Audiobook Review

Audiobook Review: Career of Evil


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Arrrrrgggghhhh! How you wanna go and end the book like that! OMG no, come on!

Ok, I’ve come down from that ending (which still pisses me off) and think I can manage a coherent review now.

There was a lot going on in this book, and we learned a lot more about Robin and Strike than the trickles of information from the previous books. Their relationship shifted slightly and we finally had acknowledgement of the sexual tension between them, although we’re still left without any relief or hope that anything will ever happen.

I enjoyed learning more about the 3 suspects that the duo investigated, although they were despicable to the last. The brief chapters we got from the killers point of view was also no fun, and it made me feel okay about the prospect of being single for the foreseeable future. I know it’s fiction, but sadly, it’s firmly grounded in fact.

The investigation was tedious, with a lot of time spent on surveillance… which I guess is a good approximation of the actual profession and highlights that being an investigator isn’t all chasing criminals and catching killers. It was also pretty obvious from at least halfway through who the killer was… although I had some weird dreams last night where I woke up convinced that it was in fact Matthew…

On the subject of Matthew… what didn’t make sense to me is that we see this picture of Robin as a strong character, but that doesn’t reflect in her relationship with Matthew. Obviously there should be more, things that we don’t see that explains the love Robin feels for this character that is so obviously written to be the cliché’d douchebag boyfriend, but instead we’re left with this picture of the last person on earth someone like Robin would like. It doesn’t make sense and it feels like a cheap trick used by the author to direct the reader a specific way.

Specifically, we seem to be pushed to root for more between Robin and Strike, which is obviously the main relationship here… but surely there are other ways to create the will they/won’t they undertone than to create this awesome female character that is supposed to be strong and smart and incredible — then you saddle her with an insufferable Ken doll as a boyfriend and a backstory to “explain” her motivations.

And that’s another thing… this book focused a lot on various sensitive subjects… mostly about some of the abuse and prejudice women are subjected to. There are some graphic scenes of violence that will most definitely trigger unhappy memories in each and every woman who reads this book. The main theme is misogyny and the power men hold over women. Even Strike can be an insufferable sexist pig.

I want to ask why Robin had to be given that particular history, but on the other hand it’s a common enough occurrence that it’s completely plausible. People will say that it’s unnecessary and a dirty trick used to make Robin a martyr, but I don’t feel that. I think Rowling gave Robin that experience to show readers who might not know how something like that can affect your life, but it doesn’t define you and you can still be a hero even if someone made you a victim too. The two are not mutually exclusive.

The guy who narrated this book (and the previous ones in the series) was amazing. He had exactly the right tone and accent for each character and brought them to vivid life in my mind. The action sequences were done so well that I almost hyperventilated, and his natural English accent was extremely drool-inducing.

So in conclusion, even though I felt like Rowling was using trickery to try and manipulate me, I still think this was the best of the series so for. And even though that ending was infuriating, it left me salivating for the next one… which doesn’t even have an expected publication date yet!

P.S. I love the casting 😀

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Audiobook Review

Audiobook Review: Born a Crime


As a South African myself, this book hits very close to home. Although I grew up poor as well, I’m a white person, and I’ve always had that privilege. It was fascinating and horrifying listening to how it was on the other side of the tracks, so to speak.

Through it all, Trevor’s optimism and strength of character shines through. I’ve always liked him, but now I have even more respect for him. His love for his mother is so clear a blind person could see it, and I found myself loving her as well. I’m so happy she survived all that happened. She’s such an inspiration and as a mother I think she did such a wonderful job of rising above circumstances… I just wish that she didn’t feel like there was no escaping from an abusive relationship that no doubt had an effect on her children…

Trevor did am amazing job with writing this book and his audio narration was such a pleasure to listen to. I’ve known about him for ages and just assumed that he had always been a comedian, so it was a shock to realize that’s not the case at all and to hear about his beginnings and his struggle was such an eye opener. I wish there was more though. I’d have loved to hear more about how his actual comedy career got started, as that part was skipped over entirely… I’m sure it didn’t go straight from being a DJ to the famous CellC ads.

Of course the crime in South Africa played a fairly big part in this memoir. It is a big deal to us after all, and there’s been a lot of outside focus on it over the years, with a lot of the blame game being played across the board. Other than a few house break-ins (while we were out thankfully) I’ve mostly been lucky and haven’t really had to deal with some of the things I’ve heard from family and friends. Funny enough, I got mugged for the first time in my life while listening to the chapter about crime and jail! Just a strange coincidence, but I’ll definitely never forget which book I was listening to the first time I had a really scary experience!

Rating: 5 Stars
Date Started: 11 January 2017
Date Finished: 14 January 2017
Pages: 304 (8:50:00)
Genre: Memoir

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Book Review

Book Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover


5 Stars

The only reason I read this book was because I am participating in a challenge to read Goodreads Choice Award winners. I decided to read the Romance category winner in February in honor of Valentines day, but I was dreading actually reading it. See, this is the second book by Colleen Hoover that I’m reading. The first one was Confess, and I really, REALLY, disliked it. See my review here for reference.

I really should know better than to form prejudices based on only one interaction.

I went into this book blind, not even bothering to read the description, already sure that whatever it was about, I was sure to dislike it anyway. Promising myself that I could abandon it if it was too bad. I read the first 10% the first sitting, and was surprised. Cautiously optimistic, were the words I used. By the time I was 20% through, I knew I would finish the book, although I didn’t want to get too optimistic and say that I would actually love it, even though it had been a while since a book had made me giddy!

At this point I still hadn’t read the description, and didn’t know what the tone of the book would be. I assumed it would be a love-triangle, and although most people don’t like love-triangles, I’m a sucker for a good one. Turns out, it wasn’t quite about a love-triangle. It was about something way more substantial.

I really liked the characters in It Ends With Us. They felt like real people. They talked and acted like real people would. Lily was a very likable and relatable MC, and Ryle was dreamy, but not in an “OMG get over it” kind of way. Their interactions were fun to read and like I said, it’s been a long time since reading a romance has made me giddy. I just really loved their relationship.

I’ve had all the same thoughts about abusive households as anyone else… the same disdain. Why don’t these woman (and men, in some cases) leave? Turns out, it’s not always that black and white.

When everything started happening, I reasoned along with Lily. Made excuses, because no, life isn’t always cut and dried, black and white. Life is actually more of a big gray space. Just because two people might do the same thing, in the exact same way, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the same thing.

I’m glad that Lily made the decisions she did, and although I felt that the epilogue was rushed and maybe a bit clumsy, it wasn’t about that. Everything was about the choice that Lily made, and maybe, hopefully, her story will help some other hopeless, helpless woman who might be in the same boat. And hopefully it’ll teach the rest of us not to judge.

Lily’s story, and in a way Colleen’s, sucked me in and held me a prisoner, a willing victim with a heavy dose of Stocholm Syndrome. I laughed, I cried, and I loved it.