Tag: 3.5 stars

Audiobook Review: The Night of the Sleepover by Kerry Wilkinson

The Night of the Sleepover
Series: Sleepover #1
Author: Kerry Wilkinson

Narrator: Olivia Darnley
Published: October 23, 2023
Audiobook: 8 hours 47 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To:  October 16-20, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars 

Audiobook Description:

Four girls close their eyes. Only one wakes up.

Leah and her three best friends get changed into their pyjamas, eat pizza and argue about what film to watch. They laugh together until the early hours. But the next morning, Leah blinks open her eyes and sees three empty sleeping bags. The other girls are gone.

Twenty years later. In her small hometown, still-haunted Leah has never been able to shake off the rumours and whispers. How could she have slept through it all? She must know what happened.

Now, a documentary is being made about the night Leah’s best friends disappeared. Is the truth about to come out?

Then an anonymous email arrives in Leah’s inbox. ‘Stop them’.

Somebody out there knows what happened the night of the sleepover. Is Leah in terrible danger? And will she ever find her missing friends – or are some secrets meant to be kept forever?

Jessica’s Review:

 The Night of the Sleepover is my first novel by Kerry Wilkinson and I was intrigued by the premise: Four girls have a fun sleepover with pizza and alcohol, go to bed and the next morning there is only Leah and the other three are missing: She slept through everything! What happened to the other girls?

 Leah is our narrator and it goes back and forth between present day, the days before the sleepover and afterwards. It is twenty plus years later and a documentary is being filmed by the younger brother of one of the missing girls. Leah starts to get messages for the documentary to be stopped. What did happen that night and what is going on now?

This one was a slow burner and I wasn’t pulled in as I thought I would be until it got closer to the sleepover.  I wasn’t really interested in the present-day mystery.  I was intrigued as to how much this has affected Leah even to today’s time. Even the entire town: This mystery affected everyone so a whole generation has never had a sleepover because no one wants a repeat! The novel did get moving the closer it got to the night of the sleepover and from there I was into the story!   I do look forward to the second in the series which will come out December 15th: We don’t have to wait long! I did enjoy the ending even though I wasn’t blown away by it. My reaction was more of: “Oh wow… Let’s keep this story going!”

The narrator is Olivia Darnley, and she did a good job with her narration and adding to the tone of the story.

Many thanks to the publisher Bookouture for granting me a copy to listen to and review!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Last Girls Standing by Jennifer Dugan

The Last Girls Standing
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

Book Description:

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?

Jessica’s Review:

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.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Audiobook Review: The Woman Inside by M.T. Edvardsson

The Woman Inside
Author: M.T. Edvardsson

Josh Dylan

Nathalie Buscombe
Sofia Engstrand
Published:  June 13, 2023
Audiobook: 10 Hours 45 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 22-28, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

Bill Olsson, recently widowed, is desperate to provide for his daughter, Sally. Struggling to pay rent, he welcomes a lodger into their home: Karla, a law student and aspiring judge, who works as a housekeeper to make ends meet. Her clients are the Rytters, an incredibly wealthy couple who hide behind closed doors. The wife is ill and hasn’t left the house in months. The husband is controlling and obsessive. Is he just a worried husband, concerned for his wife’s health? Or is there something more sinister at play?

As Bill’s situation becomes more dire, Karla is forced to make a difficult choice. And when the Rytters wind up dead, and Karla is pulled in for questioning, she’s made to defend some parts of her past she’d rather not revisit.

Every person in The Woman Inside is hiding something, but could any of them really have been driven to kill?

Jessica’s Review:

The Woman Inside is a Nordic Noir novel that sounded interesting to me from the description! It is a slow burning mystery that has three povs leading up to the crime and police interviews afterwards.  The POVs are:

Steven Rytter- Husband to housebound Regina
Karla- rents a room from Bill. She is also the Rytter’s housekeeper.
Jennica- You will find out about her as the novel progresses. 

It is a good police procedural, but I was expecting a different sort of book that what I got.  It could be that I just don’t mix well with Nordic Noir novels, maybe it was that this was translated into English and something was lost in translation.  Or maybe that I didn’t really feel any compassion for any of the characters. The only thing that sticks out was that there was a cat named Dog and I just found that hilarious, but then the name just fit!

I also guessed the ‘twist’ at the ending part of the novel. I just wasn’t surprised there at all.  If you like character driven novels, then this one is for you. 

The narrators did very well with their narrations.  They did have accents and pronounced the last names of some characters that I am sure I would have butchered on my own! Since I listened to the audio, I am not even sure how those names are spelled!

I think I might just have to stay away from anything of this genre. I know I have read a couple of books and those didn’t work for me. 

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me an audio arc through NetGalley.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK