The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult – Review.

The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult

It’s no secret that I am a huge Jodi Picoult fan. I’ve met her twice, I own all her novels, numerous of these are signed, and I creepily stalk bookstore windows on publishing day so that I can get my hands on a copy as soon as it hits the shelves. This was exactly what I did with The Book of Two Ways and I finished it in just a couple of days!

The blurb:

The Blurb – The Book of Two Ways

I was so excited to jump into this new book by Picoult as it sounded so interesting and different to anything I had read before! Nonetheless, I wasn’t disappointed and this book left me reeling. I had so many thoughts which kept returning and causing me to reconsider multiple aspects of the story.

This novel started off slow and the level of detail included often seemed superfluous. (Internally I was freaking out; “Oh my goodness” I thought, “Will this be the first Jodi book I don’t love?”). There was a lot of foundation this book had to lay. The story shifts between Egypt and Boston and thus needed to establish two very different lifestyles. As well as this, the protagonist, Dawn, was very big into ancient Egyptian history and this was deeply studied throughout the book. Having no prior knowledge of this topic meant I really needed to concentrate as it was a very foreign territory for me being explored. Furthermore I found the timeline a little hard to navigate as it wasn’t made explicitly clear. This was never really clarified but nonetheless came together in the end.

The level of detail included about ancient Egyptian history, hieroglyphs, their meaning, Egyptian beliefs about death, the afterlife, as well as ritualistic practices for the dead was A LOT. Pictures were included, hieroglyphs were detailed and histories were described at length. At first I was simply agog at the level of research Picoult must have completed for this labour of love. I also questioned if she went a little overboard perhaps? However the more I became engrossed in the story the more I fell in love with the information I was being presented with. I was then able to absorb it much more easily the longer the book went on. It was fascinating and so intriguing!

So thus, before picking this novel up, I warn you, the content is heavy and delves into big topics such as Egyptology, the role of a death doula, love, infidelity, life and death. The subjects were intense and emotional. This book isn’t for the faint hearted. That’s the thing with a Picoult novel, you cannot get through one without seeing yourself somewhere within the pages. I think that is the power of her writing, you are always able to see yourself in a character which is what makes the feelings and reflections all too real and way too raw. 

*Spoilers ahead*

One very excited girl just moments after she got her hands on her copy of The Book of Two Ways.

The main character Dawn experiences a challenging decision all throughout the novel regarding whom she loves and wants to pursue a future with. Her feelings are split between her dedicated, steady and reliable (boring?) husband Brian, or the impulsive, passionate and long lost love of Wyatt with whom she has always held a torch for. Brian seems like a lovely, gentlemanly guy. However, the love between Dawn and Wyatt was so strong, it almost felt visceral. I definitely found myself on team Wyatt because I felt like he brought out a true fire in Dawn which was stifled in her day to day life with Brian.

Wyatt and Dawns relationship is undeniably cheating, but it felt like the love story and romance that Dawn needed… and in all honesty I was rooting for them from the get go. In no way do I condone infidelity or cheating of any kind. However what peaked my interest was how the book raises the question of: if you never fall out of love with someone from years ago, and yet continue dating others, are you actually unfaithful to your true love forevermore? Food for thought. This made me consider whether the universe actually conspires to set back into motion what is truly meant to be.

I must mention the character of Win, ah sweet Win. I knew she was going to break my heart from the onset, and her death left me a blubbering mess. This character was the one whom caused me to reflect and ponder on these themes the most. Win is at the final stages of her life and faced with the prospect of death at a young age. Having been through hardships throughout her life already, she must now accept her fate and thus her final hurdle (letting go and dying peacefully). Win raises so many questions of “what if?”, particularly as she reflects on what could have been with a past lover, a “one that got away” scenario. Win vehemently tried to draw out these questions in Dawn, and in facing her own music also caused Dawns to be set into motion as well. Win forced me to look into myself and my own experiences a little too much, and really got under my skin.

As for the ending, I am so frustrated with the final sentence (the most beautifully, intense, lingering kind of frustration). I cannot stand not knowing concretely how this all plays out into the future. But that is probably the biggest message of the book. We don’t know what the future can hold nor the multiple directions it can take…..  

I highly recommend this book. Trust me and persevere through the first third of the novel and then you will discover it is well worth it.

4/5 stars.

Thanks for reading, Rx

The Return by Nicholas Sparks – Review

Thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me an advanced copy of this beautiful novel.

“Often, to move forward, we must return to the place where it all began.”

Blurb:
Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, North Carolina. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he’d inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.

Tending to his grandfather’s beloved bee hives while preparing for a second stint in medical school, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . yet, from their very first encounter, Trevor feels a connection with deputy sheriff Natalie Masterson that he can’t ignore. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding.

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road. Claiming to be 17, she works at the local sundries store and keeps to herself. Discovering that she was once befriended by his grandfather, Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death, but she offers few clues – until a crisis triggers a race that will uncover the true nature of Callie’s past, one more intertwined with the elderly man’s passing than Trevor could have ever anticipated.

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie’s secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.

This was such a beautiful book to read. The imagery that it evoked, the relationships it explored and the complications that ensued were all true to Nicolas Sparks form. I laughed, I cried, and I felt every other emotion in between.
Side note- as someone who is petrified (!!) of bees this book made me feel slightly anxious. Trevor newly resides on a property which tends to numerous bee hives and so this book explores the very dynamics of a thriving bee colony. I’m so glad it was Trevor tending to the hives rather than I… although access to all that fresh honey sounded divine!

I really adored the very essence of this book. The imagery Sparks creates sets the scene and makes you feel as though you’re sitting right there sharing an iced tea with the characters. “Sunsets turned the creek into a cacophony of burgundy and red and orange and yellow, while the slowly fading rays pierced the curtain of Spanish moss draped over the tree branches”… and we are only on page 5!? The town of New Bern had a real charm to it which was nice to explore. The descriptions of the streets which were lined with massive oak and magnolia trees, the Saturday farmers market and stores such as the Trading Post with its a random assortment of goods made for a very visual experience. The social nature of the community (gossip central) also added to New Bern’s homely feel.

As for the characters- I couldn’t love them more. I thoroughly enjoyed Trevor with his carefree nature, silly jokes and strong determination. I also appreciated seeing him navigate his way through his battle with PTSD acquired as a result of injuries from Afghanistan. Trevor’s mental health journey was raw and relatable and added a depth to him which enabled him to reach out to other troubled souls. I adored the character Callie and all her complexities. She had me guessing from the very beginning as to her back story. I did however initially struggle to warm to Natalie. I found her to be too cold and aloof which didn’t fit with whom I envisaged someone like Trevor being drawn to. However, as the story unfolded I understood the true nature of her and became very fond of her.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved the tone. It was a light and easy read and is one of those books that is good for the soul.

4.5/5 stars.

The Return will be released on the 29th of September. Be sure to let me know your thoughts once you’ve got your own copy!

Thanks for reading,

R. xo

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell- Review

Hi blossoms,

Last night I (finally) finished My Dark Vanessa. I have heard many mixed things about this book, both good and bad.  Before we proceed: trigger warnings and plot spoilers.  

Here’s the synopsis: 

“All he did was fall in love with me and the world turned him into a monster.

Vanessa Wye was fifteen-years-old when she first had sex with her English teacher.
She is now thirty-two and in the storm of allegations against powerful men in 2017, the teacher, Jacob Strane, has just been accused of sexual abuse by another former student.
Vanessa is horrified by this news, because she is quite certain that the relationship she had with Strane wasn’t abuse. It was love. She’s sure of that.
Forced to rethink her past, to revisit everything that happened, Vanessa has to redefine the great love story of her life – her great sexual awakening – as rape. Now she must deal with the possibility that she might be a victim, and just one of many.

Whilst I found this book very intriguing because it was so taboo; It was such a slog to read. I felt like it took me forever when it really shouldn’t have. It wasn’t a big book or a hard read, it was just tedious. I couldn’t sit for long reading sessions for this one. It left me feeling unsettled and uncomfortable- I have never read anything to do with grooming and paedophilia prior to this novel.  

The character Vanessa herself was fascinating! She was so complex and so terribly damaged from her experiences. I loved the continued references to her long red hair, which was described often as the colour of maple leaves. A beautiful image and so striking for someone so desperately trying to blend into their environment. As the book was written from her perspective, I think that is what made it so uncomfortable to read. She had such little self-worth and hearing her thought process justifying her continued return to Strane was very compelling. The scenes which detailed the instances of rape were most unsettling. Mostly because of hearing how she disconnected from her body because she detested what was occurring and yet simultaneously craved it. A dichotomous battle of the mind.   

Aside from the uncomfortable content, I found some aspects of the plot lacking. I am still perplexed regarding Vanessa’s relationship with her professor Henry and what he offered in the second half of the book. Obviously, it highlighted her dysfunctional relationship with males, particularly in roles of influence in her life, but nothing else eventuated. Perhaps I completely missed the point here but I felt sure some moment of epiphany would occur, and yet nothing. Her boyfriend Ira at the beginning helped her seek the therapy she obviously needed, and thus served a role, but I am not so sure Henry did the same? 

Furthermore, I felt completely frustrated with Vanessa’s parents. I personally have a very close relationship with my parents so that might be the cause of my lack of connection to this plot line. I struggled to comprehend her mother’s significant disregard for the cues Vanessa exhibited regarding her struggle. And as for when Vanessa ‘took the fall’ for Strane her parents did little to determine if it was actually the truth, if she was emotionally sound and if she was physically safe. Surely there would have been more conversations to determine if their daughter was at fault or a victim here? I know for sure my Mum would not go through this process so calm and nonchalant.

Despite me appearing to be picking the plot to pieces here I really did enjoy this book. It was gripping, interesting and made me uncomfortable to the point that it perfectly achieved the message it was trying to convey. I love reading books like this which aren’t my usual genre or theme of choice because it helps further my learning and understanding of a range of issues. I did a little research on child (individuals aged 18 years and under) sexual abuse within Australia and the statistics are astounding.

Studies that comprehensively measured the prevalence of child sexual abuse found that males had prevalence rates of 1.4-7.5% for penetrative abuse and 5.2-12% for non-penetrative abuse, while females had prevalence rates of 4.0-12.0% for penetrative abuse and 14-26.8% for non-penetrative abuse.”

This is horrific and certainly highlights why books such as My Dark Vanessa need to be published and promoted. They spark conversations, raise awareness and demonstrate the horrendous acts which can go on when people turn a blind eye.

My Dark Vanessa– 4/5 stars.

Thank you for reading,

Rx

The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary- Review

Hi blossoms,

Oh my goodness, what a breath of fresh air this book was. I thoroughly enjoyed it like I haven’t enjoyed a book in a while. I was so invested in the friendship between Tiffy and Leon all the way through.

Tiffy & Leon share a bed.
Tiffy & Leon have never met….

There is definitely a familiar mix of vibes in this book that I already knew, but they’re ones I adore. The tone of the book was very Bridget Jones Diary, and Tiffy had a Louisa Clark (Me Before You) air. But these both bring me immense joy, so I was completely here for it.

The book was light, fast paced and fun. The entire concept of the book- two strangers sharing a bed- makes me cringe, but it was an awesome concept for a book. The germophobe in me actually shudders at the thought. The characters themselves were the pure essence of the story and certainly had me rooting for them all the way through. Both main characters, Leon and Tiffy, were completely endearing with the quirks of their personality appearing believable and loveable from the onset. This book really caused me to reflect on how much you can tell about a person simply from observing their behaviours and highlight how truly well we actually do know those whom we live in close proximity to. Warts and all.

Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was the character development. Tiffy came into her own by becoming independent, self-sufficient and strong. I loved that Leon was not her ‘knight in shining armour’ per se. Tiffy had her support network around her and yet faced some big demons herself to reach an awakening on her own. However, Leon was also there to support and encourage this development each step of the way. As such, I loved how Leon learnt to open up and express himself more. If it were not for the encouragement of Tiffy (and his remarkable brother) he would have not been able to do so solo.  

One quote I will take away from this book which I thought was very important was: “Being nice is a good thing. You can be strong and nice. You don’t have to be one or the other” (p. 24). I think this is beautiful and so very true.

I definitely adored this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a feel good read that will make you smile.

4.5 stars.

Thanks for reading, Rx

Little Henry; my perfect little reading buddy.

New Moon by Stephanie Meyer- Review.

Hi blossoms ,

I’ve finished my re-read of New Moon and I don’t even know how to feel about it.

My darling Henry, the most perfect little model.

I am not calling this a “re-read” anymore because I cannot remember anything that is happening. It is as though I am now picking these books up for the first time. I am so shocked by the complete and utter blank I am drawing on this story. It obviously made a huge impact on me the first time around….

As much as I enjoyed Twilight, New Moon left me feeling frustrated and nowhere near as emotionally invested in the story. This book felt so separate and disjointed from its precursor that it was like it was a completely different story. I realise Meyer was establishing the character, Jacob, as well as the way of life in La Push, however I don’t think it was executed well. I think this book may be what is responsible for my interest completely dwindling the first time around, because it sure could happen again now (Fear not! I will prevail). Compared to the first book, this one made me recoil at the cringey moments. They have lost their quirky and cute ways, and are just eye-roll central. As you can see, my ‘eye-roll’ post-its are aplenty this time. I truly think this book is why I hold such contempt regarding this series.

That’s an awful lot of eye-rolls. I may need to schedule an appointment with my optometrist.

As always, Bella was intolerable. She was whiny, angsty and moody. Yet again there was no substance to her character. I’ve been through heart ache, trust me I know how bad a broken heart can be. But come on! Whilst I enjoyed the dramatic pages of “October”…. “November”… “December”… “January”….. I ask; “Really?” Stop with the theatrics and describe her turmoil. Provide me more detail about this zombie like stupor Bella went into. On this note though, as Bella was starting to come back to the land of the living (pardon the pun) and feeling alive only when she put herself in mortal danger… Seems as thought she was a little unstable and perhaps actually needed proper medical intervention?  

Now, Edward… sorry, who? I forgot all about this handsome pale fellow. He became lost for this book apparently.

As for Jacob, what a deliberately charming, sweet and likeable guy. It definitely felt like Meyer was building him up solely to shut him down. I can’t remember what comes of him in books to come, but I have a feeling things could turn very dark for this poor unwanted sweetheart. I felt incredibly sympathetic towards him throughout the entire novel. The guy must have the patience levels of a saint to put up with the ‘bashing your head against a brick wall’ friendship he had going on with Bella. What did irk me beyond anything else in this book was how Bella kept referring to Jacob as her sun and her sunshine- “The shadows didn’t seem as dark as usual. Not with my personal sun along” (p. 198). Firstly, she’s a classic ‘dependent’ personality type and thus all her neediness for Edward was channeled into Jacob. And secondly, she was only using Jacob because the minute her cold bae returned, she dropped Jacob like a dirty shoe. This upset me because he genuinely seemed like a nice guy with her best interests at heart. I felt frustrated she couldn’t do a better job at maintaining both her relationship with her boyfriend and best friend.

 Some final thoughts;

  • I enjoyed meeting the Volturi and hope to find out more about them.
  • I got a snippet more of the ‘Rosalie’ storyline I crave. So I am placing a lot of hope in the final two books to unravel her character.
  • Poor Charlie- I feel for him, he seems like such a lovely man and he’s been tasked with a shocker of a job dealing with Bella.

This book let me down after I was so pleasantly surprised by Twilight. I am staying positive though and hoping that the final two books pick back up and deliver.

3/5 stars.

Thanks for reading,

Rx

Little Harvey, helping out with the modelling. With slightly less finesse.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson- Review.

Hello blossoms,

What a whirlwind! I thoroughly enjoyed this one- it was different, fresh, quirky and definitely kept me engaged the entire way through.

Here’s the synopsis from the back cover:

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.
But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth? 

We see the book centred around Pip’s high school research project. The story is interjected with sections from her research throughout. This made for a very interesting read as we went through all the motions with her. The titbits of Pip’s thought process and brainstorming of theories was a cute addition and really helped set the scene for a teenage crime solving adventure. As things went along I thought I had it all figured out, but with another twist I was mistaken. And I love that! I am always happy to read books that keep me guessing!

The main character, Pip, was so endearing and I absolutely adored her. With lines like “Crap crap fudging bugger monkeypoo crapola arse chops” (p. 154) how can you not? Evidently, the tone was very YA fiction but it added to the charm of the story. Whilst definitely falling into the YA genre, it did touch on some very poignant topics… (murder, suicide, self-harm and date-rape) so not for the faint hearted.

Mid-morning reading session, ft. my favourite line from the book.

It blows my mind when I think that this is Holly Jackson’s debut novel. It is so soundly written and confidently conveyed, it’s like her literary voice has been around for years. I can’t wait to get stuck into the sequel, Good Girl, Bad Blood. I have high hopes it will keep me just as on the edge of my seat at this one.

4.5/5 stars.

Thanks for reading,

Rx

Harvey can’t wait to read the sequel with me!

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer- Review

Good evening blossoms,

Well there you go. I stayed up very late last night to finish the last quarter of Twilight. I just couldn’t put it down and had to finish it to find out how it all played out. For the life of me I couldn’t remember what happened and honestly have no recollections from here on in what happens for the rest of the series. I mean, aside from the main and obvious spoiler which I’ve seen all over social media. I cannot believe how much I have just blanked these books from my memory.

Having said that, I enjoyed this book so much more than I anticipated!! (Okay, I loved it… I’m obsessed!) So I am actually really happy I can’t remember anything because it makes the books feel like a fresh new read for me. The cringy moments are still there (obviously), but I am learning to embrace them. It’s occurred to me that the cringe factor is actually the essence of Twilight, and that’s what you end up loving about it. I must say, my post-its died down towards the end of the novel because I was so engrossed in the story. There was no time for eye-rolling, only madly reading to find out what happened.

Twilight, at Twilight.

Despite my enjoyment of the book as a whole, I still am completely, 100% and eternally exasperated by Bella. I can’t quite place my finger on what it is that annoys me about her, but she really irks me at times. I also get really frustrated with the Cullen’s always carrying her around everywhere. The fact that she is forever being carted about like a child, with minimal objections, weakens the strength of her character monumentally. I also thought Jacob played a much bigger role, but maybe that’s to come in subsequent books. I am very intrigued by Rosalie and desperately hope Meyer develops her character further in the books to follow.

I am having a small break from the Twilight saga and reading another book before I begin New Moon… but I am itching to continue reading to know what happens. So definitely stay tuned. All in all I was very surprised at my response to Twilight; I truly did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

4/5 stars…… (!!!)

Thanks for reading,

R x

Twilight Reread: Halfway Check-In

Hi blossoms,

(*Spoilers* So if you haven’t read Twilight… maybe check back and say ‘hi’ when you have. I would hate to ruin anything for anyone.)

I’m reporting in as I have reached the halfway point of Twilight and I have a lot of feelings.

Let me start off by saying; I am enjoying this book wayyyy more than I anticipated. I can barely put the thing down. If I hadn’t been so busy this week (university is killing me) I would have finished it. There is so much to it that I just don’t remember, or I didn’t take note of the first time around. I’m only halfway, but it’s all unfolding nicely, with a little more substance than I recall.   

I have been annotating my progress with post-it notes for all the cringey moments. Whilst the post-its are plenty, the moments are so bad they’re actually good? What has happened to me? (Send help please!) However, I absolutely must highlight the cringe of cringe moments when Bella says on page 171- “I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.” Okay sweetheart, slow down, you’ve known the guy a week and said all of about 15 words to him. This part made me physically recoil and close the book for the night with a massive eye-roll. It was moments like this which made me feel so much derision for this series in years gone by. This moment aside, all the other renowned cringy moments (notably Bella attempting to flirt with Jacob) ((Please make it stop)) were bearable, laughable and kind of cute.

The characterisation of Bella still frustrates me as much as I remember. I am constantly thinking: Why are you so clumsy? Why is walking so difficult for you? (No, seriously??!)  Why won’t you email your mum a bit more? She’s only concerned! Why don’t you give your Dad a bit more credit? He seems like a nice man. Why are you so unnecessarily awkward? Despite this I will give credit to the construction of the town of Forks. It is detailed enough that I have a vivid picture of what I envisage it to be, and descriptive enough to set the tone and mood of the book. Props to you for that Meyer. *Maybe ease up on telling me how handsome, perfect and dreamy good ol Edward is for a second though… You seem a little needy.* I do have some reservations in passing my final judgement of Edward himself. Whilst I know Meyer is trying to portray him as this dashing, over-protective guy of your dreams… He is only coming across as misogynistic, controlling and arrogant. I do have moments of understanding why Bella is a stage 5 clinger, but for the most part my eyes have rolled to the back of my skull. I think if the way Edward was described was dialled back a notch, and his domineering nature was considerably less, this series wouldn’t receive as much criticism as it does.

I was thinking of purchasing all the films and watching them as I read along with the book. So when I finish this book I was going to watch the film before I begin New Moon. However I have decided against doing this and am going to read all four books and then watch all four films. I think the films (and the poor acting) was a significant contributor in my utter contempt of the Twilight saga as a whole. Hence why I will hold off to give the books full potential in their own right.

I will check back in when I finish the book. I really am enjoying it so much more than I thought I would and I can’t wait to continue reading.

Thanks for reading!

Have a beautiful day, R x.

The Twilight Saga: The re-read.

Hello blossoms,

Against my better judgement (and encouragement from my dear bookstagram friends) I am participating in a reread of the Twilight saga in preparation for the release of the new book, Midnight Sun, in August. I thought it would be fun to document the process and attempt to keep my sass and disdain  at bay (unlikely!). This is the main reason why I dredged up (and deleted the majority of) my very old blog from back in the day.  

Let’s do this!

I remember reading Twilight back in high school and not understanding what all the hype was about. I recall thinking the concept of the books was great but it was just poorly executed and badly written. I believe I read the first 2, maybe 3 at a stretch, books and saw only the first film.

These are the lasting impressions I have:

  • Bella was whiney and irritating. I don’t think there was a lot of strength to her character.
  • The vampires sparkled…. What was with that??
  • I remember feeling as though I was on “Team Edward”.
  • I didn’t see all the fuss around the wolf guy.
  • The Cullen siblings were cool? Maybe?

Annnnnd that’s the sum total of my knowledge. So let’s see if these thoughts and feelings change over the course of my reread.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading,

Rx

Book Review: Meddling Kids- Edgar Cantero

Good afternoon blossoms,

This morning I finished my first book from the new bookclub I have joined- #BooksWithBrooke. The book selected was Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero. Whilst not my preference, or my usual vibe I thought “Why Not?” and gave it a go.

The Goodreads synopsis:

1990. The teen detectives once known as the Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in the Zoinx River Valley in Oregon) are all grown up and haven’t seen each other since their fateful, final case in 1977. Andy, the tomboy, is twenty-five and on the run, wanted in at least two states. Kerri, one-time kid genius and budding biologist, is bartending in New York, working on a serious drinking problem. At least she’s got Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the team. Nate, the horror nerd, has spent the last thirteen years in and out of mental health institutions, and currently resides in an asylum in Arhkam, Massachusetts. The only friend he still sees is Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star. The problem is, Peter’s been dead for years.

The time has come to uncover the source of their nightmares and return to where it all began in 1977. This time, it better not be a man in a mask. The real monsters are waiting.

Sounds interesting right? Well I must say, the first 100 pages or so were an absolute mission. The story seemed a little wishy-washy and quite a tedious read. I warmed to the character Nate and his internal battles. My favourite character from the outset was Tim, their canine companion… but we all know I am a sucker for anything furry and four-legged.

I cannot deliver this review by not reinforcing how arduous this was to read. I constantly found myself distracted whilst reading. I would find myself playing on my phone, watching TV, scrolling through Instagram, making a tea and any number of other distractions. I know in myself I am enjoying a book by how little my attention is captured by anything else. When I’m into a book; I am there, immersed and everything else fades away. This was not the case for Meddling Kids.

Despite this, I am thrilled I finished it and it didn’t get shelved as a DNF. I wanted closure and definitely needed to know how things played out- hence why I persevered. This says to me the core idea of the novel was great but the delivery just wasn’t my jam. I found the random segues into stage production lines and camera angles really off-putting and didn’t make a whole lot of sense. They were never properly acknowledged and nothing came to fruition because of them. Quirky? Yes. Necessary? No…

So all in all, glad to have read this… But even gladder to have finished.

3 / 5 stars.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a beautiful day.

R x

Little Henry keeping me company as I read.