I've been working my way through a huge stack of books lately, in a bid to catch up with new releases and make my TBR pile a little more manageable. Over the next few weeks I'm going to be featuring groups of 100 word reviews of the books I've been reading. This post is concentrating on In Darkness, Scarlet and Torn.
Published: January 2012, Bloomsbury
100 word review: First of all I just want to mention how beautiful the finished hardcover of this book is. It’s got a lovely finish and it looks gorgeous in real life. Onto the important stuff, however, and the inside of the book is just a great as the outside.
Lake has told that wonderful story with In Darkness and although it’s not my usual read at all, I really did enjoy it. It’s always nice to change things up and read outside my comfort zone and I think this one carries definite crossover appeal.
There were a few Haitian words I had to Google to find out their meanings but I loved this, it brought a great sense of authenticity to the story but the book wasn’t so loaded with these words that it took away from my enjoyment.
The ending, oh my, the ending! Well, predictably, I finished the book with tears streaming down my cheeks and proceeded to complete my double bill of wailing by watching Hotel Rwanda as soon as I finished In Darkness. Not a good idea unless you fancy dehydration through crying.
Scarlet – A. C. Gaughen
Published: June 2012, Bloomsbury
100 word review: As we all know, retellings have recently become a huge trend in the YA market. I am a fan of good retellings but so many that I’ve read this year have disappointed me. Scarlet, however, did not disappoint and I really did enjoy it. Even more impressive is that this is a debut novel – hooray!
This book’s strength is in Scarlet’s narrative voice, which is brilliant. It doesn’t falter once throughout the book and it’s clear Gaughen has spent so much time getting to know her protagonist. The first few pages were enough to make me really care about Scarlet, which is all I need to continue with a book.
Torn – David Massey
Published: August 2012, Chicken House
100 word review: Similarly to In Darkness, Torn is not the sort of contemporary I usually read. My most common read is contemporary of the more light-hearted persuasion but I was intrigued by this premise as I haven’t read much fiction based on the war in Afghanistan. The only other one I can think of is An Act of Love by Alan Gibbons, which is a very different story from Torn.
Massey definitely sets the scene very well and I felt immersed in the situation throughout the story. Ellie is a great heroine, tough but realistically distraught at times by her surroundings. Despite my initial worries I did actually come to like the love story in Torn. At first I wasn’t sure and it felt a bit…off for a romance to develop but as the book went on I did enjoy it more and more and I thought the ending was perfect. Hopeful but not too Hollywood.