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.

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.