Thalia @ Pictures in the Words

I'm Thalia! I run a book blog called Pictures in the Words and I hope to be an editor for YA fiction. I'm a GoodReads refugee!



Currently Reading

The Martian
Andy Weir
Progress: 31/369 pages
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter
Progress: 193/432 pages
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J.K. Rowling
Progress: 43/766 pages
The Children of Húrin
J.R.R. Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien
Progress: 313/313 pages

Our First Encounter (Review)

While You're Away - Jessa Holbrook

Okay, before I say or do anything, you should know that this “book” is only forty-eight pages. And the entire thing is split into six parts that you have to buy individually. I can’t really review this installment without addressing that, so I wanted to throw it out there.


This is just a little tiny novella. So, even though I went in thinking it was a full-length novel, I will be forgoing my usual “What I Liked/What I Didn’t Like” sections of my review. Also, a copy of this book was provided for me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


In the beginning, I was interested by the writing style. I thought it was pretty decent, and there was a nice little introduction to Sarah and her relationship with Dave, and what her reasoning behind cheating on him was. I might read the rest of the books someday. However, I do have an issue with the length.


As I said, this is a novella. It ends up being a full-length book (I think) once you read all six parts, but for some odd reason, it’s split up this way. I can’t see any reason for it other than to make more money, but that’s just my interpretation. However, the writing and story itself suffers a lot from having it split up. This part feels so incredibly rushed, like something needed to happen right away so readers would want to buy the next part. Usually, the first fifty pages of a book should be a healthy introduction. I have trouble finding sympathy or empathy with a character that cheats on her perfectly nice boyfriend within the first couple chapters of a book. As a result of the sped-up plotline, the writing itself felt choppy and hurried. Instead of telling a story, it felt more like, “We need to get stuff done ASAP!” Sarah says she feels horribly guilty for kissing Will at his girlfriend’s party, but she also decides that Dave doesn’t need to know about it and that hey, she’ll do it again. And her best friend actually applauds her for cheating on her boyfriend and blames Dave for what happened. I’m sorry, but if my best friend cheated on her boyfriend, I would slap a little bit of sense in her and tell her to go tell him the truth.


So, yeah, I had issues connecting, mostly because I wasn’t given a chance to get actually get to know the characters before I was thrown into everything. I think if this was just a “regular” book, then I would have liked it much better than I liked this first little portion. Splitting up the story didn’t work well, and it was the main downfall of this particular novella.