Wednesday, 21 March 2018

2 Mini Reviews: SCARBOROUGH FAIR and DON'T TRUST ME

SCARBOROUGH FAIR - Margarita Morris
Published: March 2016 - Margarita Morris
Pages: N.A.
Genres: Young adult / romance / historical fiction / thriller
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild violence / one scene of self-harm /
Format: eBook.
Source: Netgalley.

1899: Seeking sanctuary in the seaside resort of Scarborough, Alice discovers she is not safe from her fianc√©’s jealous clutches. She jumps at the chance to run away with a man she truly loves, but when a plot to help Alice escape goes dreadfully wrong, she finds herself in terrible danger. 2016: Forced to spend the summer in Scarborough with her mother and grandmother, Rose doesn’t think her holiday is going to be much fun. Especially when she’s almost killed by a Ferrari driver on the first day. Things start to look up when she meets Dan and he asks her to go to the fair with him. But Dan’s father is mixed up with a criminal gang and Rose and Dan find themselves drawn into a life and death situation. For both Alice and Rose, the fun of Scarborough Fair soon turns into the nightmare of a Victorian lunatic asylum. They must both escape if they are going to survive.


Likes:
- Writing / The writing is lovely. The dialogue is rich, the scenes are colourful, and the author gets inside each character's head brilliantly.
- Atmosphere / The atmosphere is amazing. You really feel as though you're by the beach, or at the fair, and the setting comes alive with a beautiful tangibility. It's that homely, magical, small town English vibe.  
- Plot / The plot is fast-paced, entertaining, exciting, and action packed. It's so much fun and deliciously light-hearted and innocent. There's danger, but it's never terrifying, and there's always light overshadowing the dark. It's a wonderful story.
- Characters / The characters are very sweet and easy to love. No one's particularly three-dimensional, but they're still compelling. They fit the story perfectly. And I also love the strong themes of friendship.

Dislikes:
- Romances / There are a lot of romantic ships in this book, and all of them are extremely insta-lovey. There's also the fact that the girls are way too quick to trust the guys when they barely even know them; for example, Rose and Dan meet after his dad almost runs her over with his car, and when Dan insists on following some shady guys at the fair and later following them into an abandoned asylum, Rose has no trouble going with him. She trusts him with her life despite the fact they've just met! It's unrealistic, not to mention dangerous.
- Too many characters / There are way too many characters. By the end I knew who everyone was, but it still took a while to get them straight in my head. I also don't like how mixed up the points of view are; sometimes only a small paragraph break in the middle of a chapter is the indication of a point of view changing, and it can be disorienting. It would've been better if the author had changed points of view by chapter instead of paragraph.  


        
         



DON'T TRUST ME - Jessica Lynch
Published: December 2017.
Pages: 322.
Genres: Thriller / mystery / Adult
Triggers/Content Advisory: NA.
Format: eBook.
Source: Netgalley.

Welcome to Hamlet. Population: 192. You can't find it on any map, GPS or directions site. A small village tucked between a mountain and a valley, Hamlet is the sort of place where everyone knows everyone -- and their business, too. There's no television. No phones. Only one way in and, for the locals, barely any way out. The sheriff is the law, the only doctor moonlights as the coroner, and outsiders rarely come to town. Murders are even rarer. A treacherous storm, a flat tire and a touch of serendipity causes Tessa Sullivan and her husband Jack to stumble upon the narrow strait that leads into Hamlet. It was supposed to be a one night stop until the rain let up and Jack could figure out how to fix the tire -- until Tess lands herself in the local jail cell overnight and Jack is found dead in their hotel room the next morning. There's no doubt it was murder, but with his gentle wife having an airtight alibi, the sheriff has to wonder: who had any cause to kill the outsider? And was he only the first victim? Dr. De Angelis doesn’t think so. Neither does Deputy Walsh. With Tess looking more and more like the killer’s next target, both men take the time to comfort and protect the young widow. But only one of them is sincere. The other just wants her to himself now that her husband is out of the way. Alone and afraid, who can she trust?


This is a hard book to review and I barely know where to start. It kinda threw me all over the place. But here goes.

The writing isn't bad, but I do think it needs at least one more round of editing. Towards the start of the bool, especially, the sentences are awkwardly constructured and the word order jumbled. Take these two for example: 'Except for the radio, he preferred silence when he drove if they were going somewhere new.' - 'Was he so miserable to her that finding a hotel to stay the night in brought the life back to her?'

The story is okay. The mystery aspect is clever, but I feel like the romances are the plot rather than the mystery. The romances are easily the main focus, and considering that I don't ship anyone and that I don't like any of the characters, it doesn't work well for me.

The characters are dull. Tessa is the beautiful, innocent damsel everyone falls in love with, and she has no depth. The secondary characters are boring, too.
But the guys are the worst. Mason and Lucas are alpha males and ridiculously overprotective. Thankfully, Tessa has the sense to think, "This wasn’t a contest, and she wasn’t a prize", but that doesn't make me warm to them any more. They're still jerks. And Mason assaults Tessa, so there's that. (Although, thank goodness, that isn't glossed over and Tessa is actually outraged by it).

There's also the ending. It's a shocker, which is good, but it's too open-ended. I don't like it.

This is a decent thrillet novel, but the characters and writing disappointed me.


         





Hope you liked these reviews! Have you read or heard of these books? What do you think of them? 

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