Mini Review: Suicide Club by Rachel Hang

suicideclub

Title: Suicide Club

Author: Rachel Heng

Release date: March 21st 2019

Publisher: Sceptre

Star rating: 2.5/5

Purchase: Book Depository (Affiliate Link)

 

Thank you so much to Sceptre for sending me a copy of Suicide Club for free in exchange for this review, which is honest, unbiased and in no way affected by how I received this book.

 

This review may contain minor spoilers for the book, but only for the purpose of illustrating my viewpoint.

 

Summary (Taken from Goodreads)

In this debut set in near future NYC—where lives last 300 years and the pursuit of immortality is all-consuming—Lea must choose between her estranged father and her chance to live forever.

Lea Kirino is a “Lifer,” which means that a roll of the genetic dice has given her the potential to live forever—if she does everything right. And Lea is an overachiever. She’s a successful trader on the New York exchange—where instead of stocks, human organs are now bought and sold—she has a beautiful apartment, and a fiancé who rivals her in genetic perfection. And with the right balance of HealthTech™, rigorous juicing, and low-impact exercise, she might never die.

But Lea’s perfect life is turned upside down when she spots her estranged father on a crowded sidewalk. His return marks the beginning of her downfall as she is drawn into his mysterious world of the Suicide Club, a network of powerful individuals and rebels who reject society’s pursuit of immortality, and instead chose to live—and die—on their own terms. In this future world, death is not only taboo; it’s also highly illegal. Soon Lea is forced to choose between a sanitized immortal existence and a short, bittersweet time with a man she has never really known, but who is the only family she has left in the world.

 

Review

When Sceptre reached out to me to review Suicide Club, I was immediately intrigued. Set in a world where immortality is within reach and doing anything that’s bad for your health is frowned upon and illegal (and therefore, suicide is also illegal), I knew this was a story I wanted to get my hands on. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting in terms of execution, and maybe in hindsight, I wasn’t the best reviewer/reader for it, having (at times) to struggle and push my way through it, but I managed.

 

While I enjoyed reading through Lea’s eyes her perspective on this seemingly bizarre and strange world – where all anyone cares about is being healthy and workworkworkwork – I didn’t really connect to Lea herself. We were told that she looked no older than fifty (but in reality was 100 years old), but it didn’t really feel like she had an age. I don’t really know how else to describe it other than that. Sure, we were given physical descriptions of her, but I found Lea particularly hard to picture. She didn’t act like any age at all, whether that be twenty or fifty or a hundred. I don’t feel like we got to know her very well, besides the little bits of backstory we got about her mother, father and brother, the latter of which died of cancer and was a sub one-hundred (meaning he didn’t make it to 100 years old).

 

The second female protagonist, Anja, was more interesting than Lea, but her scenes still weren’t enough to justify a higher rating. Anja is a Swedish immigrant violinist living with her ill mother. If Suicide Club had been written solely from Anja’s POV, my thoughts might be a little different (and perhaps more positive, given the fact that Anja is much more of a character than cardboard-Lea ended up being), but alas this was not the case. I’m intrigued as to why Heng chose to centre the book more on Lea instead of Anja (with about a 70/30 perspective split, with Lea on the receiving end of the most chapters) when Anja would have likely made Suicide Club much more of an interesting story.

 

I found Heng’s writing to be slow in pace, but her imagery vivid and writing engrossing. Because of this, I often found myself skim-reading sections of the book, bypassing Heng’s impressive prose, eagerly awaiting the next exciting plot point and increase in pace, that ultimately never came. This being said, I would be more than happy to pick up any of Heng’s future works, if only to read more of her beautiful writing, and to see if her pacing increases (or if she is simply a writer with slow pace, which some writers are!)

 

One of the most – shall I say annoying and misleading – aspects about this book is that unfortunately, the titular Suicide Club doesn’t make its grand appearance until much later in the book than I had been anticipating. It’s hinted at a couple times earlier on, but Lea doesn’t begin to have much involvement with the group until nearer the end. Don’t get me wrong, an author is by all means entitled to introduce plot points whenever they see fit to, I was just expecting the introduction of this oh-so-mysterious group a little earlier on, given it’s the title of the book itself and what I can imagine readers look forward to experiencing the most (and likely why they pick it up in the first place).

 

I ended up wanting to read this book in an attempt to broaden my reading horizons, venture a little into sci-fi and make my way back to the dystopian genre I loved long ago. Unfortunately, what we got was a brilliant premise in a – in my personal opinion – poorly executed way, with pacing that was too slow for my preference, and characters that I just couldn’t connect with. As I mentioned earlier in this mini review, in hindsight I probably wasn’t this book’s target audience and therefore not the right reviewer for it either, but I was expecting more from Suicide Club than what I got. However, if science fiction or dystopian is up your alley, I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.

 

Once again, thank you to Sceptre for sending a copy of Suicide Club my way; I will be sure to pass it on to a fellow reader who will enjoy it a lot more than I did!

 

Happy reading,

 

Ellie

 

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Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Creatures

Hi everyone! It’s time for another Top 5 Wednesday!

 

I’m sorry for the lack of content – especially reviews – here as of late. It’s around 70 days until my A-levels (aka the biggest exams probably of my life) start and I’m trying to wrap my mind around time management (something that isn’t my forte) and right now I’m just not managing to fit reading into the mix, especially for books that I don’t want to (but have to) review. I promise I’ll get there eventually, and however many weeks or months late those reviews will be, they’ll be written and posted eventually. I just need to carve out time for everything and push through the books, even if I really don’t feel like reading them *sigh*.

 

Anyways, here’s today’s Top 5 Wednesday prompt, straight from the official Goodreads group:

March 6: Favorite SFF Creatures *Booktube SFF Awards Crossover Topic*
— Discuss your favorite creatures from Science Fiction and Fantasy books! This is a crossover topic with the Booktube SFF Awards Book Babble discussion for this week.

 

Considering SFF (although really only Fantasy) is all I read, this one should be fairly easy! I’m not sure if the prompt exactly means mythological creatures in general or creatures from specific books (which might severely limit my options), but we’ll see what I can come up with!

 

Let’s get to it!

 

1. Thestrals – Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

I love these magnificent beasts! I find the idea that only people who have witnessed death can see them, and the sorta-contrast between them and pegasi as the life vs. death comparison. I wish we would have seen a bit more of them in the films! (I can’t comment on the books because I haven’t read them in literally forever, whoops).

 

2. Wyverns (specifically Abraxos) – Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Abraxos!! Our friendly flower-sniffing witch-loving Wyvern. I don’t think I know a single person in the Throne of Glass fandom who didn’t like Abraxos, even when we first met him as the bait and runt he started out as.

 

3. The Suriel aka everyone’s favourite gossip – A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

For real though, The Suriel is a real-life gossip, and you know it. I was so sad about his ending in the series – no spoilers if you haven’t read A Court of Wings and Ruin – although I can imagine that you can imagine what happened.

 

4. Crows – The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

I loved the crows in The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson (my review for it is scheduled for June 25th, 2 weeks before pub. date). It’s a shame we didn’t get to see too much of them in this book (for obvious reasons) but I’d love a giant crow of my own, so they of course had to be included in today’s list.

 

5. Dragons – literally any book ever that features dragons, but here I thought of Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon and The Fallen Isles trilogy by Jodi Meadows!*

Um…. dragons, anyone?! Who doesn’t love dragons!

 

*side note, I haven’t read either of these books yet but they contain dragons – and at the end of the day, a dragon is a dragon – so I’m sure I’ll love them both!

 

Okay, yes, I know dragons and wyverns are sorta similar, but technically, they’re different. And I couldn’t not include Abraxos on this list. Everyone loves Abraxos, right?!

 

I’ll admit that list was harder to compile than I thought! I had to wrack my brain for animals from books for a sec there XD.

 

I took this prompt to mean creatures as in animals, but if it included creatures IN GENERAL, I totally would include the sirens from To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo… I love that book ❤

 

Unfortunately, that’s it for today, folks! What did you think of my list, and what were your picks for today’s Top 5 Wednesday? Let me know in the comments!

 

Until next time,

 

Ellie

 

Down The TBR Hole #1

Hi everyone!

 

Today I’ll be trying my hand at the Down The TBR Hole meme, created by the lovely Lia @ Lost in a Story. The basic gist of it is to clear out books you no longer want to read on your Goodreads want-to-read shelf (or keep them, if you do decide you like them). Here are the official rules, taken from Lia’s post here:

It works like this:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

 

I think this is going to be a fairly long post, maybe around 10-25 books, and I’ll be including the GR summary of each book as well. Let’s begin!

Continue reading “Down The TBR Hole #1”

Beat the Backlist Challenge

Hello again! What’s this? I’m posting two days in a row? … This must be some kind of record, right?

 

Jokes aside, today I’m going to be giving you guys the rundown on the backlist titles I want to read this year. Per the rules of the lovely NovelKnight’s challenge, the books must have been published in 2018 or earlier, and I must both start and complete them at any point this year (i.e. I can’t start a book this year and finish it next year, as it won’t count).

 

This won’t be a complete list of backlist titles I want to read, as lord knows there are too many on my shelf, but here are the ones that I really want to get to:

 

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

anemberintheashes

 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater

theravenboys

 

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

eventhedarkeststars

 

Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst

inkmistress

 

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

offireandstars

 

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

thecrownsgame

 

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows

beforesheignites

 

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

caraval

 

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

strangethedreamer

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

daughterofsmokeandbone

 

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

thestartouchedqueen

 

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

thewrathandthedawn

 

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

thebonewitch

 

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade final for Irene

 

 

How many of these books have you read? Which of them did/didn’t you like? Let me know in the comments!

 

I know it’s only a short post today, but I’ve got lots more coming so keep an eye on my Twitter and your inboxes ;P.

 

Happy reading,

 

Ellie

5 Star TBR Predictions (2019 Edition)

Hi, lovelies!

 

I know, I know. Yet another post that’s not a review. I’m working on it, I promise. I feel like I’m in a huge reading slump right now and that I’m having to push myself to get through books (*sigh*). Do you have any recommendations for books to get you out of reading slumps? Let me know in the comments!

 

Anyway, today’s post is inspired by a video I watched recently on Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes’ YouTube channel, where she predicts what books on her 2019 TBR are going to be 5 star books! I really liked the idea of it, so I thought I’d do the same. A lot of these books you may recognise from my 2019 Most Anticipated Reads list, but I’ve pulled together a pretty hefty list of 2019 releases (that are on my radar, at least) so I’ll be looking through that to make my predictions.

Continue reading “5 Star TBR Predictions (2019 Edition)”

Top 5 Wednesday: Independent Ladies

Hello, from the blogging rabbit hole!

 

Is that a thing? I’m making it a thing.

 

Anyhow – today’s post is my first in the Top 5 Wednesday series, for my blog at least. I’ve seen this go around on Booktube and on other blogs, so I thought I’d join in, if only to give you more of an insight as to who I am (which depending on the amount we’ve talked, you may know very little!) and as a sneaky little way of ensuring I at least have something to post every week, cause you know…. reading slumps *cries*.

 

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday is themed around our top five favourite independent ladies. This is probably the best place for me to start as it’ll probably give a good indication as to who I am by the fandoms I’m including. Some of them will be blindly obvious. There’s probably one or two you can probably guess without reading any further ;). I’ll leave the most obvious til last.

 

Here’s the original prompt from the official Top 5 Wednesday Goodreads group:

February 13: Independent Ladies
–Favorite leading ladies who aren’t distracted from getting shit done by their love interest (they can still have a romance subplot – this is going to be subjective based on what you think would be ~too much~).

 

Before I get on with today’s top five, I’ll just give a little disclaimer that all of my Top 5 Wednesday posts will include things from a variety of medias, so books, TV, films, you name it! Not just books on Wednesdays, people :D!

 

Here we gooooooo! Basically everyone on this list is a badass, so you’ll see that word a lot in this one. These are some of my favourite fictional ladies, so what can I say? *insert shrugging emoji here*.

Continue reading “Top 5 Wednesday: Independent Ladies”

15 Popular Series I Haven’t Read Yet

Hi! Long time no see.

 

Since I last posted something here (my ARC review of The Girl King), a lot has happened. I won’t share a lot of it here, but it’s safe to say it’s been a bit of a stressful time XD. Anyways, I’m back now, and today’s post is a little different: I’ll be giving the low down on 15 (yes, 15!) popular series that I haven’t read yet. Some of them may surprise you.

 

Are you ready? Let’s get to it!

Continue reading “15 Popular Series I Haven’t Read Yet”