Cleaning up the backlog means it’s two-in-one today, on which ‘two’ stands for ‘a couple of impressive photography books’. The topics couldn’t be any more different: one is about gardens and the other features theatres; nature and architecture are maybe on the opposite side of the spectrum, but I think they can complement each other in a beautiful way.
Not sure I already mentioned it, but writing short stories is a hard and often thankless job. Each story needs to be small, concise, and to the point, with interesting characters and clever plots; in a way, it takes more skill to produce them than a single book.
So, without further ado, I’ve got to say that Summer at the French Café is a peculiar one. It’s well-written, even if a bit slow here and there, and with an interesting pair of MCs. Kat and Noah have good inner voices, and they’re quite fun to follow along; maybe they should be a little more proactive though, less–less ‘life is steamrolling all over me’, but that’s a matter of personal tastes.
Jaye, however, did a tremendous job here. Her writing style is poignant yet delicate, crafting The Attic Child with slow, sure strokes. Every word has been chosen with care and delivered with a strength that leaves you staggering. Staggering while asking for more.
What a great read! First thing first, the story arc is super. Great idea, great execution, the ups and downs are well-timed, and the MC is so relatable. You end up caring about Holly within the first chapter, about her struggles and the way she responds to them. Is she a bit naive sometimes? Of course *cough cough*. Is she able to overcome her fears and go through an excellent character growth? Yes. Color me satisfied.
So, Katie is your average lady: a husband, kids, a mediocre life, and an obsession with the Kennedys. Not so average, then. Katie’s life, her slow descent into madness is Ask Not’s main feature, and also the most poignant.
Let me start by stating that I love the idea behind this book. It’s cute, it’s funny, and it’s well-thought-out: Lindhurst grabs some tropes and builds a story around them, using them as a starting point rather than relying on them. The latter is the easy way out, but also the mark of a lazy author; the former is trickier, but also a chance to showcase an author’s writing skills. Well done!
A retelling of fairy tales is always a good challenge, both for the writer and the reader. The writer has to weave a story using key elements–recognizable elements–while adding enough spin to make it stand out; the reader has to step away from the original tale and suspend their disbelief in places while looking for hidden tropes.
Still, every now and again I happen upon a fantasy that waters my crops, clears my skin, and removes those twenty-odd years from my soul in zero point five. One page in and I’m that girl again, squeeing at world-building or raving about fantastic MCs.
Another book caught in the bottleneck—there are 5-6 of them, I think—and I’m sorry because Inside Your Japanese Garden deserves the highest praises. No one rated it on GoodReads yet, I mean, which. A crime, let me tell you.