I have to admit, the book started off on the wrong foot with me, as it opens with an unnecessarily long-winded glossary that seemed better suited forI have to admit, the book started off on the wrong foot with me, as it opens with an unnecessarily long-winded glossary that seemed better suited for the back of the book if readers needed it. I appreciate the insight into the British educational system, but to be hit over the head with it before I've even started the story or read a single piece of information about the MC was a bit off-putting.
I didn't get very far into it after that. It's...a diary. It's written with a compelling voice, but I don't get the impression much has been done to edit/structure it with an eye towards publication. And no matter how precocious and funny (I guess? It's more humorous that outright witty.) we are as teenagers, everybody needs editing to be entertaining and focused and relevant.
Chalk this up as not for me. I'd be interested in trying the TV series, which is now streaming on Hulu, however. Maybe the book is better viewed as supplemental material?
An advance copy was provided by the publisher....more
After an uneven start, this became surprisingly entertaining, though it's not a "good" book by any stretch of the imagination, mostly because of the aAfter an uneven start, this became surprisingly entertaining, though it's not a "good" book by any stretch of the imagination, mostly because of the abundance of humorless, meant-to-be shocking sex.
But it's enjoyably sociopathic (or psychopathic, depending on how you interpret the MC's behavior), and it's an interesting/different thriller because of its backdrop of stolen art, expensive clothes and meals, money laundering, and assorted hustlers. I was surprised to see the door left open for another installment, as I think the character has run her course? But another bag of potato chips would be hard to resist.
Great plane reading if you have a weakness for thrillers featuring thoroughly shallow and unpleasant people. ...more
My fifth Cleeton book, and the first one to be a disappointment. This book just felt off to me tonally--it starts off feeling like adult urban fantasyMy fifth Cleeton book, and the first one to be a disappointment. This book just felt off to me tonally--it starts off feeling like adult urban fantasy (though there are no supernatural elements), but then quickly starts feeling very YA in the plot, writing, relationships, and language. It almost feels like the author started out trying her hand at YA but changed her mind? And settled into a weird sort of not quite NA but not quite adult book? I just couldn't adjust to the adult stuff clashing with elements that felt so young. It's on the sexually aggressive side, for example, and yet the sex fades to black--which is very much not like Chanel Cleeton at all. (The main non-romance plot had a lot of stuff going on and yet still felt underdeveloped as well.)
Meh. This is...fine, but not particularly outstanding as thriller, as character study, or as dissection of a marriage; really, it feels like it just dMeh. This is...fine, but not particularly outstanding as thriller, as character study, or as dissection of a marriage; really, it feels like it just doesn't have much to say. It doesn't take long for readers to know one of the primary narrators is seriously unhinged, but even that POV didn't provide much interest--and it should have. (You could have lost the frequency of some of those other POVs without much impact, too.) It's also remarkable how lacking in tension this felt, and how facile the emotions and plot machinations. And given how serious the crimes were, the writing style and glossing over of certain scenarios or lack of detail often felt like a cop-out.
There's something about the slightly arch, knowing tone that rubs me the wrong way for this story, too. I don't mind and have enjoyed humorous or facetious treatment in other crime novels, but when you're dealing with a child who's in serious danger, much of my tolerance for that sort of thing goes out the window. (TAMPA and I HUNT KILLERS being among the rare exceptions to that statement.) Were you not supposed to care about the victims at all? Was this supposed to feel distant/occasionally humorous? On the one hand, it does work in the plot's withholding-key-information/half-unreliable narrator thing. But on the other hand, it's kind of sad I can't tell.
I dunno. This one's gotten a lot of rave reviews thus far and is apparently poised to be a runaway hit. Go ahead on without me, book. I like being surprised by thrillers, not checking constantly to see how many more pages there are until things are wrapped up. ...more