Yes, we know it’s almost the end of March. And yes, we know that this post is a wrap up of our February reading challenge. But as they say, better late than never.
Read a book set in a beach town / near the ocean
What book did you read and did you enjoy it?
Dre: I read Nation by Terry Pratchett. I did enjoy it.
Dee: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Did enjoy it, but probably for the wrong reasons.
What were some of your favourite things about the book?
Dre: This book is definitely something that I wouldn’t pick up in a bookstore in a whim, which is why I was really glad that I enjoyed it. I liked how the two main characters, Mau and Daphne, couldn’t actually communicate with each other verbally because they didn’t understand each other’s languages because then I got to read so much of Pratchett’s fantastic descriptive writing. There were so many issues going on at once in this book, from religion to coming of age, but it was all packaged really nicely and never felt overwhelming.
Dee: The setting. I enjoyed how the beach town setting in My Life Next Door exhibits itself in mundane ways. From time to time, the character would remind the reader that she lives by the sea through descriptions of the smell of the ocean, or the way the wind comes in from the shore. These little reminders are what engrossed me into experiencing the summertime shared by the characters.
What about your least favourites?
Dre: I don’t mind reading cliches but some of the things in this book were just a bit too hard to believe. For example, when it turned out that everyone who was in line for the throne before Daphne (almost 10 people, mind you) ended up dying of disease and she suddenly becomes the ruler of England. What? I’m all for happy endings, the characters definitely deserved them after all that they’ve gone through, but this was just a little too much.
Dee: The shallowness of the characters was what I disliked from this book. I think it has to do with the fact that this book is a standalone, hence I could not experience character the development the way I would with a series. Well, the characters did develop throughout the story, but everything felt a bit too rushed than I would’ve liked.
How did the book stand out to you and would you recommend it to anyone?
Dre: It stood out to me because the setting, both the actual island and the time that it was in, wasn’t something that I’ve seen in any of the books I’ve read before which was a great experience to read. I wouldn’t know exactly who to recommend this book to. But I will say that if you decide to give it a try I’m sure you won’t regret it.
Dee: I picked up this book because I wanted to feel mushy and soft. With this in mind, I would recommend My Life Next Door as a light read for when you’re feeling sappy, lonely, and desperately wanting to imagine that he or she is out there.
With April around the corner, look out for our April CRC prompt and once again feel free to join us!