REVIEW – The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Expected publication: February 5th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press

 

I was really looking forward to reading this novel.  I had some things to get done, so I thought I would just read a few pages and come back to it. But once I picked it up, I didn’t want to put it down, and before I knew it, I was finishing the last page and closing the book.

The book begins as twenty-six-year-old Anna Roux is moving into Bedroom 5 at 17 Swann Street.

Anna is originally from France.  She is a dancer but hasn’t danced since she hurt her leg. When her husband, Matthias receives a job offer to work in the United States, Anna decides it’s a good thing. Her leg will heal and she will dance in the U.S.  But after the move, things started to change.

Anna is in love with her husband and he loves her. “I have books to read, places to see, babies to make, birthday cakes to taste. I even have unused birthday wishes to spare.”

 “So what am I doing here?”

Anna used to love roller coasters, ice cream, and french fries.

Anna doesn’t think she has a problem…

 “I am twenty-six years old. My body feels sixty-two”

Will Anna recover? Will her marriage survive?

I was engrossed in Anna’s story but I was also intrigued by the other characters stories and what led them to 17 Swann Street. Many of the other patients are also living with anorexia, but some suffer from other disorders such as bulimia “less evident but just as lethal as anorexia”.

I’ve read quite a few books about teens and eating disorders. But this novel was a little different. Anna is twenty-six and 17 Swann Street is a women’s treatment center. I felt the author did an excellent job of showing how someone could suffer from these issues for many years but in some cases, the disorders may show up later.

I love the way the story is written. It is told from Anna’s perspective with alternating chapters telling the story of her life, her relationship with her husband, and how she ended up at 17 Swann Street. Clinic intake and assessment forms, treatment plans, and meal plans are interspersed throughout the novel.

This was a well-written novel that gave a realistic and heartbreaking look at an illness that robs its victims and their loved ones of so much. So often family and friends suffer along with the patient. This novel was emotional and enlightening, and the story brought me to tears on more than one occasion.

I really enjoyed this novel and I’m looking forward to reading more from Yara Zgheib.

I’d like to thank St. Martin’s Press for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

Music Monday : When in Rome – The Promise

musicmonday

Music Monday is a meme that was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song and/or video and share it on Monday.

The song and video I am sharing today is:

 

When In Rome – The Promise

 

Well it’s another 80’s song. Are you surprised? Probably not. I can’t seem to help it. I keep hearing these old songs and it takes me back and I just have to share.

 

The Promise – When In Rome

If you need a friend, don’t look to a stranger
You know in the end, I’ll always be there
But when you’re in doubt, and when you’re in danger
Take a look all around, and I’ll be there
I’m sorry, but I’m just thinking of the right words to say
I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be
But if you’ll wait around awhile, I’ll make you fall for me
I promise, I promise you I will
When your day is through, and so is your temper
You know what to do, I’m gonna always be there
Sometimes if I shout, it’s not what’s intended
These words just come out, with no cross to bear
I’m sorry, but I’m just thinking of the right words to say
I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be
But if you’ll wait around awhile, I’ll make you fall for me
I promise, I promise you
I’m sorry, but I’m just thinking of the right words to say
I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be
And if I had to walk the world, I’d make you fall for me
I promise you, I promise you I will
I gotta tell you, need to tell you, got to tell you, I’ve got to tell you
I’m sorry, but I’m just thinking of the right words to say
I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be
But if you’ll wait around awhile, I’ll make you fall for me
I promise, I promise you
I’m sorry, but I’m just thinking of the right words to say
I know they don’t sound the way I planned them to be
And if I had to walk the world, I’d make you fall for me
I promise you, I promise you I will
I will
I will
Songwriters: Chris Brown / Christopher Taylor Brown / Peter Charell / Peter Kurt Charell / Simon Ormandy
The Promise lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

REVIEW – Sunrise Highway (Lourdes Robles #2) by Peter Blauner

Sunrise Highway

Published September 4th 2018 by Minotaur Books

“Sunrise Highway” opens in 2017 with the investigation of a body that recently washed up on the shores of Rockaway Beach. Investigating is Lourdes Robles, a detective for the NYPD.  Lourdes is an excellent detective who was recently promoted. However, she’s also being accused of using NYPD resources for personal reasons. Lourdes younger sister, Ysabel is missing. Anytime a young woman’s body is found, Lourdes can’t relax until she confirms that it’s not her sister.

There are some unusual things about this present murder case and when Lourdes finds a link to a murder case from forty years earlier, she’s determined to bring the person/persons responsible to justice.

Forty years earlier, Kenny Makris is a local prosecutor attending a crime scene where a fifteen-year-old girl’s body has been found. Kenny meets up with Detective William Rattigan known as “Billy the Kid”. The detective has a high success rate when it comes to solving homicides. But some there are some people that question his methods. The detective’s other nickname is “The Prince of Pain”.

The detective tells Kenny that this case could make his career. He says that Kenny is either with them or against them. But he’s pleased when Kenny agrees that they should do whatever it takes to make sure someone pays for this crime. They have someone in custody that they say is responsible for the young girl’s death. They also have a witness named Joseph Toliver (Joey T) who can help make their case.

Forty years later Joey T is now JT the Chief of Police. Is it possible that his actions long ago enabled a killer to go free? Did it lead to more than a dozen dead women all found along the Sunrise Highway?

Now Lourdes is determined to find out just how everything is connected. Unfortunately, there are people who don’t want the truth to come out, people who will stop at nothing to keep Lourdes from investigating further.

This was my first read from Peter Blauner. When I started reading this novel, I didn’t realize it was the second book in the Lourdes Robles series. While I don’t think it’s necessary to read book one, it may have filled in a few blanks if I had read it.

This novel started strong with a prologue that grabbed my attention immediately. I was intrigued. The timeline shifts between past and present and there’s a lot going on. I did have a bit of a hard time, in the beginning, keeping all the characters straight, but it did get easier as I continued on. The characters were well developed and I especially liked Lourdes Robles. She is a great character and I look forward to reading more about her in future books.

Sunrise Highway” was an interesting and intense read with a good plot and great characters. A story of murder, politics, and corruption with an ending that I never saw coming. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this series as well as other books from this author.

I’d like to thank Minotaur Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

Throwback Thursday – Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

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:

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Try Not to Breathe

Published February 23rd, 2016 by Ballantine Books

Goodreads Description:

For fans of Lianne Moriarty, Paula Hawkins, and Tana French, an arresting debut novel of psychological suspense: a young journalist struggles to keep the demons of her alcoholism at bay as she finds her purpose again in tackling the mystery of a shocking headline-making crime, still unsolved after fifteen years.

Amy Stevenson was the biggest news story of 1995. Only fifteen years old, Amy disappeared walking home from school one day and was found in a coma three days later. Her attacker was never identified and her angelic face was plastered across every paper and nightly news segment.

Fifteen years later, Amy lies in the hospital, surrounded by 90’s Britpop posters, forgotten by the world until reporter Alex Dale stumbles across her while researching a routine story on vegetative patients.

Remembering Amy’s story like it was yesterday, she feels compelled to solve the long-cold case.

The only problem is, Alex is just as lost as Amy—her alcoholism has cost her everything including her marriage and her professional reputation.

In the hopes that finding Amy’s attacker will be her own salvation as well, Alex embarks on a dangerous investigation, suspecting someone close to Amy.

Told in the present by an increasingly fragile Alex and in dream-like flashbacks by Amy as she floats in a fog of memories, dreams, and music from 1995, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer to a breathtaking conclusion.

My Thoughts:

Alex Dale is a young journalist whose focus is mostly on trying to maintain her alcoholism. She rides the line between serious drinker and functioning alcoholic. After losing her job and her husband, she’s barely hanging on.

While writing an article about a doctor who is researching brain scans showing signs of communication from patients in a vegetative state, Alex visits a hospital ward where these patients live. Among these patients is Amy Stevenson. Amy has been in a coma since 1995 after being brutally attacked.

Alex feels a connection to Amy. They are the same age and Alex remembers when Amy was attacked. She becomes obsessed with wanting to find out what happened to Amy and wants to tell her story.

“Some secrets never die. They’re just locked away.”

“Try Not to Breathe” was a novel I really enjoyed. An interesting and entertaining psychological suspense novel that held my interest from start to finish.