My name is Kylie Sebert. I'm a native of Spirit Lake and currently living in the literary hub of Portland, Maine! I have Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, with an emphasis in fiction, and now hope to begin a novel writing career. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook as @notsotwentysomething. As with most writers, one of my passions is discovering and reading great books. I hope my reviews will spark an excitement for literature in people around the Great Lakes area!
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
The Guest List was my first novel by Lucy Foley and I really enjoyed it. So many people compare her writing to classic Agatha Christie and I totally got that vibe, plus she had the same atmospheric quality about her writing that Ruth Ware does, and I absolutely love it! The forgotten island setting was so creepy and ominous. She wrote the hell out of that setting and made it feel like the bog and cliffs were coming for the characters as much as they were coming for each other.
“On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater. Old friends. Past grudges. Happy families. Hidden jealousies. Thirteen guests. One body.
The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped. All have a secret. All have a motive. One guest won’t leave this wedding alive . . .”
Trapping people together in place they can’t escape, throwing in a murder and a whole lot of characters with motives, things go from bad to worse in the best way. It’s my favorite, plus obviously one of the reasons I love thrillers so much.
Foley expertly weaves each character’s pasts into the story, as we jump back and forth in time and she drops clues all along the way. We see multiple perspectives, which was even more fun with so many fantastic narrators on the audio! This is one seriously twisty book and everything we learn throughout is important in the end! I literally sat with my jaw-dropped when the big reveals came. Everything comes to a head and you’re just along for one crazy ride. I highly recommend it for thriller lovers!
Troubles in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
The trilogy has come to an end and I don’t want to leave these characters or the St. John paradise! Troubles in Paradise is the final book in the Winter in Paradise trilogy from Elin Hilderbrand, and while the conclusion was satisfying, I still didn’t want it to end.
“After uprooting her life in the States, Irene Steele has just settled in at the villa on St. John where her husband Russ had been living a double life. But a visit from the FBI shakes her foundations, and Irene once again learns just how little she knew about the man she loved.
As a storm gathers strength in the Atlantic, surprises are in store for the Steeles: help from a mysterious source, and a new beginning in the paradise that has become their home. At last all will be revealed about the secrets and lies that brought Irene and her sons to St. John -- and the truth that transformed them all.”
As with all of Elin’s books, we are totally immersed in island life with this one. It’s the ultimate escape. She is one of my favorite writers because of the little details and descriptions that create magic on the page. She brings her stories to life with the foods they are eating and island drinks like rum punch. She sets the scene so well you can feel the ocean breeze as if you’re walking along the white sand beaches. Or feel the giddy anticipation of taking a cruise on Treasure Island with two of our main characters Ayres and Cash. The other magic with Elin’s books are the characters that you fall in love with. This series was full of them! It’s the type of book that leaves you thinking about what the characters are moving on to do next, and leaves you wanting even more.
I actually listened to all of these books on audio with the narrator who always does Elin’s books, Erin Bennett. She’s fantastic and I highly recommend them! I rarely reread books but this is one series I would definitely reread. Each of these came out a year apart so it would be really fun to read them consecutively: Winter in Paradise, What Happens in Paradise and finally Troubles in Paradise!
Five Stars to this one alone and to the Trilogy as a whole. I highly recommend it along with all of Elin’s books.