Book Review: The Sun Down Motel {Simone St. James}

I had been wanting to read and review The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James for MONTHS.  I finally got to the point where I couldn’t wait even one more day to read it  (you can read the post where I finally broke down and bought this book HERE).

Goodreads Synopsis of The Sun Down Motel {Simone St. James}:

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

My Review of The Sun Down Motel {Simone St. James}:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

Before purchasing this book, I did read peoples’ spoiler free reviews just to make sure that this was a book I would indeed want to buy.  I was BLOWN AWAY by the amount of positive reviews that everyone had!  It’s so rare to find a book where literally it seems that EVERYONE has such glowing things to say!  Reading these reviews made me even more confident in my decision to buy this book.

From my Instagram:

So what are my thoughts after reading?

First of all, this book was most definitely NOT what I was expecting.  LOTS OF TRUE CRIME, ghosts, etc.

My feelings as I was reading were ALL over the place.  Just when I was starting to like this book…suddenly I was bored.  Just when I was bored…the pace picked up and I was liking it once again.

My biggest complaint with this book was that it was told from the perspectives of 2 woman leading extremely similar lives yet 35 years apart both alongside many of the same characters.  It got CONFUSING.  So many characters, so many timelines, so many story lines. If one of these main characters had been male while the other had been female, I think that really would have helped to keep their story lines and characters straight.  If you do read this book, I would highly suggest making yourself a chart with all of the characters and story lines to reference as you read.  You’ll thank me later!

There was a large portion of this book where I literally had no idea what was going on!  Truth be told, if this was a library book there was no way I would have finished it.  HOWEVER, because I bought it…I was finishing no matter what!  It took me significantly longer to finish this book than I would have liked but I honestly just never wanted to pick it up.  Eh.

I’m glad I did finish because the last 100ish pages were the best parts of the book!  Everything finally came together and made a bit more sense.  I did figure out one major twist pretty early on (ugh) but none of my other predictions turned out to be correct!

The cover is GORGEOUS but not how the Sun Down Motel’s building, surroundings, or sign are actually described in the book???  How does that even happen???

Would I recommend this book?  If you are a true crime fan than 100 PERCENT YES!  This entire book is true crime.  If you are like me and don’t necessarily love true crime….eh….probably not the book for you.

I’m also not a huge paranormal fan and this book most definitely has paranormal elements.  I knew about this before I started reading but all of those positive reviews had me convinced that I should read something out of my normal comfort zone.  I’m glad I did….sometimes you need to read things that you normally wouldn’t read and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

Thank GOD my library drive thru has reopened!  I have now purchased 2 books over the past few months and didn’t love either one (you can read about the other one that I bought HERE).  Ugh.

Bottom Line:

True crime + ghosts + too many characters + too many similarities in different story lines = not the book for me.



Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

I didn’t love this book…but you might!  Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

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