Tag Archives: Mystery

Review: Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever
By Joshilyn Jackson
William Morrow, 9780062855312, July 2019, 352pp.

The Short of It:

I love a good secret and this book has many.

The Rest of It:

Amy Whey is a Florida housewife with a past. A past that she’s kept well-hidden until a short-term neighbor makes an appearance at her book club and plays her version of the game Never Have I Ever. Amy immediately notes that something is amiss. This stranger knows something about her past and she has to find out what or risk losing everything she has; two beautiful kids, a loving husband and a beautiful home in a great neighborhood not to mention her best friend, Charlotte.

This neighborhood has no idea what it’s in for with its picture-perfect inhabitants, manicured hedges, and this one new addition who is up to no good but it makes for excellent reading. From page one, I was hooked and surprisingly, it’s not predictable. There were some surprises thrown in which I always appreciate.

I think this author is typically known for southern fiction but this reads like a mystery and I enjoyed it very much. Jackson’s depiction of women in this demographic is pretty spot-on too but I can tell she had a little fun with it as well.

Overall, it’s a solid, entertaining read.

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

Review: Sunburn

Sunburn

Sunburn
By Laura Lippman
William Morrow & Company, 9780062389923, February 2018, 304pp.

The Short of It:

Manipulation & motive will keep you guessing with this one.

The Rest of It:

Sunburn has gotten a lot of buzz and for good reason. It has a cold, rather calculated protagonist. One that you can’t quite figure out which makes this read hard to put down.

Pauline walks away from her husband and child while on vacation. She heads to a small town, finds a job in a small little bar, puts herself up in a modest apartment, reinvents herself as “Polly”,  and then… falls in love.

Why has she walked away from her family? Why has a private investigator been hired to track her? Who is paying for his services? What is Pauline hiding? Plenty.

What makes this a fascinating read is Pauline. She is like a cat. She always lands on her feet no matter what she’s been dealt but she’s not always likable. Guys seem to like her, which she uses to her advantage but women? No. Women do not like her and this is where she finds herself challenged.

I think Lippman spent quite a bit of time developing Pauline’s character. She’s very complex. I found myself not liking her but then I would turn a page and I’d get a glimmer of something similar to like. She is a very strong character and personality and yet there is a vulnerability to her which makes the story plausible.

Sunburn is not a perfect read. There are some stereotypes and moments where you’ll question some of the plot lines,  but all this year I have been reading books that have been pegged as page-turners and this one definitely falls into that category. I guess you could call it a mystery but I didn’t see it as such.

That said, I liked it quite a bit.

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