Book Reviews

Book Review: Shelter by Jung Yun

25688974

Shelter is a well-constructed, slow-paced novel that focuses on one family’s painful secrets and the tragic event that forces truths to be revealed. It’s also about forgiveness (wanting it and denying it), pride, resentment, and regret.

I love flawed characters, and this book did not disappoint. There’s Kyung, son of Jin and Mae, who’s a miserable shell of a person. His terrible attitude toward, well…everything, drove me nuts at first. But as I learned about his parents’ relationship and his upbringing, I began to feel sorry for him. This does not mean I didn’t still dislike him and the way he treated his wife and son, but I understood why he is the way he is. I can’t say much about Jin’s and Mae’s flaws without giving away why Kyung is so messed up, but their missteps as parents made me sad. Perhaps this is a horrible thing to say, but part of me felt like the tragic thing that happened to them was a bit karmic.

If you like fast-paced novels with a lot of WOW moments, this might not be the best choice for you. And if you want to read something that will leave you feeling cheery, you might want to hold off on reading this one. But if you enjoy a well-written piece of literary fiction that unfolds steadily and don’t mind a sad (yet slightly hopeful) ending, then this might be the book for you.

GOODREADS

AMAZON

 

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy via NetGalley.

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

26154406

The Passenger is perfect for readers who enjoy a good mystery. However, if you prefer concrete clues that help you piece together a book’s big reveal, then this one might make you antsy.

Tanya Dubois aka Amelia Keen aka Debra Maze aka Emma Lark aka Sonia Lubovich (these are just some of the names she goes by throughout the story) has been hiding from law enforcement for a decade. Why does she keep assuming the identities of other women? That’s exactly what I was dying to know and trying to figure out all the way up until chapter 28. In fact, I’m pretty certain most who read this one will be left guessing as well.

Here are some of the thoughts I had while reading:

  • Who is this woman?
  • If she didn’t do it, then why doesn’t she just call the cops?
  • Wait, that’s not why she’s on the run? Why then?
  • Who is this Ryan guy? Why is he keeping tabs on her? Why would it be bad for him if she gave herself up? Why would he send her money?
  • Is this new friend of hers the passenger?
  • Wait, maybe he’s the passenger.
  • Okay, this lady definitely has to be the passenger.
  • Who the heck is the passenger?

When I finally realized who “The Passenger” is, everything clicked into place and I completely understood the MC’s motives. I also understood her pain.

Despite the occasional irritation I felt while wracking my brain trying to figure out what was going on, I really enjoyed this book. After all, Lutz is a great storyteller. The way she toggled between describing the MC’s life on the run and her real life (past and present) was remarkable. And all the while, she managed to provide small pieces of the puzzle, which made little sense up until the big reveal when every last tidbit locked into place, leaving me 100% satisfied.

GOODREADS

AMAZON

 

Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary review copy via NetGalley.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

27793667

Much like The Girl on the Train, which is also a mystery that unravels through alternating perspectives, I was mesmerized by Try Not to Breathe. As in glued to the pages until the very last word mesmerized.

Brutally attacked as a teen, Amy has been confined to a hospital bed for fifteen years. She thinks and dreams, breathes on her own and hears what’s going on around her; however, she can’t talk. And even though her eyes are open, she doesn’t see anyone because she’s trapped inside her own head. Who’s responsible for Amy’s condition? That’s what I was dying to know throughout the entire novel!

Seddon expertly toggled between multiple perspectives to tell Amy’s story. There’s Amy, of course, whose narration dates back to the day she was attacked all the way up to the day her attacker is revealed. I have never encountered a narrator like Amy before. At times I was confused because she was confused, but then after processing what it might be like for someone who’s in a coma-like state with self-inflicted amnesia (for lack of a better term), I found myself in awe of the way Seddon presented Amy’s perspective. Wow. Just brilliant. Then there’s Alex, an alcoholic who’s trying to crawl her way back to being the respected reporter she once was, and Jacob, a man who sits and talks to Amy regularly.

If you’re a suspense junkie like me, then I highly recommend Try Not to Breathe.

GOODREADS

AMAZON

 

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy via NetGalley.