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Read_By_Red

Read_By_Red

Joined February 2019

Authors are magicians, their words are their magic. Check out my Bookstagram: @read_by_red
review
Read_By_Red
The New Neighbor | Karen Cleveland
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Mehso-so

I liked how the story presented things in a way meant to keep the reader guessing; it made a case for each neighbor being “The Neighbor” in a logical way, not revealing the truth until the end. I really liked that the end tied up loose ends while not ending things entirely; the imagination is left wondering what will happen next. At times it seemed like there were a few too many characters to keep track of because they all have so much in common.

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Read_By_Red
Just Like Home | Sarah Gailey
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Mehso-so

I really enjoyed the concept of the story, but it seemed to start very slowly. I like that Gailey used a nonlinear timeline, giving the reader little glimpses of Crowder House and Francis, as well as Vera‘s childhood. I wasn‘t a fan of the audiobook. The narrator is so monotone during her delivery. There was little inflection or change in pace, even during the more intense moments. I do not think that the audiobook did the novel justice.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

This is an informative, entertaining, and interesting collection of short stories that expertly reveal to the reader the struggles faced by many in this country, specifically black, immigrant women. It also shows that we hope and strive towards the same things. I enjoyed the audiobook; the narration effectively drew me into the stories. I liked hearing about Shona culture and listening to the language/words sprinkled throughout the various tales.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

I really liked this story. It is a great mystery that kept me at the edge of my seat right from the start. There are a lot of characters with a lot of connections to each other, but they are all so well developed and none of them seemed to get lost in the shuffle of the story. Jaq and Ransom are easily my favorites, with their strength and drive, although Morgana had some great, and in one instance truly touching, moments within the novel.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

Things We Do in the Dark is a twisted web of a story. I liked how Hiller weaved the past with the present, as well as different characters‘ perspectives and experiences with each other. I was pulled into the story and wanted to see what had happened or how things would turn out for so many of the characters, especially Paris. Paris is such a strong, sympathetic character; I found myself wanting to see her persevere and succeed.

5 likes1 stack add
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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

I liked that the story contains multiple narrators. It allowed me to experience the individual events and emotions for many of the characters, pulling me into their lives. The mystery surrounding Billy‘s disappearance is a good one, but to me it seemed as though Alterman was trying to send a bigger message about people‘s desires to appear perfect, often due to societal pressures and regardless of the costs, while often failing to obtain happiness.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

Helltown has a lot going on within the pages. The reader is taken on multiple journeys as they experience events in the lives of Tony Costa, Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer. While I appreciate the connections between these three men, I really would have been happier if there had been less time devoted to the two writers and more to the killer, his crimes, and his victims. The novel flowed well, even with the jumps between the major players.

6 likes1 stack add
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Read_By_Red
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Mehso-so

I wanted to like Hooked, but it just seemed all over the place. I was often confused about where things were going within the story and how I even got where I was; it was hard to follow at times. I did like the characters. I grew to have a level of sympathy towards James. Wise took a villain and turned him into a likable and compassionate individual. I also liked Jane. She is a strong woman, and I absolutely loved how progressive she is.

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Read_By_Red
Sins of the Tribe | Mark A. Salter
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Pickpick

This is a novel full of serious themes that I enjoyed. While a story centered around a football team–sometimes there were large sections describing plays and games–this book is so much more, exploring the toxic and intense atmosphere and community that is (sometimes) college football, from sandals to cover ups to consequences, as well as tribal mindsets. The characters are honestly written and well-developed. The Professor is easily my favorite.

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Read_By_Red
Upgrade: A Novel | Blake Crouch
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Pickpick

Upgrade is an action-packed and clever novel that also contains some pertinent messages and lessons about where we are headed as a society and as a planet. I really enjoyed the premise of the novel, as well as the characters. Logan is a sympathetic, likable character, and he is interesting as well. Upgrade is a fast-paced novel that kept me hooked with its twists and turns, as well as the science found throughout. Crouch has done it again!

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Read_By_Red
What Jonah Knew: A Novel | Barbara Graham
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Pickpick

I liked all of the symbolism that is present, as well as the growth within many of the characters. It is categorized as a psychological thriller, and while I don‘t necessarily agree with this label, it does have some intense and thrilling moments towards the end. There are multiple narrators, which I enjoyed as it allowed for multiple perspectives. I just wish that the climax was stretched a little to create a more on-the-edge-of-my-seat ending.⁣

4 likes1 stack add
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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

The Newlywed‘s Window is an entertaining and thought-provoking collection of short stories, stories written by some of Africa‘s most talented, and undiscovered, writers. I really liked the variety of the stories found within this collection; there are so many genres included, as well as many unique perspectives about life–its difficulties and hurdles but also its triumphs and achievements. There are many good stories in this collection.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

I greatly enjoyed this novel. It contains an intriguing mystery, strong female characters, and many wonderful themes such as redemption, good vs. evil, friendship, courage, and perseverance. I really liked the protagonist Una. Plus, New York City in the 1880s makes for a great setting for this historical fiction novel.⁣ The audiobook is well done. I enjoyed Johansson‘s accents for the characters, as well as the tone and inflection throughout.

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Read_By_Red
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Mehso-so

It started off as a gripping story, but the events seemed to come to their conclusion too quickly; I wish the climax had been stretched a little more with more, or extended, conflicts. Gary is easily my favorite character; I simply adore him. This novel also touches on some serious themes that are present in society today, such as substance abuse, kidnapping and sexual assult, double lives, and the victimization of seniors, to name a few.

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Read_By_Red
Our Crooked Hearts | Melissa Albert
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Pickpick

Our Crooked Hearts is a gripping story full of magic, the supernatural, betrayals, friendships, loss, love and strength. I enjoyed experiencing the events of the novel from both Ivy and Dana‘s perspectives. The audiobook was an enjoyable listen. I really liked Ivy‘s chapters; the tone, inflection and sarcasm was spot on and it really felt like I was listening to a coming-of-age teen experiencing and surrounded by some unique events.

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Read_By_Red
Can't Look Away: A Novel | Carola Lovering
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Mehso-so

Can‘t Look Away started with such promise–it had a mystery and suspense to it and I couldn‘t wait to see how things would turn out–but it was ultimately anticlimactic to me. I was left wanting more at the end. The audiobook was a bit of a bust. The voices used by the narrators for the dialogue of others (the women voicing the men and the man voicing the women) I found to be rather unenjoyable, so much so that I read much more than I listened.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

Onwukwe does an incredible job narrating the events of Ordinary Monsters. The pace was a little slow but the voices of the characters are so well done and narration was suspenseful at just the right times. I feel that my enjoyment was added to by listening to the audiobook. Sometimes I will read some of a novel without listening, often due to circumstances, but I did not skip a single second of this audiobook because it was just that good.⁣⁣

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Read_By_Red
Hotel Magnifique | Emily J. Taylor
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Pickpick

This is such a great novel. The story is original and captivating, making this novel a real page-turner that many people can take pleasure in reading. I enjoyed the characters, especially Jani. She is such a tough, determined and loyal individual and she drew me easily into her story. Taylor‘s descriptions and word choices are extremely effective at painting a picture of Hotel Magnifique, the places it travels to, and the people inhabiting it.

7 likes1 stack add
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Read_By_Red
A Mirror Mended | Alix E. Harrow
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Mehso-so

The synopsis really interested me, but by the end I was left wanting more. The basic story was enjoyable, but there were aspects of it that I liked but that seemed to be given little attention. I wasn't a big fan of Zinnia‘s either. There was just something about her I didn't like. I did enjoy the audiobook, in the sense that I enjoyed Landon‘s narration. I liked the voices she used for the various characters, as well as the tone and inflection.

tpixie The narrators voice reminds me of Jamie Lee Curtis‘! 6d
5 likes1 comment
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Read_By_Red
The Physicists' Daughter | Mary Anna Evans
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Pickpick

Justine is such an amazing, well-rounded character. She is tough, intelligent and caring, and I love that she has such a vast knowledge of math and science. I liked the other characters as well; there are so many strong women in this novel. The story itself is well written and I loved the mystery within the pages. I absolutely flew through this novel, wanting to know who Fritz and Mudcat were and if Justine was going to uncover the truth in time.

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Read_By_Red
The Woman in the Library | Sulari Gentill
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Mehso-so

This was a novel that I wanted to like but by the end I found that I was left a bit unsatisfied. I really like the structure of the novel, consisting of chapters from a manuscript with letters thrown in. The conclusion left a few too many holes open for my tastes. There were events that needed more explanation, and others that didn‘t make sense or were too convenient. There were also certain aspects of Leo's letters that I found irritating.

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Read_By_Red
Last Call at the Nightingale | Katharine Schellman
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Pickpick

I absolutely loved this novel: the time period, the characters, the setting, the mystery. I really liked the fact that the main characters, while being the lower members of society, are strong and determined in their individual ways. I liked the audiobook as well. Sara Young did a wonderful job narrating this novel; between her tone, inflection and character‘s voices I found myself absorbed and lost in the narrative.

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Read_By_Red
Seamstress of New Orleans | Diane C McPhail
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Pickpick

My favorite thing about this book is the strong female protagonists and supporting characters, especially because the time period in which this novel is set–the year 1900–women were seen as the weaker sex; I love that this book found a way to flip that concept on its head. I loved the women‘s determination, strength and compassion. The narrative flows well and kept me intrigued, and I found myself rather invested in their lives.

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Read_By_Red
Elsewhere: A Novel | Alexis Schaitkin
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Pickpick

It is deep, honest, and insightful, not to mention extremely enjoyable. Her words paint a beautiful picture for the reader of Vera and her life, as well as the other characters and the settings. The characters are well developed and they have some serious messages to send about the pressures of motherhood: the sacrifices and loss of self, the judgements faced, and legacies left behind. Vera herself is an interesting individual.

5 likes1 stack add
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Read_By_Red
The Latecomer | Jean Hanff Korelitz
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Pickpick

The Latecomer is an intense novel that contains some serious topics, but it is also a great story. I enjoyed the main characters and their relationships and connections to each other. There is an honesty to this novel within its fiction. The audiobook was an enjoyable listen. Julia Whelan did a great job of pulling me into the story with her tone and inflection. The audiobook definitely added to my enjoyment of The Latecomer.

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Read_By_Red
The Lost Dreamer | Lizz Huerta
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Pickpick

I liked the story that The Lost Dreamer told, but at times the narrative seemed to drag. There are a lot of characters, almost too many to keep track of without a “cheat sheet.” I adored Saya; her strength, determination and willingness to face things head on are admirable qualities. Huerta‘s descriptive language is very effective and creates a wonderful world for the reader to enjoy. I can‘t wait to see what‘s in store next!

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Read_By_Red
Siren Queen | Nghi Vo
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Pickpick

I really liked Luli‘s story and her determination to obtain what she wants in her life. The narrative is fast moving and kept me hooked. The audiobook was a good listen. Naudus narrates the story in such a way that you are almost transported into the story. I liked the voices she used for the various characters, specifically the female ones. It flowed well and, for the most part, it added to my enjoyment of The Siren Queen.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

My Wife Is Missing is a fast-paced novel full of twists and turns. The story unfolds along two timelines seen through the eyes of the two main characters. Michael and Natalie. I greatly enjoyed the style. I didn‘t really enjoy the audiobook as much as the novel. Karissa Vacker really grabbed my attention during the climax of the novel, but I honestly could not stand the voice she used for the dialogue of the men such as Michael.

6 likes1 stack add
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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

The thing that I loved the most about this audiobook is that there are three people reading as the three main characters/narrators, and for me I was able to better distinguish each woman from the others, and that made listening to this story so much more enjoyable. I liked the life brought to these characters by Eyre, Collingwood and Teal. I don‘t always enjoy audiobooks but Elektra may very well be my absolute favorite audiobook.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

This book was fascinating and extremely informative. I liked the way in which the novel was set up, focusing on one area of the country at a time. I also liked that it was full of factual information without coming across as dry or boring; I was hooked rather quickly and intrigued by the topic, especially the mob aspect of things. Gangsters vs Nazis was a page-turner that I really enjoyed it. Also, Gabriel Vaughan‘s narration was well done.

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Read_By_Red
Watch Out for Her | Samantha M. Bailey
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Pickpick

Watch Out For Her is a twisted novel. The story is told through the eyes of two women–Holly and Sarah–along two timelines; one tells about the events in the past and the other covers the present, and these two timelines come together so well by the end of the novel. I liked how Bailey ended many of the chapters with little cliffhangers, making me want to go on and read more to see what would happen, creating a serious page-turner of a novel.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

The story is told through the eyes of the sisters, allowing the reader to immerse themselves in the lives of the sisters, and it is also a nonlinear timeline, allowing Corrigan to draw the reader in right from the first page. That being said, at the beginning it was a little difficult to understand the timeline of events; it jumps around a bit but once I got into the story more it was easier to follow. I also enjoyed the strong female characters.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

The Shadow House was a twisted thriller that I really enjoyed. Told from the viewpoints of two women, Alex and Renee, the two different perspectives and personalities wonderfully tell the story, playing off each other and coming together perfectly at the end. I liked that there are so many strong, fierce female characters in this novel. I also loved all of the mysteric aspects of this novel. I highly recommend this novel!

SilversReviews I honestly didn‘t like it. I am glad it was enjoyable for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Loved her last book. 6mo
10 likes1 comment
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Read_By_Red
The Younger Wife | Sally Hepworth
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Pickpick

The Younger Wife was such a page-turner for me, as I desperately wanted to know the truth about Stephen and the members of his family. The events are seen through the eyes of multiple characters, which brings with it many perspectives that ultimately come together so well in the end. I loved the mysteries and questions surrounding this family and the ways in which they overcame many of the challenges they faced.

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Read_By_Red
The Younger Wife | Sally Hepworth
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Pickpick

The Younger Wife was such a page-turner for me, as I desperately wanted to know the truth about Stephen and the members of his family. The events are seen through the eyes of multiple characters, which brings with it many perspectives that ultimately come together so well in the end. I loved the mysteries and questions surrounding this family and the ways in which they overcame many of the challenges they faced.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

Edwin Hill delivers another page-turner. While I figured out a couple of the twists early on, there were others that I did not see. I really enjoyed the setup of the novel. Mainly taking place in the present, there are little glimpses into the past, and I liked the mirroring that occurred between the events within the two timelines. The characters really pulled me into the novel; I wanted to know who did what and how they would fare in the end.

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Read_By_Red
Mona Passage: A Novel | Thomas Bardenwerper
Mehso-so

Mona Passage is a good story full of love, family, and desperation, and it leads the reader to have questions about what is legal versus what is right. It is told from the perspectives of multiple characters, which I tend to enjoy as it allows me to better understand the characters and their motivations. The characters are honest and relatable, and it is easy to understand why they make the decisions that they do.

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Read_By_Red
The Wedding Murders | Sarah Linley
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Mehso-so

The Wedding Murders was an okay novel; it was a bit predictible, but it was still enjoyable for the most part. I liked the way Linley set up the narrative. It jumps from the present to the past, with some bits of a memoir thrown in, and all these pieces cohere together nicely to tell the story. I liked Libby; her strength and determination are admirable qualities. While I enjoyed the story, it wasn‘t the page-turner that I had hoped it would be.⁣

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Read_By_Red
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Mehso-so

I didn‘t dislike Passerby, but I didn‘t love it either. I don‘t know what it was about her, but I could not stand Ruth, the main character. There also seemed to be some gaps in the narrative; there were events and people that seemed, at the beginning of the novel, to be important but were almost forgotten later. The narration was okay. I found some of the male voices to be irritating and overly exaggerated.

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Read_By_Red
The Night Shift | Alex Finlay
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Pickpick

Finlay delivers another twister story with The Night Shift. He tells the character‘s tales from their points of view, with an occasional dip into the past, which I really enjoyed. I also liked how everything came together so seamlessly at the end. The characters are well developed and I enjoyed the look into their lives. While I had my suspicions about who the killer, or killers, may be, it did not take away from my enjoyment of the novel.

10 likes1 stack add
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Read_By_Red
Gilded | Marissa Meyer
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Pickpick

Gilded is such a great twist on a classic fairy tale. I really enjoyed Meyer‘s characters. They are relatable--as relatable as fairy tale characters can be--and are well developed; I took a real interest in their lives, the obstacles they faced, and their successes and failures. The descriptions and figurative language are extremely effective, transporting me to this fairy tale land. I love how I could tell that Serilda‘s story isn‘t finished.

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Read_By_Red
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Mehso-so

While I was entertained by Do You Follow?, I cannot express in words how much I wish the book summary on the back did not reference the fact that Alexa suffers from DID, or Dissociative Identity Disorder. I feel as though I would have figured it out rather early on, but it seems as though that discovery was taken away from the reader. There are still some surprising revelations along the way, but sadly not as many as there could have been.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

I really enjoyed Shaun Grindell‘s narration. I don‘t often listen to audiobooks–sometimes it seems like a narrator can influence my opinions and feelings about characters and events–but being as this is a true crime novel that influence did not exist. Grindell does a great job bringing the events to life and drawing the reader/listener in. Overall I enjoyed listening to Grindell‘s narration.

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Read_By_Red
Last Seen Alive | Joanna Schaffhausen
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Pickpick

Last Seen Alive is a twisted, and at times, a suspenseful novel. The characters are quite interesting, and I liked the strength, as well as the vulnerability, of Ellery; her flaws and scars are what makes her so strong. The only thing that I had an issue with was that there is one character who was a big part of the latest Coben saga, yet he seemed to disappear at the end without an explanation.

Cathyloves2read Perfect picture for this book!! 8mo
Read_By_Red @Cathyloves2read Thank you! I recruited my 8 year old for it! 8mo
Nute The BEST photo idea! 6mo
Read_By_Red @Nute Thank you! 6mo
4 likes4 comments
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Read_By_Red
Little Thieves | Margaret Owen
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Pickpick

The characters are well developed and enjoyable to read about. I liked the variety within the characters; their personalities, their motivations, and their love interests. The descriptions are so effective at painting a picture of the settings and the events of the novel. Many wonderful themes are present, such as good versus evil, the power of friendship, personal growth, love, courage, redemption and revenge.

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Read_By_Red
Such a Pretty Smile: A Novel | Kristi DeMeester
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Pickpick

Such a Pretty Smile is an entertaining novel surrounding a powerful message. Too often in our society girls and women are told to smile and look pretty, effectively silencing an entire community of people, muting their creativity, their intelligence, and their voices; this novel brings this message to the reader in a deliciously twisted and creepy way. It takes place along two timelines which come together seamlessly.

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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

This novel wonderfully portrays the realities of love and friendship, especially the beauty of what is created when individuals embrace what makes people different and unique, allowing individuals to create true relationships while seeing people for who they are. On the flip side, it also shows the consequences of embracing hate. I really liked the character of Babakar; he seemed to be a genuine person with a big, rather selfless, heart.

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Read_By_Red
Beasts of Prey | Ayana Gray
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Pickpick

What an incredible start to this series. The events are told not only from the perspective of two main characters, but the reader gets to see things from through the eyes of a third character as well, and Grey does a great job of bringing the various events and perspectives together at just the right time. The characters themselves are well developed and the reader can‘t help but to root for them as they grow and fight for what they feel is right.

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Read_By_Red
A Flicker in the Dark | Stacy Willingham
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Pickpick

This is a truly gripping, twisted novel. While I had some things figured out early, it still managed to keep me on the edge of my seat. There were other revelations that completely took me by surprise however. The characters are interesting, for the most part, but certain aspects about Chloe annoyed me. At times she seemed quite strong, but at other times she came across as weak, and this bothered me. I loved the “flicker in the dark” at the end.

6 likes1 stack add
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Read_By_Red
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Pickpick

The Last House on the Street is a gripping novel that took some turns that I never expected. The events take place along two timelines, and these timelines work so well together, piecing everything together seamlessly. I love that the main characters are strong women who passionately stand up for those they love and for the things they believe in. They are well developed and so enjoyable to read about.