The Shadows by Alex North
Despite its sinister undertones, the word describes a straightforward fact: the dreams we have are influenced by the real world. Our subconscious takes everyday experiences and shatters them on the floor like a vase, then picks up a handful of pieces to form something random and new to show us while we sleep. We might recognize a few fragments, but they’re joined together oddly and separated by strange cracks. Dreams are a patchwork, stitched together from the things that happen to us in our waking lives.”
THE SHADOWS is Alex North’s latest thriller that delves into the world of lucid dreaming. The story starts off with a brutal murder and the plot jumps back and forth connecting a murder from 25 years ago to one in the present day. In the center of it all is Paul Adams, a “friend” of Charlie Crabtree’s, the boy who committed the murder 25 years ago and then supposedly disappeared into the dream world he created. Now Paul is one of the only links that Detective Amanda Beck can use to solve the latest murder.
I always enjoy thrillers because I don’t typically read them a lot so it feels fresh and new to me. I liked this one but felt that it was a really slow build and that the action was confined to the ending, mostly. I did enjoy the end as, again, it contained the most action and had some unexpected twists as well. I found myself sitting and rereading some sentences or paragraphs because I was trying to make sense of what just happened and how that changed the earlier portions of the narrative. I also enjoyed that North tackled the concept of lucid dreaming. It’s something I don’t know a lot about but it was interesting to learn more through this story.
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
“Alone is a feeling you can get used to, and it’s hard to believe in a better alternative.”
THE DEATH OF VIVEK OJI is just that — a story about Vivek Oji’s death and the events leading up to it, as well as some scenes from his life earlier.
Shortest summary ever, but I don’t want to give anything away because this is probably one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. At first I wasn’t sure but by the time I got to the end, I was tearing up at the sheer beauty of this book. I was a dummy for not reading it sooner. This book will probably go down as one of my favorites of the year.
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell
This graphic novel follows Josiah and Deja on their last night at the pumpkin patch where they’ve worked every year through high school. Now they’re both moving on to college and won’t be at the patch next year. Throughout their time there, Josiah has been pining over the Fudge Shoppe girl and now he and Deja are on a mission to get him to talk to her before it’s too late.
I’m not a graphic novel person, but I saw @hilareads_ post about it and I fell in love with the cover. I knew I had to read it and it did not disappoint. I thought the pacing was great and the story was so cute. I would honestly read it over and over again. I really loved Deja and her side mission to find snacks throughout the whole adventure. I was happy she got her pumpkin bomb... but where can I get one of those too?
The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede
I read this heartwarming story about the city of Gander in Newfoundland for my library’s true story book club and I loved having a hopeful perspective of 9/11.
...what I didn’t love was all the grammatical errors in this novel written by an award-winning journalist. So reader beware if you decide to pick it up. The story is enough to overcome those issues, but as a writer myself, I was jarred every time I saw one.
Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory
Another hit in THE WEDDING DATE series!
On this journey across the pond, we’re focused on Vivian, Maddie’s mom. Maddie has been given the opportunity to dress the Duchess for the holidays and Maddie insisted her mom came with. Expecting a relaxed few days reading by the fire, Vivian is surprised to meet — a quickly grow close to — Malcolm, the private secretary to the Queen.
I was worried at first that the story was focusing on a middle aged character. Being only in my early 20s, I thought it wouldn’t connect as easily with Vivian as I had with characters in the last three books. I was wrong. Guillory has an amazing way of crafting her characters and connecting them to readers no matter what their age. Once again, I dove straight into this book and loved every page. Only one left to go!
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