Give It Back – Danielle Esplin

This novel was one I picked up because it was free with Kindle Unlimited (my new favorite subscription). I was pleasantly surprised. I definitely give this novel an A+.

Ella and Lorraine are sisters who have overcome difficult childhoods to become successful, and Lexy is an au pair for Lorraine’s two children, sixteen-year-old Logan and eight-month-old Samuel. Lorraine is already dealing with an unfaithful now-ex-husband as well as her grim diagnosis when her life unravels even further. Lexy is a young, beautiful au pair that has more than a few skeletons in her closet. Ella is struggling to deal with her sister’s illness. Give It Back follows the story of Lexy and Logan’s suspicious disappearance from the perspective of the three women. Twists and turns are abundant in this novel, and the ending gave me quite the surprise. I thought I’d read just about every decent plot twist, but this one kept me on my toes. I had no clue who to suspect until the last minute. If you want a good thriller that makes you feel like you’re there observing, and that keeps you guessing, this one is for you.

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KM – Revival – Stephen King

From now on, I’ll be forgoing the normal rating system,  and switching into a simpler “grading system”.
For this novel, I’d give it a B.

Starting out in the 1960’s, Revival follows Jamie Morton through life, from a young, naive child of 6, to an adult on the other side of fifty.

As a six year old in a small town, Jamie first meets Charles Jacobs, the new reverend who came to town as a young man with a young wife and small child. Reverend Jacobs introduces Jamie to his fascination with electricity and its many uses. Little did Jamie know, that small introduction would balloon out of control and become his “fifth business” that would affect the rest of his life.

After tragedy strikes, Reverend Jacobs doesn’t fare well. Not too long after, he is fired from his position as minister in the small town church. Jamie sadly thinks he will never see him again, but he couldn’t be so lucky. Jacobs will haunt him for the rest of his life.

The rest of our lives… many of us have at least a vague idea of how it will go. However, what comes after that? Heaven? Hell? Or is it something we’ve never even imagined? To what lengths will a man go just to know?

This latest novel by King was outstanding…until the end. As a lifelong fan of King, I was impressed with the novel… until the end. I won’t deny there was an M. Knight Shamalan-esque wrap up to it. Great character development,  believable dialogue, great details. The ending was lacking. If you choose to read it, be ready for a wild ride, but be warned of the ending.

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KM – The Gatekeepers Sons – Eva Poehler

Title: The Gatekeeper’s Sons

Author: Eva Poehler

Series: Yes, 1st in the series

Category: Supernatural / Mythology / Action

Length: 385 pages

My rating: 9/10

Fifteen year old Therese was in the car with her parents during the fatal accident that killed them both. In real life, she is shy, quiet, unassuming. However, while in a coma in the hospital, she dreams of two men who are incredibly handsome, and decides, since she’s dreaming after all, she may as well do whatever she feels inclined to, even kissing both guys. Little does she know, she’s in the dream state that is somewhat real, and the guys she is tantalizing are Hypnos and Thanatos, the Gods of Sleep and Death, respectively.

Thanatos tries to make a deal with his father, Hades, in order to join the human realm and make Therese fall in love with him, so that he might take her as a bride. When Therese finds him working at her best friend’s farm, she is taken aback, and wondering how she could have dreamed about this man before ever seeing him, and he seems to act as though there’s some big joke going on. Was her dream real?

Overall, Therese ends up in the high court of the Gods and is forced to be put in an arena with the man who killed her parents to prove her worthiness. Can she do it? Can she deal out justice for the man who took her life away from her, and win the right to be with Thanatos, or will she falter? After all, she is only human.

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KM – Night Shift – Stephen King

Title: Night Shift

Author: Stephen King

Series: No

Category: Short Story Anthology / Horror

Length: 368 pages

My rating: 9/10

This anthology of short stories by King includes 20 stories that were published in smaller venues, such as magazines, over a ten year period. From Jerusalem’s Lot, to Sometimes They Come Back, to Children of the Corn, to The Woman in the room, be prepared for a thrill ride that will keep you up all night reading! Stephen King is one of the most brilliant authors of our generation, and several generations so far. If you’re seeking a book full of bite-sized thrillers, this is the the one for you!

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KM- Freud’s Revenge – PJ Adams

Title: Freud’s Revenge

Author: PJ Adams

Series: No

Category: Psychological Thriller/ Mystery / Murder

Length: 298 pages

My rating: 9/10

In a private practice mental health clinic, Amanda is a psychologist that has seen just about everything, until one Monday morning, all hell breaks loose. A patient has a meltdown in the lobby, causing quite the stir among the other people at the clinic, and shaking up the staff. It’s not the first time it’s happened. However, a few days later, the clinic’s only psychiatrist winds up dead from an apparent murder. That is a first for the clinic. The detectives, headed by Nick, who has worked with Amanda in the past, have their work cut out for them during the investigation.
Who killed the slightly eccentric, annoying doctor? Was it Nancy, the bold, strong woman who couldn’t stand him? Was it the power couple that owned the clinic trying to “clean up a mess” before allegations came to light? Was it Carl, the patient who had a break down in the lobby? One of the interns? Or was it a patient whom he’d had committed, coming to take revenge?
Follow the twists and turns of the investigation and everyone’s dirty laundry is aired.

I quite enjoyed this one. Being a psychology student, I enjoyed the information that was given throughout the book. The characters were well developed and the story line was solid. Even I couldn’t have guessed the ending!

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KM – Essie’s House – Robert Meyerson

Title: Essie’s House

Author: Robert Meyerson

Series: No

Category: Supernatural / Psychological Thriller

Length: 263 pages

My rating: 7/10

Brenda and Gary are a typical couple facing today’s problems. Brenda is unhappy with her job, and due to the current economy, Gary is out of work completely. One day, their unsatisfied, but routine lives are shaken up when Brenda gets a call from a Mr. Higgins, who was supposedly the attorney to her Uncle Jacob. Learning her uncle has passed on, Brenda yearns for the lost chance to get to know her uncle, though he left his entire estate to her.
Uncle Jacob ran an antiques and salvage company. The building that he has willed to Brenda seems daunting to the couple as they move in and try to sort through the strange, vast amount of junk, antiquities, and oddities. Little do they know, there’s more to the building than just items, and there’s more to the items than the mere substance of them. Strange events start occurring, which leads to secrets, long buried, deep resurfacing, and the couple must battle for their sanity…and their lives.

This wasn’t one of my favorites, but it wasn’t terrible. I feel as though there was something missing in the middle of the novel, when things start to change, as if the descent to madness wasn’t very convincing. It also left quite a few things unexplained, which highly annoys me. It was worth the read, but would never make it to the “favorite” list.

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KM- Her Name Was Bitter: A Memoir – Mara D. Johnson

Title: Her Name Was Bitter: A Memoir

Author: Mara D. Johnson

Series: No

Category: Coming of Age/ Autobiography

Length: 259 pages

My rating: 10/10

 

 

*************DISCLAIMER: This book is not for the faint of heart, nor is this review. It deals with many different topics that are quite controversial. **************

This is one that I stumbled upon by accident, but it was definitely considered a good accident.

This is the story of Mara. She’s everything a little girl is supposed to be. A daughter, a sister, a niece, a cousin, a grandchild. However, she is only those things in title. The family around her is oblivious to the things she goes through. A mother who has abandoned her, a father that is in and out of abusive relationships and prison, and an extended family who only uses her as a servant, unless one member of the family is molesting her. She faces her first pregnancy at 13, and forced to hide her pregnancy by the family, and put the baby up for adoption. As she grows up, things in life seem slated against her, one trouble after another befall her. Multiple pregnancies, abortions, drugs, alcohol all lead to her destruction. However, like a Phoenix, through every fire, she rises. She goes from a child who has been molested and has no direction in life or even where she’ll live the next week, to an entrepreneur, to a successful business woman, to the woman she is today. It shows that nearly anything can be overcome, and that in the end, persistence pays off. It also teaches there will be frogs to kiss before the prince arrives, and many of them can be disgusting.

This book was a real eye-opener for me. I have not been gifted with a life of pleasure and smooth sailing, but compared to this young woman, it changed my outlook. There’s always someone who has it worse than I do. I have had it quite easy compared to Mrs. Johnson. I had never even seen this closely into a situation of that nature, but reading this, I felt her pain. The words she poured out were the equivalent of blood and tears, though from the memoir, she’s shed enough of them already. I salute this woman for being strong, persistent, and respectable.

 

 

 

Memorable quotes – “Sometimes there is no wrong or right in feelings. You just feel the way you feel. You may not even like how you feel, but it doesn’t change that you feel that way.”

“I did not respect or listen to what people had to say, mostly because the only thing that was universal in humanity was imperfection.”

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