Hi everyone! The mini reviews I'm sharing today are both for mysterious and strange books so it was a little difficult to share all my thoughts without venturing into spoiler territory - but I've managed to do it! Mostly. As usual, there are some blank spaces enclosed with these brackets '[ ]' that you can highlight over to view spoilers that I couldn't help but mention. I hope you enjoy these reviews!
Note: I'm thinking of phasing out the 'mini reviews' thing soon, because it seems that every time I post them, the reviews get a little longer! Let me know what you think!
Sweet Damage by Rebecca Jamesreviewing this book and therefore encouraging me to pick it up!
This is my second Rebecca James book (I reviewed Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead earlier this year) and I have to say that I am impressed! I should mention that in both cases though, the books haven't been quite as scary or thrilling as their blurbs suggest. I mean, there were some creepy scenes, but nothing "spine tingling".
The characters were really what made the book for me. The two main characters were my favourite. I think that Anna will stick with me for a long time to come. From the start, you know that she has some pretty serious mental issues, but the way she develops through the book was awesome. Tim was great too. I loved that he was such a caring person and was always thinking about how he made others feel. He had a strong moral code which was also good.
My least favourite character was Lilla. She was so nosy and annoying and rude. It’s one of my pet peeves when people come into my room and its not enough for them to just see the various objects, but they have to pick up every little thing and ask about it. I felt like Lilla was the human incarnation of that behaviour. I mean, there was literally a scene where she goes into Anna's house for the first time and asks so many questions about everything...I wanted her to just stop!
I know I said that this book wasn't exactly creepy, but I have to mention the setting of Anna's house. It really added to the atmosphere.
The main negative I had to this book was that in some bits it really seemed to drag on - especially in the first part.
One last thing to mention is that half way through this book I was feeling so smug because I thought I had everything figured out and that nothing in the story could surprise me, but then BAM BAM BAM there was one twist after another and they all felt like punches in the gut. Especially [when Anna explained to Tim that Benjamin was her son and how he died. I felt so awful for Anna and just wanted to go give her a big hug].
If you're looking for a mysterious contemporary YA, then I would definitely recommend this book!
The Accident Season By Moira Fowley-Doyle
Usually, I'm not very good with books that don't have an immediately obvious plot, but this time I was okay. I think it was because there was the mystery surrounding Elsie, a girl that has vanished from school. I'm sure you've guessed the premise from the title, like I did, but in case you haven't, in Cara's family, every October a bunch of accidents happen so they have to be extra careful. I loved the idea of that, and I think it was done so well.
The writing was the best part of this book for me. It was beautiful and brought the story to life. It made the book feel so creepy - seriously, I felt scared throughout this entire novel, but nothing that scary actually happened. I was just on edge the entire time and I'm sure that was due to the writing. Sometimes it could get a little confusing, but that added to the story as well - in a way that I can't fully explain. [It was like melding two separate stories together, only they were the same story all along]. If you know of any other books with writing like this - aside from The Raven Boys which I adore - please recommend them to me! I want to read them all.
I loved all the characters as well. They all had unique and even strange personalities which of course matched the storyline so well. I will say that some relationships between the characters made me a little uncomfortable - at least for the first two thirds of the book. I would be really into the story and then [Cara's feelings for Sam] would be mentioned and it would throw me out of it a bit.
Unlike in Sweet Damage, some of the plot twists weren't all that shocking, but if you know me, you know that I love when everything comes together at the end to make sense, and this book had that. It makes me feel so satisfied when everything is resolved and connected in some way.
If you enjoy books like We Were Liars, then this is one you should pick up!
Have you read either of these? Do you have any recommendations of similar books for me?