Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! You all probably know about my obsession with increasing my NetGalley feedback ratio and having the best statistics for my NetGalley account. I really want to reduce the amount of unread ARCs in my shelf, and so I made my own personal week-long readathon to do that.
Here is the full post of my NetGalley updates – my first thoughts on NetGalley as a newbie; and an updated post of my thoughts after almost a year of being a NetGalley user. Additionally you can always check out my TBR for last week’s readathon here.
Let’s talk in-depth about the books I read!
The Valley by Steve Hawke
Unfortunately this book was the case of requesting something that looked good and that I’ve heard a little bit about in the internet but it being entirely different from what I expected. When I read the first chapter I was like, “What the heck is this book actually about?!?!” after further reading I found out that it is a historical fiction spanning three generations located in rural Australia and focuses on race, family and all those other family dramas.
Though I did find the topic quite interesting, for me the writing wasn’t very engaging and the amount of characters in the book really puzzled me. By the 20% mark I still couldn’t tell apart most of the characters, and the fact that each chapter jumps from different timelines (and also the confusing fact that sometimes there are characters with more than one name – one English name and another in their local language) reduced the enjoyment of the book for me.
Eventually I decided to DNF this book after attempting to read it for a day. It’s unfortunately not for me. It might be a good movie to watch, though.
We, The Jury by Robert Rotstein
This book was AWESOME. When I was younger I loved reading through my mom’s John Grisham paperbacks and learning about law and trials and attorneys. For years now I haven’t picked up any legal thrillers, but when I started this I was so mesmerised and just fell back in love with the nuance and themes of criminal justice. This story focuses on the jury of a famous case in a small town. A husband is accused of killing his wife in their home with an axe, while the husband pleas for self-defence, claiming that his wife has been harassing him and torturing him mentally for years.
The point of view darts throughout the novel from the judge, the various juries, and many others, and it’s such an interesting way to tell the story. Instead of focusing more on only the jury’s considerations, or the trial itself (which wasn’t much told chronologically in the book), or asking us readers to form an opinion whether the man is guilty or not, we see many different aspects of the case – we see the diminishing mental state of the judge since the loss of her husband, we observe a famous reporter trying to cover the phenomenal story, we see a glimpse into a clergyman who was a jury and has a dark past. It all combines in the jury deliberation room, and while we also hear about these people’s stories, we also get slowly informed about the case itself, and what the people thought about it.
It’s such a compelling read, and a great thriller. It’s far from fast-paced, or full of action or murder and blood. It’s not a whodunnit story, and does not have huge plot twists either. But for some reason I just kept reading and highly enjoyed every page of it. The ending was spectacular, but for me the best parts were the middle where we slowly get to know all the characters.
Overall, if you like legal thrillers you should definitely give this a try. And I think it is also perfect for people who are not used to reading courtroom fiction and intimidated by all its phrases and unknown procedures, because in this book the story and the people are the focus instead of the trial itself. Additionally this book isn’t as long as a mass-market paperback by John Grisham so it’s a great stepping stone for those of you interested. But all in all, I highly recommend this awesome book.
The Birthday by Carol Wyer
I still haven’t finished this book yet (only 18% into the story) and I regretfully say that the last few days of the readathon has been pretty meh, with me being a little lazy to read even though I had all the time in the world. During Christmas day of course I didn’t have time to read, but the 26th and 27th was basically filled with me lazying around, watching Youtube and playing with my friends instead of reading.
However this book, which starts with the strange disappearance of a young girl in a birthday party, is quite your typical detective mystery and is quite fun to read so far. We follow the detective who is our main character, with a dark past and a passion to find the killer of this missing girl, a couple of years after her disappearance, when her remains are found. So far nothing much has happened yet, but I’m positive I can finish this by the end of the month, so watch out for a review of the book in my monthly wrap up of this December.
Overall I’m quite happy with my NetGalley progress for this readathon. I finished one book and DNF-ed another, while additionally in the beginning of another. I managed to push myself to read more in the first half of the readathon, but that energy has slowly decreased in the last couple of days of the week. However it’s a nice way to improve my NetGalley TBR, and now I’ll be browsing through available ARCs to request and dig myself in a deeper hole.
Until next time guys, thank you for reading this post and happy holidays!