My name is Kylie Sebert. I'm a native of Spirit Lake and recently moved back to West Des Moines! I have a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, with an emphasis in fiction. You can find me on Instagram and Facebook as @litwithkyiejo. 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 Iowa Great Lakes area!
Breathless by Amy McCulloch
McCulloch took "write what you know” and knocked it out of the park! She herself climbed Mount Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world, and her idea to write a thriller set in the Death Zone was so cool. Especially with the atmosphere she was able to create by knowing every little detail.
Journalist Cecily is invited to climb Manaslu by a famous mountaineer, Charles McVeigh. If she summits, she gets an exclusive interview that could be a game changer for her career. The thing is, she is known for freezing and her inability to summit mountains.
She is high in the Himalayas dealing with her fears while acclimatizing, when one of the climbers dies in what looks like a freak accident. As they continue to climb higher, more creepy things are happening and then another climber dies.
I was hooked on this one from the start. High altitude climbing has always intrigued me. I climb mountains to 14,000 feet and I cannot imagine that next level! It was interesting because you really saw the whole journey from start to finish. Ice climbing is terrifying and McCulloch definitely captures that with death hovering around every corner. One wrong move could be the end. Combine that with a killer stalking climbers, I could not put it down! The ending felt rushed but overall this was an impressive read. I’m excited to read more from McCulloch!
People We Meet on Vacation
by Emily Henry
So much to say about this beautiful book! People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry could not have been a better choice to put me in the summer reading mood. All the stars, all the feels, all the fun escapes and all the laughs.
My summary~ Poppy and Alex met in college and they really had nothing in common. Alex is a total introvert who would prefer to stay at home with his cat, Flannery O’Connor and read books. Poppy is a travel loving woman who wants to see every amazing thing in this world. Despite their differences, they become best friends and share an epic vacation to reconnect every single summer. That is until Croatia, when everything becomes awkward and they stop talking...for two years.
My favorite thing about this book was the natural witty banter and hilarious lines. Plus the vacations, of course. It was fun to escape to the streets of New Orleans, then to the vineyards of Tuscany and on to the mountains of Vail. Alex and Poppy have the best dynamic, and this book is the ultimate summer read. I recommend this to everyone. Emily Henry also just had a new book come out called The Happy Place, which I know I will be adding to my list.