Yes, I caved and watched the controversial series du jour. And then I read the book. And it's interesting, that a story so polarizing leaves me3 stars
Yes, I caved and watched the controversial series du jour. And then I read the book. And it's interesting, that a story so polarizing leaves me firmly in the middle. I get both sides. This story did something with me. I'm just not sure... what... exactly.
On the one hand, the story is definitely gripping and interesting. With the episodic way it's told, I felt a powerful urge to keep watching and keep reading until I knew what exactly had happened to Hannah that would have her give up on life entirely. And it was upsetting. Things happened to her that were definitely not fair, and the story gives a good impression about how the smallest things can have a huge impact on someone else's life, because you just can't know what they're really going through.
On the topic of whether or not Hannah is a likable character and whether all the moments and slights she mentions are justified or exaggerated... I don't know. I go back and forth on that all the time. But what I can say is that it feels real. I mean, the last couple episodes of the story are of course heartbreaking and tragic, and in that sense you completely understand how it could affect her so much. Knowing that and knowing her state of mind, the way she processes events and encounters, when she went to make those tapes, she started connecting dots and finding connections that may not have been deliberate or rational... but in her head they were. Hindsight is 20/20. And once she noticed that, she couldn't unsee it. That, to me, is perfectly realistic, as someone who also connects way too many dots.
On the other hand, whether this book has a good message... I think is completely dependent on the type of reader. I think people who have had suicidal thoughts or know someone who has committed suicide should probably stay away from this book. It is upsetting. It is discomforting to read Hannah's thoroughly thought out plans for months, and to see them play out as she wanted. The tapes can seem like some sick revenge fantasy, and you can read it as Hannah succeeding in getting exactly what she wanted.
That being said, if you have not been in such a situation, and the subject matter isn't triggering to you in that way, it can be a good story. It does make you think about the consequences of all your actions and to look for warning signs... We could all be a little nicer to each other, and sometimes even if someone tells you to leave them alone, they really don't actually mean that. There were some heartbreaking moments that I truly related to, as high school wasn't the best time for me either.
It was a quick read, but I do think that the writing style could have been a little better. I got a little annoyed sometimes with the audio of the tape and Clay's thoughts running through each other. And I think both Clay and Hannah could have been fleshed out more - or have more vibrant voices. But I understand that it was written this way.
For the record, I feel like the Netflix series is better. Graphic content notwithstanding - and whether or not you think that's okay I'll leave entirely up to you - it does flesh out all the characters more and give a good impression of the aftermath and all the other loose strings. I like that we got to see what the tapes were doing with the other people, instead of just Clay. But yeah, I am a character reader (and watcher). If you are curious, the series is pretty much 95% faithful to the book, and they mostly just added details and context.
Say what you will about this story, but it did get me out of a reading slump. A book in two sittings? Less than a day? That's sure been a while....more
I couldn't help myself - I was on such a shipping high when I finished Every Breath that I had to dive into Every Word right away. And I regret5 stars
I couldn't help myself - I was on such a shipping high when I finished Every Breath that I had to dive into Every Word right away. And I regret nothing. This series is seriously shaping up to become one of my favorites.
Our heroes, Rachel Watts and James Mycroft, are back in another thrilling adventure that is equal parts intensely dark and incredibly sexy. At the end of Every Breath the ship was a definite THING and now sparks are flying all over the place. Seriously, someone give Ellie Marney all the awards for writing AMAZING kissing scenes. These two have electrifying chemistry, for serious. It's been a longgg time since I've been so infatuated with and flaily about a romance. They are gold. GOLD.
But it's not all sunshine and rainbows - oh no. Rachel's parents' disapproval of Mycroft notwithstanding, after a few chapters of shippy bliss, the plot blasts off and OH NO, Mycroft flies off to London to solve a murder that has some similarity to his parents' deaths. And he neglects to really let Rachel know about this at all, aside from what she later realizes was a kiss goodbye. She decides to follow him because he isn't always mentally stable when his parents are involved, and though that might sound a bit clingy and impulsive, it really is for the best. Rachel keeps Mycroft grounded.
And boy, he needs that, because Mycroft has some serious emotional issues in this book. He's obviously not coping well with the cold case of his parents' murders. He plays pretend to make people think he's all right, but Rachel can see through it all. He believes he's broken and the real James Mycroft died in that car accident with his parents. He believes Rachel deserves better than a broken person. THE PAIN. THE FREAKING PAIN. When all you want is for two characters to keep kissing and they have so much baggage between them that they refuse to? That hurts. (But no worries, seriously, there's more than enough really good kissing.)
*cough* But. Um. The story. Though it's maybe a bit beyond the realm of plausibility that an Australian pathologist would be called in for a carjacking death in England - and that he would be permitted to bring his (admittedly brilliant) teenage assistant with him - it was a great case to read and solve. I got serious Sherlock vibes off of some of the events, general atmosphere, and antagonists. You actually get glimpses of crime scene investigations and autopsies, so mystery fans will probably LOVE this.
And, oh boy, this book is intense. I can't even really go into it because of spoilers, but the mystery heats up and gets complicated, and our characters kind of face MORTAL PERIL. I felt VERY INTENSELY about all of this. It's like I was in the room with them, scared for them, and boy did I have to keep reading to find out how it all ends. Definitely more intense and thrilling than book 1, in the best possible way. And the set up for book 3? SO GOOD. Must read now.
At the end of the day, though, what I love most about this book are these characters and their beautiful romance. I'm not one for ships with a ton of baggage and drama, but believe me when I say that Mycroft's tortured past works for them. It's complicated, sure, but it's also extremely realistic. They really fight for their relationship and all the scary, heavy shit they went through in this book makes their relationship so much stronger. And they still have banter at the worst of times. And the kissing. Oh god, please keep kissing.
This series is DOING THINGS TO ME. Wattscroft is dominating my life right now, and I regret nothing. Every Word has pretty much the perfect combination of Sherlock-like dark and thrilling mystery and oh so swoony romance. That all makes for a freaking addictive read that you won't want to put down for a second. I have gone down the rabbit hole and now I have no choice but to dive into Every Move right away. Oh and someone crown Ellie Marney Queen of Kissing Scenes, 'kay? 'kay.
On an absolute feels high, it was inevitable that I had to read Every Move immediately after Every Word, finishing my binge of what is now on4.5 stars
On an absolute feels high, it was inevitable that I had to read Every Move immediately after Every Word, finishing my binge of what is now one of my all-time favorite series. Intense action, thrills, and romance make for an addictive and engrossing read.
Holy intensity, Batman.Every Move pulls no punches. The stakes are high - like insanely high. After Every Word, I think it was generally understood that Wild is not a friendly guy... But in Every Move, he gets possibly even scarier. Murders start littering the streets of Melbourne, bodies resembling those of Rachel and Mycroft, sending a clear message that they are in danger. A secondary character who became super dear to my heart in this book ends up in mortal peril, and I felt like CRYING SO HARD FOREVER HARD. It was thrilling and action-packed, and obviously I needed to read it as quickly as humanly possible. Page turner? Absolutely.
And the climax packs a punch. Mycroft and Rachel aren't about to just go into hiding or surrender to Wild. With their keen wits and intellect, they find out what he's after, and there's one final dramatic showdown. It had me on the edge of my seat, and there were some Sherlock level mindfucks and traps, making this so entertaining to read.
No worries: the romance is still mega shippy. Yeah, it doesn't exactly start off well - Mycroft is consumed by his battle with Wild while Rachel is left dealing with PTSD after the events of Every Word. Mycroft doesn't really win any best boyfriend awards as far as that is concerned. But oh man, I was all about Rachel's character growth here. The PTSD stuff was for real, but she overcame it like a boss, while also reconciling with her mother (finally) and clearly fending off Harris's advances, because even though she and Mycroft hadn't been too close recently, that love is real. The two have so much dark shit to deal with, but they come together and are freaking unstoppable and so lovable. Maybe not enough kissing for me, but man oh man, there were plenty of feels.
So for all intents and purposes, this book was super feelsy and intense and I enjoyed every second of it - but there are two tiny things that keep me from giving it a full, perfect score. First, yeah, if you know Sherlock, you'll probably guess who the bad guy is. I knew instantly, though it wasn't at all that obvious. Second, oh my god, I'm so tried of YA mysteries hinging on the characters not trusting the police. I get that if they did inform them, they would get shut out of investigating, but seriously, the stakes were so high and the police had done a fine job protecting you thus far. I mean, the book was more exciting because they were on their own, but I don't feel like that's fully realistic. (Also, the fact that it was Rachel who lashed out and contacted Wild seemed really out of character to me.)
Short but sweet - because how many more ways can I say that I love Every Move and this series? I'm only sad that it's over now, because I could read about more of Rachel and Mycroft's adventures until the end of time. This book was at times scary (murder!) and heavy (PTSD!) but so well-written and well-developed. These characters - the supporting cast as well - have imprinted on my heart, and I just cared so much about all of them. And at the center of it all is still that absolutely beautiful ship. Rachel and Mycroft 5ever!
Which is to say that I liked it but it didn't really stand out. And also my interest waned at the end, which is when it should have picked up.3 stars
Which is to say that I liked it but it didn't really stand out. And also my interest waned at the end, which is when it should have picked up. That may just be my mood or maybe my general disposition towards this series: I love the world building, but the characters I'm just not completely sold on....more
Wow, I liked that to a surprisingly high degree. Somehow I didn't expect it - because yes, though this series is arguably one of the world's mo4 stars
Wow, I liked that to a surprisingly high degree. Somehow I didn't expect it - because yes, though this series is arguably one of the world's most beloved fantasy series, it was written in the same era as Lord of the Rings, and that wasn't too easily digestible.
This absolutely was. I also highly enjoyed it as an audiobook. The narrator did great voices and accents for all of the characters. I really got engrossed in it. Humorous, light, fantastical, imaginative... Very cool....more
Perhaps my favorite of the three. Thanks to an early blackmail-y marriage, there was less drama about like OMG RUINATION OH NOOOO. We just got4 stars
Perhaps my favorite of the three. Thanks to an early blackmail-y marriage, there was less drama about like OMG RUINATION OH NOOOO. We just got to see the relationship naturally develop and grow more and more real and more and more hot. So I definitely appreciated that.
It's actually funny that I would like this one best since I'm not usually super duper charmed by Scottish Highlander types, but I think the couple had the best connection and perhaps the most depth compared to the other two books.
I actually surprisingly liked this more than I liked Romancing the Duke! It's funny because it's the forbidden romance kind of thing that has l4 stars
I actually surprisingly liked this more than I liked Romancing the Duke! It's funny because it's the forbidden romance kind of thing that has like a 50% success rate with me. But in this case, Tessa Dare did it wonderfully. Rafe and Clio just have amazing chemistry, some good banter, and I'm all about the feminist aspect to this story. ...more