Monday, October 28, 2013

Guest Reviews from Jessica: The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon and Ripper by Isabel Allende

Goodreads Summary:

West Hall has always been a town of strange disappearances and legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who was found murdered in the field behind her house in 1908, a few short months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie, drove her mad. People say that Sara's ghost still walks after dark, and some leave offerings on their doorstep to keep her from entering their homes uninvited.

Now, in present day, Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they remain on the fringes, living off the land without internet or outside interference. But one morning Ruthie wakes up to find that Alice has disappeared without a trace. When she searches the house for clues, she is startled to find a secret compartment beneath the floorboards that contains two objects. One, a gun. And two, a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary.
The story the diary tells is one of a mother skating on the edge of sanity, willing to do whatever she can to bring her daughter back even if it means dabbling in dark and dangerous territory. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's death, she discovers that she's not the only one looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.

Publication Date: February 11, 2014

Jessica's Review:

3.5 stars. This was the weirdest book. The writing is good and its easy to follow the POV and date switches, but I didn't care for this book. The story was odd and I pretty much guessed what was going to happen long before it did.

Goodreads Summary:

The Jackson women, Indiana and Amanda, have always had each other. Yet, while their bond is strong, mother and daughter are as different as night and day. Indiana, a beautiful holistic healer, is a free-spirited bohemian. Long divorced from Amanda's father, she's reluctant to settle down with either of the men who want her-Alan, the wealthy scion of one of San Francisco's elite families, and Ryan, an enigmatic, scarred former Navy SEAL.

While her mom looks for the good in people, Amanda is fascinated by the dark side of human nature, like her father, the SFPD's Deputy Chief of Homicide. Brilliant and introverted, the MIT-bound high school senior is a natural-born sleuth addicted to crime novels and Ripper, the online mystery game she plays with her beloved grandfather and friends around the world.

When a string of strange murders occurs across the city, Amanda plunges into her own investigation, discovering, before the police do, that the deaths may be connected. But the case becomes all too personal when Indiana suddenly vanishes. Could her mother's disappearance be linked to the serial killer? Now, with her mother's life on the line, the young detective must solve the most complex mystery she's ever faced before it's too late.

Publication Date: January 28, 2014

Jessica's Review:

2.5 stars. The writing is decent and the premise is interesting, but I just could not get in to this book. I love good character development, it gives the reader a chance to connect with those in the book, but this was just a bunch of rambling that eventually became boring. I didn't finish the book and that's rare for me.

Thanks to the publishers for copies of these novels for review!

I appreciate my guest reviewer Jessica stopping by today to share her thoughts on these upcoming releases!


  1. I still have The Winter People on my TBR but it's good to know that it was super weird and predictable. Some books are just too weird for my taste.

  2. Good to know what to avoid. Thanks for sharing, Jessica and Heather! WRITE ON!