Today I bring you some quickie thoughts on Louise Beech’s ‘Nothing Else‘ and ‘The Match‘ by Harlan Coben.
There is always massive anticipation and high expectations when a new Louise Beech book finds its way into your hands. She is such a remarkable author, who easily crosses genres back and forth and cannot be confined to just one “box” or label. You never really know what to expect when you start reading one of her books. But maybe my expectations were just a tad too high this time around and while I enjoyed some of Nothing Else, I’m sad to say I didn’t love it as I’ve done so many of Louise’s previous offerings.
I could really relate to the escapism music offers. Music has always been a big part of my life too and it’s definitely something I turn to when I’m sad or anxious, or just to make cleaning the house fun. For Heather and her sister it’s a way to drown out the sounds of an abusive father. As hard as those chapters set in the past were to read, they were also my favourite. These, I felt, were the ones where Louise Beech stood out as she normally does. But the present chapters failed to convince me. I didn’t particularly like Heather, nor could I understand why it took her so long to try and find out what happened to her sister. It didn’t feel like very much was happening and towards the end, it all felt a little too schmaltzy for me.
I do realise I set the bar impossibly high and I’m sure someone a lot less cold-hearted than myself will enjoy this novel a lot more than I did.
Out on April 23!
You can always count on Harlan Coben to take you on a thrilling ride and The Match does just that. You should definitely read The Boy in the Woods first. Sure, Coben gives you the headlines and you’ll get the big picture but if you really want to get a feel for the characters, you should listen to me.
There’s a lot going on in The Match, from reality tv “celebrities” to vigilantes to looking for relatives. All of it is rather thought-provoking at times as well. As a reality tv “celebrity”, how far are you wiling to go to hang on to your fifteen minutes of fame? The vigilantes are an anonymous bunch of people that go around punishing trolls and those that make the internet and social media such a cesspit sometimes. Is there a need for them? Maybe. Are they tackling things the right way? Hm, find out for yourself. But how is it all connected?
And throughout all of that, I was fiercely hoping Wilde could finally find some answers about his past and why he was left in the woods. Some of the DNA stuff confused the crap out of me but that didn’t ruin things for me at all. I was far too busy trying to figure things out and Harlan Coben made sure to keep me guessing until the end. With some delightful twists, this tense thriller is one of his best! Fingers crossed for more from Wilde.