I asked my friend B if she wanted to do a buddy read with me, and we decided to read this book together.
I must add that I’m probably the worst person to do a buddy read with. Not because I don’t keep up… If the book grabs my attention, I will end up reading ahead and finishing it before the set deadline. So it’s not a completely bad thing… But it kind of defies the whole buddy read system.
Earlier this year I read The Taking of Annie Thorne (and it made my top 10 list for January to June 2022) and I KNEW that I’m going to read all the books by C.J. Tudor. When I found this book at my go-to bookstore, there wasn’t even a question on buying it or not.
I wasn’t disappointed. Let’s just say we decided on a week to finish the book – I finished it in two days!!!
DISCLAIMER: This review could contain possible spoilers based on my opinions. All opinions and views are my own.
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Challenge prompt: A book set in England
Originally published: 2018
Plot from GoodReads:
In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.
In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.
That’s when Eddie realises that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.
Three words: unique, suspenseful, unpredictable!
The first scene in the book and the last scene were just mind-blowing! What a brilliant way to start and end a novel, especially when this is your debut novel too! What a way to introduce creepiness and a mix sense of awe.
The storytelling was clever and attention grabbing. At times the pace slowed down only to be hit with details to leave your head spinning for a couple of pages.
The back and forth switch between the timelines was smooth and helped to add the pieces of the puzzle together.
The characters were well developed and each had a couple of secrets that were revealed as the book went along, just surprises popping up when you least expect it – just to twist the situations a little more. There were some shocking revelations about Eddie, where you start to get to know more about him and you start wondering if you ever truly knew the character in the beginning of the book or not. However, his outlook on life in general was simply entertaining.
I can’t say anything more without giving away any spoilers but the ending, with the big reveal, was thrilling! WOW!
I was asked if I would like to do a buddy read by Annie, I was like sure, let’s take on this book journey. So far, with all the books I’ve read that Annie has recommended I haven’t been disappointed.
Never assume, question everything…
The Chalk Man is nothing what you would expect it to be, it’s better than that! Where you are left on a cliffhanger after every chapter. Being a very visual person there were a few WTF moments where I put the book down and texted Annie what the hell just happened. The ending undid everything for me that I thought I knew about Eddie.
The Chalk Man is in my top 5 for me.
The book has a rating of 3.72 on GoodReads. I gave it a 5.
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The Taking of Annie Thorne by C.J. Tudor
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