I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

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I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers. It’s always there. Always.

Jake once said, “Sometimes a thought is closer to truth, to reality, than an action. You can say anything, you can do anything, but you can’t fake a thought.”

And here’s what I’m thinking: I don’t want to be here.

In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.

I got this novel from NYCC 2018.

I have been going back and forth on how to rate this novel. The beginning was a bit tedious, although it did have some interesting philosophical discussions.

The middle was really creepy, cryptic, and suspenseful. A real page turner. The part at the farm house was my favorite.

Then it just gets really weird, and there were some head-scratching decisions being made. Things you are not supposed to do in a horror story.

Then the end rambled on incoherently. (I explain why in spoiler tags on my Goodreads review.) There are 2 pages that repeat the same phrase over and over. I read in some reviews that this novel was made for audiobook format and that phrase repeated over two pages was brilliant because of the different ways it is dramatized. I love audiobooks, so maybe at some point I’ll check it out.

At first when I finished I gave it a 2 out of 5 rating because I was so confused. I was annoyed at feeling like, “WTF was that?”

But then I stopped and thought about all the details I remembered that connected everything. I went back to read it again, confirming all the clues I conected. Then it all made sense, and I got to say this novel is really clever.

I am going to settle on 3.5 out of 5 Dairy Queens.

Favorite quotes:

Page 72: Even considering the data that shows the majority of marriages don’t last, people still think marriage is the normal human state. Most people want to get married. Is there anything else that people do in such huge numbers, with such a terrible success rate?

Page 89: You can’t start second-guessing after the fact. We can’t let the actions of one man make us feel guilty. This isn’t about us. We’re the normal ones. It’s only about him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday April 14: Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Updates are now at That Artsy Reader Girl.

April 14: Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About (This is for the books you liked, but rarely come up in conversation or rarely fit a TTT topic, etc.)

1)We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
2)Impossible by Nancy Werlin
3)A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice
4)Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
5)Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys
6)The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
7)Tunnel Vision by Keith Lowe
8)The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
9)Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
10)The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
11)Proxy by Alex London
12)The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
13)The Prophet by Michael Koryta
14)The One Man by Andrew Gross

The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

Set in the magical world of Renthia, The Queen of Blood is Sarah Beth Durst’s ambitious entry into adult epic fantasy. With the danger of Peter Brett’s The Warded Man, heart of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, and lyricism of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind, this is the first chapter in a series destined to be a classic.

Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . .

But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.

With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . . before it’s bathed in blood.

I first received The Queen of Blood (Book One of The Queens of Renthia) as a panel giveaway at Book Con in 2017.

Then at NYCC 2019 I bought a mystery box from Harper Collins. The theme was Fantasy Quest and one of the four books inside was The Queen of Blood.

I took that as a sign that it was time to finally read it and I’m glad that I did.

The world building is well done. So is the character development. What I really liked was the positive female friendships.

There’s action, humor, mystery, and some romance. It was such a relief to read about a romance that is not a triangle and not childish. It also doesn’t focus much on the romance, but just enough so you understand the characters feelings.

This was my favorite quote because it made me laugh:
Page 211: “Even a handfull of gravel is a useful weapon when thrown at the right time. My mother embroidered that on a pillow.”

I liked the message that while Daleina is not a natural talent she works hard, studies hard and pushes through difficulties. She discovered what she was good at and developed that skill.

When I first saw the thickness of the paperback I was a little apprehensive, but the pacing is just right. Durst knows how to balance the action with the quieter moments, and knew when to have the story jump forward in time.

I will finish the trilogy eventually. I’ll either borrow the books from the library (when they open again after this Covid-19 pandemic is gone) or with a B&N coupon.

4 out of 5 Spirits.