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review 2018-12-06 00:54
The broken girls of Idlewild...
The Broken Girls - Simone St. James

 

๏ ๏ ๏  Book Blurb ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 
Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . . 
 
Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.
 
When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced. . . .
 
 
 
 

๏ ๏ ๏  My Review ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 
A well deserved 5 stars.  The jump between two different time periods can be exceptionally difficult to follow, especially in audio format, but this book pulled it off flawlessly, despite having one narrator.  She had a different cadence to her voice for each of the MC's, and I was always able to know just whose timeline I was in throughout the entire story.  With a very intricately woven plotline, and dynamic characters, The Broken Girls is a must listen.  I found the way she worked the ghost into the story made this more of a realistic story with a splash of paranormal instead of a paranormal story with some realistic aspects added to it.  For me, this worked perfectly.
 
 

๏ ๏ ๏  MY RATING ๏ ๏ ๏ 

 
☆5☆STARS - GRADE=A+

 
 
 
 

 

๏ Breakdown of Ratings ๏ 

Plot⇝ 5/5
Main Characters⇝ 5/5
Secondary Characters⇝ 5/5
The Feels⇝ 5/5
Pacing⇝ 4.7/5
Addictiveness⇝ 5/5
Theme or Tone⇝ 5/5
Flow (Writing Style)⇝ 5/5
Backdrop (World Building)⇝ 5/5
Originality⇝ 5/5
Ending⇝ 5/5 Cliffhanger⇝ Nope.
๏ ๏ ๏
Book Cover⇝ It's amazing actually
Narration⇝ ☆5☆ for Rebecca Lowman
Setting⇝ Barrons, Vermont
Source⇝ Audiobook (Library)
๏ ๏ ๏
Goodreads
Amazon
Booklikes
 

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text 2018-12-01 17:00
December To-Read: The Final Push of the Year
Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Children of OrÏsha) - Tomi Adeyemi
The Broken Girls - Simone St. James
Ghosted - Rosie Walsh
Spinning Silver - Naomi Novik
Red Clocks: A Novel - Leni Zumas
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock - Imogen Hermes Gowar
Circe - Madeline Miller

I didn't read very much of my November TBR. I was in a slump and just read whatever I wanted to keep myself moving. I did read 4 books....or was it 5? I can't remember. Anyway....

 

This month I will mostly dedicate myself to my Book of the Month pile, with the exception of Children of Blood and Bone which I am so excited to get to. I am waiting on an audiobook of Spinning Silver to drop from Libby. And there are more BOM books than I have listed here, but they aren't coming up in the BL database. The Lies We Told, The Air You Breathe, and Small Country. I'm hoping to make a big final push this year like I did last December. We shall see.

 

Also, yesterday was my birthday! I got a bread maker. And some money from my dad so I ordered a 23andme kit to finally put my ancestry to rest. Plus I preordered Soul of the Dragon which we Power Ranger fans call Old Man Tommy. Then I took my son to our neighborhood diner for Catfish Friday. And I got myself a birthday cake.

 

 

Anyway, on to the holidays! 

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review 2018-10-03 21:55
Make the hair on the back of your neck stand-up
The Haunting of Maddy Clare - Simone St. James

 

 

“The ghost in Waringstoke is female,” he explained. “She was, apparently, a servant girl who worked for the family. She hanged herself in the barn at the age of nineteen.”

 

I've been wanting a more creepy Halloween Bingo story and this delivered. Told in first person, Sarah gets a call from her temp agency telling her about a job opportunity. She's to be an assistant to Alistair Gellis, who turns out to be young, rich, handsome, and oh, a ghost hunter. Sarah doesn't necessarily believe in ghosts but she needs the money and has been feeling adrift.

 

“Please tell me. Why was your husband afraid of Maddy?”

Tears began to course down her cheeks. She seemed hardly aware of them. “He always said—he always said that night she came, she looked like she’d been buried. She looked like she’d come from a grave. My husband believed Maddy was dead before she even came to Falmouth House.'

 

The story starts rolling right away and keeps a very quick pace, you'll want to devour this story in one sitting. The story is somewhat tight knit starting off with our heroine Sarah, Alistair bringing her into the mystery, Alistair's assistant Matthew, our ghost Maddy Clare, and a handful of townspeople. I immediately started side-eyeing people as their personalities and actions seemed dark and murky. The first person dialogue was a double edged sword for me as it kept the mystery alive but also felt like forced manufacturing mystery and drama. 

 

Matthew’s words hung between us, the war a chasm that could not be traveled. I could not go there; he could not come back.

 

The ghost story is pretty front and center but a close second is the discussion of World War I and all the emotional and mental damage that did to Alistair, Matthew, and others. A more distant third was the romance between Sarah and Matthew, I even want to hesitate to call it romance because it kind of pops in jarringly and then hovers at the edges. At times it felt like there were some hitches in the juggling act between the three, I think a longer page count allowing the romance to be given more time and depth and a longer time spent with the characters dealing with PTSD would have given this a more even flow. 

 

Heels, barefoot, kicking against the wall. Something sat in the sill of the high window, and kicked its heels as it dangled its feet. It was behind me, only six feet away.

 

I thought the mystery was done well but as an avid horror movie watcher, I've see this type of story done before (a similar movie 

[spoiler]

Gothika

[/spoiler]) and was able to guess what some of the answers were halfway through. You'll be devastated and probably start wanting to bend your moral feelings on accepted justice. The creepy factor was still done really well here and thinking I knew what was going on didn't stop me from looking extra hard into corner shadows as I went to bed. I definitely recommend this if looking for a spooky story that deals with some discussion about PTSD or battle fatigue as it was referenced as after World War I, first person pov that will keep some character mystery alive, a romance that could be described more as intensity, and a ghost that will have her revenge. 

 

I screamed, but I tasted their blood, she said, as if I had not spoken. Each of the three. They each tasted different. I took orders, but I knew I would taste it again. Every one of them. I will do it, little girl. I will have my revenge.

 

 

 

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text 2018-10-02 14:24
50%
The Haunting of Maddy Clare - Simone St. James

 

Maddy Clare let me escape the barn, where I could finally scream and scream.

 

This is fairly creepy and has been off and running from the get go. I'm also side-eyeing a whole bunch of people.

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text 2018-10-01 23:51
Reading Update: 10%
The Haunting of Maddy Clare - Simone St. James

 

I nodded. Taking notes, organizing clippings—it was easy enough. “Certainly I’ll help you,” I said.

He held up a finger. “Ah—I haven’t finished. Don’t agree just yet. You said you have no opinion on the existence of ghosts.”

“I’ve certainly never seen one,” I conceded.

His smile was like sun breaking through the clouds.“How lucky for you, then. Because you’re going to see one this week. For me.”

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