I may have only recently started this blog, and I may have only posted a small number of posts, but I feel that I already want to add something more to my page. I got thinking and I came to the conclusion of book reviews. As you may or may not know I am currently an English Literature student, therefore I find myself reading countless books for my course as well as reading my own choice novels. I decided then that this would be the perfect idea to keep me writing, keep me posting, keep you all informed on what I have been reading and also in turn inspire or introduce others to read. Reviewing books is not something which I have often put my hand to. I was once asked to review a novel for the teen magazine ‘Sugar’ when I was about 13/14 using only 100 words, this was something I failed at miserably! I just write and write and write. Therefore I feel this is a great place to write reviews as the logistics are all down to me. I am hoping this little venture will enable me not only to share my reading experiences but also improve my abilities in this style of writing. A challenge though is going to be talking about the book but not actually talking about the book. I.e discussing the novel but attempting to not give anything away which may lesson a reader’s suspense. With this in mind I am just going to dive right in…
I have just recently finished reading I Let You Go, the debut novel and Sunday Times bestseller by Clare Mackintosh. The novel was ‘the fastest selling title by a new crime writer in 2015’ (http://claremackintosh.com/clare-mackintosh-about/). Naturally I had high standards. It is not often that an author’s first novel does so amazingly! Crime and Thriller fiction is actually something which I have only just recently discovered. Having caught up in the excitement of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train I have become a lover of this genre of fiction. Like others that enjoy this genre of writing, I love the suspense, the plot twists, and how gripped I get when I am reading the story. I often have to force myself to take a break just to lengthen the experience of reading such a novel.
I admit I am terrible. The saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ is universally used, yet what do I do? I always judge a book by its cover. Granted the saying usually is not used to refer to an actual book. The concept though is there. I feel if the book cover does not talk to me and intrigue me then the story won’t either – And I know this is silly. I could and more than likely am missing out on some great pieces of work, but I cannot stop myself. When it came to I Let You Go the novels cover is something which excited me. The image used from a company credited as ‘Arcangel’ spoke to my ‘I need to know more’ side. I just couldn’t help but to envisage somebody solemnly looking out of the window to a bleak, cold, rainy day. Something which you automatically associate with a person feeling down, and i just couldn’t help but wonder why and what was going on. The accompanying butterfly I also found interesting because butterflies are meant to represent new life, change and joy, which contrasted greatly to the surrounding image. So from the get go I was excited to delve into Mackintosh’s story.
The novel itself I can only describe as amazing. It is fast-paced, intense and complete with numerous twists that I did not see coming. The little bits of writing on the front of the book and the blurb on the reverse initially tell us that the story is likely to revolve around a ‘tragic accident’. Usually I tend to try and guess what happens at the end of novels whilst I am reading them. However I gave up doing this whilst reading I Let You Go. This was because when I thought I had a grip on where the story was taking me Mackintosh would seem to throw in another twist. Thus I don’t believe I would have ever come to the conclusions that this novel presents. Which is fantastic! As it can sometimes be disheartening when you have the story all sussed out.
Another great thing about this novel for me was how much I reacted to it. The chapters of the novel tend to change perspectives to enable the reader a more rounded story. However one of these perspectives towards the end of the novel began to infuriate me. It was definitely a struggle to read as I just wanted to hit the character. Although I found myself developing this great hate for one of Mackintosh’s characters I couldn’t help but find myself loving the character at the same time. It was a pretty great addition to the novel and I applaud Mackintosh’s ability to write a character which produces such great emotions from a reader.
Thus this is a novel that I would highly recommend anybody reading! Whether you’re interested in crime novels or not this is a page turner for anyone which will shock you right up until the last pages!