Book Reviews

Know My Name

Know My NameKnow My Name by Chanel Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“This book does not have a happy ending. The happy part is there is no ending, because I’ll always find a way to keep going.”

“I am a victim, I have no qualms with this word, only with the idea that it is all that I am.”
– Chanel Miller

I don’t know why I waited so long to read this book. I remember the case so well, I mean how could you not, it was ALL OVER the news and social media. With exquisite writing and heartfelt sincerity, Chanel Miller opens up about the ordeal that swallowed up too many years of her life. Her strength is extraordinary and I admire her for sharing her very personal story. Everyone should read this book.

The Measure

The MeasureThe Measure by Nikki Erlick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Live your life like your string is short.” – Nikki Erlick

Holy guacamole! Speculative fiction at its finest. There is nothing about this book that isn’t outstanding.

One day everyone in the entire world receives a box with a string inside. The length of the string measures the length of your life. Where did the boxes come from? What is their purpose? Would you open yours?

The story follows eight characters who all make different choices. Their lives are creatively interwoven and each person’s narrative touches you in a different way. How do the strings affect the choices they make in their own lives? The years go by and string prophecy is fulfilled.

Globally, the fallout from the strings begins to be felt. The “shortstringers” become a marginalized group and a polarized world begins to form. The strings begin to dictate medical decisions, the economy, foreign policy, and relationships.

The novel is bittersweet. You’ll laugh, feel joy, cry, and think. It’s also kind of scary when comparing it to things going on in the real world today. It may be a bit anticlimactic for some, or even sappy, but it was perfect for me.

The writing is poetic and beautiful, and the characters are well developed. But the uniqueness of this book lies with it’s questions. An excellent choice for book groups. I cannot wait to discuss it with mine.

And of course, the phenomenal Julia Whelan makes this audiobook stellar. As always.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an Advanced Readers Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Daisy Darker

Daisy DarkerDaisy Darker by Alice Feeney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“But then, I have always found fiction more attractive than real life” – Alice Feeney

I’m always a sucker for a book that tricks me. And this was that. Hauntingly atmospheric and with beautiful writing, I was immediately immersed in Daisy Darker’s world as her family members are murdered one by one. Tragically, they are trapped by the tide and cannot connect to the outside world (dreadful for them, but fun for the reader). The exceptional plotting throws you back in time via the world of VHS tapes from the 80s as remaining family watch old tapes and try to figure out who the killer is.

I loved the audiobook. It’s extremely well done with creepy and suspenseful storytelling that leaves you feeling a bit sad and unhinged at the same time. I can’t wait for my book group to talk about this one!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Broken Girls

The Broken GirlsThe Broken Girls by Simone St. James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Shh,” he said, his voice lowered. “Please don’t say it. I think she listens.”

Mary Hand. Sonia. Fiona. Three girls tragically connected almost a century apart. Their tales interwoven throughout the cracks of Idlewild Hall, a remote boarding school for the lost and forgotten. Time will not silence their stories. Mary Hand will not let it. Simone St. James is the QUEEN of haunted stories. Part historical mystery, and part ghost story, this creepy gothic tale will leave you wondering what those noises are in the dead of night. And NEVER read this during a nor’easter when you are home alone and lose power. (Although actually that was kind of fun.) Five ghostly stars.

These Silent Woods

These Silent WoodsThese Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The thing about grace is that you don’t deserve it. You can’t earn it. You can only accept it. Or not.”

My dark horse novel of the year. I have developed a love of “woodsy” thrillers and mysteries these last few years. Probably due to my love of small towns, unwinding in secluded cabins, and hidden spaces. This slow burn drama details a father’s unconditional love for his daughter and his reckless struggle to keep them together. High suspense and well-developed, flawed characters kept me turning those pages. And the ending just rocked me to the core. Sigh.