Rating: 4 stars

“We are all anthologies. We are each thousands of pages long, filled with fairy tales and poetry, mysteries and tragedy, forgotten stories in the back no one will ever read.”

This is the second book I’ve read from Marisha Pessl, and her books are so good. I enjoyed reading this novel, I had no idea what I was getting into.

This novel wasn’t as I had anticipated. I was thinking this was going to be more action-packed and dramatic, but it seemed just more dramatic because there was a lot of drama and tension between these characters.

I also am not a huge fan of the sci-fi world, especially in books but this one didn’t really focus deeply in that subject area so I didn’t see a problem while reading this novel. It had the aspect of the neverworld wake, but there were multiple sub-plots that helped guide it along that it wasn’t all focused on science fiction.

I won’t go into too much depth of this story because this is a type of thing where you should go into blindly, without much knowledge.

“Love is this elusive bird,” he said. “You’re the lifelong bird-watcher, looking for this rare red-plumed quail people spend entire lives trying to see for three seconds in a cherry tree on a mountaintop in Japan.”

I loved the writing in this novel, it was very detail oriented, which didn’t overdo itself, luckily. The pacing was sometimes inconsistent, for example, there would be times where it started going very fast-paced in the middle and then stopped.

I also found that how the characters reacted to be almost realistic as to what had happened to them, but sometimes they’d act out irrationally about certain things. I also thought that the characters themselves were very generic, there wasn’t anything special about them, but I could tell the author was looking for that sense, especially with Beatrice.

I predicted the ending, but I wouldn’t say that it ruined the mystery aspect of this novel for me because there were a lot of parts in this novel that I didn’t actually know. And I liked how it ended, it wasn’t confusing, it had a well-executed plan. I also like the hidden messages throughout this book, especially the one that Martha had for Beatrice.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. I felt at times there could have been more fixation with characters and pacing, but this is novel that still held my attention to the end, and it’s probably one of my favorites of this year.

“You’re mistaking love for perfection,” I said. “Real love when it’s there? It’s just there. It’s a metal folding chair.”

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