If you’ve been keeping up with me, you know I am a big fan of indie books. As a reader, I have made it my mission to read as many indie books as I can. I want to discover as many great books as I can, especially ones that otherwise might not be discovered.
A few months ago, I came across a sign up sheet for a street team. I had been a part of a review group for this author before, and having loved her previous books, I wanted to sign up. I was hesitant at first, because at the time I didn’t have this blog, and the follower count on my social media accounts weren’t that high. I wasn’t sure how much outreach I could offer the author.
Another thing that held me back was the last few times I tried blogging, I read so many ARC’s for review that it started to become more of a chore than a fun pastime. I was so overwhelmed with reviews that I no longer read for pleasure.
Upon starting my blog, I vowed to only review books I’m excited about. After reading the synopsis for She’s Not Here, I was captivated. The hesitation flew out of my mind, and I signed up. The second the ARC downloaded onto my Kindle, I began reading, and, boy, I was glad I signed up.
She’s Not Here, the third novel by author Mandi Lynn, is full of heartbreak, emotion, and desperation. It blurs the lines between mortality and morality, dancing in a grey area where hope is the only thing to hold onto. It tests the boundaries of love, and poses the question; would you sacrifice one life to save thousands?
She’s Not Here follows Willow Ash, a nurse dealing with the death of her father, who was taken from her after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She wanders aimlessly through life, going about her daily routine of treating patients and being a wife until she discovers her husband’s research, and it changes everything.
Going into this book, I had some reservations. Alzheimer’s is an illness that has affected hundreds, thousands of families, and is a subject close to my heart, so while I was curious to see how Mandi would handle such a subject, I was nervous too.
However, my reservations proved to be for naught.
I have to commend Mandi. Alzheimer’s is a tough subject to tackle, but she did it well. Her portrayal of Tom, Willow’s father, was spot on. She showed him not only at his darkest moments, but also showed the small moments of light where he was his old self. I was filled with sadness during his scenes, and I felt for Willow so much.
It is this tragedy that’s the driving force for Willow, and the catalyst of the story.
Good and evil isn’t a concept in this book, which is something I loved. To understand these characters, you have to accept you can’t put them in a single category. You have to fully embrace the grey area, putting yourself right there with them, walking every step with them. This is something not easily done.
It is something Willow’s husband, Randy, struggles with every day.
Doctors have a duty of care to each and every patient, but what if one patient could bring about a cure for one of the worlds most heartbreaking killers? For a cure, Randy does the unthinkable. For love, Randy sets aside his oath. The toll it takes is hard to read.
I can’t express how much I enjoyed reading Randy’s internal tug of war. It was absolute favourite part of the book. His point of view showed a whole range of emotions, and I loved watching him break down into a shell of the man, the doctor, he once was. It was so well written, heart-wrenching, and gut-punching. Watching him see his wife fall into a state of grief-tainted desperation hit hard, and I’m not going to lie, his final battle with his wife had me misty.
I cannot recommend this book to anyone.
I cannot tell you to simply go read it because it was good, and I enjoyed it.
Whether you check it out or not is up to you.
I will say that this book is good. I will say that I enjoyed it. I will tell you that I felt a roller-coaster of emotions while reading it. I can say that checking it out might be something you can do if you want to read a well written thriller that reads like a gritty medical drama.
Willow watched her father diminish in front of her as Alzheimer’s pulled him further away each day. When a fire creates the perfect disaster, Willow’s desperation to find a cure to the disease causes her to change Samantha Ellison’s life forever.
Treated as an experiment, Willow injects Samantha with a serum that mimics Alzheimer’s and deteriorates her brain. With Sam’s mental capacity declining at an alarming rate, it won’t be long until people start looking for answers. With Willow’s husband as the doctor, it’s only a matter of time before he uncovers the truth. The only question is whether he discovers Willow’s secrets in time to save the innocent life at stake.
Mandi Lynn started writing her first novel at thirteen, and at the young age of seventeen, Essence, hit the press. Since publishing her debut novel, Lynn has taught writing workshops, appeared on television, newspapers, and most importantly, graduated high school. While attending college, Lynn works part time at a salon as a stylist and continues to write future novels. Lynn can be found online creating YouTube videos about books, publishing, and all things reading.