Top critical review
Good but not mind blowing
on 5 September 2017
I read this for my book club and I have to say I was really looking forward to it. There was so much hype around this book that I was massively intrigued. I also loved the idea of the pictures and it has to be said that the look of the book is great. Having said that, it is really hard to read such a hyped book with an open mind. Will the book ever live up to expectations? Also reviewing a YA novel as a 36 year old is also quite tricky. Without a doubt my 14,15,16 year old self would have loved it.
My 14 year old self would have loved the photos. Would have thought they were absolutely amazing. 36 year old me is slightly more cynical. It seems a little paint by numbers. Briggs describes a character and the next page is a picture of said character. So far so good. Unfortunately it gets a bit silly when you see a photo of some silly squiggles which are then described as Horace’a premonition. The same as the photo of the girl smoking a pipe and peeling potatoes. Really???? Did Briggs just find these photos and think ‘yup, I’ll just chuck ’em in the book.’
Sometimes I’d find a new photo that just demanded to be included in the story, and I’d find a way of working it in; other times I’d look for a certain type of photo to fit a story idea I had.
I started questioning what the book would be like without the pictures?? This is slightly unfair as the pictures are a massive part of the book. Nevertheless, I don’t think the story alone is that impressive. All in all, I did enjoy it but I wasn’t blown away.
Should I read the other 2 in the trilogy????