Abbreviations #106: The Guest List, Yearbook + The Lost Carnival


The Guest List is a mystery/thriller read, and it is also very much outside of the usual genres I gravitate towards. There are two reasons that I picked this book up: 1) I have been seeing it everywhere on Instagram (and a little bit on YouTube as well) and 2) the premise reminded me of my favorite Agatha Christie mystery And Then There Were None. The stage is set on a remote Irish island, where guests have gathered for a weekend wedding celebration. It’s rather catastrophic when, on the night of the actual wedding celebration, there’s a murder… To put it simply, I got swept up in the experience of listening to this novel (and this is where I’m going to take the time to give props to the ensemble cast of audiobook narrators who did a brilliant job bringing these characters to life. I appreciated that this was a slow-burn, character-driven mystery, where readers are invited to get to know the characters (and their secrets) and to form their own suspicions about who was murdered, who did it and why. Foley’s character work is really well-done, as she presents each narrator in a nuanced way that charms the reader into getting invested in their chapters, in spite of the fact that the majority of them are train wrecks (or have had train wrecks derail them). The ending feels just a touch rushed, but I did find this book to be a satisfying mystery read overall.

The Guest List will be published on June 2, 2020 by William Morrow.
I received an advanced listening copy (ALC) via Libro.FM. All opinions are my own.


Gotham Academy, Vol. 3: Yearbook is the third trade paperback in this particular series arc. Unlike its predecessors, this feels a little more disjointed because it lacks a major story arc tying it all together. Instead, this volume focuses on snapshots of the rest of Olive and gang’s year at Gotham Academy. The stories are fun, and it’s great to see the gang getting up to all sorts of shenanigans (especially the ones involving surprise Gotham character mentions). You also get a glimpse into more of the secondary characters too, and their personalities do get the opportunity to shine a little more here. I still very much enjoyed it, but because it lacked cohesion, it did feel a little lacking next to the other two volumes. If you are planning to read this series, I’d highly suggest binging all three back to back for full effect (and to make this last installment as enjoyable as it ended up being overall for me).

Yearbook (Gotham Academy #3) was published November 8, 2016 by DC Comics.


I was really excited when I first heard about The Lost Carnival! It’s a brand-new graphic novel centered around my favorite DC character, Dick Grayson, and it’s set in a world where Dick’s parents are still alive, the family is still the Flying Graysons and they are traveling and performing with the circus. Dick wants to break free of this life and try something new, and he finds himself crossing paths with folks from a rival carnival that sets up nearby and drawn deeper into the mysterious atmosphere it has. And there’s a girl, of course, because there usually is. Overall, reading this was a fun way to pass some time. I liked the art style and the coloring (which was mostly blue and orange/amber-toned) a lot. I found the story pretty solid, though I did feel it was a bit unremarkable and predictable when laid out side by side with other tales I’ve read in the DCU. Personally, I think I felt that way about the story because I didn’t click with this version of Dick. I’m so used to his personality and choices being informed by the major tragedy of his life in other tales he’s in, and seeing him be different in this one didn’t sit well with me. Overall, this is one that Dick Grayson fans might still want to check out (just for more time with him even if it’s not the “him” we know and love per se), but otherwise, I would recommend this one be a borrow overall.

The Lost Carnival was published May 5, 2020 by DC Comics.
I received an e-galley from the publisher via NetGalley for review.

15 comments

  1. The Guest List sounds interesting! I definitely need to pick up more mystery and thriller books.

    Katie @ The Queen of Teen Fiction

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  2. The Guest List is another one I'm hoping to read before the end of June! And I've been a bit worried about Lost Carnival since I saw your YT video wrap up! I'm hoping I'll still enjoy it because Dick Grayson but I don't love the reimagining of his origin!

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