Review: Bonfire – Krysten Ritter

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

SYNOPSIS: Should you ever go back?

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town’s most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her. – via Goodreads

Well, this one was unexpected. When I saw Krysten Ritter’s name attached to this I requested it purely to see how it was. I was interested to see whether I would prefer her writing to her acting. I honestly didn’t have high hopes – it can’t be easy getting involved with multiple arts. Well, I am here to tell you that Ritter indeed writes rather well, surprisingly!

The book opens and hits the ground running, but in fragmented pieces, so it takes quite some time to get the flow of things and work things out, and it works really well here. The lead character, Abby Williams, is not necessarily a character you like too much, but she grows on you. You can understand parts of her logic, too, even if you don’t always agree. Most of the characters are rather flat, but this book is Abby’s internal show, and you definitely get some of that. To see her return to her hometown and to see how a decade has made a difference is quite cool.

The story is quite a heavy one, told in  bits and pieces, and the primary water investigation becomes a totally secondary thing in Abby’s hunt to find out what, exactly, happened to Kaycee, who sounds like a right piece of work. Misha, too, is a nasty character. Bonfire does fall prey to some debut mistakes in some parts of predictability in characters, but it is a pretty good ride all the same.

Abby’s investigation yields results piecemeal, and it ties in rather neatly with what Abby originally went to Barrens for. I liked Condor as a character, and Brent just seemed odd. I was relieved that a love triangle was not jammed into this, as it is not the time, story, or place for it. The reveals are spaced just right, giving you what you need, when you need it. I do feel that the relationship between Joe and Abby was glossed over, and yet it is described as more important in the book.

Bonfire might not be perfect, but it is engaging, has a pretty good story, hooks you while barrelling along. Well worth checking out I reckon, and I will certainly check out any other work from Ritter in future.

Jessica Jones: Season 1 (2015)

jessica jones season 1

What I liked:

  • The opening credits were pretty cool.
  • Kilgrave. While I feel he has been immensely overhyped, he is the best thing about this show, without a doubt. David Tennant did a great job here, when he was finally allowed to play with the character.

jessica jones tennant

What I didn’t like:

  • Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones. I don’t know, she came across as super forced, wasn’t hardcore or scary or cool or anything. If anything, she was annoying, which is a pity.
  • How preachy the show got about race at times. It was unnecessary.
  • The gratuitous sex all over the show. Really, like the third episode featured Jessica banging Luke four times. Four. In one damn episode. And it doesn’t contribute to the plot whatsoever, so it was totally uncalled for and awkward and useless.
  • The build up to actually seeing Kilgrave was way better than the payoff. The whole thing was just meh.
  • The characters. They are flat and uninteresting. I am really not a fan of any of them.
  • How magnificently everything just so happens to line up. Events, coincidences, etc. Not feeling right.
  • Kilgrave’s whole mission? He’s in love with Jessica. Really. After all that, it was some pussyfooting around that the show settled on.

jessica jones asshole

Rating:
GRADE 4
I started this hoping I was going to get another Daredevil. I should have known better. I don’t even know why I got my hopes up – just seeing Krysten Ritter should have been enough for me, but there were rave reviews, and I got hopeful. I mean, private investigator? Dark, gritty, violent? Check. Well, ouch. I really feel that the plot for this show is incredibly messy and all over the show, and introduces absolutely no characters to give a crap about, so it is an exceptionally hollow experience watching continually and not caring. It feels like I was investing my valuable time for no payoff, and that is not a feeling I wish to revisit again. This show is way too overhyped, and so is Kilgrave. While he is, undoubtedly, the best thing about this show, his introduction was sloppy, and his potential was never actually realised. I kept waiting for the really big bad to break out and make an appearance, which never happened. Krysten Ritter, too, is an actress that irrationally annoys the shit out of me (Abbi, you really should copyright that term). She brought nothing to the table, nothing to the character. She always came across as though she was trying too hard and uncomfortable, and not in a sense where you feel that from the character. Heck, she never believably became the character. Another thing I took major issue with is the gratuitous sex all over the show. I really don’t mind sex scenes, I would prefer them to contribute to the story, but we cannot all be so lucky. However, when there is just sex thrown in (four times in one episode!) because you have no plot to work with, things are no longer alright. It was over the top and gross, seriously, I know I sound like a prude but come off it. It contributed nothing. I honestly found Jessica Jones to be a bland affair that was a real chore to get through and brought nothing original to the table. There was potential, but poor casting decisions, storytelling and plot ruined it all completely. I cannot say that I wish to be watching more, and I am really not looking forward to seeing this join up with the vastly superior Daredevil.

jessica jones luke cage fight