Book Review · Books

All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien [BOOK REVIEW]

All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien [BOOK REVIEW]

If you are looking to try a different take on mystery, All That’s Left Unsaid is a great book to start. It has the right amount of mystery and emotion to get you invested and keep you intrigued until the very end.

All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien [BOOK REVIEW]

Pages: 400

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Publisher: HQ Stories

Format I read it in: Paperback, Uncorrected Proof

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis

Just let him go. These are the words Ky Tran will forever regret. The words she spoke when her parents called to ask if they should let her younger brother Denny out to celebrate his high school graduation with friends. That night, Denny–optimistic, guileless, brilliant Denny–is brutally murdered inside a busy restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Cabramatta, a refugee enclave facing violent crime, an indifferent police force, and the worst heroin epidemic in Australian history.

Returning home to Cabramatta for the funeral, Ky learns that the police are stumped by Denny’s case: a dozen people were at Lucky 8 restaurant when Denny died, but each of the bystanders claim to have seen nothing.

Desperately hoping that understanding what happened might ease her suffocating guilt, Ky sets aside her grief and determines to track down the witnesses herself. With each encounter, she peels back another layer of the place that shaped her and Denny, exposing the seeds of violence that were planted well before that fateful celebration dinner: by colonialism, by the war in Vietnam, and by the choices they’ve all made to survive.

My Thoughts:

“You can’t be there for everyone. You can’t be everything to everyone. People will make their own choices, no matter what you do.”

My goodness, this book is beauty and heartbreak, brilliantly put together. It will hold a special place in my heart. All That’s Left Unsaid is quite close to me, not because Ky will lose a brother. I’ve never felt such loss and I hope to never feel it. But Ky speaks to me because of who she is and where she comes from. Being an immigrant myself, I could connect with Ky’s story in a way that I didn’t anticipate I would. I’ve read many books with this topic before, and didn’t quite click with a character in a way I clicked with Ky. The culture differences and the lost sense of belonging casts a shadow on every written page.

“When I’m away from Cabra, I feel like I’ve shed my own skin. But whenever I come back here, it’s like I didn’t shed anything at all. It’s like I’ve just flipped a switch, you know? And my old self was there all along.”

I devoured this book, because it entwined these motives into an interesting and emotional mystery. Ky is trying to find out who her brother has become in her absence from home. And why he is now suddenly dead. Everyone is keeping secrets and Ky is not sure who to trust.

“It wasn’t the punishment itself that Ky feared. It was the look. The look that said, I expected more from you. I’m disappointed in you. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

I also enjoyed how her past friendship ends up having a role in her present life. The author can portray broken relationships in a very relatable way. Drug abuse and drug dealing are a main topic in this book and they often come up – so please be aware if this may trigger you whilst reading.

“Would an explanation of why something was not done in the past make you feel better? Because if it would change your life for the better and put happiness in your heart, pull up a chair and I will explain everything I have never done.”

About The Author:

All That’s Left Unsaid by Tracey Lien [BOOK REVIEW]

Tracey Lien was born and raised in southwestern Sydney, Australia. She earned her MFA at the University of Kansas and was previously a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. All That’s Left Unsaid is her first novel.

Website: https://www.traceylien.com

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Book Review · Books

With This Kiss by Carrie Hope Fletcher [BOOK REVIEW]

With This Kiss by Carrie Hope Fletcher [BOOK REVIEW]

I am so thrilled to be joining the blog tour for “With This Kiss” by HQ Stories. If every time you kissed someone, you knew how they will die, would you have the courage to try and find love? “With This Kiss” by Carrie Hope Fletcher explores this in a sweet romantic fashion.

With This Kiss by Carrie Hope Fletcher [BOOK REVIEW]

About The Book:

With This Kiss by Carrie Hope Fletcher [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 400

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: HQ Stories

Format I read it in: Paperback, Uncorrected Proof

Rating: ★★/★★

Synopsis:

When their lips touch, will she seal his fate?

From the outside, Lorelai is an ordinary young woman with a normal life. She loves reading, she works at the local cinema and she adores living with her best friend. But she carries a painful burden, something she’s kept hidden for years; whenever she kisses someone on the lips, she sees how they are going to die. But she’s never known if she’s seeing what was always meant to be, or if her kiss is the thing that decides their destiny. And so, she hasn’t kissed anyone since she was sixteen.

Then she meets Grayson. Sweet, clever, funny Grayson. And for the first time in years she yearns for a man’s kiss. But she can’t… or can she? And if she does, should she try to intervene and change what she sees?

Spellbinding, magical and utterly original, With This Kiss is one love story you will never forget.

My Thoughts:

I chose to read “With This Kiss” by Carrie Hope Fletcher because the cover looked gorgeous, and it fit for my April Monthly TBR Prompt to pick a book with a beautiful cover. But it was actually the synopsis that really intrigued me to want to really read this book. I really like the idea of Lorelai’s ability to see people’s deaths when she kisses them. It was an idea that was well thought of and well developed throughout the book. I couldn’t help but think what would I do if I was in that situation.

Usually, when the main character is going through something in their life, I am able to relate to their thoughts and feelings. And I had my concerns that I won’t be able to with this book, because what Lorelai is going through is very fictional. However, I was wrong. I felt everything she was feeling. Through her story and experiences, I was able to understand why she makes the choices she does and it all makes sense. I also loved her friendship with Joanie. Joanie is a true gem and every person deserves a friend like her in their lives.

I really enjoyed how Lorelai and Grayson meet.

The book club scenes made me quite excited and I could instantly feel the geekiness from Grayson, that I adored! But there were too few of these scenes. I can’t help but feel that this book club was only introduced for Lorelai to meet Grayson, as well as for the author to introduce a trans couple. But where I felt the frustration was that neither the book club nor the trans couple were mentioned later on in the book. So I’m not quite sure what the author wanted to achieve with this. The other bit that was mentioned here was Lorelai’s passion about working on movie adaptations, which she briefly mentions twice of three times in the book, and nothing comes out of it.

Now let’s talk actual romance.

I loved their meeting and I was all up for the little teasing combined with geekiness. But then the couple slightly lost me, especially during the period when Lorelai wasn’t sure what to do, but also kept leading him on, promising to explain things and never did. I also refuse to believe someone would let two weeks pass by and not listen to their voicemails.

However, I still enjoyed the book a lot! It just wasn’t the romance I was hoping for. Instead, it was a beautiful journey of a woman that has unique abilities. Her struggles to find courage to be able to truly love someone. Her relationship with her family, who are able to offer much more that she was led to believe all her life. This book will make you feel all the feels – you will be rooting for Lorelai to go out there and fight for what she loves!

About The Author:

With This Kiss by Carrie Hope Fletcher [BOOK REVIEW]

Carrie Hope Fletcher is an English actress, author and singer-songwriter.

Her debut book, All I Know Now: Wonderings and Reflections on Growing Up Gracefully was published in May 2015. Her first fiction novel, On the Other Side was published in July 2016. Fletcher is well known for her YouTube channel where she shares videos about her life and her work as an actress and author.

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Book Review · Books

Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier [BOOK REVIEW]

Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier [BOOK REVIEW]

Pizza Girl is one of those books where I just couldn’t connect to the story and characters, and it’s not the book’s fault. I enjoyed the writing and read it quite fast, but it didn’t leave a long-lasting impression.

About The Book:

Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier [BOOK REVIEW]


Pages: 192

Format I read it in: Hardcover

Publisher: HQ Stories

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK | Amazon US

★★

Synopsis:

Pizza Girl is a story about an 18-year-old girl that is going through a lot. She is pregnant, living with her mum and boyfriend, and she recently lost her dad. Unsure of every aspect of her life, she is struggling and trying to get by.

Working as a pizza delivery girl, one day she delivers a pizza to Jenny, a stay-at-home mum that has just moved in the neighbourhood.

Every week, these two women interact with each other, and whilst both are fighting their demons, their relationship begins to blur into something unknown and complicated.

My Thoughts:

I am sad to say that I broke up with this book, and it was one of those “it’s not you, it’s me” breakups. Even though I loved the writing and the idea of the story, I wasn’t impressed. Both women made some decisions that I still can’t wrap my head around. Especially our heroine. She has a mum and a boyfriend that care about her in their own way, and she doesn’t seem to acknowledge this. There is a lot going on in her life – it’s not easy to go through pregnancy and the loss of a parent, but she also doesn’t make it easier on herself and avoids help at all costs. Pizza Girl definitely brought all her emotions to life, because I felt everything. I simply couldn’t connect to her struggles in a way that made me care about her character. She crossed a lot of lines, especially around the end of the book and I couldn’t get past that.

Aside from the above, Pizza Girl is a very gripping and easy to read. You will be able to feel all the emotions whilst reading. I was laughing out loud and felt the sadness and anger too. If you are intrigued by the synopsis and are up for reading something out of the ordinary, you might enjoy this book. It just wasn’t the one for me.

About The Author:

Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier [BOOK REVIEW]

Jean Kyoung Frazier lives in Los Angeles. Pizza Girl is her debut novel.

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