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Title: Ring the Bell
Author: Josie Jaffrey
Published: 1st of October 2020 – Silver Sun Books
Format: eARC – 31 pages
Hello Hello! How are you?
I’ve got a short review for you today, it’s a book that I loved and that I think is really worth reading! It’s the third Josie Jaffrey book I’ve read, I think that so far it’s my favourite, even though I really enjoyed the others! I’m also currently reading a fourth book by this author, I have all her short stories on my Kindle, so I’m sure more reviews will be up on my blog soon!
Thank you so much to Josie for providing me with a free copy of this short story in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Scale the mountain. Ring the bell. Buy your freedom. Or trade the prize to change the world.
Mia’s life is defined by the Surge. The race comes every five years, and she’s determined to win it. She’ll make it to the top first, ring the bell and set her family free.
But victory comes at a price. The faster she runs, the more people she’ll condemn to death in the valley below.
In Unterstrom, only the strongest survive.
Ring the Bell by Josie Jaffrey is a standalone short story, in the “Broken Wings” collection, which currently has 5 short stories and will be made into a collection in the future. I don’t read many short stories, both ones I’ve read this year are from Josie, and I just have to say that this author has a talent for putting absolutely all aspects of an amazing book into just a few pages!
I read this book so fast, it’s not long, but there is so much to it, it has weight and once you turn the last page, you have a million questions and thoughts in your head. As well as tears on your cheeks, well, I did anyway! I was really not expecting what this book was. I read the blurb but couldn’t really remember it, and honestly, I would really urge you to do that because I felt the full force of this book much better and it really hit me.
In this book, we meet Mia, a young girl who, every 5 years, must run as fast as she can up the mountain to get away from the flood that will be released as soon as someone rings the bell. You don’t really understand the magnitude of everything going on until the end, and I think that this book has some amazing themes to take into account.
I don’t want to say much because again, I think that the whole potential of this book is from going into it fairly blind. I was honestly swept away by it and it can lead to discussions about what we as humans are constantly doing to one another and how the most important thing in our lives is the prize when so many more important things exist.
By the end of it, I was crying because there is so much packed into such a short book, but it really didn’t feel info-dumpy, it’s not heavy, it’s not overly packed, it just has an amazing pace and writing style that keeps you reading and everything comes to a climax right at the end and the last sentence had me nearly sobbing.
If you don’t want strong emotions from reading, then don’t pick up this book, but if you don’t mind some tears, then pick it up NOW (please). I don’t know how Josie did it, but there is backstory, there is depth, world-building with kind of what you could call political nuances (there isn’t actually politics, but the whole reason behind the Surge is in this category), there is emotion, there is a message and it was just beautiful.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATING
Overall, this was a really fast but very good book and I loved it from start to finish. In only 30-odd pages, I feel like I have read a full novel and it’s a short story that I will revisit often, and I will definitely delve into all her other books. It’s fair to say that Josie Jaffrey is now one of my favourite authors.
I gave this book 5 stars, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it, it was amazing, took me by surprise and gave me a whole range of emotions that I could not have imagined from a short story. I really don’t know what else to say to make you pick this up because my thoughts are all over the place, but if you want to read a short story this year and don’t mind reading dark and emotional stories, then this is the one for you!
Once again, thank you so much to Josie for providing me with this book, I absolutely adored it and I’m very excited to pick up another one of your books!
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you will pick up a Josie Jaffrey book too! See you soon, stay safe,
Atmosphere – 8
Start – 9
Pacing – 10
Ending – 9.5
Characters – 9
Theme – 9
Style – 10
Total = 64.5