Saturday, 31 May 2014

Nerdsville Book Club #One: Eeny Meeny, by M.J. Arlidge


Available on Amazon here. Also available on Kindle.

A couple of months ago, some of my fellow bloggers and I were tweeting excitedly over our love for Literature, so when there was the suggestion of a book club, I couldn't wait to get started. I'm so excited for the first 'Nerdsville Book Club' write up!

Charlotte chose the first book as she'd heard some great things about it. The book is Eeny Meeny, by M. J. Arlidge, and the basis is thus: Two people (who know each-other) get kidnapped at a time. They are taken to various secure places and a phone goes off. There is either a text message or voice message, all with the same message - there's a gun with one bullet and they have to decide who survives.

Now, sitting here happy and safe in my bedroom, admiring the blue sky, I'd say now that I wouldn't/ couldn't harm another person. My option now would be for the two of us to meet our maker without picking up the gun, not letting our abductor win.....I say this sitting here happy and safe in my bedroom, admiring the blue sky. Who knows how someone would feel and react in that situation? Who knows how the person you've been kidnapped with would react to that situation? There surely needs to be a great deal of trust in the other not to cave after days and days of solitude with no food, no water and barely any light. In truth, we can never say for certain if we'd be capable of killing another human being, knowing that was the only way to live. Our natural instincts is to survive, right?!

All the captives face this (fictional) reality and not to give too much away, but at least one of each couple is left behind. All are educated people with their lives ahead of them, but faced with their own mortality turns them into entirely different people; it's not that they're bad or evil, it's simply that they are given one option to live. That's what I really enjoyed about the book. All the circumstances and level of relationships are different. Would it be easier to use a gun against a work colleague you barely like than your romantic partner? Does having (seemingly) nothing to live for make it easier to take the bullet? Then there is of course the aftermath. Each surviour has to deal with the consequences of their actions, has to look themselves in the mirror and live with the decision they have made. It’s an unenviable circumstance and not one that I think I could live with. All these subjects are all touched upon in the book.

Helen Grace is our heroine detective who has to solve this crime, and as many of us, she has her own demons to tackle while trying to function day-to-day. Helen depicts someone without a care in the world. She depicts someone who has it all together and shows very minimal emotion in her everyday life; but again like most, she has an outlet. My personal outlet is to either write or runaround with my camera, taking pictures of familiar places I know and love – creative escapism is my outlet. Helen is a strong and stubborn woman on the outside, but with a troubled upbringing and an uncertain love life, she has to decide whom she can trust and open up to. A great, relatable segment from the book sums this up and in truth, sums up humans as a whole – even if we daren’t admit it:

“There are countless moments in the average life when you have to decide whether to open yourself up or bury yourself deep. In love, at work, amongst your family, with friends, there are moments when you have to decide whether you are ready to reveal your true self.”

In the end, Helen loses more than she could have imagined and as this is series, I’m sure some of these will be talked about in the next book.

I also found this story relatable because it’s set in Southampton, UK. Books of this nature are usually set in America and for someone who was born and raised in England, there is a natural detachment. But with Southampton, not only is it familiar, it’s also the language and dry sarcasm only a Brit or someone whom has lived in the UK, would understand.

For me, the scariest stories are the ones you could actually see happening (28 Days Later immediately springs to mind). The author creates a set of circumstances that any of us could genuinely be unfortunate to find ourselves in. They are a set of circumstances that really makes the reader think about their desire to survive and how far they’d go to do so. We can all sit in our safe environments shaking our heads at the mere thought of picking up the gun, but if it meant it were you starring down the barrel instead.....

What would you do?


Check out the reviews from my fellow Nerdsville crew:


‘til next time!


Love and hugs,
Isha
xxx

2 comments:

  1. Brilliant review love! What I find really strange is that Arlidge does make you think, and obviously the reason it's scary is because (as you said!) it's not that radical or impossible a situation. But I found his writing less than gripping and thoughtful. Love YOUR words as always though.

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    1. Thank you my lovely. I think for a first novel it's good, but I definitely think there's room for improvement. I'm not sure how this is going to work as a series as the story felt played out to me. <3

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