Book Reviews

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

So far, so good, I’m still on track for my Goodreads Challenge of 20 books read in 2021! For my next book I chose something more out of my comfort zone. At the time of writing, Where the Crawdads Sing has been in the New York Times Best Sellers list for 120 weeks. Can you believe that? It wouldn’t actually matter to me what the book was about, something that good would instantly be on my radar.

In a quiet fishing village called Barkley Cove, a young girl known locally as ‘the Marsh Girl’ fends for herself after the rest of her family has left her. She’s smart and resourceful and manages to get by. Running parallel to her story is a murder case, that of Chase Andrews, a young man who was very popular in the village. As they always do, the two stories combine when the Marsh Girl (Kya) is found to be a suspect.

I found this book to be very slow and difficult to get lost in to begin with. I had to keep flicking back to the start of the chapters to try and remind myself where I was in the story’s timeline. A few chapters in though, it clicked and there were some nights I found myself reading until I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. Ii felt so desperately sad for Kya and the hardship that she’s suffered. Not many people would be able to endure what she did, but she kept going.

If you read here often enough you’ll know I’m a sucker for a mystery so you’ll believe me when I say I found the murder case and the trial the most fascinating part to read. I won’t give anything away of course but it was a really satisfying end with a final twist that shocked me. I can definitely see why it’s been so popular and I have no doubt that movie rights will be snapped up in due course. Well worth a read!

Book Reviews

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Welcome to my 2021 Goodreads Reading Challenge! Towards the end of last year I rekindled my love of reading before bed, and I’m keen to keep that up throughout 2021. I’ve set myself a reading challenge on Goodreads to read 20 books this year. It should be easily attainable as I average a book every 2 weeks but I didn’t want to set myself up to fail by choosing a goal too high.

I also want to try to step outside of my usual reading comfort zone this year. I did it back in 2018 and tried to cover every genre. Some books I struggled with but others I really enjoyed so It’ll be interesting to do that again. My go-to read is a murder mystery. I find them easy to read and the mystery keeps my mind busy at night instead of worrying about…well, life! So without further ado, here’s the first book I read this year.

Nora is dead. She chose to end her life after suffering one too many terrible events. However, she finds herself at a library, managed by a sweet old lady who just so happened to be the librarian at Nora’s school when she was a child. At the Midnight Library Nora has the ability to read through a book of all her regrets, with the power to change them. Each book contains an alternative life, should Nora have made different choices, giving her the chance to fix all of her regrets and find the perfect life. If she finds a life she feels satisfied with, she can stay and live it out.

First off, I love the premise of this story. Have you ever wondered what your life would be like if you made different choices? From the most minor things such as ‘what if I missed that bus last week?’ to ‘what if I went to University instead of going straight into work?’. It would be fascinating to be able to peer into what those lives would be like. And that’s exactly what Nora gets to do. Of course, nothing is ever quite as it seems. One of Nora’s biggest regrets is that she gave up swimming when she was younger, and as it turns out, if she stuck with it she’d end up being an Olympic champion! But other aspects of her life would have ended up much worse.

It’s a book that really gets you thinking about your own life, and that’s what I loved about it. What annoyed me though was that a lot of the time, those small changes that Nora makes end up with her being hugely successful, either an Olympian, or a Scientist on an earth-changing mission, or a famous rock star. I get it, the book needs to actually be interesting and maybe I’m being pessimistic, but that’s just not the way things would go for your average person, right?

All in all, I would still recommend this book, but I’d warn you to not expect something as philosophical as I did.