Tag Archives: Berkley

Review: The Sun Down Motel

The Sun Down Motel 
By Simone St. James
Berkley, 9780440000174, February 2020, 336pp.

The Short of It:

This story was good, spooky fun.

The Rest of It:

The Sun Down Motel is a run down motel that’s stuck in the 80s. It’s the type of motel people stay at when they are up to no good, or want to disappear for awhile. Vivian Delaney gets a job as the night clerk and after a few terrifying experiences, and the appearance of ghosts, she does a little digging and realizes that the motel is housing some secrets of its own.

Just when she is beginning to figure it all out, she goes missing. Never to be found with no closure for her family at all.

Fast forward 35 years. Carly, the niece of Vivian Delaney watched her own mother die without any closure for Vivian’s death. Although the two sisters were not close, it bothered Carly that a person could just go missing, without a trace so she decides to investigate on her own which lands her a job at the very same motel. Nothing has changed at the Sun Down. Not the decor, not the emptiness of its rooms, or the dead people that come out at night to roam its floors.

This book was so good and lots of fun to read. There is a supernatural element, a mystery to solve, a serial killer and the creepiness of the motel itself made for some fun bedtime reading. I normally don’t like stories that jump from the past to the present but this was handled so well and I literally read at a snail’s pace because I didn’t want it to end.

One other thing I really enjoyed is that the story is peppered with Stephen King references, his books mainly. I counted at least five. If you enjoy that sort of thing you will be giddy with happiness when you discover another mention. Simone St. James must be a huge fan.

I had not read this author before but I happen to have her previous book on my Kindle, The Broken Girls. Have you read either one? I highly recommend The Sun Down Motel.

I read this for the R.I.P. Challenge.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: What Alice Forgot

What Alice Forgot
By Liane Moriarty
Berkley, 9780425247440, 2012, 496pp.

The Short of It:

Took some time for me to get into this one but once I was in, I was IN. Moriarty is a storytelling queen.

The Rest of It:

Alice faints during a spin class and upon waking, realizes that she’s lost ten years of memories. She doesn’t remember having children, or that she’s in the process of divorcing her husband Nick. She has no idea why she’s at the gym at all having shunned exercise for most of her life and how can she be 39 years old when she was 29 just a little while ago? One other thing that she can’t remember is the death of her best friend Gina, who played such a large role in Alice’s life.

The first quarter of the book was bordering on silly but was also humorous and entertaining. Alice’s realizations about life as those around her continue to fill in the gaps, got some giggles out of me but can you imagine not remembering your kids or your husband?

Memory-challenged Alice finds that she’s not all that likable. She’s lost friends, alienated her husband and grown apart from her sister. She was this driven, busy person who did all the things class moms do but in total excess. Now, as she looks around at things she can’t make sense of, she wonders why? Why is she getting a divorce? What went wrong?

This turned out to be a very touching story about a woman who is given a chance to turn things around. Plus, it’s not just about Alice, it’s about her sister Elisabeth and her family and how the past few years have created a lot of tension, but perhaps the damage can be repaired.

I really ended up liking What Alice Forgot. It’s not as dishy as Big Little Lies and it didn’t center around a suburb like Truly Madly Guilty, but it was sweetly sentimental and I was satisfied when I turned the last page. It’s been optioned for a movie, actually has been for some time but I don’t see any mention of it actually being in production.

Have you read it? It does give you some food for thought and the questions in the back of my copy confirmed for me that it would make a good discussion book too.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.