Amy Goldsmith

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Verk av Amy Goldsmith

Those We Drown (2023) 81 exemplar


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I really, really wanted to love this. I’ve had it on my TBR for months before it actually came out. I adore anything ocean-themed, and I also love traveling on cruise ships. AND I love creepy horror and that gorgeous cover…this seemed to be just what I was looking for. Never mind that YA isn’t my preferred genre, I was really excited for this.

It took me almost 2 weeks to finish this, and I kept putting the book down. Everytime I picked it up I wanted to badly to get drawn back into the story. At the end, I thought it had such great potential, but it just fell flat for me.

I did love quite a few things about it, though. I adored the concept, as I mentioned earlier. The pitch and blurb really drew me in. The atmosphere on the cruise ship was beautifully described and it was easy to imagine being there. There were several points where I was genuinely curious about what would happen next.

What I didn’t love - the characters didn’t really land with me, and I didn’t find myself caring if they lived or died. It felt like there was the beginning of some character development, but none of them felt fleshed out, including our protagonist, Olivia. The rest of the students onboard just felt like cardboard-cutout rich / mean kid archetypes and didn’t have much depth to them. The ending felt rushed and abrupt and left me going “wait that’s it?”

Most of all, I personally thought the mystery was very clear at about 25% of the book. Even the logline kind of gave it away…and once we met some of the non-student characters onboard, it was pretty clear to me what was going on. The book also felt like it could have been 100 pages shorter and still gotten its point across, and maybe had more tension that way. But as it stands there was a lot of repetition in the middle part.

So sadly, while I hoped to love this, I unfortunately didn’t. And that there was a lot of wasted potential.
… (mer)
galian84 | 3 andra recensioner | Dec 1, 2023 |
DNF at 45%

The characters were terrible, and the plot was just all over the place. The further I got into this book, the more I found it didn't grab me at all.
Melline | 3 andra recensioner | Oct 24, 2023 |
I had really high hopes for this book it started out really creepy and vague. I liked the idea of a horror story set on a cruise ship. However, I felt like after the first chapter it was a struggle for me to stay invested in this one. I think I would have DNFed it had it not been for me doing a book box where I got gifts based on the story. It really was slightly irritating how much we focused on how everyone on this ship was a spoiled wealthy child except for our main character Liv, who was only on the trip because of a scholarship.
She spends the entire time on the trip acting like she’s going crazy looking for her friend Will. She keeps talking about wanting off the ship and needing people to believe her theories that she doesn’t have much evidence for… until someone halfway believes her or offers her a chance off and then she does like a 180. Somewhere along the way for no reason seemingly the book takes a Greek myth twist. I will admit the groundwork was laid for the Greek myth element but it didn’t become a huge focus until closer to the end of the book. I really think the book had a lot of potential it just was very very juvenile to me. Which I mean yes it’s a YA book I understand but I don’t know most of it felt very childish. If you need a horror book for the young reader in your life this is a great choice I think.
… (mer)
BookReviewsbyTaylor | 3 andra recensioner | Oct 10, 2023 |
What if Mean Girls occurred on a cruise, and the Plastics were mythological Sirens instead? What if there is no happy acceptance of others at the end of the story? Now throw in a locked room mystery, a main character with severe anxiety, and strange squid-like monsters, and you essentially have the plot of Those We Drown by Amy Goldsmith.

Unfortunately, Those We Drown suffers from inanity and a complete lack of character development. Every character in the book is an archetype that never evolves beyond that. Even the main character, Liv, is too one-noted. Her rampant anxiety becomes a plot device, and the reader must plod through page after page of her questioning what she sees, hears, and experiences. I understand the need to show how much Liv's anxiety stifles her, but it becomes very redundant very quickly.

There are elements of Those We Drown that could be brilliant. The references to Greek mythology and the Sirens are among those elements. Ms. Goldsmith could have done so much with the mythological references. Doing so might pull the rest of the story together in a way that makes more sense. I say this because the story is a bit of a mess. The cohesion between plot points is missing, and it is up to the reader to make sense of them and how they fit together.

Another area of potential brilliance is the "did she or didn't she" part of the mystery. Ms. Goldsmith uses Liv's anxiety to draw out this mystery, but as I said, that quickly gets old. I believe Ms. Goldsmith could have done more or at least mixed up the reasons for Liv's uncertainty to prevent the redundancy that makes up most of the novel - Liv sees or hears something, she then spends the next two chapters questioning what she saw or heard followed by mentioning it to her classmates only to have them finally convince her she was wrong. Rinse and repeat.

While it appears that Ms. Goldsmith means for Those We Drown to be a coming-of-age horror novel (as if coming of age isn't horrifying enough), she fails to create a story that is either enlightening or scary. Liv doesn't grow up as much as others finally provide answers to her that she didn't even know she needed. Ms. Goldsmith does such a poor job of describing the horror elements it is all but impossible to feel anything but mild suspense when Liv finally confronts them. Those We Drown is Ms. Goldsmith's debut novel, which explains some of the issues. I am hopeful, however, that any future efforts will be better for her and will watch her career with interest.
… (mer)
jmchshannon | 3 andra recensioner | Jun 7, 2023 |



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