Title: The Secret History.
Author: Donna Tartt.
Publisher: Penguin Books.
Page count: 629.
Release day: September 1st 1992.
Genre: Adult, mystery.
Rating: 4 stars.
I’m quite torn about this one.. I’ve really enjoyed many books that were described as ‘for fans of The Secret History’, so I really wanted to pick it up. But I was also a bit afraid I wouldn’t enjoy it because of the hype that it gets!
This book was split in two books. First we have the prologue, then book one and halfway through book two starts. In the prologue we read that a certain character is murdered, we know who and who did it.
So in the first book we read up to this moment, so we learn how they got in the situation where this character gets murdered. Which was very interesting, since in the beginning it looks like they are all in a good place with each other.
So I absolutely loved this part! I was predicting a five star rating, a new favourite! I honestly loved every bit of it.
The characters were so interesting. We read from Richards POV, but we basically follow six characters. These six characters, including Richard, are in the same Greek class in college. They are kinda seen as this separate group. Richard is added last to this group, and is not fully included. And we learn from his POV about this group and that was very interesting. There was something ‘wrong’ with all of these characters, none of them was really likable. And we know about the murder so that kept being in the back of my mind, and I kept thinking about how we got to that situation.
The writing was amazing, and since I wanted to know what was going to happen I kept wanting to continue to read.
So at the end of book one the murder happens, so in this half we read about the aftermath, the consequences about this murder. And this is where my opinion about this book switches. I started to get bored, parts were dragging, and I didn’t feel like picking this book back up..
First the murdered character is missing, so once found they don’t know yet if it is an accident or murder. So we read about the stress the characters go through in case the murder investigation continues. That part I really liked and was interestingly done!
But we also read about the funeral and how the characters need to deal with the family and all. I think this funeral and everything around it took like 100 pages, and if you ask me it could have been 20.. I think this was the part that bored me the most and dragged to most.
So after finishing this book I felt quite let down. I felt like rating this book3 stars, maybe even lower..
But then I had to remind myself how much I loved the first half, 5 stars for sure, higher if possible! So I think 4 stars is a good middle way?! But I would say a low 4 stars.
I absolutely loved the writing, the characters were really interesting and I’m definitely interested in reading something else by her. I would like to read the Goldfinch at some point, since that is her other most popular book!
7 thoughts on “The Secret History – Donna Tartt”
Great review! I’ll be honest, this is one of those books that I feel like everyone loves, but I don’t actually have a lot of interest in picking up? So, while I’m sad you didn’t love it, it’s also kind of refreshing to see a less-than-raving review for it lol!
Hahah, I totally feel you on that! Some books feel like you ‘have’ to read them since everyone loves them?!
I’m glad you liked the first half! I think I was the opposite, I thought the beginning was quite slow and the second half picked up better I hope you enjoy The Goldfinch if you do read it, I’ve been meaning to for so long!
hahah always interesting to see that we all like different parts of books!
Oh, wow, I’m sorry you didn’t like it. I’m a huge fan of this one, but I also know that it’s one of those books that people either love or really dislike. There isn’t a lot of in-between.
I did like it! I even loved the first half, the second half was just not as good!
Oh, good! I’ll be interested to hear what you think of The Goldfinch when you read it. I didn’t like that one as much as The Secret History.
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