Posted in Reviews

Review: A Lily in the Light by Kristin Fields

A Lily in the LightA Lily in the Light by Kristin Fields

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4, because I really did enjoy this book.

This book is less of a thriller/mystery, and more of a family drama. There is a central, important mystery- the disappearance of a young girl – but the story deals more with how it affects those who remain and how it shapes their actions into the future, than with actual possibilities for her fate.

Lily disappeared from her family’s Queens apartment one night and changed her family’s world forever. Esme, the main character, is forced to examine her priorities and how she can move on, using her love of ballet to help get her through. All the while, her family begins to crumble around her. About halfway through, the novel jumps eight years into the future, when a phone call from her older sister shakes Esme, now a successful ballerina, to the core.

The book really is suspenseful, in that it is quite a mystery how a little 4-year-old girl just walks out of her apartment and seemingly disappears into thin air. I mean, how is that not a complicated mystery that you just can’t wait to be solved? But the central storyline isn’t really about what happened to Lily, but how her remaining family members just wilt under the strain of the emotional aftermath. They desperately search for her, while they really seem to lose each other in the process. That’s what makes the book so emotional and realistic. It’s a heavy, heavy situation that everyone hopes they will never have to go through and can’t imagine how to move on if it did.

Esme is a great character, but I felt like she was a bit more mature than an 11-year-old would have been, though I guess everyone’s situation is different. There were times I definitely had to remind myself that she was only 11, not 15 or 16. And the emotional strain, especially as she prepares to perform a ballet that reminds her of her younger sister, is so realistic, i was absolutely gripped.

Overall, I think this was a great book, though I wish there was maybe a little more focus on the mystery itself and more tension created there, rather than with the family itself. The novel felt so heavy in parts, it was really very emotional and almost draining. But I did enjoy this book and it was very powerful. Just know what you’re walking into.

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Posted in Reviews

#BlogTour: YouWill Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon

About the Book

He wakes up on a deserted beach in Maryland, wearing only swim trunks and a gash on his head. He can’t remember who he is. Everything—his identity, his life, his loved ones—has been replaced by a dizzying fog of uncertainty. But returning to his Maine hometown in search of the truth raises more questions than answers.

Lily Reid thinks she knows her boyfriend, Jack. Until he goes missing one night, and her frantic search reveals that he’s been lying to her since they met, desperate to escape a dark past he’d purposely left behind.

Maya Scott has been trying to find her estranged stepbrother, Asher, since he disappeared without a trace. Having him back, missing memory and all, feels like a miracle. But with a mutual history full of devastating secrets, how far will Maya go to ensure she alone takes them to the grave?

My Review

You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story is a dark and dismal tale right from the very beginning, when a man wakes up alone on a beach with no memory of who he is and only a vague feeling that he should head toward Maine. Luckily for him, he finds a trailer with Maine plates nearby and he “hitches a ride,” and off he goes into a world he disappeared from two years prior, where at least one person seems to want him back too much (his stepsister Maya) and others want to get rid of him, thanks to old rumors surrounding the mysterious disappearance of one young woman and the death of another.

As he is trying to deal with all of that, his current girlfriend, who also mildly obsessed with him, tracks him down, and all hell breaks loose.

Needless to say, in all this mess, it’s really hard to know who to root for, if anyone. Everyone is hiding things, and everyone is really shady. Like, everyone. Tragedy seems to be around every character and secrets and lies are the only thing keeping them from spilling over into everyday life. It’s a huge mess.

From all of this, you can probably gather that the ending is intense to say the least. It’s a thrill ride from the moment the climax hits to the epilogue. The reveals come fast and furious and things quickly heat up. As soon as you think you have. A handle on things, BAM! They change.

I can’t say every twist was a total shock, but I was totally into it. This was a dark thrill ride and I loved every moment of it. If you like stories with a bit of a Single White Female vibe, this story is for you.

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About the Author

Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. After a successful career in recruitment, she quit the corporate world in favor of writing, and is now the author of The Neighbors, Her Secret Son, and Sister Dear. 

She lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons, and is delighted by her twenty-second commute.

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Check out an excerpt of You Will Remember Me after the jump!

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