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  • Javier Coronel

Where the Crawdad Sings... Hopefully Not Near Me.

Throughout my life I have read a lot of amazing books. It's actually quite rare when I find a book I have a strong disliking for and yet somehow, this book managed to do exactly that. This truly baffled me as I know a few years ago this book was #1 across print, digital, and audiobook which is the very reason I decided to read it in the first place. I figured if this many people took the time out of their lives it had to be worthwhile right? I couldn't have been more wrong.

The unfortunate part about this book is that from a bird's eye view (no pun intended), the premise is actually really good. A murder happens in a small town where a girl is bullied by the entire community, grows up and gets involved in a complicated love life with one of them being the victim, and an investigation begins where she is the prime suspect. Notice I'm not giving any spoilers? I'm being kind enough to the book in the instance that after you read this you still decide to throw hours of your life straight into a dumpster in deciding to give this book a chance.

My main criticism of this book is how much of a slow burn it is and I don't mean that in a suspenseful way. The book is designed in a way that dwindles like a candle flame that leads to a firecracker hidden at the very bottom of the wax. The murder investigation at best is around 30% of the book's content with the other 70% being poor character development of the main character aka "marsh girl" and her romantic interests. The author was unable to get me invested in any of the characters and I truly did not care what happened to them in any regard.

In instances like this where I don't like something, I try to find opportunities for different takeaways but that, once again, is hard to do with this book. This is not one of those stories where the bullied individual stands up to their attackers. The main character remains hidden in the shadows studying the marsh which eventually leads to her writing multiple books that result in her obtaining income from them to only interact with people even less than she already was.

The love interest aspect of the book which is the majority of this novel isn't developed either. One individual gets her to fall in love with him only for him to leave her due to his academic pursuits. He later comes back and gives her the cliche statements such as "I'll never leave you again" only to find out she somehow managed to get involved with the captain of the football team. I wish I was joking but this book really does have this many cliches. You find out he's only with her because he wanted her to sleep with him and is later found dead which is what ultimately made all fingers point towards the "marsh girl".

If you ask most people that read this book what their thoughts were it would probably be something along the lines of "It got interesting towards the end" which is due to the fact that the murder investigation doesn't take place until the last quarter of the book.

I could spoil the ending as the best part of the entire book really was the last few pages of the book where the author decided to insert a plot twist but I'll leave that decision up to you to decide.

To conclude, if you don't value your time and want to feel like you're watching cement dry, this book is for you. If you, like the majority of people, do not enjoy those sensations I strongly urge you to stray away from this particular book.

I do want to end by saying that this is by no means meant to disrespect the author as I respect all artists but art is also subjective. What is good to one person may not be great for another. That's just how the world works. Unfortunately, this book to me was like black tea. I do not like black tea.

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