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Pieces of Her, Girl Forgotten by Karin Slaughter (mystery)

This is a double feature because I listened to both books back to back and I really enjoyed both of them.

Pieces of her

Pieces of Her is the first book in this (so far) two book series. In this book, Andrea Cooper believes she knows everything about her mother, Laura. However, Andrea’s understanding is shattered when an incident at the mall reveals Laura’s capability to face down a murderer with astonishing calmness, hinting at a hidden past. It emerges that Laura had a completely different identity before becoming Andrea’s mother and has been concealing her former self for nearly 30 years.

The attacker, a troubled teen with connections to law enforcement, prompts a police investigation, putting Laura’s innocence in question. Laura becomes reticent, pushing Andrea to become independent. Determined to save her mother, Andrea delves into Laura’s past, seeking to uncover secrets that threaten their future. This journey challenges Andrea’s perception of her mother and forces her to confront unexpected truths about Laura’s life, unveiling a story of identity, secrets, and the lengths one will go to protect a new life from the shadows of the past.

girl forgotten

Girl Forgotten is the second book in the series. In 1982, Longbill Beach is rocked by the unsolved murder of Emily Vaughn, a beloved athlete and student, on prom night—a night marred by the silence of a secret she harbored. Forty years on, the mystery of Emily’s death lingers, with her friends, family, and the town itself having moved on, yet her murder remains a dark cloud over the community. Enter US Marshal Andrea Oliver, tasked with protecting a judge but secretly driven to solve the cold case of Emily’s murder. Andrea’s investigation threatens to unravel decades-old secrets, as she races against time to bring Emily’s killer to justice before she, too, becomes a victim.

I’m giving both of these books 4 stars. They were both very well written with metaphors and similes that I had to write down because they were so well done. The characters were well developed, and I especially liked the plot line of Girl Forgotten. I think I liked Girl Forgotten more, but I already knew the characters, so I might have had some bias.

Check out Pieces of Her here, or Girl Forgotten here.

Five Little Indians by Michelle Good (literary fiction)

Removed from their families and subjected to a harsh life at a church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie, and Maisie emerge as teenagers devoid of skills, support, or family ties. They gravitate towards Downtown Eastside Vancouver, seeking safety and a sense of belonging in a world that seems to reject them. Their lives, intertwined by shared trauma, diverge and reconnect over the years. Clara channels her anger into activism with the American Indian Movement, Maisie endangers herself, Kenny flees from his past through transient jobs and battles addiction, Lucy clings to motherhood and a compulsive disorder, and Howie tries to restart his life after prison. Together, they face the daunting task of healing from their childhood wounds.

I have to give this book 4.5 stars, not expecting the book to be as good as it was, but I really connected with the characters and felt for the trauma they faced. I found myself wanting to know how it turned out for them, after they went through such terrible things. Michelle Good did an excellent job with character development, the plot and her research on residential schools and how that trauma has travelled through generations. Highly recommend.

Check out the book here.

This is how you lose the time war (Romance, Sci-fi)

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.

Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war.

I’m giving this book 4 stars! It’s incredibly well written with distinct character voices and packed with so much to learn about the art of writing. Romance and literary fiction is not my genre, but I enjoyed it a lot. It’s worth the read to study how well a love story can be crafted.

Check out the book here.

Check out my top 10 list of fiction and non-fiction for 2024!

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