Yet another time travel book this year. If you had a chance to travel back (or forward) in time, whom would you meet and what will you ask them? Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi runs around this theme and let us get on to my book review right away.
About Before the Coffee Gets Cold
Book Name: Before the Coffee Gets Cold
Author: Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Genre: Fiction – Drama,
Characters: Kazu, Nagare and Kei, Fusagi and Kohtake
Setting: Tokyo, Japan
Plot Summary of Before the Coffee Gets Cold
The Funiculi Funicula is a basement cafe that has an ambient temperature whatever be the time of the day or season outside, despite no apparent air conditioning. Urban legend holds that its patrons can travel in time by following some rules and certain ritual.
But the catch is that, the trip would bear no impact to the present or future. And the opportunity to travel in time is also rare – only when a particular seat is vacant.
Four different patrons take their chances to time travel even though they know they cannot change their history. Did they make it back safely? What did they want to do so important that they risk getting stuck in a forever loop?
Read Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi to know more.
Book review of Before the Coffee Gets Cold
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi consists of four interlinked short stories of four patrons of the cafe who want to travel in time, and seek someone special.
The premise is quite interesting and simple. But it works well because of the characters, despite the straight forward plot.
I loved the three café workers and their relationships with these patrons. While they are not traveling in time, they understand why it is important for these four to do so and they almost hold their breath until they return from their trip (or not.)
The book is quintessentially Japanese, or East Asian. When I learnt that Before the Coffee Gets Cold was initially written as a play, it made more sense about why everything was overexplained and had minimal descriptions.
What worked for me
- Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a character driven book and if you are not one for them, this book might bore you soon enough.
- I loved Kazu, Kei and Nagare and I really hope to seeing more of them in the next part of the book.
- The book is hopeful and bittersweet. And if you are particularly emotional type, this book might overwhelm you (in a good way).
What may have been better
- There are times when the writing gets sloppy and repetitive. I am not sure if it is an issue with the translation or the writing itself.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi might be the next bittersweet book you might be looking for. If you are looking Asian or Japanese books to read, Before the Coffee Gets Cold should be next pick.
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Have you read Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi? How did it fare for you? What are your favorite Japanese literature that you read recently? Let us talk.
I am a bit late to review this one. I read In a Holidaze during the holidays and this is my second book by Christina Lauren, so I had some expectations. Did the book meet my expectations? Read my book review of In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren to know more.
About In a Holidaze
Book Name: In a Holidaze
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Fiction – Romance
Characters: Maelyn and Miles Jones, Andrew and Theo Hollis.
Setting: Utah, The USA
Plot Summary of In a Holidaze
Twenty six year old Maelyn Jones is on her yearly Christmas vacation with her family and their friends. But this might be the last year for that tradition and she is heartbroken about her life.
Her job seems to be a dead end, she moved back to her hometown after her parents’ divorce, her 13 year long crush doesn’t reciprocate her feelings and her one happy place – their Christmas cabin of 17 years is about to be sold.
In a moment of desperation, she wishes that life would show how her how to be happy. And their car rams into another. AND she wakes up a week earlier to celebrate Christmas all over again.
Does she get what she wanted this time? Read In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren, a romantic Groundhog scenario set in a holiday background to know more.
Book review of In a Holidaze
As I mentioned already I really liked reading Christina Lauren’s other book, The Unhoneymooners and I knew what I was getting into. And that is exactly what I wanted for my holiday fervor.
In a Holidaze didn’t fail me on that. I loved their Christmas traditions. Also, I really like the Groundhog scenario in general and to do it on a holiday background made it more engaging.
I somehow thought Theo and Mae were the actual pairing initially and that he will have his redemption. And I never was able to change my mind about Mae-Andrew after that. So sadly, this friendship to love trope didn’t work well for me.
I liked Maelyn and her character was the only one fleshed out well. And the first 75 to 100 pages were really interesting and fun to read. But the middle part seemed dragging and too slow for a romance.
I love a large family, don’t get me wrong. But there were far too many characters to enjoy it and there was not just enough time for any sorta character development for each of them. All the adults kinda rolled up into one after a while.
What worked for me
- I loved that I read In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren during the holidays and it helped me stay in the holiday fervor for a longer time.
- The set up and the characters, especially one of the adults, reminded me of the Fuller house characters – in a positive way.
What may have been better
- There were too many characters in the family to actually like any of them in particular. I wished these characters were fleshed out better.
- I wish there was some explanation into why this groundhog/ time travel thing was happening to Mae out of nowhere.
PG-13, Car accidents
In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren is definitely a fun holiday read with a time travel element to it. Sadly the romance part and character development left me wanting for more.
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Have you read In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren? What are your favorite holiday romance reads? Do you often try to read based on seasons? Let us talk.
If you have been reading my reviews for a while you might know that I love jumping into a book without even reading the synopsis of a book. And I solely depend on recommendations and reviews of other bloggers and my mood swings to pick a book.
When I assumed that it was a contemporary murder mystery, I could not have been more wrong about The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton when I picked it up, after three other bookworms suggested it to me. I can’t wait to
rave talk about the book to you all. Shall we get on with the review now?
About The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Book Name: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Author: Stuart Turton
Genre: Fiction – Thriller, Paranormal
Characters: Evelyn Hardcastle, Sebastian Bell, Dr Dickie, Aiden Bishop, Daniel Coleridge, Michael Hardcastle, Charles Cunningham
Setting: The UK
Plot summary of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Our protagonist wakes up with just a name in his mind and no other memory what so ever. He does not know his name or his history, except that he has to save Anna. He finds his name to be Sebastian Bell, a drug peddling doctor who is invited to a party at the Blackheath estate.
Soon he realizes Bell is just one of his hosts and has eight days and eight lives each in a different person’s body tasked to find the murderer of Evelyn Hardcastle, one of the heirs to the Blackheath.
He discovers that he is Aiden Bishop who is stuck in a time rut and until he finds the murderer he has to relive these eight days for eternity. What brings Aiden to Blackheath and does he solve the murder forms the rest of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.
Book review of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a perfect blend of mystery novel with time travel fantasy. It took me a few pages to get into the story especially since I was not sure what to expect. But once I did, I just couldn’t put the book down until the end.
I should start with I have not read a book as complicated as The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in the recent while, or maybe in a long time.
And it reads like a puzzle than a typical mystery novel.
It offers more than unexpected twists and suspense that is maintained till the last page. There are quite a number of captivating plot lines and characters that make us question our trust and their perceptions.
Things that worked for me
- As a newbie to the time travel genre, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle blew my mind and I am sure it would be as good even if you are a regular.
- I loved the methodical approach in solving the mystery, which is becoming a rarity these days.
- And also, here is another unreliable narrator to love and rave about.
Things that didn’t work for me
- Being a vividly plotted novel, many may consider the pace to be slow, especially for a murder mystery.
- I felt The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle was a little long winded during the last few chapters.
The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is one of those rare books that I would not mind rereading for the plot itself, just to make sure I had not missed out anything. And I am sure The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle will be worth reading twice. Just pick it up already.
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Have you read The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle? Do you have any other recommendation in time travel as a genre? Let us talk.