THE WITCH ELM by Bestselling Author TANA FRENCH Audiobook Review

Title: THE WITCH ELM

Author: TANA FRENCH

Narrator: PAUL NUGENT

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS

Length: 22 HOURS, 8 MINUTES

Publisher: PENGUIN AUDIO

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Purchased from: Audible.com

Release Date: OCTOBER 9, 2018

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life – he surprises two burglars who beat him and leave him for dead. Struggling to recover from his injuries, beginning to understand that he might never be the same man again, he takes refuge at his family’s ancestral home to care for his dying uncle Hugo. Then a skull is found in the trunk of an elm tree in the garden – and as detectives close in, Toby is forced to face the possibility that his past may not be what he has always believed.

A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are.
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MY REVIEW:

Phenomenal. Intriguing. Unconventional. Thrilling. Astonishing.

All these words and more apply to Tana French’s novel, THE WITCH ELM.

At it’s core, this book is a modern day whodunit, a thriller of epic proportions, but it is also so much more.

This book is a character study, a tale of teen angst, the story of a family rallying together in the midst of a horrific medical diagnosis. It is the story of a romance. This is a book about siblings, cousins, friends and how relationships can change over time and how they stay the same. It is also a mystery wrapped in an enigma.

This is truly a book that has everything. I enjoyed listening to it immensely. The story takes place in Ireland and having a narrator with an Irish accent gave this book a sense of place and added authenticity to the audiobook.

The story has plenty twists and turns, some which were expected and many that were not.

Tana French has created characters so realistic that you almost expect to run into one of them on the street.

At just over 22 hours of listening time, this is not a short audiobook and you would think that 22 hours would be too long, however, you would be wrong. In fact, I didn’t want this story to end. I had become invested in the character’s futures.

The Publisher has created a reader’s guide for this book which can be found and downloaded HERE.

My favorite character was Uncle Hugo. On the surface he seems like a giant bore. But as you learn more about him, you start to realize that he is like an onion with many layers, some quite shocking. He has a passion for genealogy research and was able to parlay that into a career as a Genealogist. The author is somehow able to make this career choice seem interesting to listeners and Hugo’s research into his client’s history is an interesting side storyline.

I rate THE WITCH ELM as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I also give a 5 STAR rating to the narrator whose Irish accent offers listeners authenticity as well as a sense of place. His pacing is sheer perfection. Listeners are able to easily distinguish between character voices which is a huge plus in my opinion.

All in all, I highly recommend this audiobook to readers and listeners from the ages of 16 and up.

Tana French was new to me before experiencing “The Witch Elm” audiobook, but I will be on the lookout for more books from this author in the future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tana French is the author of The Witch Elm, In the Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, The Secret Place and The Trespasser.

Her books have won awards including the Edgar, Anthony, Macavity and Barry Awards, the Los Angeles Times Award for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction.

She lives in Dublin with her family.

AUTHOR NOTE:

“There’s one thing that no one I know, including me, ever has enough of: time. Everyone has at least three things they should be doing with every minute, and everyone could do with about six more hours in the day. So I’m very aware that when you take a chance on one of my books, it’s not just your money that you’re putting on the line; it’s your time, which is probably even more precious. I want to thank you, so much, for taking that chance; for your wonderful support, which never stops taking my breath away. Here’s to all of you. I’ll do my absolute best not to waste your time.”

Tana French in The New Yorker

‘The Trespasser’ begs us to take crime fiction seriously

The Millions Interviews Tana French

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To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

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CHAPTERS
“A spellbinding standalone from one of the best suspense writers working today, The Witch Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, when we no longer know who we are.

  • Quotes:

    The thing is, I suppose,” he said, “that one gets into the habit of being oneself. It takes some great upheaval to crack that shell and force us to discover what else might be underneath. What if I never got another day in my life when I was normal again?

    Once the fear took hold, I was fucked. I’d never known anything like it could exist: all-consuming, ravenous, a whirling black vortex that sucked me under so completely and mercilessly that it truly felt like I was being devoured alive, bones splintered, marrow sucked. After an eternity (lying in bed with my heart jackhammering, adrenaline firing me like a strobe light, feeling the last few threads that held my mind together stretch to a snapping point) something would happen to break the vortex’s hold—a nurse coming in so that I had to make mechanical cheerful chitchat, an uncontrollable rush of sleep—and I would clamber up out of it, shaky and weak as a half-drowned animal. But even when the fear receded for a while, it was always there: dark, misshapen, taloned, hanging somewhere above and behind me, waiting for its next moment to drop onto my back and dig in deep.

    ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

    https://vimeo.com/178172746

    To learn more about this Narrator, visit the following links:

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    GRIT & GRACE – Uncommon Wisdom For Inspiring Leaders Designed To Make You Think NOW AVAILABLE. This book makes an awesome gift for every woman on the planet. Check it out here…

    Title: GRIT & GRACE

    Subtitle: Uncommon Wisdom For Inspiring Leaders Designed To Make You Think

    Author: QUOTABELLE INC. = PAULINE WEGER and ALICIA WILLIAMSON

    Genre: NON-FICTION, INSPIRATIONAL, QUOTES, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS

    Length: 236 PAGES

    Cover Design: PHILIP BUCHANAN

    Publisher: QUARTO KNOWS

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: OCTOBER 2, 2018

    ISBN: 978-1-63106-530-9

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    DESCRIPTION:

    Grit & Grace is a collection of quotes, thoughts, and advice from female pioneers to inspire young girls and women who want to lead.

    With powerful words from powerful female forerunners, Louisa May Alcott and Susan B. Anthony have inspired girls and women for generations, there are now more women leading the way in more industries than ever. From the authors of the breakout inspirational book Beautifully Said comes Grit & Grace, a showcase of the brilliant minds, sterling careers, and hard work of women in both well-known and less-visible roles in society.

    Grit & Grace is here to inspire young girls and women to pursue their dreams with fearlessness and determination by featuring classic and modern female leaders like Jessica Alba, Courtney Banghart, and Tiffany Dufu. The perfect gift for sisters, daughters, nieces, friends, new graduates, and any other free-thinking young woman in your life, Grit & Grace uses the strengths and successes of today’s women to drive a generation of future leaders to make their talents count. The female voices in Grit & Grace include:

    – Reese Witherspoon
    – Vera Wang
    – Meghan Markle
    – Amal Clooney
    – Ava DuVernay
    – Jane Goodall
    – Beatrix Potter
    – Diana Vreeland
    – Anita Roddick
    – Clara Barton
    – Susan B. Anthony
    – Katharine Graham
    – Rose Marcario
    – Christiana Figueres

    Future female idols, look to Grit & Grace for inspiration as you lead the way.

    MY REVIEW:

    I have always loved inspirational quotes. I have many, many notebooks filled with quotes I have discovered over the years. There is just something satisfying about reading a quote that captures a topic or emotion perfectly.

    A powerful quote can lift your spirits and turn a bad day into a day filled with promise. A quote from someone you look up to can provide inspiration to either follow that person’s path, or to forge an entirely new one.

    The quotes contained in this astonishing book are all from females. I am not 100% sure, but I believe it is the only all-female quote collection available today. In researching quotes in general, the editors of this book discovered that “… less than ten percent of the quotations shared every day are from women and girls.” This number is too low and this book seeks to remedy that appalling lack.

    quoteur
    /kwō tǝr’ / noun
    a person who originates a pithy collection of words worth sharing.

    GRIT & GRACE not only inspires it’s readers, but as it states in the subtitle, the quotes are; “…Designed to make you think.”

    The layout of this book is wonderful. Each time you open the book to a two-page layout. The quote is printed in bold and has a page to itself. On the left side page is the name of the quoteur along with a brief description of who she is and a short biography which highlights her life and achievements. I received as much inspiration from reading about these amazing women as I did from reading the quotes. I also discovered many new role models, women who I am ashamed to admit that I had never heard of before now. Who knows? Readers may find their perfect role model just through the reading of this book.

    So many of the quotations in this collection spoke to me that I had an extremely difficult time deciding which ones were my favorites. Instead, I realized that each and every quote spoke to me at different times and meant different things. I have decided to only include four quotes in this review, but I highly recommend purchasing GRIT & GRACE since it is a book that can (and should be) read over and over again.

    Here are just a few of the included inspirations:

    “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.”
    – Marie Curie (Scientist) 1867-1934

    “To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?”
    – Katherine Graham (Publisher and winner of the Pulitzer Prize)

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    “If you don’t fall down, you aren’t trying hard enough.”
    -Tenley Albright (1935-____)
    (Surgeon, Cancer Researcher, Polio Survivor & First US woman to win a Gold Medal in Figure Skating)

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    “One of the more powerful outbreaks of happiness and meaning in your life will occur when you pair your passion and the world’s need.”
    – Sue Monk Kidd (Novelist)

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    I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I think it would make a terrific Christmas present, especially for those young people who are just learning to find their voices.

    ADD TO GOODREADS

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    To learn more about Quotabelle, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE
    http://www.quotabelle.com

    GOODREADS

    FACEBOOK

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    #newbook
    #leadership
    #FemaleFounders
    #entrepreneurlife
    #giftidea

    THE UNDERWATER WELDER by famous Canadian Author/Illustrator JEFF LEMIRE is wholly deserving of 5 Stars. This graphic novel will stay with you long after the final page.

    Title: THE UNDERWATER WELDER

    Author: JEFF LEMIRE

    Genre: GRAPHIC NOVEL (ADULTS & TEENS), CANADIAN FICTION

    Length: 221 PAGES

    Publisher: TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS

    Release Date: 2012

    ISBN: 978-1-60309-074-2

    Price: $25.00 CDN

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    DESCRIPTION:

    Pressure. As an underwater welder on an oilrig off the coast of Nova Scotia, Jack Joseph is used to the immense pressures of deep-sea work. Nothing, however, could prepare him for the pressures of impending fatherhood.

    As Jack dives deeper and deeper, he seems to pull further and further away from his young wife, and their unborn son.

    But then, something happens deep on the ocean floor. Jack has a strange and mind-bending encounter that will change the course of his life forever. … Equal parts blue-collar character study and mind-bending science fiction epic, The Underwater Welder is a 250-page graphic novel that explores fathers and sons, birth and death, memory and truth, and treasures we all bury deep down inside.

    MY REVIEW:

    Graphic novels aren’t just for kids anymore and there is no better novel to demonstrate that fact than “The Underwater Welder.”

    The story is about a blue collar guy named Jack Joseph. He lives and works in Nova Scotia as an underwater welder just offshore on an oil rig. He is about to become a father and that fact makes him think about his own father and how he died.

    Jack dives deep underwater and one day, while welding, he spots something on the ocean floor and decides to investigate.

    Above, on the oil rig, Jack’s supervisor notices that something is wrong and Jack is rescued and returned to the rig. The doctor sends him home.

    However, the problems Jack is experiencing are not based on location. They are all inside his head.

    This graphic novel is an amazing character study. It demonstrates the impact the loss of a parent as a child can have on a person, and that left untreated, depression can continue into adulthood and have a lasting impact on a person’s life, even without them realizing it.

    The story also highlights the stress of becoming a father (or mother) for the first time. Family dynamics are also explored and it proves that it can take a major event to break through the shadow of the past to become the person you want to be.

    There are numerous life lessons in this 200+ page graphic novel and even if readers do not realize it, those lessons may sink into the reader’s unconscious mind.

    Even without considering the lessons learned, this graphic novel is a well thought out and exquisitely plotted tale about an average guy leading an average life. There are no superpowers to be found and none are needed.

    It is easy to see why this graphic novel won so many awards and also became a Best-Seller.

    I strongly recommend this graphic novel to readers over the age of eighteen. If you have ever been curious about this type of story, THE UNDERWATER WELDER would be a perfect first purchase.

    The Underwater Welder was Amazon’s Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2012, Amazon Canada’s #1 Best Graphic Novel of 2012, and A.V. Club’s Top Ten Graphic Novels for 2012. It received a Publishers Weekly starred review and the Comics Alliance’s Charles Xavier Memorial Award Best Comics of 2012 for “Best Melancholic Welding Drama.”

    In researching this title, I discovered that Ryan Gosling, Ken Kao, and Anonymous Content are planning to produce a movie adaptation of Jeff Lemire’s graphic novel “The Underwater Welder.” I know that I will be watching it on the big screen one day soon.

    I rate “The Underwater Welder” as 5 out of 5 Stars in the graphic novel category. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    ** I purchased a signed copy of this graphic novel at WORD ON THE STREET – TORONTO.**

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    Click HERE to watch the video highlighting Jeff Lemire’s next project – the movie.

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Jeff Lemire is an award-winning Canadian cartoonist, and the author of the Essex County Trilogy, Sweet Tooth and The Nobody. Lemire is known for a his moody, humanistic stories and sketchy, cinematic, black-and-white art.

    To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

    GOODREADS

    INSTAGRAM

    NERDIST.COM

    TWITTER

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    MACLEAN’S MAGAZINE ARTICLE

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    THE CANADIAN ENCYCLOPEDIA

    WIKIPEDIA

    CHAPTERS

    INKWELL MANAGEMENT AGENCY

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    Upcoming graphic novel:


    REBELLION – The First Book in a New Dystopian Epic – With outstanding world building, this is Dystopian Fiction the way it should be.

    Title: REBELLION

    Series: STONE THE CROWS: BOOK ONE

    Authors: J. THORN, ZACH BOHANNON and KIM PETERSEN

    Genre: FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION, POST-APOCALYPTIC FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION, SPECULATIVE FICTION

    Length: 244 PAGES

    Publisher: MOLTEN UNIVERSE MEDIA

    Received From: ONE OF THE AUTHORS

    Release Date: JUNE 24, 2018

    ISBN: 978-1983174193

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    DESCRIPTION:

    If you knew the truth, would you live in shackles or die for freedom?

    High above the ruins of Seattle sits the Nest, a settlement filled with the aristocratic Crow class, governed by the iron fist of Lord Corvus.

    For decades, Rayna and her fellow Hydrans have crawled the bottom of Lake Union for scrap metal which they trade with the Crowd until a mysterious boy shows up and shares a disturbing, dark secret with Rayna – one that could bring the factions to the brink of war.

    Will Rayna fight for the truth even if it costs her everything?

    Is she fated to spark the Rebellion?

    MY REVIEW:

    If you are looking for a fast-paced, action-filled Dystopian drama, you need look no further than REBELLION – The first book in the new STONE THE CROWS Series – a collaborative effort by authors J. Thorn, Zach Bohannon and Kim Petersen.

    Main character – Rayna is a young Hydran Crawler. What does that mean? Well, Rayna and the others who live in her village are Hydrans who are ruled over by the higher class Crows and their cruel leader; Lord Corvus.

    Rayna’s job is to swim in the highly polluted Lake Union and to locate any aluminum from its bottom.

    One day Rayna sees a drowning boy and whether she rescues him or not, her future and that of her village will never be the same.

    With excellent world-building, compelling characters and a fast-paced plot, this book is a must read for fans of Dystopian Fiction. I read this entire book within 24 hours. I just could not set it down.

    I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and am eagerly awaiting UPRISING, the second book in the series.

    * Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this book.*

    ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

    AUTHOR : J. THORN

    BIOGRAPHY:
    (Information copied from www.jthorn.net )

    J Thorn believes reading dark fiction can be healing. His overriding mission is to connect with people through his art, and he hopes to inspire others to do the same.

    He is a word architect and driven visionary. He is obsessed with heavy metal, horror films and technology. And admires strong people who are not afraid to speak their mind.

    He grew up in an Irish Catholic, working class family and was the first to go to college. He didn’t have expensive toys, so he used his imagination for entertainment.

    Then he abused alcohol for entertainment. He spent the first thirty years of my life convincing himself that he wasn’t an addict and the last ten years worrying about all the potential threats the substances hid from him.

    He states: “Anxiety and depression are always hiding in the corner, waiting to jump me when I start to feel happiness.”

    He had to break through family programming and accept the role of the black sheep. In his 30s, he started writing horror and formed a heavy metal band while his family rolled their eyes, sighed and waited for the “phase” to end.

    “I spent years paralyzing myself with self-loathing and criticism, keeping my creativity smothered and hidden from the rest of the world. I worked a job I hated because that’s what Irish Catholic fathers do. They don’t express themselves, they pay the damn mortgage. I may have left my guilt and faith behind long ago, but the scars remain.”

    His creativity is his release, his therapy and the place he works through it all.

    He hasn’t had a drink in a long time, but the anxiety and depression are always lurking. Writing novels and songs keeps it at bay. He scream over anxiety with his microphone and turns his guitar up loud enough to drown out the whispers of self-doubt.

    J. Thorn hopes to leave a legacy of art that will continue to entertain and enrich lives long after he is gone. He wants others to see that you don’t have to conform to the mainstream to be fulfilled.

    “Don’t be afraid of the dark. Embrace it.”

    Experience:

    J. Thorn is a Top 100 Most Popular Author in Horror, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure and Fantasy (Amazon Author Rank). He has published two million words and has sold more than 185,000 books worldwide. In March of 2014 Thorn held the #5 position in Horror alongside his childhood idols Dean Koontz and Stephen King (at #4 and #2 respectively). He is an official member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, and the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers.

    Thorn earned a B.A. in American History from the University of Pittsburgh and a M.A. from Duquesne University.

    He is a full-time writer, part-time professor at John Carroll University, co-owner of Molten Universe Media, podcaster, FM radio DJ, musician, and a certified Story Grid nerd.

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    ZACH BOHANNON

    Bohannon writes post-apocalyptic science fiction, horror, and fantasy. He is the author of the bestselling zombie series, Empty Bodies, as well as the bestselling post-apocalyptic horror series, Final Awakening. He’s the co-owner of Molten Universe Media and the co-host of The Career Author Podcast.

    He lives in Tennessee with his wife, daughter, and German Shepherd. Among writing and being an avid reader, he loves to watch and play hockey, and to listen to heavy metal. He spent his 20s playing drums in metal bands, and he had a beard way before it was cool.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    KIM PETERSEN

    Kim Petersen is author of The Ascended Angels Series. A paranormal romance thriller fantasy tale about angels on earth, love and demons. Her debut novel, Millie’s Angel received a gold award in the 2017 Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards.

    Based in Australia, Kim forces herself out of bed in the wee hours to walk the oceans roads of the NSW sleepy south coast town where she lives with her family. She is always grateful she did because she thinks there is much to be said about those small hours.

    She loves to explore the meta-physical aspects of life, and the universal bonds of love and friendship – then find expression through creating works of urban fantasy, paranormal and dystopian fiction. She drives too fast because sometimes it feels good to be reckless. She loves to travel, and listens to music at any given chance.

    Reading books is an obsession, and mindlessly munching on popcorn at the movies can be a satisfying pastime. Mostly, she loves to ponder anything mysterious and beautiful.

    To learn more about this author visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE

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    A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS by Best Selling Author ALYSSA SHEINMEL is destined for the Best Seller List – An Unputdownable Read

    Title: A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS

    Author: ALYSSA SHEINMEL

    Genre: YOUNG ADULT FICTION, DIVERSE FICTION

    Ages: 14 and up

    Length: 352 PAGES

    Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS INC.

    Received From: NETGALLEY

    Release Date: FEBRUARY 5, 2019

    ISBN: 978-1-4926-6724-7

    Price: $17.99 USD (HARDCOVER)

    Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    DESCRIPTION:

    Four walls. One window. No way to escape.

    Hannah knows there’s been a mistake. She doesn’t need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at that summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and the judge figure out that she isn’t a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. Those college applications aren’t going to write themselves. Until then, she’s determined to win over the staff and earn some privileges so she doesn’t lose her mind to boredom.

    Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage, and she’s the perfect project to keep Hannah’s focus off all she is missing at home. But Lucy may be the one person who can get Hannah to confront the secrets she’s avoiding – and the dangerous games that landed her in confinement in the first place.

    MY REVIEW:

    In “A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS” readers meet Hannah Gold who presents as a typical teenager. She may seem a bit arrogant, but I found that trait easy to overlook.

    Hannah has been sent to a mental institution after her roommate was injured in an accident. She knows she isn’t like the other residents, she is only there because of a misunderstanding.

    It is the way that Hannah comes across initially that makes her such a memorable character. Even after the book ends, Hannah’s journey will stay in the hearts and minds of readers for a long time.

    Once in awhile a Young Adult book is published that actually provides an authentic look at the lives of a segment of the teen population that has been largely ignored by the majority of authors. This lack of diversity is finally being charged with the publication of books like this one.

    While mental illness is starting to be talked about more and more – with such movements as the “You Are Not Alone” and events such as “Mental Health Awareness Week” we still have a long way to go before the societal stigma attached to mental illness is a thing of the past.

    That is why books like this are not only entertainment. They are also eye-opening and help people to identify with the person rather than the illness.

    In Chapter Seven, Dr. Lightfoot says: “We need to wait until my evaluation is farther along before making any changes to your treatment plan.”

    In her head, Hannah thinks:
    Further, not farther, I think. They could at least give me a doctor who knows basic grammar. It’s not exactly comforting that my fate is in her hands.”

    I had already begun to like Hannah’s character, and her reaction to the doctor cemented it for me. I like this girl.

    I barely knew anything about her yet, but somehow the author has created a sympathetic character that I could relate to. Other readers will likely have the same reaction which means they will become invested in the outcome of her incarceration, making it likely they will not want to put this book down.

    I rate “A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS” as a full 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I believe this book will not only be on the 2019 Bestsellers List, but will also win multiple awards.

    Thank you very much to the Publisher and to NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC of this book.

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    QUOTES:

    “Reset. Like I am an appliance that needs tinkering, a frozen laptop that needs to be rebooted. I don’t think Ctrl + Alt + Delete is going to cut it here.”

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    “…the hospitals on television don’t look like this place: On TV, the doors don’t stay locked, the furniture isn’t bolted to the floor, and people who are perfectly capable of walking don’t use bedpans.”

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    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    To learn about this author, visit the following links:

    OFFICIAL WEBSITE
    www.alyssasheinmel.com

    GOODREADS

    TEEN READS

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    BARNES AND NOBLE

    CHAPTERS