How has your week been? Mine has been okay. I’ve decided I want to try and bake a complicated french dessert (don’t know which one yet) but I hope to decide today so I can try make it tomorrow. Today’s review was an interesting purchase for me. It’s apparently a Middle Grade book, but after reading I think it’s YA. Anyway, I grabbed it thinking my brother might like to read it and if I had read it we could chat about it. It was a great quick read but enough rambling from me – let’s get into things.
** P.S – THIS IS A SPOILER-FREE REVIEW! **
Title: The Westing Game
Author: Ellen Raskin
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery
Publication Date: 1978 (I did not know it was this old – it has aged beautifully!)
Pages: 182 pages
When I Read It: 29th May 2020
Goodreads Rating: 4.02 Stars
A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger—and a possible murderer—to inherit his vast fortune, one thing’s for sure: Sam Westing may be dead … but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!
My Goodreads Review:
May 26, 2020 – page 57 31.32% “I love the plot, it’s really intriguing and I can’t wait to get into the clues more. It’s definitely a character info dump at the start And there’s so many of them but none of them feel entirely complete because of this, but maybe with time they’ll develop and become more detailed.”
May 28, 2020 – page 118 64.84% “It’s getting really good now. The characters have all developed so it’s so much easier to tell them apart. Theres so much mystery and intrigue. I’m on the edge of my seat! Placing bets now, I don’t trust Turtle fully… She’s definitely hiding something but I’ll just have to see.”
May 29, 2020 – Finished
This was a good read! It took a little to get used to all the characters but the plot was so gripping you just couldn’t put it down. The ending was done beautifully and I adored it! Really recommend for a quick read that you’ll enjoy 🤗
My Favourite Quotes:
1. “I’m getting dizzy,” she said, shifting her position on the hard wooden folding chair, “and worse yet, I think I’ve got a splinter in my fanny.”
This had me in hysterics, I was really caught off guard. I didn’t know that Fanny meant the same thing in America as it does here in Scotland and it had me sobbing.
Characters: At first I found it super super difficult to keep track of all the characters, I mean you’re introduced to 16 main characters in the first chapter, And when I say main, I mean main main! Like everyone is pivotal to the plot, which is a little overwhelming, but also extremely impressive to be able to write so many intriguing and gripping characters that are fully developed each in their own right enough that they all feel real. Turtle Wexler was my favourite character, she was sassy and determined and just great to read. I’d probably say that Mr Woo was my least favourite character. He wasn’t outstanding or as gripping like many of the other characters. He lacked the uniqueness all the other characters seemed to have, but hey – when you have so many leads one has to be the worst.
Characters = 8/10
Humour: The book wasn’t particularly funny but it also wasn’t not funny. I found funny moments in amongst the madness but it didn’t detract from the intense and gripping mystery. Solid half marks on this because I don’t know if it was meant to be funny and I just have an odd sense of humour.
Humour = 5/10
Atmosphere: I really liked the enclosed environment of this story. It was basically solely set in Sunset Towers, or the Westing Manor which means you as the reader can really focus on the characters and the developing plot rather than an ever-changing and confusing setting. Also it allowed for a lot of interaction between the characters and helped the plot be furthered because of the close quarters. Also it provided an odd juxtaposition for the characters where they are comfortable in their surroundings because it is their home, but also they feel uneasy because there’s a murderer there with them. I think it just really worked so well.
Atmosphere = 8/10
Writing Style: I really liked the writing style. It wasn’t overly flowery or descriptive but it wasn’t blunt and uninteresting either. I loved getting so many different characters perspective of the situation and I think it beautifully flowed between these different POV’s.
Writing Style = 7/10
Plot: The plot is my favourite part of this book. I AM A MURDER MYSTERY FANATIC! And this had me hook line and sinker. I needed to keep reading! It was so well written with plenty twists and turns. All the side plots intertwined so nicely. I adored it!
Plot = 10/10
Intrigue: I touched on this above but it was so well done, the intrigue was integral to the plot. It had so many twists and turns and I was constantly left guessing. I think it was especially gripping because you got to see so many characters POV’s so it’s as if you are racing to beat the characters to the fortune yourself. Like I said, I watch a lot of mystery/drama/murder shows and I have since I was super little and I tend to be pretty good at guessing the murderer at this stage in my life but I was pleasantly surprised with this. I did guess elements but not all of it so that’s a definite bonus in my book. Just brilliant.
Intrigue = 10/10
Logic: The book felt extremely logical to me. Or well, the outlandishness of the book fit with Mr Westing’s character. I’m pretty sure everything had an answer at the end of the book except for one thing…WHY DOES TURTLE SAY HER NAME IS ALICE?!?!?!
Logic = 8/10
Enjoyment: If you couldn’t tell, I really enjoyed this book. It was a great read and I feel that despite it being YA or MG it’s really universal and has aged pretty nicely. And I mean, is anyone really ever too old for a good ol’ mystery? Also…the epilogue made me so unbelievably happy!
Enjoyment = 8/10
Relationships: This had very very very very little romance. Which is odd for me because basically everything I read needs a little something something to keep me going. But this didn’t I was gripped by the story alone. Relationships were definitely still integral to the story however and all the characters have their own secrets and their own relationships with each other that keep things interesting.
Without spoiling anything I’m just going to say that the Epilogue gave me a little of the romance I was praying for at the end which made me so giddy and I’m pretty sure I verbally awwed.
Relationships = 8/10
Overall Score = 72/90 or 8/10
This is apparently a really big American Classic, sadly we had far more boring classics to read growing up in Scotland. Have you read this? If so, did you like it as much as me? Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this, see you tomorrow!