The Arsonist is a multi-perspective story about two seemingly unrelated Californian teens named Molly and Pepper, who discover that they’re inextricabThe Arsonist is a multi-perspective story about two seemingly unrelated Californian teens named Molly and Pepper, who discover that they’re inextricably linked together by a German girl named Ava Dreyman, who infamously died before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Molly and Pepper embark on a journey to discover what this mysterious German girl has to do with the life of two teens who couldn’t be more different.
So I never read historical fiction, but when I do, apparently it’s by accident. This has been on my TBR for ages as I’d assumed it was a thriller, but I was verrrrry wrong!
But y’know what? I didn’t hate it!
The Arsonist is a complex historical fiction with a family narrative at its core. It somehow manages to straddle the lines of mystery/thriller, historical fiction, and coming of age/contemporary, exploring the complex ways in which our lives intertwine with "strangers" and the impact we have on the lives of others.
I don’t often read historical fiction as I worry it’ll bore me, but this narrative is impeccably crafted and the threads linking our characters so elegantly woven. It seamlessly jumps from past to present day, and while you spend the majority of the book unsure how these characters could ever be tied together, it all unfurls perfectly by the end. It's also injected with humour from time to time - mostly in the form of an obese and utterly useless service pug by the name of Bertrand.
Overall: While I still don't love historical fiction as a genre, I was pleasantly surprised by this elegantly woven story. The plot meanders a little to begin with, but by the end you'll be surprised and smitten by this complex family tale spanning generations. ...more
There's Someone Inside Your House is a YA slasher novel centred around Makani Young, a teen girl who's recently relocated from Hawaii to Osborne, NebrThere's Someone Inside Your House is a YA slasher novel centred around Makani Young, a teen girl who's recently relocated from Hawaii to Osborne, Nebraska after an incident at her previous school. Makani's got a small group of friends and a burgeoning love interest and things are starting to look up for her, but then her classmates suddenly start turning up murdered. It's a race against the clock to figure out who's killing off Osborne's kids, before Makani and her friends become victims themselves.
This was the literary equivalent of fun, dumb slasher flickr from the 90's - think Scream or I Know What You Did Last Summer. I went into it expecting trash given what I've seen on Youtube and know about Stephanie Perkins' contemporary romance writing, but it's surprisingly solid! This book is very self-aware that it's not about to win any literary awards, so it just tries to be fun - and succeeds.
HOWEVER, Stephanie Perkins really fucks up the inclusion of a trans side character. Newsflash to authors: it's not helpful or inclusive if you diversify your cast by including a trans side character, and then proceed to deadname them MULTIPLE TIMES THROUGHOUT YOUR BOOK. If you're going to include trans or gender diverse characters, be respectful and do a bit of research before you misgender them or deadname them repeatedly. Or at least have some contextualisation and discussion around doing so. For fucks sake.
Overall: This is a super enjoyable trashy B-grade horror in book form, and you'll enjoy flying through it in a couple hours on a spooky rainy evening. However, Stephanie Perkins' poor treatment of a trans side character is unforgiveable and I therefore can't recommend it at all, based on that. ...more
This is a super cute moment in time between Wesley and Mackenzie a few hours after the conclusion of The Unbound. Written from Wesley’s perspective, wThis is a super cute moment in time between Wesley and Mackenzie a few hours after the conclusion of The Unbound. Written from Wesley’s perspective, we get a few insights into his psyche and his soul. <3 It’s adorable and I wish we had more content coming from this universe. ...more