Sometimes I read things that aren't fanfiction, and in 2021 I'm trying to do better at this. Here are my totally unsolicited opinions on the books I'm reading. Warning: Spoilers ahead.

If you have a book to recommend, drop me a line. I favour scifi/fantasy, dystopia, contemporary romance, crime thrillers*, mysteries and the occasional classic or historical fiction. I do not enjoy paranormal romance or Westerns, but I'll try anything if it has good prose and finely written characters.

*note: I'm sick to death of crime thrillers featuring a beautiful dead woman and the rest of the cast is a sausage party. Give me feminist takes on that trope, especially queer lit, and if you're gonna kill the gays or the girls, there had better be a damn good reason for it.

contemporary fiction

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Matt Haig - The Midnight Library

 

This book received great reviews on Goodreads, and the premise hooked me right from the start. Maybe that's why I was so disappointed that it underwhelmed me.

Protagonist Nora should be a sympathetic and relatable character, but I couldn't find it in me to care about her sad, claustrophobic existence, aside from wondering what made her special enough to get so many other chances, so many choices to remake and lives to try on for size. Or was that privilege something that was offered to everyone on the brink of death? If that was clarified in the book, I don't remember it ... maybe because I found the prose clunky and repetitive throughout.

 

I skimmed whole pages of this book that read like shopping lists, and the passages that were nicely written were too rare for me to really enjoy the cool concept, or the multiple different chances Nora tried out. Most of which, by the way, felt overdone and not very believable. The author squandered opportunities to dive into Nora's depths (why is Ravi so mad at her, and what does that say about Nora's inability to make decisions?) or to lighten the mood into cringe-humour (OlympicMedallist!Nora giving a motivational speech should have been hilarious, considering LifeHopping!Nora had no idea what she was doing). And after a while, I couldn't find it in me to care.

 

I also saw the ending coming from chapter one, but hoped it would be well handled despite the telegraphing. And it was competently done, but nothing about this book set my world on fire. All in all, a large helping of disappointment.

Rating: 5/10

© 2021 by Mia Cooper