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Old 06-04-2021, 08:23 PM
  #46
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I was heartbroken by that description!

Quote:
I enjoyed The Ride of Her Life for showing that no matter where you go, people want to help. It’s a sentiment more often forgotten in present time, I think. I think these days, we are more likely to hear of division.
So true.

Maybe I will read it. Got to work up the courage for that end.
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Old 06-05-2021, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
I was heartbroken by that description!
If I am heartbroken, you need to be too



It's. better to be warned it's coming for whenever you read it
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Old 06-06-2021, 05:42 PM
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Misery loves company.
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Old 06-06-2021, 06:57 PM
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It does!
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Old 07-18-2021, 07:08 PM
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How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather.

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It's the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in a debut novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren't enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it's Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
I went to Boston for 4th of July and was supposed to take a day trip to Salem. The weather turned nasty and the ferry was canceled. However, I still wanted to listen to this audiobook to get in the mood.

The author Adriana Mather is also the narrator for the audiobook. She did a good job. She has a teenager's voice and that was a good fit, but she was also able to change her voice for different characters.

There are the typical universal YA tropes, yet it's still a page turning mystery. It was really hard to pause the audiobook. I should have seen the character reveal
Spoiler:
coming but for a hot second I suspected another character,
Spoiler:


I liked the end message about breaking the cycle of the curse. Death begets death, violence begets violence. This is a quote I liked (Ch 46, page 342) "A curse is just a cycle, which may only exist because people want it to."

I also liked the analogy between a witch hunt and bulling. This is one of my favorite quotes (Ch 37, page 246): "I guess witchcraft accusations have not disappeared. They have just transformed."

I not usually one for love triangle but I liked this unusual love triangle. It was very subtle and not a huge soap opera.
Spoiler:


I have a few criticisms. Some things were dropped. Like Sam and Jaxon's class project and the enactment play the class was supposed to do. Also,
Spoiler:


I also thought the last chapter was too short. I would have liked to see
Spoiler:
I'll probably see the answers in the sequel, Haunting the Deep, which I am reading next.


4 out of 5 Black Eyed Susans.
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Old 07-19-2021, 01:59 PM
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Enjoy the sequel. Now you don't have to deal with bitchy descendants.

Good quotes chosen.
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Old 07-22-2021, 01:31 PM
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It's the enemies turned friends trope.
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Old 07-22-2021, 05:44 PM
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Do you like that trope?
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Old 07-23-2021, 08:59 PM
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I like any trope if it's written well.
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Old 07-24-2021, 01:48 PM
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Same. I haven't found a trope I don't like yet.


Oh wait, maybe the miscommunication one is annoying.
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Old 07-24-2021, 08:03 PM
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Yea, like this can be resolved by just talking in 2 pages.
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Old 07-25-2021, 01:27 PM
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A lot of sitcoms would be resolved sooner if characters just talked.
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:35 PM
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True.

That was for the family dramas.
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Old 08-19-2021, 12:32 PM
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From international bestselling author Susanna Kearsley comes a historical tale of intrigue and revolution in Scotland, where the exile of King James brought plots, machinations, suspicion and untold bravery to light. An investigation of a young widow's secrets by a man who's far from objective, leads to a multi-layered tale of adventure, endurance, romance...and the courage to hope.

In the autumn of 1707, old enemies from the Highlands to the Borders are finding common ground as they join to protest the new Union with England. At the same time, the French are preparing to launch an invasion to bring the young exiled Jacobite king back to Scotland to reclaim his throne, and in Edinburgh the streets are filled with discontent and danger.

Queen Anne's commissioners, seeking to calm the situation, have begun paying out money sent up from London to settle the losses and wages owed to those Scots who took part in the disastrous Darien expedition eight years earlier—an ill-fated venture that left Scotland all but bankrupt.

When the young widow of a Darien sailor comes forward to collect her husband's wages, her claim is challenged. One of the men assigned to investigate has only days to decide if she's honest, or if his own feelings are blinding him to the truth.

The Vanished Days is a prequel and companion novel to The Winter Sea, with action that overlaps some of the action in that book. The Vanished Days goes back in time to the 1680s and introduces the reader to the Moray and Graeme families.



Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC.

I read The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley in 2017, and I liked it. I gave it 4 stars. The Vanished Days is a semi-prequel to that book, because it has three timelines in it. One of the timelines takes place in the 1680s-1690s when Lily is a young girl. It shows her relationship with best friend Jamie and then her life with foster family, the Brownes. The second timeline (happening at about the same time as The Winter Sea) takes place in the early 1700s when Lily is trying to prove she and Jamie were married so she, as his widow, can get money owed to those who died while trying to establish a failed Scottish colony. The third timeline takes place years later, I don't think an exact amount of years is established, where a man named Adam, one of the men tasked with investigating her marriage claim, is recounting his memories.

There are a lot of characters in The Vanished Days. Keeping a list of them is a good idea. The family tree in the beginning helped a little too. And the book has lots of historical detail. I never knew the Presbyterians and Episcopalians kept fighting for power or that, whichever religion was in power at the time, wouldn't allow the other to legally practice. I never knew the Scots tried to establish a colony, either. Anyone who is interested in lesser known Scottish history will enjoy The Vanished Days.

Throughout the investigation my opinion on what was true kept changing. My opinion on characters kept changing, too, and I liked how the book kept me guessing. Susanna got me to care about Lily, and Jamie, and Adam, and some of the Brownes. I wanted good things to happen to them.

By the end, my mind was totally blown. One twist I did see coming, another one had me stop reading for the longest time, trying to remember hints and connect dots. I will definitely have to read The Vanished Days a second and probably a third time to see the hints and have remaining questions answered. I liked the twist too. I haven't been this surprised by something in a long time. Plus, I liked how it resolved (and I think it was the only way to resolve) what I considered to be what went beyond a love triangle into a love square.

For people who are fans of Susanna and fans of the Moray and Graeme families, The Vanished Days will be enjoyed.
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Old 08-22-2021, 07:10 PM
  #60
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Nice review

I have to get back to reading. I am half way through.
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