Review: That Night in the Library by Eva Jurczyk

That Night in the LibraryThat Night in the Library by Eva Jurczyk
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

**2.5-stars**

That Night in the Library is an Adult Literary Suspense novel. This is a recent release and I went into it, I’ll admit, with a bit of trepidation. The early reviews aren’t the highest, but in a way that piqued my interest even more.

I frequently find myself in the minority opinion, so I went in open-minded, ready to give it a nice go. I so wanted to at least give this a 3-star rating, but sadly, I just can’t.

The concept was okay, like the very basic concept, but the execution completely missed the mark.

This story basically follows a group of seven people, who make a plan to sneak into the basement of the rare books library at their University, and spend the night, performing some sort of obscure ritual while they are there.

It says in the synopsis that it is the night before graduation, but honestly, I don’t remember those kinds of details from this. It was quite difficult to parse anything out really.

I did understand they were going to perform a ritual, that I believe was said to free the participants of any fear, or something like that. IDK, really.

It’s an odd mix of characters. They weren’t all friends, or anything, they just needed seven people, so ended up inviting a girl who worked at the library, who really didn’t know any of them, someone’s drug dealer, etc.

That one part I did understand clearly about the ritual was they fasted before, and then dropped acid. Most of the rest of it was delivered to us through a drug-addled haze, so not particularly the most coherent way to convey a plot.

Once the ritual starts, they’re literally trapped in this basement space; locked in. They’re getting into it, doing their chanting, and dancing around and what not, when suddenly, one of the participants drops dead.

From there, as you would expect, they start to freak out, because that person is dead! How did they die? Were they killed? Is one of them responsible.

Since they’re tripping, suspicions run high. Things get wild. More bodies fall. Is anyone going to survive?

So, yeah, that’s a basic breakdown of this story. I feel like it’s for a very niche market. You have to be a specific type of Reader for this to work for you.

There is sort of a vibe of this being a book about books, but not to the level of like a Strange the Dreamer, or The Dark Half. It’s too hazy a theme for me to actually recommend it for that trope alone.

Without any malice, I would say this feels like one of those cases where the author is more enamored with their own writing, the words and phrases they use, than with any actual plot. It comes across a bit arrogant, in a way. I would equate it to The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring.

With this being said, this is 100% my personal opinion. Just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. I would urge anyone who thinks it sounds interesting, to give it a go.

There’s a book for every Reader, and a Reader for every book. I know there is an audience for this one. Unfortunately, I’m just not a part of that audience.

Thank you to the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press and RB Media, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I gave it a shot and even though it didn’t work out for me, I appreciate the opportunity to provide my opinion.

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Review: The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton AngelsThe Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

💙🖤💙🖤💙🖤💙🖤💙🖤💙🖤💙

The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels features two rival authors after desperately hunting down the same scoop.

Amanda Bailey and Oliver Menzies have a history together, not necessarily pleasant. Yet they’re about to be back in each other’s orbit as the both investigate the whereabouts of a baby who survived a cult, the Alperton Angels, close to two decades ago.

The Alperton Angel cult brainwashed a teenage girl into believing her baby was the anti-Christ. Eventually, the girl came to her senses and contacted the authorities for help.

It was a huge case at the time, which garnered a lot of attention due to its sensational and bizarre circumstances. The Angels committed suicide, but the baby was free and survived. However, after that, the baby disappeared, their circumstances never made public knowledge.

Now that baby has turned 18, and the world is dying to know, where have they been all this time? What is the true story behind the Alperton Angels cult? And where is the baby now? Who have they become?

Amanda and Oliver, against their own inclinations, decide to collaborate in their baby research. If they both agree to focus on different aspects of the case, it shouldn’t be a problem to both cover the case at the same time.

In fact, it may actually be helpful, as each book could create more interest for the other. But the truth about the Angels is much more disturbing than they originally anticipated, putting them dangerously close to the heart of the story.

Janice Hallett has made quite the name for herself as the Queen of the Unconventional Narrative. Her books are always a journey, a truly a unique reading experience.

As the Reader, you are supplied with all of the same documents a researcher may use when studying a real life case. You have access to things such as emails, text messages, news articles, and even transcripts from phone conversations.

These things are blended together in such a way that eventually helps to perfectly piece together the overall story. It’s pretty amazing how well Hallett can build out a story using solely these mixed media elements.

For me, her novels seem to work better via audiobook, but that’s 100% personal preference. I have read one of her books physically, and it at times it seemed jarring, and occasionally, even a little boring.

The other two I have listened to via audio, and because of the vibrant narration, have felt more pulled in and engaged with the story. This one in particular was fantastically executed via audiobook and I would recommend that format.

This story got pretty wild. I definitely wasn’t expecting the direction it ended up going. Writing a novel in this format has got to be extremely challenging, but somehow Hallett nails it every time.

I won’t claim to have been able to follow every single detail of this. Hallett’s stories are impressive in scope. There’s a lot going on, and at times, it can feel chaotic. Regardless, this one was never dull. Fast-paced and intriguing the whole way through, this was a great time.

Thank you to the publisher, Atria Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Hallett’s uniquely-presented and impeccably-plotted Literary Mysteries will keep me coming back as long as she keeps cranking them out.

I can’t wait to see what’s next!

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Review: Fire Exit by Morgan Talty

Fire ExitFire Exit by Morgan Talty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

Fire Exit is a realistic Literary Fiction novel that falls completely outside of my comfort zone. I picked this one up because of one reason, and one reason only: Morgan Talty.

I’ve read short-fiction from him and loved it. Additionally, he’s an Assistant Professor at my alma mater, University of Maine, Orono. His stories take place around that area, so there’s also that connection.

This book is about life. More specifically, it’s about Charles Lamosway’s life. The story-telling feels very Coming of Age. Although this isn’t that type of story, Charles takes us through certain portions of his life in a way that makes it feel like that subgenre.

There’s a lot going on in his life, which he focuses on in his narration. First and foremost, is the fact that he has a daughter, Elizabeth, the result of an affair, who doesn’t know the true nature of her parentage.

For years, this has weighed on him. He’s watched Elizabeth grow up, as she lives just across the river from him.

As she comes of age, and his life transitions into its later stages, he starts to feel compelled to share the truth with her. He feels she has the right to know. She has the right to know her true history, who she is and where she came from.

He’s not trying to negate all her parents have done for her, he doesn’t want anything from her really, but Elizabeth’s mother, Mary, doesn’t see it the same way as Charles.

Then there’s his relationship with his mom, Louise. That’s complicated too. He loves his mother. He’s dedicated to her, but it’s not always easy.

Louise has struggled with depression for many, many years. Charles and Louise have also experienced a terrible trauma together, which they never discuss. He has unresolved guilt from that event that continues to haunt him.

Louise is now succumbing to dementia and she’s more reliant on Charles than ever. She’s not always kind, and rarely recognizes him, yet he is 100%-committed to her care. It’s a situation he wasn’t prepared for.

The whole journey he’s on with his mom has caused him to confront a lot of issues from his life. Such as distant moments of his childhood, his relationship with his Mom and step-Dad, Frederick, and of course, his nonexistent relationship with his daughter, Elizabeth.

I thought everything about this was beautifully-done. I loved the writing. I loved the delivery of Charles’s voice and story. I felt like I was sitting with him at a bar in Old Town and he was just relating moments of his life to me.

It amazed me how invested I got in each of the different aspects that Charles was exploring. As mentioned above, this isn’t normally a type of story that I would pick up, but I’m so glad that I did. It was emotional, yet so enjoyable.

I would recommend this to all my Literary Fiction friends out there, or Readers who enjoy the quality of storytelling in a Coming of Age narrative. Also, the audiobook is fantastic. I def recommend that format as well.

Thank you to the publisher, Recorded Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. Morgan Talty is such a talent. I can’t wait to read more from him!!

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Review: The Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton

The Last Murder at the End of the WorldThe Last Murder at the End of the World by Stuart Turton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

On an island at the end of the world, a small settlement of survivors lives. Outside the island there is nothing. Well, nothing but a murderous fog that contains insect-like creatures with a taste for human flesh.

I may be exaggerating this a little, but trust me, you don’t even want to dip a toe in that fog.

122-villagers and 3-valued scientists live together on the island in harmony. It’s a simple life, but they do need to abide by some stringent rules; all for their own good. We should trust the scientists, right?

Well, the villagers certainly do. One day though, the unthinkable happens. One of their beloved scientists is found murdered, thus setting into motion a chain of events that could lead to the destruction of their world.

They need to solve the murder within the next 107-hours, or risk bringing on the fog and all the terrible little creatures that come with it.

The Last Murder at the End of the World was one of my most anticipated releases of 2024. I’ve really enjoyed both of Turton’s previously releases and was excited to see what sort of brain-teaser he was going to create for us next.

Sadly, this one just wasn’t suited to my tastes, but I can still appreciate the solid plot progression and creativity it took to create this whole world.

IMO, this book would work best for Literary Fiction fans, who enjoy stories with Speculative, or Futuristic elements.

I did enjoy the very beginning; the introduction to the setting and characters. It was all very mysterious and murky. It was giving me serious LOST vibes.

Not the attractive people suddenly stranded on a beach thing, though. More the disturbing community bits that they discover on the island way later…

I feel like I knew very early on, around page 37, what one of the big reveals was going to be. I don’t normally care about that, actually, I don’t. I don’t care about that, but unfortunately for me, the reveal I felt was coming is a trope I don’t tend to enjoy.

True to trend, it didn’t work for me here either. Obviously, I am not going to spoil for you what that is, but I’m aware that is strictly a personal taste issue, and is no way a reflection on Turton, or his work.

In fact, I doff my cap to Turton’s writing, creativity and overall mental prowess. It’s clear, if you’ve ever read one of his books, that his brain works better than around 95% of the rest of us.

For me though, this failed to capture my attention. I feel like some of it was kept too obscure, meaning, I couldn’t picture any of this. I was being told a lot of things, but I couldn’t actually imagine it, in my mind’s eye, playing out.

I also did find the pace to be incredibly slow, and not in an enticing slow burn sort of way. More in a, I’m starting to fall asleep way. And once I started to feel that, I couldn’t shake it. I really just wanted it to be over, which hurts me to say, but we’re all about honesty in this house.

I was fortunate to receive an early copy of the audiobook, because that definitely helped me to get through this one. I did find the narration quite charming.

At the end of the day, this just wasn’t a great fit for my tastes. The content wasn’t something I enjoyed. Nevertheless, I still love and admire Stuart Turton as an author and I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next!

Thank you to the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark and Tantor Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. Even though this wasn’t my cup of tea, I am still very glad I had the chance to pick it up!

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Review: The Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill

The Mystery WriterThe Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Mystery Writer is the latest release from Sulari Gentill, author of The Woman in the Library.

I have heard so many great things about The Woman in the Library, so when I was offered the chance to read The Mystery Writer a little early, I jumped on it.

This story follows Theodosia Benton, an aspiring author, who has just left her native Australia and moved to the United States, to Lawrence, Kansas, to live with her older brother, Gus, a successful attorney.

The two had an unconventional upbringing and you can tell that there is a lot of history there, yet they have a loving and supportive relationship. Gus is happy that his sister is pursuing her dreams, instead of going along with the path her parents and grandparents had in mind for her.

As part of her writing process, Theo begins to visit the same local cafe everyday. It’s there she meets and befriends, Dan Murdoch, who turns out to be a best-selling author.

Their relationship develops at a hasty clip and then one day, Theo finds Dan has been murdered. The stuff hits the proverbial fan from there.

Gus has a friend, Mac, who happens to be a private investigator, and he sort of takes on a role as Theo’s protector, as they work together to try to figure out what happened to Dan.

This was a difficult book for me to rate. It started out strong for me. I was deeply intrigued for like the first 40%, or so, then it just went absolutely off the rails.

I got to the point where I wanted it away from me. I was over it. It was such a sharp turn, I looked up like, what the actual heck am I reading?!

There was a mixed media element to this that I did not enjoy. Usually I am totally down for mixed media use, but in this case, I found it to be more distracting than anything.

I understand what it was supposed to represent in context to the overall plot, but yeah, just because I understand it, doesn’t mean I enjoyed it.

Then there’s Theo herself, who was way too naive for my tastes. Her naivety kept being explained away by the fact that she had moved from Australia, but that doesn’t track. It’s Australia, not the moon. She felt more like a time traveler straight out of the 1920s, or something; absurd.

This is the type of story, where I really have to be able to get behind the MC and I found her to be truly annoying. I did like Gus, Mac and the dog, Horse. Theo though, not so much.

Also, I didn’t enjoy where the plot went. The baddies seemed mere caricatures of baddies, versus something that would make sense to this story. I just couldn’t get behind it all.

With this being said, I understand that this is 100% due to personal taste and that a lot of Readers may end up really enjoying this one. After all, just because it wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean it won’t be for you.

If this synopsis sounds intriguing to you, or if you enjoyed this author’s previous work, you should absolutely give it a go. Perhaps I’m just in a mood. It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened.

Thank you to the publisher, Dreamscape Media, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I do appreciate it and should say that the audiobook was very well narrated. I may not have gotten through this one, if it wasn’t for the audio format!

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Review: Midnight on Beacon Street by Emily Ruth Verona

Midnight on Beacon StreetMidnight on Beacon Street by Emily Ruth Verona
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Midnight on Beacon Street is a bit of a pensive novel, set in 1993. It follows a babysitter, Amy, who must overcome her own anxiety in order to protect the children she is responsible for on one hell of a night.

The scene is set as Eleanor Mazinski heads out on a date night, leaving her two children, Mira and Ben, with the sitter, Amy. Amy is 17-years old and skilled at taking care of children. Mira is stand-offish, but Ben is sweet and she knows she’ll be able to win him over with a little patience.

The evening starts out normally enough, but takes some uncomfortable turns, escalating in their danger level.

By midnight, there’s a dead body, a pool of blood, and a race for the kindly neighbor’s house to call for help. How did things go so wrong? You’ll have to read it to find out!

Midnight on Beacon Street turned out to be a very different story than what I thought it was going to be, and unfortunately, in this case, that’s not a good thing.

While I appreciated many different elements of the story, such as the many nods to classic Horror films, I can’t say that I enjoyed it. For me, it sort of plodded along in an awkward way, with the tension only arriving at the final, climactic scene; too little, too late.

From the start, it felt odd to me. The way the perspectives were presented, the back and forth in time, it just didn’t flow the way I would have wanted it to.

Around the halfway point, I was enjoying it, but damn was it slow. There was a ton of character work and the build-out of their emotions and motivations, but not in a way that I personally found to be compelling. Nevertheless, I was still anxious for the excitement to start.

Sadly, it just never took off for me. It didn’t seem to be able to establish a fluid narrative flow. The back and forth was a lot and it just felt way more literary than I was hoping for.

On a positive note, it almost felt like a Stephen Graham Jones work at times, in regards to the way it explored the Horror genre. As the synopsis says, it did feel like a love letter to Horror, which I love to see.

Even though it wasn’t done with the same finesse as SGJ, it was still a solid effort and that was definitely my favorite aspect of the book. Without those elements, this probably would have been a 2-star read for me.

I know that this will work for a lot of Readers though, so please don’t let my jaded-old opinion sway you. If this sounds interesting to you, please give it a shot. You’ve got nothing to lose and in fact, you could find a new favorite.

Thank you to the publisher, Harper Perennial, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

Even though this wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, I would be interested in picking up more from this author.

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Review: Twenty-Seven Minutes by Ashley Tate

Twenty-Seven MinutesTwenty-Seven Minutes by Ashley Tate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Twenty-Seven Minutes, what I would classify as a slow-burn Literary Suspense novel, is a debut for author, Ashley Tate.

In this story, we settle into the small town of West Wilmer, where 10-years ago, their local It-Girl, Phoebe Dean was killed in a car accident on the way home from a party.

Her brother, Grant, was the driver that night and for unknown reasons, he waited 27-minutes after the crash before he called 9-1-1.

Yeah, it’s suspicious and rumors have swirled for years that the reason he waited so long was that he needed to sober up.

For a multitude of reasons, this tragedy hit the town especially hard. As the 10th-anniversary approaches, a memorial is planned for Phoebe and the town is abuzz again with theories and speculation about that night.

As you can imagine, this causes stress for those closest to the incident. It’s like they have to keep repeating the worst night of their life over and over again. Why won’t people just let them forget?

This story is told via multiple POVs and a dual timeline, as we follow those most effected by the events of that night.

Basically, if Phoebe’s death were a pebble dropped in a pond, we’d be following the ripples closest to impact. And honestly, that’s how I thought of this set-up. It worked.

As past and present begin to merge, the truth about that night is finally made clear for the Reader. It’s an emotional and angst-filled journey that doesn’t rush anything along.

I enjoyed this one. I found it to be well-written and the mystery behind that night, the pace at which all is revealed, I thought was really well done.

I think it is important to keep in mind though, this is a slow burn. If you are looking for a fast-paced Thriller, there may be better options. You have to be comfortable just sitting with characters and getting to know them through their thoughts and reflections.

For me, this was truly a story about surviving grief and trauma. Each journey through that space is going to look different. People deal with such events using the resources available to them, and some fare better than others.

I loved the small town atmosphere; she ran deep. I feel like anyone who grew up in a small town could relate with a lot of the vibes Tate created here.

I also enjoyed all the messy, damaged relationships and characters. I found them interesting and frankly, I don’t trust characters who are too perfect. I thought Tate did a great job of blending all of their stories together and pulling off a solid conclusion.

Overall, I think for Readers who really love to sink their teeth into fabulous character work, and they don’t need to like those characters, this will be a great read.

As far as this being a debut, I’m impressed. I think Tate brought everything she needed and more to this story. I am really looking forward to getting more from her!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Poisoned Pen Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

While this wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be, I am very pleased with what I got!

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Review: The Fury by Alex Michaelides

The FuryThe Fury by Alex Michaelides
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

The Fury, the latest from Alex Michaelides, is a unique and unsettling Tragedy from which I couldn’t look away. This kept my head spinning all the way through. We love that!

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this author’s previous novels, so had been highly anticipating this. I started to see some early reviews though that made question if I would like it.

Luckily, I found this to be engaging and intriguing from the very start. Our narrator, Elliot, addresses the fact that he is our narrator. It’s like we are sitting with him, having some drinks, and he is telling us a story from his life.

I absolutely adore that kind of narrative. It always makes me feel like I am actually a part of the action, or more fittingly in this case, of the friend group.

Elliott relates to us the details of an ill-fated trip he took with his best friend, Lana, a retired movie star, her husband, Jason, their mutual friend, Kate, also an actress, Lana’s son Leo, an aspiring actor, and Lana’s assistant, to a remote Greek island for a weekend getaway.

We know what starts out as a beautiful holiday, ends up to be anything but. The group gets trapped on the island due to high winds. Emotions and tensions are running high. The claustrophobic nature of their excursion becomes palpable.

This strain could be blamed for the violence and death that ultimately occurs, couldn’t it? Or is something much deeper lurking under the surface that leads to the bloody and chaotic conclusion?

Y’all, I was absolutely swept up into this story. I know that some Reviewers have mentioned that it was slow for them, but I didn’t have the same experience with it. I had the audiobook and listened to the first 70% just while adulting, doing my cleaning and other errands, one Saturday.

I was obsessed with learning all I could about the characters and couldn’t help but continuing on. The narrative structure is out of the ordinary, but I loved how it was done.

Michaelides kept me guessing. It also should be noted that I am a huge fan of unreliable narrators and Elliott fits that moniker to a tee.

I wouldn’t say this is a simple story to read, and I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone. I can also see how some may find it slow. There is quite a bit of develop in the beginning, building out our group and their relationships.

However, for those who enjoy some mental gymnastics, mixed with great character work, an unreliable narrator and tension so thick you could cut it with a knife, this is sure to be a success.

If any of these descriptors are buzzwords for you, give it a go. You may like it, you may not, but either way, it’s sure to be a memorable experience.

A few other aspects of this book that worked for my tastes were the remote location, particularly the fact that it is set on an island, I live on an island, so tend to love to see that, the cast of unlikable characters and the teeny bit of character crossover from The Maidens and The Silent Patient.

No, you don’t need to read either of those novels prior to reading this, but for those who have, those little name drops can be a lot of fun.

While this doesn’t have the same level of mystery as The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, it did sort of remind me of that in some ways. I think the vibe of mild confusion mixed with enjoyment is quite similar.

If you enjoyed that one, you may enjoy this as well. Overall, I think this is just so fun. It’s clever and engaging and yes, also a tad confusing at times.

I’d definitely read it again, maybe try and pick up some subtleties I might have missed this time around.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio and Celadon Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was a great reading experience for me and I’m happy to have a copy on my shelves.

I can’t wait to see what Michaelides comes up with next!!

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Review: The Sight by Melanie Golding

The SightThe Sight by Melanie Golding
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

🎪🎠🎪🎠🎪🎠🎪🎠🎪🎠🎪🎠🎪🎠🎪🎠🎪

The Sight is the latest release from Melanie Golding, author of Little Darlings and The Hidden. I enjoyed both of those books so much. I loved the dark atmosphere and eerie sense of dread that permeated both.

Because of that, I was really excited to pick this one up. After completing The Sight, I would still consider myself a fan of Golding’s writing, but unfortunately, this story just didn’t do much for me.

I only have myself to blame. I really didn’t do much investigation into this one prior to reading it. I sort of just anticipated a similar feeling story to the earlier works mentioned above, and it was comped to Stranger Things.

Sadly, this didn’t feel like those previous works at all, nor did it feel like Stranger Things. I felt no dread, no urgency, no suspense and no mystery. It felt very general Literary Fiction, which is admittedly, not my cup of tea.

I was happy to have a copy of the audiobook, which I did feel was well narrated. Otherwise, it probably would have taken me weeks to get through this.

I can see that there is a solid story here and I think for people who enjoy the feel of a slow-burn Literary Fiction novel, this could be a good fit. Particularly, if you enjoy stories set in a carnival environment.

I’m not sure if I have much else to say. I’m sort of at a loss. The story does nothing wrong, it just wasn’t what I was looking for, nor what I would generally tend to pick up. My most dominant feeling while reading it was boredom.

In spite of this, I would recommend that everyone who thinks this sounds intriguing, give it a shot. Reading is highly subjective, as we all know, and your experience may be completely different than mine. In fact, you could end up with a new favorite.

I would caution against putting to much stake in the comp to Stranger Things in the synopsis though. I don’t see that comparison at all and I think if you go into this wanting that, like I did, you could be disappointed.

Thank you to the publishers, Crooked Lane Books and Dreamscape Media, for providing me with copies to read and review. Regardless of my experience with this one particular story, I look forward to picking up Golding’s next release!

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Review: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and TomorrowTomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m going to keep this short and sweet for there is nothing I can say about this book that hasn’t be said before.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow first came onto my radar because of the stunning cover. It’s because of that cover it ended up on my shelves.

This book was everywhere you turned in 2022. There was a lot of hype and if fact, it won the Goodreads Award for Best Fiction. I avoided it initially. I didn’t want to be disappointed after hearing this was basically the best thing ever.

Additionally, Literary Fiction is not my comfort zone. It’s not my go-to, not even in my top-5, genres. This story spans over 30-years. Also, something that is definitely not my jam.

In spite of all that, this story succeeded in capturing my heart. It captivated me. It made me feel things I had no anticipation of, or desire to, feel.

It actually shocked me how connected I felt to these main characters; how much empathy and true emotion I felt for them throughout the various stages of their lives.

Dark Fiction, and I’m talking DARK, is my comfort place, but every once in a while it’s nice to read outside that lane.

This book is the perfect example of why. It’s the kind of story that reminds you of what it means to feel alive. Full of raw emotion and beautiful character work. This story made an impact on me.

The audiobook is fantastic. I definitely recommend that format. The final day I was reading it, I think I was around the 80% point and I was on my morning commute to work, this is actual footage of me:

Honestly, crying in the car that morning was not how I saw that day starting off. Thanks for the surprise, Gabrielle Zevin. I can’t wait to read more of your work!!

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