Review: Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

Your House Will PayYour House Will Pay by Steph Cha
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

UNDERRATED BOOK ALERT!!!

Oh, shoot. Wow. This book packs a punch.

I highly recommend the audiobook. It’s chef’s kiss.

Set in L.A., this novel examines racial tensions, grief and absolution, through the lens of two families tied together by a decades old crime.

Our protagonists, Grace Park and Shawn Matthews, aren’t even aware of their connection to one another until after Grace’s mother is shot outside of the family-owned pharmacy.

As Grace tries to grapple with why anyone would target her mother, she discovers a long-buried family secret.

Through this discovery, she learns why her sister, Miriam, hasn’t spoken to their mother in almost two years. Grace doesn’t know how to react, or how to deal with the fact that her mother isn’t who she thought.

Following a police shooting of a black teenager, as well as the recent release of his cousin, Ray, from prison, Shawn Matthews experiences a lot of painful memories coming to the surface.

In the early-90s, when Shawn was a kid, his beloved sister, Ava, was shot. After the beating of Rodney King by L.A. police officers, the city was in turmoil. Ava’s death occurred during that intense time period.

I’m trying to be very careful with what I write here. I don’t want to spoil a single thing for anyone who may want to read this.

I thought the choices Cha made in the format of this story were incredible. It is so well done. I became engaged extremely quickly, the characters definitely draw you in, and keep you wanting to know more.

I thought it was cleverly plotted, alternating between the past and present timelines, as well as between Park and Matthews.

While the historical aspects demonstrate that not much has changed, we are still fighting the same fights when it comes to racism, police brutality and cultural mistrust within cities, I also think there is a lovely underlining message of hope.

That change can come. That we can break the mold. That we don’t have to fall into the same patterns as those that came before us.

It really is a powerful message. One that I think is so important for a wide audience to ingest.

There were many times when a new fact would come to light where I would audibly gasp. It was rapid fire reveal, reveal, reveal, as it all comes together.

I felt so much for both Shawn and Grace, as well as their families. Imagining all they had been through, and the reasons why, really weighs on a heart.

This novel seems to be flying under the radar. I am really hoping this review will make at least one more person pick it up. The issues tackled are so topical and important.

Why can’t that person be you!? Seriously, particularly in today’s climate, this is such an important story. Grab a copy if you can. You won’t be disappointed.

View all my reviews

Review: Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker

Don't Look for MeDon’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, hello, my new favorite Suspense novel of 2020.

I have always enjoyed Wendy Walker’s novels, but Don’t Look for Me takes it to a whole new level. Her best work yet!

It is clear from the very first pages that Molly Clarke is struggling in her life.

After a family tragedy, the remaining family members have drifted apart. Each consumed with grief and guilt, they rarely communicate and certainly not positively.

Molly’s daughter Nicole has told her she hates her, her husband won’t even look her in the eyes and her son publicly shuns her.

One night on a solo road trip, she becomes consumed with thoughts of leaving it all behind. The way she sees it, her family would be better off without her, happier.

With this storm of negative thoughts swirling in her head, she runs into a real life storm, literally. Just when it seems things can’t get any worse, they do. She runs out of gas.

Molly doesn’t return home.

Nicole, Molly’s daughter, has been spiraling out of control. She knows it. Hell, everyone knows it. Between the drinking, one-night stands and explosions at her mother, she’s not proud of herself.

After her Mom goes missing, Nicole is desperate to find her. The things she said to her on the very morning she disappeared. She can’t live with it. She has to make amends, and she can’t until her Mother is found.

The authorities seem to think that Molly walked away, but Nicole knows better than that. Her Mom would never leave her family, would she?

Nicole returns to Hastings, the place where her Mother’s car and belongings were found, to begin her own investigation. She will never give up on her Mom.

If the police won’t continue the search, she will. Even if Molly doesn’t want to be found.

This novel alternates perspectives between Molly and Nicole, starting off on different timelines and ultimately merging into one.

In Walker’s signature style, the chapters are short, with each one ending on a revelation or mini-cliffhanger, making this the epitome of a one-more-chapter type of story.

I thought this was brilliantly plotted the entire way through. From the very first chapter, I was hooked.

There are extremely intense moments, eerie moments, heart-breaking moments; this truly had it all.

In addition to being extremely suspenseful, I was so impressed with the examination of grief, guilt and depression.

The way in which Walker incorporated a family trauma into this story, and was able to tactfully explore how that one event had lasting, and unique repercussions, for each of the family members, was just so well done.

If you are a Reader who likes your Thrillers to have some substance, this one definitely fits the bill.

I loved both Nicole and Molly. Watching their stories unfold, learning the how and why of their circumstances, was just so powerful.

This will definitely make my Favorites List for 2020! Will it be on yours?

Don’t Look for Me is available tomorrow, Tuesday, September 15th, where ever books are sold. This may sound like a pitch, but really, I’m just trying to bring joy to your life.

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.

I truly appreciate it and of course, cannot wait to see what Walker comes up with next!!!

View all my reviews

Review: Broken Things by Lauren Oliver

Broken ThingsBroken Things by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

Five years ago, Summer Marks was brutally murdered and left in the woods of her hometown.

The belief is that she was killed by her two best friends, Mia and Brynn, in a horrific, ritualistic style.

The girls were obsessed with a fantasy book called, The Way Into Lovelorn, and apparently, something found within those pages whipped them into a murderous frenzy. The thing is though, they didn’t do it.

Broken Things begins with Brynn finally being forced to leave the rehab center she has been residing in. She’s really never lived on the outside since Summer’s death.

Mia has continued living with her Mom in her childhood home, now packed to the gills due to her Mother’s hoarding habits.

During an effort to do a major clean out, Mia finds the old copy of The Way Into Lovelorn under a mass of garbage. This discovery hacks open old wounds and reinvigorates Mia’s desire to find out the truth of what happened to Summer.

Since they were separated during their police interviews, Mia and Brynn have not spoken. As Brynn is released, they are suddenly and unexpectedly reunited.

Rejoining is cold at first. It’s hard for them to communicate, but as time passes, they begin to open up with one another and it becomes clear they both have information about Summer’s death that they’ve never revealed before.

I was so immersed in this novel. The toxic friendship, the mystery, the side characters and the exploration of sexuality were all so well done. I read it incredibly quickly. Once I started, I could not put it down.

I was getting heavy Slender Man vibes, which was great. The way the girls backstory was told, it sort of gave this is this supernatural, is it not feeling; especially in the beginning. I dig that vibe.

Additionally, I loved the book-within-a-book portions in regards to the Lovelorn content.

There were portions from the original book, as well as excerpts from the fanfic sequel the girls were writing together. It was clear Summer was the most passionate about their project and she sort of steamrolled the other girls to get her way.

It’s funny, although we never met her in the current timeline, and she was the murder victim, to me, Summer was the least likable character.

Watching Brynn and Mia struggle through years of abuse in the public because of something they were accused of doing, but were innocent of, also made me feel protective of, and attached to them in a weird way.

I thought the mystery of Summer’s murder was intriguing.

Of course, Oliver also incorporated one of my favorite tropes, amateur sleuthing, as the girls, Mia and Brynn, try to piece together what actually happened on the day Summer died.

For a backlist book I never hear anyone talking about, I was really impressed with this. I thought it was engaging the entire way through and I enjoyed the overall way the story was told.

I will definitely be picking up more from Lauren Oliver in the future!

View all my reviews

Review: Misfits by Hunter Shea

MisfitsMisfits by Hunter Shea
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars rounded up**

In this gruesome tale, set in 1990s-Milbury, Connecticut, five teens, Mick, Marnie, Vent, Chuck and Heidi, discover some urban legends are very real and very deadly.

The friends are misfits, stoners, living on the edge of society, but luckily, they have learned to rely on one another and actually have a super tight-knit group.

One night, Heidi and Marnie decide to head to a local bar that is known to serve minors. They have no idea that one choice will forever change the course of their lives.

They’re just looking to have a few drinks, listen to music, blow off some steam and maybe flirt with some guys. When Marnie sees her ex-boyfriend’s father there, she doesn’t think too much of it.

It’s strange he goes to a place frequented by people so young, but he’s harmless, or so she believes.

When he follows her out to the alley, she quickly realizes how wrong she is. He brutally beats, rapes her and leaves her bleeding out on the ground like a piece of trash.

By the time Heidi discovers her and what has happened, Marnie is barely alive. Heidi manages to get her out of there and to their friends for help.

Marnie refuses to tell authorities, or seek treatment, even though it is clear she is severely injured. The rest of the group agrees to go along with Marnie’s wishes. The last thing they want is for her to have to tell what happened to her if she is not comfortable doing so.

They know who did it. Marnie remembers and told them. She wants him to pay, as does everyone else in the group.

They are sick of taking everyone’s shit. It’s time for some vengeance. Even in her weakened state, Marnie is beyond ready to fight back.

The group hatches a plan to use the Melon Heads, a terrifying local legend, to make the rapist-POS pay. Mick insists he knows of a way to find the group of mutant cannibals, but is it legit?

From there stuff really gets crazy, but truly, this entire book is intense and I’ll say it, gross.

There were so many moments when I literally exclaimed, ewww, while reading. I can’t even tell you how many times.

Gruesome, disgusting descriptions and imagery pepper these pages. It was so fun!

I loved the way Shea formed the entire story around a local legend. Those scary stories we all hear as kids, how many of them are actually real?

There was a lot of action here as well, but some things were tough to read. I would definitely tread with caution if rape, sexual assault, or severe violence on page is triggering for you.

For me, although certain scenes were uncomfortable, they made sense in the overall narrative. It’s gory, fierce, violent as hell; in short, a complete bloody mess.

That’s what we’re here for. If you are looking for a brutal way to enter the spooky season, look no further. Misfits is it!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Flame Tree Press, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.

I had such a fun time reading this. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way. Now Melon Heads are a new personal terror. Add them to the list!

View all my reviews

Review: Unbirthday (A Twisted Tale) by Liz Braswell

UnbirthdayUnbirthday by Liz Braswell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars**

Meg’s current ratings for The Twisted Tales series:

1. Reflection (Mulan): 4-stars
2. As Old As Time (Beauty & the Beast): 3.5-stars rounded up
3. Mirror, Mirror (Snow White): 3.5-stars rounded up
4. Unbirthday (Alice in Wonderland): 3.5-stars
5. Conceal, Don’t Feel (Frozen): 3.5-stars
6. A Whole New World (Aladdin): 3-stars
7. Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid): 2-stars

We all know the story of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, but what happened after?

In this installment of Disney’s popular Twisted Tales series, Liz Braswell examines just that.

Alice is now 18-years old and it has been many years since her last trip to Wonderland. In fact, it has been so long that the memories are starting to fade.

There are times when she wonders if it was even real and just the vivid dreams of a little girl with an overactive imagination.

Living with her parents and her slightly overbearing sister, Alice’s favorite past time is now photography.

She has a wonderful camera and wanders all over taking candids of various people and places.

When characters she met in Wonderland start magically appearing in the photos she develops, she can’t help but feel they are trying to get a message to her.

After more and more images come up, it’s clear, they need her help. Wonderland is in trouble and Alice is the only one who can save them.

Finding her way back to Wonderland is tricky, but she eventually succeeds and is able to reunite with old friends.

It appears the Queen of Hearts is more out of control than ever, continuing her reign of terror and executing Wonderland’s citizens seemingly for her own pleasure.

Does Alice have what it takes to defeat her once and for all?

Young Alice may have been afraid, but as an 18-year old, Alice is stronger and more willful than ever. You’ll have to pick it up to find out!

This novel is definitely an interesting one. It felt very different than the other books in the series; heavier in a way.

It follows Alice after her time in Wonderland, so there is no twist per se, to the original tale. It’s more of a follow-up, in my opinion.

A large chunk of the story follows Alice in our world with her interactions with her sister, parents and potential suitors.

There is also a large political element, as Alice’s sister is involved in local politics and tries to drag Alice along even if she is not as interested, or has conflicting opinions.

There was quite a bit of social commentary on nationalism and discrimination against minority groups and immigrant populations.

These are definitely important topics to explore in literature, but I must admit I was surprised to see it here in such depth.

I have read six other books in this series and this is the only one that I can recall having that type of narrative element. Normally, I am all for incorporating such discussions, but part of me feels like it was out of place in this story. It sort of made it feel disjointed for me.

The reason I say this is that when picking this up, I was expecting a magical jaunt through a nonsense world, spending time with some characters I know and love.

While I did get that, the story switched back and forth between the adventure in Wonderland to a very serious, more modern world, where the pace was slowed down quite precipitously. It made the book seem like it was too long.

With this small critique out of the way, overall, I did enjoy Unbirthday. It was nice to be back with Alice and the whole gang.

If you are a fan of Alice in Wonderland, you should definitely pick this up and give it a shot!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review.

I absolutely adore this series and will continue to pick them up for as long as they are released!

View all my reviews

Review: Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

Clown in a CornfieldClown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Quinn Maybrook moves to Kettle Springs, Missouri, after her father accepts a position as the town’s General Practitioner.

He didn’t really ask for her opinion on the matter, but due to everything they have been through recently, Quinn is willing to forgive him. She just wants to see her Dad happy again.

And to be honest, Quinn is ready to leave Philadelphia as well. Since her Mom died, it’s just too tough to be there, to deal with everyone’s pitying looks.

When they arrive at their new home, the same home as the previous town doctor, they discover a dilapidated old farmhouse. Quinn can’t say she’s surprised. It’s even pretty much in the middle of a cornfield.

Cue the eerie atmosphere. Does anyone else find cornfields to be hella creepy?

No, just me?

Unpacking in her new room, Quinn gazes out over the expanse of fields surrounding them. She notices an abandoned factory in the distance.

There’s a mural painted on the side. It’s a giant clown face and the pervy skeeve seems to be staring right into her window.

She can’t believe this is her life now. It’s all surreal. This town seems like something straight out of a movie.

Attending school the following day, Quinn begins to get acquainted with the local kids. An over-the-top teacher having a temper tantrum, even kicks her out of his classroom on her first day. It’s a lot to process.

Because of this event, she ends up hanging out with some of the more popular kids in the school. They seem a little wild, but not all bad.

They end up inviting her to a party Founder’s Day weekend. What could go wrong?

Y’all, I had so much fun reading this. Clown in a Cornfield was EVERYTHING I was hoping it would be!

Once I picked it up, I could not put it down. It is the perfect book to read to transition into spooky season. It has all the Fall vibes and I was living for it!!!

Is this a perfect book? No, it’s not, but was it the perfect book for me?

Abso-freakin-lutely!!

Those of you who know me, you know that clowns are my biggest fear. I actually have never read a book with clowns in it.

Not even It.

It’s true. I knew after seeing this around and reading the synopsis, that I wanted to give it a try.

I am so happy I went outside my comfort zone and picked this one up. It truly had everything I love in a Teen Scream, which incidentally is one of my favorite subgenres of Horror.

Clown in a Cornfield features the new girl trope, the final girl trope, kids behaving badly, corrupt town officials, an ominous atmosphere, a huge teen party, biting social commentary, a cleverly positioned ending, and plenty of jumps along the way!

This is just pure fun on the page. It’s a must read for the Fall!!! Don’t miss out, Frendo will be mad if you do.

View all my reviews

Review: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

To Sleep in a Sea of StarsTo Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Originally, I was planning to give To Sleep in a Sea of Stars 4.5-stars and round up.

After having some time to reflect on my reading experience, however, I can give this nothing but 5-stars. I CANNOT STOP thinking about it.

This novel is quite the accomplishment for Paolini. If I am remembering the Author’s Note correctly, he worked on this project for nine years and it shows; as close to perfection as you can get.

In the beginning of the story, we meet and follow Kira Navarez, a xenobiologist, who discovers an alien relic while on a survey mission to an uninhabited planet.

The relic isn’t as dormant as it first appears and ends up contaminating and binding with Kira. This event has lasting repercussions, leaving her feeling responsible for some negative events that follow.

This is a story of first contact. I wasn’t aware of that going in, although it says it directly in the synopsis, I missed it somehow.

I love first contact stories. It’s actually one of my favorite subgenres of Science Fiction. It is so well done here, you can definitely tell that Paolini is a Sci-Fi fan himself.

This story is so vast, it is hard to give brief plot points that would sum up the entirety of this novel’s scope. There is so much that happens from the first time Kira comes in contact with the alien suit to the stunning conclusion.

Reading this, I became so attached to her and the other characters as well. The crew that Kira travels with, defending the Universe, are the perfect rag-tag group of lovable rebels.

I loved how Paolini incorporated humor and witty banter into this story. It made the characters seem so real; they were reacting how you expect people in real life to react to such crazy and dire circumstances.

I was so engaged throughout my time reading this. It did not feel like a close to 900-page story. I got through it way more quickly than I had anticipated.

I would note this is straight-up, good old-fashioned Science Fiction. If you are thinking this will be more SFF, based on Paolini’s past works, you could be disappointed.

If you do not normally enjoy Science Fiction, you may not like this. If you are a fan of Sci-Fi though, you will eat this up. The delicious science bits are woven throughout. Start-to-finish, the details are incredible.

Also, if you do pick this book up, be sure to read through the Appendices at the end. There’s definitely a lot of interesting supplemental material there.

My favorite being a timeline of events that lead up to the world as we find it at the beginning of the story. It basically fills in the blanks between our current world through Kira’s time. It’s not very long, but I found it to be a thoughtful addition to the story.

The audiobook is fantastic as well, if you think that would be a good option for you. At first, I was thinking, why didn’t they go full cast, as there are quite a few characters. After getting into it, however, I never thought of it again.

The narrator, Jennifer Hale, did an absolutely tremendous job bringing this story to life. She is such talented voice artist and I was shocked to learn that this is actually her first audiobook. Talk about coming out swinging!

I am going to be thinking about this story for a long time to come and would love to read it again someday.

Highly, highly recommend!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor Books, for providing me with both an e-book and audiobook copy of this release to read and review.

I had so much fun with this story and hope Paolini continues to write Science Fiction for a long time to come!

View all my reviews

Review: Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1)Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**2.5-stars rounded up**

Where Dreams Descend is sadly my Serpent & Dove of 2020.

A book that everyone else seems to be loving and I’m over here like…

As with S&D, I really didn’t start to enjoy this until around the 80% point. Unlike S&D however, I am not sure if I will even care to pick up the sequel when it releases.

I’m sad about it. I had such high hopes for this, but unfortunately this story just didn’t work for me.

The story begins with our protagonist, Kallia, working as a performer in a club, The Hellfire House, owned by the mysterious, Jack.

She has larger plans for herself, however, and sets her sights on a magical competition set to be held in the nearby city of Glorian.

In order to enter, something a woman wouldn’t normally do, she must first break free of Jack and Hellfire House.

Making her way through the cursed woods alone, Kallia does make it to the city and promptly meets a young man, Aaros, who immediately becomes her best friend, confidant and stage assistant. He also became, in my opinion, the best character in the book.

As with any competition, there must be judges. Enter romantic interest, Daron DeMarco, a retired stage magician himself, who becomes enchanted with Kallia and her power.

There are other competitors as well, but of course, Kallia far exceeds them all, both in performance powers and overall everything else.

Once the magical competition begins, it becomes clear, something is off in the city of Glorian.

Other competitors go missing, or are severely injured and Kallia begins to be haunted in her rooms.

In spite of the chaos, the show must go on and Kallia is determined to win. DeMarco watches anxiously from the sidelines as she continually tries to one up her competition.

While this Dark Magical Fantasy has a lot of elements that should have worked for me, it just didn’t. It felt disjointed and like nothing was really happening, even though on page, plenty was.

I know that makes no sense, but it was like the dramatic plot points didn’t really matter. It was nothing I cared about or felt compelled to know more about.

Kallia was one of the most arrogant characters I have ever read. I understand she was ambitious and needed to be portrayed as strong, but it’s hard to have an arc showing any growth when the character already claims to know it all.

Not only was she eons above any of the other contestants, she was also more skilled than anyone else in the world.

Okay, enough about that. I think it is fairly clear how I feel about Kallia.

On a brighter note, DeMarco and Aaros were both saving graces for me. DeMarco was quite interesting. I loved his quiet humility and learning more about his backstory.

Some of the dark moments interested me as well. There were some sections involving mirrors, or the characters being magically trapped within the town, that I found compelling; I wish there had been more of that.

As mentioned above, around the 80% point, I started to feel like the flow was a lot stronger and I liked where the relationship between Kallia and DeMarco was going.

Unfortunately, enjoying only 20% of a book, isn’t enough for me to be able to give it a higher rating.

I do think that the story left off in a great place. I’m not sure if I will pick the sequel up or not, but I will definitely keep it in mind for when the time comes.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. Although this didn’t work for me, I am definitely in the minority!

((The World to Me)):

View all my reviews

Review: The House That Fell From the Sky by Patrick Delaney

The House That Fell From The SkyThe House That Fell From The Sky by Patrick R. Delaney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars**

Scarlett Vantassel is at a crossroads.

At 29-years old, after a recent break-up, she has returned to her hometown, moved in with her father and brother and resumed working at a dead-end job.

Needless to say, for a girl who once dreamed of greatness, things are not going as planned.

Even her popular YouTube channel, has lost its glow for her. Sinister Scarlett’s spark is gone.

On the night that she is set to film her farewell vlog, something truly insane happens, which interrupts her filming.

Just as she starts recording her swan song, there is a grand disturbance in Winterview City, where she lives.

It affects the power and can be felt in the air. Immediately setting off to investigate, Scarlett never does return to filming.

Once the dust settles, the city discovers an enormous gothic mansion has suddenly appeared in the downtown area. No one can explain it. Where did it come from?

The media dubs it, The House that Fell from the Sky.

Eventually a mysterious organization, Crow Corp, is somehow allowed to take ownership of the property.

And as you do, when you gain a creepy gothic mansion, you host a horrifying contest. If someone can survive one night in the house, which is clearly haunted, they win a million dollars.

Also, as you do, you select your contestants via lottery. I mean, it worked for Willy Wonka.

Before you get to all that however, there is a lot of build-up.

We follow Scarlett, her brother, Tommy, his ex-girlfriend, Hannah, and Scarlett’s best friend, Jackson, as they contemplate their lives, their friendships and the secret of the house.

We get the history of their relationships, what has caused them to be strained now and their own personal desires to discover the truth behind The House that Fell from the Sky.

The character with the biggest drive to get into the house is Hannah. She believes the house holds the secret to life after death, and even that she may be able to find her recently deceased mother within the walls.

Coming in at over 500-pages, this novel really leaves no stone unturned.

While I believe it could have been edited down, and certain areas tightened up, I did find the premise behind this extremely intriguing.

If I had my way, I would have had either Tommy or Jackson be the main protagonist and I also would have had the entire friend group be around the age of 21. That’s the age they seemed, although their stated ages were closer to 30.

I also found both Tommy and Jackson more believable heroes than Scarlett, and don’t get me started on Hannah. Frankly, I’m not sure why anyone was friends with her.

Their time in the house was intriguing. It was sort of a Lovecraftian-Overlook Hotel, run by Willy Wonka on acid.

If that doesn’t have you lifting your brows, I don’t know what will!?

One of the aspects I enjoyed the most about the friend’s time in the mansion was the cyclical nature of it. They would experience a bunch of horrifying things, then it was like someone hit a reset button and they would start all over again.

This thought of a never-ending trap makes me extremely agitated; like a hallway that never ends. That really freaks me out.

And while they were stuck, with no sense of time, the events and surroundings were actually continually changing. They continued to face new monsters and challenges while their sanity was pushed to the brink.

Even though I had fun reading these sections, I did feel like it was a bit more fever dream quality than I would have preferred. There was so much, it was almost too much.

With all of this being said, this is a good book and an ambitious debut.

The author, Patrick Delaney, is clearly wildly creative and I know as his career progresses, his material will continue to get stronger and stronger.

I for one, will be along for the journey. Looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Oblivion Publishing, as well as the author, Patrick Delaney, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I truly appreciate it!!

View all my reviews

Blog Tour: When I Was You by Amber Garza

When I Was YouWhen I Was You by Amber Garza
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up **

Below is a line from the first paragraph of the synopsis for this book. I think it sums it up perfectly:

…this up-all-night psychological thriller about a lonely empty-nester’s growing obsession with a young mother who shares her name.

That statement certainly caught my attention and I’m super glad it did!

Kelly Medina is the empty-nester in question. Kelly Medina is also the young woman who arrives and shakes up her life.

The main Kelly, I will refer to her as ‘our Kelly’ from this point forward, is adjusting to life with her only son, Aaron, gone from home. Her husband, Raphael, is not around much either, as his job keeps him away during the week and even some weekends.

Because of this, our Kelly spends a lot of time alone and to be honest, she’s struggling.

Feeling increasingly lonely and isolated, one day she receives a phone call that will change everything.

The call is from Aaron’s pediatrician’s office, with a reminder of her upcoming well-baby appointment.

Kelly tries to laugh it off with the receptionist. Obviously, it’s a mistake, her son is in college.

The lady apologizes profusely. Apparently, there is another Kelly Medina in the area and their numbers must have gotten mixed up in the system.

Our Kelly is taken aback. Another woman, sharing her same name, in the same area, with a baby.

In the coming hours, it’s all she can think about. Imagining who this young woman is and what her life must be like. It all seems too strange.

The whole incident has shaken her. Arriving later at the gym to meet her best friend, Christine, for a yoga class, she has forgotten her membership card.

When the desk clerk looks her up in the system, she comments on how funny it is that another Kelly Medina was there that very morning for a workout.

Now the girl is even invading her gym space? Who is this person?

That’s all it takes for Kelly to become obsessed with finding out more about the other Kelly Medina.

After several attempts to discover who she is online, our Kelly realizes the best way to find her would be to go to that well-baby appointment.

That’s exactly what she does. The rest of the story goes from there and let me tell you, you are in for a WILD RIDE!!

I had so much fun reading When I Was You!

Once I got into the story, I could not put it down. I can definitely see why the publisher chose to describe it as an, up-all-night Psychological Thriller!

Garza added some epic twists. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. My goodness.

My jaw hit the floor so many times! It was a bloody fantastic.

I don’t think I have had this much fun reading a Thriller since the first B.A. Paris novel I read, Behind Closed Doors.

And like that novel, When I Was You, is not perfect. Personally though, I feel like any tiny flaws were completely made up for with the perfectly plotted story.

I hope that Amber Garza continues to write in this genre. I really look forward to getting more of this type of story from her.

This is wildly imaginative. It went some places, guys, I was shocked. Just when you think you have hit the crazy limit, another revelation comes to light!

I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a twisty-turny, compulsively readable Psychological Thriller.

Once you pick it up, it will be hard to put it down, so clear your calendar!

Thank you so, so much to the publisher, Harlequin MIRA, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I had so, so, so much fun reading it!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

View all my reviews