Throwback Thursday – The Lovely Bones

throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is:  The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold

Goodreads Description

The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder — a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family’s need for peace and closure.

The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.

Sebold creates a heaven that’s calm and comforting, a place whose residents can have whatever they enjoyed when they were alive — and then some. But Susie isn’t ready to release her hold on life just yet, and she intensely watches her family and friends as they struggle to cope with a reality in which she is no longer a part. To her great credit, Sebold has shaped one of the most loving and sympathetic fathers in contemporary literature.

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Published June 2,  2002

Little, Brown and Company

I picked this book up back in 2003 and read it from start to finish in one day. I read it back before all of the hype so I don’t think I was influenced in any way by what anyone else thought.

The story begins with fourteen-year-old Suzie Salmon’s violent death at the hands of a neighborhood man George Harvey. Suzie narrates her story from her Heaven. She watches as her family struggles after her death trying to cope with the loss. Without closure and losing hope her parents struggle with their relationship as well as their relationship with their two remaining children.

All of the characters are really well written. Her parents, siblings, teachers etc. grieve in many different ways. Susie herself is a truly unique narrator and remains detached from the events she is describing but very watchful of the loved ones she has left behind.

I felt that the story was told gently and compassionately and I was invested in both what was happening to Susie as well as her family. Although a very sad and emotional story which at times was difficult to read, there is also periods of hope, humor, and love.

An intriguing story with many memorable characters with an excellent plot. Susie’s Heaven is such a unique and interesting place. A mesmerizing read that I highly recommend.

I chose this book as it’s one that I really loved. However, I have noticed it’s one that people seem to love or hate. I would love to hear what you thought of it. Loved it? Hated it?  If you haven’t read it yet, do you think you will?

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Review: You Will Pay by Lisa Jackson

You Will PayYou Will Pay by Lisa Jackson

Published May 30, 2017

Kensington

 

 

3.5 Stars

Over the years I’ve read few of Lisa Jackson’s books and have really enjoyed them. YOU WILL PAY is a stand-alone novel that revolves around a religious summer camp and a fateful summer where four people went missing. Twenty years later after new evidence is found, the case is re-opened.

Twenty years ago Camp Horseshoe closed after two of the teenage camps counselors went missing. At the same time a worker from the Camp also disappeared. There was also an escaped convict who hasn’t been seen since. At the time this all happened, Camp Horseshoe was run by a preacher named Jeremiah Dalton and his wife Naomi. Jeremiah’s son from his previous marriage, Lucas Dalton also worked at the camp.

Now twenty years later, Lucas Dalton, a detective with the local sheriff’s department, is heading out to his father’s ill-fated religious camp. A local man has found what he thinks are human remains so Lucas needs to check it out. Back at the abandoned Camp, Lucas looks at the welcome sign and is transported back to that summer. He thinks about his father, Jeremiah Bernard Dalton, who portrayed himself as a dedicated man of God, and everyone believed him. Well everyone, except for Lucas.

“Jeremiah Dalton sermonized about the Good Lord as if he truly believed, yet lied with the silver tongue of a snake oil salesman”

Now that human remains have been found, the case is re-opened. But because Lucas was part of the original investigation, it’s a conflict of interest and so he is taken off the case. Now everyone is asking questions. Including a reporter that was a young camper that same summer. She thinks this could be the story that makes her career.

Jo-Beth Chancellor has been one big ball of stress since finding out about the remains found at the camp. Jo-Beth was one of the counselors that summer. She’s worried one of the “basket case” women are going to blow things for her. She’s not going to let something that happened twenty years ago change ruin her life. Just like back then, Jo-Beth knows everyone’s secrets and she’ll use those secrets to keep people in line. She contacts the other former counselors and tells them they need to meet up to make sure they have their stories straight for when the police start asking questions.

Then she gets a call, and the voice she hears almost stops her heart.

All of the women are very uncomfortable being back. They wonder why they let Jo-Beth call the shots. Many of them want to just tell the truth. But do any of them even know the truth anymore? So many lies have been told.

What really happened all those years ago?

Someone knows the truth about the things that happened that summer and they will do whatever they have to do to keep anyone from finding out.

But someone else wants what happened that summer to come out…..and they also want revenge.


“If You Don’t Tell You Will Pay”

There are a lot of characters to keep up with in this novel. There is quite a bit written about each of them, their lives then and now. Thankfully the chapters are labelled with characters names and whether it is “Now” or “Then” which helped me keep track, most of the time. As the story goes back and forth between then and now we start to get a picture of what may have happened. However, not everything is as it seems.

I think with the amount of characters, the time spent developing their stories, made the rest of the novel feel a bit rushed. And while most was revealed, there were also a few issues left unresolved.

Although I had a few issues with this novel, I still enjoyed it and for the most part was satisfied with how it all turned out. It was an entertaining, suspenseful read with a lot of twists and turns.

Thank you, Kensington Books for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read In 2017 So Far

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by the wonderful blog  The Broke and the Bookish where each week a different top ten list is featured. This week is “Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far”. 

This is my first Top Ten Tuesday and I think this is a great one to start with. I’ve read a lot of really great books so far this year. So in no particular order here are my ten best reads for 2017 (so far!!)

She Rides ShotgunShe Rides Shotgun

by Jordan Harper

 

 

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely FineEleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

by Gail Honeyman

 

The Marsh King's DaughterThe Marsh King’s Daughter

by Karen Dionne

 

 

The Widow of Wall StreetThe Widow of Wall Street

by Randy Susan Meyers

 

 

Here and GoneHere and Gone

by Haylen Beck

 

 

The Mother's PromiseThe Mother’s Promise

by Sally Hepworth

 

 

AllegedlyAllegedly

by Tiffany D. Jackson

 

 

The Roanoke GirlsThe Roanoke Girls

by Amy Engel

 

 

I Liked My LifeI Liked My Life

by Abby Fabiaschi

 

 

The Secrets She KeepsThe Secrets She Keeps

by Michael Robotham

 

 

Wow! Going through my list, it was hard narrowing it down to ten. So many fantastic books so far this year. I hope the second half of 2017 is just as good!

Have you read any of the books on this list?

 

Goodreads Monday – Exposure by Therese Anne Fowler

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part,  simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.  Be sure to check out Lauren’s blog and link back to add your own links!

Today the book I’m going to show off is: Exposure by Therese Anne Fowler

Published May 3rd 2011 by Ballantine Books

Image result for exposure theresa ann

Goodreads Description:

In Exposure, Therese Fowler has written her most gripping novel to date—a ripped-from-the-headlines story of ardent young love and a nightmarish legal maelstrom that threatens to destroy two families.

Amelia Wilkes’s strict father does not allow her to date, but that doesn’t stop the talented, winsome high school senior from carrying on a secret romance with her classmate Anthony Winter. Desperately in love, the two envision a life together and plan to tell Amelia’s parents only after she turns eighteen and is legally an adult. Anthony’s mother, Kim, who teaches at their school, knows—and keeps—their secret. But the couple’s passion is exposed sooner than planned: Amelia’s father, Harlan, is shocked and infuriated to find naked pictures of Anthony on his daughter’s computer. Just hours later, Anthony is arrested.

Despite Amelia’s frantic protests, Harlan uses his wealth and influence with local law enforcement and the media to label Anthony a deviant who preyed on his innocent daughter. Spearheaded by a zealous prosecutor anxious to turn the case into a public crusade against “sexting,” the investigation soon takes an even more disturbing and destructive turn.

As events spiral wildly out of control and the scandalous story makes national news, Amelia and Anthony risk everything in a bold and dangerous attempt to clear their names and end the madness once and for all.

A captivating page-turner, Therese Fowler’s Exposure is also a deftly crafted, provocative, and timely novel that serves as a haunting reminder of the consequences of love in the modern age.

My thoughts:

I have actually only had this book on my tbr  but I REALLY want to read it. I came across a recent review from a friend who thought it was a great book and highly recommended it.  After reading the description, I knew it was one I just had to add to my list.

I came across a comment from the author in regards to her novel.

“This, my third novel, was inspired by a crisis my son and our family endured in 2009. Because of that, it’s very close to my heart. I hope readers will embrace it as well.”

More knowledge about the subject matter in EXPOSURE is definitely needed in this day and age and it sounds like the book does a good job of bringing these issues to light. I really hope to get my hands on this book soon!

Have any of you read this book? If so, what did you think?