Author: Alice Feeney
Published: March 23, 2017
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?
Whoa. This book was nuts! I found it cheap at Ollie’s and I love the cover. I picked it up for a quick read and it was indeed quick, but whoa! I mean twists and turns and crazy spirals and surprises. Amber starting out in a coma was an interesting interpretation. I was fascinated and horrified all at the same time. All I could think was, “is that really what it’s like to be in a coma??” I almost went to the hospital to volunteer to read to coma patients! And it all started from page one! I don’t really want to say much about this book, because I don’t want to give anything away! All I can say is that I loved it and I might just have to read it again! Ok, I will say that I liked this book better than Girl on a Train. Amber is a much stronger protagonist than that chick was. Definitely a good book for those who like psychological thrillers . . . and believe me, it’s thrilling!
Author: Becky Albertalli
Published: April 7, 2015
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 26- December 30, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
I absolutely adored this novel! I think it helps that I live in Georgia, the author lives in Georgia, and the novel also takes place in Georgia.
I adored Simon from the beginning. Somehow Albertalli captured the voice of a teenage boy in his situation brilliantly! I always say there are not YA books out there from the male perspective, added to that from the gay perspective. You can really see how Simon feels about everything and are rooting for him. I also liked Simon’s close knit group of friends, though I least connected with Leah. I was surprised to find out the second book in the series focuses on her. Despite the lack of connection to Leah in Simon I will give the second book a shot as I would like to see what happens next in all of their lives.
Being this novel is YA, surprisingly for me the teen drama is not ‘full in your face’ like I expected it to be. Yes there is teen drama, but it is all part of the story with the sequence of events. Various social media and the constant need for their phone is all over this novel as it is a normal part of teens lives now.
I would say this would be for older teens as there is foul language used in the novel, which includes the F word. There are also mentions to masturbation and there is underage drinking. But it all feels like a real situation.
There is also a bit of a mystery as to who Blue is. And once we finally find out the answer the story keeps going.
Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is highly recommended. This was my final audiobook I listened to in 2018 and was glad I ended the year with it.
Movie Perspective of Love, Simon:
I watched the movie Love, Simon before listening to the audiobook and also really enjoyed it! I adored Simon and his friends and also liked Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel as Simon’s parents. There are some changes in various parts of the film, which I actually enjoyed. There was one part of the novel I enjoyed that was not in the movie and wish it was. I surprised myself and started to feel sorry for Martin after the football game…until he did what he did.
Nick Robinson played Simon brilliantly, especially when it came down to a certain very emotional scene. This particular scene felt 100% real and I wanted to knock some sense into Martin myself! I would be very tempted to ground my kid for life if they ever did what Martin did to Simon.
I would say watch the movie first as the movie ends while the novel keeps going. It was a fine ending for the film but we get more in the novel.
Today I share my review for my stop on the blog tour for The Lock by Andrew Barrett. This is a short novella at 122 pages, but it really delivers in those pages! I previously read and reviewed Barrett’s short story The Note which also features Eddie Collins, CSI.
This is the story of how I saw a dead man die.
I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI. I was finishing up at a sudden death in an old house, waiting for the body snatchers to arrive, when I heard a noise from the cellar.
I had time to kill, so I went to investigate.
Turns out I wasn’t the only one with killing on his mind.
Author: Andrew Barrett
Published: January 10, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 26-31, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
I previously read The Note which also features Eddie Collins. Barrett himself is a CSI and you can see that he takes what he knows from experience and puts them into his stories. And this novella is superb! It is creepy, suspenseful, and you have absolutely no idea how it is going to end! You know what they say about ‘curiosity killed the cat’…. Will curiosity be the end of Eddie Collins, CSI?
This novella makes me now think twice before I will go into a basement or cellar again. You never know who or what might be there! Reading both The Note and now The Lock has me wanting to read more of the Eddie Collins series and more crime books in general!
About the Author:
Andrew Barrett has enjoyed variety in his professional life, from engine-builder to farmer, from Oilfield Service Technician in Kuwait, to his current role of Senior CSI in Yorkshire.
He’s been a CSI since 1996, and has worked on all scene types from terrorism to murder, suicide to rape, drugs manufacture to bomb scenes. One way or another, Andrew’s life revolves around crime.
In 1997 he finished his first crime thriller, A Long Time Dead, and it’s still a readers’ favourite today, some 120,000 copies later, topping the Amazon charts several times. Two more books featuring SOCO Roger Conniston completed the trilogy.
Today, Andrew is still producing high-quality, authentic crime thrillers with a forensic flavour that attract attention from readers worldwide. He’s also attracted attention from the Yorkshire media, having been featured in the Yorkshire Post, and twice interviewed on BBC Radio Leeds.
He’s best known for his lead character, CSI Eddie Collins, and the acerbic way in which he roots out criminals and administers justice. Eddie’s series is four books and two short stories in length, and there’s still more to come.
Andrew is a proud Yorkshireman and sets all of his novels there, using his home city of Leeds as another major, and complementary, character in each of the stories.
You can find out more about him and his writing at http://www.andrew-barrett.co.uk