Tag: fiction

My Cousin Rachel

Author: Daphne du Maurier
First Published: 1951
400 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Ashley’s older cousin Ambrose, who raised the orphaned Philip as his own son, has died in Rome. Philip, the heir to Ambrose’s beautiful English estate, is crushed that the man he loved died far from home. He is also suspicious. While in Italy, Ambrose fell in love with Rachel, a beautiful English and Italian woman. But the final, brief letters Ambrose wrote hint that his love had turned to paranoia and fear. Now Rachel has arrived at Philip’s newly inherited estate. Could this exquisite woman, who seems to genuinely share Philip’s grief at Ambrose’s death, really be as cruel as Philip imagined? Or is she the kind, passionate woman with whom Ambrose fell in love? Philip struggles to answer this question, knowing Ambrose’s estate, and his own future, will be destroyed if his answer is wrong.

Kim’s Review:

I totally remember why I love Daphne du Maurier. I first read Rebecca back when I was a freshman in high school. My English teacher (Hi, Mrs. Buck, I love you!), who was easily one of my all time favorite teachers, gave us a list of books and we had to pick one, read it, and write a report on it. I picked Rebecca and it blew my mind. I then read Jamaica Inn and The King’s General and du Maurier was forever established as one of my favorite classical authors.

Ivan’s sister, Ruth, who is seriously one of the coolest people I know, read My Cousin Rachel and she loved it, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s such a great book! It’s got that gothic mystery quality about it. Though it’s not really horror, it’s definitely psychological thriller. It had me going the whole time. I ended up having to get the audiobook so I could finish it on my drive out to the MKA signing in the Outer Banks. I just couldn’t wait to finish it. There were some unexpected plot twists that really surprised me.

I now have to go back and reread Rebecca and Jamaica Inn and maybe find some new du Maurier books. I absolutely recommend My Cousin Rachel to anybody who likes classic, gothic fiction.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

My Cousin Rachel Movie Trailer:

A Double Review of They Both Die at the End

Today Kim and I bring you a double review of They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera.  We both enjoyed it and I LOVED it! Kim read the physical book and I listened to the audiobook.

Author: Adam Silvera
Published: September 5, 2017
373 Pages

Book Description:

Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.


Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Read: May 13-17, 2019

Jessica’s Review:

I absolutely loved this book for so many reasons: The concept is unique and *spoiler alert* we know what is going to happen in this novel from the title, but it is not about the end of Mateo and Rufus’ lives, it is the journey they go on for their final day.

Imagine you live in a world where there is Death-Cast and you finally get that phone call.  What will you do? Will you stay at home attempting to avoid the end or will you live this day how you want as it actually is your last? They Both Die had me thinking about so many things as I Iistened to the audiobook. We never know when our time will end, and I decided that I would not want to live in a world that has Death-Cast.  I always go to worst case scenario and would not be able to ‘enjoy’ my last day and truly live it. I would be constantly worried if a certain situation would be the cause of my death.

Mateo and Rufus are total opposites and you grow to like them both. Even though we know what their ending will be and we don’t want  it to happen, we don’t know when or how in the day their lives will end or even if they will they die together or separately

There was so much more I wanted to know about this world that Mateo and Rufus live in.  I wanted to know the workings of Death-Cast and how it ‘knows’ who is going to die.  Normally this would have bothered me extremely, but  the point of the novel is Mateo and Rufus living their last day.  There is a little information given about Death-Cast but I would love to read the story of how it came into being.  I still have some questions I want to address:  What if somehow Death-Cast cannot get in touch with you and it is your day to die then will you still die?  Would you have still died if Death-Cast was not in existence or is your death because of Death-Cast?  Is receiving the Death-Cast call a self-fulfilling prophecy?  It was all this and more that had me thinking long after I was done with the novel.

There are three narrators for the audiobook: Robbie Daymond and also two of my favorites: Bahni Turpin and Michael Crouch. I will listen to just about anything those two narrate and the fact that they were both narrators in They Both Die was a big plus for me. 

I was leery about reading this as I wondered how emotional I would become knowing that we are going to lose both Mateo and Rufus.  I liked them and was rooting and hoping that somehow one or both would ‘beat the system’.  Fortunately I did not cry, but They Both Die stayed with in my thoughts for a few days afterwards with the many thoughts it leaves you with. 

They Both Die at the End is highly recommended.

Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Kim’s Review:

I have been dying to read this book since it was first published. I finally got it for my birthday this year. I’m all about unique reads and this book is incredibly unique. This book is all about the journey, not the destination. The only reason I’m giving it 4 stars is because it did get a little slow at times. Other than that, this book was beautiful and full of feeling. The title literally tells you how this book ends, but I felt so much hope the entire time I was reading. Mateo and Rufus are gonna be the exception to the Death-Cast rule. All their friends hoped right along with me. I loved getting to know, not just the boys, but their families and friends too. I became so caught up in them and their histories and their emotions, all I wanted was to see these boys grow up and live to old age. Mateo’s father was what got me in the end. The poor man was in a coma through the whole book, and all I kept thinking was that he’d wake up and his son would be dead and he didn’t even get to say goodbye. I’ll admit it, I cried!

I also spent some time considering what I would do if I only had one day left to live. I even laid on my hammock and closely studied the colors of the sky and the leaves. This book definitely makes one feel and feel a lot! It was a wonderful reminder to live in the present and appreciate what we have. I definitely recommend it to just about anybody!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

Author: Sara Flannery Murphy
Published: February 7, 2017
368 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

In an unnamed city, the Elysian Society allows paying clients to reconnect with their lost loved ones. The workers, known as bodies, spend their days in a numb routine, wearing the discarded belongings of the dead and swallowing pills to summon spirits.

Edie has been a body for five years, an unusual record. Her success depends on her carefulness. When she channels the wife of Patrick Braddock, an enigmatic widower, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the strange circumstances surrounding Sylvia Braddock’s death, Edie pursues Patrick outside the Elysian Society walls, moving deeper into his life.

After years of hiding, Edie can’t tell whether she’s falling in love or whether she’s being possessed by Sylvia. She takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. But as a disturbing murder case brings attention to the Elysian Society, Edie feels her quiet life unraveling. She grapples with both Sylvia’s growing influence and with her own long-buried secrets.

Kim’s Review:

This is an interesting mystery. The premise of a company that allows people to legitimately communicate with their dead loved ones is fascinating and I wish there were more details about the lotus and the actual process. Edie is a different kind of character that I enjoyed learning more about throughout the story. I will say that I don’t really like the description where it says that once she channels the wife of Patrick Braddock, that she becomes obsessed with the couple. That sounds so malevolent, when in reality, it wasn’t. Seeing how Edie cares not just for Patrick but for all her clients gives good grounding to the story.

The mystery felt very simple, like I should have figured it out long before I did. But it was still satisfying and everything clicked into place. The cover is perfect in every way! Overall, this was an interesting read that I enjoyed and got thru very quickly. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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