The Water’ by Paula Hawkins

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

My Review

Into The Water is Paula Hawkins’ second stand alone novel from the mystery thriller genre, and is set in a small British town, following several different characters and their actions and reactions to the death of a local woman, Nel, in a famous part of the river known as The Drowning Pool. The events that happen throughout the book are cleverly shown to the reader, allowing us to try and guess the outcome of the investigation. Nothing is given away, but I still found it slightly predictable because of the limited character selection, and the ending wasn’t as exciting as I expected, as it was with Hawkins’ first novel. The point of view that the chapters were written from changed with the characters. For example all of Jules’ chapters (Nel’s sister) were written in first person, but all of Mark’s chapters were written in third person. This change in perspective threw me off in the beginning, but I got used to it as the book went on. I did think that this was done for a reason, but unfortunately I could not find any valid literary reason for Hawkins to do this. However, having Jules’ speak in first person narrative created a sense of her talking to us as if we were Nel. This filled in Nel’s character, placing us in that position and therefore allowing us to sympathise more with what happened to the characters who were close to her. The plot was mostly fast paced because of the shorter chapters, and cliffhangers featured at the end of each character point of view. Everything, as with any thriller, was fairly logical, although there were some parts that didn’t make sense, and didn’t fit with the storyline. They had no reason to be there, for example, the history of the other women in The Drowing Pool. It created a false lead to a possible link between the women in the pool, which would have made it slightly more interesting and exciting. There were a lot of red herrings in the story line, making it too complex, and some were not really tied up at the end like a good thriller should be.

I wasn’t really overcome with a sense of favouritism for any of the characters, although I did feel sympathetic towards Jules and Lena, because of what I previously discussed about first person writing. Every character had a darker side to them, which made them slightly less likeable, but if I had to pick, Jules seemed the most kind, and genuinely worried about Lena losing her mother. The setting helped the characters feel more realistic, and they were written with a fair bit of development and character history, which made them more interesting to read. I did find Erin’s character to be a little on the flat side, and that Hawkins left it too late in the story to introduce her past misdeeds. If they were important to the storyline, they should have been introduced a lot sooner, but alas, they were not at all relevant, and could have been missed completely and allowed the character room for a bit more development within the story.

Of course, because it was a thriller, I wanted to try and guess what happened, but I did’t feel a strong urge to try and guess who did it, because I didn’t really find a lot of drive in the story line. The police investigation seemed to fall a bit flat, because they didn’t really find a lot of evidence, and relied a lot on what people said. I like to read a thriller with a string of evidence that I can unpick as I read it, and that makes me guess what happened, but evidence seemed to be a bit thin on the ground where this story is concerned.

However, I would like to applaud Hawkins writing style, and her very clever use of language throughout the book. She references the water, and vocabulary relating to the Drowning Pool, which could also be related to the characters being ‘drowned’ by their emotions. These vocabulary choices were one of my favourite things about this book.

The beginning was a lot more gripping than the middle to the end of the book, because it was setting the scene and I wanted to find out what had happened. As the story unravelled it started to become clear there wasn’t really a lot to uncover, and with the lack of evidence, there wasn’t the promise of a shocking ending to keep me turning the pages.

The characters were well written, but I didn’t think the storyline and the outcome of the crime was as exciting as some other thrillers I’ve read, and not as good as Hawkin’s first novel. If you enjoyed The Girl on the Train, then you might feel the need to read this book, but you may be disappointed.

My Rating: 3 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you want to have a read of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

SaveSaveSaveSave

Categories
3 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘History Is All You Left Me’ by Adam Silvera

review_post_graphic_txt

I had heard so many good things about this book, which is why I didn’t hesitate when purchasing it. Apparently it was heart-breaking, funny and would make me cry, which is what I love in a YA novel. However, once I stared reading the book, my opinions of the story veered towards the unpopular, and here’s why.

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

HIAYLF

‘History Is All You Left Me’ by Adam Silvera

You’re still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world where this morning you’re having an open casket funeral. I know you’re out there, listening. And you should know I’m really pissed because you swore you would never die and yet here we are. It hurts even more because this isn’t the first promise you’ve broken.

OCD-afflicted seventeen-year-old, Griffin, has just lost his first love – his best friend, ex-boyfriend and the boy he believed to be his ultimate life partner – in a drowning accident. In a desperate attempt to hold onto every last piece of the past, a broken Griffin forges a friendship with Theo’s new college boyfriend, Jackson. And Griffin will stop at nothing to learn every detail of Theo’s new college life, and ultimate death. But as the grieving pair grows closer, readers will question Griffin’s own version of the truth – both in terms of what he’s willing to hide, and what true love ultimately means…

My Review

History Is All You Left Me is young adult contemporary fiction about boys and their relationships with one another. The only thing is, one of them is dead. Organised in alternating chapters between past and present events, the story is told by our narrator Griffin, who was Theo’s first love. When Theo moves away to California, he meets Jackson, and Griffin hangs on to a friendship with Wade. Whilst in Cali, Theo meets his end when he drowns in the sea, which destroys Griffin and Jackson, and their joint love for him. Set in chilly New York winter, and sunny California, Jackson and Griffin come together to support each other during this difficult time in their lives, and truths are uncovered about the day Theo died. We also learn about the history, when Griffin and Theo first fell in love, and the time leading up to him moving away.

Even though the story is set in two different times, it is all written as present tense, which is an interesting way to structure the narrative, but it works quite well. As a reader, we are able to fully put ourselves in both time zones, rather than living in one and imagining another. While the story was quite unique, having never read anything similar before, the storyline was semi-predictable. There were some parts that I didn’t see coming, but when they did, they weren’t necessarily shocking. The plot line as a whole just seemed a little flat to me, possibly because there were no dramatic plot twists that hadn’t already crossed my mind, and nothing really seemed to develop much. Due to this, the story was quite slow paced, however everything had clearly be planned out and Silvera was logical in his approach to the story.

Griffin was probably the character with the most life in him, because we saw things from his perspective. His character had some depth, allowing us to empathise with him, and learn more about the struggles with his OCD. Theo also had personality, which was impressive considering he was dead, but Jackson and Wade seemed to lack the depth which they had so much potential to have. All of the side characters I found extremely flat with no personalities whatsoever, and they were just there in case they were needed.

I wasn’t really left hanging doing the book, and didn’t spend every waking moment wondering how it would end. I had guessed from early on in the plot what might happen in the end, so, as I mentioned before, it wasn’t shocking enough for me. There wasn’t any major plot twists are big events that made this book really stand out.

If I had to choose a favourite part of the book, it would have to be when Theo and Griffin confessed their love for each other on the train in the early pages of the book. This lightened my spirits, and gave me hope for the rest of the book which unfortunately failed to live up to expectations. However, had I not been walking home when reading the last two chapters of the book, I probably would have shed a tear, because the last moments were quite touching, but everything in between those two points seemed to flop for me. There were a few giggles along the way, but nothing revolutionary that completely changed my feeling towards the plot. I wasn’t hooked on this story, I’m sorry to say, and it’s not very often it takes me over a week to read a book, let along one that is under 300 pages!

I wouldn’t recommend this book, especially if you are going in with the same expectations I did; hoping to laugh out loud and sob until you can’t breath. Unless you are a massive fan of Silvera’s writing and can’t bare the thought of missing this, I don’t suggest picking it up. But hey, we all have to read these stories to appreciate the good ones, and sometimes it’s okay to not enjoy an overhyped book, and have your own opinions, so if you are desperate to read this book, then who am I to stop you? I just hope you enjoy it more than I did.

My Rating: 3 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you wanna give this book a try, here is where you can buy it (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

Categories
3 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath

I feel like I needed a post it note on my forehead to constantly remind me to review this book! I have been so bad with keeping up with my reviews lately, and blog posts in general (which may have to be one of my New Years resolutions!) I was excited about reading The Bell Jar, and tackling my last classic of 2015, but I must say I was quite disappointed it…

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

828038

‘The Bell Jar’ by Sylvia Plath

Esther Greenwood is at college and is fighting two battles, one against her own desire for perfection in all things – grades, boyfriend, looks, career – and the other against remorseless mental illness. As her depression deepens she finds herself encased in it, bell-jarred away from the rest of the world. This is the story of her journey back into reality. Highly readable, witty and disturbing, The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath’s only novel and was originally published under a pseudonym in 1963. What it has to say about what women expect of themselves, and what society expects of women, is as sharply relevant today as it has always been.

My Review

 

The Bell Jar is regarded as a contemporary classic and is renowned for the account of Esther’s downward spiral into depression; a reflection on Plath’s own life and struggle with mental illness. Set in America, the story follows Esther as she tackles the beginnings of her depression in New York, on a trip she won, including the chance to work at an editing press for a magazine. The second half of the story explores Esther’s life when she gets home from her trip, when her illness is a lot more evident. For me, I found the storyline a bit too dry, and it was very difficult to connect to the characters in any way. There were no obvious signs as to why Esther may be depressed, it was just sprung onto the reader like it just happened overnight.

To be completely honest, I’m not sure I had a favourite character. They were all underdeveloped and really had no personality whatsoever apart from Esther, whose only real trait, you could say, was her mental illness, which shouldn’t be somethings that defines you, but Plath seemed to make it so, I guess maybe in an attempt to convey to the reader how she was feeling. In my opinion, this was a feeble attempt. Due to the lack of development in the characters, they felt very 2D to me, and not coming to life at all on the page.

 

I knew the book was about the main characters descent into the depths of depression, so it didn’t really keep me guessing or grip me to keep turning the pages in any way apart from to get it over with. That said, if I had to pick my favourite part of the book, it would be when Esther overdosed and crawled up the chimney in her attempt to commit suicide, because this was the only part where I could properly feel how Esther was feeling due to the way it was sensitively written. Apart from this, I was shocked at the lack of emotion this book caused me to feel, especially after knowing what the book was about before I read it.

 

Would I recommend it? Not as much as I would other books. There were sparks of something within the storyline and the writing, and it could have been a lot more exciting with more development on the character front, but not a great read for me unfortunately.

My Rating: 3 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

Categories
3 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘The Age of Miracles’ by Karen Thompson Walker

I had an eBook copy of The Age of Miracles sitting on my Kinde for over a year, and I felt like I should really get to it and read it. When it was first published, it sounded OK, but I wasn’t immediately captured by the main theme of the story. I thought about it and gave in, thinking if I had an inkling, I should just go for it.

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

18907762

‘The Age of Miracles’ by Karen Thompson Walker

WHAT IF our 24-hour day grew longer, first in minutes, then in hours until day becomes night and night becomes day?
‘It is never what you worry over that comes to pass in the end. The real catastrophies are always different – unimagined, unprepared for, unknown…’ 
What if our 24-hour day grew longer, first in minutes, then in hours, until day becomes night and night becomes day? What effect would this slowing have on the world? On the birds in the sky, the whales in the sea, the astronauts in space, and on an eleven-year-old girl, grappling with emotional changes in her own life..? 
One morning, Julia and her parents wake up in their suburban home in California to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth is noticeably slowing. The enormity of this is almost beyond comprehension. And yet, even if the world is, in fact, coming to an end, as some assert, day-to-day life must go on. Julia, facing the loneliness and despair of an awkward adolescence, witnesses the impact of this phenomenon on the world, on the community, on her family and on herself.

My Review

I would describe The Age of Miracles as a more contemporary novel, and, although marketed as Adult Fiction, being written from a 12 year old girls perspective gives it a younger vibe, possibly being suited more for young adults.

Set in California, America, this novel tells a story about how the rotation of the earth begins to slow, making days longer; first in minutes, then stretching to hours, and the days. The events are told to the ready from the point of view of Julia, a 12 year old school girl who explains the slight and dramatic changes that happen due to ‘the Slowing’. The story line was quite predictable, the reader constantly knowing that the earth was slowing down, and that things were going to be changing. It’s a no brainer that this was going to affect gravity, how long daylight and nighttime hours were, and the growing of plants and crops for food. There was also the debate between ‘real time’ and ‘clock time’, where the government wanted everyone to continue to obey 24 time, even though days were getting longer, resulting in ‘white nights’ and ‘dark days’.

The plot was quite slow, apart from the Slowing, not much really happened in the way of a plot line. The only things to really mark the story was the changes to the earth, and that was merely just a statement compared to an actual event. To praise Walker, however, everything was very logical and a lot of research must’ve been done to accurately replicate something like this happening in a piece of fictitious literature. Due to the fact that the main point of the story was the Slowing, not a lot of characters were really introduced to the story, and when they were, they were quite plain. I think the author wanted to focus more on the Slowing than the character development. If I had to pick a favourite character, I would have to say Julia’s grandfather. He was very content with the whole situation and seemed like a nice, neutral character to be around during this ‘apocalyptic’ time on earth.

To be honest, all of the characters were quite limp and lifeless in my opinion. To me, they really lacked the anxiousness that I would feel if this was really happening as a real situation.

There wasn’t really a lot to guess in the story, apart from towards the end when Julia’s grandfather went missing. As I previously mentioned, I felt like everything was all very predictable, and attempts at big events, affairs and relationships were half hearted. My favourite part of the book was the only part that really resembled to formation of a romantic relationship, which was Seth and Julia on the roof watching out for a space ship to return to earth, only to find it doesn’t make it.

For me, I really didn’t connect with he style of writing, which is why I think even big events seemed to be quite limp and not very tense or exciting. The book didn’t strike any emotion into me, but it did make me think about what I would do in this particular situation; whether I would like to live by real time or clock time, and it definitely gives the reader something to think about whilst reading.

I would recommend The Age of Miracles to readers who are more interested in borderline fantastical reality novels, with an apocalyptic twist. I found this book was a more love-or-hate type of book. You will either fall in love with it, or you will find it very dry and boring.

My Rating: 3 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

Categories
3 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘The Perks of Being A Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky

I had been really excited to read this, and I knew exactly when I wanted to read it. I had just finished Catcher In The Rye and thought ‘thank God that’s over’, picked up this book, and saw that said on the front cover ‘…written in the style of Catcher In The Rye’. I automatically thought it would be just as bad, but I was determined to read it anyway. I was wrong!

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

15950494

‘The Perks of Being A Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky

Charlie is a freshman.
And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his year yet socially awkward,he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

My Review

The Perks of Being A Wallflower is a coming of age YA novel that follows Charlie through his first year of high school, when he experiments with the type of person he wants to be. Charlie is a very emotional fresher who meets Sam and Patrick, who help him through his school and personal life, introducing him to a life beyond his family and old school friends. ‘Sex, drugs and rock and roll’ would be an appropriate expression to use here!

Readers compare this book to Catcher In The Rye, and I can see why, but I can also see big differences too. There is a lot more of a storyline to Chbosky’s novel, and a lot more happens for it to be a worthy read. The characters have much more depth to them, with Charlie especially having a greater background to him, which made him more likeable as a character. I wouldn’t say the plot was necessarily fast paced, but moved at a steady enough pace that I was able to continue reading without having to force myself. Everything that happened seemed logical enough and fitted in with stereotypical workings of a teenage boys life.

I felt that Sam had a certain amiable nature to her, in my eyes, she never did anything too drastic to make me think she was a bad character to idolise. The other characters did feel real to me as well, because, as I have mentioned, there was a lot more character development throughout the story.

This is the part where I found the book similar to Catcher In The Rye, as it was very difficult to ‘guess’ what was going to happen, because there weren’t any hints in the story to get me guessing. My favourite part of the book was the scene with the famous line ‘We are all infinite’ because it really made me think about what it means to ‘feel infinite’ and how much value we have just being our own person. There are scenes like this throughout the novel that really made me see a difference again, between Perks and Catcher, because the morals where open for you to think more about, and you didn’t have to really hunt for them, whereas I struggled to find anything useful in Catcher.

Chbosky did a great job writing Charlie as a character; a sensitive yet willing young adult, and I think that helped when creating the particularly emotional scenes, for example, Sam’s leaving for college. There were also scenes that made me laugh because of Charlie’s naïvety, which made this book all the more uplifting.

From reading this after reading Catcher In The Rye (not that I should keep comparing it because it is it’s own book!) I can say that, yes, I have learnt things. I learnt that you should just be yourself, but be the best self you can be. Push yourself within your limits to get better at anything you wish, but always stay loyal and true to your friends and family

I would recommend this book to young adults, preferably 12+, as there are some more adult themes mentioned (sex, drugs, etc.)

My Rating: 3 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

Categories
3 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘Go Set A Watchman’ by Harper Lee

I was really desperate to read this book, after having fallen in love with To Kill A Mockingbird, and I have to say I was quite disappointed. I had heard good and bad things about this classic sequel, but I only really managed to see the bad, with a very small amount of good.

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

24817626

‘Go Set A Watchman’ by Harper Lee

From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch–“Scout”–returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchmanperfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in a painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past–a journey that can be guided only by one’s conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor and effortless precision–a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context and new meaning to an American classic.

My Review

Go Set A Watchman is the sequel of To Kill A Mockingbird, the well known classic set in 1950’s Southern America. The manuscript was originally turned down by publishers, then went missing until late 2014, when it was found, and then published due to the success of To Kill A Mockingbird fifty years previous.

The novel follows the story of Scout, now going by her birth name Jean Louise, and her annual fortnight visit home from New York where she now resides. The story was sometimes quite difficult to follow, due to very abrupt changes between present and past tense. The events were very predictable and there really wasn’t much of a story line anyway. The plot was quite slow paced; in my opinion, this was due to the constant flashbacks slowing the present story, or what there was of a present story. Everything seemed very bleak, whereas I think Lee could have just focused on the present story and made a bigger point to what was happening.

As much as the plot was a bit dry, I did enjoy the relationship between Jean Louise and Henry Clinton, as I think that finding her feminine side was an interesting development from the first book. For the most part, the other characters seemed very flat, and Atticus was actually quite racist, as was Henry, but Atticus had changed a lot, which was quite a dramatic difference compared with To Kill A Mockingbird. There wasn’t really much in the story to keep me guessing, it all seemed laid out in front of me as the reader. After saying all of that, I should really pick a part of the book that did stand out as my ‘favourite part to read’, and that would have to be Jean Louise and Henry swimming in the lake at Finch Landing, purely because of the relaxed atmosphere and the only real romance within the book.

I felt that Jean Louise rest her case very well towards the end of the book, and the scene was very slightly tense, only in want of knowing how Atticus would react. Some parts in the story made me laugh, mainly the flashbacks, but nothing drastically happened to spark any major emotions.

To summarise, whilst everyone went out to buy this book and read it due to the major success of its prequel, but most may have made a mistake. The book was very dry, and I would recommend you stuck with the first book instead of reading the sequel.

My Rating: 3 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

Categories
3 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘The Flip’ by Michael Phillip Cash

Cash got into contact with me through my blog asking if there were any of his books that I would be happy to read in exchange for an honest review. The Flip was the one that jumped out at me the most, even though I had never really been one for horror books, the description sounded intriguing, so I thought I would give it a go! I must admit, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, despite it not really being in the usual genre of books I read. I’m not going to say it was amazing, because this is an honest review, but there were some elements that I did enjoy.

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

22070838

‘The Flip’ by Micahel Philiip Cash

Julie and Brad Evans are house flippers. They buy low, clean out the old occupants’ junk, and try to make a profit. Enter Hemmings House on Bedlam Street in scenic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Too good a deal to pass up, but with an ominous secret. The old Victorian Mansion has dwellers that do not want to be dispossessed. As the house reveals it’s past, will the couple’s marriage survive The Flip?

My Review

The Flip is of the Horror/Paranormal genre, which is one I don’t tend to pick up, but what drew me in was the description on Goodreads. The books also had pretty good reviews, so Cash agreed to send me over a copy in exchange for an honest review. The story line is centred round Julie and Brad, who are house flippers-turning old houses into refurbished versions of their old selves to out back on the market- and are working on the Hemmings House project. Julie just could not resist that house when she saw it was for sale, but Brad tried to object, seeing as it was such a big project, and he would be stuck doing a lot of the work.

The story I found quite unusual, due to the fact that you don’t just get the view from Brad and/or Julie, you get it from the ghosts as well. I found this an intriguing way to write characters, but I personally was not enthralled by this decision. The reason being because I found it as not haunting enough knowing what the ghosts were doing. I felt like as soon as the ghosts were given names, personalities and a back story, the story immediately became less scary. Saying that, the timeline of events was certainly unpredictable, as I never would have thought Tess (one of the ghosts) would go to such lengths to get rid of Julie so she could have Brad, and the ending where she finally realised who she was meant to be with was a bit unexpected. It was semi climactic, but I wouldn’t say I was in a rush to finish it because I wanted to know what happened- I was rushing more because I knew I had other books to read and review. The plot was steady, there weren’t times when it moved particularly slowly, but then there weren’t a lot of very fast paced parts either. Some characters were difficult to follow, especially the ‘Sentinels’ as there was not a lot of description provided as to who they were and their purpose, you had to figure that out and read between the lines.

To be honest, I didn’t really find myself completely attached to any of the characters, but if I had to choose a favourite, it would be Tessa, just because the way she acted around Brad sometimes made me laugh- the fact that she smothered him and squeezed him and tried to love him and give him some sort of attention without him even knowing she was there. I guess the characters that were alive felt real enough to me, because the situation before the introduction of the ghosts was very realistic-the couple are married and work like any normal couple would, they have sex, they eat together, they argue sometimes.

As I mentioned, some parts of the story were unpredictable, but a to of the time, because the way the book was written, when Julie and Brad were scared, you knew what was going on because you got the story from the ghosts viewpoint as well. The ending, I felt, was written fairly well, and I liked the fact that Tessa did end up with Gerald (her fellow ghost friend occupying Hemmings House), although I wouldn’t say any other scenes were written particularly well compared to other. I was well written book on the whole, but apart from the ending, nothing really jumped out at me.

So I did try a different genre and stretched out of my comfort zone, but the book was not really for me, but fans of mild light hearted paranormal/less horror would enjoy it- if im gonna read horror, I want to be scared, but this wasn’t scary enough for me.

I would like to thank Cash for kindly sending me a copy of The Flip and here is you reviewing exchange. Thank you for the opportunity to read your book 🙂

My Rating: 3 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

Categories
3 Muffins Book Reviews

Review of ‘The Well’ by Catherine Chanter

I recently received a mysterious parcel containing a book (not that I was complaining)! I had received my first book in exchange for an honest review, which is one of the main reasons I started this blog; I wanted to share my reviews with a lot more people. Below is the review I submitted, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

23784289

‘The Well’ by Catherine Chanter

When Ruth Ardingly and her family first drive up from London in their grime-encrusted car and view The Well, they are enchanted by a jewel of a place, a farm that appears to offer everything the family are searching for. An opportunity for Ruth. An escape for Mark. A home for their grandson Lucien.

But The Well’s unique glory comes at a terrible price. The locals suspect foul play in its verdant fields and drooping fruit trees, and Ruth becomes increasingly isolated as she struggles to explain why her land flourishes whilst her neighbours’ produce withers and dies. Fearful of envious locals and suspicious of those who seem to be offering help, Ruth is less and less sure who she can trust.

As The Well envelops them, Ruth’s paradise becomes a prison, Mark’s dream a recurring nightmare, and Lucien’s playground a grave.

My Review

I ploughed through this book in a week, but I found myself having to put a lot of effort and time into finishing this book, and I struggled a bit in the beginning to get into the story line. When I say ‘in the beginning’ I mean the first two thirds of the book. The final hundred pages were quite gripping, however, but I feel like everything that happened was a bit squished into very few pages when it could have been spread over the whole book. I also found that character representations were quite unevenly spread over the ‘cast’ of the book, with some characters having quite a heavy account of their backgrounds and personality traits description, which really allowed me to connect and fall in love with them. The other characters, however, had a flimsy story behind them and didn’t really allow the reader to know them much as a person. I managed to feel a lot of different emotions throughout this book: confusion, anger, sympathy, love, but all of those emotions were centered on the main character, and two supporting characters. The concept of the plot was OK, but the ending was quite predictable, I even saw the culprit of the main plot point as soon as the character was introduced to me.
I wouldn’t say this book was a disappointing read, as I did enjoy the story towards the end, but I just felt the beginning dragged on, but necessary to read to support the ending, and some characters could have had a bit more ‘oomph’ to them to make the book a more exciting read through the boring plot points.

My Rating: 3 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

OK, so I know I wasn’t a massive fan, but doesn’t mean that you won’t be too! If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

Waterstones

Kobo (eBook)

Alibris

Barnes and Noble

If you would like me to include more links to places to buy, please comment below so I can incorporate them into my next review!

 Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)