What a great read! First thing first, the story arc is super. Great idea, great execution, the ups and downs are well-timed, and the MC is so relatable. You end up caring about Holly within the first chapter, about her struggles and the way she responds to them. Is she a bit naive sometimes? Of course *cough cough*. Is she able to overcome her fears and go through an excellent character growth? Yes. Color me satisfied.
So, Katie is your average lady: a husband, kids, a mediocre life, and an obsession with the Kennedys. Not so average, then. Katie’s life, her slow descent into madness is Ask Not’s main feature, and also the most poignant.
Let me start by stating that I love the idea behind this book. It’s cute, it’s funny, and it’s well-thought-out: Lindhurst grabs some tropes and builds a story around them, using them as a starting point rather than relying on them. The latter is the easy way out, but also the mark of a lazy author; the former is trickier, but also a chance to showcase an author’s writing skills. Well done!
A retelling of fairy tales is always a good challenge, both for the writer and the reader. The writer has to weave a story using key elements–recognizable elements–while adding enough spin to make it stand out; the reader has to step away from the original tale and suspend their disbelief in places while looking for hidden tropes.
Travel books are comfort books. They’re there to take you on a journey–always appreciated–and show you new places. Or, old places you can’t get enough of. Here We Are… on Route 66 belongs to the latter category. I think I read a decent chunk of Route 66-related books, and I’m still coming back for more: there are so many attractions, so many cool places, and signs.
Still, every now and again I happen upon a fantasy that waters my crops, clears my skin, and removes those twenty-odd years from my soul in zero point five. One page in and I’m that girl again, squeeing at world-building or raving about fantastic MCs.
Another book caught in the bottleneck—there are 5-6 of them, I think—and I’m sorry because Inside Your Japanese Garden deserves the highest praises. No one rated it on GoodReads yet, I mean, which. A crime, let me tell you.
So if you’re wondering why I’m reviewing books at a slower pace, here’s your answer, and Truly, Darkly, Deeply is one of those novels caught up in the bottleneck. Is it a bad thing? Well. Not really, because the delay made me realize something: I couldn’t remember the plot anymore less than a month after shelving it. If you’re grimacing right now, I wouldn’t blame you–alarm bells and the likes.
First thing first, Atomic is hilarious. I’m not talking about an open guffawing, belly-laughing kind of hilarious here, no; the humor is there, it’s often subtler than you’d expect it to be, but it’s well-executed regardless. Does said humor border on crass territory here and there? Sometimes. And it’s a good thing. A spade is a spade, and I appreciate a lot more someone willing to call it by its name rather than coating it with a PC layer.
Let me be as clear as possible here: Fu’s stronger point is her style. It’s beautiful, with a unique pacing and a rhythm that amazed me from start to finish. It’s lyrical, almost poetic, and yet precise. I mean, I can’t believe Peach Blossom Spring is her first novel: Fu proves to be a top-notch wordsmith already, achieving quality levels other authors can only dream of—yeah, even the more experienced ones.