Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around a thriller TBR jar pick I really enjoyed and a contemporary I’ve been meaning to read for a while and ended up having mixed thoughts about.

Title: Shutter Island
Author: Dennis Lehane

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Horror
First published: April 15th 2003
Publisher: HarperCollins
Finished reading: January 20th 2021
Pages: 369

“Which would be worse, to live as a monster or to die as a good man?”


I usually try to read the book before watching a movie or TV show adaptation… But somehow Shutter Island slipped between the cracks, and I actually first saw the movie years ago. My TBR jar thought it was about time to actually read the book as well, and I’ve been looking forward to do so especially after watching the movie again recently. I have to say: I really wish I would have read the book first now! Sure, I still had an excellent time reading Shutter Island, but knowing the ending took away a lot of that wow effect of what is basically a brilliant twist. All my fault of course, but still… The plot development is very cleverly done, and you are kept in the dark about key information for maximum impact. The setting on Shutter Island with the Ashecliffe mental hospital makes for that perfect eerie atmosphere, and the foul weather only adds to that… The characters themselves are not exactly likeable, but interesting enough and they all contribute something to the plot. Shutter Island is one of those books where it’s best to go in blind for maximum impact… Creepy, atmospheric, dark and without doubt a great read!

Title: The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy
(Harold Fry #2)
Author: Rachel Joyce

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
First published: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Black Swan
Finished reading: January 21st 2021
Pages: 384

“People always assume that just because something is true for them, it must be true for everyone else. It’s a very narrow way of looking at life.”


I loved my time with The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry last year and I’ve been meaning to pick up the second book ever since… I’m still not sure why it took me this long to actually do so, but in a way I’m glad I did because I’m having a feeling I would have felt even more disappointed by The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy otherwise. Why? Well, let’s just say that I ended up having mixed thoughts about this sequel… Especially relating to the main character Queenie. In the first book, I managed to warm up to her almost immediately and I loved the friendship between Harold and Queenie as well as following Harold on his journey to see her after being apart for twenty years. Sadly, this special bond was broken with the appearance of the ‘unrequited love‘ trope that is introduced in the sequel… Very much annoying and the way Queenie was constantly mooning over Harold and lamenting her past got old pretty fast. It basically ruined my good first impression of her, and while I still like the idea of reading more about her side of things during the weeks of Harold’s walk, the bad kind of overshadowed the good for me. I did like the selection of other characters in the hospice, and very much preferred those chapters set in the present. The chapters referring to the past were less to my taste, and especially those relating to Queenie’s feelings for Harold and her strange relationship with Harold’s son. All in all the chapters in the present weren’t enough to save the story for me, even though I did also like the idea of Queenie writing down her ‘confession’ and telling the truth about her time with Harold as well as the years after. I guess The Love Song Of Miss Queenie Hennessy can go both ways for you depending on how you react to the introduction of the ‘unrequited love‘ angle and a Queenie who seems very different from the character in the first book… Sadly, for me personally it wasn’t the experience I was hoping for.

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