YVO’S SHORTIES #52 – In A Dark, Dark Wood & Without Merit

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two popular authors and two different genres. I was really excited about In A Dark, Dark Wood, but sadly it mostly fell flat for me. And Without Merit was without doubt an entertaining read, although not my favorite CoHo book either.


Title: In A Dark, Dark Wood
Author: Ruth Ware

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: July 30th 2015
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Finished reading: September 27th 2018
Pages: 339

“You’d think people would be wary of spilling to a writer. You’d think they’d know that we’re essentially birds of carrion, picking over the corpses of dead affairs and forgotten arguments to recycle them in our work—zombie reincarnations of their former selves, stitched into a macabre new patchwork of our own devising.”


myrambles1reviewqqq

I had my first experience with Ruth Ware‘s books last year with The Lying Game, and I’ve been meaning to pick up another of her titles ever since. So when I had the perfect excuse to do so, I decided to finally pick up my copy of her debut In A Dark, Dark Wood. I’ve heard mixed things about her work in general, so I decided to go in with low expectations… Discovering I did probably well by doing so. In A Dark, Dark Wood is by no means a bad read and is without doubt as dark and menacing as that glass house in the middle of the woods chosen as a setting. The writing is engaging and the suspense is mostly handled well. I had two significant problems with this book though. The first thing that stood out for me was the fact that none of the characters is easy to connect to; most are unlikeable and overall I can’t say I really cared about what would happen to them. And then I’m not even talking about the whole fact that Nora and Clare hadn’t seen each other for ten years and suddenly Clare invites Nora to her hen? And not telling about James before? And Nora stays even after all the things that happen? So not credible to me. And that is not the only thing that made me doubt the credibility of the plot and events. There were several eyebrow raising moments involved, and not in a good way. I also did see quite a few of the plot twists coming really early on, and I didn’t like how the amnesia angle was incorporated into the story. It wasn’t a bad read, but nothing like I hoped it would be either.


Title: Without Merit
Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
First published: October 3rd 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Finished reading: September 28th 2018
Pages: 385

“Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.”


myrambles1reviewqqq

I seem to be having a love-hate relationship with Colleen Hoover‘s books… Somehow she is able to get strong emotions and opinions from me, positive or not. Without Merit ended up belonging somewhere in the middle. While not my favorite and a bit different than I’ve become used to, there is no doubt that it is still a good story and I can understand why so many love it. It felt more YA than NA to me, but that on it’s own wasn’t a problem for me. The romance was also doable for me, which is something I have become used to with CoHo… Somehow she manages to make me forget I’m not into the whole romance genre most of the time. There are a lot of things to love in Without Merit, and I think that this abundance of different elements actually worked against the story in the end. Depression, agoraphobia, the Syrian refugee situation, lgbt elements, Honor and her boyfriends, Wolfgang and the church, family problems… Those and other elements are all incorporated into the plot, making it almost feel crowded and I don’t think each of these get the attention it deserves. I would have preferred less topics and a more developed appearance during the story. As it is, some of the more important elements are just skimmed over (suicide, the Syrian refugee situations etc) and feel more like plot fillers rather than something important to talk about. I still enjoyed reading Without Merit though and especially Sagan won over my heart easily. I like that the characters are flawed and feel realistic despite their strange names. All in all an interesting read, although not perfect.


signature

You can also find me at Goodreads. Twitter. InstagramFacebookBloglovin’.

17 thoughts on “YVO’S SHORTIES #52 – In A Dark, Dark Wood & Without Merit

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these 2 titles. I have been thinking whether I should try and read either/or. I think Ruth Ware works seem to be more ‘pulling’ for me… One day 🙂 Great reviews 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • If you want to try Ruth Ware, I did prefer The Lying Game over this one. CoHo is a mixed bag for me, but I did give some of her titles the highest rating. 😉

      Like

  2. I had all the same issues as you with In a Dark Dark Wood and I think I gave it 2 stars as well. I disliked it so much that I haven’t picked up any of her other books. I couldn’t get into Without Merit but have loved a few of her others so we’re on the same page with CoHo as well:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to know I wasn’t the only one! I did like her other book The Lying Game better than this one… I’ll probably try another in the future, although I’m definitely going in with lower expectations now. CoHo is a true mixed bag for me, but I did love November 9 and It Ends With Us for example, so I’m never giving up on trying new books of her. 😉

      Like

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the two books. I have both on my TBR. The one that I have been really keen to read is Without a Merit. I get the issues that you mentioned though. Seems like the book really tried to tackle too many heavy themes hence not being able to give each one enough attention. Great reviews.

    Like

    • Yeah sometimes too much is just too much, since neither element gets enough attention… Without Merit is still a good enough read though; I hope you will enjoy it.

      Like

  4. Pingback: Listing The Reading | It's All About Books

  5. Pingback: Listing The Reading By Title | It's All About Books

  6. Pingback: Listing The Reading By Rating | It's All About Books

  7. Pingback: 2018 Beat The Backlist: Official Update Post #BeatTheBacklist | It's All About Books

  8. Pingback: Listing The Reading By Author | It's All About Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.