discussion, Uncategorized

Let’s Talk Bookish – Choose Your Own Adventure

Aria @ Book Nook Bits will be the new host for Let’s Talk Bookish! If you aren’t following her yet, good check out her blog and give her a follow!

July 29: Choose your own adventure!

You choose what to write about this week! It can be anything you’d like. (You can also look at old topics from my archive & from Rukky’s.)

Welcome to another week of LTB here at DTRH, everyone! This week it’s—oh look, it’s choose your own adventure! I have done most of the weeks LTBs, so I’d rather not reuse a topic. Instead I guess I will take the chance to reflect on my experience reading lately; hope you all don’t mind!

Recently I have been super busy with many things happening in my life. So much so that reading has become a borderline chore, and I have to try and keep up with my reading goals. That being said though, I still have really enjoyed the books I have read recently, which is a boon. I do however look for shorter and shorter reads in order to keep up. And it’s only the summer! When September rolls around I am sure it’ll be even worse in terms of keeping up!

I definitely feel the lull again of the low-reading tides, but I think I should embrace [my own adventure]. Keeping up with reading goals is just something nice to maintain, but a reminder to everyone that there are ebbs and flows in all goals! And that’s okay. I think I am still learning to be okay with it and to not feel too “behind” on my goals. There will be periods where I will read quickly and get lots of reading down and there’ll be other weeks where I am way too busy for that. It is good to keep a broad perspective and not to scrutinize the week-to-week (or even month-to-month) too closely, I think. At least for the sake of my own mental health.

I’m glad that I still enjoy reading (even when it’s so rushed!) and I will definitely take a break if I feel it getting worse. Just a friendly reminder here to all those who are feeling a bit burnt out by their goals or their work, and to not worry too much about taking a break! If it ever becomes not fun, you can always back away for a bit, and/or re-prioritize your goals. I’m cheering for all of you!

How are you all feeling lately about reading? Are you in reading slumps or reading frenzies? Or somewhere in between? Let me know in the comments below!

3.5 star, Uncategorized

Review: A Game of Fear by Charles Todd

Inspector Ian Rutledge #24

In this newest installment of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series, Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge is faced with his most perplexing case yet: a murder with no body, and a killer who can only be a ghost.

Spring, 1921. Scotland Yard sends Inspector Ian Rutledge to the sea-battered village of Walmer on the coast of Essex, where amongst the salt flats and a military airfield lies Benton Abbey, a grand manor with a storied past. The lady of the house may prove his most bewildering witness yet. She claims she saw a violent murder—but there is no body, no blood. She also insists she recognized the killer: Captain Nelson. Only it could not have been Nelson because he died during the war.

Everyone in the village believes that Lady Benton’s losses have turned her mind—she is, after all, a grieving widow and mother—but the woman Rutledge interviews is rational and self-possessed. And then there is Captain Nelson: what really happened to him in the war? The more Rutledge delves into this baffling case, the more suspicious tragedies he uncovers. The Abbey and the airfield hold their secrets tightly. Until Rutledge arrives, and a new trail of death follows… 

This was my first time (randomly) picking a book from this series to read. I actually didn’t realize it was part of a series, but like many other long series, they can be read as standalones too (I think). I think I said I would pick less books up randomly, but luckily this one did not come back to bite me.

A Game of Fear revolves around our protagonist Inspector, Ian Rutledge, who investigates an interesting murder… a murder with no body. Or really any evidence at all, for that matter. Set in 1921 in the small village of Walmer, we get a historical into the look of what happened to the town during and after war, and how that all may be culminating into the current mystery. Is there really a ghost in Walmer?

Continue reading “Review: A Game of Fear by Charles Todd”

Review: The End of Her by Shari Lapena

It starts with a shocking accusation…

Stephanie and Patrick are recently married, with new-born twins. While Stephanie struggles with the disorienting effects of sleep deprivation, there’s one thing she knows for certain – she has everything she ever wanted.

Then a woman from his past arrives and makes a shocking accusation about his first wife. He always claimed her death was an accident – but she says it was murder.

He insists he’s innocent, that this is nothing but a blackmail attempt. But is Patrick telling the truth? Or has Stephanie made a terrible mistake?

Okay, so I have a new Shari Lapena favourite now. It has all the things we all know and love: incredibly fast-paced suspense, psychologically thrilling, and her signature short sentences. Except this time I felt it was much more refined, and more of what I wanted from her style. Considering it was published in 2020, perhaps over time there was adaptation. I certainly really enjoyed this one!

The End of Her revolves already a fairly simple plot. The main protagonists, Stephanie and Patrick, are happily married with twin babies who are now colic and messing with their lives. Suddenly, an unsavory character from the husband’s past comes back with all sorts of accusations—problem is, are they true? As the accusations start to take a toll on their marriage, just who is really telling the truth?

The characters in this thriller were fairly believable, but for the most part unlikeable. That actually may have helped the suspense though, trying to sift through the lesser of so many evils. No particular character is truly that pitiable except perhaps Stephanie, but I didn’t mind that too much. Their motives and consistency were overall pretty good, and I didn’t have too much trouble with accepting all the characters at face value.

The suspense was also great. I mean I’ve never really complained about Lapena’s work in this department, but I just wanted to reiterate it here. Super fast-paced, I read this in two short sittings. Her usual abrupt sentences are present once again here, but this time I really appreciated it. In the past I found them a little bit jarring and sometimes distracted from the story. I don’t know if there was truly any change but in this novel I found that it was the right length of sentences and correct frequency of use as well.

The plot itself was believable…ish. I think some complaints were that it was a bit out there sometimes. But in my opinion total believability isn’t paramount. It can still be extremely suspenseful and thrilling, and as long as the characters are acting consistently with their personas, I generally give the author a lot of leeway in designing plots. While I didn’t totally predict the whole ending, I did predict some parts correctly, but this didn’t take away from it—after all, half the suspense was based around this main mystery.

Overall Recommendations

The End of Her is a very fast-paced thriller which follows the crumbling marriage of a couple, with twin babies tiring them out, and an old friend coming to disrupt their lives. It’s he says she says, and poor Stephanie does not know who to believe. Just how well does she know her husband? As more and more of the past surfaces up, the facts just get more and more messy. Follow this exciting and riveting thriller from beginning to finish!