2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.

Book Review: The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale

When I first saw this one on NetGalley I gave it a pass. It sounded fine, but revenge stories are usually not my thing – as a category, in my experience, they tend to either fall into all-too-familiar tropes or go so far over the top that I struggle to stay with the stories Then I was invited to participate in a Poisoned Pen bookshop author panel online that included Pip Drysdale, and I was so captivated by her personality and her explanation of her book that I immediately went back and requested it. So I had high hopes after initial low ones, which I know could be a dangerous combination – and proved to be…

The book started off beautifully – I was delighted to find that the book read the way the author spoke. It was snarky and subtle and funny and dark but with a curious levity that felt appropriate and made everything intriguing. I loved the premise, and was initially drawn to the voice of Taylor, the protagonist. But about 1/3 to 1/2 in, that voice shifted and from there on I struggled with this one. Taylor became improbable and much less sympathetic to me as a character and she lost all of the edge and snark and wit that I so enjoyed in the beginning of the book.

It was strange, but it almost felt like someone else had written the book from that point forward. The clever bon mots and one-liners and bits that wove Sun Tzu into the revenge story were suddenly gone. What I was left with was a revenge tale that felt fairly typical, which I found very disappointing. There were a few twists and turns, that is true, and it never occurred to me to stop reading – I was curious enough to see where things would go and constantly hopeful that the author’s delightful voice would turn back up (at the denouement and resolution if nowhere else). It never did and it left me a little disappointed. Still, I so loved the beginning and the concept was clever and fun, even if its execution wasn’t always quite as surgical and deft as the beginning led me to believe it would be, and I will definitely keep an eye out for more of her books in the hope of finding that magic again…

And honestly, Drysdale is delightful to listen to, so if you have an opportunity to look her up it is definitely worth your time!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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