Author: Freida McFadden
Narrator: Alyson Krawchuk
Published: August 29, 2023
Audiobook: 8 hours 12 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: September 20-22, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Two women. An office filled with secrets. One terrible crime that can’t be taken back
Dawn Schiff is strange. At least, everyone thinks so at Vixed, the nutritional supplement company where Dawn works as an accountant. She never says the right thing. She has no friends. And she is always at her desk at precisely 8:45 a.m.
So when Dawn doesn’t show up to the office one morning, her coworker Natalie Farrell—beautiful, popular, top sales rep five years running—is surprised. Then she receives an unsettling, anonymous phone call that changes everything…
It turns out Dawn wasn’t just an awkward outsider—she was being targeted by someone close. And now Natalie is irrevocably tied to Dawn as she finds herself caught in a twisted game of cat and mouse that leaves her wondering: who’s the real victim?
But one thing is incredibly clear: Somebody hated Dawn Schiff. Enough to kill.
This is McFadden’s newest book and I listened to it on audio. We have two very different narrators who tell their side of the story: Natalie and Dawn Schiff:
We have Natalie, the office place ‘golden girl’ who can do no wrong. She’s a beautiful blonde, knows it and uses it to get what she wants (which she always does). She’s also the top sales representative for the company. Her best friend Kim and boyfriend Craig also work for the company called Vixed.
We also have Dawn Schiff who is a complete 180 of Natalie: She is plain, awkward, extremely observant and a stickler for being punctual: You can know exactly what time it is based on when Dawn does certain things like eat and even using the restroom. Dawn Schiff seems to have signs of the Autism Spectrum but McFadden never says if she actually is.
Oh and… Dawn really loves turtles. This love is to an extreme. Turtles are constantly mentioned throughout the book. If you made it a drinking game and took a shot every time turtles were mentioned, you wouldn’t live through to make it to the end of the book! I do say this with humor. I knew turtles were mentioned a lot before I listened to it, but damn it really was a lot! It didn’t bother me though since the love of turtles is part of Dawn’s character. Just be prepared for extreme turtle usage!
This time around McFadden takes on the office workplace and deals with office bullying. We see both sides of what is happening through both Dawn Schiff and Natalie’s narrations. Dawn’s perspective is given through emails to her longtime best friend who writes her back.
Dawn is always at work at 8:45 am and Natalie just kind of comes in whenever she wants. I know where I work that would just not happen! But I also work with the public and we have those set hours. One day Dawn doesn’t come in and Natalie is surprised, and maybe just a little worried about her. Then she answers a phone call where the caller says ‘help me’ and hangs up. This starts with a roller coaster that Natalie can’t get off of and it just keeps going and going! And not in a good way either!
For most of the book it was going to be a three star for me: I wasn’t really attached to either character and it was just really an average read for me. Once it does get moving, I was really into it over halfway. I had a theory and I was actually mostly correct with it! Usually, I hate when I figure out a big twist but this time around, I actually enjoyed it because there was still more to figure out as I didn’t have the smaller details figured out. At about 65% in I was fully invested. Of course, we do have a final twist that I wasn’t shocked with it.
The narrator Alyson Krawchuk did a good job with this one. I have now listened to three of McFadden’s books and all of the narrators have northern accents which make me think this is where the author lives. I did enjoy The Coworker and plan on reading or listening to McFadden’s complete book line up. Her books are quick reads/listens so they can be finished quickly. I just wish I had the time to read her books in one sitting!
Author: Melanie Golding
Narrator: Ella Lynch
Published: September 5, 2023
Audiobook: 9 Hours 53 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: September 11-15, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Look into her eyes—she can tell you how you’ll die . . .
As a child, Faith acquired the ability to see when and how people would die—a “gift” she neither wanted nor could get rid of.
After foreseeing a family tragedy and being ostracized, Faith learns to control her visions, and returns to perform in her family’s traveling carnival. But when an unruly customer attacks her, she has a vision in full view of a crowd.
She is banned from the carnival she loves—and loses her only source of income to support her dying mother. Desperate to support her mother and with only one friend standing by her, she sees no reason to continue hiding her ability and goes to dangerous lengths to earn money. But when she sees herself in a man’s future death, Faith must face her own fears of her powers and tune into her gift to fight against a future that would ruin her life—and end someone else’s.
With The Sight , celebrated author Melanie Golding delivers another suspense-driven masterpiece with unforgettable characters and an ending that will leave you stunned.
This was another novel that caught my attention with the book description, but wasn’t totally for me. It took way to long (at least halfway) for me to be really interested, and for the book to get moving. The Sight is extremely slow moving, it was almost painfully slow for me. But again, I was just curious enough to see what was going to happen and continued it.
We have Faith who can see people’s deaths. Forced out of her job at a carnival, she is made to do readings for people wanting to know how they die. Faith doesn’t know when these people will die, she just sees the death. She can guesstimate if it is soon or far off by the way the person appears in the vision. One day she sees one person’s death and that she is the one who killed that person. What are you to do with that kind of information when you see that?!?!From the setting and tone of the book you would have not thought it took place in present day! Until cell phones and You Tube are mentioned, I thought I was listening to a story that took place in the past. I listened to the audiobook and did like the narration.
The big twist that occurs happens right at the end, which was just too late to really save the story. When it happened, I was a little shocked and had to listen to that chapter again! I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything since I was listening to it for my commute to/from work. If I was interested in having a different perspective knowing the full story now, I might be tempted to read/listen again. And some readers might just do that! And knowing the ending twist does change the beginning half of the book, so it might not be as slow moving with a second read/listen!
Many thanks to the publisher for granting me a copy to listen to and review in my own time.[Top]
The Last Girls Standing
Author: Jennifer Dugan
Narrator: Mia Hutchinson-Shaw
Published: August 15, 2023
Audiobook: 9 hours 39 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: August 31- September 7, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
Sloan and Cherry. Cherry and Sloan. They met only a few days before masked men with machetes attacked the summer camp where they worked, a massacre that left the rest of their fellow counselors dead. Now, months later, the two are inseparable, their traumatic experience bonding them in ways no one else can understand.
But as new evidence comes to light and Sloan learns more about the motives behind the ritual killing that brought them together, she begins to suspect that her girlfriend may be more than just a survivor—she may actually have been a part of it. Cherry tries to reassure her, but Sloan only becomes more distraught. Is this gaslighting or reality? Is Cherry a victim or a perpetrator? Is Sloan confused, or is she seeing things clearly for the very first time? Against all odds, Sloan survived that hot summer night. But will she survive what comes next?
This one sounded interesting to me and I loved the idea of the aftermath of two girls surviving a massacre: Unfortunately, for the most part it didn’t really work for me until that final twisty ending! It was a slow-moving novel that was hard for me to get into. I was just interested enough to want to see what happened to finish the book. I didn’t really connect to the characters.
Sloan and Cherry met at the summer camp where they were to work for the summer until the massacre happened and they were the only two who survived. They formed a bond and are in a relationship, but it is very toxic. Sloan has survivor’s guilt and also doesn’t remember what happened that night, and begins to doubt what Cherry says happened that night. We do get to go back in time and over the course of the novel find out what happens. A cult also becomes involved with a supernatural element which didn’t really work for me. If it had been just the cult, I would have enjoyed the book more. I didn’t need a supernatural type element added to the mix. The ending is really what saved the book for me and added .5 stars to make my review 3.5 versus just the average 3 stars.
The Last Girls Standing was also a homage to 80s slasher films, Dugan must be a fan of them! Even the cover seems to be a homage to those type films. The cover is what drew me to want to read this one.
Though it was not totally for me I would give Dugan a try again if another of her book interests me.[Top]