Arts & Entertainment

OCTOBER BOOK REVIEWS

Anna Jacobsen

Staff Writer

LUTE by Jennifer Thorne

Nina Treadway is a new resident to Lute after her marriage to Lord Treadway, an island near the coast of Great Britain. Lute is an idyllic place, where inhabitants are blessed with lovely weather, good health, and amazing fortune. But every seventh summer, seven inhabitants on the island must die on “The Day”. 

Nina doesn’t believe in the tradition of Lute, thinking it to be a bunch of superstitious nonsense. But when The Day approaches, everything changes— it is a day of grief and unending change, and Nina and Lute will never be the same.

First seeing the book on a list of October releases, I loved how the cover looked— but what really captured me was the synopsis of the book itself— magic, traditions, sacrifice – what else was there to look for? The book is set in the near future, and a Third World War rages around everywhere else. Except Lute, of course. The added war going around everywhere else really added to the eeriness of how broken off the island was from the rest of the world, and I loved how there were elements of the war in small comments or unavailable ingredients for recipes.

The book was really captivating and really interesting, and there’s a couple of plot twists that I never saw coming. It jumps right into the action and descriptions, which are really intriguing, especially if you don’t like waiting or really long periods with little to no action. The book adds in ideas of the real world with historical points from Lute’s past (and Nina’s own), and it’s so interesting and continuously moving, so the story never entirely slows down to a halt. That’s all I can say without giving anything away, so if your dying to see what happens to Nina (and her beloved friends and family), you’ll have to find out yourself.

Rating: 9.5/10 (though I loved how fast it was, it would’ve been nice to have a break between the action once in awhile)

THE FIRST TO DIE AT THE END by Adam Silvera

    Orion Pagan has lived in New York City his entire life, and has always waited for someone to tell him that he is going to die; because, for Orion, living with a life threading heart condition is just a day to day instance; with Death Cast finally here, he’ll get to know for sure.

For Valentino Prince, he’s hoping that he’ll never receive an End Day call (even if he signed himself up for Death Cast); he’s barely even been in New York City for a day, and is already confident in his blossoming modeling career ahead of them.

But though they’re both two different people, they know that they’re going to spend their days in Times Square for Death Cast’s release. And when their paths meet, they know nothing will remain the same.

For me, I was drawn to the book after being suggested They Both Die in the End, which is the first book of the two. I’d read They Both Die at the End awhile before, and been anticipating the release of the newer book. Safe to say, The First to Die at the End was a lovely and amazing book that will pull on your heartstrings as you follow events of two entirely different strangers who meet entirely by chance.

The book was overall really interesting, and I finished it in about a day because of how captivating it was. The book is moderately long, but every bit of it is filled with something important or necessary to continue the rest of the book. One of the coolest points was that the book made sure to involve the side characters, and every side character that was somewhat important always tied into the book somehow. But if you really want to know what happens to Orion’s heart and Valentino’s career, you’d better jump in and read it yourself.

Rating: 10/10 (I really, really liked it.)

PRETTY DEAD QUEENS by Alexa Donne

    After the death of her mom, 17 year-old Cecelia Ellis is forced to move in with her estranged and distant grandmother, who happens to be the author of many famous murder novels and living in Seaview, California.

As Cecelia grows to get used to living in a new home and making new friends, the murder of the homecoming queen takes everyone by surprise. Yet, she’s not the first dead queen.. so with a killer on the loose, Cecelia is convinced to solve the case of the murder.

I saw this book on a list of October Book Releases, and thought it would be interesting (and quite fitting) to try reading a murder mystery in the month of Halloween and horror movies. The book itself has a pretty generic beginning, with Cecelia moving in with her famous (and very rich!) grandmother, whom she hardly knows.

I liked the book because of how fast it took off from the beginning, with hints of romance between Cecelia and other characters, and the twists and turns of Cecelia befriending the children of the rich and famous of Seaview. With high stakes and a killer on the lose, Cecelia is determined to find out the copycat killer that’s out and about— but how? I can’t reveal anything else without spoilers, so you’d better check out the book if you’d like to know what happens next.

Rating: 8/10 (It wasn’t exactly my favorite, but the plot was nice and the characters were interesting.)


screen-shot-2022-05-24-at-12.51.07-pmAnna Jacobsen

STAFF WRITER

Categories: Arts & Entertainment