Publisher: Atria Books

#BookReview Here We Go Again by Alison Cochrun @SimonSchusterCA #HereWeGoAgain #AlisonCochrun #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Here We Go Again by Alison Cochrun @SimonSchusterCA #HereWeGoAgain #AlisonCochrun #SimonSchusterCA Title: Here We Go Again

Author: Alison Cochrun

Published by: Atria Books on Apr. 2, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The author of Kiss Her Once for Me returns with a new queer rom-com following once childhood best friends forced together to drive their former teacher across the country.

A long time ago, Logan Maletis and Rosemary Hale used to be friends. They spent their childhood summers running through the woods, rebelling against their conservative small town, and dreaming of escaping. But then an incident the summer before high school turned them into bitter rivals. After graduation, they went ten years without speaking.

Now in their thirties, Logan and Rosemary find they aren’t quite living the lives of adventure they imagined for themselves. Still in their small town and working as teachers at their alma mater, they’re both stuck in old patterns. Uptight Rosemary chooses security and stability over all else, working constantly, and her most stable relationship is with her label maker. Chaotic and impulsive Logan has a long list of misguided ex-lovers and an apathetic shrug she uses to protect herself from anything real. And as hard as they try to avoid each other—and their complicated past—they keep crashing into each other. Including with their cars.

But when their beloved former English teacher and lifelong mentor tells them he has only a few months to live, they’re forced together once and for all to fulfill his last a cross-country road trip. Stuffed into the gayest van west of the Mississippi, the three embark on a life-changing summer trip—from Washington state to the Grand Canyon, from the Gulf Coast to coastal Maine—that will chart a new future and perhaps lead them back to one another.


Review:

Heartwarming, tender, and affecting!

Here We Go Again is a timely, romantic story that sweeps you away into a bittersweet tale where truths are acknowledged, grievances are aired, truces are made, friendships are savoured, tears are shed, memories are created, last requests are honoured, lives are celebrated, and lost loves are found.

The writing is smooth and heartfelt. The characters are sincere, genuine, and lovable. And the plot is a delightful blend of heart, hope, humour, nostalgia, drama, and emotion.

Overall, Here We Go Again is, ultimately, a story about life, love, loss, dreams, heartbreak, friendship, family, and finding happiness, and I absolutely adored it.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Alison Cochrun

Alison Cochrun is a former high school English teacher and a current writer of queer love stories, including The Charm Offensive and Kiss Her Once for Me. She lives outside of Portland, Oregon, with two giant dogs, her small wife, and too many books.

Photo by Hayley Downing-Fairless.

#BookReview Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle @RebeccaASerle @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #ExpirationDates #RebeccaSerle #SimonSchusterCA #Gifted

#BookReview Expiration Dates by Rebecca Serle @RebeccaASerle @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #ExpirationDates #RebeccaSerle #SimonSchusterCA #Gifted Title: Expiration Dates

Author: Rebecca Serle

Published by: Atria Books on Mar. 19, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Being single is like playing the lottery. There’s always the chance that with one piece of paper you could win it all.

From the New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years and One Italian Summer comes the romance that will define a generation.

Daphne Bell believes the universe has a plan for her. Every time she meets a new man , she receives a slip of paper with his name and a number on it—the exact amount of time they will be together. The papers told her she’d spend three days with Martin in Paris; five weeks with Noah in San Francisco; and three months with Hugo, her ex-boyfriend turned best friend. Daphne has been receiving the numbered papers for over twenty years, always wondering when there might be one without an expiration. Finally, the night of a blind date at her favorite Los Angeles restaurant, there’s only a Jake.

But as Jake and Daphne’s story unfolds, Daphne finds herself doubting the paper’s prediction, and wrestling with what it means to be both committed and truthful. Because Daphne knows things Jake doesn’t, information that—if he found out—would break his heart.

Told with her signature warmth and insight into matters of the heart, Rebecca Serle has finally set her sights on romantic love. The result is a gripping, emotional, passionate, and (yes) heartbreaking novel about what it means to be single, what it means to find love, and ultimately how we define each of them for ourselves. Expiration Dates is the one fans have been waiting for.


Review:

Pensive, fresh, and romantic!

Expiration Dates is a charged, tender tale that takes you into the life of Daphne Bell, a young woman with a big secret who, after so long believing in fate and the mysterious papers she always receives that tell her exactly how long her relationships will last, thinks she may have finally found the one when the latest slip of paper has no end date, only a name.

The prose is heartfelt and immersive. The characters are flawed, troubled, and genuine. And the plot is an absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, friendship, family, relationship dynamics, introspection, hope, happiness, and romance, all interwoven with a thread of the supernatural.

Overall, Expiration Dates is a compelling, heartwarming, optimistic tale by Serle that does a beautiful job of reminding us to always live life to the fullest and surround ourselves with those we love.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rebecca Serle

Rebecca Serle is the New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years, The Dinner List, and the young adult novels The Edge of Falling and When You Were Mine. Serle also developed the hit TV adaptation Famous in Love, based on her YA series of the same name. She is a graduate of USC and The New School and lives in Los Angeles.

Photo by Ann Molen.

#BookReview Interesting Facts About Space by Emily Austin @eraustinauthor @SimonSchusterCA #InterestingFactsAboutSpace #EmilyAustin #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Interesting Facts About Space by Emily Austin @eraustinauthor @SimonSchusterCA #InterestingFactsAboutSpace #EmilyAustin #SimonSchusterCA Title: Interesting Facts About Space

Author: Emily Austin

Published by: Atria Books on Jan. 30, 2024

Genres: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A fast-paced, hilarious, and ultimately hopeful novel for anyone who has ever worried they might be a terrible person—from the bestselling author of Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead .

Enid is obsessed with space. She can tell you all about black holes and their ability to spaghettify you without batting an eye in fear. Her one major phobia? Bald men. But she tries to keep that one under wraps. When she’s not listening to her favorite true crime podcasts on a loop, she’s serially dating a rotation of women from dating apps. At the same time, she’s trying to forge a new relationship with her estranged half-sisters after the death of her absent father. When she unwittingly plunges into her first serious romantic entanglement, Enid starts to believe that someone is following her.

As her paranoia spirals out of control, Enid must contend with her mounting suspicion that something is seriously wrong with her. Because at the end of the day there’s only one person she can’t outrun—herself.

Brimming with quirky humor, charm, and heart, Interesting Facts about Space effortlessly shows us the power of revealing our secret shames, the most beautifully human parts of us all.


Review:

Quirky, hopeful, and engaging!

Interesting Facts About Space is a sweet, intimate novel that immerses you into the life of Enid, a young woman who uses her love and knowledge of space to help cope with a mom whom she loves dearly but who randomly suffers from mood disorders, a love life that ebbs and flows but is always easier if it never involves too many emotions, two half-sisters who she is never quite sure how to behave around, and a strong, paralyzing phobia of man who are bald.

The prose is sincere and light. The characters are eccentric, multi-layered, and vulnerable. And the plot is a compelling tale of life, love, family, friendship, desires, needs, insecurities, childhood trauma, complex relationships, and mental health.

Overall, Interesting Facts About Space is a unique, tender, humorous tale by Austin that does a beautiful job of highlighting the struggles of being able to perform daily activities, forge true friendships, and experience an all-encompassing love, all while being neurodivergent.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Emily Austin

Emily R. Austin was born in Ontario, Canada, and received a writing grant from the Canadian Council for the Arts in 2020. She studied English literature and library science at Western University. She currently lives in Ottawa. Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead is her first novel.

Photo by Bridget Forberg.

#BookReview The Silence in Her Eyes by Armando Lucas Correa @SimonSchusterCA #TheSilenceinHerEyes #ArmandoLucasCorrea #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Silence in Her Eyes by Armando Lucas Correa @SimonSchusterCA #TheSilenceinHerEyes #ArmandoLucasCorrea #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Silence in Her Eyes

Author: Armando Lucas Correa

Published by: Atria Books on Jan. 16, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 272

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 7/10

This fresh take on classic psychological suspense centers on a young woman with a rare neurological condition who is convinced her neighbor is going to be murdered.

Leah has been living with akinetopsia, or motion blindness, since she was a child. For the last twenty years, she hasn’t been able to see movement. As she walks around her upper Manhattan neighborhood with her white stick tapping in front, most people assume she’s blind. But the truth is Leah sees a good deal, and with her acute senses of smell and hearing, very little escapes her notice.

She has a quiet, orderly life, with little human contact beyond her longtime housekeeper, her doctor, and her elderly neighbor. That all changes when Alice moves into the apartment next door and Leah can immediately smell the anxiety wafting off her. Worse, Leah can’t help but hear Alice and a late-night visitor engage in a violent fight. Worried, she befriends her neighbor and discovers that Alice is in the middle of a messy divorce from an abusive husband.

Then one night, Leah wakes up to someone in her apartment. She blacks out and in the morning is left wondering if she dreamt the episode. And yet the scent of the intruder follows her everywhere. And when she hears Alice through the wall pleading for her help, Leah makes a decision that will test her courage, her strength, and ultimately her sanity.


Review:

Simmering, edgy, and intricate!

The Silence in Her Eyes is an intriguing, slow-burning psychological thriller that takes you on a journey into the life of Leah Anderson as she juggles the loss of her mother, adapting to living alone with akinetopsia, a night-time intruder who smells like bergamot and may wish to do her harm, and a new neighbour who seems like the perfect friend but who may actually be too good to be true.

The prose is crisp and tight. The characters are secretive, persuasive, and vulnerable. And the plot is a complex, menacing tale of family, friendship, deception, lies, drama, manipulation, secrets, revelations, suspicious personalities, violence, and murder.

Overall, The Silence in Her Eyes is a suspenseful, twisty, intense tale by Correa that I found a little hard to follow at times but which, ultimately, did a remarkable job of highlighting that people aren’t always who they seem to be and murderers come in many different faces.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Armando Lucas Correa

Armando Lucas Correa is an award-winning journalist, editor, author, and the recipient of several awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the Society of Professional Journalism. He is the author of the international bestseller The German Girl, which is now being published in thirteen languages. He lives in New York City with his partner and their three children.

Photograph by Héctor O. Torres.

#BookReview The Search Party by Hannah Richell @hannahrichell @SimonSchusterCA #TheSearchParty #HannahRichell #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Search Party by Hannah Richell @hannahrichell @SimonSchusterCA #TheSearchParty #HannahRichell #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Search Party

Author: Hannah Richell

Published by: Atria Books on Jan. 16, 2024

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A spellbinding locked-room mystery about a glamping trip gone horribly wrong when a powerful storm leaves the participants stranded and forced to confront long-held secrets and a shocking disappearance.

Max and Annie Kingsley have left the London rat race with their twelve-year-old son to set up a glamping site in the wilds of Cornwall. Eager for a dry run ahead of their opening, they invite three old university friends and their families for a long-needed reunion. But the festivities soon go awry as tensions arise between the children (and subsequently their parents), explosive secrets come to light, and a sudden storm moves in, cutting them off from help as one in the group disappears.

Moving between the police investigation, a hospital room, and the catastrophic weekend, The Search Party is a propulsive and twisty destination thriller about the tenuous bonds of friendship and the lengths parents will go to protect their children—perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley.


Review:

Intricate, ominous, and tight!

The Search Party is an engrossing, eerie thriller that delves into the complex bonds that exist between friends and family members and reminds us that behind all those happy, smiling faces often lies an abundance of escalating tension, simmering resentments, and devastating secrets.

The writing is taut and edgy. The characters are secretive, multilayered, and anxious. And the plot, told from alternating perspectives and using before and after timelines, is a sinister tale full of twists, turns, familial drama, secrets, lies, deception, infidelity, relationship dynamics, parenthood, reckless behaviour, swirling emotions, red herrings, vengeance, and murder.

Overall, The Search Party is a suspenseful, atmospheric, exceptionally clever tale by Richell that highlights everything is not always as it appears and is definitely one of the most gripping page-turners I’ve read in a while.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Hannah Richell

Before I became a writer, I worked in the publishing and film industries marketing books and movies. I began to write in 2007 while pregnant with my first child. The result was Secrets of the Tides, which was picked for the 2012 Richard & Judy Book Club, the Waterstones Book Club and was shortlisted for the Australian Independent Bookseller Best Debut Fiction Award, ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year (2013) and ABIA Newcomer of the Year (2013).

Since then I have written The Shadow Year (2013), The Peacock Summer (2018) and my latest novel, The River Home, which will be published in 2020. My work is available in twenty-two territories and has been translated into seventeen languages.

I have also written for a number of media outlets including Harper’s Bazaar, The Independent, Fairfax Media and Australian Women’s Weekly.

I am a dual citizen of the UK and Australia, though I currently live in the South West of England with my family.

Photograph by Claire Newman-Williams.

#BookReview The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell @MaxwellJessa @SimonSchusterCA #TheGoldenSpoon #JessaMaxwell #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Golden Spoon by Jessa Maxwell @MaxwellJessa @SimonSchusterCA #TheGoldenSpoon #JessaMaxwell #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Golden Spoon

Author: Jessa Maxwell

Published by: Atria Books on Mar. 7, 2023

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

For six amateur bakers, competing in Bake Week is a dream come true.

When they arrive at Grafton Manor to compete, they’re ready to do whatever it takes to win the ultimate The Golden Spoon.

But for the show’s famous host, Betsy Martin, Bake Week is more than just a competition. Grafton Manor is her family’s home and legacy – and Bake Week is her life’s work. It’s imperative that both continue to succeed.

But as the competition commences, things begin to go awry. At first, it’s small acts of sabotage. Someone switching sugar for salt. A hob turned far too high.

But when a body is discovered, it’s clear that for someone in the competition, The Golden Spoon is a prize worth killing for…


Review:

Fast-paced, atmospheric, and cosy!

The Golden Spoon is a crafty, ominous tale that sweeps you away to a dilapidated manor in Vermont where six contestants from all walks of life have gathered to film and compete in the reality TV show “Bake Week,” but in a group like this, where tensions are high, secrets are rife, winning is everything, and everyone has a hidden agenda, death is definitely not out of the question.

The prose is crafty and light. The characters are self-obsessed, quirky, and secretive. And the plot is an enticing, suspenseful mix of twists, turns, secrets, manipulation, sabotage, revelations, revenge, confessions, malicious intentions, and murder.

Overall, The Golden Spoon is a mysterious, amusing, satisfying treat by Maxwell that had just the right amount of suspicious personalities, zany antics, and abundance of drama to keep me engaged and entertained from start to finish.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jessa Maxwell

Jessa Maxwell is the author of The Golden Spoon and I Need You to Read This. She is also the author and illustrator of five picture books for children. Her comics and cartoons have been published in The New Yorker and The New York Times and her writing has been published in Slate, Marie Claire, and many others. She now lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island with her husband, two cats and three-legged dog.

Photo by Stephanie Ewens.

#BookReview The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger @WmKentKrueger @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #WilliamKentKrueger #TheRiverWeRemember #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger @WmKentKrueger @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #WilliamKentKrueger #TheRiverWeRemember #SimonSchusterCA Title: The River We Remember

Author: William Kent Krueger

Published by: Atria Books on Sep. 5, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 421

Format: Hardcover

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

In 1958, a small Minnesota town is rocked by the murder of its most powerful citizen, pouring fresh fuel on old grievances in this dazzling standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of This Tender Land.

On Memorial Day, as the people of Jewel, Minnesota gather to remember and honor the sacrifice of so many sons in the wars of the past, the half-clothed body of wealthy landowner Jimmy Quinn is found floating in the Alabaster River, dead from a shotgun blast. Investigation of the murder falls to Sheriff Brody Dern, a highly decorated war hero who still carries the physical and emotional scars from his military service. Even before Dern has the results of the autopsy, vicious rumors begin to circulate that the killer must be Noah Bluestone, a Native American WWII veteran who has recently returned to Jewel with a Japanese wife. As suspicions and accusations mount and the town teeters on the edge of more violence, Dern struggles not only to find the truth of Quinn’s murder but also put to rest the demons from his own past.

Caught up in the torrent of anger that sweeps through Jewel are a war widow and her adolescent son, the intrepid publisher of the local newspaper, an aging deputy, and a crusading female lawyer, all of whom struggle with their own tragic histories and harbor secrets that Quinn’s death threatens to expose.

Both a complex, spellbinding mystery and a masterful portrait of midcentury American life, The River We Remember is an unflinching look at the wounds left by the wars we fight abroad and at home, a moving exploration of the ways in which we seek to heal, and a testament to the enduring power of the stories we tell about the places we call home.


Review:

Haunting, intimate, and impactful!

The River We Remember is a gritty, moving, character-driven tale that sweeps you away to Jewel, Minnesota, during 1958 and into the lives of a handful of people, including a sheriff with a tormented past, a wealthy murder victim who seems to have had sadistic tendencies, and a suspect who the people are more than happy to convict purely due to his Dakota Sioux blood and choice of a bride.

The prose is eloquent and expressive. The characters are vulnerable, scarred, and strong. And the plot is a raw, absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, strength, bravery, hope, survival, violence, injustice, racism, abuse, gossip, suicide, community, and fear.

Overall, The River We Remember makes you think, makes you feel, and ultimately resonates long after the final page. It’s a beautifully written, sobering, memorable story by Krueger that uses extraordinary character development to weave a combination of an impressive, intricate mystery with a heartbreaking, nostalgic tale, all steeped in an abundance of tragedy, discrimination, and pain.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About William Kent Krueger

William Kent Krueger is the New York Times bestselling author of The River We Remember, This Tender LandOrdinary Grace (winner of the Edgar Award for best novel), and the original audio novella The Levee, as well as nineteen acclaimed books in the Cork O’Connor mystery series, including Lightning Strike and Fox Creek. He lives in the Twin Cities with his family.

Photo by Diane Krueger.

#BookReview Wildfire by Hannah Grace @SimonSchusterCA #Wildfire #HannahGrace #MapleHillsSeries #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview Wildfire by Hannah Grace @SimonSchusterCA #Wildfire #HannahGrace #MapleHillsSeries #SimonSchusterCA Title: Wildfire

Author: Hannah Grace

Series: Maple Hills #2

Published by: Atria Books on Oct. 3, 2023

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

The latest in the Maple Hills series follows two summer camp counselors who reconnect after a sizzling one-night stand.

Maple Hills students Russ Callaghan and Aurora Roberts cross paths at a party celebrating the end of the academic year, where a drinking game results in them having a passionate one-night stand. Never one to overstay her welcome (or expect much from a man), Aurora slips away before Russ even has the chance to ask for her full name.

Imagine their surprise when they bump into each other on the first day of the summer camp where they are both counselors, hoping to escape their complicated home lives by spending the summer working. Russ hopes if he gets far enough away from Maple Hills, he can avoid dealing with the repercussions of his father’s gambling addiction, while Aurora is tired of craving attention from everyone around her, and wants to go back to the last place she truly felt at home.

Russ knows breaking the camp’s strict “no staff fraternizing” rule will have him heading back to Maple Hills before the summer is over, but unfortunately for him, Aurora has never been very good at caring about the rules. Will the two learn to peacefully coexist? Or did their one night together start a fire they can’t put out?


Review:

Sassy, steamy, and tender!

Wildfire is a passionate, uplifting tale that features the sweet, daring Aurora Roberts and the handsome, helpful Russ Callaghan as they discover over one summer that there may be a lot more depth to their relationship than just an instant attraction, a love of sports, attending the same college, and an unforgettable one night stand.

The writing is sweet and sincere. The characters are complex, vulnerable, and supportive. And the plot is a big-hearted, engaging tale about life, love, family, friendship, misunderstandings, self-discovery, emotion, familial drama, special moments, summer fun, happiness, taking chances, and unconditional love.

Overall, Wildfire is another charming, addictive, compelling addition to the Maple Hills series by Grace that is brimming with hope, heart, healing, and heat and is a novel I absolutely adored.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Hannah Grace

Hannah Grace is an English self-labeled “fluffy comfort book” author, writing predominantly new adult and contemporary romance from her home in Manchester, England. When she’s not describing everyone’s eyes ten-thousand times a chapter, accidentally giving multiple characters the same name, or using English sayings that no one understands in her American books, you can find her hanging out with her husband and two dogs, Pig and Bear.

#BookReview What We Kept to Ourselves by Nancy Jooyoun Kim @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #NancyJooyounKim #WhatWeKeptToOurselves #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview What We Kept to Ourselves by Nancy Jooyoun Kim @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #NancyJooyounKim #WhatWeKeptToOurselves #SimonSchusterCA Title: What We kept to Ourselves

Author: Nancy Jooyoun Kim

Published by: Atria Books on Oct. 10, 2023

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

The New York Times bestselling author of the Reese’s Book Club pick The Last Story of Mina Lee returns with a timely and surprising new novel about a family’s search for answers following the disappearance of their mother.

1999: The Kim family is struggling to move on after their mother, Sunny, vanished a year ago. Sixty-one-year-old John Kim feels more isolated from his grown children, Anastasia and Ronald, than ever before. But one evening, their fragile lives are further upended when John finds the body of a stranger in the backyard, carrying a letter to Sunny, leaving the family with more questions than ever about the stranger’s history and possible connections to their mother.

1977: Sunny is pregnant and has just moved to Los Angeles from Korea with her aloof and often-absent husband. America is not turning out the way she had dreamed it to be, and the loneliness and isolation are broken only by a fateful encounter at a bus stop. The unexpected connection spans the decades and echoes into the family’s lives in the present as they uncover devastating secrets that put not only everything they thought they knew about their mother but their very lives at risk.

Both a riveting page-turner and moving family story, What We Kept to Ourselves masterfully explores the consequences of secrets between parents and children, hus­bands and wives. It is the story of one unforgettable family’s search for home when all seems lost, and a powerful meditation on identity, migration, and what it means to dream in America.


Review:

Simmering, dramatic, and sensitive!

What We Kept to Ourselves is a tender, compelling tale that sweeps you away to Los Angeles between the 1970s and 1999 and into the lives of the Korean-American Kim family as they grapple with the disappearance of the matriarch one year ago, the sudden discovery of a dead man in their backyard in possession of a letter addressed to their missing mother, and all the wounds, secrets, tears, and hurt that seem to have swirled around them forever.

The prose is fluid and smooth. The characters are bitter, troubled, and flawed. And the plot, using flashbacks and a back-and-forth style, is a captivating tale about life, loss, heartache, guilt, love, secrets, revelations, acceptance, familial drama, friendship, hope, racism, misogyny, corruption, forgiveness, introspection, and generational trauma, all interlaced with a sliver of mystery. 

Overall, What We Kept to Ourselves is a heartfelt, multilayered, timely tale by Nancy Jooyoun Kim that reminds us that families are complicated and messy, the choices we make often have far-reaching consequences, and secrets often find their way to the surface no matter how well they’re buried.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Nancy Jooyoun Kim

Nancy Jooyoun Kim is the New York Times bestselling author of What We Kept to Ourselves and The Last Story of Mina Lee, a Reese’s Book Club pick. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Photograph by Andria Lo.

#BookReview The Land of Lost Things by John Connolly @jconnollybooks @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #JohnConnolly #TheLandofLostThings #SimonSchusterCA

#BookReview The Land of Lost Things by John Connolly @jconnollybooks @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #JohnConnolly #TheLandofLostThings #SimonSchusterCA Title: The Land of Lost Things

Author: John Connolly

Series: The Book of Lost Things #2

Published by: Atria Books on Sep. 19, 2023

Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

The redemptive power of stories and family is revealed in New York Times bestselling author John Connolly’s atmospheric tale set in the same magical universe as The Book of Lost Things.

“Twice upon a time—for that is how some stories should continue…”

Phoebe, an eight-year-old girl, lies comatose following a car accident—a body without a spirit. Ceres, her mother, can only sit by her bedside and read aloud the fairy stories Phoebe loves in the hope they might summon her back to this world.

But an old house on the hospital grounds, a property connected to a book written by a vanished author, is calling to Ceres. Something wants her to enter, to journey to a land colored by the memories of childhood, and the folklore beloved of her father—a land of witches and dryads, giants and mandrakes; a land where old enemies are watching and waiting…

The Land of Lost Things.


Review:

Magical, memorable, and fresh!

The Land of Lost Things is a creative, moving, adventurous novel that takes you into the life of Ceres, a young mother who, after her daughter is involved in a tragic accident that leaves her in a coma and struggling for life, finds herself spending her days reading out loud the fairy tales her daughter once loved until a visit to an old property on the grounds sends her to another world, Elsewhere, where the crooked man once reigned, the fae hide patiently in wait, the dwarfs diligently work, the giants are friends to some and foe to others, and where Ceres will have to fight all kinds of wickedness to find her way back to the light and her ever-sleeping daughter.

The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are resourceful, dependable, and fearless. And the plot, using stories within a story, sweeps you away into an engaging, action-packed, heartfelt tale about life, loss, friendship, family, power, heartbreak, parenthood, tragedy, action, loneliness, danger, the magic of books, and love.

Overall, The Land of Lost Things is a unique, immersive, fantastical tale by Connolly that is a beautiful reminder that life is a story, and whether it’s short, long, light, dark, filled with joy or filled with pain, it always has spirit and hope.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

             

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About John Connolly

John Connolly is the author of the #1 internationally bestselling Charlie Parker thrillers series, the supernatural collection Nocturnes, the Samuel Johnson Trilogy for younger readers, and (with Jennifer Ridyard) the Chronicles of the Invaders series. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.