As with the #GreenGablesReadalong post from the other day, this Brunch Book Club wrap-up will be a two-parter of both March & April’s since April was jam packed with Paris love. 🙂 Per usual, as this is a book club wrap-up discussion, there is a SPOILER WARNING in effect.
For March’s #BrunchBC discussion, we were headed up North to Jenn’s neck of the woods for the weekend so we dined on delicious brunch at the fabulous Creemore Kitchen. While it’s been over a month since we had our chat, I know that this book was quite divisive among the group. Ardo, Sara and I were all reading it while up at Jenn’s for the weekend and roughly in and around the same parts of the book. While Sara gave it more of a chance, Ardo and I had similar thoughts to it and I got through about 2/3 before heading to brunch, Ardo had (to me, wisely) bailed early on.
I’d say the gradient of most-enjoyed to least enjoyed would probably go from Jenn –> Sara –> me –> Ardo. A big part of Jenn’s enjoyment may be attributed to the fact that she enjoyed Carriger’s adult novels, the Parasol Protectorate series, and so Etiquette & Espionage, supposedly being a YA prequel, made more sense to her in context. I think Ardo and I were thrown off by the supernatural element, not expecting it to play into the steampunk story, but also, like I mentioned in my review, I found the writing to be very juvenile. We were all pretty much in agreement that the crossover-ability was lacking, trying to bridge a YA audience with a prequel to an adult series.
That being said, we had a delightfully entertaining discussion, joined by our special guest E.K. Johnston, and cafe-hopped around the main strip for a while afterwards. 🙂
Now, onto April’s read…
Over a week before we were to meet for Brunch Book Club, we already knew this would be another divisive book. We knew that some people had absolutely loved it, but based on the vague texts & tweets between Jenn and I, it seemed that we might not be feeling the same way with the general consensus.
This month, on the recommendation of Christine, we went to check out The Good Son on Queen Street West. It was especially special and bittersweet because we were saying so long (for a while) to Rhiannon, who will be moving out to BC in the coming weeks. She, along with adorable baby Sybil, are a staple to our monthly brunches as we’ve seen her grow up over the last almost-two years! She was definitely out in full-force with the cuteness. (See: Exhibit 1, 2 and 3)
As for Unspoken, we talked about how most people tended to really love it or hate it. That being said, I felt like I was more on the “meh.” side of it. Once again, since Ardo and I seem to have very similar tastes in what we read or like, both of us agreed that the first half of the book was great – a detective “Scooby gang” mystery, but then it got weird. Sure, it’s a Gothic mystery and such but I did not like all the sorcery aspect. It was when that was introduced that I stopped caring about the book.
Jenn also didn’t buy any of the romance. Between Kami & Jared, or Kami & Ash. There was just so much angst and anger and it all seemed forced. (I totally agree.) Actually, one thing I was pleased about was that I was wrong. I was CONVINCED fairly early on that there would be some twist that Jared & Kami were step-siblings. Given how odd and evasive Kami’s mother was about “don’t tell your father” and how Rob used to go visit Kami’s mother back in the day. I thought it was going to get revealed that Kami & Jared shared the same father – Rob. Surprised that it wasn’t how it played out.
I initially wasn’t too keen on the friendships but the others brought up a good point that it was nice to have it subtly called out about how girls can “hate” on other girls just because they’re pretty, so it was nice to see them all call each other out about that and be okay. I thought the “Sorry-In-The-Vale”/Sorry/Sorcery/Sorrier bit was really played out and Jenn reminded me that it was very Lemony Snicket.
All-in-all, I’m still meh about it. And it seems since I’m meh about it, and given how the rest of the books apparently play out, I probably don’t need to get around to checking those out any time soon.