Month: March 2024

Memoir Review: That Bird Has My Wings by Jarvis Jay Masters

That Bird Has My Wings: The Autobiography of an Innocent Man on Death Row
Author: Jarvis Jay Masters

Narrator: Korey Jackson
Published: September 22, 2009
9 hours 48 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: March 18-23, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Audiobook Description:

That Bird Has My Wings is the astounding memoir of death row inmate Jarvis Masters and a testament to the tenacity of the human spirit and the talent of a fine writer. Offering scenes from his life that are at times poignant, revelatory, frightening, soul-stirring, painful, funny, and uplifting, That Bird Has My Wings tells the story of the author’s childhood with parents addicted to heroin, an abusive foster family, a life of crime and imprisonment, and the eventual embracing of Buddhism.

Jessica’s Review:

This was our book club read for March and I think I went in expecting another The Sun Does Shine, which it wasn’t. This was just a depressing book for me. It wasn’t uplifting at all. So many examples of Masters life which was always negative and only a few chapters focused on when he went to prison. He is still on death row for the murder of a prison guard. Is he an innocent man? No, he actually did commit assault and theft. But he is also a casualty of his family upbringing and a broken foster care system.I can’t say much more than this, because this is someone’s actual life, but it was just too much for me. Masters can write well for someone with limited schooling and can tell his story in his own way. His memoir just was not for me.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Audiobook Review: Make Her Pay by Miranda Rijks

Make Her Pay
Author: Miranda Rijks

Charlie Albers

Ella Lynch
Published in Audio: March 12, 2024
8 hours 46 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: February 27- March 4, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Leonie has the perfect life. Someone wants to take it away.

Leonie is living her best life. Still in her twenties, she’s beautiful, successful and has just met Markus, the man of her dreams.

But Leonie has a secret. Ten years ago, she was involved in an accident in which another driver died. Leonie shouldn’t have been behind the wheel that night – no license, no insurance – so she fled the scene. And ever since, she’s been struggling to deal with the terrible guilt.

Now, as her wedding to Markus draws near, it seems someone is out to get her. It’s little things at first – botched work appointments, a cancelled bridal dress – but it soon escalates into a terrifying campaign which threatens her business, her family and even her life.

Leonie, caught up in a relentless nightmare, has no idea why anyone would set out to destroy her. Until she realizes there’s a link to the accident that happened all those years ago.

Someone knows what she did. Someone is determined to make her pay.

Jessica’s Review:

Whoa, whoa, and whoa! This is a book that worked for me in almost every way!  This one was intense from the beginning and is full of lies, secrets, deceit, and revenge. All of which makes for a thrilling story! And it goes in some different turns too!

 This also has dual povs and you know how I feel about multiple povs!  YES! 

Leonie is just 16 and has killed someone in a car accident. Her father insists on it being a secret but still all these years later it haunts Leonie. And you know what they say about secrets… They have a way of coming back to you.

She thinks her life has turned around when she meets Markus and begins an unexpected whirlwind romance. but as it progresses then it starts to seem as though someone is out to get her and things begin to slowly unravel bit by bit.

This was an intense ride and there is no likeable character or anyone to trust! I had no idea how this one was going to go and was taken by surprise by the end twist.

The narrators did a good job, but I wasn’t able to speed up the narration due to the English accents. 

This is my first novel by Rijks and I plan to look into her work more!  Many thanks to the publisher for granting me a copy to listen to and review!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Audiobook Review: First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston

First Lie Wins
Author: Ashley Elston

Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld        
Published: January 2, 2024
Audiobook: 9 hours 16 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 5-11, 2024
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars      

Book Description:

Evie Porter has everything a nice, Southern girl could want: a perfect, doting boyfriend, a house with a white picket fence and a garden, a fancy group of friends. The only catch: Evie Porter doesn’t exist.

The identity comes first: Evie Porter. Once she’s given a name and location by her mysterious boss Mr. Smith, she learns everything there is to know about the town and the people in it. Then the mark: Ryan Sumner. The last piece of the puzzle is the job.

Evie isn’t privy to Mr. Smith’s real identity, but she knows this job will be different. Ryan has gotten under her skin, and she’s starting to envision a different sort of life for herself. But Evie can’t make any mistakes—especially after what happened last time.

Because the one thing she’s worked her entire life to keep clean, the one identity she could always go back to—her real identity—just walked right into this town. Evie Porter must stay one step ahead of her past while making sure there’s still a future in front of her. The stakes couldn’t be higher—but then, Evie has always liked a challenge… 

Jessica’s Review:

First Lie Wins came out at the beginning of the year to a lot of positive feedback, but this is just one that did not work for me.

We have a female con artist who has seemingly met her match with someone pretending to be her actual self! And we have the creepy “Mr. Smith” that lurks.  The ending had a big twist for me that I actually liked.

The narrator did a good job for me portraying our con woman. We have chapters that take place in the past with her former jobs, which I just wasn’t interested in. But these chapters ended up being necessary to the story.

This one just wasn’t for me, but maybe you will like it! It’s a debut novel, so I would be willing to give the author another try in the future. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK