Arc Review: After Dark with Roxie Clark by Brooke Lauren Davis

Title: After Dark with Roxie Clark
Author: Brooke Lauren Davis
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: October 4th, 2022
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“Roxie Clark has seen more dead bodies than your average seventeen-year-old. As a member of the supposedly-cursed Clark family, most of her ancestors have met tragic ends, including her own mother. Instead of fearing the curse, however, Roxie has combined her flair for performance and her gruesome family history into a successful ghost tour. But her tour never covers the most recent body she’s seen-her sister Skylar’s boyfriend, Colin Riley, found murdered in a cornfield.
A year after the murder, Roxie’s desperate to help Skylar find closure and start to heal. Instead, Skylar becomes fixated on finding the killer. As the sisters dig into what really happened, they discover that more than one person has been lying about that night. And the closer they get to the truth, the more Roxie starts to wonder if some scary stories might be better left untold.” (Goodreads)

I was looking forward to reading this one after reading her debut last year. I like her writing style and that didn’t change. It was a good mystery/thriller but I didn’t like it as much as I had hoped.

The book is told from third person narrative with the point-of-view following Roxie Clark. She has a unique business when it comes to her ghost tour because it involves all of the women in her family that came before her. Besides being family, the one thing they have in common is the Clark curse. I did like this a lot and enjoyed being told the tales of those that died. It gives it a creepy feel that is different than the mystery.

Roxie was a good character and she finds herself trying to sort through loyalty and understanding her sister who is still grieving. Both sisters, and even their grandma, have dealt with a lot in their lives. It was interesting to see how each one dealt with it. I wish we would have gotten more from grandma though. Roxie’s sister Skylar was not very likeable. I understand that she is still dealing with grief but everything she did was irrational and she was always at arms with her sister.

The other characters, even the brothers, felt like they only had one purpose. I didn’t really feel anything for them and I guess that was fine haha.

The pacing is on the slower side until you get about halfway and the plot is fine but nothing that really grabbed me. It does wrap up nicely by then and I guess I understand the ending but kind of just wanted more from it? It felt a bit rushed.

Overall, this was a good book. I did like certain aspects of the story and will still continue on with this author if and when she writes more.

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Goodreads Monday: After Dark with Roxie Clark by Brooke Lauren Davis | 8-8-22

Title: After Dark with Roxie Clark
Author: Brooke Lauren Davis
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: October 4th, 2022
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

From the author of The Hollow Inside comes a twisty, thought-provoking YA thriller about grief, family, and what happens when true crime hits a little too close to home.

Roxie Clark has seen more dead bodies than your average seventeen-year-old. As a member of the supposedly-cursed Clark family, most of her ancestors have met tragic ends, including her own mother. Instead of fearing the curse, however, Roxie has combined her flair for performance and her gruesome family history into a successful ghost tour. But her tour never covers the most recent body she’s seen-her sister Skylar’s boyfriend, Colin Riley, found murdered in a cornfield.

A year after the murder, Roxie’s desperate to help Skylar find closure and start to heal. Instead, Skylar becomes fixated on finding the killer. As the sisters dig into what really happened, they discover that more than one person has been lying about that night. And the closer they get to the truth, the more Roxie starts to wonder if some scary stories might be better left untold. Brooke Lauren Davis offers another thought-provoking and eerily satisfying tale, perfect for fans of Kara Thomas and Cruel Summer.” (Goodreads)

DOES THIS ONE SOUND LIKE SOMETHING YOU WOULD READ?

I read her first book, The Hollow Inside, and gave it 4 stars so I definitely have high hopes for this one! I absolutely love the read and black cover.

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Arc Review: The Hollow Inside by Brooke Lauren Davis

Title: The Hollow Inside
Author: Brooke Lauren Davis
Genre: YA Contemporary / Thriller
Publication Date: May 25th, 2021
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an earc to read in exchange for a review!

A gripping, twisty, thought-provoking YA debut about a girl caught in a web of betrayal and revenge, for fans of Sadie.

Phoenix and mom Nina have spent years on the road, using their charm and wits to swindle and steal to get by. Now they’ve made it to their ultimate destination, Mom’s hometown of Jasper Hollow. The plan: bring down Ellis Bowman, the man who ruined Nina’s life.

After Phoenix gets caught spying, she spins a convincing story that inadvertently gives her full access to the Bowman family. As she digs deeper into their secrets, she finds herself entrenched in the tale of a death and a disappearance that doesn’t entirely line up with what Mom has told her. Who, if anyone, is telling the whole truth?

Debut author Brooke Lauren Davis explores the murkiness of right and wrong, of choices and consequences and heroes and villains, in an eerily compelling and wholly satisfying small-town saga.” (Goodreads)

What a story this was!

The blurb talks about a mom and daughter on a mission for the truth. It also talks about the murkiness of right and wrong. Oh how truly little I knew going into this book and what I would feel!

Phoenix and her mom are drifters. They find what they need through stealing or doing odd jobs here and there for people. It is far from a life of luxury but it’s how they have been managing for many years. Since this is where the story starts, I was hoping to know more about how this came to be and I wasn’t disappointed when it came out. It was shocking and definitely made me wanting to keep reading on.

Reading on is what I did even when my eyes were too heavy to stay open as I read this at night.

As the plot continues we learn more about the small town of Jasper Hollow and the Bowmen family, especially because that is where Phoenix and her mom find themselves as they plot for the truth to unfold from Nina’s (her mom’s) past. As the talk about Ellis Bowmen continues, it was easy to understand what had happened between them and even though this was the case, it still didn’t stop me from devouring the book. I had to know what would happen next because the book ended up splitting into past and present.

When it came to the past, it was hard to read about sometimes because what happened to Nina happens to many girls. It literally crushes them and it’s easy to see the change in Nina. The title is a perfect resemblance of who she became.

The present is all about Phoenix and what she is doing to help her mom have the truth come out.

*Spoiler (contains content warning)*

If you are curious about the content warning, the plot does deal with sexual assault of a minor since the victim was not old enough to consent and the man is way older. The man is also seen as a good guy who has a great family and goes to church. Everyone took his word for everything and never questioned him. He even blamed his brother for it all. It honestly was sickening.

Another content warning is homophobia. It isn’t a big part of the plot but it is there.

*End of Spoilers*

Even though I guessed two plot twists, I didn’t see the others coming and was caught off-guard! The last 20% had me shocked throughout.

After reading the book, it is easy to understand why the blurb had stated murkiness of right and wrong. There are many things that Phoenix and her mom do that obviously were not good things even if the intention of doing good is there. It’s easy to feel bad for them but also question their morals, especially for Phoenix who does question what her mom is doing but also stands by her side no matter what. There is definitely a lot to think about.

Overall, this was a really enjoyable read even if the content was hard at times. I still found myself not wanting to put it down. I am looking forward to seeing what else this author will write. Also, if this review doesn’t make sense I am sorry! Haha. It’s better to go in knowing not a lot so it’s hard to write down my feelings properly.

Goodreads Monday: The Hollow Inside by Brooke Lauren Davis (3/8/21)

Hello Readers!

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.

Title: The Hollow Inside
Author: Brooke Lauren Davis
Genre: YA Contemporary Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: May 25th, 2021
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

A gripping, twisty, thought-provoking YA debut about a girl caught in a web of betrayal and revenge, for fans of Sadie.

Phoenix and mom Nina have spent years on the road, using their charm and wits to swindle and steal to get by. Now they’ve made it to their ultimate destination, Mom’s hometown of Jasper Hollow. The plan: bring down Ellis Bowman, the man who ruined Nina’s life.

After Phoenix gets caught spying, she spins a convincing story that inadvertently gives her full access to the Bowman family. As she digs deeper into their secrets, she finds herself entrenched in the tale of a death and a disappearance that doesn’t entirely line up with what Mom has told her. Who, if anyone, is telling the whole truth?

Debut author Brooke Lauren Davis explores the murkiness of right and wrong, of choices and consequences and heroes and villains, in an eerily compelling and wholly satisfying small-town saga.” (Goodreads)

I found this one on Netgalley and couldn’t resist requesting! I love reading YA Mystery/Thrillers and this one just sounds too good to pass up!

Does this one sound like something you would read?

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-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)