I’ve had an obsession with reading and books since I was little. I’ve read many books back to back but have also gone stretches of time without reading any new books. Lately, I’ve found it easier to pick up a new book and (hopefully) get interested in a new story. I thought I’d find a way to spend a little more time with the books when I’m done.
The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett
I had just finished reading Hallett’s The Appeal and thoroughly enjoyed the page turner so I was eager to get into her next book. The Twyford Code is written as an audio transcript, which I knew about before delving in, but I was less thrilled about it the more I read. The Appeal was a collection of mostly emails and texts, which made it a really fun read. I was able to follow the story quite well and could tell each of the characters apart. The Twyford Code’s narration was from the perspective of an unreliable narrator. The story went back and forth between the narrator’s present day and the past. It was a tad annoying trying to put together a cohesive picture in my head. Not only that, but the audio transcription was also accent heavy, which I greatly dislike. I enjoy hearing different accents, but hate having to read them written exactly how they’re pronounced. I don’t know if I’m in the minority in that regard, but it really interrupts the flow when I read to have to figure out what word was said.
Hallett wrote a unique story. The mystery unravels for the reader and the narrator at the same time. Without giving away too much, I would say it’s a story about finding the truth, but the truth is not what you want it to be. Personally, the truth wasn’t really all that satisfying. I’d give it a 2.5, maybe 3/5. Decent story, bad format. I don’t feel like reading it was a waste of time but it’s not one I would ever see myself reading again. I’d keep reading Hallett’s stories, but might find myself staying away from audio transcriptions with accents.
If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
I stayed up till who-knows-what time of night finishing this book. It was 10pm and I wanted to get a bit of reading in before bed. I had 150 pages left, then 100, then just 70. I couldn’t put the book down until it was over and I was a bit disappointed that it was over! The story follows a close-knit group of theater students in their senior year of university, setting the stage for what would be the rest of their lives. It had bold personalities, dramatic reactions, and some frustrating events. But college was a dramatic time of life and they had to make decisions that they would live with forever. I think I recall thinking of the impact of everything I did in that time period of my life. The characters were immensely relatable and it was easy to understand why they did what they did or thought what they thought.
Oh and we’re also talking about a murder mystery. This book did a great job of telling multiple perspectives and weaving them together to show the whole story. I remember that every question I had along the way slowly got answered and I loved that the story felt complete. It had a lot of Shakespeare, though, more than my liking. All of it was still very relevant to the story; it was characters’ own language. I’d give this one a solid 4/5. It was a great story about love, loss, jealousy, and sacrifice. I also greatly enjoyed that it was wrapped up in a murder mystery and that made for an even more exciting read.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Am I late to the show with this one? It’s been out for a few years, but I’ve been seeing it everywhere lately thanks to the new show. I managed to snag a copy from my library. It took me a bit of time to get into it but once I got going, I was hooked. The choice of narration was interesting. This story is told as an accumulation of interviews—think documentary. I read somewhere that this made for a much better audiobook, but I pushed ahead with reading. It was very easy to follow and picture the events that were being retold. Reid gave a great overview of rock and roll in the 70s, and I was all for it.
I enjoyed this story so much that immediately after finishing the book, I got started on watching the short series. Every character was believable. I could feel every emotion they shared. I recall reading a review before I got started on the book that said something along the lines of “At the end, I just wanted the all the characters to be happy.” I felt the same way. There were so many ups and downs throughout the whole story and I wanted everything to be happy and for it all to be over (in the good way). I can understand why this book got as popular as it did. 4/5 from me! I’m very glad I jumped on the hype train for this one!
So what’s next? I’ve still got the reading bug. My To-Read list is growing rapidly. I’m currently reading Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party in anticipation of the upcoming movie.