November 25, 2021

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #27 Krystal Sutherland, Rebecca Mahoney, April Genevieve Tucholke et al.


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 reviews - no such luck LOL (though for anthologies, shorter books or books that I didn't enjoy/I don't have enough to say about, I decided to stick to minis). But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, I might as well give you the short version 😉. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random!

Note: all the mini blurbs (in italics) are of my own creation.

November 16, 2021

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Do Authors/Narrators' Actions, Political Beliefs, Etc. Impact Your View of Their Work?


Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly meme created by Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings in order to discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging (and some slightly more personal matters throw in for good measure). While Heidi is on an extended hiatus, there are five of us who are hosting it and providing the questions. The current team is composed of Berls at Because Reading Is Better Than Real LifeJen at That's What I'm Talking AboutKaren at For What It's WorthLinda at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell and Roberta at Offbeat YA. This week's question is...

DO AUTHORS/NARRATORS' ACTIONS, POLITICAL BELIEFS, ETC. IMPACT YOUR VIEW OF THEIR WORK?

Oh God, yes. So much yes. I can make allowances for small missteps and on-the-fence behaviours/opinions, and if someone genuinely tries to do better after realising they hurt someone else with their statements or actions. But I will only put my money where my mouth is, and support progressive (or at least non-harmful) creators, as opposed to others who aren't, whether or not their political/social views are reflected by their work. That's not to say I've never liked problematic content in my life (or been blind to it), and maybe I'll do it again to an extent, but I'm striving to make conscious and informed decisions when I consume books (or any media). 

November 11, 2021

Louis Greenberg: "Exposure" (ARC Review)

Title: Exposure [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: None
Author: Louis Greenberg [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Thriller/Mystery, Afterlife
Year: 2021
Age: 14+ (I shelved it as Adult because of the characters' age, but it can be read by teens)
Stars: 4/5
Pros: Original and haunting. Exquisitely written.
Cons: Instalove premise. The story takes a different turn than one anticipates, and albeit smart and poignant, it ultimately doesn't do the main character justice.
Will appeal to: Those who like mind games, spiritually wounded/doomed characters with a bit of a saviour complex, and an eerie quality in their books.

Blurb: In a Britain akin to this one, Vincent Rice falls off a ladder, literally at Petra Orff’s feet. They introduce themselves, and immigrant Petra senses a kindred spirit in Vincent’s complex sense of home. He offers to take her to Metamuse, an alternative theatre experience like no other that he won tickets to in a competition he doesn’t remember entering. The first show leaves them besotted with each other; the second is far more disturbing. Inexplicable occurrences pile on top of one another, all connected to the mysterious Metamuse. Only Petra can see the web of sinister coincidences surrounding them both and, with injustices both past and present weighing on her mind, she begins to wonder if Metamuse is more than just a show… (Amazon)

Review: First off...DISCLAIMER: I requested this title on NetGalley. Thanks to Titan Books for providing a temporary ecopy. This didn't influence my review in any way.

LOVE, DEATH AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN

While deciding to request/buy a book - any book - is always a shot in the dark, even when there are reviews or excerpts available (which was not the case here), I have to admit I took a wilder chance than my average when picking this one. The blurb was pretty straightforward in hinting at an instant connection between the main character and a mysterious "falling man", and I usually try to stay away from books where the romantic plot is a main ingredient, especially when instalove is involved...but this one sounded really up my alley, especially since the Goodreads blurb (slightly different from the NetGalley/Amazon one) had a line about "Unquiet dead [who] seem to be reaching into the world to protest injustices both past and present". Now THAT got my attention - along with the ominous Metamuse of course.
Now I'm really glad I decided to request Exposure, because I ultimately got a spooky, disquieting, overall unique story where the romance - if integral to it - went hand in hand with themes such as family, social identity (Petra is a half South-African, half English immigrant; Vincent - while UK born and bred - is of Malawian descent), one-of-a-kind psychological manipulation, and of course death (and/or un-death). I wasn't familiar with immersive theatre or "autoteatro", but I loved how it was incorporated into the plot (both via Petra's experiences and journalist Rose's first-hand reports), and I enjoyed the spine-chilling twist Greenberg managed to put on it. I also found the writing exquisite without being flowery, and the characterisation and sense of place pretty strong. [...]