Book Review: The Toll by Neal Shusterman

The Toll By Neal Shusterman is book three of the Arc of a Scythe trilogy. The Toll ends the YA series in a fitting way exposes truths hinted at in Scythe and Thunderhead. This book expands the number of characters introducing a few new ones and expanding upon characters we have grown with. This book was my least favorite in this excellent series. I wanted to love this book as much as the others, but from chapter two, I knew this book was going in a different direction than I wanted it to. The novel eventually corrects course and delivers a satisfying ending to the series. My main problem is Citra and Rowan have been the main characters, and this book changes it to an ensemble story. Rowan and Citra are in 30 pages of the first 300 pages of this 630 page book. I felt this book got away from the Scythes and replaced it with the Tonest which were interesting but not as much as the Scythes.

The Plot: In a futuristic Earth human’s have beat aging and death. Thanks to Nano technology there is no disease and death can be reversed in most cases. Scythes bring a permanent death to curb over population. The Scythes are human’s who have been appointed, they have a kill quota must must be unbiased in choosing it’s victims. The Thunderhead is a God-like A.I. system them that has vowed to stay out of Scythe business and can not influence who to kill. The Tonest are a religious group derived out of musical tones. In the last book Rowan became Scythe Lucifer a sort of rogue scythe that would kill other Scythes he deemed used bias in there kills, as he did to his mentor Goddard. Citra became Scythe Anastasia, she’s making enemies for her new ways of Gleaning people by letting them pick there deaths and giving them a month to live. Gavin Tolliver is a Nimbus agent works for the Thunderhead, and gets hinted that there will be an attempt on Citra’s life. Gavin intervenes saving Citra’s life, but he his deemed unsavory losing his job and being cut off from the Thunderhead directly. Indirectly the Thunderhead ask him to go undercover to save Citra once again, he discovers it’s a Scythe, and is sent to a Tonest cathedral to hide, while Citra roots out which Scythe is responsible. Rowan is set up and kidnapped by two old enemies he once thought were dead. Rowan is horrified as one is using the body of one of his old friends. There is an election of Highblade of Midmerica were Curie, Citra’s mentor and Goddard, Rowan’s mentor returned from the dead, after Rowan thought he killed him. There’s a controversy about how Goddard came back which causes the voting to stop and a council called. The council doesn’t go the way anyone planned and chaos breaks out permanently killing the high council of Scythes and Curie who sacrifices her self to put Citra and the newly rescued Rowan to die safely so that they can be revived at a later date. The anguish of the Thunderhead not bing able to stop any of it shuts down and will only talk to Gavin Tolliver. Since he is with the Tonest they think is must be a sign and make Gavin a prophet that they call The Toll. The New Scythe Leader Goddard the only survivor thinks the Toll is a great threat and wants him and all Tonest gleaned. Goddard changes the rules of bias and the quota how many people you can kill. Citra and Rowan took three years to get revived since they were at the bottom of the ocean, and wake up to a different world. Citra and Rowan have secrets that Overblade Goddard would kill to keep. The Toll, Thunderhead and the Scythes must reunite to bring balance to the world, before it is too late.

What I Liked: The new character of Jeri, the lgtbq character and the interesting take on gender fluidity. Rowan and Citra are great characters that are so easy to get behind, I wish they were in this book more though. Gavin Tolliver has one of the best character arcs from the start of thunderhead to where his character ends up in The Toll. I liked what was done with Scythe Morrison. I liked that I was tricked a couple times getting foretold things that characters think happened to then get shocked when you experience what really went down. The ending was a nice send off to the characters I had grown to love. The ending had a great finality to it, that truly ends. I liked what the secret Scythe room actually did, there was a lot of build up and I felt satisfied at the end with how it played out. Goddard was a great villain, where the more I knew about him the more I hated him. The way Gavin used the Thunderhead to his advantage. I liked Rand’s story arc.

What I Disliked: The major change in focus of Rowan and Citra not being the main characters. There was always side characters that had a role and their own stories but it was clear who the main focus was. The way the beginning was told needed more back and forth, sometimes it was told linearly and other times, time would jump back and forth. I wanted more out of the Faraday story line.

Recommendations: The Toll is the weakest book in the series, but I will slightly recommend this story mainly for the ending. The Arc of a Scythe series has been one of my favorite series, I have purchased four books by Shusterman. I wanted the last book to be better, I rated Scythe and Thunderhead 5 out of 5 stars, and I rate The Toll a high 3 stars, making the whole series score a 4 out of 5 stars. The world building and character arc’s are some of the best I’ve read, this series has made me a fan of Shusterman’s work and will read more.

Book Review: Foul is Fair By Hannah Capin

Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin is William Shakespeare’s Macbeth in High school! The story doesn’t hold back in it’s brutality, while keeping the dialogue foul and razor sharp. There’s Trigger warnings all over this book in terms of sexual content, murder, and language. This book is being marketed as Young Adult, a mature 16 year old might can handle it, but I would recommend older. I kept thinking of two movies while reading this Heathers the black comedy about means girls terrorizing the school and a girl falling for the bad guy that helps murder some of those that have wronged them. The second movie is I Spit on Your Grave, about a woman sexually assaulted, buried and left for dead. Rises from the grave and takes revenge. Both those movies are from the 80’s with the marketing of this book comparing it to the film Kill Bill which fits as a tale of revenge. The language and the camp make this novel stick out and is the best part of it. I had a hard time identifying with the lead character Jade/Elle and her lack of venerability she does show some at the end but it was a little too late. I wanted to like this story more than I did, the novel’s timeline is way too fast and took all believability with it. Thanks to Netgalley and Wednesday books for the advanced readers copy. Foul is Fair is published on February 18 2020.

The Plot: Elle on her sweet sixteen goes to a party with three of her best friends she calls the coven. At this party Elle is given a drugged drink and gets assaulted by a group of super rich prep boys that go to a local private Catholic School. Elle has flashes of the night and can remember some faces of one girl and six guys who let it happen. She takes care of the bruising and and tells her parents, instead of the cops she says she’s going to handle it and wants to switch schools to go to the Catholic school everyone involved went to. Elle changes her look but cutting and dying her hair and wearing contacts, she is not Elle any more but goes by her middle name Jade. Jade recruits the coven of friends to help her murder those who helped with the assault. Jade goes to her new school and immediately joins the top mean girl click noticing one of the girls who witnessed it happen and did nothing, and is dating one of the assaulters. All the people involved in the assault are apart of the boys lacrosse team. She see’s one member of the team that wasn’t involved in the assault, Mack, that has the potential to be the new king of school and someone that could help her kill. Jade’s plan starts to fall apart after she starts to fall for Mack. Will ha screw up her chance for revenge?

What I Liked: She tells her parents after the assault, I was happy to see this, since so many victims don’t speak out. The LGTBQ representation is really great, Mads, a member of the coven is Trans and represented and a real strong character that is not a cliche. The descriptions are really good they are often medieval and harken back to remind you of the Macbeth roots to the story. I really enjoyed the last 20 percent of the story, and felt the novel ended on a high note. The Jade and Piper confrontation was so great and my favorite scene with my favorite line, “What are you the patron saint of excessive drinking?” I did enjoy the twist of two character’s one for the good and one for the bad.

What I Disliked: The story time frame is so rushed, and it didn’t need to be. The whole span of this book is less than 20 days. Elle is assaulted on Friday turns into Jade and attends a new school on Monday. Joins the elite group which accepts her right away, she is an accessory to murder her third day, in love her forth day. This ridiculous time line made this story so unbelievable to me. The main character doesn’t show any venerability until the last 20 percent where it was too late. I really did not like the cover art at all, I feel it will hurt book sells.

Recommendations: I think this novel could be a good outlet for those who have been sexually assaulted and feel alone. This book was an attempt and had a lot of potential but I felt it wasn’t good enough for me to recommend. There’s some burst of greatness, I truly loved the last 20% so much, and was bummed that the rest of the book wasn’t this good. I think the author has potential and would seek out another novel. I rated Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin 3 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand

Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand is an atmospheric Historical Fiction surrounded in a world mystery by a deadly serial killer of young girls. The story takes place in 1915 fair grounds in Chicago about twenty years after the World’s Fire fire and the serial killer H.H. Holmes, with it’s own serial killer to deal with. The history is a big part I was constantly reminded of the nonfiction work The Devil in the White City which covered the 1893 Chicago’s World’s Fair. The history and the rides at the time were really neat, The book only covers one in detail Hellsgate ride I could almost imagine it. The book is LGTBG friendly with it’s lead character Pin who is a girl who lives as a boy and struggles with her feelings about girls and one girl in particular Glory. I have not read a great amount of LGTBQ books but I found this one really nailed the questioning of ones self. A special thanks to Netgalley and Mulholland Books for giving me a copy, Curious Toys was published on October 15 2019.

The Plot: Pin is a 14 year old girl who lives as a boy, it started for safety but she likes it and prefers it, her mother is a fortune teller at the fair. The both live on a shack on the fair grounds. Two years’s ago Pin’s sister was lost, she had a form of down syndrome, and has never been found. Pin runs drugs for Max, a he/she act where one side is a man and the other a woman. Pin is always curious and noticing things adults don’t she is sensitive to young girls and strangers. She watches a young girl in a yellow dress get into a ride with a man and never get out, the man she doesn’t get a good look but is sure what she’s seen. She sneaks into ride and discovers a body. Pin is the only one who cares as the body brings even more people to check out the ride and the fair, Pin is willing to risk her life but she might have to risk something more important to her identity.

What I Liked: Pin as a character was fascinating, wish we spent more time with her, and her crisis. I liked the little twist with Glory and who she turned out to be. I liked the Charlie Chaplin bit especially the bit about the cops questioning him being ashamed at the way they are portrayed in his movies. I liked the climax it was pretty exciting. The killer was good the reader was left to fill in a lot of their reasons for the crimes. I did like the flashback of the killer, even at the time reading it you didn’t know who’s flashback it was. I did like the Fatty Bacon cop character and the date scene he had. I love, loved, the part about Pin wanting to expose the killer put to do it in a way she could keep her identity as being a boy, I found that really powerful. I liked the language and found it fitting of the time period. This was one of the coolest covers with all the images about the book is has, it was one of the reasons I selected to request this novel form Netgalley.

What I Disliked: The character of Henry Darger I didn’t care for a hospital janitor that isn’t all there, slightly crazy, that looks out for young girls and has a club protecting them. His character was not needed and it kept the reader away from Pin. I would have liked his character a little more if his slight bio was at the beginning instead of at the end. I didn’t like that the story jumped around having 7 different character’s narratives. Pin, the killer and maybe one more character was all you needed, though I did like being in Charlie Chaplin’s head briefly it didn’t serve a narrative purpose and could been in the newspaper. I figured out who the killer was early, I saw where the novel was pulling me and saw through the misdirection. There was not that many possible suspects, so I found it easy to make the leap. I wanted better descriptions of all the people and things it keeps talking about boater hats, which I had to look up to know what they looked look then see it in the words on the page.

Recommendation: I would mildly recommend this to a reader searching for a LGTBQ character in the early 1900’s and the questioning of one’s self and identity was really good. If you like historical fiction of the early 1900’s, I love Charlie Chaplin and found that part fascinating, as the description of the Hellsgate amusement park ride. I rated this novel 3 out of 3 stars. I found there were some really great moment and some not so great moments that it balanced out.

Book Review: Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

Black Leopard and Red Wolf by Marlon James is an African fantasy novel, that explores a lot in it’s text like the topics of homosexuality, skin colorization, hegemony, disabled, incest, and feminism. Marlon James won the prestigious Man Booker Prize Award for his last novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, and this book is heavy on the metaphors and has gems of great dialogue through out. This novel took me two weeks because of the words used and the way that it is told. The story and fantasy elements are really strong. I loved the story for this book so much. The way it is written especially at first is very hard to get into I felt the same way when I tried reading William Faulkner’s Sound and Fury where you have to piece the story from the metaphor. It took be too about page 100 until I was comfortable to read without going back and rereading. I see this book being one read and discussed in college. I usually save trigger warnings for the end but this does have strong uses that could turn readers off so I will mention them here: graphic sex scenes, graphic language, graphic Violence, rape, incest, and sex with animals ( a couple character’s are shape shifters). This is my second African fantasy novel, my first being Children of Blood and Bone by Toni Adeyemi, which was very different but both were steeped in culture you can feel.

The Plot: e meet the tracker when he is a man imprisoned and telling stories of his past. His first story is how he went to the land of the dead and brought back a king that would rather be dead than married to the queen, and an enemy he brings back still haunts him to this day. The story then goes to when he was a child and finds out about his past and becomes the Tracker. He was always able to find things by sense of smell, and he find out he can see things towns a way. The first place his nose leads him to is his birth place, where he finds about all kinds of legend and meet Leopard a shapeshifter that can change form leopard to man. He protects children that were born deformed called mingi, with a witch Sangoma. The village is raided for fear of plaque and a dry season the witch place a protection on him that and steal weapon will not pierce his skin. The children for the most part survive, and the Tracker and Leopard become their protectors and eventually find them a home. Another tale that takes up most the book is years later where the Tracker is really known for finding people and children is tasked in a fellowship to find a boy. There’s a huge mystery about who this boy is he’s supposed to protect, this fellowship is not like the Fellowship of the ring these are mercenaries that some have a horrible past the tracker wants to kill one member and might not wait until he finds the boy to do it. Leopard is also apart of it but their trust is broken by something. The Tracker will have to find his own demons to find the boy.

What I Liked: The overall story has so many twist, turns, and betrayals. I have read my share of fantasy novels and the story is one of the better ones, you think you can predict where it’s going but you can not. the last 100 pages changes everything. The story arc of Tracker is interesting at the end of the novel he gets some redemption but character went into place I didn’t always like. Sadogo is my favorite character, a gentle half giant now, but once a brutal killer that sometimes still comes out, such a sad backstory, but a great character. The action is written really well. The settings are vidid and show all the different shade of Africa.

What I Disliked: The story was a little long, occasionally it would retell the story adding little extra in it’s retelling, that happened at least five times. I wanted better descriptions of characters, some James did a really good job but others I just couldn’t visualize. The finger in the butt joke was to frequent. I would have been ok with half the sex, I think it was really important when Tracker was finding himself when he was young, but after that I didn’t need all the graphic details.

Recommendations: I know people that will hate this the sex and swearing will turn them off, but the story really is good so if you can get past all the trigger warnings which are again: graphic sex scenes, graphic violence, graphic language, rape, incest, and sex with animals ( a couple character’s are shape shifters) then the book is really well told. This book is very LGTBQ friendly with its characters. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars. This book is mark as book one of the Dark Star Trilogy I will read the second one for story alone, I might have to block out a time when I can easily consume it.

Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is magnificent, just good old fashioned storytelling at it’s best. This book does a great thing of showing you on the surface tis is what Evelyn Hugo’s life is through the tabloids, then letting you hear in her own words what her life and marriages was truly about and it changes everything you know and perceived. I thought at the beginning that this book was headed one way focusing on the glitz and glamour of Evelyn Hugo’s life only for the story to take a turn and shows so much heart. Taylor Jenkins Reid shows us a character that we should all be jealous over then at the end you can’t help but feel sorry her and the anonymity of a normal life and the freedoms that we the reader have. It was awesome to see a book get so much hype, really and truly blow me away by how amerced I got with the character and the story.

The Plot: Evelyn Hugo is one of the bigger movie star’s of the silver age that she started in the 1950’s and a cultural icon, even though she has one an Oscar her career is over shadowed by the fact she’s been married a total of 7 times ( The Character of Evelyn Hugo is based on a amalgam of female actresses like Elizabeth Taylor and her 7 husbands, the looks and background of Marylin Monroe, and at least one screen role reflects Jane Fonda’s Klute). Evelyn’s life has been told in the tabloids but she’s never set down for an in-depth interview until now, on the eve of her daughter’s death from breast cancer, she’s donating dresses made famous to charity for breast cancer research. , and she wants more press for the event. She chooses a reporter Monique who doesn’t have much clout, so she can seemingly push her around, but Evelyn is quick to tell her there’s a specific reason she chose her and will be revealed at the end, also this piece is about dresses and will be her final interview. Evelyn reveals the truth behind all her husbands ad it will change the way the world ever thought about her and also change Monique’s life as well.

What I Liked: The way this book grabs you and puts you in Evelyn’s world, While reading it became jarring when Monique and Evelyn would talk, because I was so amerced in the story Evelyn was telling. The direction of the book was not one I was not expecting, but really enjoyed the ride and the character development that went with it. The look at the Hollywood during the mid fifties was portrayed really well, and the author clearly did a lot of research on the era. The character’s are all so well rounded and really stick with you even side character’s are memorable. The pace of this novel is incredible if I didn’t have things to do could easily have read this in one sitting.

What I Disliked: I would have wanted to see a little more Hollywood after the early years, but I know that came with the shift of focus that the novel switched to but it would’ve been nice. I did guess the reason that Monique was involved, a little early, I was still satisfied with it, but the moment when it was revealed was over too fast. I didn’t like the way Evelyn delivered the news.

Recommendations: I highly recommend this novel it’s just a great story from start to finish, and a new one to put in my favorites. If you like historical fiction this is a good well researched book on Hollywood in the 50’s and the rise of an ingenue. If you like Biographies then this reads like an in-depth Bio where the artist reveals her soul. This book has some LBGTQ character’s that are portrayed very real with all there flaws and triumphs. I rated this book a rare 5 out of 5 and added this book to my favorites.

Book Review: This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us by Edgar Cantero

This Body’s Not Big Enough for Both of Us is really fun if you give in to the ridiculous concept of two siblings (a brother and a sister) occupying the same body, it spins the wise cracking detective genre on it’s head as the brother Adrian is the serious detective and his sister Zooey is the wise cracking one who’s the hard drinker. The novel really reminded me of a dirtier version of a Christopher Moore book. What works is this satirical novel has a pretty good mystery behind it that will keep you guessing. The Narrator plays with a lot of cliches of the genre as well as evidenced in the opening line.

“Elmore Leonard said it’s bad style to open a novel with the weather. Well, fuck him – it was a blazing red-hot August morning.”

The Plot: Adrian and Zooey Kimrean having just been arrested get lucky as a former arresting officer has now gone under cover for a Cartel needs a skilled private investigator to investigate the murder of one of the Cartel boss’s son to stop a potential gang war as the Japanese gang who the cartel were working with is having issues. Adrian and Zooey investigate and determine the Japanese are not involved, they run into problems as the youngest 11 year old daughter Ursula can tell the difference between Adrian and Zooey talking, really responds to Zooey and stows away as she meets Danny the undercover cop and Ursula finds out. Ursula is the black sheep in her family the only girl 2o years younger than her brothers, she kind of okay with her family going down but uses it at leverage to hang out with Zooey much to Adrian’s dismay who doesn’t want the distraction. Everything changes when the second brother is assassinated and Adrian can’t figure out who is killing the family but now believes all the cartel siblings are now in danger.

What I Liked: The mystery despite all the satirical nature is still really strong, and will keep you guessing. The humor and making fun of the the noir cliches, there’s a great inner monologue about how the character of Adrian hates inner monologues and how they’re just a transition device that author’s use to make there page count and get between scenes, it’s great and is purposely a page and a half rant which put a smile on my face the whole time. There’s also a flashback with in a flashback that the character get’s called out for. The killer has an amazing monologue that I really enjoyed. The arguing and fighting with it’s self scenes are only used sparingly which I thought was perfect. The two big fight scenes are really easy to picture and follow the action.

What I Disliked: This novel is very smart humored but every once in a while it dips into vulgarity for no reason at all to say something shocking, which doesn’t always work. I did have a hard time imagine exactly what Adrian and Zooey looked like, and if the voiced changed at all.

Recommendations: If you read a lot of detective especially noir, you’ll have fun as it calls out a lot of cliches of the genre in fun creative ways. If you like satire like Christopher Moore novels or Mel Brooks films then you’ll like this piece, the only thing I will warn you is that it is vulgar, and this will turn some people off. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, it was almost a 5 star book for me, I’ve been wanting to read the authors novel called Meddling Kids which I will definitely make it higher on my TBR.

Book Review: The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

The Cabin At the End of the World is intense, tension filled, and unlike anything I’ve read before. I will have you guessing what is real and what is not. It constantly ask you the reader to decide if you believe what certain characters believe? and if you were in the same situation what you you do? There are plenty of WTF moments filled with gore. If I had to describe this book comparing other works I would say it’s Stephen King’s The Mist meets Tracy Letts’ Bug (the play), it was adapted into a movie starring Michal Shannon, Harry Connick Jr., and Ashley Judd directed by William Friedkin who directed The Exorcist but those works bring the perfect mash-up of belief verses paranoia.

The Plot: Wen and her two dads (Eric and Andrew) spend a vacation at a remote cabin in the woods far away from society. Wen meets Leonard a seemingly lost stranger, while she hunts grasshoppers. Leonard seems nice but also something seems off about him almost a fake nicety, he helps Wen hunt grasshoppers, when three other strangers (Sabrina, Adriane, and Redmond) show up brandishing weapons. Leonard knows them but doesn’t call them friends, he apologizes for what’s about to happen. Wen runs inside to cabin to her dads and quickly telling the situation. They lockdown the cabin but the strangers are determined, saying all they need to talk to Wen and her family because they are the key to saving the world. Where in most novels this would be the start of a heroes journey, but in this story this is the start of a nightmare, that will ask Wen and her family to sacrifice everything!

What I Liked: The gay couple is handled really well there love feels very real and not fake at all. I loved the character of Wen, you are immediately captivated how she sees the world and life in it. The strangers are all written really well, I could’ve had a more of their background and beliefs, their story gets interesting when we finally get the background of some and how they found the calling. The writing is really good very detailed, you know where every piece of furniture is in the cabin. The WTF moment is so good it comes so fast with out explanation, you get it later, but it was one of the most shocking moments I’ve ever read. The plot is simple but it is executed really well.

What I disliked: When it came too strangers background I wanted a lot more, and every strangers background. I wanted more about how the strangers game together and their shared vision. The ending fell apart, which really sucks because I was really enjoying this novel thinking it could top my list of books of 2018. The ending is just okay and very open ended. This novel is all about belief verse paranoia, and two of the characters have opposing views but their never tested, I felt one’s view should have won out. It end with me feeling like the author could not make up his mind. the book takes about 25 pages to really get going, then it moves pretty fast. I did feel this might have been better as a super-focused novella, there’s some filler that could have been trimmed down.

Recommendations: Stephen King gave this book a hell of a blurb and it fits into his world really well, so King fans will really enjoy. Readers that like shocking bloody gore filled moments, this novel has a few. Readers that like horror that makes you think. I had a problem with the ending but I think this is the horror novel of 2018, and it made me want to read other work from the author. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars. Ive already had some really great debates when I was half way down, if you’ve read it and want to discuss drop me a comment and enjoy reading!

Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

This novel ask an interesting question, how would you live your life if it was foretold to you the day of your death? Four siblings are foretold their death date and we see how they live their life and if the predictions are accurate or not. I enjoyed this novel a great deal, it analyzed character that are some what likeable and man do they have flaws. This novel wraps up really well asking the reader to question what is a well lived life?

The novel is told as a short story and 4 novellas, which reminded me of Salinger’s Franny and Zoey by story structure. The short story is how the four siblings find out about their deaths, Then Simon’s story of his life as a teenager in San Fransisco at the start of the Aids epidemic, To Klara who becomes a Las Vegas magician, to Daniel who is a army medic post 9/11, to Varya who is trying to understand about life by studying chimps.

What I liked in this book: The character relationships and connections how they’re connected. How the family history is traced through moments, reminded me of the novel Life After Life. The characters make tough decisions, a lot of the time wrong, as a reader I was sometimes frustrated, but there choices are still very real and you still end up liking them. I liked the beginning, Simon’s, Klara’s and Daniel’s stories.  The last two have some intense moments and did not go the way I thought they would.

What I didn’t like: the last story was kind of a let down it focus on one moment where the other characters had other moments that lead up to their choices. The dropping of Eddie the cop’s character is tragic since his story interacted with everyone but Varya, and how he affects two of the siblings, I wanted closure for this character, but there was none.

I would recommend this book for people that like book about the past, the San Fransisco of the 70’s was really clear and vivid. I learned a lot about the aids crisis and the timeline of the epidemic. Also if you enjoy books about family history life the excellent Life after Life. I was very close to giving this book five stars because it really made me think of my own choices in life but, that last story really killed all the momentum the book was heading, so I would rate this 4.3 stars. I will say it is still my favorite book of 2018 so far.