Author: Shelley Nolden
Published: March 23, 2021
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
In the shadows of New York City lies forbidden North Brother Island, where the remains of a shuttered hospital hide the haunting memories of century-old quarantines and human experiments. The ruins conceal the scarred and beautiful Cora, imprisoned by contagions and the doctors who torment her. When Finn, a young urban explorer, arrives on the island and glimpses an enigmatic beauty through the foliage, intrigue turns to obsession as he seeks to uncover her past—and his own family’s dark secrets. By unraveling these mysteries, will he be able to save Cora? Will Cora meet the same tragic ending as the thousands who’ve already perished on the island?
The Vines intertwines North Brother Island’s horrific and elusive history with a captivating tale of love, betrayal, survival, and loss.
Meh. The setting of this book offered so much promise: an abandoned hospital in North Brother Island in NYC. I mean come on! I was waiting for ghosts and vengeful spirits and a brilliant paranormal adventure … what I got was meh.
I don’t want to spoil the twist, even though the twist was pretty obvious, but I wish Nolden had picked either realistic or fanciful. She mixed the two together, but it just hampered the story. You don’t get to complain about the pandemics of the world, and then add a fantastical element that’s supposed to fix everything; it felt like cheating. And frankly, most of the characters were just unlikable. Didn’t like Cora’s overall attitude, didn’t like Finn’s annoying little woke statements every chapter, didn’t like Lily’s whining; the only ones I had a shred of like for were the villains! Basically, I’m glad I read it, but am I going to continue the series or even read this again? Probably not.
The Night Before
Author: Wendy Walker
Published: May 14, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 20-27, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.
Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date.
When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him…
This one had a premise that really intrigued me, but the novel itself fell flat. I was looking for a fast moving novel where the woman seemingly is the victim but is actually not and she is holding her date prisoner and who knows what may happen next.
I was at first intrigued by Laura and Rosie being sisters and Laura’s concern and determination to find her sister, but a little later in the novel I was just not invested in their story anymore. The Night Before also has multiple povs, which I normally enjoy but this novel just didn’t agree with me. There is a twist I didn’t see coming and when it is revealed you had to take a minute and think about the reality of this scenario in regards to the story. From that point on I was just ready to end the novel but I only had so much left that I continued.
I did listen to the audiobook version and maybe that was the problem for me with this novel. This may be one to actually read versus have read to you.
I would give Ms. Walker another chance in reading another of her novels, but this one just didn’t work for me so I cannot recommend it.[Top]
Don’t Tell A Soul
Author: Kirsten Miller
Published: January 26, 2021
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
A story about a new girl in an old town filled with dark secrets . . . that might just kill her.
People say the house is cursed.
It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims.
In Louth, they’re called the Dead Girls.
All Bram wanted was to disappear—from her old life, her family’s past, and from the scandal that continues to haunt her. The only place left to go is Louth, the tiny town on the Hudson River where her uncle, James, has been renovating an old mansion.
But James is haunted by his own ghosts. Months earlier, his beloved wife died in a fire that people say was set by her daughter. The tragedy left James a shell of the man Bram knew—and destroyed half the house he’d so lovingly restored.
The manor is creepy, and so are the locals. The people of Louth don’t want outsiders like Bram in their town, and with each passing day she’s discovering that the rumors they spread are just as disturbing as the secrets they hide. Most frightening of all are the legends they tell about the Dead Girls. Girls whose lives were cut short in the very house Bram now calls home.
The terrifying reality is that the Dead Girls may have never left the manor. And if Bram looks too hard into the town’s haunted past, she might not either.
I wish I could say I loved this book, cuz look at that cover: I bought it for the cover! And the description sounded like something I like with the old house and the ghosts … but I really didn’t like this book! I’m so tired of these characters who have chips on their shoulders! We get it, life isn’t fair, people are horrible, the teenage years just suck. Now grow up and start acting like the adult that you insist everyone treat you as. This book was a generic murder mystery with static, stereotypical characters and a setting filled with unrecognized potential.
The new woke topic is girls victimized by men and all men are bad and all girls are good; like I said, we get it, can we please find something new to write about? Oh and teens are idiots. That’s why they need parents; not want, need! So a book where all the adults are morons and incompetent and awful would be a lot better if the teens actually stepped up and acted like the mature ones. Stupid adults don’t work if you also have stupid teens. I was just so disappointed in this book! It had so much going for it but I considered DNFing it so many times. But I stuck it out and now I’m stuck with this boring, annoying story behind a fabulous cover. The only reason I added a star to my rating was because of the amazing cover.
I really don’t recommend this book for anything other than lovely decoration.