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Expectations, Review of Open Evening by Lee Hall

Updated: Sep 25, 2020

Plot: 4.5/6

The storyline has a lot of potential, there were moments that I was excited to find out what was next. It reminded me a lot of Jeepers Creepers crossed with The Faculty. The prologue really wraps you in quickly. Fairly predictable with a bit of adolescent clichés. World building is pretty solid with how you imagine this desolate city to be. The story makes sense and has a realistic point of view, most of the time. The ending didn't surprise me, unfortunately. Also the characters used common words and phrases that are unique to Europe and neighboring countries, which made it confusing when the character later mentions 'America'.

Writing Style: 0.75/1

Done from first person point of view, which I enjoy the most when reading. The author does a great job at making you really feel like you're Luke. When the Main Character wasn't there, it was a bit shaky but made sense.

Grammar and Punctuation: 0.75/1

Aesthetically pleasing, and punctuation was well done. There were several lines that got a little confusing with the use of italics and emphasis.

Emotional Commitment: 1/2

As someone who doesn't like reading any variation of teenage romance, my emotional attachment to the characters wasn't there. Aside from any affection shared between said characters, the only one I remotely felt anything for was Buster. Lee does an excellent job at making Buster the sad story and therefore sympathy developed. It seemed like everyone was an a-hole to him. Whereas from my perspective, there weren't too many other likeable characters.

Overall: 7/10 Roses = 4 stars

I really enjoyed several scenes in this book, it's extremely visual and the author leaves just enough for you fill in the blanks. It starts off really strong in the beginning, I love foreshadowing when it's done well and hooks you in. Towards the 20% mark, he does it again and everything leading up to that point of no return is good. There were moments though, when the main character became a bit irritating. This is actually a sign of someone who writes their MC's well. I could feel absolutely nothing for Luke and it would've lowered my rating. And Luke was very realistic in almost every instance. He says a lot of things that were tell-tales of his age. His love interest Josie, definitely the cliche damsel in distress at almost every turn was a bit disappointing, but that was okay. Now Twister was the character that I couldn't quite put my finger on how to imagine. My imagination kept taking me to this rough on the edges, much older, sort of bad ass country bumpkin that had a crappy attitude. He was the only part of the plot that didn't make sense. He was definitely injured in the way that others were, but it never overtook him. Perhaps there's more to that story later. It took me longer to read it than I would've liked, considering it's a mere 312 pages it shouldn't have taken longer than a week. I had higher expectations based on the prologue with the promise that this would like nothing I'd ever read. Certain parts of the story were harder for me to get into than others, but I do believe that thriller/horror genre lovers would eat this up. Overall, I would read another one of Lee's books but I wouldn't continue on in this series because it didn't quite pull me into the story the way I would've liked. But I truly enjoyed Lee's way of telling the story and it's obvious he's a strong writer. GOOD DEBUT!

I'd recommend this book to readers who enjoy thriller/ horror stories.

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