Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

Challenge 36 ~ “A book by an author you’ve never read before.”


★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

This book was a bit of an oddball, but from the very outset (including the blurb) you could tell it was going to be a little weird. In fact it was this unknown that hooked me into the novel in the first place. It was also this promise of mystery and (eventually) answers that kept me going through the first few chapters.

It was a slow-going book. I actually started it last autumn, and it’s taken almost a year to finish it. I wasn’t expecting answers to start flooding in from the first page, but I was beyond a third of the way through and still lost as to what bearing these actions had on forming a plot.

Thankfully a plot did seem to appear, weird as it was, as you got further into the novel, and the characters seemed to assume a life and a role. Progress became easier, despite the more frequent peculiar scenes, and carried the reader swiftly to the conclusion (which was rather impressively managed given the rest of the book.) That being said, more revelation and information on the past, and the events that occurred, would have helped the reader grasp a stronger understanding on the whole story, tying the loose ends a little nicer.

Kuehn managed to pace the book well, and despite its slightly bizarre plotline, I enjoyed the novel. It was a well-paced read, but only once the reader had persevered at the start, and finished with a little too little detail on past events. A good book, but not one that has inspired me to read more of Kuehn’s work.

Recommended for fans of:

  • The Pack by Tom Pow
  • The Dead of Summer by Camilla Way
  • Virals by Kathy Reichs

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