Featured New Release Of The Week: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Steena Holmes

This week we’re looking at a breakneck psychological thriller that also serves as a clarion call on an issue many are speaking of quite a bit over the last decade. This week we’re looking at Lies We Tell Ourselves by Steena Holmes.

Trying to force myself out of the writing funk I’ve been in for several months now when it comes to these posts, I want to add at least a little bit to the Goodreads review below.

First, I love that Holmes frequently includes a reference to one of her friends’ books – usually released in the same year – in her books. This one is no different there, and the book in question (which you’ll have to read this book to find out) is in fact one that was also a Featured New Release on this very blog earlier this year.

Second, at least on the ARC copy I read Holmes includes a note at the end about a particular Easter Egg… which I completely missed. I remember getting the sense that it was a very random encounter – usually a good clue of an Easter Egg – but in my defense, I’ve read over 200 books since reading Holmes’ two releases last fall. (The Perfect Secret and The Patient, both of which included this same character, apparently.) Indeed, I actually thought that a more major character was the joining fabric potentially of all three books – and I would love to see future books including that particular character. Let me know which character you think I’m referencing here, I don’t want to give it away in this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

Finally, this book really does go in depth with nearly all facets of sex trafficking, and while most of the worst of it is “off screen”, there is enough discussion in enough detail of enough facets that this book could in fact be very difficult to read if this issue has impacted you. But honestly, I think that in that case, you need to read this book arguably more than the rest of us. If only so you can write your own review and tell us just how close Holmes gets here. From the outside looking in, it seems that she captured the emotions and struggles quite well indeed, but this is something that I have no direct knowledge of and thus can’t know. So please, even if you think this book will be difficult for you, read it and write a review on Goodreads and Bookbub and let the rest of us know just how close – or, perhaps, far off – Holmes really was.

As always, the Goodreads review:
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Featured New Release Of The Week: Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon

This week we’re looking at a book that does one of the most remarkable jobs I’ve ever seen of seemingly giving you one story – only to completely flip it and rewrite everything in a single scene. This week, we’re looking at Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon.

As you’re reading this book, you may indeed wind up asking yourself “why is this marketed as a thriller? This seems to be a women’s fiction book, if slightly creepy?”.

And that is a very fair question to ask, as through most of this book this is exactly what the book feels like it is. It feels like the description has completely lied to you and made you think you were getting this massive thrill ride, and instead you’re left with… some chick depressed that her dad died and her mom hates her? Really?

But then, in a single scene, McKinnon strikes and reveals her true brilliance. In a single scene, everything prior is recast in a new light, and you discover that this women’s fiction story really was a thriller all along – it was just even more devious than you thought it at some points could turn into, but never had.

Others have said that this book almost demands a sequel. I’m more ambivalent on that. I actually enjoyed the ending and I’m completely satisfied leaving this tale there – in part because the flip was so brilliantly executed, and that defining feature of this tale would very likely be impossible to repeat in a sequel. That said, since I’m fairly certain McKinnon will actually read this: I dare you to try. ๐Ÿ˜€ You showed how masterful you are here, can you outdo even yourself? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Very much recommended – go buy the dang thing already!

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Featured New Release of The Week: Her Secret Son by Hannah Mary McKinnon

Today, we look at a book that begins with a tragedy and ends in secrets layered in secrets layered in secrets. Today, we look at Her Secret Son by Hannah Mary McKinnon.

As I note in the Goodreads review below, I had a bit of difficulty with this book – at first. It seems that my brain needed a break from reading for a bit (it happens) *and* the opening 10% or so of this book is just *so* depressing – McKinnon does an amazing job of showing a man and a boy’s emotional turmoil when their lover and mother (respectively, obviously) suddenly dies. But that is somewhat similar to my experience reading The Great Gatsby so many years ago. And like that book, once you get beyond the opening, it becomes a truly stupendous tale. In this case, Once the secrets start coming unravelled, they unravell into… other secrets. That unravel into other secrets. All the way to literally the last page of the book. Along the way, we do in fact get the answers we seek as readers, and McKinnon does a stellar job of showing a practical investigation by a person untrained in any investigative techniques. Very highly recommended book.

As always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:
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