Recently, I spent nearly four weeks in the UK. During that time, I had the pleasure of visiting several bookstores. Of course, that included Waterstones Piccadilly, allegedly the largest bookshop in Europe. It’s definitely huge! I also popped into outlets in Richmond, Cambridge, Stoke-on-Trent and Bath. After all that browsing, I amassed a large folder of photos on my phone with books I’d added to my wishlist.
In 2017, I counted Caraval to my favourites of the year. It’s no wonder that I was super excited for the sequel. Thus, it’s with a heavy heart that I’m rating it 3 out of 5 stars. The problem for me was that Legendary was more of the same. Now, more of the same should be a great thing if you loved the original. So what went wrong?
If you could live for hundreds of years, if not, forever, would you want to? In Suicide Club, those who deserve it are given immortality. In exchange, they have to take good care of their health — eat well, exercise and all that jazz. What I liked about this premise was that it plays on our contemporary obsession with health and wellness. Food diet movements abound from “clean eating” to keto to paleo, claiming to detox, strengthen the immune system, etc. Rachel Heng pushed these ideal to the extreme in her futuristic science fiction novel set in New York City.
Lost for Words is the sort of book that requires time and patience from the reader. During the first 100 pages, I considered abandoning the book a few times. I was bored with the writing style and didn’t enjoy jumping around three points in the protagonist’s life — 2016, 2013 and 1999. Two alternating timelines are already more than I tend to like. Three was pushing it.