Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free advanced copy of this book to read and review.
I received this eGalley from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was overall a decent plot but I found the writing to be very basic and amateur, lacking nuance. It almost felt a bit YA. I did enjoy the character development and the multiple POVs but it just fell a little flat for me. Some of the storylines felt a bit rushed and tied up too easily. I also had to suspend my disbelief throughout the whole book but I guess I can’t deduct stars for that because it is a thriller. Things were just a little too convenient or coincidental for my taste.
Overall, I would recommend this if you like:
Small town settings
Something quick and straightforward
Small Town Sins is an incredible read that will have me thinking about these characters for a long time. Five stars is not enough.
"Small Town Sins" by Ken Jaworowski is a compelling exploration of the dark underbelly that can fester beneath the seemingly idyllic facade of small-town life. the author skillfully weaves a tale of secrets, scandals, and the consequences of buried sins in a community that prides itself on its outward charm. At the heart of the narrative is a cast of characters whose lives intertwine in unexpected and often unsettling ways. the author's character development is a standout feature, as each individual is meticulously crafted with layers of complexity. The flaws and virtues of the characters are exposed with a keen eye, making them relatable and compelling.
I’m not really sure what I expected when I started reading, but it wasn’t what this story turned out to be. A super quick read, Small Town Sins examines the dark underbelly of a down-and-out town and three of its residents. It’s a book that leaves your stomach feeling slightly sour, simply because we all know this reality is out there, even though we try to pretend it isn’t.
I did feel a little as though the book was left unfinished though. The ending was a little abrupt, and i wanted to know what ultimately happened with our three unlikely heroes.
I enjoyed this book so much that I don’t even know where to begin. Ken Jaworoski’s story follows three main characters who live in Locksburg, Pennsylvania, in an area commonly referred to as “the Rust Belt”. They are different people with different backgrounds but they are all grappling with life and unexpected twists of fate.
Rather than try to recap the storylines, I’d prefer to itemize all the things I like about Small Town Sins. First, it’s all about the characters. They are so well-developed and so thoroughly described that I feel like I’d recognize them if they walked through my front door. I was totally invested in their lives and that included even the shadier characters. But, this book also has an excellent and well-paced plot, laced with plenty of action.
Some of the chapters leave the reader on the edge of a cliff and it’s several more chapters before that part of the story is resolved. But, not all the chapters end like that and the author has done a great job mixing up the suspense. Needless to say, I found it difficult to put this book down.
It’s hard to fathom that this is a debut novel. It is stellar and a home run right out of the park. I found myself thinking about the story, the characters, and the final chapters long after I turned the last page. For me, that’s a sign of a truly great book. Small Town Sins is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I hope Mr Jaworoski has more stories to tell. I’ll be waiting. NetGalley provided an advance copy.
I loved this book. The author was great at intertwining all the different stories and bringing them to a satisfying conclusion. I wanted to know what decisions each of these characters was going to make at every turn, and what they thought was fine might be a sin in another’s eyes.
I’m sorry I couldn’t get into this one. The book just didn’t start out well for me. It could be that I am a mood read and just wasn’t in the mood for this type of book. I started it 3 times before giving up. DNF. I wish I could give a better review for a debut author.
I honestly couldn’t stay interested in this book. I thought it was going to be different than what it was. It just wasn’t for me
Ken Jaworowski’s debut novel is a slew of smaller stories all intimately woven together. It’s gritty and RAW! Be prepared to see the down and dirty sides of life in this haunting tale of decisions — decisions that make or break us — right or wrong. These down-and-out characters in Locksburg, Pennsylvania (a former coal and steel town) reveal their truths, but at what cost? A volunteer firefighter, a nurse and a recovering heroine addict share their tales of struggle, love and loss - but they also show us their moral character and for some, their lighter side of humor.
This novel was horrifying, and at times it was incredibly depressing. However, I also laughed. And I cried.
The end left itself for interpretation — OR, will there be a sequel?
I have absolutely loved novels put out by Henry Holt and Co.! Thank you to them and the author for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. It made me feel - not a lot of books do that.
I liked the subplot with the nurse and the patient. Some of the other ones felt a little bit contrived. Overall a good read.
When I started reading this book a volunteer fireman finds a ton of money in a burning house. I really thought ok this is another A Simple Plan knockoff.
I was surprised to find out it was not (and happy about it.)
There are multiple stories in this small town. You have the volunteer fireman who's wife wants him to turn the money in. A nurse that wants to grant a young girls dying wish and a recovering drug addict who has lost everything worth living for.
This author takes all of this and just made it work perfectly.
Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.
A debut novel. When you read it you'll find that hard to believe. It's quite the book.
Told from three povs and from a small town in Pennsylvania. Each chapter is told from one of three characters pov and what they are are have gone through. Life in a small town. The title fits perfectly.
It's a bit dark. A whole lot of intense things going on. This book will have you hooked from the start and won't let go until the very end.
Good job Ken Jaworowski.
Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
Five huge stars.
For a first time novel, I really enjoyed this. I liked the three separate storylines and how they each kind of overlapped at the hospital. It would have been really neat if there had just been a little more connection between the three. I also liked the open ending to Nathan and Callie's stories. The reader isn't spoon fed a happy ending with a bow on top. We know what happened, or in Nathan's case, we can at least leave with a sense of hope and draw our own conclusions.
Most of the book is driven by dialogue. Since it was a fast read, I didn't mind that so much. But I would have enjoyed just a little more depth to really get me invested in each character a bit more. The small town setting, echoed in the title, really rings through in scenes and overall the characters are very strong. Callie's mission to get to the ocean was a fun ride that reminded me of Thelma and Louise. The darker story of Nathan was a complete opposite and really gave the novel some unusual depth that I enjoyed.
A nice gritty read that I enjoyed! Something different, for sure. I look forward to more from this author.
This book focuses on three characters living in the small down-and-out town of Locksburg, Pennsylvania where they are forced to face their pasts and struggle to build a future. It l’s a wonderful debut novel, both thrilling and emotionally driven.
Nathan is a volunteer fireman who find a bag of cash in a burning building and keeps it for himself. But the money and his trail of lies soon threaten to destroy his life and the lives of those around him.
Callie is a nurse with a young patient that doesn’t have long to live. She wants to give her with one last adventure (to see the ocean) and risks her career to make that happen.
Andy is a recovering heroine addict on a mission to stop a serial predator. He’s endured a terrible loss and feels he has nothing left to lose, but his obsession with seeking justice may end in violence.
This story was difficult to read at times, considering the heavy-hearted themes discussed, but I appreciated the raw and honest moments that developed within each individual experience. I also enjoyed how their stories tied together and affected one another, both the good and bad. It’s the imperfect tales that really grab my attention and show the true struggles endured by humanity.
*Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt and Co. for providing a copy of this book to review.*
Overall, I really loved this read! It was a gritty story about several residents of a small Pennsylvania town, and I was hooked from the beginning.
As someone who grew up in a small, rural Pennsylvania town, I really resonated with a lot of the setting and people descriptions in the book were spot-on. I felt like I was in my hometown several times while reading.
This is one to read if you like atmospheric, gritty books!
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the gifted copy.
3.5 🤞🏼 rounded up. This was a good debut crime fiction! It's dark, gritty and full of secrets. Taking place in Locksburg, PA. A small, old, rust belt town. You get the POV 's from three main characters who are down on their luck and just trying to survive in this town. They all go on to make decisions that are not the smartest, and then their lives become very chaotic. I thought the characters were really well developed and you feel like you can empathize with them even if they are unlikeable at times. The beginning really pulled me in. What I wasn't a big fan of was the abrupt ending. I was expecting to find out what happened with the characters and that just doesn't happen. The loose ends that you're left with kind of bugs me. I wish there was more. Oh well…still a good read!
Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for the gifted copy. All opinions are my own. My review will be posted on Instagram, Bookbub, Goodreads, and Amazon.
This book right here is everything you never knew you needed, and more...
Small Town Sins had been buzzing around bookstagram and I just HAD to know what this book was about. I loved the title, and the cover was mysterious. I was all about it!!!
I grabbed my pooch, coffee, and headed to my favorite reading spot.... the bathtub.
That would be my one word to describe this book. I am left in complete awe. Who are you Ken Jaworowski, and where did you come from? Jaworowski, has a natural born talent and is one of the most mesmerizing storytellers I have ever read.
How the heck is this a debut?
Small Town Sins, is a book that is going to be well loved amongst all and I can not wait to see what Jaworowski, comes out with next.
Check out this teaser :
Ken Jaworowski’s Small Town Sins is a gripping Rust Belt thriller that captures the characters of a down-and-out Pennsylvania town, revealing their troubled pasts and the crimes that could cost them their lives.
In Locksburg, Pennsylvania, a former coal and steel town whose best days seem long past, five thousand residents have toughed it out, and have reasons for both worry and hope as this neglected place teeters between decay and renewal. For some of them, their biggest troubles have just arrived.
After years of just scraping by, three restless souls have their lives upended: Nathan, a volunteer fireman who uncovers a secret stash of money in a burning building and takes it; Callie, a nurse whose tender patient may not have long to live, despite the girl’s fundamentalist parents’ ardent beliefs; and Andy, a recovering heroin addict who undertakes a nightmare mission to hunt down and stop a serial predator.
Before long, Nathan’s stolen riches threaten to destroy everyone around him as he tries to cover his haphazard trail of lies. Callie risks her career to grant her young patient a final, and likely illegal, wish. And Andy’s hunger for vigilante justice becomes a fierce obsession that may end in violence.
As their stories barrel toward unexpected ends, Nathan, Callie, and Andy struggle to endure―or escape. They each face their pasts and gamble on their futures, and confront the underside of their rough Rust Belt town. Riveting, evocative, and unforgettable, Small Town Sins is a debut novel that marks the arrival of a major new talent.
I loved this book - a lot of different threads and all done well, which is not always the case. Gritty and clever. Philly parts rang true.
Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review
Five stars ! Demon Copperhead on steroids. I loved the raw emotions of this one . Looking forward to what he writes next.