Mini Review: And Then There were None by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None

And Then There were None, also known as 10 Little Indians, is a classic mystery novel by Agatha Christie. It’s my first Christie novel, and probably one of my first higher-level mysteries in general, excluding the infinite adventures of the Boxcar Children or Nancy Drew.

Ten strangers are invited by a mysterious host to an island. None of them have anything in common except for a past they don’t want shoveled up again. Each has been marked with murder in some way, and before the weekend is out, they will each succumb to a murderer themselves.

It’s hard not to like this book. It’s a classic murder mystery. It’s one of those books everyone has read and most everyone loves. The concept is simple, the mystery is complex, and the characters are all suspects. This book is the archetype for the mystery genre.

I enjoyed by time reading it. I can’t say that I was completely in love, though. I was a little frustrated by how slowly they figured some things out, and it did begin to get repetitive after a while. None of the characters are remotely likeable, and the back of the book completely gave away the ending. (Spoiler Alert: they all die).

I also think, because of the simple mystery concept, that it wasn’t my usual niche. Which is good and bad. It’s good because it pushes me out of my comfort zone. It’s bad because I didn’t particularly like it that much. The novel felt too plot based to me and seemed unrealistic. I know it’s not supposed to be realistic, but it’s hard for me to grasp unrealistic novels that aren’t fantasy or science fiction.

Otherwise, I enjoyed trying to find out who the culprit was and guessing everyone’s past and their deaths. I do think it’s a staple book, especially for people into mysteries.

3.5 Stars

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Book Review: Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards

six months later

The lovely Romily Bernard, author of Find Metold me I’d love this book if I fell in love with hers. Well, I definitely did. This novel by Natalie Richards tells a story about a girl who mysteriously lost six months of her life– seemingly the most important six months. She goes from a run of the mill junior finishing up her year with her best friend Maggie to a popular senior with an out of this world GPA. The reader goes with Chloe to figure out what happened to her memory and uncover her startling feelings towards the neighborhood bad boy.

I dreamed about this book. My thoughts revolved around the idea of losing six months of your life. I was furious for losing the two days I was sick over break! And I remember those days! (Though I wish I didn’t… It isn’t fun being sick on Thanksgiving.) Point being, I loved the idea of amnesia. It seems like an overdone topic only fit for corny soap operas, but Richards didn’t make it so. She used it as a tool to create suspense and mystery in the novel.

The story jumped right into the problem, so the readers didn’t really get to know Chloe before the six months. We followed Chloe throughout her journey finding out things about her forgotten months and her past life at the same time. The readers grew to love Chloe not because of her lost self or past self, but because of her present self. We cheered her on through the mystery, and I felt like there was a strong character connection. You liked Chloe because of her reaction to the things happening to her, not because of past experiences.

I enjoyed reading this book. I didn’t think the solution was far-fetched, nor did I think it was too obvious. It wasn’t an alien who came down and stole her memories with the intentions of studying her reactions. It turned out to be a real problem that could lead people to do crazy things. I don’t want to give away the mystery; you’ll have to read it yourself!

The only aspect that bothered me was the “villain.” I felt like he didn’t appear throughout the novel enough to be that important. He was the main culprit and didn’t make a debut until near the end. I guess that was the red herring in the plot, leading you to suspect someone else and surprising you with the appearance of someone completely different. I loved the subtle hints towards multiple people, always keeping you off track.

Another thing I liked: she solved the mystery basically on her own. Sure, she had a love interest and a “frenemy” to help her along, but the majority of the time she thought things through on her own. It would be completely mundane if she was alone all the time, but nobody truly believed her story in the beginning, so she had to think on her own. She had help with some pushes in the right direction, but she also needed to figure out what happened in her own terms. Everything tied back to the lost 6 months. The solution could only be discovered through Chloe getting back her memory, thus retrieving  her knowledge of the villain. Richards really developed a strong female protagonist in this book.

I finished this one in a day, which shows just how eager I was to solve the mystery. I wouldn’t call it a scary or even creepy book, just interesting and suspenseful. With good characters, a tentative love triangle, and broken friendships, this book is definitely stands out. Trust me, it’s no cheesy amnesia story.

4/5 Stars