This week I’ve been reading more ARCs to clear the decks before my surgery (currently brewing a cold so cross your fingers for me that it doesn’t get cancelled).
Here’s what I’ve read:
The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse
The Art of Hiding is a gripping story of what happens when Nina’s husband dies in an accident and her life falls apart around her. It hooked me in so hard, I finished it in two sittings. It is a hard hitting novel dealing with with very complex issues grief, poverty, priviledge and finding out everything you trusted was a lie and Amanda does this perfectly.
The book is so well written that it gives you all the feelings. It played to my fears as a parent (children growing too fast, not being able to give them the life they are used to, letting them down) and I felt all the emotions as if it were happening to me. Nina is such a relateable character that it’s hard not to identify with her and become invested in her story.
One to read for anyone who enjoys a heart-wrenching read!
Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren
Prisoner of Ice and Snow starts with Valour preparing to act on her secret plan- we have no idea what she is doing or why until it happens. This draws us into her story. When we discover Valour’s plan we realise she hasn’t thought it through particularly well, which adds tension and makes the reader root for her to suceed throughout the book.
After a while I found Valour a difficult character to like: she acts without thinking about the consequences of her actions on others, makes silly decisions, and jumps to conclusions quickly with little evidence. She switched allegiances so quickly at points that it made my head spin and I struggled to follow her thought processes. I admired her determination and loyalty to her sister and felt invested in their safety, but otherwise found Valour very frustrating. It’s impossible to know which other characters can be trusted in the novel: we kmow very little about them and their motivations, and because of this I found it hard to relate to any of them or be invested in what happened to them.
Prisoner of Ice and Snow is very much a plot-driven novel with a swift pace that keeps the reader’s interest, although at times it felt a little clumsy and I found some of the ‘twists’ to be very predictable. The descriptions of the scenery are beautiful and contrast starkly with the horror of the actions in the book. Personally, I’d have liked a little more characterisation: I wanted to know what motivated the characters and how they came to be where they are.
I felt the ending lost a little of the excitement of the events immediately preceeding it, but I’m intrigued enough that I am looking forward to the sequel.
Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean
Peter Pan in Scarlet is the official sequel to the original story by J.M. Barrie. I’ve had this on my shelf since I heard about it at university, so it’s probably the oldest unread book on my TBR pile. I’ve no idea why it’s stayed there so long, but now I’ve read it I’m pleased Cora chose it for me as part of our August “unhaulathon”.
The lost boys and Wendy are all grown-up when they start dreaming dreaming of Neverland and waking to find strange objects in their beds. So naturally, they head back to Neverland where they embark upon a new adventure.
Peter Pan in Scarlet has all the hallmarks of a great children’s adventure although it assumes knowledge of the original and I feel it wouldn’t make sense if you hadn’t read that first. It is fast-paced and plot-driven, as you would expect from this kind of novel, and there is a great twist to the story that adds another dimension to the story.
If you enjoyed the original, you will enjoy this.
What have you been reading this week?