For What It's Worth

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

review: last seen leaving by caleb roehrig


25036310Flynn's girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn's girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can't answer, and her friends are telling stories that don't add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January's boyfriend, he must know something.
But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January's disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.
~ Goodreads

Source: ARC provided by the publisher via ALA16

Review:

Thrillers are so hit or miss for me. The procedural aspect bores me, I hate when an author keeps misdirecting me to the point of my not caring who did it and there is usually a lack of relationships so there’s no one to root for.

Roehrig avoids most of these issues by giving us a very relatable 15 year old Flynn as the main protagonist. After an argument, Flynn’s ex-girlfriend January has gone missing and the police show up at his house for questioning. Flynn has a pretty big secret he wants to keep from everyone but is just as worried as everybody else about her disappearance, leading him to do a little snooping on his own. He discovers that the things January told Flynn about her new swanky private HS and job don’t match with reality and he might not know his best friend and ex girlfriend as well as he thought he did.

There are clues to January’s disappearance peppered throughout with plenty of suspects – her politically ambitious step father, his ruthless campaign manager, her pervy step brother, unhinged mother and a number of other people but I felt this was all delivered in a low key way that let you discover the clues on your own and make your guess rather than saying he/she’s the killer! Never mind they aren’t! Psyche! Not that there isn’t any misdirection but it felt natural to the story for me.

Then we have Flynn’s path to self discovery and acceptance via his search for January. Although January is mostly seen only through flashbacks, she’s just as vibrant a character as Flynn.

The author does a fantastic job of weaving Flynn’s memories of his time with January with his present predicament and new blossoming romance. I cared about all parties involved, worried for the outcome and was rooting for Flynn’s happiness.

There were a few awkward transitions between scenes with Flynn and, Kaz, the boy helping him investigate. They would be having a rather intense personal conversation – get sidetracked by the case – then it would pick up a few days later. I would have liked to see how they ended those encounters but that’s a minor nitpick.

I read very few mystery/thrillers so your mileage may vary on whether this works for you. For me Last Seen Leaving was moody, tense and surprisingly sweet and had the right balance of chills and character complexity. I would describe it as a genre cross between coming of age and a thriller. I’m really looking forward to Caleb Roehrig’s next book – White Rabbit.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

tell me something tuesday

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Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question: Do you think bloggers and authors can really be friends?

Yes, because I am friends with a few authors and friendly online with several more. But I do think it requires you to be transparent if you do promotion for those authors or stay away from their work all together on your blog if you aren’t willing to be honest if you don’t like it. For example – giving a rave review to a book you didn’t like just so you don’t hurt the author's feelings.

I beta read for a few authors that I met through blogging and I’m also friends with them in real life. I think it’s important to enter that arrangement with caution. If you are friends first, will criticism of their work hurt that? I’ve been super lucky on that front. They are seriously looking for honest input and I understand that this is their book and may not follow my suggestions. It’s more of a professional transaction and we’re able to keep it separate from the friendship.

I will give a RT or shout out if I really loved it and I always state if I beta read when posting reviews on Goodreads or here. I tend not to give ratings or full reviews for those books.

I think it’s actually more difficult when you’re “internet” friends.

This usually starts when you’ve loved and gave a rave review for a book & then naturally reach out to each other – either the author thanking you for the review or you letting them know how much you love their writing. You start chatting then one day you don’t like a book they’ve written and….awkward.

Do you review it and be honest? Or do you avoid talking about it to save hurt feelings?

This has happened to me, several times, and I’ve chosen the honest review. That’s slippery slope if you start holding back on your honest thoughts about a book or you could end up with nothing to review if you’re a real social butterfly on line. lol

In a few cases, I lost the author friend. They didn’t say anything me but unfollowed me on Twitter etc and stopped offering their books for review. And that’s ok. I get it.

In one instance, the author was somewhat new to publishing and I met her and had loved her first 5-6 books but disliked the 7th (gave it a 3.5 star rating, which I didn’t consider bad btw). She stopped interacting with me (& that’s fine!!!) After a few years we touched base again and she had grown a thicker skin and understood the review/blogger process a bit more and now we’re friendly again.

I think it’s a delicate balance on both sides and it’s not necasarily for the faint of heart.. Especially from the author’s side. They feel blindsided by a negative review from someone they consider a friend and fan – but bloggers can get offended too when they say what they think and it’s just part of blogging and then get blackballed by the author.

So…sure, but proceed at your own risk lol

Friday, August 11, 2017

friday fast 5 - music



I have a quirky mix of songs this week - let me know what you think!

1.

SOFI TUKKER – Drinkee


2.

SLEIGH BELLS – Riot Rhythm


3.

X AMBASSADORS – Ahead of Myself


4.

AJR – Weak


5.

PORTUGAL. THE MAN – Rich Friends


ICYMI – this week on the blog:

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: Barrel Proof by Layla Reyne

Let me know what I should be watching, reading, listening to this weekend in the comments!