Emojiathon

REVIEW: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The babysitter cancelled last minute and Anne and Marco’s neighbour didn’t want their dinner party interrupted by a crying baby. So they leave her at home. They’re just next door, they have the baby monitor and will go and check on her every half hour, she’ll be fine. But it’s not fine. And when Anne’s desperately searching their too quiet house she comes to the dreadful realisation her baby is gone. Her baby is gone, the police are in her home and who knows what they will uncover…

The Couple Next Door is a gripping and twisty mystery. You never quite know where it’s going to go next as these characters lives very quickly start to unravel and more and more secrets and lies come to the surface. There’s tensions between Marco and his in-laws, Anne feels guilty and blames her husband for the fact they left baby Cora on her own and the press is out to get the family for the perceived neglect of their daughter.

I really felt for both Anne and Marco. Their whole world’s been turned inside out and the desperation and confusion they feel over their missing child really comes through in the writing. They are both unreliable narrators, Anne especially, which adds to the uncertainty both you as the reader feels while trying to piece everything together as well as the detectives looking into Cora’s kidnapping.

I feel like the writing in The Couple Next Door wasn’t the greatest but it was a compelling story that often had surprises and revelations at the end of each chapter which helped make it a very quick read. Sometimes the twists did seem a little far-fetched but as it was such a quick and enjoyable read I didn’t really mind too much.

The Couple Next Door is a good mystery thriller that leaves so many breadcrumbs for the reader to figure out the mystery but there’s so many unexpected revelations that I never did figure it out till the book actually wanted me to. 4/5.

Advertisements

READ THE WORLD – Russia: Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky

It’s 2033, the world is ruined and humanity is almost extinct. Possibly the last of the worlds survivors live in Moscow’s Metro system. There they’re safe from radiation in the city above and societies have formed across the metro system and its many stations. Artyom lives in VDNKh, the north most inhabited station on its line, life there is good, until the station becomes endangered by outside forces. Artyom is given the task to traverse the complex metro system to search for help and to warn every one of the new threat bearing down on his native station, and the whole Metro.

Metro 2033 is an interesting story. It’s quite slow to start with as there is a lot of world-building to do. Each of the different train stations in the Metro have become their own mini society, some have become Communist, some are Fascist while many others have their own capitalist democracy. It’s interesting to see what life’s like underground and how it differs from station to station. It wasn’t till I was about halfway through the book and I felt that I had a fairly good understanding that the story picked up speed.

The whole book is quite exposition heavy really and in some ways, it reminded me of American Gods by Neil Gaiman – both are quite slow reads, with a lot of world-building and main characters who seem to go from A to B without being an active participant in the situations they’re in. That being said, I felt Artyom was a character who actually reacted to the mad and dangerous situations he found himself in and, as the story progressed, he became more proactive and confident in his decision making and abilities.

The people Artyom meets on his journey are all very different. My favourites were those who are old enough to remember life outside the Metro, and everyday normal life in the cities. There memories were often rose-tinted but it was good to see Artyom compare it to what he knows as he was only a toddler when everyone had to hide out in the tunnels. It was those moments where you really got the dystopian aspect of the novel.

Metro 2033 also has horror and sci-fi elements as there’s rumours of creatures who have been mutated by the radiation, lurking on the surface and readying themselves to enter the tunnels. There are some passages on Metro 2033 that are generally creepy and unsettling as Artyom traverses the dark tunnel between stations. There’s some eerie stuff in Metro 2033 but it doesn’t always pay off which is regrettable.

This is the first book in a trilogy and it does leave things on a cliff-hanger. Unfortunately, there was no real build up to the “big reveal” so instead of a plot twist you could’ve figured out yourself, it’s more of a huge surprise. I think I will pick up the rest of the series at some point as I’m intrigued to see what happens next but Metro 2033 didn’t pull me in enough from the start to make me super eager to continue. 3/5.

My EMOJIATHON TBR

I hadn’t heard about the Emojiathon till I saw Alyssa at PucksandPaperbacks post her TBR and it’s a super cool month long readathon. It’s hosted by DylanTheReader5, NayaReadsandSmiles and MickeyBetweenThePages and runs throughout June and there’s lots of different challenges for you to try and complete. You can find out more about the twitter sprints that are going to be held over the month on the @emojiathon Twitter account and here is a list of the challenges – the main goal is to complete four challenges but there’s no real limit.

Now, as I always say with my readathon TBR’s, I like to have some choice so I have tried to find a book for every challenge. So, without further ado here’s my TBR.

Read a book that was gifted to you: Filmish by Edward Ross
This was sent to me by Ellie for the last round of the NinjaBookSwap, it’s a graphic novel all about the history of film and I’ve been looking forward to reading it for ages.

Read a thriller or horror: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
This is a recent buy and sounds like a thriller with a missing child and the mother not knowing who to trust.

 

Read a futuristic/sci-fi book: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid and/or Saga Volume Six by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples
I started The Diabolic at the end of last year and got half way through it, then put it down and never picked it up again. I can remember a lot about it so hopefully I’ll be able to start from where I left off. I love Saga so this should be no problem.

Read a book that takes place in a different country than your own: Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky
I’ve borrowed this off a workmate to read for my Read the World Project as it is set in Russia – it’s supposed to be a proper page-turner.

Read a book you’re annoyed at yourself because you haven’t read it yet: Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill
I’ve heard such great things about this book and can’t believe I haven’t read it yet.

Read a book in under 24 hours: The Trial of Lady Chatterley’s Lover by Sybille Bedford
This little book is only 80 pages’ love so it’s definitely an easy one to read in a day.

Read a book about a current event: Nasty Women
This is a collection of essays I backed on Kickstarter. All the essays are about what it is like to be a woman in the 21st century.

Read a book about a marginalized group: Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
The main character in this book is intersex and I’ve never read a book about that before.

 

That’s my TBR! Let me know if you’re taking part in the Emojiathon, I think it’s a clever and different kind of readathon compared to the ones I’ve taken part in before