The Suspect by Fiona Barton

The Suspect by Fiona Barton

Published by Berkley Books on January 22, 2019. Classified as Mystery & Thriller. Received via Edelweiss as an eARC. 

 

 

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry. 

 

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years since he left home to go traveling. This time it’s personal.

 

And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think . . .

[su_spoiler title=”→ Trigger Warnings!” style=”simple”]Death, violence.[/su_spoiler]

[su_button url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BMV45V8/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07BMV45V8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2″ target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#eba960″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON AMAZON[/su_button] [su_button url=”https://www.bookdepository.com/Suspect-Fiona-Barton/9781787630222?ref=grid-view&qid=1547368379082&sr=1-12?a_aid=artsydraft” target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#6e7d75″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON BOOK DEPOSITORY[/su_button]

Artsy Draft receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above.

★★★½

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]REVIEW[/su_heading]

The Suspect was a steady thrilling story with a back and forth story telling and multiple POVs. This is my first time to read Fiona Barton’s work, so I’m not sure if this is her earmark, but I enjoyed it. I’ve read a few books with the similar style that turned up to be pretty bad, because it ended up to be confusing rather than interesting. But for The Suspect, I’d say that it works perfectly.


“Two teenage girl backpackers in Thailand have been reported missing by their families.”

The only problem that I have is the mysteries was unsolved way too fast and bit by bit. Not exactly my favorable way to find out who’s the bad guy is. Hence, I can also predict most of the story line since the earlier chapters and it totally lessen the mystery and thrilling essence.

She’s ruining everything. I could kill her.

But other than too fast to reveal mystery, I’m okay with the other aspects of this book. The characters was interesting enough to keep me attached to each of their own story and motive, the relationship between the protagonists and antagonists was quite dynamic and the mixing of objectivity and subjectivity was at the right balance. It’s a pretty good suspense story. However, this book doesn’t amaze me.  I’m not sure whether I’ll read other works from Barton, but I saw a few reviews saying that The Widow and The Child was better than this book, so I might pick it up later in the future.

[su_button url=”https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BMV45V8/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B07BMV45V8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2″ target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#eba960″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON AMAZON[/su_button] [su_button url=”https://www.bookdepository.com/Suspect-Fiona-Barton/9781787630222?ref=grid-view&qid=1547368379082&sr=1-12?a_aid=artsydraft” target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#6e7d75″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON BOOK DEPOSITORY[/su_button]

Artsy Draft receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above.

Image credits: Jacky ZengSérgio Alves Santos

The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes

The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes

Published by Bookouture on November 22, 2018. Classified as Mystery & Thriller. Received via NetGalley as an eARC.

When Ella wakes up in a hospital following a hit-and-run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon… But Ella has never been married.

In fact, she has lived alone her whole adult life; working hard, rarely socialising, quietly harbouring a terrible secret from her past. Fear sweeps through Ella when she instantly recognises the man who enters the ward. He is not her husband, but she knows that she must do as he says and play the part of dutiful wife.

What choice does she have? He was there the night of the fire, he knows her secret too…

[su_spoiler title=”→ Trigger Warnings!” style=”simple”]Abduction, blood, death, rapes, violence.[/su_spoiler]

[su_button url=”https://amzn.to/2QZlZtv” target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#eba960″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON AMAZON[/su_button] [su_button url=”https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Liar-s-Wife/9781786816696?a_aid=artsydraft” target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#6e7d75″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON BOOK DEPOSITORY[/su_button]

Artsy Draft receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above.

★★★★★

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]REVIEW[/su_heading]

I haven’t read an utterly satisfying thriller in years (well, except And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, but she’s a legend already so you know what I meant), so I’m really glad to found this one. I’m not going to lie, my first impression when I saw the title, cover and summary is… ‘Okay. Shari Lapena’s major vibes here’. Well, guess what? It’s not Shari Lapena. It’s better. And let me explain why.

Work, home, sleep.

We started with our main character, Ella, who’s very close about her life. She doesn’t have friends in her office, even after working there for couple of years. A nice guy from the office, Liam, seems to always want to be her friend. However, even after getting approached multiple times and got ask to hangout (non-romantically), Ella still ignored him, politely of course. There are hints here and there that showed us Ella actually wants to make friends and socialize, but something always stopped her. She has a secret, a dark one, that stop her from being her old, happy self. So, Ella continued her life. Work, home, sleep. A bit of embroidery as a hobby. Her life is a repeating pattern, even her flat’s neighbor noticed her cores without needing to talk to her. Until one day, when she was on her way back from the office, she got hit by a van and woke up in a hospital… with someone from her past. And he knows her secret too.

Earlier chapters showed us a quick throwback scenes to Ella & Maggie’s life in university. Maggie is Ella’s only best friend and these throwback chapters are actually my favorites, since I got to learn a little bit more about Ella, something that I can’t do from her present self. In these throwback chapters, we also got hints about people from Ella’s past, like Zach, the guy Ella used to date, Zach’s friends, a random creep that also went to the same college, and also Harry, Ella’s twin brother. These throwback chapters was also acts as clues that guided us to Ella’s secret. It was very comforting to read these chapters since you’ll witness that Ella used to be cheerful and carefree. But it was also intense at the same time, because in these chapters, there are probably important details that will point to Ella’s secret, but you’ll never know which one it is until you got the end of the story.

She’d had enough of feeling different, of always being the girl who didn’t join in. 

I’m usually a fan of dynamic pace when it comes to mystery/thriller. Something slow and stable is usually not working for me. I either got lazy because I feel there’s nothing ever going to be happened and continued to read half-heartedly, or I carelessly decided, so early, that I don’t enjoy the book. And I know, this is a bad habit but I’m working on it. However, The Liar’s Wife was a bit stagnant in its first few chapters. And weirdly, I’m okay with it. Sure, Ella got hit by a van and someone from her past appeared out of nowhere, is far from dull. It’s exciting and intense. But other than that, we still have no idea who’s this person is or what’s his intention, up until the half of the book. And no, I’m not saying everything’s going to be reveal at this point, but I’m talking about the first actual clue that I think will be matter in this story. Can you believe that?! I read up until half of the book just to think I found the first clue! However, I enjoyed the slow and painful build up, knowing that whatever twists this book is going to have, it will be worth the wait. And it does worth the wait. 

The last thing that I want to mention is the amazingly-written characters and plot by Hayes. Every characters was described so vividly. Ella’s fear was captivating and make me wondered, what’s her secret, really?! Is it so bad that staying with Jacob, her kidnapper, is better than getting consequences for whatever it is she’s trying to keep as a secret?! And Jacob’s in control movements, how dangerous he sounds both when he’s loving and when he’s raging, was described so perfectly. One third of the book and I’m already so sick everytime Jacob said “Ella-bella”. I can practically listened his singing voice at this point. And lastly, Liam’s kindness and forbearance was hitting me right in the heart. He just wants to get to know Ella and that’s it. His presence was an actual portrayal of how the readers must be feel when reading this book and I think it’s very clever of Hayes for bringing his character to make us sink deeper into the story.

I have nothing else to say, because I’m afraid I’ll spoil the plot for others that haven’t read this book yet. But most importantly, I love the twists in this book, I love getting manipulated by suspecting a lot of people and making up theories of my own, I just love this book. 

If you’re looking forward to purchase this book (and support my blog!), you can purchase it through my affiliate links below!
[su_button url=”https://amzn.to/2QZlZtv” target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#eba960″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON AMAZON[/su_button] [su_button url=”https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Liar-s-Wife/9781786816696?a_aid=artsydraft” target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#6e7d75″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON BOOK DEPOSITORY[/su_button]

Artsy Draft receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above.

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]PIN THIS POST![/su_heading]

Enjoy this review? Share the words by pinning this post!

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE[/su_heading]

Still not sure about this book? Read what others said about it:

  • “Absolutely recommend this dark and twisted story with an ending that I definitely did not see coming.” – Berit @ Audio Killed the Bookmark
  • “The reveals are fantastic—readers will not be disappointed with this one!” – Mackenzie @ PhDiva
  • “Without doubt an excellent psychological thriller and a very satisfying read despite some difficult themes.” – Yvonne @ It’s All About Books

Image credits: Ryan Riggings & A. L..

Sugar Lane Vol.1 by Harlow Hayes

Sugar Lane Vol.1 by Harlow Hayes

Published by Harlow Hayes Books on November 19, 2018. Classified as Suspense & Women’s Fiction. Received via RABT Book Tours & PR as an eARC.

The night of Christmas Eve changes everything for Rhema Clark, a 36-year-old housewife living on quiet Sugar Lane. One day she is hosting a birthday party for her 9-year-old son, Julian, the next she is watching her neighborhood become the backdrop for the perfect murder. 


To gain power, Rhema inserts herself into the lives of the residents of Sugar Lane. She knows they have secrets, but none of them run deeper than her own. On the outside she is a kind and caring neighbor, but on the inside, something sinister lurks beneath. The media storm surrounding this murder could destroy her secret life and expose her for what she is. 


But will her lust for power override her desire to keep her secrets?

[su_spoiler title=”→ Trigger Warnings!” style=”simple”]Abuse, blood, death, fat phobia, violence.[/su_spoiler]

[su_button url=”https://amzn.to/2CJovMH” target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#eba960″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON AMAZON[/su_button]

Artsy Draft receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above.

★★★★

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]REVIEW[/su_heading]

This is probably one of the most evil book that I’ve ever encountered. Now you might be confused. Four stars yet it’s evil? That’s right. I never thought I’d like it during the first few pages. Because man oh man, it’s full of negativity and I couldn’t stand it! The summary wasn’t lying, though. Our main character was sinister since the first scene. You know those feeling when you saw something really bad happened in front of your eyes? You try to look away because it makes you uncomfortable, yet you can’t control yourself and end up keep looking back at it? That’s exactly what I felt, at least during the first half of this book.

Hannah was a monster, and she knew because a monster could always recognize another monster.

My favorite part of this novelette is definitely its characters. The plot was interesting, though. But I don’t see them as a very special and mind-blowing one.  It was pretty good, but the characters make it great. I love the fact that even with its short pages, Hayes can generate such a complex character. And not just one (and maybe more on the next book, who knows?!). Hayes wants us to see these characters for their evil acts and the sinister-being within them, yet she also successfully deliver something… very human. I’m not good with words and I’m not sure how to explain that previous sentence without spoiling everyone. So, you really need to check this book by yourself. All I gotta say is I can’t wait to read the next book and find out Rhema’s dark secrets. Final thought? 4 out of 5 stars.

[su_accordion][su_accordion] [su_spoiler title=”Read Excerpt” style=”fancy”]“Please wait! I have another coupon,” said the woman standing in the checkout line, rummaging through her purse. “I’m so sorry,” she said, looking back at Rhema and the ten other people that stood in line behind her.

Rhema stood calm, but internally, she raged. The sound of the registers opening and closing was beginning to overwhelm her senses, and a pounding headache was eating at her brain. She reached into her purse and grabbed an Excedrin. Christmas was a week away, and a store trip
that should have taken fifteen minutes had now become forty. She had fought her way through the aisles with her shopping cart, her list crumpled in hand. She felt the sweat dripping from her back as she hurried past the lackadaisical shoppers blocking the aisleways. Now the checkout line was backed up.

“It’s all right. I’m in no hurry at all,” she said, sarcasm dripping from her lips. She wanted to strangle the woman. The woman should have had what she needed, out and ready to go before she got to the front of the line. They had all been standing there so long she thought she could see wrinkles forming on her hands. Rhema stared hard at the woman, taking particular notice of her pregnant belly. Four little hooligans ran around her, pulling items from the checkout shelves. One ran back and forth through the exit doors, blocking exiting shoppers.

Rhema had seen them earlier, running and screaming up and down every aisle, terrorizing the last-minute shoppers, making demands. Rhema smiled inside, knowing that she would never be that woman, who she figured to be a halfwit. That was the only excuse for allowing her children
to walk all over her. She was one of the stupid ones, letting everyone else run their lives. Rhema had made up her mind: She hated her.

Rhema looked into her cart and saw the condensation around her tub of ice cream. It was melting, and she couldn’t stand melted ice cream.

Take the tub and throw it at the woman’s head. The thought made her feel better while she waited. Her mind ran through the list of things she had to do. She had been roped into doing so much that now she was the stupid woman. It was the holidays, and she wondered why people thought that she didn’t have better things to do with her time. She had been pressured into
helping her neighbor with her oldest daughter’s wedding and the younger one’s graduation party after getting ambushed one morning in her driveway on the way to the mailbox. Mrs. Kelly, struggling to get a rug into her car, had asked Rhema for help. Rhema had seen her struggling,
but she’d hoped that her presence had gone unnoticed.

“Rhema, I’m so glad to see you. Could you come help me with this?” Mrs. Kelly asked. Rhema walked over to help, but she resented her asking. Her husband, David, was the only reason she was being so nice. David had just scolded her the day before for not being friendly to the neighbors.

“Why do you have to act so cold?” he’d asked. “I like this house and this neighborhood for Julian, and I don’t want to have to pick up and leave because you’re acting weird and can’t make any friends.”

Rhema didn’t like him either, or that’s what she told herself anyway. I am only staying for Julian. That was what she believed. The truth was something else. Deep down, she loved David, and even on their worst days, he was the best in bed, and that was hard for Rhema to give up, so she stayed.

“I can help the next customer here!” a cashier yelled out. Rhema was next, but a handful of people with fewer items at the end of the line beat her to it. Her face turned red as she squeezed the handle of her shopping cart, knuckles white. She was ready to ram the woman in front of her, and her children.

“Here it is!” the woman shouted. The people in line sighed in relief.

Rhema placed her items on the conveyor belt and took her money out of her purse. She was elated. It was finally her turn. She had stood in line so long, feet hurting in her six-inch boots and needing to pee, but it would have to wait; public restrooms weren’t appealing to her. But at least relief was coming soon. It was the only thing keeping her going. She looked up from her wallet, and her smile went back to a frown. Standing at the register was the store manager and the cashier.

“Sorry, ma’am, we have to change out the drawers.”

Rhema burned with anger, furious at the delay. She imagined jumping the counter and stabbing the man in the eye with her car keys.

When she finished at checkout, she rushed to her car. Feet throbbing, she loaded the groceries, fighting the frigid cold. Her mind ran nonstop as more things were added to her to-do list. The wedding, the graduation party, and then there was Christmas, but today was Julian’s birthday, and after nine o’clock that was one thing that she could scratch off of her list. There was a
moment of peace as the cold wind flickered past her face. Rhema reached into the shopping cart to grab the last bag. When she picked it up to place it in the back, she heard the ruffling rip of the plastic bag, and the container of ice cream fell out and splattered on the ground, covering her three-hundred-dollar boots in chocolate vanilla swirl.

“Fuck!” she screamed, stomping her feet like a child as the sludge of dirty half-melted snow and ice cream splattered further up her boots. “Fuck, fuck, fuck!”

“Hey! Watch your mouth. My children don’t need to hear that filthy language,” a woman on the other side of the parking aisle scolded.

Rhema turned to see a woman ushering her brood of children down the parking aisle, noses snotty and red, their bodies so layered with winter clothing they looked like miniature Michelin men.

“I swear, the nerve of some people. Using filthy language like that in public. What a disgrace.”

“What’s wrong with her, Mommy?” one of the smaller children asked.

“Don’t pay her any mind, honey. Just trash.”

She stared at Rhema with scorn, as if she were untouchable, but Rhema knew different. Everyone was touchable. People with money had a false sense of security. They believed that they could say anything to anyone and get away with numerous slights and outright disrespect toward people they believed were less than them. She was an entitled woman, just like the
woman in line. They could do and say whatever they wanted because their money allowed it.

Rhema remembered looking down at their rings as she shopped, their hands glistening on the cart handles. Three- and four-carat diamond rings, sparkling, screaming their status in the world. Rhema looked down at her own ring, just as large in size, but she knew that she was nothing like them.
She had ice cream on her boots, and she had to pee. Rhema knew she couldn’t threaten the woman’s safety, but she could make her uncomfortable. She pulled her hands up from her sides and felt an amazing sense of power as she used her two long, slim middle fingers give the
woman something that she wasn’t expecting. The woman gasped and pushed her children on toward the store, and Rhema stomped what she could of the ice cream off of her boots and got into her car.

She sat there for a moment, collecting her bearings. Looking in the rearview mirror, she saw that she had left the shopping cart sitting behind her SUV. Another delay. She wanted to ram it into the car of the woman that reprimanded her. Reaching for the car door, she got an idea and stopped. Popping the hatch open, she grabbed her wallet, stepped out, and walked to the trunk. Behind the mound of groceries was David’s hunting bag. Rhema reached over the shopping bags and grabbed it. As she unzipped it, her body tingled with excitement. She reached in, grabbing the large Buck hunting knife that rested at the bottom. She slipped the knife in her boot and closed the hatch, gripping the shopping cart and her wallet. She walked over to the cart return, right next to the car of the reprimander. Rhema pushed the cart into the crammed space and walked closer to the woman’s 2016 Range Rover. She fumbled with her Gucci wallet in her hand and let it fall into the greasy slushlike snow.

Rhema looked around to make sure there were no eyes on her. She bent down to pick it up, and once she was down and out of view, she slid the Buck knife out of her boot, removed it from its sleeve, and stabbed it into the back driver’s side tire. As the air slowly deflated, a smile stretched
across Rhema’s face. She placed the knife back in its sleeve and stuffed it back into her boot before standing. She wiped the water from her wallet, walked back to her car, and drove home.[/su_spoiler] [/su_accordion]

If you’re looking forward to purchase this book (and support my blog!), you can purchase it through my affiliate links below!

[su_button url=”https://amzn.to/2CJovMH” target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#eba960″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON AMAZON[/su_button]

Artsy Draft receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above.

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]PIN THIS POST![/su_heading]

Enjoy this review? Share the words by pinning this post!

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]AUTHOR[/su_heading]

Harlow Hayes was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and is the author of fiction and non-fiction books. She has always had a passion for writing and storytelling in its many forms. When she’s not immersed in her writing, she enjoys reading both fiction and non-fiction, watching classic movies, and listening to jazz with her dad. She is the author of 27 Revelations and You Got to Believe: A Guide to Managing Negative Influences and Expectations As You Prepare to Self-publish Your Book. She currently lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]GIVEAWAY[/su_heading]

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Image credit:  Zach Guinta

Sunscorched by Jen Crane

Another ARC review is here! This time, I received an e-ARC of Sunscorched by Jen Crane from YA Bound Book Tours for free in exchange for a honest review. Let me tell you, I’m a big fan of anything apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic, whether it happened because of zombie attacks or some kind of viruses. So, when I read the synopsis of this novel (and saw the cover too!), I knew I need to read it!

Sunscorched by Jen Crane

Published by Carpe Noctem Publishing on October 23, 2018. Classified as Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic & Science Fiction. Received via YA Bound Book Tours as an eBook.

Death in daylight. Danger at dark. 

 

Life can’t possibly get more treacherous than a violent sun allergy in a solar-blighted world. At least that’s what seventeen-year-old Nori Chisholm thought before news of an impending sunscorch delivered her death sentence.

 

Desperate to survive the scorch, she’s forced to shelter underground and discovers a secret subterranean world where life is hard, and so are the people. Betrayed and left for dead by the man who pledged to help her, Nori is sold to a gritty pit fighting ring. There she makes a friend—and plenty of enemies.

 

Sam Cooper’s motives are at times impenetrable, but speeding through the underground world on the back of his motorcycle is a dark freedom Nori can’t live without. On the run from a group of cutthroat rogues, their escape takes an unexpected twist. A shocking discovery shatters everything they thought they knew. Can they use the knowledge to save what’s left of the world?

 

Winner of the Rosemary Award for excellence in young adult fiction, Sunscorched is a tale of survival and self-discovery at breakneck speed. Fans of Bella Forrest and Marie Lu, who crave dangerous heroes and dark secrets, will love the Sunscorched world.

[su_button url=”https://amzn.to/2yKOqAV” target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#eba960″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON AMAZON[/su_button]
Artsy Draft receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above.

★★★★

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]REVIEW[/su_heading]

It’s amazing right from the start. There I said it. I rarely fall so hard for books (last time I checked it’s only Harry Potter & Ready Player One), but Jen Crane did such an amazing job with this book. This if my first time to read her work and it won’t be the last time, for sure. I really amazed with almost every aspects of this book. The story, the characters, the writing style, everything is so good.

The story started with our main character, Nori, standing underneath the night sky, felt almost normal while trying regained her strength after she has been burned in the same week. Wait, what? That’s exactly my reaction. This book is intriguing since the first paragraph and it lasted until the last one. This paragraph at the beginning really does makes you wonder, well, what kind of situation that has been going on here that makes our main character burned? What’s the deal with the sun?

“Times are tough. Nobody makes it alone in a sunscorched world. Community is crucial.”

Now, let’s talk about what I liked from this book more specifically. The first few chapters is super dynamic and interesting and it really keeps me going. Things happened here and there, jumping from one thing to another, while also still maintain its casual side without rushing anything. It’s just has the right balance of it. I think it’s really amazing how Jen Crane can keep the consistency of the pace in this story without making us confused with everything that’s happening.

And did I mentioned how much I loved the characters’ complexity in this book? Every single one of them are described as a multidimensional individual that holds their own value. They’re vulnerable and sensitive and I liked that nobody’s perfect in this story. No one is too kind, too heroic or even too evil (oh well, but you know, aside from the actual really bad villain), and I think that’s what makes it special. Nori is brave, tougher than she think she is, but also can be funny even during times when I least expected her to be. Seriously, her sarcasm reminds me of Chandler from Friends and she’s not even trying. While Norman, Nori’s father, is a sweet and caring figure, but can be persistent when it comes to his family safety. Ana, Nori’s mom, just like any other moms, is very protective of Nori, too scared that something will happened to her daughter. The other characters, such as Cooper and Kedashowed up in the story with one certain strong impression, but turns out to be completely different. 

[su_accordion][su_accordion] [su_spoiler title=”Read Excerpt” style=”fancy”]

A trail of blood disappeared beyond the door of the small foyer. The man Nori rescued lay face-up, the knot near his temple swelling fast. His leg oozed blood, the scarlet pool closing in on the tiny corner of space Nori occupied. When she found the wound—and the gaping tear in his leather riding pants—dread settled in her gut. The bleeding would have to be stopped if he was going to survive, which meant she had to do it.

Nori groaned and scrubbed her eyes, then set to work. She sifted through her backpack for something to tie around his wound, finding both a pocketknife and the thick, sun-blocking canvas she always kept nearby. She ripped a long strip of the fabric and wrapped it several times around the man’s injured thigh.

“Probably a good thing you can’t feel this,” she said to his unconscious form and, catching another look at the knot on his head, grimaced. “You’re gonna have a pretty bad headache, too.”

After tying the two ends together, Nori sat back to admire her work. Blood had soaked through most of the bandage, but it wasn’t seeping onto the floor anymore, at least.

Mom and Dad are probably freaking out by now, Nori thought. Curled in the corner of the foyer farthest from the man, she sat with arms wrapped around bent knees. The man outside hadn’t made a sound. Maybe he hadn’t seen her. Maybe he’d left. Or maybe he was waiting just outside the door.

Nori rocked back and forth, forehead pressed to her knees. Finally, she let out a long breath and stretched her legs. She was leaving. She’d saved the stranger. Twice. He was hidden in the foyer, and when he came to, he could find his own way back to safety.

Bracing herself on the wall to stand, she kept as far as possible from the unconscious body between her and the door. Stretching over him to reach the door, she extended one leg, straddling him only a moment until she lifted the other to join it. But as she raised her back foot, the front one was knocked from under her, sending her roughly down onto her butt. She yelped and looked wildly around, scurrying back to the foyer wall. Hands in front of her face, she prepared to defend herself as best she could.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” he said. His voice was deep, but not threatening. “Where are we?”

Nori flattened her palms to the wall, pushing herself against it to stand again. She didn’t answer.

The steely eyes from the alley focused on her face. He surveyed her hair, her shoes, and her clothes before finding her eyes.

“What did you throw?” he asked.

The question caught her off guard. “Wh-what?”

“What did you throw? To distract him?”

“A book.”

“A book?”

Nori nodded as she edged toward the door—and the street.

“What were you doing with a book?” he asked.

“Reading,” she said, pinning him with a look that seriously doubted his intelligence.

Dark eyebrows lowered over narrowed eyes. “In the dark?”

Nori bit the inside of her cheek. “Of course not,” she said. She’d been running in the dark, not reading, though she often did. But he didn’t have to know that. “It was in my backpack from earlier today.”

He squinted, as if he didn’t quite believe her. “What happened to your face?”

She reflexively touched the pink patches, a fresh new layer where sun-damaged skin had peeled away. The pink was fading, but not entirely healed.

“Sunburn,” she said. “Stayed out too long.”

“That happen a lot?”

“What business is it of yours?” she snapped. “And you can say ‘thanks for saving me’ anytime.”

His eyes shot down for a moment before he lifted them to meet her gaze. “Thank you.” His voice was quieter, sincere. “I know you put your own life at risk. Thank you for saving me.”

“Twice,” she said. “I saved you twice. Once with the book, and the other by hauling you in here when you were unconscious to bandage your leg. Technically, I guess that’s three times.”

“All right.” His lips twitched. “I owe you one. Or three.” As if he hadn’t noticed it before, he looked down at his thigh and then back to Nori. “First time to make a tourniquet?”

She lifted her head. “You were bleeding all over the floor. I did the best I could with what I had. What happened to you, anyway? You must’ve lost a lot of blood to pass out like that.”

“I tried to clear a chain-link fence, but my leg caught.”

Nori looked at the bandage again, but quickly averted her eyes from the exposed skin of his thigh. She cleared her throat. “Why was he chasing you?”

He shrugged.

“You’re not going to tell me?” she asked.

He shook his head, all nonchalance.

“Fine.” Nori huffed a breath. “What’s your name?”

“Cooper.”

“That your first name?” She asked and extended her arm toward the door handle, making sure she could escape if necessary.

“It’s what people call me,” he said. “What’s yours?”

She didn’t answer as manners battled with self-preservation in her brain.

“Oh, come on,” he goaded. “You can’t ask to see mine and not show me yours.”

“Nori,” she said quick and low. The concession pained her.

“That your first name?” he shot back.

She scowled, and he threw up his hands in defense. “Okay, okay. I’m just messing with you. Anyway, thanks again for the help, Dory.”

“It’s Nori.”

Cooper nodded, an amused smirk tightening his lips. “Thanks, Nori.” He rose slowly, hopping on one foot at first, and reached for his backpack in the corner. As he slipped it over a shoulder, he stopped and caught her gaze again. “Why’d you help me—three times? You didn’t have to.”

“I did have to,” she said. The answer came easily. “You were in trouble, and I could help. No brainer.”

“Kindness is not so common as you think,” he said lifting his chin and narrowing his eyes as if trying to get a better read on her. “How long have you been like this?”

“Like what?”

“You burn easy. And you can see well in the dark, right?”

“I’ve been this way my whole life.” The answer was smooth, and without thought. Nori gasped and balled her fists when she realized what she’d revealed. Her condition wasn’t a secret, though it was a mystery. But she didn’t like a stranger knowing so much about her. And she hated that he’d gotten her to talk so easily. Her teeth creaked under the pressure of her jaws.

“Anyone else up here like you?” Cooper closed the distance between them and searched her eyes for an answer. “You know anyone else who burns like you do? Who can see better in the dark?”

She shook her head, blinking in incomprehension. “How do you… What do you mean? What do you know about it?”

“You should go,” he said and pushed open the door.

“No.” Nori pulled the door shut, her heart thundering in her chest. “Tell me how you knew to ask those questions. Do you know someone else like me?”

Cooper let out a long breath, his wary gaze never leaving hers. “It’ll be light soon,” he finally said. “If you want to make it home in time, you’ll already have to run like hell.”

He turned to open the door again, but Nori stopped him. “Wait.” She fumbled for something to say. “Do you live around here?” She threw on her own backpack, wishing to know something about the man who knew so much about her.

“Right under your nose,” he said, and with one last nod, ran from the foyer, into the dark alley, and out of sight with no noticeable limp.

As Nori watched him go the shadows changed, and her heart seized. The sun was on the rise. “Stupid,” she told herself, racing home on shaky legs. “Stupid, stupid, stupid.”[/su_spoiler] [/su_accordion]

If you’re looking forward to purchase this book (and support my blog!), you can purchase it through my affiliate links below!
[su_button url=”https://amzn.to/2yKOqAV” target=”blank” size=”5″ style=”flat” background=”#eba960″ color=”#ffffff” left=”yes” radius=”square”]BUY ON AMAZON[/su_button]
Artsy Draft receives a small commission for any purchases made through the links above.

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]PIN THIS POST![/su_heading]

Enjoy this review? Share the words by pinning this post!

About the Author

Though she grew up on a working cattle ranch, it’s fantasy and sci-fi that shine Jen Crane’s saddle. Her newest novel, Sunscorched, received the 2017 Rosemary Award for excellence in young adult fiction. Book 2 in Jen’s fantasy romance series, Descended of Dragons, was selected by iTunes/iBooks as “Our Pick” in fantasy/sci-fi. Jen has a master’s degree and solid work histories in government and non-profit administration. But just in the nick of time she pronounced life *too real* for nonfiction. She n ow creates endearing characters and alternate realms filled with adventure, magic, and love. She lives in The South with her family and too many pets.

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Goodreads

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]GIVEAWAY[/su_heading]

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js 

Blog Tour Organized by YA Bound Book Tours

Friction in Motion by Sy Kadella

Another book review is here! Phew! This book has been sitting on my TBR list for around a month or so, but that’s completely my fault! College got the best of me, especially around this time of the year. Anyway, Friction in Motion by Sy Kadella is the very first ARC copy that I received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That alone, is already one of the reason that makes me excited to read this book! So, let’s get into the review, shall we?

This dysfunctional family road trip is on the spectrum and off the beaten path…Ride along on a bumpy cross-country road trip with a highly dysfunctional family. On this trip an emotionally detached child prodigy with a history of therapist visits encounters a cast of quirky characters who validate his wishes to live his life independently. But none of the characters found on the road end up being as path-altering for him as his own immediate family. There are many lessons along the way. The most important being that wherever there is motion, there is bound to be friction, and within this lies the secret to wisdom and the strength to break free.

I’m always excited when it comes to a debut, whether it’s books or movies. Friction in Motion is Sy Kadella’s first novel and I have to say, it was an enjoyable read! The story started with our boy, Jeremy, who get woken up out of sudden by his father to go for a road trip (along with Jeremy’s very old grandpa). It’s summer holiday, apparently. Later on, we got informed that Jeremy’s dad and mom are fighting (not divorce, just yet), but his mom decided to leave the house for a while, and she also bring Jeremy’s sister, Beth. The three of them (Jeremy, his dad, and his grandpa) picked up Beth before they went for the road trip and this is where the actual story began.

When I first read the summary, it immediately made me think, “C’mon. How dysfunctional a family can be that made our main character wants to break free?”. Boy, oh boy, I did not expect that! Even with its slow and steady pace, Sy Kadella successfully delivered a family drama that you won’t forget so quickly. I’ve never really think before about a family drama except of my own. The thought was there, obviously, but to think that your relatives and friends got their own problems with their family, is not something that comes to my mind very often. Of course we all got our own family drama, but we all tend to sugar-coated it in front of everyone else, right? So, to be able to witnessed every single details of Jeremy’s family drama from his perspective (at least), is truly an experience. Also, it felt like I was actually there, sitting in the back of the car, having a road trip with Jeremy and his family.

Friction is Motion is not the type of book that you want to read if you expected a roller coaster drama along with some physical fights or action packs. It’s not. It’s rather casual, coming of age journey of our main character, Jeremy. We got to explore around and see things from his point of view, and when I said explore around, I meant it literally (it’s a book about road trip, what did you expected?) This is a type of book that you want to pick up on a calm Sunday morning and just read it, forget your surrounding and enjoy the flow. What I truly liked about this book, is I can immediately imagine everything without trying hard. The writing style is easy to follow, yet very rich and informative at the same time. I found myself to be surprised at little fun science facts that scattered here and there throughout this book. What a fun way to educate yourself while also being entertained! Final thought? 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★

[su_heading size=”12″ margin=”10″]Title: Friction in Motion | Author: Sy Kadella | Publisher: Razor’s Edge Publishing Inc. | Genre: Adult FictionContemporaryLiterary | Publication Date: September 15, 2018 | Format: eBook | Source: NetGalley | LINKS: GoodreadsAmazon[/su_heading]

*.·:·.☽✧ Pin this post! ✧☾.·:·.*