The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone – A NetGalley reviewed book

‘The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss’ by Max Wirestone
‘The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss’ is one of the maddest, funniest and most addictive books that I have read in a while. 
From the very beginning I was hooked on the character of Dahlia, I wanted, or maybe needed her to be real and to be her friend. Her character was likeable and kooky which in normal circumstances would mean she was odd and annoying, but in this book Wirestone manages to create a character that is relatable, yet quirky enough to be different. 
The situation is set up pretty quickly. She is hired as a detective to find the missing Bejeweled Spear of Infinite Piercing. This in itself is more bizarre than the obvious name of the object (and the fact that it lives in the online gaming world of Zoth), as Dahlia is having trouble getting a job. In normal circumstances I would probably have felt really sorry for her, but Wirestone doesn’t set her up in this way. She becomes a gutsy heroine very quickly, and with so many potential love interests it is refreshing that the book doesn’t take us down this route.
Every sentence is well crafted, clever and left me wanting to read on. The thief, and dare I say, murderer was a mystery to me from start to end which made the ending every bit as enjoyable as the rest of the novel. My only complaint about the book is that I can’t find out what happens to Dahlia next!

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A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler – A NetGalley reviewed book

‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ by Anne Tyler
I was first introduced to Tyler’s work in my second year at university. Having been a ‘chick lit’ reader up to this point I was bit wary of reading something that was ‘different’ needless to say, I loved it!
‘A Spool of Blue Thread’ is all about a standard US family. There seems nothing controversial, nothing strange just an average group of Americans related by blood. Slowly though, Tyler teases out strands of difference within the group. 
Denny is the first character we meet who does not necessarily fit the cookie cutter mould. Throughout the book he becomes less elusive whilst simultaneously still a mystery. I felt that parts of the book with his character in were like breaths of fresh air. A break from the normality of the Whitshank’s lives.
Throughout the book Stem was portrayed as perfect. The youngest, the sibling who fitted the mould. Stem’s difference is revealed near the end of the novel and I can honestly say it was not something that I had even contemplated. I don’t want to say what his difference is but it made me like Abby and Red a lot more. It made me like him a lot more.
Jennie and Amanda seemed like bit-characters to me. Their only quirk was that they both had husbands called Hugh. This was the only bit I didn’t like about the novel, but I imagine Tyler was being very clever and moving away from a female focus!
The idea of a family not having history was something I didn’t find too odd. The way Tyler reveals that in fact, the Whitshanks were indeed a family with a history, and although not dark or particularly sensational, it made me wonder how much about previous generations of my own family were unspoken about or even unknown. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, in the same way that I have enjoyed her others. A twist on an ideal family idea.