See previous update here.
My friend Doug gave me Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli. At first, I was a bit wary. A book for young adults about a mermaid? Wha? But no! This is a super fun book, and it’s packed full of cool stories about Greek mythology. In fact, it takes place during the Trojan War itself. I love Napoli’s vivid writing. I felt like she truly had spent time living in a mermaid… pod (?) because I was transported into another world full of rich and glorious mermaidian detail. At heart, though, this was a love story, and it was a beautiful one at that. Four stars!
A big thanks goes to Angie for suggesting a Stephen King novel for the 500+ page book! I chose Full Dark, No Stars, which is four novellas. They aren’t specifically connected to each other except by the theme of ordinary people doing something extraordinarily horrible, which King more fully explains in his afterword. I enjoyed the book a lot, but for me the afterword was the best part. It was definitely the icing on the cupcake. 🧁 I gave this book five stars.
I’ll briefly review the stories in order. They will probably contain some spoilers.
The first one, 1922, isn’t the type of story I usually enjoy, but I liked it a lot. It was all narrative/backstory, which normally I avoid, but it worked, so… It took place on a farm, which… eh… but King made that work too. And it was completely disgusting and horrible. So, it had that going for it. 🤣
Big Driver is next, which is a rape revenge fantasy. I can totally get on board with this kind of thing, except idk… I just wasn’t so much into this one. I loved a lot of the details though, especially how she talked her way through the whole thing with her GPS. I guess I don’t feel the rapist suffered enough at the end, or at all really.
Fair Extension is fantastic! I had no idea how it would end. We’ve seen this kind of “deal with the devil” many times before, and yet this still felt fresh and exciting. I just gobbled it up. Loved it all the way through, just perfect.
The last story is A Good Marriage. Just wow. This is one of the best things I’ve read from King. Every moment of the story felt so real and true to me. I was right there with Darcy when she found that box and with each decision she made afterwards. Her character had been crafted so expertly that I felt mind-melded with her the entire time.
What a treat these two books were! 💖
Image credited to Kriti and Ariel.
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