Well, hello! It’s not a Tuesday or Friday, but I couldn’t let today’s monumental event go by without acknowledging it in a bookish blog post…
I read my first five star book of 2019!!
Now, I know we’re still in January so maybe it’s not a huge deal but as I was looking over my Goodreads challenge so far, I realised that although I’ve read eight books, nothing has blown me away.
I’m so excited, I don’t want to wait to fit a proper review into my blogging schedule!! So here is a mini-review of my first five star read of the year (drumroll please):
***Please note: this post contains affiliate links. If you enjoy this post and want to purchase any of the books mentioned, please consider doing so via the links on this page – I will receive a small commission at no expense to you!***
The third book in the Charlotte Holmes series, The Case for Jamie sees Holmes and Watson separated; Charlotte on a year long mission for revenge and Jamie trying hard to forget everything associated with her. This isn’t helped by his dad, who keeps dragging him along on side missions with Leander Holmes, Charlotte’s uncle, and Jamie’s PTSD which rears its ugly head in the form of nausea and panic attacks at the worst possible moments. For Charlotte, her ‘gap year’ from school is a frustrating chase around America, trying to keep herself hidden from everybody but the enemy in the hope of luring him out and finishing their business once and for all. The only thing Holmes and Watson have in common? They’re both certain that Jamie is better off without Charlotte – but are they right?
What were the facts? The bad: dead friends; dead enemies; utter betrayal; widespread suspicion; heartbreak; concussions; kidnappings; my nose broken so many times I was beginning to look like a two-bit boxer. (Or like a librarian who’d been violently mugged.)
Why did I love this instalment so much? I’ve enjoyed the Charlotte Holmes series up till now, but this book was easily my favourite so far and here’s why:
- The tension: Jamie and Charlotte have more or less been joined at the hip since they teamed up near the start of A Study in Charlotte so to see them separated and determined to not even think about the other was delicious because you just knew they were going to fail.
- The mental health: the Charlotte Holmes books deal with some pretty dark and triggery themes including rape, PTSD and murder. I’ve seen some people criticise the handling of these elements, but in this book I really felt they were sensitively dealt with and entirely relevant to the plot and development of the characters.
- The families: seeing more of Jamie and Charlotte’s families was lovely in this book, especially Jamie’s sister Shelby and Charlotte’s Uncle Leander. Having the adult Holmes & Watson and the teenage Holmes & Watson mostly on the same page through their adventure was so refreshing and finally seeing Charlotte have a paternal figure who truly cared for her was quite emotional. It was also interesting to see that the relationships outside Jamie and Charlotte’s bubble of angst were also affected by the history repeating loop of being descended from Britain’s most famous crime solving duo. That being said, Jamie’s mother kind of sucks.
- The ship: yes, yes, I know, but sue me – I love a slice of romance with my mystery. This book took a good, hard look at the relationship between Charlotte and Jamie and explored how it was both magical and toxic for them. I won’t spoil anything, but after a few false starts and some terrible behaviour from both of them, it’s nice to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
- Charlotte Holmes: I can’t think of a more beautifully complex female character in YA literature (if you can, please let me know because I would love to read more!!). Her growth throughout this novel is stunning – realising she can ask for help, acknowledging the harsher edges of her personality, opening up and allowing herself to use her emotions to her advantage instead of locking them away. It was so great to read more from her point of view in this book – I love Jamie Watson, nerdy novelist-slash-bodyguard, but he does get a serious case of whiny white boy syndrome sometimes. Reading Charlotte’s version of events, some of her personal history, and her reasoning for some past actions we previously only saw through Jamie’s account was fascinating and a great way to understand her a little more.
- The epilogue: I was grinning from ear to ear reading the last few pages of this book. Again, no spoilers, but it sets up the next and final novel beautifully as well as giving us a glimpse into Jamie and Charlotte’s headspaces.
You’re the best friend I’ve ever had and you’ll always be. Unless you decide to Reichenbach on me again, in which case, we need to talk.
I’m so happy that this was my first five star read of 2019! I’m so hyped for the final Charlotte Holmes novel A Question of Holmes which comes out this year (although I am on a self-imposed book buying ban so maybe the birthday fairies will have to help me out with that one!).
Have you read the Charlotte Holmes series? Which book is your favourite? And have you had any five star reads so far this year? Let me know in the comments!