Review: Broken Promise (Promise Falls Trilogy, Book 1)

Recently, I’ve been going through reading all of Linwood Barclay’s novels, as he is an amazing thriller writer. I’ve made a good size dent in them, but this has been one of my favorite trilogies thus far. The Promise Falls Trilogy. But let’s take it one book at a time.

Let’s get started.

5/5 Stars

Broken Promise.


We start in a small town in New York state, the main narrator being David Harwood. Barclay likes to jump around with his characters so that you can get the full story , with all characters being told in third person and the narrator in first person. Promise Falls is your average small town, filled with a sense of community closeness and big hidden secrets. Harwood and his son (his wife is deceased) have to move back to the Falls because of financial reasons and he’s hardly home with his big job at the Boston Globe, so he moves back in with his parents until he can find them a place. Then, his job is lost, the local newspaper shutting down for good because we’re in the golden age of media, and rarely do people read their news in print.

From this point, Harwood helps his cousin (mom’s sister’s daughter), because she’s not ‘in the right mind’. Upon arrival at her house with food from his mother, he discovers that his cousin has a baby. That’s odd, because she doesn’t have children. Well, it turns out, an ‘angel’ delivered this baby to her, to make up for the baby she lost before. Might I mention that she also has attempted to steal a baby from the hospital shortly after she ‘lost’ her own, but since her mother is head of the hospital, she managed to quieten the situation to protect her daughter.

Before I get ahead of myself, I’m going to stop the review in detail right there. I love reviews, but hate in-depth spoilers, and trust me when I say I can’t go into much more detail without giving the story away. I just hope it’s enough of a hook to make you read it.

I will say this, though. Throughout this book, and the trilogy, everyone and their stories are connected. Whether or not it seems like it at first, they are. This book was filled with action and thrills from start to finish, and the end will only leave you wanting more. I picked up the first two books at the same time, and ordered the third (which released in Nov. 2016) as soon as I could. The first book took me some time, but the second i read within a week, and the third within 2 days. This story is insane and leaves you wanting more.

Review: Landline

*This review contains spoilers, read at your own risk, or jump down to the *** near the end for the briefest review you’ll need without spoiling it for yourself**
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Start Date: December 12th, 2016
Finish Date: December 15th, 2016
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 stars

This book combines a lot of my favorite things all into one: “time travel”, marriage, children, and a “not-too-sappy” love story. I enjoy YA novels, but much more enjoy then when they are geared towards older, married/have children, audience.

Georgie (main character) and her husband Neal, who have 2 young daughters, have been together since college and married for ~15 years. She and Neal are polar opposites in their work fields, he studied oceanography (now a stay-at-home dad) and she became a sitcom writer. She loves California, grew up there, and is required to stay there for her job. Neal would love to move back home to Nebraska, but sacrifices this for Georgie and her career. The present Christmas, Georgie and Neal are supposed to go home to Neal’s family like they do every year. However, because Georgie and her best friend/writing partner, Seth, have landed the biggest deal yet on making their own TV show, but the deadline makes her need to be home during the time they are supposed to go to Nebraska.

Naturally, Georgie stays for her career and best friend, but instead of Neal staying with her and being with her for Christmas, he up and leaves with the girls in tow to Nebraska. This is where I, personally speaking as a mom and wife, would just say it can wait until after Christmas and just go and be with my family. But no, she still stays. As many times as she tries to contact him, though, he never answers. So, she thinks that this may be the last straw to a never-ending argument that has been going on for years, where Georgie always puts herself first and never considers Neal’s feelings whatsoever. I mean, go be with your family, the show and Seth will still be here until you get back. Jeez, at the very least take your laptop with you and do your writing and send it to Seth while you’re up there.

While she can’t get Neal to answer her, she doesn’t want to go home to an empty house. She instead goes to stay at her mother’s house with her, her step-dad, and sister (who is still in high school, so her and Georgie have a significant amount of years between them). She stays in her old room, which hasn’t been changed much since she left for college many years ago, and she sees and old (yet still new) rotary landline phone. Here’s where things get interesting. Since she doesn’t want to go home, where her chargers are, her cell is dead 99% of the time, so to try to get a hold of Neal, she uses the landline. When she calls, Neal’s mother answers, then she gets Neal, but he sounds different. Younger. And then she hears Neal’s dad. Who’s been deceased for years. Odd.

Upon several conversations over the next few days, she realizes that she is talking to the young Neal. From when they were in college, before they got engaged, married, and had kids. She’s also worried that her talking to him might alter their current future where they are married with children. So, she has to be careful on what she says, otherwise she might end up talking Neal out of marrying her and therefore end her current life as she knows it.

***This is a story of love, family, and not taking for granted what and who you have. This is by far one of the better love stories I’ve read, especially in the YA genre. I highly recommend reading this around Christmas time because of the feels. Also, if you have any doubts on this book because you read Fangirl, please put that judgement aside, because this is definitely a book you want to read. I don’t enjoy sappy love stories and this is not one of those. This hit the nail on the head as far as what “real” relationships and marriages are like. Don’t miss out.***


Update on LANDLINE.

Let me just say, I’ve almost finished this book and I’ve read over 200 pages in the last 24 hours. I am almost finished which is a far cry from where I was at in the book a few days ago. I am hooked. I wasn’t a fan of Fangirl who has the same author (Rainbow Rowell) so I was a little bit skeptical to read it because I didn’t really like the writing style. Honestly, the only thing that did pull me in was the plot.

Needless to say, I’m very happy with myself for going against my ‘better’ and initial judgement and gut feelings.


Review to follow soon! Happy Holidays!

Library List

For some reason, since I am a hoarder of books, I completely forgot about the library being at my disposal. I have been buying books here and there, most of which I want(ed) to own anyway, over the last 6 months. And here I could have read The Girl on the Train months and months ago. I also admit that I have been reading this book for entirely too long, mainly because I get distracted easily or I forget to bring my book to work. Yes, I am very fortunate to be able to read at work (I have a lot of down time and am in an office by myself for the most part almost every day). Also, 3 year olds aren’t too fond of seeing you reading alone so they either a) want you to stop what you’re doing to watch them watch a movie, b) try to sit with you while you read, but get overly excited and flip through all of the pages, or c) (the least painful one) wanting you to come play with them or read their books to them. I love my little so much, but there’s only so many viewings of the live action Alvin and the Chipmunks a mother can watch before she loses her mind ;). So, distractions.

Anyway, I have made it a point to start going here, since my current reading list consists of many books I do not own and don’t want to buy for fear I might not like them, and it’s hella long. 52 books to be exact. An entire year’s worth of reading (for me). Currently, I have checked out:

  1. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  2. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King (yuck for having to get large print because that’s the only copy that they had, I checked. Not even any audio 😦 )
  3. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

I am pushing myself to finish The Girl on the Train because I desperately need to start these books if I’m planning on reading them by the end of the year (which I am).


Mail Call

So very excited to receive my copies of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and Dark Places by Gillian Flynn yesterday in the mail! Now I am awaiting the arrival of Sharp Objects also by Gillian Flynn and the trilogy all-in-one book of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. has truly been my best go-to website for purchasing books. I have only been dissatisfied once, and that was my fault because I misread the dimensions of a book, which I thought was a regular paperback when it turned out to be a mass market paperback version. Those versions are the devil. However, I did look back at my order and realized that I had failed to make sure of the correct dimensions. I have otherwise not had a single issue, not to mention they all arrive within about a week! I am excited to finally have these books, so that I can finish out the year with the (hopefully) awesome reads!

Currently Enjoying

Welcome to The Broken Bookshelf! I am excited to begin this journey, and fulfilling one of my goals by owning an operating a blog about books (because, let’s be honest, other than food they’re about the best there are).

I am currently reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. A novel about a high school senior in the year 2044, where reality doesn’t pan out quite like it should have. OASIS, a virtual reality gaming system, is his only escape from the dwindling planet Earth. The creator of the OASIS, has recently passed away. Upon his passing he has left a game of hunting for his devoted players, because if they find all of the ‘keys’ he has hidden over this vast virtual world, they can then open the ‘Gates’. There are three keys and 3 gates, and if such an adventurer finds all keys and opens all gates, he/she shall inherit OASIS creator’s vast multi-billion dollar fortune. A great read for 80s pop culture fanatics and fans of Dungeons and Dragons (of which I am very enthusiastic of both).

My 2nd read is Stephen King‘s MISERY. I have yet to see the movie, though I have somewhat heard and read that the movie was a bit better than the books, which is usually rarely the case. KING‘s books are sometimes slow and steady to start, but pick up when you least expect it, which leaves you starting to read at 9 p.m. and before you know it you’re daring yourself to finish those last 50 pages while the clock beside you reads 3:00 a.m. Such is the case with MISERY.

3rd and last is Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger, the sequal to her hit novel and later motion picture The Devil Wears Prada. TDWP was a good read, however I will have to say that the movie was actually much better than the book. That, of course, could be because I viewed the movie at a younger age before I even knew that it was based on a novel. This sequel follows Andy Sachs after Runway, where her and former colleague and Miranda Priestly’s senior assistant, Emily, create their own (bridal fashion) magazine. The magazine is extremely successful, yet Andy can’t seem to get over still cowering and cringing whenever she hears the Priestly name. Started in October 2016, but have since took a break for more important books on my reading list.