Day 48: Skeleton Lake by Angela Kulig
Summary From Goodreads:
Unsure if she’s drowning or being saved, all Marlow wants to do is run away. Ensnared in a haunting love triangle, she realizes both boys have holes in their hearts; gaping spaces she can never hope to fill.
Scars from loving the same girl, a girl who managed to stay dead.
Now she is being hunted, for what she has become and what she never asked to be. Even as a Skeleton Marlow isn’t the worst thing in the night—she isn’t even close.
A mixture of emotions flows through me after reading Skeleton Lake. The idea of a Skeleton in the way Kulig represents them is fascinating and I was intrigued from the onset. Killing off your main character, even if not completely in every sense, right at the beginning of the book is always an entertaining way to go. Once you’ve done something like that it challenges the writer to essentially reverse the usual writing order of things, your ending is essentially your beginning. I felt Kulig did an admirable job at achieving that reversal.
The writing was excellent, truly beautiful in many parts of the story. I felt for Marlow, though not because of her initial drowning or sadness over some boyfriend which I found petty at best, but that she must relearn what it means to exist so quickly. It is never easy to do that in any environment and the one she encounters well, it’s not filled with rainbows and butterflies to say the least, so it is easy to empathize with her.
As for the supposed “love triangle”, it felt more like a pairing and a third wheel to me. It seemed like she was destined to choose the “white knight” type and not the dark/brooding one from the get go and that lessened any tension that might have arose. She may have had some conflict internally about them, but I sure didn’t as a reader. Also it was way too insta-love for my taste, for once on both ends of the relationship, not that it made it any better, and the amount of “oh my gosh I need you so much” that exists right away is a little nauseating for my liking. Anyway…
The main problem with Skeleton Lake is definitely the pacing. You are ripped from “regular reality” to this Skeleton world that somehow coexists with the seemingly normal one while encountering one weird being after another. Without much explanation from one step to the next it felt like the plot was a bit rushed in order to get to the good part, very unfortunate given how lovely Kulig’s writing style is and how much I think I would have enjoyed the fully fleshed out story. The length of the eBook according to Amazon is 215 pages, if that’s accurate (hard to say, that may be in “kindle” pages) then I think this easily could have been closer to 300 and had it been so it could have been richer and not so seemingly hastily moved along.
Overall I certainly enjoyed Skeleton Lake. While the jumping forward was disconcerting at times and I had to make a mental effort to keep up and piece some things together as I went along, the prose was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but be enthralled. If you don’t mind a bit of a mental challenge then I think this book is definitely worth your while. I know the sequel is being worked on and I can’t wait to read it and find out what happens next. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 49!