Review: How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst

I hate it when I get a book and then forget about it. I mean, something drew me to that story. But then, something drew me to another story. And then another. And before I knew it, original story was somewhat forgotten. Admit it, you’ve done the same thing. Luckily, though, this one made its way back onto my radar. Because it would have been a shame to miss it.

Emma/Susan has done her time. No matter that she can’t really remember what she did. She was tried and convicted of the most horrific crime imaginable – killing her baby. But now she’s out and trying to build some semblance of a new life. Then the pictures start coming. Somebody is determined to dredge up a past she’d rather not think about. Soon, though, she begins to have doubts. Is her inability to remember that terrible night actually her mind trying to tell her she didn’t do it? As she begins to dig deeper, someone seems determined to stop her. Too many secrets, too many unanswered questions to just let it go.

This is a good story, predictable at times but gripping nonetheless. There were many things I figured out along the way but just as many that threw me for a loop. The ending did become a bit muddled with too many characters doing too many things in an effort to wrap it all up. My fault for rushing to get to the end, I suppose…


Buy It Now: How I Lost You

Review: The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart


I love a book with an ambiguous title.  What exactly does “new neighbor” mean?  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?  And who is the new neighbor?  Even better when the story itself is just as much of a conundrum.

Margaret is alone, but she prefers it that way.  Living for ninety years means she’s seen and heard her share of things.  So she’s fairly content (or so she claims) to live out the rest of her years in her little house by the lake with her mystery novels to keep her company.  Then one day she notices a new neighbor across the lake.  Mildly curious at first, she schemes her way into finding out who exactly this person is.

And Jennifer…who is she really and where did she come from?  Surely she and her young son, Milo, have some kind of history somewhere.  But when you change your name and cut ties to your past, that must mean you’re running from something.  Of course Margaret is intrigued as she fancies herself somewhat of a mystery buff.  The deeper she digs, the more questions she has.

The bigger mystery is, who has more to hide? Is it Jennifer with her new name and her desire to make her son forget everything they left behind? Or is it Margaret with her burning need to finally tell her story to someone who will listen?

This book was such a thriller from the beginning ’til the very end. The author does an outstanding job of dragging you along, feeding you little tidbits along the way to keep you following. You just know that some kind of big secret is going to be revealed, but you’re never quite sure who that secret is going to be about. It’s not until the last chapter that it all comes together. And it’s what you expected while not being what you expected. Intrigued? Good!


Buy It Now: The New Neighbor

Review: Damage Done by Amanda Panitch

19542831Wow. Can I just leave it at that? Seriously, if I went no further and that compelled you to read this book I think you’d agree completely. But, since that really doesn’t qualify as a review…

Julia and her family have moved to a new town, taken on new identities and histories. They had to after her twin brother committed an unforgivable crime that pushed them to the edges of society. So they’ve started over, and they’ve left the past behind. But it’s not as simple as separating the “before” and the “after”. There isn’t enough time or enough miles to keep the past away.

Julia, or Lucy as she’s now known, finds herself looking over her shoulder. She’s sure that she’s being followed. But what could they want from her? She doesn’t remember what happened during those horrific twenty-two minutes. Or so she says.

This debut novel by Amanda Panitch does not disappoint. It’s full of more twists and turns than you can imagine. Figure it out and then something else happens. From the gripping first pages to the unforgettable conclusion, it’s a book that I’ll be recommending to friends far and wide.


Buy It Now: Damage Done

Review: Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

23014603Every reader has a select group of those authors, writers whose newest releases are automatic must-reads. Each book is different, of course, but every new story must be read as soon as it comes out. Chevy Stevens is one of those authors for me. From the very beginning, with Still Missing, to the latest, That Night, her stories have not let me down. This latest offering is no exception.

Like most stories of this genre, everything begins with a bang. And then it quickly spirals downhill from there. When three young girls are able to finally escape their abusive father, it seems as if their lives might finally take a turn for the better. But of course it’s not to be, as one tragedy after another befalls them. Now, eighteen years later, secrets from the past threaten to rise to the surface. The fragile peace they’ve managed to craft for themselves is in danger of being upended as long-buried (literally) secrets bubble to the surface.

And if it seems like my description is ambiguous and vague, it was meant to be. This is one of those stories where you don’t want to give too much away. It’s best enjoyed by going in without too much of a clue as to what it’s going to be about. And it’s far too easy to turn a book review into a summary. So I’ll leave it at that.

When I was kicking ideas for this review around in my head, the first word that came to mind was implausible. And I don’t mean that as a criticism at all. But then as I thought about it, I realized that the same could be said for any of Chevy’s books. And that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying any of them, this one included. The characters are so strong, so relatable that it doesn’t even matter if the storyline is far-fetched. The author makes you care about them, forces you to keep reading to find out how it’s going to end. And there are so many twists and turns that you’re never truly quite sure what’s going to happen. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, it goes in a completely different direction. So grab this one and settle in for quite a ride. And if this is the first book you’ve read by Chevy Stevens, add the others to your list!


Buy It Now: Those Girls