Review of Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles



Image credit goes to Goodreads

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.


Publication date: 05 May 2018

Goodreads synopsis:
Harper Southwood is a teenage girl who can sense when people will get sick—but so what? She can’t predict her best friend’s depression or her mother’s impending health crisis. Being helpful is all Harper ever wanted, but she feels helpless in the face of real adversity. Now, she’s got a chance to summon her courage and use her wits to fight for justice. Laugh and cry along with this irrepressible, high-spirited teen in her journey of self-discovery, as she learns that compassion and internal strength are her real gifts, her true superpower.

My thoughts:

Down in the Belly of the Whale started off well, the characters were surprisingly complex and plot was fresh and original. While the narration was a little more immature than I’d hoped, I was kept engaged by the short, sharp chapters and steady action.

Just over half way into the story, however, my attention began to dwindle and I felt that the story could no longer hold my attention as well as it had at the start. It felt like the whole pace of the story had suddenly slowed right down, which was certainly not something I had expected with this book. While I didn’t feel particularly close to any one of the characters, I struggled on, Still wanting to see how their story would end.

Towards the end of the book, the narration got steadily more grating, until I no longer felt the desire to continue reading. While part of me still wants to know how the story concludes, overall, the effort I felt that I had to put into reading the book wasn’t worth what I was getting out of it.


All in all, Down in the Belly of the Whale just wasn’t the rewarding read I was expecting it to be and while I liked the unique idea of the plot, in the end, the disappointing narration let the story down, leading to me DNFing this book. A 2 star read ⭐️⭐️.




4 thoughts on “Review of Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles

  1. elissa says:

    I requested this one from Netgalley and had almost the same reaction as you, but faster. I think I was a chapter in before I realized it was just not going to work for me. It’s unfortunate, since I liked the blurb. Good review!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Diana says:

    Sorry to hear that this one didn’t meet your expectations. The blurb certainly did sound great but as someone who tends to prefer well-balanced or faster paces, I understand why this one didn’t work out for you.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s