Taking a Peek at the Woman in the Window

woman in the windowMy first glimpse of the Woman in the Window was in a wonderful review over at Steph’s Novel Fiction. Her beautiful description and the hints of Hitchcock in the story instantly made me intrigued…  and I’m glad it did! When I did finally check this out I wasn’t disappointed. While I was drawn to it because of the allusion to Rear Window, the movie references were not limited to a single movie. To Hitchcock and beyond! *Ahem* Bad joke (no there aren’t actually Toy Story references 😉 ) Throughout the book, there were clever and insightful connections made to films.

What I loved about that was how it connected to the main character’s view of the world- regarding herself as if she were in a classic movie. Of course she was slightly unreliable, but it wasn’t that she was deliberately dishonest, so much as she was lying to herself. Her sadness pervaded the novel. And the truth behind it was tragic and desperate. Admittedly, this twist was a little obvious- however it didn’t detract from the plot as a whole.

Overall, the mysteries were slow building and well developed. Beneath the distinctly gorgeous writing style, there were whispers of secrets hidden in every corner. Rather cleverly, the first few days held only short entries, giving a stronger sense of incoherence- yet as time went on, the fragments grew longer, and the tension grew. For a moment, I thought I had all the answers and was almost disappointed with the ending. And then BAM- the curtains came up and everything was revealed. Let’s just say I was far from disappointed with what I saw.

Addictive from beginning to end, the only downside there was to this book was that I made the rookie mistake of reading it before bed.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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So have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

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Trying His Bloody Project: A Case in Monkey Business

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Order, order!

A brutal murder has been committed and Robert Macrae is guilty… or is he? Well, yes. There’s not actually much doubt about that. But that is not the heinous crime we are here to discuss. No, ladies and gentlemen, the book recounting this murder hereby stands accused of being a cracking good read.

*Murmurs in the gallery*

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Let’s call the prosecution to the stand, shall we…

Thank you your honour. What I personally found so compelling about His Bloody Project was how it was reminiscent of so many other great Scottish works. It was in the vein of Confessions of a Justified Sinner– atmospheric and layered. It held references to other works, most notably Ossian, famous for being a hoax, which not only dated the story, but also created a reminder not to trust the source material.

The opening frame really helped to set the scene and present this long-standing literary tradition. I particularly liked how it went on to present the tale through multiple lenses. All the different voices muddled together and created a compelling account. It was great to feel like I was piecing together all the clues as the details built up.

One of the most significant pieces of evidence was the parent’s story. The mother’s reputation allowed for uncanny elements to arise and gave the story an air of the gothic. The father, a never-had-it-so-good kind of man, was rough round the edges and reminded me of the patriarch in House with a Green Shutters. Notably, both men refused their sons an education and, more significantly, came to represent the hopelessness of being trodden underfoot by authority. His presence in the story added further to the haunting tones, particularly in the mirroring with his children, as doubling is always a popular technique in gothic literature.

However, the greatest point of interest was the protagonist and confirmed murderer. I observed a peculiarity in his nature- wavering between seeming incredibly guilty and remarkably innocent. His actions in his childhood denoted some savagery… but also a desire to protect and save. There were hints throughout of odd dealings- but nothing concrete. Indeed, it is a strange account, overladen with inconsistencies.

Very good, very good. Now, in the interest of fairness, let’s call the defence to the stand (which oddly enough is going to discuss the book’s flaws):

That said, by the end of the book, the only mystery remains was whether the crime was sexually motivated or revenge driven. Other than wondering who the primary victim was, there was little left upto the imagination. It was a pity in my view- it could have done with a tad more intrigue and questions left unanswered.

All in all, I find the defendant: guilty as charged. *Murmurs in the docks*. I hereby hand down the sentence of:

4/5 bananas

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Okay- so I hope you enjoyed my silliness! And have you been accosted by this book? What evidence can you bring to the table? Report to me in the comments!

Incoming: Simon Vs the Homosapien Agenda Rocked!

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Hello all,

As you might have guessed from the subject line, I really dug Simon Vs the Homosapien Agenda. Partly cos I’m a sucker for contemporary romance, partly cos I just love fun, quirky characters. Mostly though it’s cos OMG this story is remarkably cute and the mystery element worked so well!

For those of you that dot know, it’s the story of Simon Spier, who has a secret pen pal relationship with another boy in his school… and is be being blackmailed for it! And I have to say this grabbed me right from the opening line. I know I’ve been talking a lot about fave first lines recently and this just so happened to have all the perfect ingredients: it gives us the tone, the voice and the concept all in one. Plus it was pretty witty and that always helps 😉

The one downside I thought there was with the book was there were too many characters to keep track of. Plus, I wasn’t hugely keen on the sibling relationship, because they felt too different and disconnected.

That said, all the other characters really worked for me. Simon was *adorable*. And the friendships made a lot of sense. I even understood the blackmailer- he’s a dick, but his motivation made sense.

What else is there to say other than that the romance was swoonworthy? I defy anyone not to fall for this super sweet story. It’s a love story with oreos for goodness sakes! For that alone I would happily give it 4/5 bananas:

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I’m wondering who else has read it and if they’ve fallen in love with it as much as I have?

Love, Orangutan

PS I saw the movie and I liked it even more.

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Love simon email attachment

Hello all,

Me again. I know, I know, two emails in one day. It’s like I’m obsessed. But I couldn’t help it you guys! I just had to fill you in on the AWESOMENESS that is Love, Simon.

Everything Albertalli did translated so well to the big screen. It made me laugh more, cry more, and I was overwhelmed by the *cuteness overload*.

There were some changes to the book version- like cutting Simon’s sister Alice out- but I have to say they streamlined the plot and worked for me. Also, the movie allowed his friends to be more pissed at him for his actions, rather than just supportive, and oof that hit me in the feels even more.

Actually, the movie overall was more hardhitting. (Pretty obvious) spoilers here: him being outed is done in an even more emotional way in the movie. I was honestly a WRECK by the end of it. Especially with the beautiful individual moments with him mum and dad- cos ach my heart! I could barely take how much it moved me.

So yeah, watch the movie already if you haven’t. I know now for certain that I want every Albertalli book to be turned into a movie! Who thinks Hollywood will grant my request?

Love, Orangutan

PS: Just take my bananas already…

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Reply all in the comments…

The Burn for Burn Series Sparked Some Interest… And Then Went Up In Smoke

So full disclosure: I never had a massive burning desire to read these books. I guess I warmed up to the idea cos I’m a Han completionist and was curious about Siobhan Vivian’s books. And as you might be able to tell from the title, it started out well… buuut went totally downhill :/ Let’s see how it all began first though…

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Burn for Burn– I enjoyed Burn for Burn a lot more than I thought I would. The authors created some amazingly complex characters and an intriguing plot. I really appreciated the way the flashbacks built up a picture. However, at this stage in the series, I couldn’t understand why there was a supernatural element further into the book. It came across as a little weird, because it didn’t mesh well with the feel of the rest of the story. The ending was also a little spoilt by its Carrie like similarities. Still, it got me curious enough to keep reading. Overall, to my pleasant surprise, Burn for Burn was hot stuff.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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fire with fire

Fire with Fire– this had a great deal more hints of the paranormal elements than the first one. Even though this was my least favourite parts of the first, somehow it worked far better here and I was curious about where it was going. The atmosphere still wasn’t totally perfect for it, but I guess I find it easy to embrace the supernatural 😉 I did guess the twist- yet that wasn’t a bad thing. By this stage in this series, I definitely felt the books were *on fire*.

Rating: 4/5 bananas 

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ashes to ashes

Ashes to Ashes– from the outset, I knew this was going to be darker than the others. I still couldn’t be quite sure whether that would be a good thing or not- since it hadn’t necessarily worked with its predecessors. However, I was willing to be open minded, as I’d made it this far into the series. Yet- it let me down again. Again, I felt it was all tonally wrong and didn’t blend the contemporary thriller vibe with the paranormal genre all that well. It did prod my sympathies, especially with regard to Lilia, but ugh, that wasn’t enough to save this book. Because I wish that was the worst of it- because honestly I haven’t been this disappointed in an ending for a long time. I could see the banana rating plummeting as I read it. So *spoiler alert* for people interested in reading this series, cos I’m going to vent for here on out. I HATED the fact that Reeve’s redemption arc was unfulfilled. I know that he did something terrible as a kid… however he really tried to make amends and suffered the whole way through the series. I just felt like he could have caught some break. It also didn’t help that I had *zero* sympathy for Mary by the end and kept thinking “what kind of justice is this?!” And in case that wasn’t bad enough, Lilia ended up with the wrong boy. Sorry, but Alex is a typical “nice guy” and I found it frustrating that I was supposed to sympathise with him there. Sure, she let him love her cos she was selfish and rich, but she grew over the course of the series and this decision kind of undermined that growth. She should have been able to let him go (and he shouldn’t have continued to insist that he was right for her despite her rejecting him). And this is a big deal because it just felt like Lilia was being punished by the author’s choice here. Punished for the person she was at the start and not for who she became. Worst of all, she had already undergone enough heartache throughout the course of the story and didn’t deserve that conclusion. ARGH it was so frustrating to have that be how the series came to a close!! It was like all the air being let out of a whoopee cushion. So much build up- such a letdown.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

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So have you read this series? What did you think about it? And more importantly what did you think of that ending? Let me know in the comments!

 

Monthly Monkey Mini Review – November: A Slightly Spooky Selection

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I can’t believe I’ve only been back a month, cos a lot’s happened! I had an eventful October- I went to Mayerling, life drawing and read *a lot* more. Apart from the ballet, the highlight of the month was my sister’s birthday, when we went to something called Disco yoga- who knew that was a thing, right!?

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Anyway, I don’t imagine this month will be so eventful… cos in November I like to set aside more serious writing time before the holiday season. Now I never properly participate in Nanowrimo (national novel writing month), cos writing 50,000 words in a month isn’t me, BUT I do always feel more inspired at this time of year and like to set myself more challenging goals. That said, this month I’m gonna have less time and where I’m at in my WIP means it’s a bit more emotionally draining to get through. Plus, last year I set myself a target of writing 20 chapters and missed the target by 5. So, my goal is pretty loose (I literally picked a number out of thin air- like “ten, that’ll do right?”) and I’m more concerned about making sure I do some writing every day, since I got out of the habit in the summer.

What does this mean for the blog? Well hopefully nothing too drastic. Like I said, I’m not doing anything too intense. I am still playing catchup at the moment- I’m horribly, horribly behind on comments and bloghopping- but hoping to not fall even further behind (*fingers and toes crossed*). I do want to do a few lighter posts this month, but we’ll see.

Anyway, like I said, I did quite a bit more reading in October, so I have a fair number for mini reviews. And as it was October, a fair number were spooky:

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A Court of Frost and Starlight– starting with something atmospheric, but not remotely scary… The thing is I didn’t dislike this- I just wasn’t that excited by it. Mostly cos it felt completely unnecessary. There were a lot of recap elements- which took up loads of space- and seemed silly given it was a novella. And there wasn’t anything of real substance- there were no major changes or character development. If anything, in terms of the sisters Elain and Nesta, there was some character regression. On the plus side there were some lovely lines:

To the stars who listen… And the dreams who answered.”

“To the blessed darkness from which we are born and to which we shall return.”

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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one of us is lying

One of Us is Lying– the truth about One of Us is Lying is it was simply okay. The writing was alright. The characters were a bit too cardboard cut out to be interesting- despite the obvious attempt at subverting stereotypes. Some of the people in the story- like Addie’s mum- felt too much like cartoon characters. In terms of the plot, there were some cool twists and turns, however, I guessed quite a few of them because of the hints. As for the ending, you’ll have to *highlight for spoilers* I hated *Simon* so much and thought he had it coming- so I honestly wished that he hadn’t orchestrated the whole thing. The most irksome thing about the ending was the pointless split, because it felt like needless drama tagged on for no reason. Still, it went by fast and there were some nice details.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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girl of nightmares

Girl of Nightmares– well this felt a little directionless and less colourful than the first… until Anna was reintroduced in an explosive scene. It was a cool story- though it didn’t hold my attention the way the first one did. The pace did pick up eventually and I liked it overall. It just wasn’t as good as its predecessor.

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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forest of hands...

The Forest of Hands and Teeth– cool title, meh book. I liked the slightly cultish, religious, post-apocalyptic setting… and that’s it as far as the “likes” go. Cass, the protagonist, made very little sense to me and couldn’t fathom for the life of me why she had two boys chasing her. Yup- that’s right- there’s a love triangle. And not only is there a love triangle- it takes over. Yup again- this is the kind of story where survival against zombies takes the backseat to the mc’s love life. Ultimately, that’s not even the worst bit. Cos this committed the worst book sin of all: it bored me.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

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monstrumologist

Monstrumologist– I liked the frame narrative structure and the writing style seemed authentic for the narrator’s age. In fact, it was the strong sense of voice that got me through this. Cos other thann the good instances of foreshadowing and the graphic descriptions of the monsters, there wasn’t much else to write home about. However good it technically was, I simply couldn’t connect with the characters and that got in the way of me enjoying the book.

Rating: 2½/5 bananas

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city of ghosts

City of Ghosts– this was quick, well written and had an interesting premise… HOWEVER I had major issues with the way the setting was done. My main problem being that I’ve actually lived in Edinburgh and this didn’t make me feel like I was exploring the city. It was like the soul of the city I know so well was missing. So I realise this is completely subjective and I’m sorry for that cos I don’t think it’s a bad book by any stretch of the imagination- feel free to skip this section if you liked the book. For me though, this felt like a tourist shopping list: here’s South Bridge, ooh the Royal Mile, oh look it’s Greyfriar’s. Actually Greyfriar’s was one of the most glaring disappointments, since the way the story was retold didn’t move me in the slightest (when it should have done). None of this felt like capturing the spooky atmosphere- it was more like the sights were pinched by someone that had only taken a cursory glance at a map of the city. This was also jam packed with Harry Potter references- which just made me think “yeah, we get it, you like HP”. Side point: why do people always obsess over the HP toilet in the Elephant House when the chairs are shaped like elephants!! I also cringed at the “oh look the castle’s like Hogwarts”… erm the castle came first? Aside from my griping about how the place was represented, I also took issue with the way there was a stereotype of the snooty English schoolgirl… in Scotland. That’s just lazy. Since we’re on the subject of Lara- why do Brits in American books always say “we British”? Actually, now’s a good time for one last public service announcement: the whole “isn’t it funny that American English and British English is different” is banal. I know this is for children, but think explaining the difference between chips/fries, pants/trousers, and how to actually pronounce Edinburgh is cringey.

Phew- that got into quite the unintentional rant. I know it might not seem it cos of how disappointed I was with the setting, but I did actually enjoy large portions of the book. So as surprising as this may be, I gave it:

Rating: 3/5 bananas

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horrorstor

Horrorstor– I loved the premise for this. I appreciated the wry humour and pretentious furniture theme. Everything had a silly name- like Muskk and Arsel (my fave)- and came in uppity colours. Plus, the characters were well formed all things considered- I especially liked Basil cos we’ve all met someone who takes their job too seriously and acts like it’s a cult. It was clever to parallel the layout of the shop with a panopticon. Even better was inclusion of the Gruen Transfer concept- deliberately disorientating you to buy stuff- which is such a creeeeepy idea in its own right (goes to show furniture stores are freaky on their own? I’m not alone in this am I?) The scary aspects were so well done- the “products”, like the Kranjk, got creepier and creepier. Even thinking about it right now gives me the heebie jeebies. The only downside was the cliffhanger ending. Now I get why people disliked it, but it did make a certain sense to me. Ghost stories are good when they’re unresolved. That said, even I could have done with a tad more resolution. Also, apart from the killer concept, it didn’t feel too deep and was mostly all for scares. And in that department, it worked for me (though I do scare easily 😉 )

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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sorrows of young werther

The Sorrows of Young Werther– I first heard about this from Liis’ awesome review. Her recommendation made me want to check it out- and I’m glad I did! Now this is all about a character who is obsessed with a girl, but can’t have her and so kills himself. Sound melodramatic? It is. However as over the top as the narrator could be, it had some wonderful imagery. And I also thought of it as a very ahead of its time representation of someone with something like bipolar. I read the beginning as evidence of a manic episode and then watched him dissolve into a depressive state. And instead of reading it as a failed attempt at the redemptive power of love, I saw it as a take on how you can’t really be saved from mental illness. I reckon it’s pretty ahead of its time in that regard. In fact, I liked how the romance was done in general. Some might say that the love interest isn’t given a voice- especially since all she says is in reported speech- but I think that’s half the point. She’s the ideal his mind fixes on and this idea of obsessive love isn’t praiseworthy- it’s an aspect of the human condition and often something for the mc to overcome (much like the object of Eleanor Oliphant’s affections or Gatsby’s Daisy). At the same time, there’s something honest in his desire for her, being attracted to her cheerfulness- which shows that the object of our desire can often be for a quality we lack. I also liked how Werther was given moments of lucidity and even of selfishness- making him more than simply a caricature. I think one of the only pitfalls was how long the investigative ending was- I felt it could have summed up the events after the letters ended in quicker time. Other than that, I thought it was a worthwhile read.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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Wowee- that was a long one! Thanks for all those that stuck with it! So have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

What if it’s us: the showstopping contemporary romance!

*Received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

what if it's usIf you’re looking for a sweet contemporary romance, what’s better than a book by Becky Albertalli or a book by Adam Silvera? Well, *put your hands together* because here’s a book by both Albertalli and Silvera!

What I love about both authors is their ability to make me feel all the *feels*- and this book achieved that by the bucketload. From the promised meet cute, I got the impression that this story was going to be super, well, cute. Nay- ADORABLE! There was so many aww moments in this story I couldn’t keep count. All the way through, it made my insides squeeze cos of how sweet it was.

I also loved how quirky and funny it was. The quippy sense of humour and wit had me laughing out loud. And I appreciated the conversational writing style and particularity of the descriptions. It was so fun to get inside each of the main character’s heads.

Of course, this was super character led. Ben and Arthur were so well written that I felt like I was addressing them in my notes as if they were real people. Ben was a little bruised in the romance department, imaginative and somewhat oversensitive. Art- well, he was a little melodramatic, but as one of life’s melodramatic people, I related to him way too much. Actually, I also liked his slightly hyper personality, his spunk, his romantic nature and even got his immaturity. I swear that if Art were real, we’d be best friends 😉

What I liked about the story was how it dealt with romance after the two guys had come out. This wasn’t just another coming out and falling in love story- this was so much more than that. In fact, as previously mentioned, Ben had already been stung before. But that didn’t stop *the universe* bringing the characters together- and tearing them apart. What I liked was that both boys were looking for each other (which drew the line between it feeling stalkery on one side). And the detective work was fun (of course by the end of it I was squealing with glee- see what I meant about being overdramatic 😉 ) Ultimately, though, there were times when the relationship felt a little too tumultuous. And that brings us into the spoilery section…

While the falling in love part was done so well, I did feel like it felt too rocky, which made it hard for me to root for them throughout. As much as I loved the characters, it felt like they were both throwing unnecessary spanners in the works for the sake of drama. That said, what was great was that it didn’t give the typical ending. I spent a huge amount of time worrying that if they simply ended up together it wouldn’t feel totally right and if they didn’t the book would feel like a wasted opportunity… Somehow Albertalli and Silvera struck the perfect balance. The open ending was a stroke of brilliance, since it fitted with the theme of second chances and new beginnings. I liked that they got to throw destiny out of the equation and make their own story.

Okay, spoilers over. What was most surprising about the book was when Art’s friends got together, cos it felt a little out of place. And on the other end of the spectrum, I will admit that Dylan and his future wife did steal the show at some points. There were other “love interests”, like NY, Hamilton, Harry Potter and countless other pop culture references, which I was all over and really added a cool dimension to the story.

Overall, I was completely absorbed with this fun and romantic story- which is why I gave it:

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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Now I am actually a little late with this review, cos I thought it might be fun to share the fact that I went to a book talk at the Southbank Centre for this and got a signed copy!!

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And yes, the monkey is artfully helping me cover up my real name. Thanks monkey!

It was so fun to hear how collaborative the project was- and I especially loved hearing how Becky Albertalli wrote Arthur and Adam Silvera wrote Ben (I guessed correctly!) I really liked hearing how much of them was in each character, particularly cos I’d spent a lot of the book speculating about that!

Also exciting news, this has been optioned to be a movie!! Let’s hope Lin-Manuel Miranda gets to do the soundtrack (one can live and dream, right 😉 )

Okay, I’m going to shut up now. Have you read this book? Or anything else by these authors? Do you plan to? Let me know in the comments!

The Inner Workings of the Wasp Factory

the wasp factoryFor most of this book, I genuinely thought I had a winner on my hands. It was a fascinating, well written and cleverly constructed monologue from the perspective of a sadistic killer. I was absorbed by the slow reveal and revelled in the way it kept up suspense, right until the end. Most of all, I thought the voice was incredibly powerful and felt like I got a sense of what kind of beast we were dealing with from page one… I was wrong.

Perhaps part of it is that I’m conditioned by a lot of thrillers/horror type books to assume the worst of the murder-y protagonist and suspect the reliability of their narration. This particular character had all the hallmarks of evildom I’ve come to expect:

The lack of trust for other people, which hinted at some paranoia- check tick box

Hints at him lying to other characters and being less than trustworthy- check tick box

The fact that he *literally* kills people (and tortures insects for fun)- check tick box

I mean, it’s quite clear that the main character is not quite right in the head. He even has a Thanos moment, saying “I ought to redress the balance at least slightly”. His warped sense of guilt, due to the fact he claims to have liked most of his victims or felt sympathy for them, makes for an interesting insight into the workings of his mind. I also appreciated the way he often transferred the crime onto an inanimate object, like a balloon, in order to distance himself from his own actions. And yet at the same time, he’s clearly a cold-blooded killer, whose murders are premeditated and vicious. Like I said, this book seemed like it had all the ingredients to cook up a satisfying story about a villainous creep.

So what went wrong?

That mothereffing twist. The more I mull it over, the less it works. Spoilers up ahead, but making him a woman all along was far from the best resolution. At first, I thought, huh, this has interesting implications… and then I started to figure out what those implications were and I wasn’t happy. Primarily, because I got the sense from the ending that there was supposed to be some kind of message locked into this reveal and I couldn’t for the life of me figure it out. Was it trying to say that if you took a woman and forced them to be a man, they’d automatically become a murderer? Cos that’s effed up. I get that the main character is psychologically abused into thinking they’re a defective man the whole time, but that doesn’t exactly change the fact they’re a monster in their own right. Being a victim of his father’s evildoings also doesn’t exonerate her from all the shit she’s caused- and yet it’s implied that somehow this person can go on and live some sort of life in society now that this secret has been uncovered… riiiighhht. So whatever idea the author was trying to get across, it didn’t quite land for me (not even with the suddenly-adopted preachy tone employed at the last minute).

However, the reveal did play in a little to the psychological elements that had previously been threaded through the story. Instead of his misogyny, for instance, being down to easily justifiable (to the mc’s mind at least) reasons, there are deeper issues at play. Being taught to be evil ends up playing a greater role in the story, since the protagonist has literally been taught to hate their own gender by the father’s more subtle lessons (again, there’s somewhat of an issue with the implication that being raised male will automatically make you a little toxic). You could even say that symbolically the lead acts unwittingly to victimise other characters since they’ve been victimised unwittingly. It’s just that… the story didn’t require that kind of explanation. There was scope within the story to show that the character bullies because they have the power to take advantage of those weaker than them- not because there was genuinely a conspiracy against them all along. The explanation actually did very little to explain why the main character resorted to murdering their peers and takes away from any psychologically rewarding analysis.

Plus this plot twist actually causes some plot holes to spring from nowhere. Suddenly the fear of authority and Freudian distrust of the father figure are abandoned by the massive shift in the story. This unfortunately made the story feel incomplete- all the previously raised suggestions become a “neat” conclusion that didn’t actually answer a lot of questions. A lot of those subjects felt like pointless misdirection by the end.

*End of Spoiler Section*

It’s a pity, because before that it had all felt tight and brilliantly structured. I liked the non-chronological account. I thought the mc’s anger, darkness and raw resentfulness kinda worked. For the most part, it was a glimpse into the worst recesses of the human mind. The harshness of lines like “Children aren’t real people” clashed with inner decency and gave the character the potential to be one of literature’s villainous “greats”. Some parts were icky- the Eric thing is too much to even comment about- yet they provided a (in)decent backdrop for the narrative. But by trying to tie everything neatly up in a convenient bow, a lot of that was lost.

Clearly this book was not perfect and I didn’t quite feel that it came totally came together in the end. That said, the book had a great deal of merits, which prevented me from completely slashing the rating at that ending. The writing was of such a brilliant standard that most of the way through the book I thought it was easily worthy of 5 bananas. Furthermore, its position in the horror genre means that I can forgive it for not feeling all that realistic. Seeing it as more fantastical allows me to forgive it the somewhat nonsensical messaging. And on the positive side, I cannot stop thinking of its violent and pervasive imagery. The words of the text stand alone from the author’s ultimate intrusion into the story and there was real power behind a great deal of it. That’s why I gave it:

3½/5 bananas

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So have you read this? What did you think of it? What did you make of that ending? And for those of you that haven’t read it, what was the last book you read where the finale just boggled the mind? Let me know in the comments!