18 Seconds by George D. Shuman

187042When she takes hold of a deceased person’s hand, Sherry Moore has the ability to see the last 18 seconds of that person’s thoughts. This gift is remarkable for anybody to possess, but the fact that Sherry has been blind since a childhood trauma makes the gift that much more impressive. Sherry uses this gift to assist police and detectives with cases that have gone cold.

This book is filled with suspense from cover to cover, and several different lives and cases are intertwined. I thought I had guessed a major plot element half way through the book, but I was wrong (and in this instance, I’m glad to have been wrong). I was disappointed in the way things ended, but it turns out that this is the first book in the series, and I’m curious to see what happens with Sherry in the future.

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All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

18144115The first time I tried reading this book, I just couldn’t get into it. I was still new to reading audio books, and every time the narrator spoke for Elly (the main character’s child), I was put off. A year later, I’ve decided to read every book in my Audible account, and what better way to decide where to start than with the letter ‘A’?

I’m glad I gave this book a second chance. Some aspects of the book are typical: bratty daughter (though the book does hint that Elly may have an autism spectrum disorder, and as someone who was recently diagnosed as an adult, I could see pieces of myself in Elly’s behaviors and characteristics), distant husband who may be having an affair, and a woman who is trying to juggle being a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a full-time blogger. In order to deal with the stressors of her life, Allison turns to painkillers. At first she gets her refills from various doctors who have treated her (such as her primary care doctor, her dentist, and a pain specialist), but then she discovers a way to buy these drugs online. Her addiction gets worse and worse, until she is confronted by her husband and her mother. She goes into rehab and at one point escapes (I found this unrealistic, because she was gone long enough that I wondered why nobody called her husband or other emergency contact. Of course, I’m only familiar with psych hospitals, so maybe drug and alcohol rehab centers are different.). She realizes that the rehab is helping her and goes back into treatment.

This book helped me understand the mind of an addict, to a point. I have a couple friends and family members who have struggled with addiction, but other than talking to them and what I’ve read in books and journal articles, I don’t know what it’s like.

The book ended on a positive note, though not necessarily how I expected it to.

Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle

20256737Our library is participating in AudioFile’s Sync program, a free summer audiobook program for teens 13+. Check it out here: http://www.audiobooksync.com/

I downloaded this book via Sync, and I wasn’t quite sure what it was about, as the book description seemed vague. I was delighted to learn that the book starts out in Pittsburgh, PA, my hometown, and I smiled every time the author referenced the streets and neighborhoods that I was familiar with.

Vivian Apple is a 17-year-old girl whose parents joined the Church of America, a “Christian cult.” The book begins on the night of Rapture’s Eve (the Prophet Frick had predicted the date that his church would be Raptured). The next morning, sure enough, Vivian’s parents, and her best friend Harp’s parents, are missing, with evidence showing that they were, in deed, Raptured. Vivian and Harp don’t believe that, though. Thousands of believers have disappeared, but even more believers have not. Were they just not good enough? Or were they left behind in order to harvest more souls for God’s kingdom when the second Rapture happens (predicted to occur 6 months after the first rapture). Vivian receives a mysterious phone call, which she traces to San Francisco, and along with Harp and their acquaintance Peter, the three teens embark in a cross-country journey to find answers to what really happened.

The book held my attention from the get-go, and the last chapter blew my mind. I very much look forward to picking up the sequel from my library tomorrow morning.

Who Stole My Spandex? Life in the Hot Flash Lane by Marcia Kester Doyle

28107438Who Stole My Spandex? Life in the Hot Flash Lane is laugh out loud funny (and I have never used LOL in a sentence before right now), which short, sharp-witted antidotes that you can read when you’re waiting in line or don’t have much time. Along with the humorous essays, though, Marcia Kester Doyle shares personal serious topics. I’m excited to learn that Doyle is a blogger and I’ll be sure to check that out, as well as some of her other books.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Death Chase by Lizella Prescott

371a737ee36aafe33082c5b2fb97b366WARNING: This book will cause you to stay up all night and contemplate calling in sick just so you can finish it.

If that disclaimer isn’t obvious, I loved this book. From the prologue, which sets the tone for this psychological thriller, to the epilogue, which was a nice “where are they now?” wrap-up, I did not want to put this book down. Sometimes I find stories that are told from multiple characters’ points-of-view confusing, but Lizella Prescott gave each main character her own individual voice. Plus, Mira’s point-of-view is told in present day, during the race they’re running, while Isabelle’s and Kimmy’s points-of-view are past tense, letting readers know the history of the three friends. Mira is an addict focusing on her recovery.  If you don’t know anyone who is an addict, her character might seem outrageous; as someone who has family and friends in recovery, I found Mira and her actions to be believable.  I was shocked to find out who the master-mind was behind the crimes, and I did not see the ending coming. I plan on following Lizella Prescott online, and I’m excited to see what she publishes next.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.