Month: March 2023

Short Story Sunday: Trouble by Janelle Brown

Series: We Could Be Heroes
Author: Janelle Brown

Narrator: January LaVoy
Published: February 7, 2023
Audiobook: 1 hour 7 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Listened To: March 1, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Short Story Description:

What does it take to be a good mother? A good neighbor? Straight answers are hard to find in this keenly observed short story by New York Times bestselling author Janelle Brown.

Polly’s fourth-grade daughter has been spending a lot of time with her classmate Sylvie—maybe too much. Sylvie’s clothes are a little…flashy…and her phone (a ten-year-old with a phone!) doesn’t seem to have any parental controls. It seems that Sylvie’s mother, with her vape pens and her too-high heels, may not be making good choices. As Polly tries to exert a positive influence, she discovers just how little anyone can tell about a family from the outside.

Janelle Brown’s Trouble is part of We Could Be Heroes, a darkly inquisitive collection of short stories that examines heroic intentions versus their real-life consequences. Read or listen to each in a single sitting.

Jessica’s Review:

Oh wow! I really enjoyed this short story.  I was not sure where it was going to go, who to believe, and is this child to blame or a victim herself.  I can’t say much more than that, and you don’t know the who, what, why, or how, until the very last line!

Trouble was my introduction to Brown, and since I enjoyed it I will be on the lookout for more by her!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Audiobook Review: The Suspect by Kathryn Croft

The Suspect
Author: Kathryn Croft
Tamsin Kennard

Published: February 8, 2023
Audiobook: 9 hours 36 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 15-20, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5  stars     

Book Description:

My family said he killed my mother. They lied…

I was just a little girl, fast asleep in my stroller, the day my mother was killed. I don’t remember anything about the sunny day that turned so dark.

But now, twenty years later, when the man walks towards me in the shadows of an empty street, his eyes on me for just a fraction too long, a shiver goes down my spine. I recognise his face from the picture in the papers. He killed my mother.

I try to run but he wants me to listen. He says that he is innocent, that the police got it wrong, and that my family have been lying to me for years.

My father and sister tell me to stay away from him. They remind me that because of him my mother never got to tuck me in at night or ease me through my first heartbreak. My boyfriend begs me to ignore him and says he could be dangerous. But when he is found dead, I am shaken to my core. Who needed to keep him quiet?

I won’t feel safe until I find out what he wanted to tell me. And when I go to his flat and find a photo that proves he was telling the truth, I suspect that the person who killed my mother is far closer to home than I could have imagined. What dark secrets are the people I love hiding? And if I search for the truth, am I placing my own life in danger?

Jessica’s Review:

All her life Jess has had to deal with her mother’s death that happened in front of her while she was sleeping as a small child.  She was told one thing by her family and the killer never really paid for his crime.  One day she runs across the man that she recognizes as her mother’s killer and he tells her that he did not do it. Then later on he is found dead.  This puts Jess on a journey to try and really find out what happened to her mother. 

The Suspect was a bit slow moving at times and I listened as I was driving, so I caught myself losing some interest in it.  I did want to know what really happened to Lori, Jess’s mom. We have two timelines, present day with Jess and the past with Lori.  Jess is pulled in to try and really find out what happened to her mother that day and along the way she finds secrets and lies aplenty. The ending was a bit predictable for me.  Though far from perfect, I would give Croft another try. The narration by Kennard was very good!

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

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK



Audiobook Review: Promise Boys by Nick Brooks

Promise Boys
Author: Nick Brooks

Narrator: Full Cast Narration
Published: January 31, 2023
Audiobook: 6 hours 30 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: February 12-14, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The prestigious Urban Promise Prep school might look pristine on the outside, but deadly secrets lurk within. When the principal ends up murdered on school premises and the cops come sniffing around, a trio of students—J.B., Ramón, and Trey—emerge as the prime suspects. They had the means, they had the motive—and they may have had the murder weapon. But with all three maintaining their innocence, they must band together to track down the real killer before they are arrested. Or is the true culprit hiding among them?

Find out who killed Principal Moore in Nick Brooks’s murder mystery, Promise BoysThe Hate U Give meets One of Us Is Lying.

Jessica’s Review:

This audiobook is not just an audiobook, it is a full on listening experience! We have a full cast of narrators, so each character really has his or her own voice.  Additionally, we have background noise, music and, ‘news reports’.  Together these elements don’t distract but enhance the story and makes it a full-on production that I wish more audiobooks consisted of! I was fully pulled in as a listener to this experience. 

We have a mystery of the high school principal murdered  at the high school and three teen boys are suspects. As the book description says, Promise Boys really is a mesh of The Hate U Give and One of Us is Lying!  We have the social commentary of THUG with the mystery of a death. Two of the teen suspects are Black and the third is Hispanic and they all have a potential motive to kill the principal and they were all on school grounds when the murder happened. We have multiple povs and they all come together. 

This is a fast-paced story that moves along at a very quick pace.  We do get a conclusion as to who the killer actually is and the motive at the end. I really enjoyed how the killer was exposed!  Was the killer one of the boys or someone else? You will have to read this one to find out, but I suggest if you listen to audiobooks at all, then listen to this one! It is superb and sets the bar extremely high for any future audiobook I listen to.

Bravo to the publisher Macmillian Audio for this experience they granted me by letting me listen to an audio copy to review! I will definitely look at future novels that Brooks writes!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK