Thursday, June 13, 2019

ARC Review: I'll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie

*I received an advance readers copy of this book from the publisher for review.  Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing for this review copy!  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.  I am an Amazon affiliate and I may receive a small compensation if you make a purchase through one of my links.

I'll Never Tell
by Catherine McKenzie
Publication Date:  June 1, 2019
by Lake Union Publishing
Genre:  Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 368
Source:  ARC from publisher

What happened to Amanda Holmes?
Twenty years ago, she was found bludgeoned in a rowboat at the MacAllister family’s Camp Macaw. No one was ever charged with the crime.
Now, after their parents’ sudden deaths, the MacAllister siblings return to camp to read the will and decide what to do with the prime real estate the camp occupies. Ryan needs to sell. Margaux hasn’t made up her mind. Mary believes in leaving well enough alone. Kate and Liddie—the twins—have opposing views. And Sean Booth, the groundskeeper, just hopes he still has a home when all is said and done.
But it’s more complicated than a simple vote. The will stipulates that until they unravel the mystery of what happened to Amanda, they can’t settle the estate. Any one of them could have done it, and each one is holding a piece of the puzzle. Will they work together to finally discover the truth, or will their secrets finally tear the family apart?

An intriguing mystery, a summer camp setting, and plenty of dysfunctional family dynamics make I'll Never Tell an enjoyable and entertaining read.

I knew I wanted to read I'll Never Tell when I read the synopsis and it mentioned the story was set in a summer camp. Summer camp settings just seem to add a creepy environment to a story.  While this story isn't really too creepy, it's definitely a great mystery/thriller.     

This story is told from several perspectives, those of: the MacAllister siblings, Sean (the groundskeeper), and certain chapters are told from Amanda's perspective twenty years prior.  Multiple perspectives usually tend to confuse and overwhelm me, but I had no problem following along with the many narratives in this book.  I loved reading from all of these point of views, especially Amanda's perspective.  I also loved the short chapters in this book which I think made this a much faster read for me.

I really liked Catherine McKenzie's writing style, and I thought all the characters were pretty well fleshed out, with some being more relatable and likeable than others. My favorite character was Margeaux, who seemed to be the most reasonable and grounded of the MacAllister siblings.    

I'll Never Tell was a really good mystery with interesting characters and and an intriguing plot.  The mystery in this book kept me guessing, but I was just hoping for a little more from the ending.  It felt a little rushed to me.  

Overall, I'll Never Tell was a good mystery/thriller that I would recommend, and I look forward to reading more from Catherine McKenzie.  


Thursday, June 6, 2019

Blog Tour: All The Greys On Greene Street by Laura Tucker ~Spotlight + Review~

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for All The Greys On Greene Street by Laura Tucker!  
Find out more about the book below!

*I received an advance readers copy of this book for review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy!

All The Greys On Greene Street
by Laura Tucker; illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Publication Date:  June 4, 2019
by Viking Books for Young Readers
Pages:  320
Genre:  Middle Grade, Historical Fiction
Rating:  4/5 Stars
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SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist--and in her neighborhood, that's normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye.
Then everything falls apart. Ollie's dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she's not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art. . . .
Olympia knows her dad is the key--but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.

Laura Tucker has coauthored more than twenty books, including two New York Times bestselling memoirs. She grew up in New York City around the same time as Olympia, and now lives in Brooklyn with her daughter and husband; on Sunday mornings, you can find her at the door of Buttermilk Channel, one of their two restaurants. She is a cat person who cheats with dogs. All the Greys on Greene Street is her first novel.

All The Greys On Greene Street, the debut novel by Laura Tucker, takes place in SoHo, New York City in 1981, and revolves around 12 year old Olympia as she tries to find out why her father ran off, while struggling to cope with her mother's depression. 

I loved many of the characters in this book, especially Olympia.  I really felt for her and all she had to deal with throughout the story.  Her father left and she doesn't know why, her mother doesn't get out of bed because she is so depressed, and Olympia is left feeling abandoned.  She loves to draw and I loved how art and creativity were a big part of this book.  Olympia expresses herself through her art and I think her creativity and drawings help her to process many of her emotions.  I also loved the close friendships she had with Richard and Alex.  Her friendships helped her cope better with the chaos in her life.  

I really liked the setting of this story.  Soho in the early 1980's seemed like such an interesting place and time, especially the art scene.  I loved how the author described the feel of the city and the creative atmosphere at that time.  There were interesting facts about art throughout the story that I found fascinating.  I also loved the artwork by Kelly Murphy that was featured on certain pages throughout the book.  

This story was difficult to read at times because of the serious situations that take place.  After Olympia's dad runs off, she is left living with her mother who hasn't left her bed in over two weeks because of her depression.  I have struggled with depression all my life so it was hard to read about what Olympia went through just trying to get her mother out of bed.  I felt for Olympia and her mother, but I really did not like how her mother neglected her or the way she treated her.  I know firsthand how destructive depression can be, but it was really difficult for me to like her mother.  I also found it difficult to like her father because he basically abandoned her too.  I just felt so bad for Olympia throughout the story. 

This was a slower paced read, and it took me a little while to fully immerse myself into the story.  However, as I got to know more about the characters, especially Olympia, I couldn't stop reading and I flew through the last half of the book.  Overall, I found this to be an engrossing and touching read, and I definitely recommend checking it out (I do think this would be better for older children though, because of the difficult subject matter).  I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.




May 27 – Pop The Butterfly Reads – Review + Creative Instagram Picture
May 28 – The Busy B. Creative – Author Guest Post
May 29 – Adventures thru Wonderland – Moodboard
May 30 – Night Owl Book CafĂ© – Review
May 31 – Book Fidelity – Review


June 3 – Paper Procrastinators – Creative Instagram Picture + Blog Content
June 4 – Just Commonly – Author Guest Post: The Art Scene in NYC from 80s to the Millennium
June 5 – Library Lady’s Kid Lit – Review
June 6 – Tara’s Book Addiction – Review + Creative Instagram Picture