High Rise by Vanessa Lee book review

Every now and then a book tries to get a message across – whether it’s highlighting underrepresented minorities or climate change. And sometimes this is done well and subtly and then other times it’s not done so well and feels pushed in your face. Unfortunately, High Rise is a book that does this. It wants to talk about climate change, but also talk about human stories and none are done particularly well.

Please note that this article contains affiliate links. This means if you choose to purchase any products via the links below, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These affiliate links do not affect my final opinion of the product.

High Rise was kindly sent to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.

High Rise tells the story of a town in Australia that is often hit by storms which can cause the town to have floods which is affecting the livelihoods of those who still live there and causing many businesses to move away. High Rise tells the story of one larger storm coming soon and how the local people band together to protect and secure safety for those most affected by the storm.

High Rise plot – 3.5/5

The plot for High Rise confused me a lot. I got about halfway through the book and still very little actual plot had happened. A lot of the story at the start covers the relationships of a few of the townspeople – none of whom I grew particularly fond of and I even became confused at one point when someone was said to have left and been gone for months whom I thought I’d been reading about living in the town.

The only real action was at the end when the storm came and when the pace of things started to pick up. Even then though, it’s not particularly interesting and seemed to just peter out with no real interesting moments.

There is one single event that happens in this book that made me stop and go “ooh, ok”. But it’s right near the end, so I’ll let you get to that yourself. I would say the last 30-40 pages were actually the best part of the whole book and the only part of the story I really enjoyed.

A huge message throughout the book is the effect global warming is having on the planet, especially in coastal towns in first-world countries. I don’t mind reading about this, but we’re all educated enough now to know how it works and I didn’t feel like High Rise taught or showed me anything new.

High Rise characters – 3.75/5

Now, if the plot wasn’t that fast-paced but the characters were interesting then it would be a saving grace. Unfortunately, the characters in High Rise aren’t that interesting either. No matter how much I tried to understand the personalities of the characters in High Rise, I just couldn’t find myself liking them that much.

There is a relatively engaging love-interest story going on throughout but it just seems to surface level and nothing deeper or more ever comes from it, making the whole engagement between the two feel a little bit forced and weak. It doesn’t add anything to the story and so really disappointed me, unfortunately.

High Rise final rating – 3.5/5

I really wanted to like High Rise as it covers an interesting topic of climate change but some uninteresting characters, a very basic love interest and a story that never really got going until the last 30 pages and even then peters out to become something very underwhelming made for a big disappointment.

High Rise covers a very important topic of climate change but I don’t feel like it makes a powerful enough of a message or suggest anything new for it to have the impact that I’m sure the author hoped. If this is a topic you’re interested in, High Rise could be a good read. But as a general novel, I’d give it a miss.

Buy a copy of High Rise

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *