Tag Archives: Simon & Schuster

Review: Falling

Falling

Falling
By T.J. Newman
Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster, 9781982177881, July 6, 2021, 304pp.

The Short of It:

Lots of hype over this book!! Turned down 41 times before getting published, I can happily tell you that it’s the page turner you want right now.

The Rest of It:

There are 143 passengers on board headed to New York. What they don’t know is that their pilot’s family has been kidnapped and unless he brings the plane down according to the orders he’s been given, his wife and two children will be killed.

Captain Bill Hoffman decides right then and there, that they will NOT kill his family and he will NOT crash the plane. Although he’s told not to alert his crew, he doesn’t see how it can be avoided. He owes it to the passengers to have every chance at survival that they can have.

What a ride.

What you will notice right away is that there is an air of authenticity to the story and that’s probably because T.J. Newman spent years as a flight attendant. The attention to detail puts the reader right on the plane with those passengers. You are in the galley, in the jump seat, scrambling through the cabin trying to save lives. It’s riveting.

Some of the story may not seem plausible but at the same time, given limited means, it’s what the average person would do in that same situation. The last quarter of the book gave me high blood pressure and I could not put it down.

This is what you want in a thriller. Characters you care about, a fast pace, a seemingly impossible situation. It’s good. Throw this in your beach bag and you won’t leave the beach until you’ve turned the last page.

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

Review: The Need

The Need

The Need
By Helen Phillips
Simon & Schuster, 9781982113162, July 2019, 272pp.

The Short of It:

I’d be lying if I said I fully understood everything that went on in this novel.

The Rest of It:

Molly is a scientist. I believe a paleobotonist if I’m remembering correctly. She spends her day analyzing fossils and giving tours to people curious about her team’s findings. Of late, some strange things have shown up in the pit, including an alternative Bible where God is a “she”, a shiny penny, and some pottery pieces. These items are odd enough to draw an interesting crowd. Religious fanatics begin to show up along with dozens of pieces of hate mail.

When not at work, Molly is completely overwhelmed by motherhood. One morning, while her husband is away on business, she finds herself scrambling for safety within her own home when an intruder shows up and threatens the well-being of herself and her two young children.  An intruder, wearing a deer’s head mask.

This is a bizarre read. It’s labeled as speculative fiction and I would agree with that. I honestly did not know what the heck was going on. Is Molly out of her mind? Is she dead? Dreaming?  On drugs? What? In a short amount of time, the identity of the intruder is revealed and then it gets REALLY weird.

Without giving anything away, I will say that if the point of the novel is to emphasize how motherhood can completely overtake you and change you both physically and mentally, then Helen Phillips accomplished that. Molly’s adventures in motherhood completely drain her. She is literally sucked dry by her breastfeeding son, and her daughter’s astute observations of what is going on serve to remind Molly just how much her brain has turned to mush since becoming a mother. This part, is very accurate.

But the rest of the story is very Twilight Zone-ish and odd. Some of it was disturbing to read only because it made me uncomfortable. Much of it is raw and blunt. The scientific element was interesting but not fully explored. I hesitate to say that this would be a good book for a club to discuss because I can see many hating it. Especially those who have never been a mom. But, it’s odd enough and pieced together in such a way that it warrants a discussion. In that sense, it would be great book to discuss.

Have any of you read it? From the cover, I thought the story would be about alien plants. Seriously.

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