In Which I Play Catch Up
From the back cover:
“In 1752, Sarah Carrier Chapman, weak with infirmity, writes a letter to her granddaughter, revealing the secret she has closely guarded for six decades… Her story begins more than a year before the Salem witch trials, when nine-year-old Sarah and her family arrive in a New England community already gripped by superstition and fear. As they witness neighbor pitted against neighbor, friend against friend, hysteria escalates – until more than two hundred men, women, and children have been swept into prison. Among them is Sarah’s mother, Martha Carrier. In an attempt to protect her children, martha asks Sarah to commit an act of heresy – a lie that will most surely condemn Martha even as it will save her daughter.”
I was really, really looking forward to reading The Heretic’s Daughter. It had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time, and every time I looked at it I thought “Oooh that is going to be a good one.” It started off promising, nice and creepy-like. But then nothing happened. For about 150 pages, there was calmness and an abundance of hints of BAD THINGS to come. I think all these hints were supposed build suspense, but the drawn-out-ness of it made me wonder if I would even care when the BAD THINGS finally happened. I came so very close to putting down the book and never picking it up again.
However, then the BAD THINGS happened and I felt bad for being so flippant about them. Because these were truly bad, real life things that happened to so many innocent people. I was hooked during the last half of the book, but the first half nearly prevented me from ever experiencing it.
My rating: 7/10
I’m not going to bother with a description for this one. Let’s just chat about a few thoughts I had on it. I wasn’t as disappointed in Mockingjay as others seem to have been. I think if I would have read Catching Fire shortly beforehand, I would have been expecting action all over the place from the get go. As it was, the details of Catching Fire had slipped from my mind since reading it in April and now coming off of The Heretic’s Daughter, my expectation for action wasn’t particularly high.
It’s been a few weeks since I finished Mockingjay and my overall impression of it now is that it was bleak. All these characters had gone through some pretty awful things, and awful things just kept happening. Would a Happily Ever After really have been realistic? As for the Gale/Peeta debate, I feel that neither team won, as not one of them, not even Katniss, was the same person they were in the first two books.
Overall I did enjoy the book (even if the end left me a slight wreck), but it wasn’t as fantastic as the first two in the trilogy.
When Hercule Poirot’s own dentist, Henry Morley, is found dead from a gun shot wound, the official verdict is that he has killed himself; a verdict apparently supported when it appears that he has given one of his patients a fatal overdose of anaesthetic. Poirot suspects, however, that there is more to the case than there first appears, and soon events confirm his worst suspicions.
This was my first Agatha Christie, and it definitely did not disappoint. I loved how the “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” nursery rhyme played into the plot. I loved the banter between Poirot and Chief Inspector Japp. Poirot himself was such a fantastic character, I want to read all the Christie novels featuring him as the detective. And the whodunit mystery? Yeah, Christie had me guessing throughout the book.
Agatha Christie is one of those authors with such a huge catalogue that it can seem impossible to know where to start. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe was a completely random choice, but it was definite a good one.
My rating: 8/10
*Contains spoilers from The Knife of Never Letting Go*
From the author’s website:
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor’s new order.
But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer?
And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode…
The Ask and the Answer is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure.
Oh goodness, this book was so good. Todd and Viola are by far one of my favourite literary couples. Their sweet happiness at their first reunion in TAatA, their dedication to each other throughout the book. All so wonderful without getting all YA-typical mushy and dependent.
I loved The Knife of Never Letting Go slightly more that this one, but it still captivated me. So much so that I read it all in two days. I loved that we got to hear Viola’s side of the story and I hope that continues in the third book, Monsters of Men. Speaking of MoM, why hasn’t my library started lending it out yet?? That Patrick Ness and his cliffhangers. I need MoM, like, last week.
I borrowed this and TKoNLG from the library, but I definitely want to own copies of them one day. They’re just filled with so much awesome that they require rereads and sharing.
In that case, maybe I’ll just buy Monsters of Men…
My rating: 8.5/10
Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge 17/25