Here I am with another set of mini reviews. Even though I said I wanted to do less of these this year. Oops. Spoilers are hidden.
This is going to be the shortest of my reviews today, as I really don't want to spoil this amazing book for you. Ever since reading Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, I was on the look out for this book. I was constantly searching on my library's website to see if they'd got it in yet. Finally, late last year, it appeared as one of my search results. I hit that "Place Hold" button so fast. I didn't even know I could move that quickly. Anyway, my point is, I had high expectations for this book. And, most surprisingly, they were met.
My favourite part of this book was watching Chloe's transformation. As the novel is told from three different times, the present, the past and "The End", the changes in Chloe are easy to notice. I also felt that the use of the different parts was executed perfectly in creating suspense and fear over what was going to happen. This didn't have so much of a 'wow moment' (like Dangerous Girls did), but it was the journey to the end that was shocking. The horror of it all crept up on me.
Another thing I loved was how well the author made me understand and feel exactly what Chloe was. The awful and insane was made to seem reasonable, and I think that was the creepiest part of all.
This was an impulsive borrow from my local library. I’ve seen it on the shelf there a few times and it’s strange size drew me to it - along with having read some pretty good reviews on it - so this time I decided to pick it up, despite already being in the middle of three other books at the time. I’m happy to say that I do not regret choosing it, as I enjoyed it quite a lot. Laureth is one of my new favourite characters and I think I would really get along with her if she were real. She has such a strong, loving and trusting personality that really comes through in the book. The story follows her and her brother, Benjamin, as they try to find their believed missing, coincidence obsessed father in New York after someone finds his writing notebook there.
My favourite part of this book was reading from said notebook. Laureth’s father is an author and has been stuck planning a book about coincidences for years. These plans fill his notebook. And coincidences fill this book. It was a lot of fun finding these coincidences and at the same time reading about some in the pages of the notebook.
I understand that parts of this novel was a little unbelievable. It’s hard to imagine a girl and her younger brother being able to just sidestep security measures at an airport, for instance. Sure, a lot of things came together almost incredibly, but isn’t that what coincidences are all about?
“[Coincidences] tend to fall into two sorts. The ones that are so pathetic that they don’t excite anyone but you, and the ones that are so incredible that they are literally just that; unbelievable.” —page 74
I guess what I am trying to say is that some of the harder to believe things didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the novel.
The ending was super sweet despite certain fears that emerged about two thirds through, and I appreciated that very much.
One final thing: for those who’ve read the book, can you guess how many words this review is?
This was an entertaining enough addition to the Tiger Saga. The prequel follows Yesubai in the time that she knew Dhiren and Kishan (and a little before that too). It was intriguing to find out more about Yesubai's character and what exactly led her to her tragic fate. Whilst I liked Yesubai, and felt sorry for her position in life, I didn't agree with some of her beliefs - she seemed to think that evil was in her blood (highlight for slight spoilers)[and that there was nothing in her power to change herself into a good person. I understand that you can be doubting yourself for a time, but I don't think you can look back on your decisions, regret them, and then blame them on your evil father's blood that runs in your veins. You have to take responsibility for your actions. You are not defined by your blood]. Sometimes the way Yesubai talked about Kishan seemed a little out of character too.
There were also no tigers in this novella, which was understandable, but still a little saddening. In saying that, it was nice to hear about Ren and Kishan in another time, before they met Kelsey and before...well, everything went wrong.
I liked hearing more on Deschen, Ren and Kishan's lovely mother, too. She was so kind but definitely not submissive.
The bonus chapters at the end were also interesting - I absolutely loved hearing a little from Ren's perspective, though Yesubai's mother's story was horrifically sad.
I think the performer did a great job sharing this story, and changing all the voices so you could tell who was speaking.
I'd highly recommend this novella to anyone who enjoyed the Tiger Saga.