Review: Resin by Ane Riel

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★★★

Doubleday | 2018

Opening Hook: Going off-grid

Main Character: Just doing her best

Plot Twisty-ness: Encased in resin


Wellllllll…. excuse the fuck out of me, but I didn’t really love this. It’s meh, but I get what it was going for. I’m definitely an outlier when it comes to my rating, so take it with a grain of salt and a shot of tequila.

I picked this up – an award-winning international best-seller – because the reviews are all like THIS IS BEST THING EVER! WORK OF ART! Blah, blah, blah… and I guess at this point I should know that my tastes are garbage and anything that is considered “art” is fucking lost on me.

I don’t like the classics.

I don’t like art-house.

I don’t like pompous shit that no one can get unless you’re some kind of eccentric intellectual.

I don’t like things that are extra for the sake of sounding smarter than the person reading it.

And I didn’t like this.

inspecting jake gyllenhaal GIF

Liv is six-years-old when her parents fake her death in order to keep themselves completely off of the grid in an isolated house away from the only main town for miles.

The story flips back and forth between the story of Liv’s father’s upbringing in the same house with his own weird parents, to present day where Liv’s own father is losing his mind, sinking ever deeper into a hoarding, paranoid madness. Liv’s mother is consumed with the state of her home, marriage and isolation and she deals with it by overeating to the point that now she is so big, she is confined to a bed and cannot move.

This family was fucked. The situation was fucked. I felt for sweet Liv who was an innocent child just trying to navigate what was normal and what was not by way of her underdeveloped intuition, but I didn’t really get into the story beyond the general disturbing idea.

Mostly because the plot itself is kind of boring outside of the messed up family dynamics. I found this to be slow, cold and flat. The writing was awkward and emotionless, and that might be a lost in translation thing, but the result is the same. For all of the horror that was Liv’s life, I didn’t feel any of it from her or the other characters involved in her sad, little world.

Over It Feelings GIF by VH1

There is a lot of telling happening in the narrative, instead of showing. And that’s like my biggest pet peeve when it comes to writing, next to dream sequences. Fuck a dream sequence! There’s also hardly any dialogue, the bulk of the writing relying on descriptive paragraphs which became tedious as hell for me as a reader.

This is not really a crime thriller in my opinion. It’s more of a dark family drama, and if I had realized that I never would have read it because it’s just not my thing. That said, readers who like to read about family relationships and interactions with a dark atmosphere will definitely be into this. It just wasn’t for me.

It is definitely disturbing and heartbreaking in a lot of ways, but the plot itself was dull and slow and didn’t have anything thrilling moments or twists. Even the disturbing truths are presented as if you’re reading a dinner menu – it’s one-note.

Will Ferrell IAm Unable To Control The Pitch Or Volume Of My Voice ...

This is a linear examination of mental illness and grief, and how those things can affect a child, a marriage and a home on the furthest end of the spectrum.

And while aspects of the story were uncomfortable to read, and did make me squirm, overall, this was basically pretty boring and I don’t get the rave reviews.

But again, I’m a garbage person, so don’t take my word for it. It’s got awards and shit.

🔪🔪🔪


The multi-award-winning international bestseller.

Suspenseful and heart-breaking, Resin is the story of what can happen when you love someone too much – when your desire to keep them safe becomes the thing that could irrevocably harm them.

Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.

Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.

But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.

This way, Liv would be safe

Winner of Scandinavia’s most prestigious awards: The Glass Key, The Golden Bullet, Best Crime Novel from the Swedish Crime Writer’s Academy and The Harald Mogensen Award.

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