A Book Review

I am constantly searching for a good read. For inspiration, instruction, or just to pass the time. I appreciate recommendations in general. But I REALLY love a recommendation that comes with an, “I loved this book and I think you’ll enjoy, it, too. It reminded me of your Kimmie books.” How can I NOT be excited about that kind of referral? Especially when said book is gifted along with the recommendation.

The book is Layla by Colleen Hoover. Hoover, a multi-published New York Times #1 best-selling author, is generally a contemporary romance writer–stop the eyeroll, bite back the groan, keep reading–this title is listed as a ‘psychic thriller’. It’s a new-age kind of ghost story and although the paranormal element is familiar, the way she interprets the ‘ghost’ realm was unique to me.

From the opening line, “I placed two layers of duct tape over Layla’s mouth…” to the author’s note at the end regarding how much fun she had exploring a new genre, I enjoyed this book.

I give props to CoHo, as she is known, for expanding her literary realm. It’s sometimes difficult for successful genre authors to mix it up. The five-star fan club isn’t always accepting of change. She acknowledges that and thanks them for giving it a try.

I really enjoyed Layla, a story about soulmates Layla and Leeds and some terrifying things that happen to them, by them, and by each other for each other at a B&B vacation home. I enjoyed the author’s style of writing. I thought the characters were interesting, different yet relatable, and they lent themselves well to the plotline. I thought the plot was unprecedented and well-developed. There was a time when Hoover might be accused of taking liberties with paranormal genre rules/expectations, but that time was before Twilight and vampires who shimmer in sunlight, and I think those changes are a welcome expansion. This novel contains psychological twists, emotional turns, and a handful of scares. Also, a little romance. Honestly, I don’t want to give anything away, so trust me when I say, if my overview has you intrigued, read the book.

Of course, I have some petty criticism, too, lol. But I would let those be points of discussion after you’ve read Layla and we can thoroughly examine in conversation. Bottom line, I would recommend this book. If you like it, give my Kimmie Jillison series a try. 🙂

And, the best part of having been introduced to this new-to-me author through Layla, is now I’m eager to read Verity, another title by Colleen Hoover, a romantic suspense thriller that the author independently published. (I kinda like that last part.)

I hope you are reading. And reading well.
If you have a minute–or fifteen, I released a long short story called Wyra Goes to Hell.
99 cents on Kindle. Check it out.

About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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