If, Then by Kate Hope Day, 3 Stars

I went on a girl’s trip with my sister this past weekend. And it was glorious. And I read about 2.5 books–and that was just on the plane ride there and back. Yes, flying to San Francisco from Chicago is definitely not a short flight.

And I’m fortunate to have a Kindle pre-loaded with all kinds of amazing books that aren’t even out yet to read and review on Netgalley (# blessed).

I have two more March titles to review this month or early next month. First up, If, Then by Kate Hope day.

From the Publisher:

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful co-worker in Ginny’s own bed and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day’s debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies—the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we’ve entered another reality.

My Review:

I loved the premise of this. And in the publisher descriptions, it was described as appealing to the fan of Little Fires Everywhere and The Immortalists, both books that I loved. Plus, that cover. I love the colors and the imagery. I was very excited to read this one.

Now, to preface my review, I haven’t always recently read the book’s description when I open up my Kindle to read. But I also kind of love that because it helps me avoid spoilers and truly be able to appreciate the story as it unfolds, knowing something about it appealed to me when I requested it.

So, first what I liked. I liked the tone of the book, I loved the setting and how that influenced the overall story. I really liked most of the characters and the story was intriguing. What didn’t I like? I seriously was confused a lot about what was going on.

I’ve read stories where the author is able to switch back and forth through time and even dimensions, but unless I’m missing something, it seemed very random in this story. Plus the visions and alternate reality escalate as the story goes on and I was so lost by the end.

Still, a lot of what threw me may have been changed before a final edit or may be more obvious when you are reading a final, proofed copy of the book. Overall, the concept was thought provoking, I just wished the book was organized differently.

Thank you to Random House Publishers and Netgalley for an e-galley of the book in exchange for my honest review. This one is out March 12, 2019.


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