The Lauras : I received a copy from Netgalley and I was super excited about it. So when I started and had to drop it around 25% I was absolutely heartbroken. The story follows Alex whose mother grabs her/him early one morning and runs away. She says she doesn’t want to live with the father anymore and takes them like nomads from small town to small town, living off waitressing and other small jobs to make ends meet.
The reason I couldn’t complete this book is that I could not relate to, nor care about, the person whose POV we see, Alex. For starters, Alex’s gender isn’t revealed, there are no clues till the point that I read and I honestly couldn’t figure out how I felt about certain things and certain relationships in the story. For instance, there is a portion where she meets some surfer people and usually I would gauge the relationships or interactions based on age, gender or any other information I was given. Unfortunately I could not do that here, and for me that meant it was not worth reading and going through a vague experience that I was never going to remember or care about.
This may be something that you don’t have a problem with but I do and for me, it was not worth the time I would be investing in the story. Had the gender been clear (I thought it was a gay teenager, if I’m honest) I would have probably finished the book.
The Night Ocean : This was also a Netgalley review copy and while I am grateful to be approved for it, I was terribly disappointed by it. The story is supposed to be a thriller, Marina Willett has lost her husband and is searching for him. Charlie was obsessed with HP Lovecraft, and a particular incident where he lived for a couple of months with a gay teenager. Now, I thought what would happen would be, he discovers something that drives him mad and while hunting up more clues or something along those lines, he would vanish. Or you know, get depressed and vanish.
Whatever it was, I didn’t expect so much Lovecraft and so little everything else. I got bored and honestly, having never read Lovecraft, I didn’t care about Lovecraft’s life or what he did for those two months or any months. It was my fault really, I should have read the reviews before requesting the book. I like being surprised with thrillers and so, I didn’t bother reading reviews first. It was just not my cup of tea.
Unfortunately these were two of the books I really wanted to read and I was terribly disappointed by them. Yes there is no point writing these “reviews” since I didn’t finish the book but think of these are a head’s up if you’re going to pick these up anytime soon. If you don’t care about Lovecraft then you won’t enjoy The Night Ocean, it is for his fans an probably written by a fan. If you are more gender…….rigid (is that even a thing?), then The Lauras isn’t for you either. But either way, I do hope you like these more than I did.