May 01, 2019

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #12 Lauren Karcz, Rin Chupeco, Amelinda Bérubé


Intro


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps 😊. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long review - no such luck LOL. But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, or in case I want to draw attention to some old ones I've already reviewed, I might as well give you the short version 😉. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random! So, here goes...


★★★★

Rated 4.5 really.

An atmospheric, magical read about art, family, friendship and love, with a strong coming-of-age bone. The magical realism angle is fresh and exquisite, but the teen experience feels grounded and authentic all the same, and they perfectly intertwine. The ending is open enough to feel like life (and art), and hopeful enough to make you feel these girls will be OK - whatever that will mean. Maybe forever unfinished, but in the way that makes you search for the meaning of life (and art) and never cease to create beauty, whether on a canvas, with a fingerboard, or with your life.

Full (and hopefully less vague) review to come. (Goodreads pre-review)

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

★★★★

A fresh take on a Japanese trope, that relies on atmosphere more than on graphic horror - and since TGFTW has plenty of the latter, that's saying something. The writing has a eerie and detached quality that goes perfectly with the narrator. Chupeco crafts a monster girl/human boy relationship that isn't a romance (thank goodness), nor quite a friendship, and here's the deal: she doesn't fall into the trap of humanising her 300 y.o. ghost character, but manages to make her understandable, and even relatable to an extent. Additional kudos for the brave (if a bit foolhardy) female supporting character and the surprise ending.

Full review to come. (Goodreads pre-review)

The Dark Beneath the Ice by Amelinda Bérubé

★★★

As spooky and frantic as this is, it left me wanting more in the supernatural department - something fresher, maybe (though a couple of the incidents are interesting, to say the least - and there's probably something to be said for classic spooks). But the ultimate cause/direction where the story goes makes up for that, and provides a satisfactory (if disquieting) social commentary. I felt like the divorce drama was a bit too over the top, but then again, I suppose it couldn't have been otherwise, since Marianne's mother problems go above and beyond that. Bonus points for the author's sensitive handling of the coming-into-one's-sexuality theme.

Full review to come.
(Goodreads pre-review)

So, have you read/are you planning to read any of the above? And if you did, what did you think of them? Do you post mini reviews? Do you like to read them?

16 comments:

  1. The Girl from the Well looks like girl from The Ring. Any similarities between the two? I'm not a fan of scary horror books, so that one probably wouldn't be for me, haha. I really like the cover for The Dark Beneath the Ice! I'm also glad the author handles sensitive topics well. Love the minis! <3

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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    1. I haven't seen The Ring, but the other reviews on GR mention it. I think it inspired the series (or its first installment at least) somehow.

      Thank you!

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  2. Minis!! You know I LOVE them lol

    The Gallery of Unfinished Girls is one I've had my eye on for awhile.

    http://offbeat-ya.blogspot.com/

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    1. It's VERY good. I probably failed at letting people know what it's really about, but it's just one of those books. I hope to do better when I write a full review eventually!

      Um...you posted my blog link instead of yours LOL. At least I know fully well where to find you! 😉 Though I can't blog-hop these days due to my broken modem. I'm still taking advantage of my workstation, but of course it's not the same 😥.

      Delete
  3. GOOD MORNING ROBERTA I AM IMPLODING ON YOUR DAY WITH CAPS AND A COMMENT (but of course). You got me all excited for a second thinking HEY ROBERTA READ THE BONE WITCH MAYBE but nope, not at all, though I've got to admit I'm planning on reading The Girl from the Well EVENTUALLY, just not now. And only because my pour soul is getting squished by other books.

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    1. Awww, yeah, that poor soul of yours. What a pity 😜.

      It's actually afternoon, because I still have no connection at home, and I came to work WELL BEFORE MY TIME in order to steal some internet. But I appreciate your imploding at any hour 😘.

      The Bone Witch...eh...I'm so wary of high fantasy, you know that. I know you loved that series, but you are a fantasy fan, which I'm not.

      Delete
  4. I'm really looking forward to reading The Gallery of Unfinished Girls once it's out in paperback. And you already know I love the other two! Sorry to hear The Dark Beneath the Ice wasn't more to your liking though. I had high hopes for it.

    There are definitely similarities to TGFTW and The Ring since they both deal with the ghosts of girls who died in wells and are pulling from Japanese urban legends. Like most things though, they have extremely different vibes/agendas. (And the American film, naturally, has no POC to be found anywhere. It's also two or three times removed from its source material. 😂)

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    1. I'm sure you will love Gallery!

      Ha, so The Ring was...predatory? Why am I not surprised 🙄. At least the series is #ownvoices...

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    2. A lot of American horror remakes are, yeah. They pay zero homage to their source material. That's one of the things I love about this duology! It's #ownvoices with actual Japanese culture and characters.

      Incidentally, my horror group is reading it this month, and they don't seem impressed. I don't understand. 😕 I don't think they care about representation or ghost POV/mythology or the film-like horror sequences--all the things I think make this novel really cool. The consensus seems to be that it's not entertaining enough.

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    3. It's weird. I mean, maybe they're just jaded, but you have read/watched lots of horror and you aren't...

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  5. I am pretty sure I have a copy of Gallery, and I may have to pick it up one of these days, even if you hint at a bit of an open ending (hate those).

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    1. Not an open-open ending...it's more like, you get a feel of what will come next, but it's not spelled out. It's a hopeful ending, no worries! 😉

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  6. I was just thinking that your Gallery review is uncharacteristically vague when you mentioned it yourself ahahaha. You still managed to pique my interest though! I actually started TGFW sometime back but never got around to it again- the writing didn't really appeal to me, I'm not sure why but maybe it has something to with what you mentioned about the horror being more atmospheric than graphic. I'm not the biggest fan of horror but I think I do prefer graphic more. Pity the Dark Beneath the Ice didn't work better for you!

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    1. LOL, you know me so well.

      It's interesting that you would choose graphic horror over atmospheric. I thought it would be easier to like the non-graphic stuff when one isn't into horror.

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  7. I'm sad to see you didn't love The Dark Beneath the Ice - though three stars is not necessary a BAD rating, I know. That was one of my most awaited novels last year, but when I read a preview of it on Amazon, it really didn't impress me. :| The writing felt unpolished and the story did not grab my attention at all. I think your mini review has just convinced me it is not for me. As you know, I DNF-ed The Girl from the Well, but I'm happy you enjoyed it! I'm still interested in The Gallery of Unfinished Girls, and will hopefully get to it one day.

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    1. TDBTI was a bit underwhelming...especially compared to how promising and exciting it sounded. I hope you'll manage to read TGOUG one day because it's top-notch magical realism, and at the same time a great coming-of-age story that doesn't need the mandatory romance, and I have a feeling you would love it!

      Delete

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