Author: B.A. Paris
To Be Published: June 19, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 20-30, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.
Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.
As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?
Bring Me Back is B.A. Paris’ third novel and after reading all three I can say this: I am a fan of hers! I look forward to her fourth novel that is due to come out next year. In Bring Me Back the chapters are short, we have multiple narrators, and an intriguing storyline: It’s everything I want in a thriller!
Unlike her previous two novels, her main narrator Finn is a man. This was a surprise as Paris’ other two novel’s narrators are women. Despite all his secrets I liked Finn and wanted to know what was going to happen next. Bring Me Back is a novel you do not want to put down.
With the thrillers I read, I like to NOT figure out what the twist is going to be. I love the feeling when the twist occurs and your mind is blown with an OMG moment. I did figure out the twist in Bring Me Back very early on: It was very obvious to me. I could see the clues over the course of the entire novel. Despite figuring out this twist, I was eager to see how it would play out. I ‘sat back and enjoyed the ride’ as I went on while reading.
The epilogue truly had my attention. There is a true sadness with the ending. I really enjoyed Bring Me Back. If you enjoy a good thriller and have not read any by B.A. Paris, you need to go out and get her novels now!
Bring me Back is highly recommended!
Special thanks to St Martin’s Press for my arc copy. It was a pleasure to read and review! Please keep bringing us more of Paris’ novels!
Author: Alison Umminger
Published: June 7, 2016
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
She was looking for a place to land.
Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she’s had it with her life at home. So Anna “borrows” her stepmom’s credit card and runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn’t quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined.
As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls—and although the violence in her own life isn’t the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.
In Anna’s singular voice, we glimpse not only a picture of life on the B-list in LA, but also a clear-eyed reflection on being young, vulnerable, lost, and female in America—in short, on the B-list of life. Alison Umminger writes about girls, sex, violence, and which people society deems worthy of caring about, which ones it doesn’t, in a way not often seen in YA fiction.
Normally I find the protagonists of coming of age stories to be shallow, immature, and downright obnoxious! Not so in American Girls. Anna captured the “regularness” that many of these characters, especially girls, lack. Her life is turned upside down and her reaction to it all, yes, is dramatic, but understandable. I liked her, I understood why she did the things that she did, and I sympathized with her. Especially when she was talking about not trying to cause trouble or to hurt people but it ends up happening anyway. This book accomplished what so many other failed at, a regular person dealing with regular things all while being likable and relatable. Throwing in the Manson girls and working through some philosophical questions raised by the murders and their aftermaths, which is the main reason I read it, and you get a true to life, heartfelt story about growing up in a topsy-turvy world.
If you watched Kim’s monthly video summary yesterday you saw her struggle to remember a book she once reviewed on Bookies. The book was The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton. Kim reviewed this in May of 2016 which was long before Jessica’s Reading Room was even a thought. This would be Kim’s first review and we thought we would share this with you guys today. There is no star rating for this one as this was before Kim was reviewing; but it sounds like a 5 star review to me….
Author: Leslye Walton
Published: March 25, 2014
Reviewed By: Kim
Magical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga.
Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava — in all other ways a normal girl — is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naive to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the summer solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.
I have a thing for birds. My favorite poem is Emily Dickenson’s “Hope is the thing with feathers.” I plan on decorating my library with birds and feathers, everywhere! So when I saw The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, I knew that I had to read it!! And I have to begin this review by talking about the cover:
I bought this book and was so excited to read it and when I sat down to begin, I just couldn’t. Not until I took in the absolutely stunning cover!! Look I love nice looking books as much as the next person! I love getting hardbacks simply because they look beautiful on the shelf. But dude!! This cover? This cover resonated with me in ways that I have a hard time describing!! I spent 10 minutes just caressing it! I couldn’t open it because then there would be a crease! The colors, the sparkles, the feel under my fingers!! I had a nerdgasm just sitting there, without even opening it!
Ok, so I was super excited to read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, I geeked out over the cover, and then I opened it and started reading. She was born Ava Wilhemina Lavender. Holy Crap. Have you ever heard such an amazing name??? I immediately sent a text to my husband to let him know that our first daughter would be named Ava Wihemina Lavender Friant. I was hooked and in love! Emilienne Adou Solange Roux, Beauregard Roux, Margaux, Pierette, Connor Lavender, Widow Marigold Pie, Viviane Lavender . . . another nerdgasm! I’m not sure what world these people live in, but I’d like to live there, permanently!
And get this, Miss Ava Wilhemina Lavender was born with wings. Wings! Feathered, “slight physical abnormality,” speckled wings! Leslye was writing for me! So I kept reading. And reading. And reading some more! I was launched into a family filled with the lovely sorrows that you find in Shakespeare plays! They were too beautiful to even be called sorrows! I was suddenly aware of how permanent regret can be when life takes you in different directions. Lost loves, broken hearts, broken wings, manipulation, exploitation . . . it all takes place in the small world of the Roux/Lavender family.
If I could give you more of the story without giving away details that should only be read by one for the first time, then I would! I can just tell you that it’s a wonderful read! It’s not an action packed book, it’s not a thriller. It’s a beautiful record of sadness, of regret, of redemption, and of learning to let go and fly!