I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan

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Four out of Five Stars

Summary

EVERY MISSING PERSON HAS A STORY.

In her small town, seventeen-year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner is known as the girl who wasn’t taken. Ten years ago she witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. And though she told the police everything she remembered, it wasn’t enough. Sibby was never seen again.

At night, Dee deals with her guilt by becoming someone else: the Seeker, the voice behind the popular true crime podcast Radio Silent, which features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them. Nobody knows Dee’s the Seeker, and she plans to keep it that way.

When another little girl in town goes missing, and the case is linked to Sibby’s disappearance, Dee has a chance to get answers with the help of her virtual detectives and the intriguing new girl at school. But how much of her own story is she willing to reveal in order to uncover the truth?

Review

Dee Skinner’s life changed the moment she witnessed her best friend getting abducted at seven years old. Ten years later, she still lives in the same town, but in a different house. Sibby is a ghost that haunts Dee every day. She’s the girl who wasn’t taken. That guilt weighs her every action down.

She wasn’t able to help Sibby, but she finds a way to help others who have gone missing. As an anonymous podcaster, the Seeker, she hosts a true-crime podcast called Radio Silent. She focuses on missing person cases and works with the Laptop Detective Agency to find new leads and to find the missing.

Nearly ten years to the day, another girl goes missing in her town.

Dee struggles, wanting to stay away from the case but at the same time wanting to help find the missing girl. Is Sibby’s abduction related to Layla’s? A well-timed e-mail sends her down the rabbit hole to find out what has happened to both girls.

What I loved about the format of this novel, was the fact that the podcast scripts were included. I’m a huge true crime junkie and podcast lover. Being able to see how Dee worked to keep herself anonymous but she worked hard to help get answers from these families was exciting. She was determined to find answers and finally put in the work that her Laptop Detective Agency had been doing since episode one.

Dee meets Sarah, the attraction is immediate, but they balance each other. Where Dee is headstrong and throws caution to the wind, Sarah talks her off the ledge and finds a way to make sure they are safe from harm. Their romance takes a backseat to the plot, but the relationship was normalized in a way I wished my high school years could have been. She and Sarah got to go to the Winter Formal together, her parents didn’t make her sexuality seem anything but normal.

The action was a bit slow in the beginning, but once it got going? I couldn’t put the book down. I needed to find Sibby and Layla. I needed to make sure Burke was going to be okay by the end of it all. I had an inkling of who took Sibby, but the result for Layla? I wasn’t expecting that at all.

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Take Your Medicine – Hannah Carmack

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Four out of Five Stars!

The Summary:  Alice “Al” Liddell is from Echola, Alabama. She leads the life of a normal teen until the day she’s diagnosed with vasovagal syncope – a fainting disorder which causes her to lose consciousness whenever she feels emotions too strongly.

Her mother, the “Queen of Hearts,” is the best cardiothoracic surgeon this side of the Mason-Dixon Line and a bit of a local hero. Yet, even with all her skill she is unable to cure her daughter of her ailment, leading Al into the world of backwater witchcraft.

Along the way she meets a wacky cast of characters and learns to accept her new normal.

Take Your Medicine is a southern gothic retelling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The Review

Alice “Al” Liddel had lived a normal life until she was diagnosed with vasovagal syncope, a fainting disorder that causes her to lose consciousness whenever she feels emotions too strongly. Since her diagnosis she has been at home, bouncing between doctor and doctor to see if someone can find a cure for her illness.

One day as she’s out in the orchard behind the property of her house, she runs into Kat and Rabbit. Two very unique girls who offer to help her in a nontraditional way, with herbs, spells and potions. It’s a bit shocking for Al to see people so different than herself. I love the cast of characters that show up, they bring you deeper into Wonderland.

What I really admired about this was the fact that I felt like I was there. I live in the south (Louisiana) and I could hear the cicadas, feel the heat and know what it’s like to spend hours in the garden (vegetable in my case) making sure everything would flourish.

Al also normalized vasovagal syncope. It had become a part of her life that she dealt with and she wasn’t letting it stop her from exploring the world that Rabbit and Kate were willing to show her. There were times where I cracked up laughing because Al was going to get mad, or going to have a conversation but well, there went all her plans of doing so when she fainted. Oh well.

While some people would have seen Al giving the tea and everything else Rabbit offered her as crazy but I didn’t. I completely understood why she would try it. Even thought she was firmly rooted in traditional medicine, when you go to enough doctors who can’t figure out what’s wrong? You are willing to try anything. I speak from experience.

In the course of all of this, Al starts to learn more and more about herself and what true friends really are. You might get into an arguments like Rabbit and Kat did, but you find a way to work them out.

The only thing I didn’t like was it was so short! I wanted there to be more! (Which is always a good thing) I would have liked to see a bit more development between Al and Rabbit. I was really hoping for a little more than what we got but I loved this so much.

Would I recommend this? Oh definitely. Go pre-order it! I loved every minute of it and read it in one sitting. That’s how much I liked it.

 

Pre-Order Here at NineStar Press