The Guest List – Haley – Staff Review

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The novel takes place during a wedding weekend on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. Friends of the famous couple join together for what is to be a lavish event. Between the past experiences of the wedding party, the alcohol and the ominous storm setting in, the wedding becomes anything but festive. After a body is found dead, the wedding turns into a nightmare.

I was not a fan of the book at all. I found the characters of the wedding party to be dislikeable and was not vested in their story. A few of the weaves of the tangled storyline web were too far fetched to make the overall novel realistic. While I have enjoyed other novels by Lucy Foley, this one is better left on the shelf.

2 stars

The Second Home – Staff Review – Haley

The Second Home by Christina Clancy

The Second Home is the debut novel for author Christina Clancy. The story of the Gordon family jumps between the time periods of 1999 to 2015, as well as switching from their home in Wisconsin to their summer house on Cape Cod. The majority of the novel follows the three Gordon siblings Ann, Poppy, and Michael, told during their teenage years and in their thirties.

While initially this may be considered a beach read given the setting in Wellfleet, MA and the focus on the house itself, as you delve deeper into the book it reveals itself to be a dark family saga. The plot line was good, however the characters reactions to the events seemed unrealistic and left me not connecting to the story or invested in the characters. The most enjoyment from the book was its imagery of Wellfleet and the Cape.

3 stars

Midnight Sun – Staff Review – Haley

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

Midnight Sun is the companion novel to the book Twilight told through the perspective of Edward Cullen, the protagonist vampire.

Fifteen years ago, as a young woman in my mid twenties, I first read Twilight and was hooked from the first page. Twilight was the first pop culture novel of vampire/human romance that most people had ever read, myself included. In 2008, chapters of Midnight Sun were leaked on the internet, much to the satisfaction of fans, who devoured the love story told by Edward. After 12 years, the Midnight Sun novel was released this month in it’s entirety. Having been a fan back in the mid 2000’s I was keen to rejoin these characters and their world.

Well, a lot can change in 15 years and I was bored from the get go. Even knowing the story-line would be much the same as Twilight, it was just too similar. I felt the author did not include enough unique perspective as Edward to keep the reader entertained. More than halfway through the 658 pages I kept wondering, “When is this going to get good?” Perhaps it is because Meyers pioneered the way for what is now an over saturated market, there isn’t any fresh appeal to include in the novel. Or perhaps, as a woman now starting my forties, it just no longer interests me. I am sure there are many fans of the series who would disagree, but I had hoped for more.

2 stars

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – Staff Review – Haley

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes By Suzanne Collins

This prequel to the Hunger Games Trilogy, Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows eighteen year old Coriolanus Snow in the dystopian world of Panam during the time of the 10th Hunger Games.

This book, unlike the trilogy, is not action driven but rather a philosophical look at the choices of morality, politics, and power the main characters make in regards to their world. While I can see why many thought it was a slow read, I very much enjoyed learning the history which created the Panam and President Snow I am familiar with as a fan of the Hunger Games books. Collins did a wonderful job of showing readers how society and the choices we are forced to make can ultimately shape who we can become as an individual.

4 Stars