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The Chalk Man – a book review in 200 words

The Chalk Man
by C.J. Tudor

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The Chalk Man, C.J. Tudor’s debut novel, is told in two timelines: the first by 12-year-old Eddie; the second, by the same narrator, only 30 years older. There are multiple mysteries in both timelines and the author uses the time-switching device effectively to escalate suspense and dole out clues to you, the wary reader.

The 1986 story has a maiming, a drowning, some extremely brutal bullying and a murder. All the while, there is a big story involving the adults happening just outside the periphery of the children’s attention.

Fast forward to adult Eddie in 2016 who is dealing with a life he didn’t expect. With the reappearance of old friends, another drowning and some other strange goings-on, Eddie has no choice but to re-examine his discovery of a headless body in the woods in ‘86.

There are so many great themes in this book – the powerlessness of children, the pull of childhood friendships, growing up and not having the life you thought you’d have. Add to all of that, strange chalk drawings, an albino, an abortion doctor and a hell-fire spouting preacher and you have a weird, wild ride where you can’t take anything for granted. What a thrill!

Thanks to Crown Publishing for the ARC!

Rating: 88/100

BUY IT NOW at Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – a book review in 200 words

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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I ended up grabbing this Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from work because no one else took it. I don’t read romance (usually), and the cover just screamed the word at me. To my great surprise and unending delight, Seven Husbands by Taylor Jenkins Reid, is one of the finest books I have read so far this year.

The story follows the reclusive movie star, Evelyn Hugo, as she plucks an unknown journalist out of obscurity and gives her the scoop of her career. Hugo is nearing the end of her career and, clearly, her life, and has decided to finally let the public in on her secrets. Her seven marriages act as a clever literary device, a way to discover Hugo’s relationships that range from old Hollywood marriages as the beard to gay leading man to the affair with the love of her life,

Not to be forgotten is the mystery that unfolds around the journalist, Monique Grant, as Hugo’s choice to write her story. The discovery of who Grant is started me on my first crying jag.

My second jag – ugly-crying through the entire last few chapters, but in a good way.

Go out and buy this book today!

(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)

Rating: 90/100

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