Tag: 4 stars

A Double Review of The Perfect Son

Today Kim and I bring you a double review of The Perfect Son by Lauren North.  One of us enjoyed it, the other not so much. This is what is great about reviews, we all have different experiences and opinions and even though we read the same book, we can have varying opinions of it.

The Perfect Son
Author: Lauren North
To Be Published: August 13, 2019
368 Pages

Book Description:

A disturbing and shocking debut novel of psychological suspense about a recently widowed mother, her young son, and the lengths she’ll go to in order to keep him safe.

When Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital the day after her son Jamie’s eighth birthday, she’s sure of these things: She’s been stabbed, her son is missing, her brother-in-law and her grief counselor are involved. But no one is listening to her.

After her husband, Mark, died suddenly in a terrible accident a few months earlier, the only thing keeping Tess together is Jamie. As they struggle to make sense of their new life without Mark, they find joy in brief moments of normalcy like walking to school and watching television together. Life is hard without Mark, but Tess has Jamie, and that’s what matters.

But there in the hospital, confused and surrounded by people who won’t listen, Tess’s world falls apart. To save her son, she must piece together what happened between Mark’s death and Jamie’s birthday, but the truth might just be too much for her to bear.


Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Kim’s Review:

I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway and the cover really intrigued me, so I read it. What surprised me most was how easy to read it was. I finished it in less than 48 hours and I read huge chunks at once. Before I knew it, I was almost finished and I felt like I couldn’t put it down. The emotions were also very overwhelming. I know that many people will react to Tess they way they did with Rachel in The Girl on the Train; that she’s too weak and she’s a set back to women’s independence, and so on. For the record, I also really enjoyed The Girl on the Train.

Tess’s reaction to losing her husband sounds pretty reasonable to me. In fact, I experienced some pretty crazy anxiety while reading the first half of this book. All I could think about was how horrible my life would be if I lost Ivan. I will admit that I didn’t guess the ending of this book. I should have and I feel a little dumb that I didn’t, but in my defense, I had a million theories scrolling in my head through the whole book. I’d get one little detail and then I’d run with it and expand it into the most unlikely scenarios that weren’t even close to reality. Overall, I was happy with the ending.

Obviously, I can’t get into any details, but considering how predictable it actually was, I did enjoy it and was satisfied. I would recommend it to those who enjoy psychological thrillers, just be prepared for that predictability. Thankfully, there were other good things I got from the story other than just solving the mystery. A very good book!

 

Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Jessica’s Review:

With an intriguing premise and a “pull you in from the first few lines” introduction, The Perfect Son had promise, but sadly it fell victim to “I read too many thrillers” as I had the big twist figured out from the first few chapters.  It was also very slow moving and I was not attached to Tess.  I felt for her with the grief she is experiencing, but is she just grieving, is she crazy, or is someone ‘after’ her and her son Jamie?    

Tess is yet another unreliable narrator, and by now you know those are mainly a miss for me.  Occasionally, the unreliable narrator works for me (see my review for The Woman in Cabin 10 here), but for the most part they miss the mark. 

Even the ending had no conclusion; It was as if nothing was learned from the situation. This is North’s debut novel and even though it was not for me, I would give her writing another try.

Kim won two arc copies via Goodreads and she sent me one so we could do a double review.


Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Dear Justice League

Dear Justice League
Author:  Michael Northrop

Illustrator: Gustavo Duarte
Published: Today, August 6, 2019
176 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: July 31, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The greatest heroes in the DC Comics universe, the Justice League, answer mail from their biggest fans–kids!–courtesy of Michael Northrop, New York Times bestselling author of TombQuest, and artist Gustavo Duarte.

Does Superman ever make mistakes? What was Wonder Woman’s eleventh birthday like? Does Aquaman smell like fish? In this new middle-grade graphic novel, iconic heroes are asked questions both big and small, and when they are not busy saving the world, the Justice League even finds time to respond. Their honest and humorous answers will surprise and delight readers of any age, as it turns out that being a superhero is not too different from being a kid.

Full of feats, follies, and colorful illustrations, Dear Justice League gives readers the inside scoop into everyday heroics, no matter who wears the cape!

Jessica’s Review:

Dear Justice League is a graphic novel aimed at middle grades kids.  It is a fun continuous story of kids asking questions of their favorite hero/heroine.  And the Justice League even gets to save the day!

There are eight ‘chapters’  featuring a member of the Justice League. Each chapter introduced the character then gets to the important issue of a child’s question in which the superhero answers honestly in their own unique way.  Each chapter builds on the previous and we have appearances by Superman, Hawkgirl, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and Batman.

Each chapter is unique and showcases the personality of each character.  My personal favorite was The Flash’s chapter.  And I have to say one thing: Poor ‘old fashioned’ Batman! 

The illustrations are very colorful and well done.  They definitely add to the story. I am not familiar with all the DC characters, so this was a good introduction for me.  It would be great for kids as well.  This is an enjoyable graphic novel for kids and adults! 

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me a copy via NetGalley.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Short Story Sunday: One Star by The Behrg

Author: The Behrg
Published: July 20, 2019
17 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 23 and July 28, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Every action has a consequence. But when Li posts a one-star review of a novel on her book blog, the results are far more frightening than she could ever have imagined. Not every story was meant to have a happy ending.

Jessica’s Review:

This short story packs quite the punch in its short 17 pages!  It is also currently free on Amazon and serves as a thank you from the author The Behrg to book bloggers and book reviewers. I know my blog is not a huge one, but my reviews get seen and what happens if you don’t like a book?  What if the author sees your lower starred review even though you did not tag them on social media? What if they take your review the wrong way or they take it personally? In our world where we are all connected through various social media, you really can’t get away from seeing something directed towards you.  This is what Li discovers with her one star review of an author’s latest novel.

This is definitely a horror story that goes in an unexpected direction.  I did enjoy this short story and it is definitely not a one star review! I have no fear of the author’s reaction to my review of his short story.

This short story that I read within 30 minutes; I have read it twice now.  It is a part of The Behrg’s upcoming short story collection The Passengers You Cannot See. I enjoy short stories and have enjoyed One Star and also Happiness is a Commodity (my review is here) so I am looking forward to this upcoming collection. I even downloaded Stillborn, another of The Behrg’s short stories to read as it was free on Amazon. That one looks to tackle a difficult subject that I hope to read relatively soon.

One Star is recommended, and if you are a book blogger/ book reviewer, I say definitely read it!! 

Purchase Links: **Remember it is currently FREE!**
Amazon US  
Amazon UK 

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