Let me start by saying that I really enjoy Ruth Ware’s writing. I find she is able to keep me guessing until she decides she wants to let me in on the twist. So when a friend of mine said there was a new Ruth Ware book out, I had to have it.
Y’all. I blasted through this 369 page book in less than 3 days. I’m a busy lady, so keeping me engaged that fully is truly a feat.
One by One is inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. It’s a murder mystery driven by a killer that’s in the house.
There are two narrators in this book: Erin and Liz. The author does a great job of using multiple narrators to drive the story forward rather than letting them hinder it. Related to this, the author created distinct characters outside the narrators. I’m someone that really needs to see the characters and setting. When I’m reading, it’s like I’m watching a movie in my head. She totally nailed it there.
The twist really upped the ante, and the author used this reveal to create really intense tension. My heart was pounding. I absolutely could not put this book down once the twist was revealed. Sorry, pup, our walk has been postponed! Just one more chapter….
I felt the two narrators had a very similar voice despite being two different people. This could have been intentional on the part of the author, as if to say they’re not that different after all. For me though, I’d have liked to see more distinction in their thought patterns and not just in their histories.
I also think if you’re a seasoned mystery reader, the twist might have jumped out at you from the start. Though I didn’t guess it, looking back, all the signs were there. (If I’m honest, I’m kind of stretching to put this in the “bad” section. Isn’t it a quality of a good mystery to have everything line up at the end?)
I’ll actually give this one a 5/5. I might be biased – Ruth Ware fan here – but this is one I’ll definitely pick up again. It has a nice cozy mystery vibe, and I’ve recommended it to friends of mine looking for that.
This review will discuss triggering content explored in Maya Angelou’s book, including childhood abuse and trauma, rape, and racism.
This book is a classic for a reason. In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou does not pull a single punch. She is matter-of-fact when discussing the prejudice and racism inflicted upon her from a young age. She is fearless in her retelling of a childhood rape. Dr. Angelou writes about such heavy issues with a hand that says, “Here it is – keep looking.”
This book is fantastically written. I may be partial as a poet myself, but I loved the way Dr. Angelou wrote, as though the whole book were a work of poetry. She fit words together in such a way that I was left reeling. I think this is a difficult thing to do for a novel-length piece. However, I believe it was executed in such a way that it enhanced the book rather than overwhelming it.
I also have to laud the honesty of the piece. It takes great courage to write so openly about trauma and tragedy. Imagine as a child a white woman decides your name is too hard to pronounce and therefore calls you something else entirely. The dehumanization of that single act is something that has remained at the forefront of my mind. This book is a reminder that, though we have come a long way, we still have a long way to go.
I’ll be honest – this book took me weeks to get through. I enjoyed the way it was written, and the story is compelling with good pacing. So what was the issue? The problem for me lay within myself, not the book. The subject matter is really heavy. Given the current climate of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, as well as my own traumas, at times I had to put this book down and walk away, sometimes for days at a time. I needed time to process what I was reading and the emotions evoked by the author.
I also felt that the ending was a little abrupt. But, considering it’s the first in a decent-sized series, I get why she ended there. It made me want to know what happened next.
Overall, I’ll give this book a 4/5. The subject matter is profoundly important, so it is a must-read for everyone, in my opinion. That said, because of the weight of the subject matter, I don’t think this is a book I’ll be picking up for a second read in the near future.