Friday, 23 November 2012

Review: Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar

  Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar
  Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
  Publication date: 26th April 2012.
  My rating: 2 stars

  
Imagine there is someone you like so much that just thinking about them leaves you desperate and reckless. You crave them in a way that's not rational, not right, and you're becoming somebody you don't recognise, and certainly don't respect, but you don't even care. And this person you like is unattainable. Except for one thing... He lives downstairs.

Abbie has three obsessions. Art. The ocean. And Kane.

But since Kane's been back, he's changed. There's a darkness shadowing him that only Abbie can see. And it wants her in its world.

A gothic story about the very dark things that feed the creative process.

Night Beach was a book with so much potential but just fell way short for me, having previously devoured Eagar’s Raw Blue, I went into Night Beach with really high expectations. From Raw Blue I knew Eagar had the knack for creating a raw, achy and intense read, from just reading one of her books I knew Eagar was an author who could leave such a lasting impression that I would be thinking about her book for days afterwards. Her writing flowed effortlessly; it was magnetic, poignant and could easily lull you into a false sense of security.

Night Beach never failed in this respect. Eagar’s writing had an essence of desperation and urgency about it and yet was so alluring and written beautifully. I think because of the writing I felt compelled into finishing the book, otherwise I think I would have given up ages ago.

The subject matter was strangely odd; Abbie has liked Kane for a while now, but she hasn’t had the courage to tell him how she’s felt, he’s been away from home and then suddenly turns up earlier than expected. Abbie’s excited as it’s been so long, but then there’s also something strange about him. Kane’s changed since he was last at home, he’s not the same, and he seems agitated at times often lost in his own world. Also as soon as Kane’s back strange things start happening around the house, Abbie’s sure she’s not imagining it. Is everything that’s happening related to Kane’s odd behaviour too?

Raw Blue was constantly on my mind days after finishing it because it had a huge impact on me. With Night Beach it too was on my mind, several times when I was reading it and afterwards but for totally different reasons; because it left me totally baffled. I’m usually quite slow at grasping what’s going on in books but reading this with Keertana I was glad to know I was not the only one confused. We would be constantly writing back and forth to each other with our theories and what we thought would happen, but boy were we wrong.

Night Beach is definitely something different to some of the books I’ve seen out there, I don’t think I’ve ever come across a book which focuses on something like this. It could be quite creepy at times as the direction of the book could change so quickly. And I found myself constantly questioning what would happen next, there were so many unanswered questions hanging in the air that I needed them answered and thus couldn’t put the book down. I commend Eagar for tackling something out there and for keeping me hooked in anticipation. But the only thing which blew for me was that it took ages for something to really grab my attention, yes there were creepy goings on, but it wasn’t until 2/3 of the book that something epic happened that I felt compelled into reading at a faster pace otherwise I was fine dallying at my languid pace. Also I felt that whenever I felt the book was going in a great direction the chapter would abruptly end and start at something fresh. By the end of the first few chapters I probably had a huge list of questions I still needed answering. I think I’ve become one of those people where I don’t have the patience any more. I usually need answers really quickly otherwise my attention seems to drop suddenly. On a few occasions I was tempted to skip ahead just so that I could clear some of the confusement in my head.

Overall Night Beach was a disappointing read for me, but don’t let my two star rating put you off, the majority of my friends really enjoyed this book and the number of 4 and 5 star ratings to go by this is a book you should check out. Despite not quite feeling Night Beach, I still will be reading all of Eagar’s future releases, I still hold her in high regard as one heck of a talented author.

Thank you Keertana for reading this with me, you can check out her review here.

12 comments:

  1. I'm sorry Night Beach fell flat for you, especially since you went in so excited after your great experience with Raw Blue. I read this a couple weeks ago after having previously read RB and really liked it. It was creepy *hides* and as you said, it's written beautifully. Don't worry, I was left with unanswered questions too so your not alone there! Even though this you were disappointed, I'm glad to hear you'll still be checking out Kirsty's future releases. I think we can both agree that she is an a very talented author. Amazing review, Jasprit!

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  2. A very thorough, interesting review! Thanks for sharing :)

    Best,
    Danielle
    http://thereaderscommute.blogspot.com

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  3. Hmm. well I'm super curious now I love books that leave me baffled lol. No seriously the mind f*ck books are totally up my alley. This one sounds very different from anything I've ever read, too. I liked Raw Blue but it didn't blow my mind as much as so many others so maybe this one would be more my cup of tea. I'm glad that you still enjoyed it even though you had issues with it. But what you didn't like is what I think I'll enjoy so see how 2 star reviews can still be beneficial!? ;) Fab review, chickie!

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  4. I'm curious with this book because of Raw Blue too and I'm honestly expecting a lot. It's quite different, seems mysterious and a bit creepy. Your review just heightened my curiosity.

    PS,
    Kristy Eagar is a very talented writer, I agree.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jasprit! The strange and creepy elements sound intriguing, although I doubt I'd had the same level of discipline to not skip ahead when I feel confused about what I'm reading :p

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  6. Sorry to hear this one disappointed you. I'm intrigued by the premise, I have to say! I actually ordered a copy of this all the way from Australia, but haven't gotten round to reading it yet. I'll have to read it soon and see what I think!

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  7. Aww, I'm sorry that this wasn't your cup of tea Jasprit! It definitely sounds like something that I'm going to have to pass up on- confusing beyond belief isn't exactly my style. =P At least you had Keertana to talk to while reading this book! I'm sure it was super helpful in this case to have a buddy read, since you could try to understand everything together. Even with the compelling writing and awesome sounding premise, I'll be passing this one up. Although, I have heard absolutely fantastic things about Raw Blue, so I may have to pick up that book soon! ;)

    Fantastic review Jasprit! <3

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  8. Oh, sorry you didn't like this one, Jasprit! It seems I've been jumping around from wanting to read this to not wanting to read it, but now after your review I'm starting to think it's not worth the inevitable hassle I will go through to obtain a copy (because I can't find a copy of this available ANYWHERE.) I hate it when books leave me so confused that I don't know what's going on half that time - sometimes it's the author's intention, sometimes it's not, but either way it only ends up frustrating me. Great review, Jasprit! Sorry this didn't live up to your hopes.

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  9. Incredible review, Jasprit! You summed up our conflicted feelings over this one perfectly - it really was such a disappointment. I'm a little scared about checking out some of Eagar's other works now, such as Saltwater Vampires, but perhaps they'll be more to our taste. Or, better yet, she'll come out with another breathtaking contemporary like Raw Blue! We can always hope! :)

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  10. I've seen mostly good reviews for this so I'm sad to see it didn't quite work for you! I know Keertana felt similarly and I trust both your opinions, so I have to wonder if this would be for me. Maybe I can just cherish the memories of Raw Blue and not let this ruin my experience with Eagar. Wonderful review as always, Jasprit!

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  11. Hmm, now I'm not sure if I want to read this now. You would recommend Raw Blue before reading this, yah? It's next on my list to order from The Book Depo. Terrific review though, Jasprit! I'm sorry both you and Keertana were disappointed by this - I hope your next book is better! Can't wait for your review of Flawed, btw. :)

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  12. Oh what a shame that this book didn't live up to expectations. I loved Raw Blue and was quite excited to read this book ... I'll still read it, but with different hopes, I think.

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