The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (Book Review)


Publisher: Pocket Books
Page Count
: 408

This is only my second book this month, because I thought I’d stay with adult fiction while I am at it … but it takes forever? It doesn’t even really have something to do with the stories. I don’t feel like the writing is THAT much different either, but still, it takes me about three times as long to finish those books.

Starting this book, I knew exactly what I was getting into. I might have even expected for it to be MORE tragic than it was. The blurb says it all, there is no good solution as to how Tom and Izzy could have handled this, unless, of course, they hadn’t gotten into the mess in the first place. I had a lot of doubts and questions about them when they kept the baby. Why wouldn’t they report it and then adopt the kid if there was no mother? Why didn’t they consider adopting in general? But as soon as those thoughts came to mind, they were answered with some semblance of reason. I want to say straight up that I do not condone what they did at all, but by the end of the book, you kind of understand them?

The Light Between Oceans has a quiet yet impacting way of telling this particular story. Years pass at a time, nothing happens at all, while everything monumental is happening. I know that sounds contradictory, but so much of everything went on inside people, while they carried on (or at least tried to as best as they could) their regular lives. You get so many perspectives, you hear everyone’s side and it’s a terrifying dilemma. My main problem with the book was that I did not like any of the characters. However, that didn’t stop me from feeling for them. My heart was torn in several directions, because I wouldn’t know what to do either. Some things can’t be fixed and people just have to live with the consequences of their actions.

The whole thing is set in Australia of the 1920s and that was an interesting era to choose. It makes sense of course, everything is heightened with the lack of communication, the remoteness, the slow passing of time. I never knew how much importance and trust was put upon lightkeepers, somehow lighthouses just always had a much more romantic place in my heart rather than their actual purposeful one. Somehow the book just started to click for me when the backstory of the baby’s biological father was a bit more explored. The man was from Austria, but generally perceived as a German (feel ya there man) and at that time, that was one of the worst things to be. People humiliated and excluded him at every turn, simply for having that heritage. (They wouldn’t even let him buy books!!! Because German poems were the devil’s work of course …) They blamed him for the war, never mind that he was neither part of it nor present at that time. All through that he stayed polite and optimistic … So, I guess I related the most to the one person that played the smallest role in the book. Maybe the rest of the story and the positions were a bit too grown up for me to fully connect with, even though my mind could rationally see why it was heartbreaking. But being a person who gets asked if her grandparents were Nazis and then having to carry on a normal conversation as if that hadn’t just been one of the rudest things to ask, I guess that just made me relate to him the most.

Anyway, to conclude this review, I just want to say that the movie came out this year, starring Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender in the leading roles. They are two of my favourite actors, so I would like to give the movie a try, hoping they’ll make the characters more likable.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! I had trouble liking the characters, but I could still feel with them in their dilemma.


Have you read this book? Have you seen the movie? Let me know your thoughts!

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker (eArc Review)


Publisher: Random House
Page Count
: 384
Release Date: Jan 31, 2017

**I was provided with an eArc by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!**

I haven’t read any kind of general adult fiction for what seems like an eternity. I mostly dabble in Young Adult Fantasy and/or Contemporaries, but this book (still can’t believe it’s Whitaker’s debut) has reminded me as to why I shouldn’t forget about adult fiction any time soon!

It is not a story I immediately fell in love with. The writing flowed nicely, but there were a lot of references to old time cartoons that I did not get and felt like I would miss out on the full experience. The language is crude and foul sometimes, but always very direct. There’s an excessive use of alcohol and drugs and very few inhibitions when it comes to sex. Sharon and Mel aren’t exactly likable people at all times. They are loud, brash, unhinged, talented, selfish, messed up, brilliant; in simple terms – flawed but very real. That is exactly what made them work so well!

Their relationship is just as complex as they are as individuals. They push each other to extremes, drive each other crazy, but are always there when it counts. While Mel may date half the women in New York and Sharon remains hung up on the first boy she ever loved, it still comes down to them and their all encompassing bond in the end. They weren’t just a team at work, they were a team in life as well.


I am trying to find a way to express my feelings about this book. I don’t see the point of talking about the plot, that is something each and everyone should discover on their own. However, this book treated a lot of topics and very dark ones at that, which in turn made me feel an unexpectedly large amount of feelings that I simply didn’t see coming. There are themes of loss – quite literal loss of a person you love but also the loss of innocence. Family – the one you choose and the one you don’t. Love – the pure, platonic and romantic kind. The Animators makes you aware that the world isn’t rainbows and sunshine, there are dark alleys and predators. Amidst all of that gloom, it still never lets you forget that there is always someone, even if it’s someone unexpected, who will be there to help you through it.


The book is “only” 380 pages long, but somehow it felt like three times as much. It’s almost as if you are accompanying Sharon, who narrates the whole story in her unique voice, for an entire lifetime. She grew on me so much and I felt with her whenever life threw her another curveball. It’s such an ingenious debut, so very well crafted, however, I don’t think this is really for everyone. At times, it felt like going into a really deep, really warped and disturbed rabbit hole. It makes sense in hindsight, a necessary journey for the characters to go through, but even I felt like it was too much for me and too crass in some parts and I watch the weirdest stuff on TV. Still, it didn’t keep me from enjoying the story and I doubt that it will leave me anytime soon!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A stunning debut about partnership and adulthood and all the struggles coming with it!


Could you see yourself enjoying this book? Can you sometimes find joy in really messed up stories too?