Category: Review

Girl Last Seen

Girl Last Seen
Author:  Nina Laurin

Narrator: Vanessa Johansson
Published: June 20, 2017

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 4-13, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

Two missing girls. Thirteen years apart.

Olivia Shaw has been missing since last Tuesday. She was last seen outside the entrance of her elementary school in Hunts Point wearing a white spring jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots. I force myself to look at the face in the photo, into her slightly smudged features, and I can’t bring myself to move. Olivia Shaw could be my mirror image, rewound to thirteen years ago. If you have any knowledge of Olivia Shaw’s whereabouts or any relevant information, please contact…

I’ve spent a long time peering into the faces of girls on missing posters, wondering which one replaced me in that basement. But they were never quite the right age, the right look, the right circumstances. Until Olivia Shaw, missing for one week tomorrow. Whoever stole me was never found. But since I was taken, there hasn’t been another girl. And now there is.

Jessica’s Review:

This is yet another thriller that had an interesting premise that failed to deliver, despite the prologue giving a great beginning.  Our protagonist is Ella Santos who now goes by the name of Lainey Moreno, who was kidnapped at a young age and then finally gets away.   The first twist happens early on and ok, yeah, I can go with it, but then in my opinion Laine gets involved in the case way over her head of this new missing girl. 

Both the author and narrator showcase how much of a very flawed person Ella/Lainey is. Not every ending is happy and Laine’s is far from happy. Her past shaped her whole life. It does make you wonder about people who are held prisoner for long time spans, how they are after the fact and leave the spot light. 

This is a very dark novel that deals with heavy themes (rape, drug abuse, kidnapping, etc) with several flawed characters. Don’t expect a happy ending.  The final twist was unexpected, but left no satisfaction at the end.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Some Can See by J.R. Erickson

Some Can See
Author: J.R. Erickson

Published: November 27, 2018
275 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The dead have stories to tell. Are you listening?

On a sunny August morning, in 1935, thirteen-year-old Sophia Gray finds her friend, Rosemary wandering in the woods. Rosemary’s yellow dress is tattered and stained, she walks with a strange lurch, and her eyes are vacant and glassy. She beckons to Sophia, desperate to show her something, and Sophia follows.

In an abandoned cabin, beneath a tattered blanket, Sophia discovers Rosemary’s body.

It was not Rosemary who led her there, but Rosemary’s ghost.

Step into the Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane

Twenty years after Sophia discovers Rosemary’s body, she finds herself trapped in the sprawling, and eerily beautiful, Northern Michigan Asylum for the Insane, in the hands of a malevolent doctor who preys on patients who exhibit paranormal abilities.

Sometimes the dead don’t rest

In present day 1965, Hattie, much like her mother, thirty years before, is led by a ghost. A newspaper hidden in an attic reveals a secret that has shaped the lives of Hattie and her siblings. Hattie with her sister, Jude, embark on a crusade to remedy the wrongs of the past and discover the tale of deception that stole their mother a decade before.

Hattie and Jude are in a race against time to discover a murderer and save their mother from a horrific fate.

Get lost in a uniquely chilling story that spans the life of a family and the ghosts who haunt them.

Kim’s Review:

An asylum!!!!! Y’all know I love them!!!! My only real issue with this book, and unfortunately it’s kind of a big one, is that not much of the story actually happened in the hospital! I was expecting an AHS Asylum type story where most of the plot unfolds within the hospital. I’m hoping that if I keep reading the series (filled with stand alone stories), I’ll get to learn more about the asylum and this mysterious brotherhood that operates within the Michigan medical community.

But the story itself was interesting and I mostly liked Hattie and Jude. I sympathized with them easily and I was excited to see the resolution of everything. It kept me guessing and there were plenty of creepy happenings to make my inner horror fan happy. I’m not sure if this is labeled as YA or not, but I wouldn’t actually recommend this to younger readers. There are objectionable elements that would keep it best for more mature audiences. Overall, this was a great book and I can’t wait to continue with the series!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Children’s Picture Book Review: What If Bunny’s NOT a Bully?

What If Bunny’s NOT a Bully?
Author: Lana Button

Illustrator: Christine Battuz
Published: March 3, 2020
32 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 28, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Gertie the elephant says everyone on the playground should stay far away from Bunny because she’s super mean. But Kitty has questions: How did Bunny become a bully? Was she born that way? Was she stung by a bullybug? Or maybe she caught the bully flu? Wait, does that mean bullying is contagious? And if it is, couldn’t the other animals catch it, too? But … then no one would play with them either, and that doesn’t seem fair. Is it possible that Bunny is sorry? Should they give her a second chance?

Jessica’s Review:

According to Gertie the elephant, Bunny had apparently always been a bully. Everyone goes along with Gertie and now the kids want nothing to do with Bunny until Kitty comes into the picture.  She questions things such as what made Bunny a bully; she even wonders about   Bunny when she is old: Will she still be a bully? 

In some ways the story becomes a reverse bullying situation with the kids all ganging up on Bunny, until Kitty and her questions come in to play.  Then the kids realize what they themselves are doing to Bunny. 

This is a definitely an important picture book for young children (the book is aimed for ages 3-7) to help them understand the subjects of bullying, inclusion, understanding, empathy, and the ever important second chances.  This ‘reverse bullying’ angle also shows children what it may be like to walk in another person’s shoes.

The illustrations definitely add to the story as they show the emotions the kids are all feeling. Small children who can’t read would definitely get the story from the pictures as the story is being read to them.

Many thanks to the publisher Kids Can Press for granting me a copy to read and review. It was a pleasure!   

Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK