"The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly" is a superbly worded cross between "All the Truth that's in Me" (Berry) and "The Chosen One" (Lynch Williams). It ends"The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly" is a superbly worded cross between "All the Truth that's in Me" (Berry) and "The Chosen One" (Lynch Williams). It ends on a hopeful not - if you can call that sudden switch from story to acknowledgements an ending. That discernible sheen of hope is an absolute requirement for a book which intends to worm itself into my heart and earn my lingering adoration. Strangely not finding out what happens to cellmate Angel has been the elements that made that burning pain in my chest refuse to ebb away....more
His curls are a dark jungle, bis black jeans (extra-extra-longs) are grubby, which is perfectly normal, but now he's wearing a khaki T-Shirt two sizesHis curls are a dark jungle, bis black jeans (extra-extra-longs) are grubby, which is perfectly normal, but now he's wearing a khaki T-Shirt two sizes too small. The front of it reads Jesus loves you - Everybody else thinks you're a wanker.
Although I don't exactly know what I had expected - apart from great chemistry, extra-ordinary writing and mystery, because no other than brilliant Cath Crawley! blurbed the young adult Aussie Sherlock Holmes retelling, I can safely say it wasn't this.
My main problems consists of the two main characters. I don't get them, I don't get their relationship, I don't like them. James Mycroft (I know the original Holmes isn't particularly endearing either) even repulses me somehow. His slobbery, pig-style method to eat with his hands, his dirty clothes, his chain-smoking habit, his conviction that if you small-talk to the bus drivers (view spoiler)[ or any people in the service providing industry (hide spoiler)] often enough, they gratefully feel your friendship and let you hop on for free, his aloofness that borders on stupidity. When I entered his room, Christmas twinkle lights and all, together with slightly childish, neighbor-besotted heroine Rachel Watts (Watson), I had the strong nasal impression that it must smell unbearably rancid and sweaty-socked. That multi-sensual picture firmly settled itself in my mind before the teenage hobby detectives stuff the rest of the dinner Mycroft had dragged his greedy fingers through into a container or bag to offer their homeless friend in front of the zoo. It turned out to be so off-putting that I have a faint reminder on my palate a day later.
Strangely the ripped jugular of the victim and the consequent gut-spilling did not effect me at all. I repeat: The problem is the characters. Relatable characters are the most important thing for me in any book, chicklit, crime story or dystopia.
There is no way I am going to fall for the duo in the course of this story. Thus I stopped reading at the 17% mark and deleted the sequel from my electronic TBR pile.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Welcome to "Howl's Moving Castle" (view spoiler)[why limit yourself to four doors when your mansion could also have, let's say, 16? (hide spoiler)] meWelcome to "Howl's Moving Castle" (view spoiler)[why limit yourself to four doors when your mansion could also have, let's say, 16? (hide spoiler)] meets "Nevermore" and "The Girl in the Steel Corset". The mixture features a refreshingly independent, smart heroine (it isn't just the narrator's stange judgement) and unforseen twists, but includes also some unnecessary lengths, the death of a favorite side-character and a fluffy sugar-coating that tasted a little too sweet for me at times. ...more
Meanwhile I'd spent the whole week fighting the flutter in my stomach that started when he sat next to me in sociology class. I've just read the sneakMeanwhile I'd spent the whole week fighting the flutter in my stomach that started when he sat next to me in sociology class. I've just read the sneak chapters (21 pages only), which is a thing I rarely do, but I had a strangely uneasy feeling concerning the question whether the book and I would fit.
Well, we don't. Right in chapter one the reader is forced to meet that insanely attractive, new, mysterious guy who occupies the heroine's every thought - in spite of her plans to stay attachment-free because of her mother's - who is one of those mostly absent and selfish mothers the YA reader is supposed to hate with passion - habit of spontaneously calling the movers for a van because of her job in the military and in spite of some obvious weird tendencies of Mr. Tattooed-Forearm, like dropping pictures of prickly heroine Avery he shouldn't have in the theater room or speaking about her as being of first level priority to someone on his cell.
I guess the real posh Cinderella-of-a-powerful-family-setting is going to be bomb-dropped on the reader around prom-time, meaning the please-stay-in-because-I-tell-you-to-evening that should start on page 22, but I already know enough to do a brisk U-turn: Unlikable main and side-characters, a strong focus on bad-boy-romance with a second extra-mean, but well-dressed jerk peeking or leering around the corner, an unconvincing writing style and a strong vibe of business-as-usual-YA....more
The writing struck at once a chord. It's quite beautiful, really.
Plus, the comprehensive gothic manor-house-package including grinning porcelain dollThe writing struck at once a chord. It's quite beautiful, really.
Plus, the comprehensive gothic manor-house-package including grinning porcelain dolls, chambers full of one-of-a-kind clocks, hidden rooms, cobwebby nurseries, draughty chapels, squeaking trapdoors, ambivalent housekeepers and mute little servant boys has really been polished to a shining perfection.
On top of that, I had already warmed up to the reluctant, but bright and sassy, Cinderella-style heroine, Katherine Tulman, with her astute views on her money-hunting aunt and her toffee-addicted cousin by page six.
Unfortunately all that brilliant brightness seems to have deserted the seeingly sharp girl's head like warmth deserts a cottage through a cracked window by the time she drinks her first cup of sugared tea in her dusty room: (view spoiler)[ This is coincidentally the second book in a row which displays the main character being repeatedly suddenly dizzy or almost drunk and oblivious to things that happened the previous night without realizing that somebody is systematically drugging them. How very, very cumbersome and annoying for the reader to witness the characters being clueless and only marginally concerned. (hide spoiler)] How could she not investigate the matter, when staff members accused her of having been drunk or tipsy on evenings she had no recollections of? Soon I started skimming Katherine's strange dreams and almost everything that happened after lights-out, because those parts appeared to be pointless and avoidable. The second unforgivable piece of the plot was part of the climax.(view spoiler)[ There was really some kind of stupor befalling me, when I noticed that Davey had really drowned in the canal. I certainly expected him to turn up after the chaos of the flooding had been sorted out. (hide spoiler)]
Those little - but in the large context important - details were more or less responsible for my spoiled enjoyment of the cliffhanger-adorned gentry thriller.
I did not choose to read the book for its romantic parts of the plot - I swapped it on a sudden whim without having heard anything about it before - but I cannot complain about them: The love interest is prickly and moody most of the time, but he has certainly every reason to hold back: Katherine has come to the estate to declare his employer insane and thus to turn him out of work and on the street. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more