Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around my first two 20 Books Of Summer titles: a contemporary that I had high hopes for but sadly fell flat for me, and a psychological thriller that was interesting enough.

Title: The Extraordinary Hope Of Dawn Brightside
Author: Jessica Ryn

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
First published: November 26th 2020
Publisher: HQ
Finished reading: June 3rd 2021
Pages: 400

“Whoever invented the English language should have made more words. Better ones, that are up to the job for conversations like this.”


I knew that I wanted to read The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside as soon as I first heard about it. Both the premise and the focus on homelessness caught my attention immediately and I’ve been looking forward to it ever since. Sadly, I ended up having mixed thoughts about this story instead… I found the pace to be considerably slow especially in the first part, and as a consequence I struggled to stay invested in the story. On top of this, somehow I wasn’t able to connect to Dawn at all until her background was explained recently 70% into the story. I understand that she has mental health issues and delusions, but somehow having a chronic liar and kleptomaniac as one of the main characters just didn’t do it for me. The fact that she clearly steals all the time, but it being brushed over in the story as something that isn’t an issue really didn’t sit right for me. The contrast with Grace’s POV was nice, although I did find her personality to be a bit cliche. It was only the final 30% that saved the story for me to be honest, and while I’m glad I did continue reading until the end, the journey to get there was rather rough. I do really appreciate how the story shines a light on homelessness and how it is more common than you think.

Title: Every Single Secret
Author: Emily Carpenter

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: May 1st 2018
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Finished reading: June 6th 2021
Pages: 313

“There are monsters all around us—people who have to hide because the world can’t bear to see them for who they truly are.”


I’ve enjoyed Emily Carpenter‘s writing in the past, so when my TBR jar thought it was time to finally read Every Single Secret I was immediately looking forward to do so. The blurb definitely sounded fascinating with the creepy location and dark pasts being hinted at… And the story definitely did a great job at getting that ominous feel and gothic vibe right! Sure, I did feel that the story dragged a little in parts and especially the second half of the story started to feel more and more farfetched, but as a whole the story is still entertaining enough. I can’t say that I actually liked the main characters and I could have done without the flashbacks to Daphne’s past, but Heath himself is an interesting enough character especially once you start learning more about his past. Like I said, I don’t think everything relating to his past is exactly credible and the resulting final twists and events were too farfetched for me as well, but as a whole he does help saving the story a little. I’m not sure what to make of how everything wrapped up though… But you can’t deny that this story provides you with plenty of suspenseful and creepy scenes along the way. In short, Every Single Secret is not my favorite title of hers, but still entertaining enough if you enjoy psychological thrillers with a gothic vibe and don’t mind the plot taking a farfetched turn or two.

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