Sunday, March 24, 2019

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson is a thriller, literary fiction and women's contemporary fiction all at once. Take the best characteristics of those genres, add the author's uniquely beautiful voice, mix in her beautifully unique protagonists, a role-model heroine (with a very imperfect past), a high-adrenaline plot and deep issues, and there you have it. A book that's shaping up to be the best one I've read in the last 12 months.

Joshilyn Jackson's writing voice is so ensnaring, that it almost doesn't matter what she chooses to write about: adoption, racial issues, quilting, mysterious boxes in the attic or, as is the case with Never Have I Ever, a small town mothers' book club and the guilty secrets its members hide.

The premise is straight-forward: what if you had a secret so big that exposing it would risk losing everything, from your children through your husband to your best friend? What if someone blackmailed you?

I know what you think. You expect the next line to be: How far would you go to silence them? Right? And yet, that's not the point of the book at all.

Never Have I Ever is about families, dysfunctional parents and good stepmoms. It's about friendships and eating disorders and first love. It's about scuba diving and forgiveness.

And yes, it's also about playing the game. The action moves at a truly thriller-like pace, with many unexpected-yet-in-hind-sight-totally-logical twists.

You will fall in love with the characters. You will wish the book were a lot longer. And if this is your first Joshilyn Jackson, you will be reaching for another one. Guaranteed.



Thursday, March 14, 2019

Monday, March 11, 2019

Eight Lives by Susan Hurley

Wow, what a book! Clever yet immensely accessible, written in a fresh voice (or is it voices?) of very diverse characters - no matter whose head you're in, you like that character, even if it's only for the duration of their narrative. A psychological thriller, a why-dunnit, call it what you will, but be sure to read it. Un.Put.Down.Able.