Do Not Become Alarmed {Maile Meloy}

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

From a beloved, award-winning writer, the much-anticipated novel about what happens when two families go on a tropical vacation – and the children go missing.

When Liv and Nora decide to take their families on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship’s comforts and possibilities seem infinite. The children – two eleven-year-olds, an eight-year-old, and a six-year-old—love the nonstop buffet and the independence they have at the Kids’ Club. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor misfortunes leads the families farther and farther from the ship’s safety. One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.

What follows is a riveting, revealing story told from the perspectives of the adults and the children, as the once-happy parents – now turning on one another and blaming themselves – try to recover their children and their lives.

Celebrated for her ability to write vivid, spare, moving fiction, Maile Meloy shows how quickly the life we count on can fall away, and how a crisis changes everyone’s priorities. The fast-paced, gripping plot of Do Not Become Alarmed carries with it an insightful, provocative examination of privilege, race, guilt, envy, the dilemmas of modern parenthood, and the challenge of living up to our own expectations.

My Thoughts:

(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)

4 Stars

Omg this book.  I finished it 3 nights ago and I’m so emotionally exhausted.  It took me on a JOURNEY.  I loved this book!  It was fast paced, very detailed, and fantastic.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  Highly recommend this one!

Although I LOVED it, I do have some criticism. All of the parents  were so completely unlikable and their actions weren’t consistent with parents who have just lost their children.  They were so consumed with their own drama while a massive search was underway looking for their missing kids! There were a few ridiculous and unnecessary scenes, most of them involving the parents.  My other criticism speaks to the large amount of characters in this story.  It was so hard to keep them all straight and more than once I actually considered making myself  a chart to reference while I read (I would actually suggest doing this, I wish I had).

Overall despite some flaws, it was a fantastic book and a very quick read.  My heart was truly racing during a few chapters…a sign of a great book.  Definitely recommend this one!

Bottom Line:

Should you read this book?  Absolutely.  Should you ever go on vacation anywhere ever again for the rest of your life? Probably not.

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The Family Next Door {Sally Hepworth}

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

The small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street.

Isabelle Heatherington doesn’t fit into this picture of family paradise. Husbandless and childless, she soon catches the attention of three Pleasant Court mothers.

But Ange, Fran and Essie have their own secrets to hide. Like the reason behind Ange’s compulsion to control every aspect of her life. Or why Fran won’t let her sweet, gentle husband near her new baby. Or why, three years ago, Essie took her daughter to the park – and returned home without her.

As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread – and they’ll soon find out that when you look at something too closely, you see things you never wanted to see.

My Thoughts:

(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)

4 Stars

This book was on my radar for a very long time and I couldn’t wait for it to finally be released! The first 200 pages were a bit…unexciting. Not “boring” per se…just a whole lot of unexciting storylines, confusing character descriptions, and annoying glimpses of the past where nothing was fully explained. I kept reading with the hopes that it would turn itself around because I really was enjoying the authors laidback writing style. Admittingly, I almost abandoned this book on more than one occasion but knowing I was going to be reviewing it is what eventually pushed me forward. THANK GOODNESS I stuck it out! What began as a bit of a dull novel quickly turned into complicated storylines, cliffhanger chapter endings, and a twist that I never saw coming. Loved it! This book is a perfect example of why sometimes you can’t necessarily judge a book until you are well into it. My only real complaint was that there were just so many storylines and perspectives that at times they got confusing. But that eventual twist…wow.

Bottom Line:

First 200 pages….eh. Last 135 pages….omg.

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