Finding Jackson by Anne Holster

View on Amazon
  • Published: October 29, 2019
  • Genre: Romance, Young Adult
  • Edition: Kindle
  • Pages: 481

It’s 1977 – Star Wars is breaking records at the box office, Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run tour is taking the country by storm, and born-and-bred Jersey girl Annalise Keller has fallen in love for the first and last time. Hot and charismatic with dreams of making it as a rock star, Keith “Ace” Foxx is everything a teenage girl dreams of. He falls as hard for Anna as she does for him and the two decide to run off to California in search of his big break. Fate has other plans though, and several years and three kids later, Ace has traded in his guitar for a job at the local post office, and Anna has become a symbol of all he has given up. Ace spends most nights at the local bar, trying to drink away his anger and resentment.

Flash forward a decade, and their youngest child, Jackson, is headed nowhere fast. In a life filled with meaningless jobs and too much partying, music is his only true escape from the pain of a childhood that abruptly ended one rainy night. The accident had destroyed his family and left him with a slew of unanswered questions.

Everything changes the night Jackson meets Leah. Shy and reserved, she doesn’t smoke and barely drinks; she certainly doesn’t put out. Not exactly the girl from the Bon Jovi videos he watched as a kid. Yet before he knows it, she has become his world.

Then, just when it looks like his dreams might come true, betrayal and loss once again threaten everything he holds dear. As Jackson struggles to keep his world from spinning out of control, he knows one thing for sure, the choices he makes now will either be the start of a whole new life, or it just might be the end of him.

As my followers know, romance is my least favorite genre and the only category with my least amount of reads. However, this one did not feel like the typical romance novel and I appreciated that very much.

It was hard enough acting like I was fine when I most definitely wasn’t. Inside I was a complete and utter basket-case and I didn’t need anyone else knowing it. I’d deal with it myself – my way – just like I’d done since I was a kid: tuck it away and try to forget.

Of course, forgetting was best achieved with large amounts of alcohol, which was convenient since most of our gigs were at local bars. It never occurred to me that my efforts would only bring everything to a head…and make me cross a line so deep I feared it would be nearly impossible to uncross.

As you can tell from the excerpt above, Holster gives the readers a story that goes beyond the stereotypes; there’s a lot of heart, struggle, and meaning behind this read and I think readers will find this one comforting to read during this social distancing period.

Anne Holster resides in Northern New Jersey with her husband and two children. When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, playing tennis and reading angsty romance novels. She is currently working on her fourth book.

My 2019 Five Star Reads

The Silent Patient by: Alex Michaelides

Purchase here.

This was Goodreads 2019 Mystery & Thriller winner! I reviewed this one on my blog earlier this year, which you can check out here.

The One by: John Marrs

Purchase here.

Amazon is having a deal on the Kindle version of this novel at the time of posting.

This book took me for one heck of a roller coaster ride! Each chapter revealed a plot twist that I didn’t see coming and kept me hooked till the very end! To see my review, click here.

A Stranger on the Beach by: Michele Campbell

Purchase here.

I ended up reading this book in one sitting! The author alternates between two points of view: Caroline and Aidan. The readers are left wondering whose side to defend through the entire course of events, but will have them questioning their own judgments when the ending is revealed. My full review can be found by clicking here.

Horns by: Joe Hill

Purchase here.

Amazon is having a deal on the paperback version at the time of posting.

This was my first read by Joe Hill, the son of Stephen King, and it has become one of my favorites of all time. I can’t put into words how much I loved this book!

We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

Purchase here.

This is the only celebrity memoir that I have read this year to receive a five star rating by me. Union’s style of writing makes readers feel like they are sitting across the table from her the entire course of the book!

After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry

Purchase here.

Amazon is having a deal on the paperback and Kindle versions of this novel at the time of posting.

Readers follow Sarah Perry on her journey of finding out the events surrounding her mother’s death and who the suspect was. The author provides a thorough breakdown of what she uncovers and fans of true crime will want this one on their TBR!

A Mother’s Reckoning by: Sue Klebold

Purchase here.

Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one half of the Columbine shooting duo. The author tells her story of events leading up to and after the shooting with the help of diary entries. This is one readers won’t want to miss out on; I reviewed this one on my blog earlier this year, which can be found here.

Purchase here.

This was the last five star read of 2019 for me and it happened as the year was wrapping up. You can read my full thoughts on this one by reading my review.

The One by John Marrs

Published: February 20, 2018 by Hanover Square Press

Genres: Science fiction, Suspense

Edition: E-book

Pages: 416

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Description: A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

Five reasons to read this book:
  1. This book is filled with unexpected twists; I’m not lying when I say there is a surprise within each chapter of this book.
  2. I love how the author gives readers perspectives from five different characters. I find it rare to read a book where multiple points of views are highlighted, I personally wish there were more books like this! By allowing different insights, the readers are less likely to become bored while reading and have a better chance at coming across a character they enjoy and can relate to.
  3. This book reminded me of the episode titled Hang the DJ from the Netflix Original show, Black Mirror. In the episode, a dating system is responsible for pairing up couples and providing them with the knowledge of when their relationships will expire. If you have seen the show or this episode in particular and enjoyed it, then you should definitely give this book a read!
  4. If you are a person who likes to read the book before a show is created based off it, then you will want to be putting this book on your “to be read” list because it’s being adapted into a television series by Netflix and is expected to make its debut in January 2020.
  5. The One is the type of book that you will find impossible to put down! If you are looking for a book that is fairly short with an interesting concept that will keep you turning the pages, then this is the book for you. I rarely award books with a five star rating, so I think it’s safe to say this book definitely deserves this review and praise.

A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold

Published: February 15, 2016 by Broadway Books
Genre: Memoir
Edition: E-book
Pages: 319
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
If viewers have not noticed, I have a thing for memoirs. I personally love memoirs where the author is completely vulnerable with his/her readers and does not seem to lean towards a good or bad only perspective. For those that are unaware of the author, Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold; he is one half of the shooting duo responsible for the April 20, 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. In A Mother’s Reckoning, Sue Klebold does an exceptional job at chronicling the events from her son’s childhood up until the events of Columbine that ultimately ended with the suicide of her son. Although she is the perpetrator’s mother, she does not condone the actions of her son that resulted in the loss of thirteen lives or try to make excuses as to what may have caused him to make the decision to commit this heinous act. However, she also showcases the wonderful aspects of her son that have completely come undone due to that one fatal decision.
Sue Klebold has always kept a diary, which is the source for all the recollections she provides throughout this book. Growing up, Dylan was a normal, well-behaved child that presented no warning signs that he would mature into a person that would be capable of any act of violence upon himself or others. He always did his homework, maintained good grades, never argued with his parents, or even used profanity; he gave his parents no reason to worry. It is often that individuals assume that parents are aware that something is going on with their child and refuse to accept the signs being presented, while others seem to feel as if it is the parents who are at fault when their child demonstrates harmful, deadly behavior. Klebold shines light on the errors of this thinking; in her raw and honest style of writing, she lets readers know that it is impossible to truly know everything about your child and that you can do everything right as a parent and at the end of the day still fail.
During the last few months of Dylan’s life, he exhibited no signs of the horror that lied ahead. He maintained his usual, content self; he was partaking in normal senior activities: prom, college applications, as well as even declaring to his parents the college he wanted to attend and they even took him there for a tour! Life in the Klebold household could not have seemed happier and bright, but that quickly came crashing down on that fateful April day. Sue was at work when her husband called to let her know about the school shooting; as would any mother, she immediately thought of Dylan and how to deliver him to safety. It would only be a few hours until everything in her world came crashing down when she discovered her son was one of the members responsible. By the end of the shooting, thirteen lives were loss including Sue’s son, Dylan who ultimately committed suicide in the school’s library by gunshot wound to the left temple.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, everything for the Klebolds started to fall apart. The community that once welcomed them with open arms now turned their backs in disgust and anguish. The public outrage led to the family’s decision to not have a funeral, but instead a small, private viewing among close family before having the body cremated. The grieving process took a toll on Klebold and her husband, which sadly led to their divorce. This experience has shaped her life into what it is today and she has spent the last two decades sharing her personal story with others in hopes to bring about more awareness towards mental health.
In conclusion, I must say this read is definitely worth it. I rarely give books a five star rating, but this one absolutely deserves it. I hope by reading this review, you feel encouraged to give the book a chance.

Who Killed These Girls? by Beverly Lowry

Published: October 11, 2016 by Vintage
Genre: True Crime
Edition: E-book
Pages: 371
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Description: The facts are brutally straightforward. On December 6, 1991, the naked, bound-and-gagged bodies of the four girls–each one shot in the head–were found in an I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt! shop in Austin, Texas. Grief, shock, and horror spread out from their families and friends to overtake the city itself. Though all branches of law enforcement were brought to bear, the investigation was often misdirected and after eight years only two men (then teenagers) were tried; moreover, their subsequent convictions were eventually overturned, and Austin PD detectives are still working on what is now a very cold case. Over the decades, the story has grown to include DNA technology, false confessions, and other developments facing crime and punishment in contemporary life. But this story belongs to the scores of people involved, and from them Lowry has fashioned a riveting saga that reads like a Russian novel, comprehensive and thoroughly engrossing.
Five Reasons To Read This Book:
  1. Readers that enjoy true crime shows and stories will want to have this one on their “to be read” list! This book details the horrendous, quadruple murder of four female teenagers in Austin, TX, which remains unsolved to this day.
  2. The author shows off the extensive researching that she did on this case in order to publish this book. Lowry takes readers on a journey of events on the four girls’ last day alive and shares some background information on their personalities, relationships, and other critical elements that establishes a connection among those that read this book. By the end of the book, the author follows up with those that she interviewed and got to know during the making of the book. This allows readers to see what has become of the yogurt shop, the original suspects, how the families of the victims are doing, and other information that one would want to know after the aftermath of this case.
  3. This book will have readers feeling a whirlwind of emotions; shock on the total of individuals murdered and how, hatred that whoever committed these acts remains unpunished, sorrow for the victims and their families, among others. Personally, I had to take a few breaks from the book in order to process my own feelings on what I was reading; this just goes to show how awful this case was and how well the author had written it.
  4. For those that are like me, when you watch shows or read about cases that are unsolved you want to try to see if you can be the detective that catches what might have been overlooked. This book definitely educates those that read it on everything that happened that fateful night all the way up until recent years, which helps get conversations started on what might have happened, what might not have been checked out, bring about new suspects, among other useful information that can help bring closure to this case.
  5. For those that do not understand legal terms, this is the perfect book to obtain knowledge on such terminology because Lowry takes time to define those that she includes within this book. It makes for an easier reading experience and helps ensure readers are interpreting her words in the right way.