Tag: mystery

The Disappearances

Author: Emily Bain Murphy
Published: July 4, 2017
400 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars

Description from Amazon:

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home—and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together—scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream—vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible—and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.

Kim’s Review:

This book was really good! The only thing stopping me from giving 5 stars was that the beginning was a little slow. It did take me several chapters to get into the story, but once I did, I loved it! Sterling, CT sounds like such a cool, little New England town! Aila and Miles are a bit moody, but they did just lose their mother so it wasn’t too bad. And once the story became clearer, little elements started to fascinate me. If you’re an overly practical person, you might want to turn your practical thinking gears off, because not everything is going to make tons of sense. Shakespeare plays a huge role, so there’s also a lot of suspension of disbelief. The role of literature in this story is awesome! When you find out more about the curse and what caused it, you’ll delve into a mystery you didn’t even know existed! Add in a little teenage drama and angst, and you get The Disappearances. It was also nice to see that little Southern towns aren’t the only ones getting picked on for “closemindedness”, apparently Yankees suffer from it as well. Sorry, that’s my Southerner coming out! 😊

First Line Friday #27

Today’s First Line Friday is one I picked up at my local county’s semi-annual library sale.  I have not been able to read it yet, but hope to one day. It looks like a book you will get sucked into, especially with this first line:

I inspected the knife in my hand.

HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

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One Perfect Lie

Author:  Lisa Scottoline
368 pages in Hardback

Published: April 11, 2017
Dates Read: June 14-28, 2017

My Rating: 4 stars

Description from Amazon:

On paper, Chris Brennan looks perfect. He’s applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he’s ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his references are impeccable.

But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.

Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a high school pitcher so athletically talented that he’s being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball. But Raz’s father died only a few months ago, leaving her son in a vulnerable place where any new father figure might influence him for good, or evil.

Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Jordan’s baseball games. But Jordan is shy, and Heather fears he is being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man from an affluent family whose fun-loving manner might possibly conceal his violent plans.

Mindy Kostis succumbs to the pressure of being a surgeon’s wife by filling her days with social events and too many gin and tonics. But she doesn’t know that her husband and her son, Evan, are keeping secrets from her – secrets that might destroy all of them.

At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he there? What does he want? And what is he willing to do to get it?

My Review:

From the first line of One Perfect Lie you know that Chris Brennan is a liar.  And because of that first line you know you are in for a roller coaster of a ride.  You won’t know who or what to believe:

Chris Brennan was applying for a teaching job at Central Valley High School, but he was a fraud.

Chris Brennan is the main focus of One Perfect Lie, but also involved in the novel are a few of his students and their families.  You know that it will all come together in some way, but you don’t know when or how. I don’t want to really say much about the plot other than the book description, as I don’t want to spoil the novel.  It would be best to go into the novel not knowing much about it.

The chapters are short, with many being just a few pages. This makes One Perfect Lie very hard to put down as you experience that “Just one more chapter!” feeling. I personally enjoy books like that as I am not the fastest reader and short chapters make me feel like I am reading the book quicker. In addition to the short chapters, there are three parts in the novel which are referred to as ‘steps’.  You will have to read it to find out why.  I went from thinking one thing about Chris in the first step then go in a full 180 in step two!

One Perfect Lie is a character driven novel and as Chris gets to know everyone you do as well and we are drawn into their lives and what might happen to them as the novel progresses. This is despite all the lies and secrets that everyone seems to have.

Everything leads up to a fast paced yet somewhat unbelievable conclusion.  For me, after the slow build up for the entire novel the conclusion seemed to come very quickly.  I did enjoy the novel and the many twists and turns that occurred throughout it.

One Perfect Lie was difficult to review without giving spoilers, but I have tried to do the best I think I can.  Lisa Scottoline is becoming an author I enjoy and I plan to read more of her novels.

One Perfect Lie is recommended.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me a copy to review!

**And I just found out that today is Lisa Scottoline’s birthday! This review came in perfect timing! Happy Birthday Lisa!

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