Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale

TITLE: The Thirteenth Tale
PART IN SERIES: Standalone
AUTHOR: Diane Setterfield
GENRE: drama, mystery
PREMISE: A young writer gets an invite by a famous author to come and write her biography and ends up getting caught up in the writers family secrets...
MY REVIEW: Does anyone remember V.C.Andrews? When I was a teen I devoured her books, even though I freely admit they aren't the best thing written and they aren't even usually the type of thing I go in for. Why do I bring up her books, you ask? Because this book is basically a V.C.Andrews book, just slightly classier in tone.
If you're trying to remember where you've heard about this book before, it was probably a few years ago when the book first came out. For awhile it seemed this was on EVERYONE'S book list of best books. I believe it was even mentioned on Oprah once (not being a big watcher of Oprah I can't say for sure if this is the case, but it certainly feels like the kind of book she'd go for). I myself kind of ignored it as I usually do hyped up books but I saw this in a bargain bin and figured what the hell.
Now I'm kind of scratching my head about why people went so gaga over this thing. I mean it's not totally horrible. I like the feel of it (it's a gothic Jane Eyre type of thing and I have a thing for those types of books normally, hence my whole love affair with the V.C.Andrews books in the first place), and there are some really great lines in it, and the mystery part was interesting. Other then that though...it was kind of just ho hum for me.
The writing was terribly amatuerish (but did hint that the writer had potential, I believe this was the author's first book?) with bad pacing and way too much telling and not showing. I didn't care for how it jumped around between Vida's story and the writer's story because frankly the writer just wasn't that interesting to me. The book wavered a lot between kind of dull to kind of interesting but never got to that OMG!I have to find out what happens next point.
So honestly, the book was just okay. I don't understand all the hype but then I rarely get why some things get over hyped and other things don't (when you all figure out the Twilight thing let me know please).
WHO SHOULD READ: V.C.Andrews fans, those who like family saga type books
MY RATING: Three out of Five old musty books

One Hundred Plus Books
12 by 12 in July

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