Review: ‘Useless Bay’ by M. J. Beaufrand

Title: Useless Bay 

Author: M. J. Beaufrand

Purchase: UK || USA

Overall Rating: 3/5

Great for: Mystery and Family

Themes: Family, Mystery, Crime, Friendship

This year I have read mostly fantasy and haven’t strayed from that genre to read much else, but I felt in the mood to read something a little bit different from my usual reads. When picking out a new book to buy, I probably would not have picked up ‘Useless Bay’, but when United by Pop offered to send me this book I thought why not? When it arrived, I thought I’d read the first page or two like I usually do when buying a book or trying to pick my next book to read, but I actually ended up continuing to read it and I finished it within a couple of hours. ‘Useless Bay’ is quite short with less than 300 pages, so this probably helped me to read it so quickly, but it was also just quite intriguing.

If I’m totally honest, this book did confuse me a little. It is a mystery (hence why I found it intriguing) but there were times when I had to read bits over again. The book features five siblings, all boys except for one who is the character that we follow for most of the book. There is also another family that is at the focus of this book. The book is essentially a murder/missing person mystery that the five siblings and the other family become involved in and aim to solve. As a story, it is easy to follow and has a few surprises few of which I didn’t fully understand but I’ll get to those next! This book for sure will have you trying to guess what’s going on, exactly like a mystery book should!

One of the parts that confused me a bit was a part involving what I think was supposed to be a ghost. Another was a part when two of the 5 kids had this weird connection that just didn’t totally fit? I just didn’t quite understand how some parts like these fit into the book entirely, which is why I found it confusing as I just couldn’t work out quite how they were supposed to really enhance the story.

Now with the ending, I wasn’t entirely happy with it. I found the ending quite quick and perhaps a tiny little bit abrupt. I’m not sure if there is another book to follow this, but as a standalone, I felt that the ending just kind of happened, and that was it with not much else.

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