2019 Reading Challenge

2019 Reading Challenge
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Book Review: Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly

This was a seriously twisted book – mostly in a good way – and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even when I was reading with one hand over my eyes as though to shield my brain from what I was seeing…

Dixie should be a difficult protagonist to relate to or like, but somehow I found myself doing both things almost from the get-go. She is broken. Indelibly broken. There’s a very good reason for it, but Vandelly does a very nice job of never letting you forget that this is a girl on the edge and that her motives and actions are therefore not entirely to be trusted… At least, I felt that way right up until the Big Reveal, when it felt as though all of that previous edgy brokenness was somehow swept under the carpet and she was the sanest person in the room.

I found that a bit jarring and discordant with the previous 95% of the story, but it was still interesting to see how it all played out. I think that’s a testament to the author’s ability to tell a good story. Even when things didn’t feel quite right, they were still very engaging and I couldn’t turn pages fast enough to figure out what would happen next.

From the first pages I had no idea where the author was going with this one, in a very good way. It is indeed gruesome – there are no punches pulled and the violence is slathered on like butter on bread. For all that, it’s a very entertaining story with a lot of lies and secrets and twists and red herrings, and I found the journeys into Dixie’s mind to be some of the most fascinating bits of all. She’s a great darkly funny, wry and sarcastic protagonist, and I loved how she had either a fainter or much broader grasp of reality than everyone around her at various points in the book. It made her a very interesting character and very enjoyable to read.

It would have been a 4-star read for me, but for the weirdly tidy way everything got pulled together. That felt rushed and off pace with the vast majority of the book. It was a satisfying enough conclusion, don’t get me wrong, it just felt like it all came together too fast and too tidily and that’s the only thing that kept it from being a 4-star read for me. The writing is very good throughout, with more description than you’ll want and a snarky tone that I thought was a great foil for all of the bloody violence.

I will look for more from this author, although like other reviewers I hope it will be slightly less gruesome LOL, as this one nearly put me off breakfast with my family forever… ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you to NetGalley for my review copy. The book releases in the U.S. on July 23, 2019.

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