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Book review: Destination: Unknown – Joey Paul (@MsJoeyBug)

Harriet’s life was anything but normal. Since her mum’s diagnosis, life had changed. Her reviewhome, her responsibilities, and her school, everything was different. She was a student, a carer, and now, it seemed, a time traveller. It happened early one morning, a ghost appeared and beseeched her aid. Back in the 1900s her father had been accused of murder, and whilst their family had no concerns for money, a guilty verdict would ruin them, driving them into poverty and shame. Of course, they were born at different times, so how was Harriet supposed to clear the name of someone already long dead, and change events already dictated by time’s hand? Time travel of course.

I have read a large number of Joey Paul’s books. There is just something about her first-person narrative I find captivating. Destination Unknown is my most recent acquisition and there are a lot of things about this book to love. There is an attention to detail in regards to how a carer feel, the toll on them, their fears, concerns, and the worries that shape every thought, every day. I found this added a lot of depth to the characters and plot, and easily built up an understanding and empathy that those not having been in a situation like Harriet’s would not even consider. The same focus has been applied in reflecting the 1900s, even down to mannerisms. I enjoyed watching the pieces fit together as the plot goes on, and the formation of bonds, friendships, and understanding.

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Book review: Blackout – Joey Paul (@MsJoeyBug )

Tally should never have written that email. Then again, she didn’t believe her doctors or reviewher parents when they told her the life she remembered, the friends, the love, the parties, had all just been a dream within her coma. A coma she had slipped into after taking drugs. She knew she wouldn’t do that. On her release she had reached out to the popular kids, her friends, but in return received only scorn and mockery. She had been popular once, if only in her dream, and she was determined to be again. She would find her way back, and along the way clear her name. Of course, if she didn’t take the drugs, then it was clear something else must have happened, and her regaining her memory is not in everyone’s best interest.

I have read a number of books by Joey Paul, and no one quite writes like her. I love her engaging first-person narrative, especially how they are tailored to the focal character’s personality. Tally is a great character, confused, funny, and determined. Once you pick up Blackout time will lose all meaning as you find yourself enthralled in the expertly told tale. The style of this book reminds me a lot of the point horror I used to read while in school, while it is aimed at a young adult audience, adults will find it just as gripping. Well-written, enjoyable, and moving, well deserving of five stars, and I’ve already picked up another book by this author for my to read list.

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Book review: Joey Paul – Walk a Mile (@MsJoeyBug )

Hetti’s first day in the police started with murder. With her first scene came her first gut reviewinstinct. As the days progress more murders occur and there’s a nagging feeling she just can’t shake. The suspects beat the BF scans, something with a 99% accuracy not only that, but each time the suspect has been using a WAM, Walk a Mile, accessory. Her gut won’t be silent, she is certain there is a link, but she’s not even a week in, who would take her theories seriously, and how could she even prove something that had so many failsafe to prevent this could be flawed, or worse, being used deliberately as a tool for murder? Can she connect the dots and find the perpetrator before they set their sights on her?

I first came across Joey Paul’s work in her Dying Thoughts series, when I saw she had written Walk a Mile, I couldn’t help snapping it up. I am so glad I did. Here we meet Hetti, the main protagonist who is juggling complex relationships, family life, and a new career, to top it all off she’s connecting impossible dots, making enemies of both friend and families, not to mention the people in her new police career that have taken an instant dislike to a rookie being placed on the task force.  Walk a Mile is set in a time more progressive in both technology and views, but not so far that you can’t see where such things stemmed from. It is written in an expressive and engaging first-person narrative wrought with danger, questions, and a quest for truth. If you’re looking for a crime thriller that’s a little different then here it is, but be warned, once you’ve experienced Joey Paul’s writing, you’ll be hungry for more.

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Book review: Joey Paul – Dying Thoughts – Sixth Change (@MsJoeyBug )

Tara’s life had been full of change. She was nearly an adult now, she was willingly reviewattending higher education, she had friends, a goal, but there were a few things she could not change, her gift to see a dying person’s last moments, and the toll Adam’s actions and her past experiences had taken on her. Now, at college, she finds herself once more faced with horror as members of her social circle are drugged and abducted, barely escaping. It takes her to a place in her mind she would rather not be, a place she must willingly venture if she is to uncover the ones responsible. The abductor’s game is evolving, but so too is Tara’s gift. Can she overcome her fears and learn what she must before something even more terrible happens?

I have read every book in this series to date, and I have to say they just keep getting better. The Dying Thoughts series is easily one of the best examples of the first-person narrative I have ever encountered, and just as Tara ages from book one to six, so too does her monologue, and outlook, something clearly reflected in the ever-maturing voice written by Joey Paul. Trouble seems to find Tara everywhere and book six is no exception. New friends, new troubles, and new visions await, and the clock is ticking. This is an amazing series, but the books also work well as stand-alone, anything you need to know is skilfully recapped, and you’ll find it hard not to be pulled along with the vivid and unique characters who drive this adventure.

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Book review: Dying Thoughts – Fifth Secret by Joey Paul @MsJoeyBug

Tara was in trouble. She had been forcing herself to believe it was a joke, perhaps even a cruel scheme from Jody. She would rather believe anything than what she feared to be reviewthe truth. It had started with a simple note, I know your secret, it warned. The notes were sporadic at first, but soon they were being delivered to her home, and at increasing frequency. It finally she had to admit the truth, this was something more than a secret admirer or a cruel joke. It was similar to the stalking her father had endured before her mother had been murdered. With no clues to work on Tara knows she must reveal her stalker before it’s too late, but how can she know who to trust when those she has faith in could be the ones responsible?

By now, having read all five of the books in this series to date, I can openly state that I am a big fan of Joey Paul’s writing. I was never a fan of first person narrative, but over the years I have found some brilliant examples, and this series is one of them. It feels like it is written for me, like Tara is telling me, and any reader will experience the same level of personal connection to the writing. Gripping, entertaining, and suspenseful, Dying Thoughts – Fifth Secret makes for a compelling read, I can’t wait until the next book is released.

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Book review: Dying Thoughts – Fourth Week by Joey Paul (@MsJoeyBug )

Our teenage homicide solving ‘visionary’ is back! But this time she finds herself working reviewagainst the clock. Her friend has gone missing. No visions give Tara hope she’s still alive and well, but they also mean she has no leads as to her whereabouts. Determined to find her friend before it’s to late and she find herself bearing witness to her death, Tara will do something she has never done before, investigate. She will pursue her own investigation, hoping, praying, she can find something the police have overlooked  before it is too late.

Another brilliant edition to the Dying Thoughts series, I can’t help but feel in this book Tara really comes into her own. With so much on the line we see what she is really capable of. I think in each review I praise the author’s first person narrative style, and this book holds no exception. Masterfully written, brilliantly presented, with a plot that keeps driving you forward. I’ve already picked up book five in the series, and can’t wait to see what adventures are next in store.

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Book review: Dying thoughts – Third Wish by Joey Paul (@msjoeybug)

Since the first day of the new term Tara has eagerly awaited the end of year summer reviewholidays. Six weeks of bliss, minimal study, and free time. She can barely wait for that final bell to ring, her mind was filled with visions of duvet mornings and joy. But her father had other plans. He decided, since next year is Tara’s last year in high school, and she has no desire to go to college, she needed experience, she needed a summer job. Her days of comfort are quickly replaced with police work, her new job, and coursework. After all, working full time for a charity means she can’t afford to slack off, otherwise she’ll never get the work done for school, and despite not caring about her grades there are some boundaries she won’t push with her father. The thing is this new job is with a charity that helps disabled and seriously ill children with conditions that affect their quality of life. By her second day she knows something is not quite as it seems, and if her latest vision is anything to go by, her instincts are right on the money.

This is another enjoyable edition to the series. Joey Paul gives the reader yet another thrilling adventure as Tara is dragged through her life with a gift that can feel more like a curse. From the first book as a reader you see growth, some of it reluctant on Tara’s part, and great development. Joey Paul certain has a talent for this genre. Her writing style is immersive, to the point where I start reading and, what seems like moments later, I glance at the clock and realise a few hours have passed. I look forward to reading the next book in the near future.

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Dying thoughts – Third wish

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Book review: Dying Thoughts – Second Sight by Joey Paul (@msjoeybug)

Tara is struggling to come to terms with her new gift, okay, well it’s not a new gift, she’s reviewhad it since she was six. The only thing is, she didn’t know exactly what is was, other than perhaps a crack in her sanity. Her father, who could have made everything much easier by talking to her about it, said nothing. He thought he was shielding her from pain. He hoped the visions his wife, Tara’s mother, suffered from had not been passed on. He clung to this hope even when she suffered from the same symptoms. He had lied to her about how her mother died, a truth that could have spared her so much confusion, and now it seems impossible to trust him. Fortunately she has Kaolin, the friend whose kinship came at the price of exposing her father’s lies, not to mention kidnap and murder. She had her concerns when the teacher once more added a new student to her group, she was worried something of Cassie’s would cause a similar drama and terror she had experienced with Kaolin. Cassie would indeed bring something to her, it just wasn’t what she had expected, although visions are certainly inevitable, their not like Tara has ever experienced.

A wonderful addition to what is quickly becoming a gripping series. I read book one on Tuesday night and picked this one up for my last night’s read. I am really enjoying watching Tara and Kaolin’s evolving friendship. I’m never normally one for first person narrative but this is certainly wonderfully written. I said it before, but it possesses a brilliant inner monologue, and once again the author whisks you away on an adventure where you are trying to put together the pieces, only it’s more complicated this time, for reasons I won’t reveal. I’ve picked up book three and can’t wait to dive in to see what new troubles find Tara.

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Dying thoughts – Second sight

 

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Book review: Dying Thoughts – First Touch by Joey Paul (@MsJoeyBug)

Tara Leverton didn’t ask for this unusual gift but it started just after her mother died. reviewTara had been six when cancer had claimed her mother, or at least that was what she had been led to believe. The visions, however, told a different story. She was fifteen now and had learnt these episodes were brought on by contact with second-hand objects, and she often awoke from the seizure they induced to hear the reassurance that an ambulance was on its way. But there was  nothing reassuring about an ambulance, being on a gurney people had died on, or in a  bed in a ward where people had met often violent or tragic ends. For six months she had managed to keep it under control, adjust her life to avoid triggers,  and then Kaolin came into her life. It was a simple mistake, but one that was a catalyst for all that would follow.

This was a gripping read. It is written in a first person narrative style perfectly suited to the internal monologue of a fifteen year old. It possesses a steady pace and is packed with intrigue. From the moment I started reading  I knew I’d be having a late night, I’d planned to read just a few chapters, but I simply couldn’t stop . I certainly look forward to reading more of Tara’s adventures in the future.

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Dying Thoughts – First Touch