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Review: The Fall of Lisa Bellow

The Fall of Lisa Bellow

The Fall of Lisa Bellow
By Susan Perabo
Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781476761466, March 14, 2017, 352pp.

The Short of It:

A tense, finely orchestrated tale of what happens to a person when guilt works its way through you from the inside out.

The Rest of It:

Everyone has known a “Lisa Bellow” in their lifetime. Lisa is that pretty girl who can wear a pair of ugly shoes and somehow make them fashionable. She’s the girl who every other girl strives to be and she knows it. She can cut you down with a look or a couple of words and no matter how confident you are, the hurt takes its toll.

This is the story of Lisa and Meredith, victims of a sandwich shop robbery. Both, told to hit the floor. Both, scared for their lives. Only one taken as a hostage. As Lisa is forced to leave with the robber, Meredith stays on the ground, fearful for her life but is that the only reason she chooses to remain there?

The Fall of Lisa Bellow was a perfect read for me. It had everything I like in a book and then that human nature thing kicked in and I could not put it down. I kept asking myself, “Where is Lisa? Is she alive? Is it just a set-up? Where in God’s name can she be?” I mean, this story really worked my brain but in a totally good way.

Meredith, is also a victim. She’s the one left behind and the one who bears the weight of Lisa’s disappearance and it’s heartbreaking. HEARTBREAKING, I tell you! Her memory of the event is not reliable and she questions what would have happened if she had done something differently. Meredith’s mother is protective of her but also feels a sense of guilt as Lisa’s mom continually makes contact with them and with Lisa’s friends, all in a desperate attempt to keep Lisa in her life.

This author gets into each character’s head and really stirs things up. I’m talking childhood memories, hateful feelings, jealousy and spite and no matter how shocking some of it is, it’s not all that shocking given the circumstances. I could relate to every single person in this story and that’s rare. My heart ached for so many of these characters.

You know how hard it is to turn the last page of a novel you love? I think I read the last page at least three times. Get yourself a copy.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Most Dangerous Place On Earth

The Most Dangerous Place On Earth

The Most Dangerous Place On Earth
By Lindsey Lee Johnson
Random House, Hardcover, 9780812997279, January 10, 2017, 288pp.

The Short of It:

From the first few pages I was immediately drawn in.

The Rest of It:

The title is very dramatic, isn’t it? Dramatic, but fitting because the most dangerous place on earth is…

High School.

This story is about a high school in a very affluent neighborhood on the outskirts of San Francisco. For the most part, the kids are well-off and smart but Johnson puts all of their flaws on display. The need for acceptance is front and center but there is a thick layer of regret within these young students which the author explores one by one.

Johnson does not spare the adults in this story. The teachers, the parents, the administrators are also included and have their own battles surrounding acceptance and fitting in. Some of their situations literally had me squirming from the inappropriateness of it all but man did it make for good reading.

I loved this book. Johnson absolutely nails the pressures of high school and pending adulthood. I would not classify this as YA in case anyone is wondering. I hope you pick it up because it was really good.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.