Cover Image: Our Little World

Our Little World

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Member Reviews

DNF at 25%

I'm really sorry, I wanted to like this one.

I was initially intrigued by the coming-of-age character driven story set in the 80's, as well as the comparison to Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. 

The main viewpoint coming from Bee was interesting, I liked the way she pieced together the gravity of the situation of Sally going missing, by listening in on her mother's phone conversations, basing her opinion of Sally's mother on outside influences, etc.

My main complaint with the story was that it was very repetitive; it felt like I was in a dryer cycle going round and round with the same thought process. Granted, I didn't make it very far into this but that was a big reason I ended up not wanting to pick it back up. I guess I expected it to be more of a mystery surrounding Sally's disappearance, and I can appreciate that it's more about what happens to the people surrounding Sally, but I just couldn't get into it.
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Interesting, Intriguing, a quick read. will be recommending this book to others. 
I was moved by this book and has moments I could relate to the characters. 
Thank you for this ARC.
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Amazing debut! I will be reading this again when the physical book comes out! I grew up in the 80's so this really takes me back to my childhood. Great story, very intriguing.
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The relationship between siblings is always littered with land mines.  The love/hate dynamic is part of any family with more than one child. Always reminded that they must care for one another no matter what, Bee and Drina also long to find their own separate ways in their little world.  

How much responsibility do we bear for our siblings? Why is the older one always supposed to be more responsible and why is the younger one always considered less capable?  Why do parents - consciously or not - view their children through the lens of their own desires  rather than see the individual children as they really are?  When children grow into adult size humans, do they need less parental guidance or more?  And who is there to save the children when the parents are wearing blinders, too centered on the difficulties in their own lives?

All these questions  and more are addressed in this novel.  No one is immune to these family dynamics and this is perhaps most easily seen when drawing the curtain back  from the privacy of the ore affluent suburbs.  Large yards, separate homes, more places to hide.
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Remember when you got to roam the streets, ride your trike outside, and just go to your friend's house whenever as long as you were home before dark? This book with transport you back to that world! 

Our Little World is a very heavy story that explores the consequences of grief on an entire community. There was no happy ending here so don't go in expecting one. 

Also, if this family was my family, I think I would absolutely lose my mind! lol
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I love reading new authors and their debuts!  This book will transport you to the 80s, when life was simpler…summer, roaming your neighborhood on a bike and hanging out with friends at the pool or lake.  This was a time when innocence was bliss, siblings showed their fierce love/hate relationships and secrets were lurking but you were blind to it, until you weren’t.  Secrets abound. 

Character driven story about a small neighborhood that is rocked by the unthinkable and it’s effect on its inhabitants.  Story deals with the complex relationship between sisters, who love fiercely, fight often, compete constantly.  Struggles of growing up in each other’s shadows and what happens when parents are human and bad things happen, and the choices we make can haunt up forever.  

Thanks to Ms. Winn, Penguin Group Dutton and NetGalley for this AR. Opinion is mine alone.
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I really struggle to rate and review books which I think are well written, but did not like at all. 

Such is the case with Our Little World, which was thoughtfully and smartly plotted, but also easily the most depressing thing I’ve read all year.

But mostly, this book just made me glad I don’t have a sister. Ir perhaps this particular sister. Or these particular parents. 

And TW for child death (rape and murder) and child death (disease). Doesn’t this book just sound like a barrel of laughs? 

Not every book needs to be, and I’m not a reader who necessarily requires a happy ending. But man, this was a real downer. Particularly when weighed against publishers summaries, which implied a very different tone. That’s not at all the fault of the author, but a common issue that is a real problem in the publishing industry.

On the positive side, the book is more enjoyable in the first half, where the content focuses more on coming of age and some fun 80s nostalgia. 

If you love tragedies, you’ll probably like this more than I did. Though a bit overlong, it’s otherwise very well written, and Bee made for a lovely protagonist.
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3.5 Stars!

This book is a wonderful journey to the summer of 1985 when Borka was 12 years old. Told in an alternating prospective, the intro and end chapters with her as an adult and the rest told as her younger self. She takes you through the journey of her neighborhood friend, a 4 year old from across the street, going missing one summer and her sister dying the following summer.

I loved the setting of 1985 in a small town. I also loved the characters. Some of the minutia was a little bit slow and then all things at the end were a bit rushed and I did not feel satisfied, I still have questions lingering.

A special thanks to NetGalley, PENGUIN GROUP Dutton, and Karen Winn for providing me with an ARC.
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I loved this book so much - what a touching, bittersweet story. Such a gripping novel that explores a very hard time. Thought the coming-of-age/teenage angst was so well done. This one will stick with me for a long time.
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Remember when you were younger and you thought you had everything understood only to find out that nothing was what you thought? Yeah, this reminds me kind of like that. Bee feels safe in her world and is a typical pre-teen. That's all shattered when her friend across the street's sister disappears. 

Tragic incidents such as this test bonds of family and friendship - and Bee is no exception. The book definitely had me in my feelings and I feel in love with Bee. I kept questioning the concept of whether the things we don't know hurt us, and I never came to a conclusion. Bee's safe little world has secrets.

This is perfect for lovers of books where the main character experiences growth.
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This debut blew me away! I loved every single page of it.

July 1985 - New Jersey Bee Kocsis is enjoying her summer at Deer Chase Lake. Sure, she has some things on her mind - Sam her next-door neighbor and wondering if she will ever be as popular and loved as her dazzling younger sister Audrina. Then tragedy strikes when Sam's younger sister, Sally goes missing at the lake.

Things will never be the same again...

Bee gets lessons on the hardness/harshness of life. When innocence is shattered, when you discover your parent's secrets, deal with the ups and downs of sibling relationships, deal with puberty, your peer group, and your own inner thoughts - you know- growing up.

This book was nostalgic. It is also raw, it's about loss, growing up, change, loss, and grief. It's a coming of age and mystery all wrapped all into one.

I found this book to be engrossing, thought provoking, and evoking of emotion. From the very beginning, I did not want to put this book down. This book is well written and captivating.

Highly Recommend.

Thank you to PENGUIN GROUP Dutton, Dutton and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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A character driven storyline that went to places I wasn't expecting! There is so much rolled into this book and it all comes together perfectly. When I sit back and think about all of the events and what the author did with this book, I'm blown away. It's a lot, but I never felt like it was a lot! It's all rolled together into one interesting book that I couldn't put down. The setting made me incredibly nostalgic and I loved all of the references to Cabbage Patch dolls, lazy summer days with friends, Strawberry Shortcake, and more. This contains a shocking abduction, coming of age, family dynamics, sister relationships, diabetes.... I mean there's just SO much. It never feels like too much though. Kudos to the author for pulling it all together! I'm impressed by this debut author and can't wait to read more from her. 4.5 stars.
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I am honestly not sure how I received a copy of this book, but I am absolutely glad I did. In the same vain as Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, this is the story about a family whose life is forever changed when a little girl from across the street goes missing one summer day.

Set in 1985, New Jersey, Bee is starting 7th grade. Her sister Audrina, a year younger, and one of her only friends are inseparable. When they are invited to go to the lake with their new neighbors and their two children, everything seems perfect, until the neighbors 4 year old mysteriously disappears.

We spend the next year with this family dealing with the aftermath, but also, everything that goes along with this family. The family faces another tragedy that rocks all them so hard, we are not sure if there is way for any of them to walk away unscathed.

This is a coming of age story at it’s core, but has a strong literary mystery. This is a powerful story that will give you a knot in your stomach as the story progresses. It can only be this way because of the way Winn makes you feel part of this family. I am not sure why I am not seeing this on must read lists, at least yet, but it definitely is in my opinion. Take a chance on this, I don’t think you will regret it.

Thank you NetGalley and Dutton for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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OMGoodness. What an angst filled tale of a family trying to deal with the loss of a neighbor’s little girl, health issues of a daughter and family members who refuse to talk about anything! The story is difficult to read, but I think worth the time.
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Kudos to Karen Winn on her debut novel , ‘Our Little World’.   A must read for anyone that has a sister, and can easily understand the ups and downs of a sisterly relationship.  At the end of the day there is no bond stronger than the one you share with your sister(s).  Ms. Winn, I look forward to your next novel.
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I had trouble staying into this book. It was just too slow moving for me. That being said, it is still a good story.
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I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Loved it! Such a great read. Really kept me interested, the story never slowed down, the 80's references were such a fun throwback. It really did a good job of making you feel like you were there. Would definitely read it again.
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I tend to like a good coming-of-age story and 𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐋𝐈𝐓𝐓𝐋𝐄 𝗪𝐎𝐑𝐋𝐃 by Karen Winn is certainly one such story. Sisters Bee and Audrina live in a small New Jersey town in the mid-80’s. Bee is about to start 7th grade and Audrina, 6th. The story is well told by Bee, who honestly describes their (and most) sister relationships:⁣
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“𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘶𝘴, 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨. 𝘞𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴. 𝘖𝘶𝘳 𝘧𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘞𝘢𝘳 𝘦𝘱𝘪𝘤. 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘶𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘦 - 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘪𝘵 - 𝘪𝘵 𝘧𝘦𝘭𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘤𝘪𝘦𝘵𝘺. 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘩𝘦 𝘫𝘶𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘦, 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘚𝘶𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦 𝘊𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘵 𝘳𝘶𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨. 𝘞𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘥, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘵 𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦. 𝘚𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘷𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘦, 𝘷𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘪𝘯. 𝘈𝘯 𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘸𝘢𝘳 𝘰𝘤𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘭𝘭, 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘴. 𝘚𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘦.”⁣
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A day at the beach turns to tragedy when their 3-year old neighbor vanishes. Everyone is affected and tensions mount, but even more is going on between the sisters. The distance between them grows heavy with secrets and jealousies. ⁣
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This is a dark story that easily kept me going, reminding me a lot of my own childhood, which bore some similarities. I thought Winn did a great job with all kinds of relationships in her story and also with the aftermath of tragedy. She definitely got those right. I wouldn’t say I truly loved any of the characters, but I could relate to Bee, and felt for the rest. I will definitely look forward to reading more from this debut author.
⁣
Thanks to #DuttonBooks for an electronic copy of #OurLittleWorld.
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okay my feelings are very all over the place, much like this book. 

I was HOOKED in the beginning like a neighborhood child gone missing and a town full of suspects? excellent, right up my alley. but this was more of a coming of age in a terrifying time type of story. 

so, cool, I’m on board with that. 

I loved hearing about bee and drina’s experiences as sisters when their friend was taken right under their noses. it was a scary experience that we hear way too much of, and especially during the 80s, the police work didn’t have the technology and resources that it does now. 

however, it quickly morphed again from a coming of age story to a depressive my sister’s keeper type of story. like did I want to read about bee and drina wishing each other were dead and then having medical emergencies? not really. 

the ending was just so anticlimactic and depressing that I seriously sat there and wondered what kind of story I just forced myself to read. I didn’t even understand what the point was trying to be. 

as I mentioned, I really wanted to like this one, and the entire first third captured my attention so quickly. it just completely fell off the rails after that …

the epilogue though confirmed everything I suspected and tried to tie up loose ends, but it was too late by that point. 

on a positive note, the writing itself was absolutely beautiful, and I would definitely read another book by this author. 

rating: 3 stars
wine pairing: california sauvignon blanc
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This remarkable debut novel really tugged at my heartstrings. Set mostly in the mid- 80s in New Jersey, we meet sisters Bee and Audrina one summer. They spend days at the lake or the club with other neighborhood kids. The author really brought me back to this time and made me nostalgic.

As you might guess, Bee and Audrina have the usual sibling squabbles but are mostly best friends. There’s a tragedy that summer when a neighborhood girl goes missing at the lake.
As families keep their kids behind closed and locked doors for the rest of the summer, secrets come out in the open. 

The author does an excellent job writing about the angst of middle/high school days, trying to be popular, and dealing with hormones. When a medical situation crops up for Audrina, the girls grow closer again.

The writing in this one is gorgeous filled with memorable characters, hard to believe it’s a debut! Can’t wait to read what this author writes next.
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