Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The lowdown:

Lo Blacklock finds herself covering the maiden voyage of a super yacht surrounded by the rich and famous as well as people from her past a brief encounter with her neighbour has her diving into the lives of her fellow passengers and her own psyche as she tries to find out what happened to the woman in Cabin 10.

Fans of:

And then there were none, Girl on a train, Nocturnal Animals or just anything high octane and atmospheric.


I’ve been stuck in a reading slump for the past couple of weeks and have stopped and started many books, this one I manage to read in a single sitting. And it managed to keep be enthralled while goofing off at work and on the train home.

The good:

Ruth Ware’s writing style is so easy to get stuck into and you get into the head of a very complicated woman who you might not be able to trust.

The setting a boat in the middle of the Nordic sea is perfect for this type of crime story, as it becomes increasingly catastrophic going on through the book

The tiny cast of characters all feel vivid and full of their own rich backstories and each could have a motive

The cuttings of social media posts, newspapers and emails heightened the sense of danger as the book became more and more isolated.


The bad:

The ending was…weird… to say the least, I’m not talking about the elaborate reason behind the girl in Cabin 10, but Lo’s ability to piece everything together in a matter of moments as the woman is revealed.

I was expecting more of confrontation with Richard about his reasons behind it, instead we saw it all through Carrie’s perspective and he felt more ominous than if there was an actual confrontation.

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Book Review: Babydoll by Hollie Overton

3.5 out of 5 stars

For the first time in 8 years, Lily is free…

Escaping the room she’s been trapped in she returns to her mother and her sister and tries to rebuild the life that was taken away from her as a teenager.

Marketed as a Gone Girl/psychological drama story I was left feeling almost disappointed as the story dived more into the family drama around this traumatic event.

And I don’t think this necessarily means it’s a bad story but rather something unexpected.

The Good…

We got four (maybe five I forget) points of view throughout the story and as chapters are short it’s incredibly easy to read this book in a short period of time.

The tentative and uneven relationship that we see between Lily and Abby feels natural and sometimes heartbreaking and sometimes frustrating in a very real way.

The Abductor was a real villain and at times I genuinely thought that at times he was going to get away with it. There was something wholly evil that was scary especially as we saw his side of the story as well.

The Bad…

There was a lot to this book that I think could have had more, I would have loved to see as Lily rebuilt her life with Sky

Furthermore, there didn’t seem to be much of the imprisonment that was touched on. I know that a lot of it had to do with the post-escape life but I wish we saw more of the PTSD
Overall, Babydoll is a good book but its placed as something completely different to what it is, less of a mystery more of a dramatic family story.

Book Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Spoilers –

Fun read- Desperately needs a new back cover

A YA murder mystery set in Victorian London sounds like a dream come true for a girl like me. As Stalking Jack the Ripper has a little bit of everything, forensic science, romance, family issues and historical tidbits.

Audrey Rose is a high society woman secretly undertaking a forensic pathology apprenticeship with her Uncle’s guidance. Her father still overly protective after the untimely death of her mother and a brother meandering from one study to another.

I had so much fun reading this novel and blew through it pretty easily, Audrey Rose was a great character, a girl torn between tradition and her own passion for science. She doesn’t look down on other girls for their pursuits and seems to find the good in everyone, sometimes stories like this can be a little manic, pixie dream girl.

There’s so many awesome moments whether it’s at a tea party or dissecting a body I find myself completely enamoured with the story. And although I’m not an expert in the Jack the Ripper murder it hit all the marks I know about the case including the letters.

And Thomas Cresswell, her partner in crime (so to speak) is the perfect romantic partner for our modern day audiences. Sarcastic with a Sherlockian edge he’s exactly whom you want to meet down a dark alley way. All the character so to speak are super fun and for a time everyone is a suspect.

Only the who-dunnit portion of the book is dampened due to the ‘girl who loved the ripper’ line of the back cover. There are a couple of moments you think it might be Thomas all lines of inquiry are trained on her father. For a second you think that the ‘loved the ripper’ line is a different type of love until you realize it’s probably not him and thus there’s only one person left.

If it wasn’t for this I might not have guessed the killer so early so please I implore you, on the next print just delete that one bit.

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Book Review: The Girls by Emma Cline

The GirlsThe Girls by Emma Cline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Girls tells the story of Evie, fourteen-year-old in the summer before boarding school and her slow and lingering fascination with a group of girls and their mysterious leader in the hazy sixties/seventies.
I’ve never read a book like this before, where I could be completely immersed as the character talked about something as mundane as bread. It’s beautifully written, perfectly encapsulating that weirdly intense time when you’re fourteen and every movement feels like it’s the first one to exist (albeit I won’t argue with those that don’t like this prose style as there is a lot to even the smallest moments)
Loosely based around the Manson family and the Sharon Tate murder of 1969, there’s a foreboding sense of inevitability as Evie is drawn further into the farm, introduced to Mitch and reflects back on what happened as an older woman. Here the Charles character ‘Russell’ feels merely incidental to Evie’s time just as sex and drugs are written as background noise to Evie’s love of Suzanne.
Suzane starts off as a symbol of Evie’s freedom and slowly develops into a strange self-destructive (almost) relationship another tragedy of that horrible moment of being a teenager when you don’t know if it’s love or if it’s idolization.
More than anything it’s the story of a girl’s spectatorship to a horrific tragedy, a coming of age novel at the death of the hippie movement.

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Book Review: Sweetbitter

SweetbitterSweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sweetbitter is one of those books where I can understand why people both love and hate this book.
Stephanie Danler’s coming of age story set in the backdrop of a high-class New York restaurant explores feelings of love, friendship, and loneliness as it pertains to a young Tess.

I gave this book four out of five stars because three days after finishing I’m still finding myself thinking about this story.

Sweetbitter is extraordinarily written, on a page by page level the writing is transcendent and kept me reading until the last word. There’s a certain feeling of loss and apathy that floats throughout the novel that separates it from other contemporary novels of this nature.

There are so many moments of describing the food in the restaurant of portraying the rush of the restaurant that felt like they were talking about something else.

There’s no real character progression throughout the book as Tess finds her footing in the New York restaurant scene. Befriending Simone and falling in love (or lust) with Jake she doesn’t really find herself coming out of any of the situations as a better person or ‘finding herself’ kind of an antithesis to the New York self-discovery novels that used to populate the genre.

Of course, this novel is enduringly pretentious without much of a satisfying ending and I can’t say that any of the characters were truly likable. But I don’t think that’s the point of a book like this at its heart SweetBitter is illustrating a moment in this girl’s life, warts and all.

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