Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review of This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees

Title/Author: This Is Not Forgiveness by Celia Rees
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury, February 2nd 2012
How I got this book: Vickie at Coma Calm sent it to me, thank you!!

Goodreads summary: "Everyone says that Caro is bad ...but Jamie can't help himself. He thinks of her night and day and can't believe that she wants to be his girlfriend. Gorgeous, impulsive and unconventional, she is totally different to all the other girls he knows. His sister, Martha, hates her. Jamie doesn't know why, but there's no way he's going to take any notice of her warnings to stay away from Caro. But as Jamie falls deeper and deeper under her spell, he realises there is more to Caro - much more. There are the times when she disappears and doesn't get in touch, the small scars on her wrists, her talk about revolutions and taking action, not to mention the rumours he hears about the other men in her life.
And then always in the background there is Rob, Jamie's older brother, back from Afghanistan and traumatised after having his leg smashed to bits there. Jamie wants to help him, but Rob seems to be living in a world of his own and is increasingly difficult to reach.
With Caro, the summer should have been perfect... but that isn't how things work out in real life, and Jamie is going to find out the hard way."

This book is REALLY dark. And after finishing it I had the urge to start another, happier book immediately, cause that dark feeling is really intense.

The first chapter of This Is Not Forgiveness is haunting, it's actually something that takes place after all the events in the book and you get an enormous sense of foreboding after reading it.
Sadly, the rest of the novel didn't quite live up to what drew me in about that first chapter. I was expecting to get sucked into the lives of these characters, but it never really happened for me.

Not really all that much actually happens in This Is Not Forgiveness. Or at least not for a huge part of the book, and then at the end everything happens at once and I was going 'wait, WHAT?' and then I was reading the last chapter. I never felt like I got to know that characters and their motivations well enough, it all stayed pretty much on the surface and I felt some things could have been explained a bit further.

The main character Jamie is probably a good guy deep down, but because we don't really delve into his personality and I didn't really get to know him, I wasn't rooting for him. And Caro and Rob definitely didn't endear themselves to me with their actions, so I was left not really caring about any of the characters in This Is Not Forgiveness.

What happened in this book wasn't what I had expected when I started reading it and I like being surprised by books. It's definitely a darker read than my usual thing, but I was pretty ok with that. I did feel that the ending was rushed though.

My rating: 2,5 stars


  1. At the beginning of your review, this sounded like it would be a really interesting read. But I'm a little wary now, especially considering that there's not much going on. THanks for the honesty!

    1. The beginning of the book was really interesting, and the ending was too, but the stuff in the middle just didn't live up to the amazing first chapter...

  2. Ohh, I couldn't read this book it sounds both dark and kind of boring.
    and I could deal with dark, in small dosage, but not with almost nothing happening, particularly after a first chapter like the one you describe.

    1. It is REALLY dark. I really needed to read a happy book after finishing it!