Hello, friends! I hope everyone’s holidays were jolly and bright and not too hectic. I have a special treat today. My amazing big sister, Heather, is here with a guest book review of The Dry by Jane Harper. Look how excited she is! Someone awesome gave it to her as a Christmas gift *cough cough me cough* on the recommendation of someone even awesomer, Chandra of Where the Reader Grows. On with the review!
Greetings all! I gotta admit that I'm a little intimidated to be guest posting on my sister's blog. I should probably introduce myself, but I've never been one to do things in the correct order. My name is Heather and I'm Dana's older sister. Over at my blog, SewHalfCrazy, I write about crafts, sewing, races, getting/staying healthy, and cooking*. I do love to read, but I wouldn't ever compare myself to Dana's level of rabid readership.
*[Dana: And bullet journaling. Heather’s BuJo game is strong, y’all.]
I'm a persnickety reader. I like a genre of books and that's it. I don't deviate. It's not like I haven't tried to deviate, but I never end up finishing the books, and I'm just not that interested in forcing myself to do it. I force myself to workout and run in terrible wintery conditions. All the force is used there. When I pick up a book, I want to be sucked in and entertained. Now my favorite genre is mystery thriller crime dramas. I guess I really started liking the books we were forced to read in English in middle school, and it grew from there in high school. High school is also when I started reading Michael Crichton, James Patterson, and a host of others. Then in the last few years, I've started growing bored with what some of my fave authors were putting out. They were too cookie cutter and predictive, so my reading fell off. I didn't read new books, I returned to my old faves, which is all well and good, but I know those stories. Dana and I have had many a conversation about my book woes. I'm partly to blame because I won't' step out of my box, but hey, I like my box.
So when Dana was super excited about my Christmas gift this year, I was intrigued. She's fairly spot on about picking out books for people, and because I love her so, I was willing to give her book a better than average chance. I mean, she did buy me a book that I keep hearing about but have never received. I'm anxiously awaiting the day I get to put my hands on it.
[Dana: This is the epic book I keep forgetting to give to her. I’ve had it for almost a year now. Apologies for the rude cover.]
So back to Christmas, she got me The Dry by Jane Harper, I've never heard of it or her. The cover was pretty though. I'm a visual person, so a pretty cover is good bait for me. The blurb inside the jacket was equally as enticing. It gave just enough information to hook you without really giving you any clue as to how the story would go. I, of course, starting drawing my own conclusions, because I love crime stuff. A game I play is calling whodunit in the first 5 minutes of a show*. I would say I'm better than average at guessing the correct person.
*[Dana: I play that game too!]
I was a little afraid of the Aussie dialogue, but it ended up making the book more fun. Dana and I had had a conversation over Christmas about how friends of hers in England were mesmerized by the raccoon exhibit in the zoo over there, and she and I were like, um, they're annoying. They're trash pandas (Thank you, Guardians!). In the book cockatiels are mentioned like someone from the States would mention robins or blue jays. It was very interesting to imagine cockatiels in the wild like you would a flock of finches.
The descriptors in the book are clear and concise and not overused. My biggest complaint with Dan Brown and the Robert Langdon series is his overuse of descriptors, so to read a book that has the perfect ratio of them was really very entertaining. The story moved at a good pace, and the clues were dropped subtly. The twists and turns in the book were entertaining. I did see some of them, but others surprised me. One of the things that took a bit of getting used to was how the characters were referred to in the story. Most times it was by their last name, but occasionally a character would be called by their first name, and it took a second to realize who they were talking about. Not a sticking point, but just something that did take you out of the story for half a second.
Overall the book was refreshing and very well done. I really, truly enjoyed it. I did get the whodunit wrong, but that makes it better. Who wants to figure out the story in the first 50 pages? Me. I do. I like being right*, but I also really enjoy when I'm wrong. At least when it comes to mysteries.
*[Dana: Understatement of the century.]
So thank you, Dana, the book was amazing, and I totally endorse giving it 5 stars. Cheers!