Monthly Reads | July 2016

 luggage and books

Mother by Tamara Thorne & Alistair Cross

Horror | Suspense | Psychological Thriller

Claire and Jason are down on their luck. After both losing jobs and expecting their first child, they find themselves getting help from an unlikely source...Claire's Mother, Priscilla. Claire hasn't seen or spoken to her mother in nearly a decade. She is uneasy about the arrangement, with bad feeling and old memories struggling to the surface. Priscilla appears to be on her best behavior and has won Claire's husband, Jason, over. However Claire's apprehension is beginning to distort reality and change her personality. Is Mother really the monster Claire claims her to be?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Thorne and Cross did a fantastic job building suspense and agitation as the story unfolds. The story provides snapshots of different characters and makes you second guess opinions. What I enjoyed most is how among the horror and suspense, Thorne and Cross satirize human relationships and envy. It was a clever way to further the idea of not truly knowing who are neighbors/friends are. The ending was quite different than I imagined, but entirely justified and honest once revelations are made. It really ended with a bang!

Mother is not a gory horror story and toys more with the mind. There are some disturbing scenes and flashbacks. This was a wonderful story with a driven plot and interesting characters. Don't be Mother.

Also, check out my interview with the authors.


You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

Young Adult | Realistic Fiction | Romance

The loss of a friend or loved one can affect people in different ways. Jaycee lost her brother, Jake, a year ago when he was performing a dangerous playground stunt. His loss changed who she was and she struggled with a world without him. On the night of this tragic anniversary, Jaycee visits one of her brother's favorite locations.Wanted or not, Jaycee is surrounded by four friends and they discover a map with Jake's explored territories. Together, they decide to visit each location and perform the dares left behind.

I found this to be a beautiful story of loss, friendship, romance, and self discovery. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a member of the group. Two of these are told through imagery, though not enough to call this a graphic novel. There is so much going on in this novel, which I believe imitates life very well. Not only does the story cover grief and mourning, but shows characters transitioning into adulthood and the changes that come with it.

I really enjoyed this book. Once it started, I couldn't put it down. I laughed. I cried. I asked questions about life. McCarthy created a magnificent story that exposed the vulnerability and secrecy one person can hold. I highly recommend this one.

And lastly...

I don't normally discuss book covers, but it is hard not to with this one. It is gorgeous. Sometimes a book gets a beautiful cover and sometimes not. You Were Here definitely did. I also like that after reading this novel, the cover speaks volumes to me. Great job to the artist/designer on this one.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I received digital versions of these books for free from publishers and authors in exchange for review consideration. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.