3pm 5th November
Initial thoughts on this book are what the fuck was I thinking?! It’s huge. How am I supposed to carry this mammoth book around with me?
For anyone reading this that doesn’t know, Illumine is a book that’s essentially a story told in documents. So when you’re reading it, you’re reading hacked files that feature top secret documents, interviews and emails. & there isn’t actually any traditional dialogue or following of the main character in their head if that makes sense?
I’ve started reading and managed to get to page 26 before passing out because I was super tired last night but so far I love it! It’s original but I feel like it reminds me of S by Doug Durst & JJ Abrams. Except for the production value of S seem’s so much better because the pages are printed in colour with any notes made in different colours ink so you can tell who’s talking. In Illuminae you can see from the way the documents are shaded there is meant to be the illusion of colour but it just makes me really aware that it’s reprinted black and white so takes away from the experience just a smidge.
It does give you blueprints and maps which really helps add to the visualisation of the world as like I said, there’s no descriptive passages or world-building outside of the documents!
So it’s like, 4 days later!! It turned out to be a busy week and I still havent got past page 26. Does this happen to anyone else? You finally get a week of quiet that you can really get into your books and boom, family end up sick, you need to work and then general chores just take priority?
I think, I’m going to have to just leave this and post a review if I ever actually manage to finish the book!
In the mean time though, has anyone reading this read it already? I mean that’s a stupid question, everyone in the world has probably read it by now? It’s been out for a while and the hype around this series is immense!
So, how did you like it? Does it get easier to get into the way the story is told? Does it get easier to carry around on the train? These are the questions I need answers to!
If anything, Genuine Fraud is unique. It moves backwards in time so at the start, we’re reading what would be the end? And work towards what would be the start but is actually the end. Confused yet? Don’t worry, I’ll explain why I loved and hated this.
We follow Jule, a social butterfly (kinda) and Imogen a rich girl running away from her problems & parents. We get two perspectives into their friendship, the one Jule perceived and the one Imogen actually experienced.
Both different, both a bit confusing if I’m totally honest. As we move through the book it becomes more and more obvious what’s happening, but I was still invested and managed to read this in 3 days.
Genuine Fraud is branded as a mystery/ thriller but I don’t think I’d really use those words to describe it? It’s really interesting and I was hooked from the get-go but once I reached the midpoint I was pretty sure what was happening and the suspense died a bit.
The end (actually the start) was a bit of a let down for me, I was underwhelmed and disappointed that everything happened because Jule needed rent. I was annoyed because the entire plot is written like there is a bigger purpose to Jule’s story, but if there was I failed to miss it.
The last thing I really have to say about it is that I loved the layout, and I liked the back in time thing we had going on, but I paid no attention to the time-stamp at the top of each chapter. So if you’re like me & skip on details, maybe try and pay a tad more attention to the chapter heads of this one!
I’m super interested to see if you have read this book if you want to read it & what you thought!
If you wan to purchase Genuine Fraud you can here!
Diane, the owner of Happy People Read and Drink Coffee, a literary cafe bookstore, faces tragedy, An accident claims the lives of her beloved husband Colin and her daughter Clara.
And that’s where they story lost me.
I want to start on the positives with this book because despite the theme’s and characters I didn’t like, there were many things I loved. The cover is beautiful it’s the first thing that drew me to the book after the title.
The setting, being both an idyllic village in the west of Ireland and a freaking bookstore cafe sounds like it was made to be read by me. The writing, especially when capturing the magic of Ireland was fantastic but I’m afraid this is when the book gets a bit lost on me.
The characters come across like selfish, arrogant hindrances to the actual plot. And take away from the meaning behind the story. To find yourself and pick yourself up from rock bottom.
Diane, we learn has been spoiled by her parents, she was handed the money for this cafe and admits herself that she was never a good worker. When presented with adversity her parents are shocked that she just doesn’t want to deal with it. She refuses to attend the funeral of her family. Forgetting that Colin had parents that are burying their child just like she is.
They continue to coddle her and have kept the cafe going while she squanders her life, buried under her dead husbands hoodies, smoking herself into a cloud of despair.
It is only when her best friend Felix, the exaggerated gay best friend annoys her she decided to get her act together, by moving to a place she know’s she will hate but feel’s bad that her husband never got to go. Ireland.
This brings us to Edward. The mysterious, brooding neighbour that doesn’t come across as the protective, masculine character he was supposed to, but more like the aggressive asshole who had no real justification of any of his violent actions. At one point Edwards grabs Diane’s wrists and pushes her angrily against a railing. I can imagine this particular scene was supposed to convey some sexual tension and passion but it comes across violent and makes me wonder why Diane ever speaks to him again. Let alone falls in love with him.
When he eventually get an insight into Edwards past, I was disappointed. He’s brought across to the reader as a goodman who is too kind to actually break up with his twisted, manipulative girlfriend. I don’t understand how that makes it okay for him to be violent and aggressive throughout the whole book.
All my complaining aside, would I recommend this book? If you’re looking for an easy winter’s day read & not expecting much, then yes. The descriptions of Ireland are fantastic and made me homesick enough to imagine sitting in the pub with a Guinness on a blustery day.