Tag: 3.5 stars

Book Review: Sundial by Catriona Ward

Sundial
Author:
Catriona Ward

Published: March 1, 2022
304 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

You can’t escape what’s in your blood…

All Rob wanted was a normal life. She almost got it, too: a husband, two kids, a nice house in the suburbs. But Rob fears for her oldest daughter, Callie, who collects tiny bones and whispers to imaginary friends. Rob sees a darkness in Callie, one that reminds her too much of the family she left behind.

She decides to take Callie back to her childhood home, to Sundial, deep in the Mojave Desert. And there she will have to make a terrible choice.

Callie is worried about her mother. Rob has begun to look at her strangely, and speaks of past secrets. And Callie fears that only one of them will leave Sundial alive…

The mother and daughter embark on a dark, desert journey to the past in the hopes of redeeming their future.

Kim’s Review:

This is an odd one. I’m not sure why it was put in the horror section; I would classify it more as a thriller. I wasn’t actually scared by this book, but that twist was pretty crazy. There were too many annoying things in it for me to say that I liked it. I hated how Rob let her husband walk all over her; how Falcon didn’t raise the girls, just let them run wild; how Rob let Callie know that she preferred Annie … I was just too annoyed to really enjoy any of it. Honestly the only thing that saved this book was the twist; it was a struggle to get there, but it was twisty all right. I can’t really say that I’d recommend this book, but I also wouldn’t tell anyone not to read it. So it was just meh.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Audiobook Review: It Will End Like This by Kyra Leigh

It Will End Like This
Author: Kyra Leigh
Published: January 4, 2022
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 30-April 4, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars     

Book Description:

For fans of The Cheerleaders and Sadie comes a psychological thriller that reminds us that in real life, endings are rarely as neat as happily ever after. A contemporay take on the Lizzie Borden story that explores how grief can cut deep.

Charlotte lost her mother six months ago, and still no one will tell her exactly what happened the day she mysteriously died. They say her heart stopped, but Charlotte knows deep down that there’s more to the story.

The only person who gets it is Charlotte’s sister, Maddi. Maddi agrees—people’s hearts don’t just stop. There are too many questions left unanswered for the girls to move on.

But their father is moving on. With their mother’s personal assistant. And both girls are sure that she’s determined to take everything that’s theirs away for herself.

Now the only way to get their lives back is for Charlotte and Maddi to decide how this story ends, themselves.

Jessica’s Review:

It Will End Like This is a contemporary take on the Lizzie Borden case.  After unexpectedly losing their mother, Charlotte and Maddi are heavily grieving while their father has all but moved on… with their mother’s personal assistant.  The PA is also closer to their ages, so the sting is worse for the girls.

What follows is an extended story of unreliable narrators, mental illness, and grief. Over time the grief they are feeling encompasses everything. Our main narrator and focus of the story is Charlotte, but I wanted more of Maddi’s narration.  Their grief became too much of a focus and it made the story drag on.  It was just too excessive for me.  I think I was also really anticipating the ending since we (sort of) know what happens in the real case. I wanted to know how the author was going to reach that climax and the conclusion.  I listened to the audiobook and the last hour of the novel really picked up for me.  This is what kept me listening.  And then we have that ending!  That last hour is what redeemed the novel for me. 

I have always found the Lizzie Borden case intriguing and have read a few books on it. The fact that we won’t ever truly know what happened keeps the case alive to this day almost 130 years later.   Listening to this fictional tale made me want to read about the Borden case again: And I might just do that!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Short Story Sunday: Slow Burner by Laura Lippman


Slow Burner
Series: Hush Collection

Hush, a collection of six stories, ranging from political mysteries to psychological thrillers, in which deception can be a matter of life and death. Each piece can be read or listened to in one truly chilling sitting.

Author: Laura Lippman
Published: July 30, 2020
46 minute read/ 33 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: October 29, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

A woman watches her marriage implode over text message and decides that ignorance is not bliss in this bitterly satisfying short mystery by the New York Times bestselling author of Lady in the Lake.

Liz Kelsey promised herself she’d never again spy on her feckless husband, Phil. But then she discovers a string of suggestive texts on his secret burner phone. Even worse, he’s flirting with the woman who shook their unstable marriage once before. But knowledge is power. What’s more dangerous—what Liz knows or what Phil doesn’t know?

Jessica’s Review:

I found most of this short story annoying with Liz reading her husband’s texts to another woman. He may not be having a physical affair, but he is still having an affair: Scumbag!!! The texts were annoying for me but then we get to the ending of this short story…. and YES!!! That’s all I can say with this one.  It’s short, so give it a quick read or listen!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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