Today Kim and I bring you a double review of The Perfect Son by Lauren North. One of us enjoyed it, the other not so much. This is what is great about reviews, we all have different experiences and opinions and even though we read the same book, we can have varying opinions of it.
The Perfect Son
Author: Lauren North
To Be Published: August 13, 2019
A disturbing and shocking debut novel of psychological suspense about a recently widowed mother, her young son, and the lengths she’ll go to in order to keep him safe.
When Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital the day after her son Jamie’s eighth birthday, she’s sure of these things: She’s been stabbed, her son is missing, her brother-in-law and her grief counselor are involved. But no one is listening to her.
After her husband, Mark, died suddenly in a terrible accident a few months earlier, the only thing keeping Tess together is Jamie. As they struggle to make sense of their new life without Mark, they find joy in brief moments of normalcy like walking to school and watching television together. Life is hard without Mark, but Tess has Jamie, and that’s what matters.
But there in the hospital, confused and surrounded by people who won’t listen, Tess’s world falls apart. To save her son, she must piece together what happened between Mark’s death and Jamie’s birthday, but the truth might just be too much for her to bear.
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway and the cover really intrigued me, so I read it. What surprised me most was how easy to read it was. I finished it in less than 48 hours and I read huge chunks at once. Before I knew it, I was almost finished and I felt like I couldn’t put it down. The emotions were also very overwhelming. I know that many people will react to Tess they way they did with Rachel in The Girl on the Train; that she’s too weak and she’s a set back to women’s independence, and so on. For the record, I also really enjoyed The Girl on the Train.
Tess’s reaction to losing her husband sounds pretty reasonable to me. In fact, I experienced some pretty crazy anxiety while reading the first half of this book. All I could think about was how horrible my life would be if I lost Ivan. I will admit that I didn’t guess the ending of this book. I should have and I feel a little dumb that I didn’t, but in my defense, I had a million theories scrolling in my head through the whole book. I’d get one little detail and then I’d run with it and expand it into the most unlikely scenarios that weren’t even close to reality. Overall, I was happy with the ending.
Obviously, I can’t get into any details, but considering how predictable it actually was, I did enjoy it and was satisfied. I would recommend it to those who enjoy psychological thrillers, just be prepared for that predictability. Thankfully, there were other good things I got from the story other than just solving the mystery. A very good book!
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
With an intriguing premise and a “pull you in from the first few lines” introduction, The Perfect Son had promise, but sadly it fell victim to “I read too many thrillers” as I had the big twist figured out from the first few chapters. It was also very slow moving and I was not attached to Tess. I felt for her with the grief she is experiencing, but is she just grieving, is she crazy, or is someone ‘after’ her and her son Jamie?
Tess is yet another unreliable narrator, and by now you know those are mainly a miss for me. Occasionally, the unreliable narrator works for me (see my review for The Woman in Cabin 10 here), but for the most part they miss the mark.
Even the ending had no conclusion; It was as if nothing was learned from the situation. This is North’s debut novel and even though it was not for me, I would give her writing another try.
Kim won two arc copies via Goodreads and she sent me one so we could do a double review.
Today Kim and I bring you a double review of Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, and Tobias Iaconis. We both enjoyed it and rated it 5 stars! Kim read the physical book while I listened to the audiobook and we are both looking forward to seeing the movie.
Published: November 10, 2018
Can you love someone you can never touch?
Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.
The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.
Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.
What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Read: June 10-21, 2019
If Everything, Everything and The Fault in Our Stars got together and had a baby then it would result in Five Feet Apart. I loved this novel, and the cover is beyond gorgeous: Before I knew what it was about, I thought to myself “Those look like lungs on the cover” and they are!
Stella and Will both have cystic fibrosis. Stella has been going to the same hospital for years to fight the disease. Will has traveled all over the world for various treatments, but has only seen the inside of hospitals which are all the same. Stella and Will meet and Stella can’t stand Will…. Then things start to change…
This is a story of first love and the teens in this novel are definitely more grown up than your typical YA characters. But come on: they know for a fact that their pending death could come at any moment and that would age any teenager. But they are still teenagers.
I don’t know how life-like the novel is with the reality of cystic fibrosis, but this novel feels very real. I was attached to the characters and you wanted a happy ending and no dumb choices made. Though we came very close to the dumb choices part. I was thinking “NO!” when a certain situation happened, but at that age and in that situation, who knows what my decision might have been.
Five Feet Apart is also similar to The Sun is Also a Star in the fact that it has a realistic ending. If you are a fan of YA in general or of the other YA novels I mentioned then Five Feet Apart WILL be for you! I look forward to seeing the movie version soon. I still also need to watch the film versions of these novels as well.
Five Feet Apart is highly recommended.
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars
What a great book! Finally, a YA book where the teen drama fit in perfectly and wasn’t ridiculously obnoxious! I loved everything about this book. Look at the cover!!! The story was sweet and easy to read. The characters were cute and realistic. They had enough problems in their lives that they didn’t have to create any.
I didn’t know anything about cystic fibrosis before reading this book. I still don’t know much, but I enjoyed learning a little about it. If I have any criticism, it’s very tiny: there were some medical things that needed a bit more explanation to make it all make sense. I had to keep asking Ivan questions and he finally told me that he didn’t want to talk about B. Cepacia anymore!
I became so emotionally invested in these kids. It was an easy book to get through and I finished it in a day. There were some adult things, like some swearing, that would keep me from recommending it to younger readers, but I’d recommend it to pretty much everyone else! The movie comes out soon and I’m cautiously optimistic about it. I had Cole Sprouse’s face in my head the whole time I was reading and it definitely worked!
Movie Trailer for Five Feet Apart:
Today Kim and I bring you a double review of They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. We both enjoyed it and I LOVED it! Kim read the physical book and I listened to the audiobook.
Author: Adam Silvera
Published: September 5, 2017
Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.
On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.
Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Read: May 13-17, 2019
I absolutely loved this book for so many reasons: The concept is unique and *spoiler alert* we know what is going to happen in this novel from the title, but it is not about the end of Mateo and Rufus’ lives, it is the journey they go on for their final day.
Imagine you live in a world where there is Death-Cast and you finally get that phone call. What will you do? Will you stay at home attempting to avoid the end or will you live this day how you want as it actually is your last? They Both Die had me thinking about so many things as I Iistened to the audiobook. We never know when our time will end, and I decided that I would not want to live in a world that has Death-Cast. I always go to worst case scenario and would not be able to ‘enjoy’ my last day and truly live it. I would be constantly worried if a certain situation would be the cause of my death.
Mateo and Rufus are total opposites and you grow to like them both. Even though we know what their ending will be and we don’t want it to happen, we don’t know when or how in the day their lives will end or even if they will they die together or separately
There was so much more I wanted to know about this world that Mateo and Rufus live in. I wanted to know the workings of Death-Cast and how it ‘knows’ who is going to die. Normally this would have bothered me extremely, but the point of the novel is Mateo and Rufus living their last day. There is a little information given about Death-Cast but I would love to read the story of how it came into being. I still have some questions I want to address: What if somehow Death-Cast cannot get in touch with you and it is your day to die then will you still die? Would you have still died if Death-Cast was not in existence or is your death because of Death-Cast? Is receiving the Death-Cast call a self-fulfilling prophecy? It was all this and more that had me thinking long after I was done with the novel.
There are three narrators for the audiobook: Robbie Daymond and also two of my favorites: Bahni Turpin and Michael Crouch. I will listen to just about anything those two narrate and the fact that they were both narrators in They Both Die was a big plus for me.
I was leery about reading this as I wondered how emotional I would become knowing that we are going to lose both Mateo and Rufus. I liked them and was rooting and hoping that somehow one or both would ‘beat the system’. Fortunately I did not cry, but They Both Die stayed with in my thoughts for a few days afterwards with the many thoughts it leaves you with.
They Both Die at the End is highly recommended.
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
I have been dying to read this book since it was first published. I finally got it for my birthday this year. I’m all about unique reads and this book is incredibly unique. This book is all about the journey, not the destination. The only reason I’m giving it 4 stars is because it did get a little slow at times. Other than that, this book was beautiful and full of feeling. The title literally tells you how this book ends, but I felt so much hope the entire time I was reading. Mateo and Rufus are gonna be the exception to the Death-Cast rule. All their friends hoped right along with me. I loved getting to know, not just the boys, but their families and friends too. I became so caught up in them and their histories and their emotions, all I wanted was to see these boys grow up and live to old age. Mateo’s father was what got me in the end. The poor man was in a coma through the whole book, and all I kept thinking was that he’d wake up and his son would be dead and he didn’t even get to say goodbye. I’ll admit it, I cried!
I also spent some time considering what I would do if I only had one day left to live. I even laid on my hammock and closely studied the colors of the sky and the leaves. This book definitely makes one feel and feel a lot! It was a wonderful reminder to live in the present and appreciate what we have. I definitely recommend it to just about anybody!