The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Wow. This is easily the most ambitious and original book I’ve read this year. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s a mystery…ish. It’s a thriller…ish. It’s similar to Agatha Christie’s writing, yet nothing like it. It’s incredible.

Evelyn Hardcastle is going to be murdered. The main character has to figure out how it’s done and by whom. He has eight chances in eight hosts to figure it out. Nothing is as it seems and he doesn’t know who to trust. Can he even trust himself?

This book is full of twists and turns. Every time I thought I had a handle on something, the story would shift and I’d be left feeling like, for the one clue I grasped, I missed three others. The best thing about this book is how masterfully the author wove the clues and coincidences into a compelling narrative. It was very easy, after the fact, to go back and follow the clues to its solution. I hate when an ending of  a mystery is chucked at a person with zero way it could have been solved by the reader. That’s not the case with this book. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, but the answer tracked throughout the book and made perfect sense in hindsight.

I can’t believe this is Stuart Turton’s first novel; he writes with such confidence. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. I am eagerly watching and hoping for another book by this author. It was perfect!

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Many Kinds of Magic

                    When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find                   their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of          Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative.            There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be            different, and it will affect them in ways they could never predict. From the                mundane to the profound….
              There are many kinds of magic, after all. -Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)

Hi! Thanks for joining me for my literary rants. Let me tell you a bit about myself.

First of all, I’m a nerd. A huge nerd. Like, a Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering,  quote-Firefly-and-proudly-call-myself-a-Browncoat nerd. I’m also a voracious reader, a homeschool mom, and an introvert. I’m more than a little awkward, and I express myself better in writing.

I’ll read pretty much anything, with the exception of romance novels. Sadly, I’m bereft of any sense of romanticism. I tend to gravitate towards fantasy, YA, and sci-fi, but I’ve been branching out more into nonfiction lately.

Because I homeschool two book loving little goobers, I’m also pretty up-to-date on children’s books, so I’ll discuss those here from time to time as well.  Honestly, I’d read picture books anyway, but having kids is a good way to browse the children’s section at the bookstore without too many weird looks.

I absolutely LOVE hearing bookish opinions and reading suggestions from other people. If you read a review and think it’s total bunk, tell me so. Tell me why. If you agree, props are good too. More than anything, I want to connect with other readers. Join me in discussion and let’s have some literary fun!

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