Cover Image: The Foggiest Notion

The Foggiest Notion

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Member Reviews

The title and front cover grabbed my overactive imagination. It says it is a YA book, but I think that my students would find it hard to get into. I liked how after each chapter, the reader was shown the crossword, and how Holly explained how to solve the cryptic clues, but I felt that the plot wasn’t as smooth as it could have been, and I had to keep rereading pages to work out what was going on. A clever idea though.
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I had the opportunity to read a pre-release copy of this book. I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't. Honestly, there are almost two different books going on here. There's the interesting fast-paced mystery book, and then there's the painfully detailed book about solving crossword puzzles. It's this second book that really just prevented the storytelling from succeeding. You'd be reading a really interesting passage, and then suddenly they'd have to solve a crossword puzzle. It's the descriptions of how they solved the crossword puzzles that just seemed to yank you out of the effective storytelling. I like most books I read, but this book was a bit of a drag for me. I am clearly not its intended audience. However, I'm not quite sure what that audience is.
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The Foggiest Notion by Marc Breman reminded of Jumanji except for a dice rolling card game, the main characters use cross word puzzles to solve riddles. I had no idea that cross word puzzles could be so difficult to solve. As for fk ding the lyrics to the song embedded in the story....I’m still looking... this book would be great for people who have a knack tIn figuring out what clues mean
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I really wanted to like this book.  I loved the title and the premise but unfortunately that's as far as it went. 

Warning bells started in the very first chapter when I was told that "routine only had five minutes left to live".  Obviously the routine was going to be broken, otherwise the book would be really dull.  

Then there is the name of the main character who has been given a girls name as a surname and then referred to by his surname.  Why?  no-one else is called by their surname so this stands out as both odd and confusing. 

Next up is the guy who talks in anagrams, this was irritating beyond belief.  I either had to stop reading to figure out what he was saying or skip it.  Neither of the options were particularly appealing.  

Overall it felt very childish, it tried to be humorous but wasn't nearly funny enough.  It tried to be clever but without giving the reader any time with the clues before they were solved made this cleverness redundant. 

The MC accepted what was happening far too quickly given the excellent set up of the character.  

I gave up after the reporter (about 25% of the way through) I didn't get why he was there or why he was needed.  

I'm sure there will be people who like this but I'm not one of them.
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After reading the synopsis of this book I was very interested. I have read other books that dealt with solving puzzles and clues and I thought this was in the same vein. I was wrong.
This book was very much just solving a single crossword. It wasn’t just any kind of crossword however. It was a cryptic crossword, which is way more difficult than an actual crossword. I felt that this made the book harder to read because I couldn’t solve any of the clues and the explanations for the solution made no sense until I looked up exactly how cryptic crosswords worked. After I understood it became more manageable.
Another aspect I didn’t really like was the plot. Not a lot happened and the plot wasn’t super interesting.
I am however looking forward to the next book in the series despite this because I am now interested in cryptic crosswords, even though I can’t solve any clue.
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Rating: 3.5 stars.

The Foggiest Notion is an unusual book one might find hiding in the YA section. It doesn't have the writing style one expects to find from YA, and it doesn't have a generic cookie cutter plot either. Overall, I enjoyed the book and will look out for its sequel. I might also pick up a newspaper and try to solve a crossword, who knows XP

What I liked:

The Foggiest Notion is reminiscent of modern classics like White Fang, Black Beauty, Paddington Bear, and Winnie-the-Pooh. It's incredibly clever, full of codes and anagrams and clues used to solve a crossword. I thought that there couldn't be anything more boring than a book solely about a 40-something-year-old man solving a crossword, but I ended up interested in the crossword itself and how the words were all solved.

What I didn't like:

The style is a bit tricky to get into. It's a little slow, a little bit messy, and can be confusing at times. There's also quite a number of occasions where the author shows rather than tells (although you get used to it after a while). Like I said before, it's also not your average YA novel. While this came as a pleasant surprise to me, others might not enjoy it so much after finding out the only young adult in the novel is a teenager (who does play an important part, though).
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The Foggiest Notion is the beginning of the experiences of Colin Holly, a reclusive character who is a cryptic crossword buff who finds a new purpose in a strange team The storyline is very interesting, and the adventures of The Team are very entertaining - I do not want to give anything away, so it is hard to elaborate. The writing in this novel is terribly English. I am not sure how else to describe it, and I do not mean it in an offensive way, but there is a particular cadence to English writing which is very apparent in this novel. At times, this also means we are not able to get as close to the characters as I usually like - I do like to be able to fully invest in characters, particularly in a series. One of the most disconcerting things I found (not being English!) was the constant use of the main character's last name to refer to him, rather than his first name. It took a while to put 'Holly' together with this very reserved, reclusive, people-shy main character. At no time did it ever feel comfortable - I actually had to keep reminding myself 'Holly' is the man, and seemed to keep a barrier between reader and character, as if we would not ever be able to know him enough to use his first name. Otherwise, the novel is full of quirky and fun characters. While I have never been a cryptic crossword fan - only because I never understood how they worked! - it was fascinating to learn more about how they work, as well as the adventures they bring to Colin Holly.
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This is such an interesting and captivating read! Colin is possibly one of the better written characters I've had the pleasure of meeting!
I am terrified of giving spoilers but the twisty and fantastic take Mr. Breman spins is going to be keeping me up! I cant wait to read more and watch the character arc!
I'm only marking 4 stars because I did have a hard time binge reading with such a heavy and creative writing style, once I adjusted to it I loved it and expect the next book will be a solid 5 star.
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Unfortunately I had to DNF at 15%. It's just too overwritten and fancy for me. I'm sure other readers will love the style, but it doesn't suit me at all. Thank you for allowing me to read it.
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