41. The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood
Readathon category: A book from a bookstore you usually don’t shop
Bought from Waterstones, London. It is an awesome book physically, also signed by Margaret Atwood.
I am so happy it is so pretty on the outside. Because the inside was completely disappointing.
The beginning was very good: in a slightly dystopian USA, where many people are unemployed and there is looting and violence, a young suburban-type couple are forced to live in their car. Until they see an add offering them a new life.
They get to live in a nice house in a nice city and have nice jobs. But every other month, they will spend it in prison. Everyone in the city does that and supposedly it will keep the crime rates low. The prison is pleasant too, since there are no real criminals there.
(that’s why I am wearing orange pj’s)
So much potential in that story.
But after that part, the book is immediately destroyed. Once the couple is in the city, we fast forward to one year later (without any description of the city, do they have any friends?), pages and pages are spent on sex games. Then suddenly, the author realizes she must wrap up her story. She chooses some super-cliche reasons to make this city and its creators “evil”. After that there is some action and some rushed moral questions that don’t really fit the original story idea.
And the characters: the woman is just insane. She needs to do some serious psychotherapy or something, that is not how a normal person thinks. Plus in the last part of the book, her parts are extremely boring, I had to skip through in order to reach the more adventurous parts of the man’s story. The man is also nothing special. Are they supposed to love each other? Because I did not get that at all. It felt like they got married, so that means they should kind of care about each other, but surely there is no love, it is just a contract: someone said we are a couple, so we should care if the other one is alive and just spend our days together.
I get so annoyed when I think how much she could have done with this story. How the city would gradually start breaking down when people started finding it unfair to be in prison one month, how others would start stealing since there would be no consequences etc.
It really felt as if the author started writing this book with many good ideas. Then she got blocked. The deadline was close. She started writing some sex plots, that always makes a book interesting, right? And then just finishing it up with some cliche evil. And many different kinds of evil stuff, one was not enough, she had to put everything that came into her mind to make the town look evil. I am sorry, but after page 60 or something, it looks like she just rushed to finish the book.
Anyway, I give it 2.5 stars because I liked the beginning and I liked some parts here and there.
And I guess mostly because it is the prettiest book in my library at the moment.
⭐ ⭐ 1/2
42. Audition, by Ruy Murakami
Readathon category: A book written by an asian author
So disappointed… I liked In the miso soup by Ruy Murakami, creepy and sick. I knew Audition is also a famous movie. But I was so disappointed. Nothing happens! A widow wants to remarry and holds an audition for a movie in order to choose his new wife. He immediately chooses one and in the last 15 pages it turns out she is a psycho. No atmosphere at all.
I give it 3 stars just for being japanese and for the cover.
(Don’t judge a book by its cover is being proved twice already)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐
43. Ice Twins, by S.K. Tremayne
Readathon category: A book that takes place somewhere you always wanted to travel
The book takes place on a tiny island in Scotland. The story was very intriguing: two twin girls, one dies in an accident. One year after her death, the other twin starts claiming that she is the one they think died. In the meantime the parents decide to move from London to their own tiny island near a village in Scotland.
Family drama, a psychological thriller that unfolds nicely. I did not like the explanation in the end that much, but still I enjoyed the book. I would not go as far as calling it creepy, but there was an unsettling atmosphere that spooked me towards the end. That child was definitely spooky.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
44. …καλά, εσύ σκοτώθηκες νωρίς, by Sylvain Ricard, Ντανιέλ Καζανάβ , Χρόνης Μίσσιος , Μυρτώ Ράις
Readathon category: A book written by an author you discovered this year
This year I learned about Hronis Missios and his book “…καλά, εσύ σκοτώθηκες νωρίς”, where he talks about his life. His life that was sent in prison an exile from when he was 16 years old. 20 years wasted because he was a communist. How stupid was the world back then… (still is, but for different reasons).
I didn’t read the actual book. This is a graphic novel based on that. The art is very good. I feel like the actual book will be better, it doesn’t look like a graphic novel is the best medium for this story. However, it is a very nice job and it is making the story famous. I will try to read the actual book soon.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
45. Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent
Readathon category: A book written by an author from Oceania
The story takes place in Iceland, in 1829. The story is about a woman that is charged with murder and waits to be executed. Since there were no prisons in Iceland (they were sending their prisoners to Copenhagen, but they wanted to make this execution in Iceland), she has to stay with a local family until the execution day. A young priest is helping her prepare mentally for her death.
The setup is amazing. Cold Iceland, where you have to work all the time just to feed yourself. The story unravels on just the right rhythm. The characters are interesting, mainly Agnes (the main character), the man that died and the woman in whose house Agnes is staying. I would like to see some more analysis on the daughters, but then the book would be huge. I liked it a lot and that always means extra when the book takes place on a year that doesn’t start with 19XX.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2