Everything hurts. I am NOT WELL. By the end of this novel I felt like I aged five years with it. In Five Years blew me away and was a beautiful, engaging and heartbreaking story about love and friendship. When you think you know where the story is going, it takes you on a completely different journey. The true love story here is between best friends Dannie and Bella, and their pure friendship will capture your heart (and then crush it). ~ Reviewed by Kirstin Swartz
Clara Voyant (haha), a teenage psychic barely getting by, begins experiencing disturbing visions at the same time that many young women have gone missing around the dying city of Atlantic City. Lily is a former Soho art gallery worker who has just moved back to New Jersey due to her own personal tragedies. The two girls meet, connect and work together to understand Clara’s visions. They believe they are connected to the missing women and do everything in their power to find out what happened to them, because no one else seems to care enough to find out.
This was a strong debut for Mullen and a twisty psychological suspense with supernatural tones to it. What I most enjoyed was the Jane Does being given a big chunk of the narrative; it gives them a desperate voice even past their time living. This book highlights just how problematic the amount of women that go missing in the U.S. every year that never get found or solved. Highly recommend! ~ Reviewed by Kirstin Swartz
After a confusing and heart-wrenching breakup--or “time out” as she tells herself--with her long-term white boyfriend Tom, young Jamacian-British newspaper writer Queenie is forced to find herself again in a new apartment, single, and utterly lost on who exactly she is. Queenie’s got a very British sense of humour and I personally found most the book pretty funny, although her questionable life choices while coping with losing her future with Tom are not so humorous. It’s got very Bridget Jones Diary vibes, but much bolder and diverse. My favorite aspects of this book were the themes of self-love, friendship and discovering your identity without a man as your crutch. I could totally see this becoming a movie in the near future! ~ Reviewed by Kirstin Swartz
Havenfall is a secret safe haven for all four realms in the universe, located on the Earth realm in Colorado. The story follows Maddie, a teenager with baggage who is the niece of the current Havenfall innkeeper, and she yearns to follow in her uncle’s footsteps one day and the next Innkeeper. But all hope of safety within Havenfall’s borders is suddenly shattered by the door to a previously sealed world cracking open and a monster being unleashed on the grounds. Suddenly, Maddie has the leadership she’s always wanted, but with that also comes her inexperience, betrayals and personal awakenings. High fantasy, great world-building narrative, the potential for a love triangle and sprinkles of LGBTQ+ representation mixed together make this book a strong opener for its duology. ~ Reviewed by Kirstin Swartz
I picked this up because of the title and the subject had epitome of what I enjoyed most about Sarah Knight’s “Get Your Sh*t Together.” Designing Your Work Life is all about reframing your way of thinking and focusing on what you can do to make your life even just a little bit better; how to make it good enough, for now. This is a great book for younger full time workers who are struggling with their current work lives and need expert advice and guides on how to stay positive and motivated at work, or even see if the work that you are doing if what you should be doing. ~ Reviewed by Kirstin Swartz