Everyone in Ballyfran has a secret, and that is what binds them together…
Fifteen-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin move to a new life in Ballyfran, a strange isolated town, a place where, for the last sixty years, teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains.
As distance grows between the twins - as Catlin falls in love, and Madeline begins to understand her own nascent witchcraft - Madeline discovers that Ballyfrann is a place full of predators. Not only foxes, owls and crows, but also supernatural beings who for many generations have congregated here to escape persecution. When Catlin falls into the gravest danger of all, Madeline must ask herself who she really is, and who she wants to be - or rather, who she might have to become to save her sister.
Dark and otherworldly, this is an enthralling story about the bond between sisters and the sacrifices we make for those we care about the most. For fans of Frances Hardinge and Laure Eve.
I honestly have no fking clue what the hell just happened.
I wasn't really sure what this book was about, going into it, and I'm not entirely sure I know much better on the other side of it.
Here's what the blurb says: Sixteen-year-old sisters Maddy and Catlin have just moved to the isolated Irish town of Ballyfrann. Normally close, they find their paths diverging, as Catlin falls in love and Maddy falls ... into powers?
My run down would be similar, but I would expand on Maddy's powers being rather witchy (the fact that every chapter is a plant/herb/flower and its medicinal use is a bit of a hint) and also isolated Ballyfrann being a fkn WEIRD place.
To be perfectly honest, I was pretty bored for the first 200-odd pages, and did a fair bit of skimming. There's a lot of info about how close the sisters (twins, btw) are and how they're having a hard time fitting in, although Maddy is the weird one and Catlin is the popular one. There's a lot of random boring school stuff (which actually doesn't seem to involve any kind of classes), and the older boy that Catlin is interested in hangs out at the school so much that I was trying to figure out if I'd accidentally skipped over the explanation of why this older kid is still a student there (he's not, he's just a creeper who hangs out at the school). There are conversations between the kids that I really didn't care about, and the relationships are so watery and pale and lifeless that I just didn't care anything about them.
As for the characters, I just couldn't really get a read on any of them, except for Lon who was just a creep from the beginning. Did not like him a single bit. Maddy is quirky but she spends so much time focusing on boring things that reading from her POV is super dull. Catlin is the typical 'popular sister' who cares more about boys than her sister even though she professes this to be false. Oona was ehhhh and aside from being French didn't really have much of a personality at all, and Mamo is clearly batsh*t insane and could have been a lot of fun but was basically wasted on Maddy's ramblings. I don't think any of them were really described particularly well, so I never got a feel for who they were or what was driving them. It was a bit disappointing because I feel like there was a lot of potential that was wasted.
So here's me reading this totally boring tween story about fitting in and then there's suddenly random dead animals? Just lying on the side of the road? With no explanation? This is not a spoiler, this happens like on Day 1, and it's just so chill that it's a non-event? That confused me so much.
Here's the deal - most of this book is entirely dull and lifeless but then you get all these random super dark moments and it's like you're reading an entirely different story. I freaking LOVED the dark stuff but it was so jarring and awkward!
There was just so much wasted potential with this story, and the way it ended it felt like it'd just been setting the whole scene for an epic series of witchy adventures but ... it's a standalone? If I'm wrong about that someone please correct me, because the only way this book makes sense is if it's setting up for a series. On it's own its just ... a mess.
Everything about the way this ended had me convinced it was setting up for a series. I didn't even like this book all that much and I want a sequel. Without a sequel, this whole thing was just pointless.
So in summary it was kinda boring and pointless but it did have some super dark and bizarre moments that kept me entertained, even if I was scratching my head a lot by the end of it. If there's no sequel to this mess, however, it was basically just 352 pages of wasted potential.
If I am wrong, though, and there is a sequel, I WANT IT.
گفتار اندر معرفی کتاب مرگ ناکار، رمانی فانتزی به قلم خانم «دیردری سالیوان» نویسندهی ایرلندیست که در ایران با رعایت قوانین کپی رایت و کسب مجوز از نویسنده و ناشر اصلی کتاب توسط خانم «آلاله ارجمندی» ترجمه و نهایتا چاپ نخست آن در ۴۴۴صفحه توسط «نشر ایرانبان» چاپ و منتشر گردیده است. نکته: بخشهایی از کتاب مورد سانسور قرار گرفته است و از آنجایی که پیش از آغاز مطالعه پیشبینی آن را میکردم نسخهی انگلیسی و ایپاب کتاب را دانلود و با تطابق با آن پیش رفتم تا بخشی از مطالب آن را از دست ندهم.
ترجمهی کتاب روان و بدون مشکل بود و نمیتوانم بابت سانسور به مترجم عزیز نقدی وارد کنم چون میدانم در چه خرابشدهای زندگی میکنیم، به همین دلیل بابت تلاششان و از همه مهمتر رعایت حقوق نویسنده که در ایران متاسفانه کمتر دیده میشود و صدالبته کاریست بسیار پسندیده و شایستهی اهل فرهنگ تشکر مینمایم.
گفتار اندر داستان کتاب «کتلین و مدلین، خواهران دوقلو و یک دنیای جادویی.» آیا همین برای شروع یک دنیای فانتزی کافی نیست؟ کتلین و مدلین با مادرشان زندگی میکنند و پدرشان نیز به شکلی که در داستان میخوانیم مرده است. ماجرای جذاب این کتاب از جایی شروع میشود که شیلا(مادرشان) با مردی به نام برایان ازدواج میکند و حالا آنها باید به قلعهای که ارثیهی پدری ناپدریِ جدیدشان است سفر کنند و در آنجا زندگی کنند. این قلعه حقایق نهفته و خوفناکی در قلبِ خود دارد که ما به مرور با خواندنِ کتاب با آن آشنا میشویم و ... . خب دیگه کافیه، خیلی خیلی جلوی خودم رو گرفتم که مثل ریویوهای دیگرم برایش ننویسم تا اسپویلی صورت نگیرد و پیبردن به رمز و رازهای داستان رو میسپارم به خوانندگان عزیز.
نقلقول نامه "ظاهر آدمها میتونه آدم رو گول بزنه."
"وقتی یه چیزی بلد باشی، مدتی هم یه جا بمونی، مردم میان سراغت."
"همهی ما به آرامش احتیاج داریم، به چیزهایی که به ما احساس امنیت بدهند."
"آیا معنی بزرگ شدن این بود که دنیا پشت سرهم آزارمان بدهد و بیخیال نشود؟"
"آخرسر تنها چیزی که از همهمان باقی میماند، یک مشت استخوان پوسیده است. فقط کمی زمان میبرد."
“برای زندگی توی این دنیا باید بهایش را پرداخت.”
"دنیا بد یا خوب نیست. هردویش هست. یک جورهایی همزمان همهچیز هست."
“ما نمیدانیم واقعا چه هستیم، تا وقتی که محک بخوریم.”
"وقتی اتفاقهای وحشتناک میفته، آدمها دنبال کسی میگردن که تقصیرها رو بندازن گردنش"
"نمیشود از دست عشق قایم شد."
کارنامه یک ستاره بابت اینکه نویسنده از دید من به اندازهی لازم به المانهای سبک فانتزی تسلط نداشت و نتوانست به شکلی که باید داستان خود را مهیج کند و یک ستاره بابت اینکه درست در قسمتی که باید شاخ و برگ بیشتری به داستان میداد خیلی خلاصهوار به آن اشاره کرد کسر میکنم و نهایتا سه ستاره بابت جذابیت موضوع، روانیِ متن و کشش داستان برای کتاب منظور میکنم و خواندن این کتاب را اولا به نوجوانان کتابخوانی که در اطرافم هستند و دوما به تمام دوستان فانتزی بازم پیشنهاد میکنم مخصوصا برای اوقاتی که حس خواندن کتاب سنگینی ندارند و میتوانند اوقات خوشی با آن تجربه کنند.
دانلود نامه از آنجاییکه مترجم و ناشر کلیهی حقوق نویسنده و ناشر اصلیِ کتاب را رعایت کردهاند، اقدام به ساخت پیدیاف این کتاب ننمودم اما فایل ایپاب نسخهی انگلیسی و اصلی کتاب را در کانال تلگرام آپلود نمودهام، در صورت نیاز جهت تطابق با قسمتهای سانسور شده و یا خواندن به انگلیسی میتوانید آنرا از لینک زیر دانلود نمایید: https://t.me/reviewsbysoheil/301
Novela de misterio y magia contada desde el punto de vista de una chica de 16 años gemela de otra. La prosa es muy bella, con capítulos cortos, frases cortas que añaden tensión y una ambientación macabra, tensa y con mucho suspense. No se explica muy bien cómo funciona la magia, pero supongo que se desarrollará en el segundo libro. Me ha gustado la personalidad de la narradora, cómo expresa sus pensamientos y opiniones, a veces con humor y sarcasmo.
La trama gira en torno al desarrollo de los personajes, su adaptación a un nuevo e inquietante entorno y las relaciones tóxicas.
Muy original. Aviso, no se corta un pelo mostrando violencia.
Madeline and Catlin are teenage twins and have just moved across the country to a place called Ballyfrann, Ireland, to live with their mum and her new husband Brian who just happens to live in a castle. His ‘aunt’, Mamo, also lives in the castle in her own section. She is a strange lady who has visitors coming and going all day long and is at one with nature and uses herbs for ailments. You are never quite sure if she is just eccentric of there is something more sinister about her.
Ballyfrann is a town surrounded by mountains where over the last sixty years teenage girls have gone missing. There is something in the air in this mysterious little village where everyone knows everyone and everyone seems to be keeping secrets.
Told from Madeline’s POV we witness this young girl trying to come to terms with who she really is. Not only as she seems to possess some kind of inner magic which she feels like an itch inside of her, but also sexually as she is trying to understand her attraction to females.
Catlin was a very self-centred young girl. She definitely had a ‘me, me, me’ attitude, even her own mother says she behaves like a princess – a needy one at that! She is determined to find herself a boy in Ballyfrann and it’s not long before older Lon takes a fancy to her and the two have this lust for one another.
Whilst I expected the book to have a more supernatural element to it, I did enjoy the plot and how it mainly revolved around these two girls. It felt a little like a book about teenage self-discovery with some raw earthly magic thrown in. Don’t get me wrong, the book does get darker and more sinister the further you read but I still wanted a little more.
Overall it really is a spellbinding book. You’re never quite sure what is going to happen next. Ballyfrann comes across as a town with a hidden identity, one that Madeline is trying to solve. The pace is quite slow, but it works for this book. On a side note, I also want to add that I love the chapter titles too, they fit the story perfectly.
*TRIGGER WARNING for disturbing animal abuse scenes and graphic violence* A word to describe this novel is anticlimactic. It had such potential to be an amazing witchy novel full of mystery and intrigue, with a stunning cover but it didn't deliver. The story was incredibly vague, the writing is described as lyrical but to me, it was a book full of very short sentences that either made no sense or repeated everything. The characters were boring. Catlin was a domineering and selfish sister, Madeline who was internally discovering herself as LGBTQ+ had very little personality, she only ever thought of Catlin. Madeline's self discovery was possibly the only redeeming quality about this book, Mamo was an interesting character and I wish we'd had more of an opportunity to learn about her and her witchcraft. Members of the community were explained as having some sort of powers but we don't learn anything more about them, it was just so vague it was frustrating. The supposed murder mystery was predictable. The only action in this novel happened in the last 50 pages or so and to be honest it was disturbing. There was a horrendous animal abuse scene and then a very graphic description of the abuse that had been inflicted on one of the characters. I saw no warning about these scenes and I found them a bit unnerving. To consider that 300 pages of this novel was boring and uneventful, coming across these scenes was very unexpected. I'm not a squeamish person, but I wasn't prepared for the gruesome details.
Set in Ireland, this present-day folk story tells the tale of twin sisters Madeline and Catlin who, with their mother, move in with the mother’s new husband Bryan. Bryan just so happens to live in a castle. Also living on the castle grounds is Bryan’s great aunt Mamo, a bad-tempered ‘wise woman’ who’s perfected the art of glaring and who people come to see for all manner of ailments. The twins decide that she must be a witch, of course. The castle is near the strange little town of Ballyfrann, where everyone is friendly but also seems to be hiding something. Not really helping the town’s public image is the fact that for generations teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains. Gruesomely, only their body parts are ever found. Against this sinister background, Madeline and Catlin have a hard time adjusting to life at their new school. Catlin finds escape by falling head over heels for the local bad boy and Madeline discovers that she may have hidden magical talents. (A gift that the ‘creepy’ Mamo wants to develop.) As Catlin grows more and more infatuated with her Bellyfran boyfriend, Madeline has the increasingly uneasy feeling that something is very wrong.
What I liked a lot: 1) Beautifully written in eerie, atmospheric prose. Sullivan zooms in on strange and interesting little details that made this world feel so real and authentic (if not creepy). She also uses a lot of short sentences that added extra tension and impact to the narrative.
2) I listened to the audio version of this book and it almost felt like it was written to be read out loud. This was probably also thanks to the Irish narrator, who did a great job bringing this story and its characters to life.
3) Despite some of the gruesome themes in this book, there’s also a lot of punning wit from the sisters and other humour to enjoy.
4) The depiction of the sisters’ relationship felt very believable to me. There was real warmth to their interaction and it was nice to have two sisters that actually liked each other for a change. The teasing back-and-forths between them were charming and very amusing at times.
5) All the characters in this book were compelling, even those that featured only briefly.
6) Sullivan really takes time to explore this world, in all its weirdness, and builds up the suspense nicely.
7) The magic system was refreshing for a YA novel. Magic is not something to be taken lightly; it can come at a heavy cost.
8) There is an LGBT element in this book that was skilfully told and felt very natural to the character’s journey.
What I liked less: 1) The story was perhaps a bit predictable in places.
2) There’s a particular scene of animal abuse that I found almost too disturbing to listen to and I almost switched the recording off. Perhaps I’m just too sensitive to animal cruelty, but I wonder if that scene really needed to be so detailed (especially considering this is a YA novel).
3) Mamo (the ‘witch’) was a wonderful character and I would’ve liked to have learned more about her.
4) Much of this book is build-up. No major biggy because the book held my attention so well. The climax did seem a bit sudden though and felt rather quickly resolved.
Overall impression: On the whole, I enjoyed this book immensely and I would recommend it to anyone who loves dark, atmospheric stories with paranormal elements. 4.5 stars rounding up.
This was the perfect Halloween book the plot was thrilling and captivating. It’s one of those stories one should read without knowing much about. But apart from all the things I really enjoyed about this book there are two things that I didn’t like, and the main thing is the title of the book. I don’t want to give anything away, but it just makes no sense, I don’t even know how this title has anything to do with the story. And the other thing is the ending, there are so many open questions and loose ends for me. It feels a bit unfinished, but I know that it must be tricky to wrap this story up.
Nobody writes magic, anxiety and the strange awful power of being a teenager like Deirdre Sullivan, and this is her best book yet. There's an incredibly grounded realism to both the characters and the magic that make this story feel like its happening just around the corner, with people you know and love. This of course just makes the lurking horror even scarier. Deirdre has Pratchett-levels of skill at veering from warm human drama to otherworldly terror and back again. This is the book the Sabrina reboot wanted to be.
Este libro no ha sido para mí. Aunque tiene partes que me han mantenido interesada, no me ha gustado cómo está contada la historia, para mi gusto demasiado confusa, no explica cosas que son importantes y se me ha hecho muy pesada. Tres estrellas siendo muy generosa.
Perfectly Preventable Death is a 2019 YA-fantasy that was briefly on my radar around its releasedate, yet slipped my mind for some reason. When I saw it at my library however, I decided to give it a go. We follow twins Madeline and Catlin, growing up in a small town where girls go missing and mysterious vibes are in the air at all times. Whilst Catlin explores her sexuality and feelings for a local boy, Madeline discovers an inner power she didn’t know she possessed.
Perfectly Preventable Deaths was a very atmospheric and enjoyable read that I feel would be a perfect autumnal or Halloween read for those looking for something darker, and more “witchy” in tone, yet not full on supernatural horror. The book definitely focusses more on the development of the main characters and their sisterly bond, than the supernatural elements, which I personally love in my witchy books. I loved the way the atmosphere and setting were described, to where I could vividly picture the town and surrounding mountains. I didn’t particularly enjoy Catlin as a character, which did hinder my enjoyment of the novel to some extent. Additionally, although it was a very enjoyable read, it did little to “wow” me. I have read stories like it before in the works of Moïra Fowley-Doyle, which this reminded me a lot of, The Lost Coast and Other Words for Smoke. For those reasons, I landed on a final rating of 3.5 stars. Extra credits go to the stunning cover design however. Let’s face it: that thing will always remain a 5-star in my book.
Qué libro más raro, más siniestro y más especial. Es de esos en los que piensas: «¿qué ha pasado? En realidad apenas hay trama», pero en el momento te da igual, porque el estilo es único y es lo que has venido a buscar.
WHAT A FANTASTIC BOOK! Finally one that lives up to its absolutely gorgeous cover! Expect an unnecessary cheesy love-letter to this novel because I'm in awe right now and ready to scream it out loud TO THE WHOLE WORLD!
I honestly thought this would take me much longer to read, and decided to choose it as my Halloween book (if that's not a Halloween cover, I don't know what is). Little did I know that it would barely take me two days of reading! I am in absolute love, and I hate that no matter what I'm going to write next, there really is no way I can do this book justice. No fucking way. First of all, if I ever were to write a book (never going to happen but let's pretend I have all these amazing ideas crispy and ready for publishing), I hope I'm as good, no, fantastic at conveying a mystical atmosphere as Deirdre Sullivan. Never have I read a book that has intended to be as creepy as possible and managed to actually pull it off at the same time. Too often I end up underwhelmed, and I already gave up on ever getting spooked out about anything (because that's how cool and brave I am. The girl who can't even get on ghost trains without getting close to panic attacks). And the characters felt so REAL! In the best way, not the way where you'd roll your eyes and think, real life-people suck enough as they are, I don't need more of them in my leisure material as well. They were funny, and flawed, and complicated, and they had too many secrets and not enough at the same time. Amazing! If they acted stupidly, then for a very good reason! Which is more than can be said about other fictional characters...Not gonna say names here because I really want to keep this review within the character limit (what an amazingly terrible pun). I did have my problems with the ending, admittedly; it felt messy and kinda rushed, but I like how the author didn't decide to go for a shocking plot twist there, but rather let it develop all organically throughout the whole book. Which was so much better than destroying it all just for the sake of having a plot twist to make your book seem cooler. Even though there were times I wished for one, I'm going to give you that. But I made my peace with it; it's a risky, but very mature decision for a thriller (not sure this even is a thriller, but not sure what else it is) and after thinking about it, I appreciate it so much for how authentic it makes it feel. It just fits the novel like a glove, and that's the most important thing for the coming-up winter. And oh my god, speaking of important things! The whole...let's call it incident, with cute little kitten Button! It was so dark! Tell me one YA novel that is similarly dark (not even THG is, since I can deal way better with dead children than...this. I'm telling you, THIS was soooo much worse!) and you know what, I could barely look at the page and whoever has read the book knows exactly which page I'm talking about, inwardly screaming "No...No...NO!!!!" the whole time, and yet, it was all so...believable. Almost horrible in its justifiability! AND I HATE AND LOVE THE AUTHOR FOR MANAGING THIS. I have to say that I didn't understand every part of the ending - maybe I'm just too stupid, but I actually feel like that was very much intentional (the mystery part, not my being stupid). I wouldn't be surprised if this book is going to have a sequel, since the whole storyline around their father has so much potential left and I'm not 100% sure on what happened and why. Plus I'd love to read more about the village and its more than weird and quirky habitants, who somehow all managed to feel real from the very second they were introduced! And to manage to pull that off given that those very habitants include the incest-supporting Collinses is a master stroke in its own way. Furthermore, I absolutely loved the magical realism-elements in this book. You know, I'm not getting tired of dishing Deborah Harkness, and will continue to do so for a long time, but this time (not only this time, actually) for a very good reason! There's also a magic/witch storyline in this book, and Deborah Harkness really should take notes because thats how you handle witches and magic. Simply, but realistically, leaving a healthy dose of mystery! (and rhyming in the process) I could believe everything I was being told because it sounded so damn genuine! (telling you, if the flat earthers wrote like that they'd probably get more support for their asinine theory) And the author didn't do it by giving bunches of unnecessary information about alchemy that no one fucking cares about; but by letting it combine with the flow of the storyline, never giving too much away, but handing out just enough explanations for you to get a medium-ish grasp of what's going on. It's actually an insane feat that the author managed to pull this off, because at first it's all very...well, non-magicky, but this part gets introduced in such an ingenious way that you just roll with it. You never ask yourself "Why" or "Did we really need this", you just accept it because there really is no reason not to. Does everything make sense? Absolutely not! Did I ask myself why the village acted the way they did? Oh hell yes. Did I care about any of that? NOPE! Because that's how good it is written. You just don't care. Because even though what people in this novel do and did may not make sense in a stereotypical manner, it all fits in this really REALLY fucked-up way. Because people aren't perfect, people are illogical, and stupid, and should really use their brain more. And unlike in other books, the stupidity just makes sense (ha, something does make sense after all) in this case. It's strange - and that's exactly what makes it brilliant! Brilliantly strange. Theme-wise, this novel is a lot about self-exploration, and even though that's not necessarily one of my favourite topics, it was handled so damn well. Better than in most YA books I've read, where it always feels so incredibly forced, dull and uninspired. This book gave off insane "Bone Gap" vibes, which, if you've read my reviews over time, is one of my all-time favourite books and another one that is heavy on the magic realism with this healthy dose of...authenticity and weirdness thrown into it And PPD was so god-damn funny too! Sometimes it made me laugh out loud like a crazy person on a bus full of people, but I have no regrets. That was exactly my type of humor, and after having read the dullest books ever (All Souls trilogy, I'll hate you forever) I really needed a bit of dark fun in my literary life. And the relationships in this book! I especially loved the chemistry between both sisters and the author for not going the "They are complete opposites and must therefore hate each other"-route, but pretty much every relationship was handled SO well and realistically. The whole resolution with Oona? Perfect. Just thank you for this. It's actually impressive how the author managed to convey it all so amazingly, given that the book isn't exactly long, and so full of all kinds of events at the same time (some of them really, unbelievably horrible and gaspworthy) - and nothing suffers, neither plot, nor the atmosphere (and the author uses such beautiful and mystified language in describing it!!), nor any of the relationships. Especially not the relationships! Yes, some of them naturally got the short straw, and yet you still got a good enough sip, err grasp of the whole dynamics and sometimes that (not love) is all you need. I liked how not everything and everyone got a happy ending, because after all, that's just what life is: you win and you lose some. And yes, there was so much lost, but still so much hope left at the same time. Which is impressive, given the incredibly gruesome things that happen in this book, one more stomach-turning than the other. But it was never written in a gory or sensational way like in those 08/15 thrillers that all want to top each other in the oh-so-terrible-but-actually-totally-uninspired cruelty of their murders (yawn...it's fun for a time, but gets very old really soon); instead, the descriptions were very blunt and matter-of-fact, sparse and leaving a lot of room for imagination, and that made everything seem even more terrible. So yes, the ending was neither a classically good or bad one; rather, there's this fabulous (and horribly underestimated) grey zone that really not enough authors make use of but that fortunately enough got featured heavily enough here. Still, as I said, for me personally, there was something missing in the ending, which is why the book doesn't get its full five stars from me - but I can't put my hand on it, and maybe I'm just not super-satisfied because the ending may have been even too ambiguous and weird for my liking. Plus all those unanswered questions...But that's probably just on me though and really doesn't matter too much. I should just start to become even weirder instead, in order to be then able to appreciate it fully. And who cares about the ending if the other 80% were so good? The book managed to completely draw me in, and unsurprisingly I found myself being completely unwilling as well as unable to put it down until the very end (am I imagening it or do I write this sentence in every review of the books I enjoyed...) It's simply that amazing! I almost felt witched myself, because I feel like the book has made such an impact on me. I blame it all on the afore-mentioned, absolutely marvelous writing style. So simple, and yet so effective! And so wonderfully strange and arcane! Absolute proof that you don't need overly complicated, pretentiously-poetic flowery language or endless descriptions about surroundings no one fucking cares about, just because the author doesn't have any other means to pull it off. Deirdre Sullivan makes it all seem so...easy. She never pretends that her characters are anything other than they are, teenagers (but still manages to have the perfect amount of parody thrown in without it ever breaking the flow of the novel; cue to Catlin's outbreak over how her parents don't understand her forbidden and very intense love for some allegedly dangerous weirdo). I'm sure that I'll keep thinking about the book for a long time and I already know that this is perfect reread-material. One of those books that you can read a thousand times probably and that will still be amazing. Oh god, what an embarrassing and chaotic love-letter this review is. But this book deserves it! And although it pains me deeply and very lividly how many unanswered questions there are in this book, I (grumpily) understand that they are an intentional and probably important part of this novel. Or something. And I'm not quite ready to sacrifice a fox to get my answers yet. I think I'm good for now...And so is this novel, quite obviously!
PS: Unfortunately, so isn't the title. "Perfectly Preventable Deaths"? Really? What's that supposed to have to do with the book? Like...What? Why? Or....Wait! Because the deaths could've been prevented in the end? It does sound like sarcasm though. Frankly, I am confused, and I don't like it. But as long as I like everything else, I'm going to leave that grumpiness at the door right now!
PS2: This is what I call a typical Kathi-book. A typical Kathi book is: extremely weird, full of quirky yet loveable characters, heavy on the dialogue and dark humor, very fucked-up and awwwww-able (cruising perfectly between the two), questioning your sanity in the best way, and last but not least: very magically realistic! Usually an acquired taste, but once acquired, really tasty. Always leaving you hungry for more though :( Poor next course...err book.
PS3: Also, will I ever pay attention to what fucking (wrong!) bus I'm getting into while editing my review?! Why am I like this.
کتاب ریتم خیلی کندی داشت. خیلی خیلی کند. اما در عین حال از همون کندی میشد حسابی لذت برد. فضاسازی فوقالعادهای داشت و با قصه خیلی خوب و درست پیش ميرفت. همهچیز تا قبل از فرار کتلین خیلی خوب بود. ولی بعد از اون قصه کاملا نابود شد. با رفتن کتلین یک اتفاق خیلی معمولی افتاد که ما اون رو ندیدیم و فقط چیزهایی ازش شنیدیم. نویسنده فقط در مورد اتفاقات و چیزهایی که گذشته بود توضیح ميداد و سعی میکرد فضایی که ساخته بود رو برای ما شفاف کنه. قسمت پایانی بیشتر شبیه وراجی بود تا قصهگویی. در حقیقت هیچخبری از روایت یا قصهگویی نبود. تمام هنری که نویسنده در حدود سیصد صفحهی اول بهکار بستهبود در قسمت پایانی نابود شد. تمام اون فضاسازیهایی که یک شهر مرموز، هولناک و جادویی رو برای مخاطب به تصویر کشیدهبود، بینتیجه رها شد و قصه تبدیل به یک فانتزی دمدستی و سرسری شد. بدون هیچ منطق درست در جهان داستانی. اما تحت هیچ شرایطی نمیشه منکر شد که شروع، فضاسازی، شخصیتپردازی دخترها و روابط بینشون بسیار جذاب و خوندنی بود و قسمتهای زیادی از رمان واقعاً لذتبخش بود.
Ha sido una grata sorpresa esta novela. Llegaba cero expectativas con ella pero me ha sorprendido muchísimo. Es una lectura muy ágil y de hecho me ha sorprendido que se lea tan, tan rápido, sobretodo gracias a sus cortos capítulos (algo que siempre agradezco un montón, la verdad). Es perfecta para este mes de octubre ya que encontramos: un castillo, misterios, y sobretodo magia, además de dos hermanas gemelas.
Aunque la parte misteriosa me ha esperaba aún así estuve muy intrigada con el libro. Cosa además que agradecí un montón es que aparte del misterio, en el libro la autora trata sobre la toxicidad de las relaciones y lo ha llevado de muy buena manera.
No es una historia que recordaré siempre peeeeero sí que me ha entretenido muchísimo y era lo que necesitaba leer en estos momentos. Muy recomendable para Halloween si no sabéis qué leer por estas fechas.
A creepy, beautifully written Sabrina-esque mystery about twins who are sent to a tiny town in Galway where witchcraft seems to be everywhere ... (15+ - anyone who struggles to cope with animal mutiliation should steer clear!)
*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. If you use it in any marketing material, online or anywhere on a published book without asking permission from me first, I will ask you to remove that use immediately. Thank you!*
This is -both objectively and moreso subjectively- The Best. I have been struggling to the past few days on what to say in my review for this particular book simply because I don't think I could possibly find the appropriate words to do this book justice. Definitely not only one of my favourites of the year, but one of my new favourites of all time. Deirdre not only revives the gothic, but she also redefines it and adapts it to fit a contemporary setting and to appeal to modern audiences while also making it so that Perfectly Preventable Deaths could easily establish itself, in my opinion, as a timeless piece. I have heard countless times that the book is the product of 7 years of work and I think that's apparent for anyone who picks this up, as it is a monument in terms of craft. Each word feels intentional, deliberate and carefully curated into this ambitions overall narrative. This was obvious to me upon first reading, but it becomes much more so once going back over passages (i.e: when Deirdre was reading the prologue at the launch of the book, my brain kept throwing huge exclamation marks as things I had previously not paid quite As Much attention to at first gained much more ominous meanings when analysed having read the whole book). What PPD also does fantastically is function very well as a singular entity while also teasing you with the promise of the what-ifs and enchanting you with the possibilities of what could happen after the book itself ends. To put it as simply as I possibly can, please give the people (specifically : me) either a sequel or a companion because I just need more. The characters in this book all come alive right off the page. What makes them all even more lifelike is the way they function like real people - they are never perfect, they give away either too much or too little of themselves in the way people have the tendency to. The way the dynamics between the relationships between the characters are established also feels very organic. I think Deirdre also goes against the generic expectations of the typical YA stories about 'new girls' - the twins, upon almost intruding on the social order of Ballyfran, find it hard to insert themselves within the pre-existing social circles. Therefore, the way their new circumstances challenge the twins and the roles they had -somewhat unbeknownst to even themselves- assigned for the two of them is truly compelling. The singular characters, the crushes, the illusions, the family dynamics, it's all a very complex and intriguing character study and I am here for it. The atmosphere is another one of the things that distinguishes this book. Although the promise of that is to come is suggested from very early on, it almost feels like the book tricks you into thinking it might not be what you thought it will be, it keeps you guessing and plays trick on you, much like it often feels like the story does with the characters. You are almost gently pushed into believing that this may be your more eerie coming of age story about young women finding their place in the world once they have been very much displaced, both physical and on a deeper level. It makes you believe it could be a coming of age, a coming out, a story about sisterhood and found family, a mental health story, a story about toxic love .... And what makes this so special , is that it is very much all of that, yet so much more. Once you get comfortable enough with the mundane(er) elements of the story and get invested with the quotidian, things take a much darker turn. The looming presences of lives lived and lost there before is everpresent. There are stories hiding underneath this story. This is very much an ode to those stories stripped from their owners, those mountain girls whose names are whispered and become sort of local legends. And then you have the bizarre and grotesque coming at you like a fabulous dark punch in the gut. A mean old crone. A dead fox. Rituals and energies and dead girls and secrets whispered in hushed tones. The lives lost that cannot be reclaimed. Dark castles and secret tunnels and limitless woods. Blood and guts and gore and all those physical representations of violence and pain. This has all the necessary elements required from a good gothic: evil yet strangely alluring men, a vulnerable young heroine with a flair for the dramatic, an eerie castle in the middle of the forest, hushed secrets, monumental life changes, local stories repeated to the point of their becoming mythical narratives, allusive father figures, the fear insidiously seeping into your bones, the gore, etc. It also has what it takes to elevate the genre and adapt it to a modern climate: a strong protagonist, recentering classical narratives in unexpected ways, fEMINIST, authentic humour and wit to be expected of your teenage protagonists, queerness, discussion of mental health issues, female empowerment and so on. This also probably has one of the absolute best representations of anxiety/OCD I have read in a long time. What makes it even better is that I didn't even know this before going into the book. This is one of the strange stories that is very much a mental health book without ever being a Mental Health Book, if you get me. I could probably go on and on and on for hours about the many things that make this book magical, but I feel like you might as well be better off reading the book itself than reading my ramblings about it. CANNOT SPEAK HIGHLY ENOUGH OF IT!! (do also need to say for those bothered by those depictions of seeing someone in an abusive relationship, seeing a characters struggle with MI, blood/guts/gore/violence towards animals, pls do keep your own mental health safe and don't trigger yourself!! stay safe young witchy pals!!)
Dit boek was ik al een aantal keer tegengekomen in de boekhandel en elke keer weer stond ik ermee in mijn handen. Uiteindelijk heb ik het mijzelf dan toch gegund om het boek te kopen. Ik werd vooral aangetrokken door de toffe cover waarop je een glazen stolp ziet waarin van alles te zien is. Onder andere griezelige items zoals een schedel, een bot en zelfs een zwarte raaf. Wat wel een grappig toeval is dat ik later ontdekte dat degene die de cover illustratie gemaakt heeft een naamgenoot van mij is, zij heet namelijk ook Elsa (Klever).
De ondertitel is ‘Bones in the mountains, magic in the blood’, wat nog zo’n trigger voor mij is. Aangezien ik dol ben op griezelverhalen zoals jullie ondertussen wel weten en altijd het magische zoek in de Fantasy verhalen die ik lees. Ik kon dit boek dus niet langer ongelezen laten.
“The more you get to know people, the more broken it seems we all are. Is that what growing up is? The world hurting you over and over and over again.”
Gelijk toen ik begon met lezen merkte ik dat het verhaal een donkere, melancholische inslag heeft. Vooral door het karakter van één van de hoofdpersonages, Maddy, maar wel op een heerlijke manier vermengt met sarcastische humor. Maddy is ook degene vanuit wie je als lezer zijnde het verhaal meekrijgt. Tevens leer je door haar de andere personages kennen. Waaronder haar tweelingzus Catlin.
“Her eyes are empty, the shadows underneath bruise-dark. They look like someone’s gouged them on her face with clumsy thumbs.”
De karakter weergeving geeft het geheel absoluut de Young Adult sfeer, het genre waaronder dit boek valt. Niet alleen doordat de hoofdpersonages zestien zijn maar ook door wat er inhoudelijk allemaal gebeurd in het boek. De personages mogen zich dan bevinden in een typerende Engelse folk sfeer toch door het niet altijd maken van juiste keuzes, zelfinzicht, verdriet, liefde enzovoort hebben zij wel een herkenbaarheid die het voor de lezers gemakkelijker maakt met hen verbinding te voelen en mee te leven met hun avontuur.
“I wish I were a ghost and not a girl.”
Naast dat het verhaal een duistere, mysterieuze ondertoon heeft zit er ook flink wat droge humor in de opmerkingen die zo nu en dan gemaakt worden door de personages. Het leuke aan de schrijfstijl van Deirdre Sullivan in dit boek vind ik dat het typisch Brits betreft, waardoor het even wennen is met lezen maar als je er eenmaal in zit het voor mij gemakkelijk weg las. En juist daardoor ook doorspekt is met een ander soort humor dan je treft in Nederlandstalige boeken.
“Like a villain in a computer game who just. Won’t. Die.”
De andere karakters die je tegenkomt in dit verhaal zijn ook boeiend neergezet en passen in de setting die voor mij ook ergens doet denken aan de Engelse televisieseries die ik vroeger keek. Zoals onder andere ‘The Queens nose’ en ‘Around the Twist’. En ook aan de hedendaagse serie op Netflix ‘The chilling adventures of sabrina’. Die laatste meer vooral vanwege het donkere, occulte sausje dat over het verhaal ligt.
“I never thought about her asleep before. She doesn’t seem the type. Unless it was with one eye open, watching.”
Ik vind het fijn dat ik uiteindelijk toch het boek gekocht heb want ik heb genoten van dit originele verhaal. Wat in zijn volledigheid heerlijk griezelig is, bedachtzaam overkomt en daardoor een rustig leestempo creëert, magisch is maar niet overdreven en intelligent geschreven aanvoelt.
“There are no wolves, but people can be wolves.”
Ik ben door dit boek nieuwsgierig geworden naar toekomstige verhalen van de schrijfster. Benieuwd of ze in dit licht macabere YA genre blijft schrijven dat zo nu en dan voor mij haast poëtisch aandoet. Ik hou het in ieder geval in de gaten.
This dark and realistic take on witches focused on character exploration is the perfect read for the spooky season.
Told from Maddy's POV we follow the story of Madeline and Catlin, teenage twins that have moved all to a remote place called Ballyfrann, Ireland.
But the good news is that they will be moving into a castle with their mom's new husband Brian. Mamo also lived there. She is a strange woman who has visitors coming and going all day and seems to be really connected to nature there. Mano also uses herbs for ailments and you will never be sure about her intentions.
This slow burning story with beautiful prose will be for those looking for a deep character exploration and a very small intimate story. The chapters are short and they all have the name of a herb and what this specific herb is used for.
This is not an action packed story with many twists and turns. Even though towards the end we do get some shocking revelations and it does get intense, for the most part it is a slow paced story about the twins and the darkness they will discover when they move to their new home.
Perfect for: Those who enjoy a lot of character development and an intimate and almost realistic story about a family and witches.
This book had the slowest and vaguest start ever, I literally had no clue what kind of book I was reading and where it was going. This was charming, in a way. But also extremely confusing and it didn’t really make me want to keep reading.
After getting used to the writing style and after some explanation I was eager to find out what was going on, but having finished it I still have many questions but no need to have them answered.
Other than that I truly didn’t like the way Mad’s anxiety was handled and approached, especially by her mother, which was extremely frustrating. Other than that it was kinda homophobic, there were mentions of grooming, abuse, and very detailed animal cruelty.
I don’t think I will be buying any further books in this series (if it is? probably) and to be very honest, I wouldn’t recommend this book. Not my cup of tea. Quite anti climactic.
I really liked the main character Madeline, she was a strong character who made some difficult decisions throughout this book. She had a lot of conflict going on with her personal, romantic life as well as her relationships with her family. It was interesting to see her cope with the things that were thrown at her and how she dealt with all the strange information she learned.
Catlin, her twin sister, was a completely different story. I could not stand her, she was so toxic. Even right at the beginning of the book she was so catty. She clearly cares for her sister and throughout the book she does worry for her and support her, there are just a few comments and things she does that hurt Madelin and Catlin could not see that. She was also very overly sexual in the beginning of the book, it came on a bit strong. I am all about expressing sexuality but I don't know, it was a lot for the beginning of the book. Throughout the book it was completely fine and it didn't bother me, it was just the first couple of chapters.
Their family is interesting, their mum tries to be supportive of the girls and wants to do what's best for them but she doesn't. She doesn't understand Madelin and the things she does and instead of trying to help her and talk to her about it, just gets angry and tells her to stop. I feel like this is something a lot of people will be able to relate to, many people have parents or family members that don't understand their mental health struggles and its represented well in this book. Their new stepfather is another interesting character the entire way through the book you don't know how to feel about him, he is a really nice person who is so in love with their mum but there is obviously something going on. His father wasn't a nice person and you slowly learn more about this throughout the story.
Mamo was one of my favourite characters, you genuinely have no idea what she is doing most of the time and she's scary. You have no idea if you can trust her or not or if she is a good person or is up to no good. I really liked the mystery surrounding her and I liked her more and more throughout the book. I just wish there were a few more answers surrounding certain things she may or may not do, you never find out what's going on so hopefully there is a sequel.
The other characters throughout this, the people from the town were also strange. They were distant and closed off, which was to be expected of such a small town. I just feel that there wasn't enough information about them. you heard all of these rumours about this notorious family and then never actually interacted with them properly? I don't think the town was as fleshed out as I would have hoped.
I really liked the setting, the castle where the girls lived was amazing and the town and the scenery was really well detailed. It felt like I was there, there were parts in this book where I felt cold, it was really immersive in some parts which I really enjoyed. The writing style was really lyrical, I really enjoyed it, it was perfect for this book.
I loved the natural aspect of this book, I loved the facts about plants and being a plant lover myself, I really enjoyed reading about them.
There were a couple of things I disliked about this book, the main problem I had was that I knew almost nothing about the girls who had previously been murdered in the town and I felt like I couldn't really feel anything about it as there wasn't enough information. The entire time the characters are talking about how they are reading about them and researching them and they really grow a connection to them and as a reader I felt I missed out on that. I just wish there was a little more information about the girls and who they really were. I do also understand that the town keeps it pretty quiet but if Madelin or Catlin are reading about I don't understand why the reader couldn't have learnt something. I don't care about learning more about the deaths, I just wanted to be able to care about the girls.
The other huge problem I had was the amount of animal abuse and dead animals there were throughout this book. There was something that Madelin does near the end that nearly made me DNF this whole book. I know that animal death happens and the natural ones that happen in this book, whilst uncomfortable, I could deal with. But I could not handle the abused and tortured animals. Especially what Madelin does at the end, I felt it was an unnecessary thing to have in the book, it left an animal mutilated and I DO NOT want to read about that, especially in that much detail.
Overall, this book was an incredibly descriptive and unique read and I feel that a lot of people are going to absolutely love this. If you love dark, atmospheric books then this is for you.
Sometimes you open a book and you know from the start that it's a book that people either hate or love. This is such a book. It's too unique, too different, it stands out, it's like not much else I've ever read. It either works for you and grabs you in some way, or it's just a hard to understand story with a lot of violence, darkness and gore.
This book totally worked for me, although I always hope that a book manages to trigger some more emotion. The writing style is unique, although I already got to know it a little in the fairytale retellings I've read a few weeks ago. It's in a way very raw and pure, and yet it also has something flowery and old fashioned. It's hard to describe, but it clearly comes from within.
That also means that the descriptions aren't always detailed. The focus of the writing is on the emotion, on the current trail of thoughts, on what's going on at the time and not on what has been or what the characters already know. Therefore as a reader there are a lot of moments where gaps aren't fully explained or filled. I personally don't mind that, because I like being challenged a little and having to use my own imagination, but I can imagine that for some people this book is quite confusing.
Especially because the characters are mostly true teenagers. They are flawed, deeply flawed. They're egocentric and not always nice. In a world where especially YA heroines always have to be those perfect saints who can't make any mistakes or who can't be real teenagers, that was very refreshing. It doesn't always make it easy to form a connection with the characters, but for me I could identify with them exactly because they were flawed and therefore realistic. They mess up, they make mistakes and therefore it's not an impossible standard to live up to.
The true star of the story however was the atmosphere. I felt chills rolling down my spine, excitement rushing through my veins and the more we discovered, the more I was sucked into this story. Especially the ending made me stop breathing.
Reading this book was a unique experience that I wouldn't have wanted to miss.
Deirdre Sullivan's prose is so unique and so beautiful that I would follow her anywhere: if she chose to write a book about angling, say, or a carpentry manual, I'd still read it. Thankfully Perfectly Preventable Deaths, a witchy tale set in rural Ireland, is exactly what I want to read anyway. Sullivan chooses words precisely; her sentences often have the rhythm of blank verse. Yet they're unfussy, capturing the cadence of speech, and her images, while arresting, don't draw attention to themselves. She has an eye for the beauty and strangeness of the world, and an ear for dialect and humour. While this story is dark, and full of the atmosphere of a haunted house, it's also thoroughly modern, referring to gifs and memes, and alive with jokes. The story centres on twins: Madeline and Catlin, who have moved to Ballyfrann after their mother remarries. The isolated village in Galway is unwelcoming, and full of memories of death: girls have been murdered in the mountains surrounding it, little dead animals find their way under the characters' feet, wild animals are tortured in the woods.
This is a chilling story. At times, it felt too grisly for the YA genre, and pushed the boundaries of what I felt comfortable reading. But Sullivan handles the darkness carefully, and it's certainly not just there for kicks. It's a passionately feminist novel, about the dangers young women face, and contains a long list of names of the girls who have died: Sullivan is determined to give her young women a name, and their names become a litany that gives the characters power to overcome evil. The story is also an exploration into witches, and what it means to be a witch or wise woman, and it's a story about discovering yourself, and discovering love. Madeline learns that she's a witch and a lesbian as the novel progresses, and both elements of herself bring her power.
The ending is satisfying, but certainly leaves the plot room to grow, which I very much hope it does!
Patri: 2.5/5🌟 Esperaba muuucho más de esta historia. Lo único interesante pasa en las últimas 50 páginas, el resto de libro es ni fu ni fa. El tema magia es muy escueto, y la explicación de ella nula, y el tema del misterio tampoco me ha gustado como se ha llevado, demasiado porque sí todo. Eso sí, la ambientación, muy halliweña.
You’re most probably a fantasy reader for choosing to go through this book. You have noticed for sure that once in a while, some books find a special place in your heart, although many in this genre are beautiful. I was in the middle of reviewing Harry Potter series which I love crazy when I was suggested to read this book. I got so interested in it that I hold HPs and sank in this one! The story of teenage twins with beautiful magic theme and the real magic of human beings’ relationships took me to another world where I could touch people feelings cuz they were so real. The sweet description of human feelings and how they feel for their loved ones. I do recommend this book and especially if you have a sister; it makes perfect sense, each sentence of this book. Dear Deidre, thank you for creating this masterpiece; be always happy and write for us, with all your lovely thoughts and gorgeous imaginations.
Average. I started reading this story because i really liked the dark cover of it. Blurb sounded really interesting and so does the title of the book. But story is not at all justified by the title. I felt the title and blurb was misleading. I kept on expecting something amazing at the end of each chapter,but it did not deliver what i needed from it. Story was amazing, charecters were really relatable and the Memo charecter is what i liked the most. Initially it was slow paced, but i liked the narration and writing style. It kept me hooked to the story. Most of the conflict happens at the end of the story and it was a bit rushed up is what i felt. It had potential. Really. Could have been a masterpiece. But no regrets, no memories. Pros 1*- writing style 1*- charecters
Conc. 1*-slow paced, rushed up ending and witchcraft was not explained much. 1*- I am pissed of because of the misleading title and blurb of the book. 1*- I just expected more
I think this book was brilliant, but also terrifying. The terrifying part was a little bit too much for me. I don't handle horror well. I still can't put everything that happened in this book out of my mind and I desperately need to because it's scary and too much.
My favorite parts about the book are the narrator and the beautiful prose. I loved the narrator aka the main character. She is so sarcastic and smart.
If you like something spooky and scary, this book is for you. I would 100% recommend it. However beware of trigger warnings for physical abuse.
"Muertes perfectamente evitables" narra la historia de dos hermanas gemelas que se mudan a Ballyfrann, un pueblo en el que más pronto que tarde se darán cuenta de que ocurren sucesos inexplicables. Un gran misterio, la muerte de diferentes chicas halladas en circunstancias terribles y amores no correspondidos.
Respecto a la autora, es la primera vez que leo algo de Deirdre Sullivan. La verdad es que ha conseguido mantenerme en vela a lo largo de toda la narración, una narración por cierto en primera persona, con oraciones cortas y capítulos también cortos. Realmente me sentía dentro de la historia y eso en ocasiones me llevaba a estar con mucha tensión, porque quien avisa no es traidora, es un libro que te va a tener tensx.
Me gustaría destacar de esta obra lo bien construidos que están los personajes de las hermanas. Tan reales que cuando cerraba el libro me quedaba con la sensación de haber estado leyendo acerca de una amiga. Además, son súper diferentes entre sí, pero es inevitable cogerles cariño a las dos. Otro punto a destacar es la ambientación al más estilo Stephen King, típico pueblo muy oscuro, con pocos habitantes y un bosque que acecha.
Como conclusión te diría que sí, te recomiendo este libro si te va el suspense, las leyendas urbanas y el terror (sin llegar a no dejarte dormir, tranqui). Se lee de una manera muy amena y se te hará inevitable quedarte embobadx con el transcurso de los acontecimientos.