That Night by Chevy Stevens is the She Reads Book Club Selection for July and what a fantastic pick! It is a psychological thriller that highlights the devastating effects of bullying. Weaving from the past to the present That Night grabbed my attention from the first page and didn’t let go.
Toni is your typical teenager … until she isn’t. At home Toni struggles in her relationships with her mom and sister. Her sister is the golden child and definitely the one their mother favours. Things at school were fine until a misunderstanding pits one of the popular girls against Toni making her life hell. If not for her boyfriend Ryan Toni isn’t sure she’d make it through any of it. As the bullying escalates the unimaginable happens and Toni’s sister is murdered. Worse yet Toni and Ryan are accused and sent to prison for the brutal murder.
Years later thirty-four year old Toni is finally out on parole. She goes back to her hometown despite having no contact even with her parents for years and especially knowing that her mother doesn’t want anything to do with her. Ryan also makes the decision to return despite knowing he and Toni can have no contact. Ryan tries to convince Toni to help him find out the truth of what happened and clear their names. Once again things escalate as they get closer to the truth. This time though Toni isn’t the same girl she used to be before going to prison. This Toni came out hardened and tough and she isn’t going down without a fight this time.
I listened to the audiobook of That Night. It is narrated by Jorjeana Marie and I thought she did a great job of portraying all of the characters and the pace of the story. She definitely kept me listening any chance I got! Highly recommended!
Source: Digital review copy was provided by the publisher however audiobook is from my personal library. No compensation was received for this review and all thoughts and opinions are that of the blog owner.
Sanctuary: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel by G. Michael Hopf is the third book in The New World Series and in my opinion the best yet. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the first two books – The End and The Long Road, because I sure did but I just seemed to connect more with the people in this one making it so much better for me. Sanctuary is an intense and action packed read with wars being raged and people struggling to make it in this new world they’ve been thrown into after the world as they knew it suffered a super-EMP attack.
As this is the third book in the series I don’t want to give anything away so my thoughts may be a bit vague. Sanctuary finds Gordon on a mission of revenge for the loss he’s suffered but in doing so he’s had to leave his family behind. He’s the same Gordon who usually takes action before asking questions but he’s usually right in doing so. However in this novel we see a more personal side to him and I liked that. As for the rest of the crew – Sebastian, Samantha, Nelson, Connor, Pablo, Barone … all have taken different directions to do what they feel is right in order to survive in this new world.
This series isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a brutal story with a lot of violence and language but it fits. To me this is likely what would happen if one day we end up in a post-apocalyptic world. People have no choice but to fight just to survive and protect themselves and their families. There are shortages of food and all the necessary things we take for granted. People become very different in those circumstances.
I listened to the audiobook of Sanctuary which is narrated by Keith Szarabjka and I thought he did a great job. I didn’t enjoy the narrator much in the last two books so this move to a new narrator is a good one. Keith really brought this story alive – all of the anxiety fear, tension, and violence – he made it seem like a movie in my head.
For those who enjoy post-apocalyptic novels I recommend this whole series. While you could read Sanctuary on its own I think it’s a much better idea to start at the beginning and get the back story. This is definitely a series that is fast becoming addicting for me and once again it ended on a part that has me already anxiously awaiting the next one!
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Source: Review copy of audiobook was received from the publisher. No compensation was received for this review and all thoughts and opinions are of the blog owner.
Don’t Try to Find Me by Holly Brown highlights a parents worst nightmare; that of a missing child. When Rachel drops her fourteen-year-old daughter Marley off at school one morning she certainly doesn’t expect to come home to find Marley gone and a note from her saying don’t try to find me. Yet Marley is indeed gone and it is quickly determined that she got on a bus and left … but to where? Rachel can’t believe that Marley would run away. She’s just not that kind of girl but as Rachel starts digging into Marley’s life a little more she soon realizes her daughter may have been having a lot of things going on that may have made her unhappy enough to leave. It also becomes apparent that the police aren’t going to be a lot of help so instead Rachel and her husband launch a media campaign in an effort to find her. Unfortunately this goes awry and suspicion soon falls on Rachel.
As for Marley her story is only too real. She meets a guy online on Facebook. He says he’s friends with one of her friends and they start talking. Soon enough Marley is sharing everything with him and they begin plotting her escape from her parents and her life. When this guy picks her up though she begins to notice a few things about him that aren’t as he had portrayed and she starts getting more and more suspicious of him. When things begin to get even crazier Marley realizes that she may have made one of the biggest mistakes of her life… but is it too late? This story is one we hear of a lot nowadays. So many kids are lured away on the internet and it’s downright scary. Add to that a family life that isn’t as it should be and you have a recipe for disaster. Marley’s parents were so involved in themselves that they weren’t taking the time to notice what may have been going on in their daughter’s life. Take one insecure girl and a creep and that’s another recipe for disaster.
I enjoyed this book. I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Hillary Huber, Angela Goethals, and James Fouhey and I really think they added to my enjoyment of the book in bringing fear, defeat, anxiety, tension – so many emotions to each and every scene in the book. My only complaint of the story is that, to me, Marley did not seem to act as I think a fourteen-year-old would. She seemed much too mature for her age and that at times had me disbelieving some parts of the story. Overall though I really liked it and I was hooked on the audiobook for sure.
Recommended for those who enjoy stories of family and marital dysfunction as well as books that deal with the dangers of the internet and teens.
Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher. Audiobook from my personal library. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.
Mozart’s Wife by Juliet Waldron is a brilliant novel that weaves fact with fiction in the telling of what life with Mozart was like from his wife’s point of view. This novel is rich in historical detail and is one of those books to savor, not rush through. The writing is eloquent and the story intriguing. I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Celeste Lawson and she does a great job. I think she has the perfect tone of voice for this type of story and for me she just really brought Mozart and Konstanze’s world to life for me.
Konstanze falls in love with Mozart from a young age when he begins courting her sister and when that doesn’t work out she’s secretly happy. In a family of girls Konstanze doesn’t shine as her sisters do so she’s surprised and thrilled when Mozart confesses that he loves her and can’t live without her in his always over dramatic way. They marry and that is really where this story explodes as it delves into the marriage of Konstanze and Mozart which is sometimes happy and sometimes in turmoil.
Life with Mozart is definitely not always an easy one. Mozart is constantly creating his music and spending his time out among the people – especially those with praise for him. Mozart though has a hard time saving any money and whenever he has any he spends it. For Konstanze with the household to maintain and kids to care for this is more often a nightmare than anything else. Many, many times the family is much to close to the poverty line with Mozart lending out money they don’t have.
Mozart was a man who just lived day to day; never planning. As well Mozart seemed to be quite often unfaithful to his wife. While Konstanze didn’t believe it at first soon enough she does and while she scolds him for his philandering ways she certainly never leaves him for it. More often than not though she finds herself pregnant and with having troubled births and children passing from disease childbirth has turned into something to be feared for her.
The research that went into this novel shines through on every page. I didn’t know anything about Mozart apart from his music before reading this book and I really appreciate the knowledge I’ve gained through this reading. More than that it is always interesting to see the lives of the people behind the one who is famous. It is because of Konstanze that Mozart’s music is still as popular today as it was then because she made sure it would be. Despite the troubles in her marriage she loved her husband and I found her a fascinating character to read about.
For readers of historical fiction Mozart’s Wife is an excellent choice and one I enjoyed a great deal!
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