It’s time for another post in my “Try a Chapter” Challenge—where I’ll choose ONE book for the month’s TBR!
If you’re not familiar with the Try a Chapter tag, it’s a tag common on booktube (and sometimes blogs) where the participant reads the first chapter of five books and chooses one of those books to read, based on the results!
For this series, I do something a little different:
The five books I choose will be inspired by the month’s “theme”.
I usually base my 5 picks on the Devour Your TBR group theme. July is Avid August (which coincides with the ARC August readathon), so I picked 5 random review copies from my August TBR to prioritize!
- Ghost Mine — Hunter Shea
- Unbreak Me — Michelle Hazen
- Call it What You Want — Brigid Kemmerer
- The Toll — Cherie Priest
- The Fearing, Book 1: Fire & Rain — John F.D. Taff
My thoughts on the first chapter of…
I listened to the first couple of chapters, actually, but I wasn’t getting into it, and frankly… I never quite forgave this book for its very first chapter, which features really explicit on-page animal abuse and murder — and the victim is a rat, which is one of my favorite types of pets I’ve ever had, so it hit me extra hard. 🙁
I’m intrigued, but not sold on the writing style. LJ seems like he’ll be a likable enough hero, but the first impression of Andra (the heroine) is so bland that I’m just hoping it improves very quickly. It’s also probably worth noting that I don’t know what to expect from this because, while I like horses as much as the next person, I really don’t care (like, even the tiniest bit) about horse racing. I thought this was about LJ going to work at a regular old ranch, but it looks like a lot of the book will be about racing, and if that’s the case, I’ll probably get bored fast.
CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT:
This first chapter was super short, but I have a strong feeling I’ll get to this one within the next month or two regardless, so I didn’t keep going. I like Brigid’s writing and I like her angsty, angry characters (for the most part), which one of these MCs definitely seems to be, so I have an okay feeling with it. My only concern is that the MC’s thoughts towards his father, who’s disabled due to a failed suicide attempt, struck me as a little… well, hard to read, to say the least.
I have VERY mixed feelings on this narrative style already. It’s hard to describe, but it’s really strange and choppy; I think it might be along the lines of how some horror authors write short, choppy sentences to try and unsettle/unnerve the reader, though? And if that’s the case, I usually don’t mind if it’s done well.
THE FEARING, BOOK 1: FIRE & RAIN:
Holy shit. A ton of my friends rave about John’s work, but this is my first time reading it, and I immediately see why they love it so much. I was sucked in from the first paragraph, and even though the first chapter is just a few pages long, it literally made me gasp a couple of times because it was one of those things where I was like, “Did they…? No, surely not… OMG THEY DID.” 😂
And the winner is…
THE FEARING, BOOK 1: FIRE & RAIN!
This was such an easy choice! I didn’t even want to set the book down to finish this post. I’m surprised at how lackluster the other first chapters were — usually, it’s a hard decision to make when doing this challenge! — but I’m hoping all of them improve (besides Ghost Mine, which I read a little further ahead into and honestly may remove from my TBR altogether).