At the beginning of the year, I curated a Slanted Spines reading list for 2020, designating a book for each month. The June pick is In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware, and this is my book review!
In a Dark Dark Wood is a story about a young woman named Nora who attends a bachelorette party in a cabin in—you guessed it!—a dark, dark wood. However, the bachelorette party is for her ex-best friend Clare, who she hasn’t spoken to in ten years. Unsure why she was invited because she wasn’t invited to the actual wedding, yet curious all the same, Nora accepts the invite. But during the weekend, various bizarre conversations and events occur, and if I say much more, it may ruin the suspense of reading the book! This is Ruth Ware’s debut novel, and she’s gone on to write many other thrillers such as The Turn of the Key and The Death of Mrs. Westaway.
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This book review is intended for readers who have already read Carrie Pilby or for people who haven’t read Carrie Pilby but would rather just read my book review about it! Which is all to say that there are spoilers ahead!
Carrie Pilby, by Caren Lissner, is a novel about a 19-year-old young woman living in New York City. Having skipped three grades and graduated Harvard at age eighteen, she is now a lonely genius living by herself, as afforded by her father who works abroad; although she is financially well-off and intellectually gifted, Carrie has no friends and a slew of self-imposed morally rigid rules. In an attempt to improve her social capabilities, her therapist Dr. Petrov gives Carrie a list of five things to do, including go on a date and celebrate New Year’s Eve. Throughout the novel, Carrie acquires a few strange friends from her part-time legal proofreading job, and another few from local spots. Ultimately, Carrie begins to realize her own hypocrisies as life reveals its complexities, moral ambiguities, and hidden pleasures.
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