Out Behind the Barn

Out Behind the Barn
Authors:
John Boden
Chad Lutzke
Published: September 27, 2018
125 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The boys crept to the window and watched as Miss Maggie carried the long bundle into the barn, the weight of it stooping her aging back. Rafter lights spilled from the barn doors and Davey saw an arm fall from the canvas-wrapped parcel. He smiled.

“She got someone!”

Both children grinned and settled in their beds, eyes fixed to the ceiling.

This was family growth.

Kim’s Review:

Chad Lutzke is easily becoming a favorite indie horror author! This book sounded interesting, so I got it and read it. It falls into the criminal psychology category with a little paranormal stuck in. I really liked it all the way until the end. The end felt too abrupt to me. I wanted more info on Miss Maggie and her background. I also wanted to see Maggie’s reaction  . . . which I can’t talk more about because I don’t want to spoil. The boys are innocent and seeing everything through their eyes gives extra emotion to the story. Not knowing what’s going on makes it all the more interesting. Overall, another good one from Chad! I can’t wait to read more of his stuff!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Dilemma by B.A. Paris

The Dilemma
Author:  B.A. Paris
Published: June 30, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 31- September 10, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars     

Book Description:

It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie.

But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her?

Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision.

Jessica’s Review:

This one definitely receives 4 Frustrating Stars: But this is in a good way! 

Oh my word, this one is a departure from Paris’ other novels, as this one is not a thriller/ mystery but more of a domestic drama.  This novel deals with family dynamics/ history, consequences of past actions, communication (or I should say a lack of), love, grief, and good intentions that may not have the desired effect.

It is Livia’s big 40 and she is going to have the biggest party ever, especially since she never got the huge wedding she really wanted.  She has planned this since her early 20s.  But she is keeping a secret from her husband Adam, and likewise he is keeping a new secret from her.  In the long run, yes, Livia’s secret has big consequences, but Adam wins this ‘competition of secrets’ hands down.

This novel is a longer one that takes place just over a 24 hour period and we have both Livia and Adam as the narrators in dueling perspectives. The novel does become a bit weary; it is very repetitive as both narrators are constantly focused on the secret they are keeping from each other. I was more involved with Adam’s secret than Livia’s.  Adam’s secret is heart breaking on so many levels. He becomes very frustrating at times because to get a definitive answer to his dilemma, all he has to do is make one phone call. At times I wanted to slap him and yell “Just make that phone call!”  But then Adam still has a dilemma as once he knows the answer then there is no turning back.  Adam really is in a lose-lose situation with Livia’s party going on. 

Like Livia, I also turned 40 this year, so I identified with her on having a big birthday year.    This is a situation no couple would want to find themselves in.  There are ultimately no winners or losers in their situation.  The title of the novel is so apparent as you read through the novel.  The only thing that did not seem realistic was a woman who focused on having a huge 40th birthday party for half of her life. I mean, what about your 30th? That one is just as important! 

I really did enjoy this frustrating novel, despite the repetitiveness of it.  It does make you think “what would you do?” in Livia and Adam’s situations. And all I can say is: I am not sure.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Angry Young Men

Angry Young Men
Author: Chris Lynch

Published: February 8, 2011
181 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Alexander, who wants to be called Xan, is a misfit. He has never fit in—not in academics, sports, or social life. He’s an awkward loner who hasn’t been able to find his place in the world.

Robert is Xan’s half-brother, and unlike Xan, Robert seems to have his life together. At eighteen, he’s enrolled in community college with a decent job and a great girlfriend. Robert often teases his brother, but he’s also his biggest supporter. No matter what, he’s got Xan’s back.

When Robert starts to suspect that Xan is traveling down a dangerous path, he may be the only one who can save Xan from self-destructing—before it’s too late. But can Robert save himself?

This edgy exploration of what goes on in the mind of someone pushed to the brink examines the seeds of extremism that exist in everyone—and is sure to captivate readers of all kinds

Kim’s Review:

This is more about character development than anything else. Normally, I’m not so hot at those; this book, I got all involved in. I liked Xan and Robert. They seemed realistic and relatable. There’s not tons to say to such a simple story except I liked getting to know the boys, but the stakes weren’t high enough to make the ending as satisfying as it could have been. This is a short and simple story that’s high in moral conflict and emotions . . . I don’t want to say much more, cuz spoilers. I do recommend it, just with managed expectations.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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