Most of my Goodreads friends have rated this one 3★, & that is actually a very fair call. I’m giving this one 4 (weak)★, due to my own fascination with boy bands (& to a lesser extent girl bands) & their often toxic world.
& this book does cover this – quite exhaustively actually – what life could be like in a boy band. Exhausting work schedules, closeted homosexuals, management exerting absolute control over every moment of the boys lives, fear of their more extreme fans. All this is documented here. X 2. as Sophie wrote the chapters from Rubens POV, & Cale wrote Zack’s. At the start this made for a very slow telling of the story (more showing & a bit less repetition would have been good) But at the halfway point with fellow band member Angel’s disintegration the pace picks up & there is a good story in there. One reservation I had (& I can’t post because I still haven’t figured out how to do spoiler tags on WordPress)
but the story kicked along at a good pace from then on, & I was able to finish my read quickly. I’ll mention this is my first time reading homosexual love scenes – they were sensitively handled.
The author (aka Abigail Bok) is one of my oldest friends on Goodreads.
Young Harry Steer is being pushed hard, as his father wants him to rise in the world. The endless cramming makes Harry long for adventure – or even for the outdoors! A chance meeting takes Harry along a path that could not only ruin his own life – it could take his family down with him. A smuggler’s life appears glamorous & well paid at first – but everything comes at a cost.
Ms Lee has completely immersed herself in the the world of Darking (now known as Dorking) and has even created a website for this world.https://www.darkinghundred.com/ I really enjoyed this adventure, which picked up a lot in the final third. Saying that the ending was a little improbable, but no matter! Enjoy this rollicking tale!
I was hoping Penguin NZ would give me to chance to read this novel as an arc – and they did! Just as good as a Christmas present! Thanks so much!
Love the Arc cover!
In spite of a few lulls (mostly near the start) I’m going with my overall feeling that this is a 5★ book. Once the story got going I was really engaged and as much as I loved One of Us Is Lying I preferred the character development for previous characters like Maeve and Bronwen in this sequel. I also found the main new characters and the way they worked together (or against each other) far more convincing. The further I got into the book,the harder it was to put down. It was meant to be my holiday read, but I finished it before I went away. All strands pulled together (view spoiler)[ Well…almost. I had a bit of difficulty with Emma’s character and motivation. I also really didn’t like her much. Fortunately I don’t require all characters to be likeable. (hide spoiler)] Fantastic ending, which will have me coming back for more!
Not an easy book to classify, but I will go with young adult because of Velvet Brown’s age. (She was fourteen)
I love the interaction of the Brown family and found them all very easy to relate to. I loved seeing a young girl follow her dreams.
But I did find too much just too improbable and I found the book poorly structured (it took till chapter 7 to get going) and with distractions like [ the other five horses that took away from the plot without really adding anything. I will add that although I love to look at horses, I don’t like being with horses. So this book was always going to be a hard sell for me.