Book Reviews

Asking For It Book Review

“They are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I am a liar until I am proven honest.”

Louise O’Neill – Asking For It
3/5 stars

I stumbled across this novel on Tik Tok late one evening and was intrigued by the heavy topic. I bought and downloaded the e-book and stayed up late, finished about 60% of it, and then finished the rest when I woke up. I have a lot of thoughts about this book, so keep reading and find out if this is something you’d like to read or not!

Trigger Warnings for this book: rape, attempted suicide, self-harm, bullying

Synopsis (no spoilers)

Emma is a beautiful, confident 18 year old that all the boys pine after. Being your typical teen, Emma and her friends head to a party one evening. Drinking and mischief ensues. Suddenly, it’s the next morning and Emma wakes up on her front porch. She doesn’t know how she got there, what happened last night, or why she is currently in a bunch of pain. Pulling out her phone, she notices she has A LOT of Facebook notifications. There are explicitly detailed pictures of her that were taken the night before and now everyone knows what she got into at the party. Even with photo evidence, people don’t believe what happened that night and Emma has to battle with her peers, her family, her home town, the country of Ireland, and her own soul.

My Thoughts

Writing:

  • I was not a fan of the writing style of this author. I struggled a lot following the story because there was a lack of transitions. I almost DNFed this book 3 times within the first 30 pages. There were a lot of times, after that, that I wanted to stop reading. However, I felt strongly about the topic and was invested in that, not the writing.
  • I struggled forming ‘relationships’ with the characters because of the writing. Sometimes I felt like I was reading someone’s drunk diary entries and I wasn’t able to grasp concepts of the character’s personalities. I managed to understand the main character and a few of her friends, but it was very difficult.

Characters:

  • I knew very little about the characters going into the book, but I absolutely could not stand the main character, Emma. She was unlikable, a terrible friend, and at times, cruel. Her mother was also a terrible person. She was all about appearance and the status-quo; dress to impress type of woman.
  • Emma’s friends were also all over the place. I think I liked Maggie the most, but again, it was hard for me to get a feel for them because of the writing styles.

Plot:

  • The plot was definitely realistic and something that, unfortunately, happens all to often to young women and young men. Emma was raped at a party and, even with photo evidence, people used her persona to try and say she was asking for it. This is the case too many times and it’s ridiculous. Some of the details were very explicit and were hard to read, but they were real. All I could think was “this has happened to someone, maybe even someone I know, and I can’t imagine how they feel that no one believes them…especially when all the signs are right in their faces.” My heart did go out for Emma, because no one deserves what she went through. I do think that O’Neill handled a hard topic to write about very well.
  • The ending was not the ending I wanted, but again, it was an ending that so many people have experienced. We don’t live in a perfect world where a case like this will <always> be solved and everything will resume for the victim. So, kudos to O’Neill for giving us a realistic ending and not one that we wanted.

Overall

  • In the end, this book was a heavy hitter, but for me, the writing made it difficult for me to feel its impact. I wanted so much to understand the situations that are happening day by day, but I struggled. I also can see how this book could be very triggering for someone that has gone through this experience themselves. I hope if anyone is wishing to read this book, reads someone’s review before hand, even if it’s just to see trigger warnings. Mental health is SO important, and it’s easy to lose ourselves, in good and bad ways, when we read books.

Let me know your thoughts if you’ve read this book. I’m interested to see what other people think of the writing and content!

You can purchase Asking For it here!

Book Reviews

The Whisper Man Book Review

Book Title: The Whisper Man by Alex North

If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken. If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home. If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass. If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.

Alex North – the Whisper Man
Rating: 4/5 Stars

I stumbled across The Whisper Man when scrolling through an Instagram tag one night and was very excited by the synopsis. I ended up finding it at my local used bookstore and decided that it would be my first read of that haul. I was not disappointed! It is a great thriller and will keep you turning the pages!

Brief Synopsis (no spoilers)

Tom Kennedy and his son, Jake, move to Featherbank to start fresh after the unexpected death of Mrs. Kennedy. The town seems wonderful, but 20 years ago there were a series young boys that were kidnapped and murdered by, you guessed it, the Whisper Man. The Whisper Man, Frank Carter, was caught and is living the rest of his life in jail. Fast forward to today, and another boy has gone missing, under the same circumstances as 20 years prior. After the move Jake begins acting unusually, talking about things he shouldn’t know about and talking to things that don’t exist. Then, he starts to hear whispering outside his window. Is the Whisper Man back or does he have an accomplice? Detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis are on the move to figure out the mystery before another boy goes missing.

My Thoughts (in no particular order)

Characters:

  • Jake reminded me a lot of Danny from The Shining. His personality, things he did, and just some of the situations he was in seemed very similar. Kids are C R E E P Y and he added to the chill factor of this book. Jake is a VERY intelligent six year old and in some cases, I thought it was a little unrealistic.
  • I would have loved to see more of the antagonist of the story. He was creepy in the best ways and reminded me a lot of Hannibal Lector. He was cunning, charismatic, and a pain in the butt to get information out of. I loved him! His prodige was interesting as well, but I feel like we didn’t get to hear from him as much until the end, and then it was a bit rushed.
  • There’s an imaginary friend character that I was creeped out by at first, and then you learn some really weird information about her, and I kind of loved her after that. She was still creepy as hell though.
  • Tom, Jake’s father, was a basic dad, that could have really used some “How to be a Dad for Dummies” book. His wife died, as stated in the synopsis, and he was just a wreck after that, as he had every right to be. However, he still had a kid to care for and wasn’t doing, in my opinion, that fabulous of a job. I didn’t hate Tom, but I didn’t love him either.
  • The rest of the characters played their parts well and there were a few unexpected twists thrown in the mix!

Setting:

  • I would have LOVED to have seen more about the house that Tom and Jake moved into. The town called it the “scary house” and Tom and Jake both had moments of “this house is really weird and gives off creepy vibes”. The house is a huge part, for me anyway, of the story and I would have liked a little more description of the layout. North gives some descriptors of the house to just get to the point, but more would have built up the house, as a character, more.
  • The town of Featherbank seemed endearing enough. It was the typical small town where everyone knows the whole town’s business. Nothing to complain about from that perspective!

Writing:

  • I found the writing in this book to be something I’ve never experienced before. The whole book was written in third person EXCEPT for Tom’s perspective, which was written in first person. I struggle, in general, with reading third person writing. I think it’s harder for me to envision the characters doing what they’re supposed to be because it’s not blatantly saying “I did this” or “I said this”. However, in this particular situation, I thought it was cool how the book was formatted and it didn’t distract me too much!
  • I think I missed where the Featherbank is geographically, but Tom kept calling Jake “mate” and it bothered me for some reason. That’s just a silly nitpicky thing from me, though!
  • I appreciated the length of the chapters. They weren’t overly long and I didn’t feel like I was dragging through the story.
  • North was good at building the suspense and made me want to keep turning the pages, some of the sentence structures had me wondering what was happening (but I’m not a pro at writing so who am I to say?).
  • North also did a phenomenal job bringing past and present together in the chapters. It didn’t feel choppy or jumpy, but rather it was smooth and fitting.

Overall

  • I really enjoyed this book. I would find myself getting angry when something major would happen and then the POV would change to a different character and I’d have to wait to find out what’s happening. I enjoyed North’s writing style and thought the plot was pretty cool. The ending I feel was a bit rushed and would have liked to have seen more with some of the characters and situations there, but other than that, the story was well paced. I recommend this book if you want a nice thriller; it definitely had me creeped out at some parts! Again….kids will FOREVER be creepy in stories like this and I LOVE every second of it!

Purchase The Whisper Man here!