“The Women in the Walls” Amy Lukavics | Spoiler-Free Review.

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Rating: 1/5 stars

Trigger warnings: Self-harm, suicide

Overall Summary: Compelling and refreshing paranormal horror, but lacks depth and creativity

Hello fellow blog readers – it’s been a while. Today I wanted to review a book kindly sent to  me by the beautiful people over at Simon & Schuster, in exchange for an honest review. As you can see from my rating, this wasn’t a favourite for me. However, I’d like to share the aspects that I did enjoy concerning the novel, as well as the issues that I had with the story.

“Women in the Walls” by Amy Lukavics – Synopsis (as of Goodreads):

Lucy Acosta’s mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They’re inseparable—a family.  
When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she’s ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother’s voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin’s sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.

So, starting off with aspects that I enjoyed about the book. I can definitely say that towards the beginning half of the book I was highly intrigued as to the progression of the plot and read on in anticipation. I found the overall premise of the story to be extremely appealing (and CREEPY), and it wasn’t until around halfway through the novel that I lost this interest. Also, this was a really quick read, so I’d definitely recommend Women in the Walls if you’re trying to fill up your readathon TBRs.

Another aspect that I admired with the book was the whole horror-esque genre. It is so very rarely that I come across YA novels that actually delve into the horror genre, and it was somewhat refreshing coming across a story that wasn’t afraid of some genuine gore. Let me give you a couple of illuminating examples:

  • People are killed and stuffed into walls
  • People are killed and served as food

Whilst I enjoyed the gore + creep factors of the story, I definitely feel as though it was far too grotesque. Perhaps some readers could like this, but personally even as a horror movie fan, the descriptions could go way overboard to the point where I felt physically sick and wondered at the sanity of the author(?)

One of the main issues that I had with Women in the Walls was its approach to self-harm and mental health as a whole. I would like to recommend that the print edition of the story should have some type of trigger warning for those initially picking up the book, as its detailing can be quite extensive and may affect some readers. As an avid reader of mental health YA, I feel the need to criticise the way in which the author approached self-harm. The protagonist’s acts of self-harm are thoroughly detailed, yet her motivations and mental struggles with the issue are never elaborated on, leaving this aspect detached from the overall arch of the story, whilst possibly offending audiences.

My primary issue with the story, however, remains the writing style. Though it was initially an aspect that I attempted to overlook, the blatant immaturity and lack of creativity in the text was cliche and made continuing with the book difficult, despite a somewhat intriguing plot-line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Thanks for the Trouble” | Book Review (Spoiler-Free)

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Rating: 2.5/5 stars

Hello Oh My Blog readers! It’s been a while. Today I have decided to post a review for Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach, which was released earlier this year and was kindly sent to me by the lovely people over at Simon & Schuster. (Thank you!) This book was really interesting in the sense that it was quite a cliche read, but it was also quite odd and quirky in a way that made it somewhat unique. Whilst it wasn’t my favorite book that I’d ever read and I did think it was quite monotone at times, there were certainly some aspects of the novel that I appreciated.

Synopsis:

Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.

Personally, I found this book to be quite difficult to get into, and it actually ended up taking me a month to read, though I blame that more on my eternal reading slump. When I decide to make time to read this book and push through the slump, it only took me several hours to read, so if you’re looking for a lightweight, quick read, I would definitely recommend this book. In terms of what I found most intriguing about this book, I wasn’t particularly thrilled about any certain aspect, but I did quite enjoy the end. While I personally didn’t fully feel captivated by this novel, it was certainly interesting reading a story with a very steady pace throughout, and resulted in a regulated tempo without any parts of the story flatlining.

An aspect of this story that I personally found to be quite irritating was the introduction and portrayal of the female lead, Zelda. This book quite heavily utilised the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” cliche that we see from characters like Paper Town‘s Margo Roth Spiegalman, a trope that to me has always felt very overused in Young Adult literature. While I did enjoy and was intrigued by Zelda’s bravery and how outspoken she was, I couldn’t help but feel annoyed by her obvious attitude that she as superior to others. This does actually tie in with the magical realism evident in this book, another aspect that I was somewhat curious about. I went into this book expecting a fluffy contemporary read, and I instead received a quirky teen romance with a very slight hint of fantasy (I guess??). That was definitely a pleasant surprise, even though I don’t quite understand the entire storyline, as I feel the writing was quite vague. However, I could still recognise Tommy Wallach’s unique writing style coming through from his debut novel We All Looked Up (which I LOVED by the way, my review is here: https://ohmyblogyouguys.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/we-all-looked-up-by-tommy-wallach-spoiler-free-review/), I certainly feel as if this book wasn’t as strong as his original novel.

(POTENTIAL/VAGUE  SPOILERS? Personally something I don’t consider significant enough to be a spoiler, but it’s certainly up to your discretion) Something I found really interesting about this book was the fact that it was written in the style of a college application essay, which wasn’t really revealed until the end of the story. I wasn’t expecting it whatsoever, and it certainly helped me to understand the manner in which the book was written – this book’s writing style was unlike anything I’d ever read before, and though I wasn’t necessarily a massive fan of it, it was definitely an interesting read. I really admire the author’s bravery in choosing such an uncommon and unheard of way in which to create a YA novel, and I really admire reading something a little different.

All in all, I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for something quick and a little out-there, but still enjoyable. I personally would rate this book a 2.5/5 stars, but I’m sure there are many of you that would enjoy this novel! And definitely don’t forget to check out Tommy Wallach’s debut We All Looked Up, which I was a massive fan of 🙂

Get the book here: http://books.simonandschuster.com/Thanks-for-the-Trouble/Tommy-Wallach/9781481418805