Saturday 16 February 2019

Try A Chapter: January Book Haul Edition

Hi, and thanks for stopping by.

I've done the Try A Chapter tag a couple of times before (selecting a few novels, reading the first chapter and deciding which one to read next based on that alone) but for my first of 2019, I decided to take it from my January purchases alone. Now, I'd already read The Wicked King by Holly Black because I couldn't possibly wait to read that, and I also read Black Enough back in January because I sped through my Unwrapping TBR so quickly. So only three remained...

A Curse So Dark & Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, The Curses by Laure Eve & Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus. 

Brigid Kemmerer’s A Curse So Dark and Lonely

Thoughts after Chapter One:

I absolutely love Brigid Kemmerer's contemporary YA, but this is my first time experiencing her fantasy writing. The opening chapter is pretty short and snappy, but I like that. I love the last few sentences; chilling & give that instant sense of cliffhanger. I like the sense of mystery and intrigue, how we are told of the horrible things that have happened, told that our protagonist is to blame, but given little other detail. It feels almost historical in a way, which I don't necessarily love.

Laure Eve’s The Curses

Thoughts after Chapter One:

Perhaps this book has an unfair advantage, because I did just read The Graces purposely, so that if this book's opening chapter won, I'd be all prepared and ready to read, with the details fresh in my mind. I'm really intrigued by reading Summer's narrative voice, because River's narrative in the first book annoyed me even more the second time around. Particularly because of the cliffhanger at the end of The Graces, I'm so intrigued to read this one...

Karen M. McManus’s Two Can Keep A Secret

Thoughts after Chapter One:

I think this was a great opening chapter. It did a good deal of exposition, both of the lives of its protagonists and also of the mystery at its centre, without it being too vague or too messy or too blatant. There were some great creepy moments, though; of course the gory reveal at the end of the chapter but also that chilling "Welcome to Echo Ridge".  Unfortunately though, this book is already kind of fighting a losing battle, because I'm so not in the mood for thrillers right now, but it was pretty exciting to be reading Karen M. McManus's writing again, because I loved her debut. 

So, which to pick?

In the end, I went for The Curses by Laure Eve

Thoughts after reading the entire novel?


I definitely enjoyed this book more than The Graces, mainly because, like I predicted, Summer's narrative voice was so much easier and more engaging to read. Summer also gave a softness to the world and the story and the characters; you got to know Fenrin and Thalia and their parents, for example, as actual individuals with flaws and pain, instead of as these idealised, perfect figures that River obsessed over. River herself, also, became so much more interesting, from Summer's perspective. I think her character development was well done and much needed. The other thing that I really enjoyed more about The Curses was the fact that it was SO much more witchy. I think that was something I felt was really vague in The Graces, sometimes missing entirely, so you didn't even really know if witches were real at all (I think that was probably the intention, but still); whereas here, in The Curses, things were a lot darker, a lot more explicitly magical and therefore a lot more interesting, to me. 

So that was the result of my Try A Chapter tag for February, using January's bookish purchases! I might make this a regular, monthly thing. Let me know if you've read any of these books and your (spoiler-free!) thoughts, by leaving a comment down below.

Till next time


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