Before reading Heartless, I made sure to read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. After all, Marissa Meyer sought to pen a prequel, imagining the tale of the young Queen of Hearts. Growing up, I didn’t read those classics. Like many, I watched movies and TV adaptations. With this retelling on the horizon, however, I decided it was finally time to read the books.
A Monster Calls was amazing in the complexity it conveyed through a simple story. I really wasn’t expecting it to be so heart-wrenching, let alone a cathartic read. Aimed at a much younger reader than I am, I thought I’d walk away liking this book, at best. Middle Grade to Young Adult books for younger teens rarely hold my attention anymore the way they used to, so I tend to avoid them.
Before receiving a review copy of The Call, I hadn’t heard of it. Reviews on Goodreads were few and vague. The synopsis didn’t give much away either. All I knew was that this would be a book of horror — a genre I generally avoid. In any case, with Halloween around the bend, I thought I should at least read one creepy book this month.
Suspense is essential to propel a plot forward. It’s what fiction is made of as readers want to know, what happens next? An effective way to build suspense is to withhold information, make the reader guess, then reveal things later. That’s exactly what The Invisible Library sought to do. However, that for me, also was the downfall of the book. Too much information was withheld, to the point that there was little for me to hang on to. Instead of wanting to know what would happen next, I found myself asking what the point was.