Title: Here There Are Monsters
Author: Amelinda Bérubé
Release Date: August 6th 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Horror, Mystery
Goodreads Rating: 3.38 (of 381 ratings)
Despite the spooky cover, this was just…I don’t even know how to describe it. I really struggled with it – it was just odd (and not in a fun odd way) and quite lackluster.
📌 I had issues with the author’s first book, but it still had an ease to it and a decently interesting, atmospheric mood that kept me reading it. However, while this book was easy to read and did have an intriguing opening, it really couldn’t get the pick up. By the end, I was skimming hard. It did have some uniqueness and creativity to it, and I did manage to read through it despite not really enjoying it.
📌 The story is a weird blend of contemporary mystery – sister goes missing – and surreal horror. The creatures that pop up are more weird than frightening, and just…I wasn’t a fan?? The contemporary bits were not super fun, and I think I was most intrigued with the sister dynamics.
📌 The characters were a mess. I didn’t like a single one. Our main character, Skye, was trying to be an unlikable and unreliable heroine that is on trend, but she really just…was there? I wasn’t a fan of hers at all, and some of the character growth was odd and misplaced. All of the characters really didn’t leave a lasting impact nor provide much connection or likability.
A total Merida rating, because there really wasn’t much I could get behind – the mood and the uniqueness of the storyline were some good parts, though.
representation: friend in f/f relationship
content warnings: murder, gore, violence, death of animal, (maybe more but I’m forgetting)
Title: The Best Lies
Author: Sarah Lyu
Release Date: July 2nd 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller
Goodreads Rating: 3.62 (of 654 ratings)
Wow, this might be the best psychological read that I’ve read ever?? This book was like a seven layer cake of characterization and fantastic psychology that had me going !!! the entire time because it was done so well.
📌 All of the main characters were deliciously complex and had so much depth. Everyone did questionable things, but they were backed with so many levels of back story and history. You really never knew what a character’s limits were and just how far they would go for another. Remy (our heroine) and Elise (best friend/killer) were intense and likable/unlikable at times, and the portrayal of their deeply unhealthy and obsessive friendship showcased all the raw emotions and feelings that are wrapped up into this. It was just so so so so well done. *screaming about this forever*
📌 The mystery was highly intriguing as well. This story is told in a non-linear fashion. We start right after the death of Jack (Remy’s boyfriend), who we know was killed by Elise. Remy is getting questioned by a detective, and we flash from what is happening now to the past to help us see the full picture of what led up to Jack’s death. The story that unravels is highly unpredictable, and even while I might have seen some things coming, I was constantly kept on the edge of my seat, asking will Lyu or won’t Lyu do x, y, or z.
📌 There were two things that I didn’t fully enjoy. One was the writing style, at first. I didn’t connect with it right away, and it threw me off a bit. After a while, I fully warmed up to it and binged it all, but the beginning was a little bit of a stumble The second was the pacing. I felt like we meandered and went in circles for a bit, since this book felt a lot longer. But it finally found the pacing again.
An Anna rating, because there were just a few technical things that threw me off from loving this fully. However, a super well done book!
representation: abuse survivor, Asian MC
content warnings: physical abuse, emotional abuse, obsessive/toxic friendship, death of principle character, death
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2 thoughts on “MINI-REVIEWS: Here There Are Monsters & The Best Lies”
aw, no comments here 😦
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