Tag Archives: Fiction

The Sky Above Us by Natalie Lund – My Review

Title: The Sky Above Us

Author: Natalie Lund

Release Date: April 13th 2021

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

From the author of We Speak in Storms comes a twisty, psychological thriller about three friends searching for the truth in the aftermath of a plane crash.

The morning after their senior year beach party, Izzy, Cass, and Janie are woken by a thundering overhead. Then they and their classmates watch in shock as a plane crashes into the water. When the passengers are finally recovered, they are identified as Izzy’s twin brother, Israel, Cass’s ex-boyfriend, Shane, and Janie’s best friend, Nate. But Izzy can feel when her brother is in pain, and she knows he’s not really dead. So she, Cass, and Janie set out to discover what actually happened that day–and why the boys were on the plane.

Told in alternating timelines and points of view, this powerful and captivating novel follows the three boys in the weeks leading up to that fateful flight, and the girls they left behind as they try to piece together the truth about the boys they loved and thought they knew. A spellbinding story about the ripple effects of tragedy, the questions we leave unanswered, and the enduring power of friendship.

Loss. Grief. 

It’s never easy losing a loved one. The pain that comes from the emptiness you feel, is very hard to bear. Three deaths. No answers.

I was not expecting such a heavy story. I didn’t feel like this story was a thriller. A lot happens within each person’s life and we get a peek into what each person is dealing with. The choices they make/made and how they affected everyone around them. Mental illness is mentioned and I liked that. Too many shy away from that topic but it is a real thing affecting many people every day. While I enjoyed the story, I felt like there was too much going on. Too many characters. I didn’t connect with many of them. 

This is a good YA story and while I expected a thriller, I got a different kind of story and I enjoyed it. This is my first Natalie Lund book and I enjoyed her writing. I will look for more works by her. I give this 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Lake of Darkness: A Novel by Scott Kenemore – My Review

Title: Lake of Darkness: A Novel

Author: Scott Kenemore

Release Date: May 5th 2020

Genre: African American, Horror, Fiction

An Alternate History in which Power, Crime, and the Supernatural Intersect on the South Side of Chicago 

During the First World War, on the South Side of Chicago, officer Joe “Flip” Flippity has begun an investigation into a serial decapitationist who is hunting young children. At a time when African American officers are rendered second-class by prejudicial policies, Flip is nonetheless called upon by the mayor of the city—the legendary Big Bill Thompson himself—and a host of powerful city fathers, to thwart this murderer who threatens to destroy the city’s reputation as a safe haven for those making the Great Migration north.

While searching to catch his killer—and to discover why the most powerful men in Chicago are truly concerned about the murders of poor black refugees—Flip’s bloody trail takes him through the South Side’s vice districts (where anything is available for a price), across its most dangerous criminal underbellies, and into a bracing and unexpected world of supernatural horror.

As Flip digs deeper in his quest to protect the city’s most vulnerable, he stumbles upon more mysterious murders, confounding psychological puzzles, and terrifying hints of something “other” that may reach across from unknowable distances to guide the hand of a killer. It soon becomes apparent that all is not as it seems, and that mysterious and powerful forces are conspiring to stand in Flip’s way.

A combination of detective thriller, cosmic horror, and historical fiction, Lake of Darkness takes us to the deepest and darkest places in Chicago’s very dark history.

The cover of this book caught my eye. I had to know more about it. Horror? Thriller? YES PLEASE!! 

This book was fantastic!! It kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The story is set in Chicago. Way way back in time but also in an alternate timeline. I did feel transported to a different time while reading. I LOVE when that happens! Ah to get lost in the pages of a book is truly satisfying. Joe “Flip” Flippity is tasked with solving some disturbing crimes being committed. He has a long road ahead of him but he meets people along the way and together they set out to find clues. 

Both the story and characters are well written. I love the no nonsense way about Joe but as you read more, you realize there’s much more going on behind the mask he wears. That goes for most of the characters in the book. I also loved the mystery to some of them. It made me want to read more. There are many twists and turns and I dig that I didn’t see any of them coming. 

This book did not disappoint! I highly recommend if you’re a fan of a good horror/thriller. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and will be looking for more of his work. I give this 5 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*


Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin – My Review

Title: Happy and You Know It

Author: Laura Hankin

Release Date: May 19th 2020

Genre: Fiction

A dark, witty page-turner about a struggling young musician who takes a job singing for a playgroup of overprivileged babies and their effortlessly cool moms, only to find herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets….

After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for wealthy infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.

There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her flawless life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the stylish women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.

Filled with humor and shocking twists, Happy and You Know It is a brilliant take on motherhood – exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women – while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, and the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.

This book is one of those unexpected surprise reads that I ended up enjoying.

I started the book and was kind of iffy. These women were a little annoying. I couldn’t relate to most of them. I gave it a chance and kept going. I am SO glad that I did! While some of the characters were annoying to start, I had changed my mind about most of them by the end. There are twists and turns I didn’t see coming. That is what made this book enjoyable for me. I love when I don’t see how a book is going to end! The author had a plan and I am glad I stuck it out! Secrets, lies, and deceit make for a pretty good read. 

I am open to reading more from this author and look forward to seeing what she releases next. I give this 4 stars. 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*