Member Reviews

Title: "With Regrets" by Lee Kelly

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ (3/5)


"With Regrets" by Lee Kelly is a gripping yet stressful read that delves into the complexities of familial ties amidst a potential apocalyptic situation. The author's narrative skillfully navigates the emotional landscape of the characters, offering a raw and realistic portrayal of their struggles and relationships.

The story follows [brief summary of the plot without spoilers], immersing the reader in a world fraught with tension and uncertainty. While the exploration of familial bonds is compelling, the constant threat of apocalypse can be overwhelming at times, making it a challenging read.

Lee Kelly's writing style is evocative and engaging, with vivid descriptions that bring the story to life. However, the pacing occasionally falters, leading to moments of stagnation in an otherwise intense narrative.

Overall, "With Regrets" offers a thought-provoking exploration of human nature and relationships in the face of adversity. While it may be a stressful read, it ultimately delivers a powerful message about resilience and the enduring strength of family bonds.

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This was a strange book. It's a mix of thriller and apocalyptic science fiction. I have to say that this was a very strange experience. I didn't really like any of the characters. Both parts of the plot felt a bit cliche. Overall, this book was just okay for me.

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This sci-fi book is funny, scary, and poignant - a true genre-defying work of fiction unlike any other! It’s a dystopian thriller about a dinner party in a wealthy area that coincides with the dawn of a dystopian apocalypse.

When Liz begrudgingly goes to influence Britta's dinner party, the last thing she expects is the glimmer - a strange sparkling cloud that kills everything it comes in contact with. Now Liz needs to find a way to survive the evening in a completely different way than she expected.

I was completely immersed in this novel. I didn't want to put it down, though it did have me wondering if I could in fact survive the apocalypse. #gifted By Dreamscape Media

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This book was an unusual pick for me! It felt a bit more mysterious or sci-fi than what I'm used to. It was really suspenseful and kept me reading, but there were periods where I got a bit bored. Overall, interesting, I think just outside of my usual genre.

Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Pandemic PTSD. Definitely an interesting and creepy/scary read about what could be during an unknown event. A look into how technology/social media can ruin us.
I enjoyed the premise and did find myself holding my breathe at moments wondering what was going to happen. At moments I didn't quite know where the characters stood. I didn't really understand how/why this group of people were together besides for drama for the story; but overall a good read.

Thank you Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the arc.

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This sci-fi book is funny, scary, and poignant – a true genre-defying work of fiction unlike any other! It’s a dystopian thriller about a dinner party in a wealthy area that coincides with the dawn of a dystopian apocalypse.

When Liz begrudgingly goes to influence Britta’s dinner party, the last thing she expects is the glimmer – a strange sparkling cloud that kills everything it comes in contact with. Now Liz needs to find a way to survive the evening in a completely different way than she expected.

I was completely immersed in this novel. I didn’t want to put it down, though it did have me wondering if I could in fact survive the apocalypse. #gifted By Dreamscape Media

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Thank you Dreamscape Media for accepting my request to audibly read and review With Regrets on NetGalley.

Narrator: Gail Shalan: Good job.

Stars 2.5.

The synopsis is spot-on and I'm not repeating it. This is a story with quirky characters, none of which I could relate to, nor did I like any of them. The closest was a young babysitter who with just a few speaking lines and big job held a large psychological presence throughout the story.

My problem with the book is the ineptness of the characters which leads to an unrealistic story. After finishing the book, it lingered in my mind. I came to the realization, the characters are not smart, they are self-centered and interested in their social status, not their children, etc. With the difference in beliefs, this storyline will never work for me.

I like smart people.

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Zombie Apocalypse, but with a Gweneth Paltwo-type and a handful of insufferable characters! This wild romp will leave you on the edge of your seat as you try to figure out what this glimmering, sparkling "thing" is. If you're a fan of zombie movies, video games, and survivial light-horror, I recommend this book!

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A genre bend like you've never read... If Pineapple Street or a Jenny Mollen novel got mashed up with the first few pages of Station Eleven. Get ready for something wild!

WITH REGRETS opens on the moments before an important dinner party. Influencer mom Britta is ready to seal the deal on celebrity status, and invites a who's who of her elite NJ suburb to her house. Forget that her husband and her are sleeping in separate beds, or that none of the guests really want to be there. This evening has to go perfect. For guest Liz, it's a nightmare, having to play fake nice and leave her kids at home with a sitter. All is going first world terribly, until news reports start coming in. Planes are grounded. Cell phones stop working. News of a million people dead overseas. And sightings of a glimmer of light in the sky that seems poised to kill everyone...

WITH REGRETS bites off a lot in its razor sharp jaws -- It's both an action-packed cinematic post-apocalyptic tale and a clever social commentary on the ways elite women build and protect their identities in flailing marriages. As our cast of pretty, popular, polished couples get driven deeper into the madness of their surroundings, secrets about sex, status, drugs, and so much more come to the surface and threaten the lives these individuals have thrust together. Not to mention, the threat on their actual lives. This novel is a true genre-bend, one that succeeds on its clever collaboration of these two novel archetypes. It pokes fun at its characters and gives you a bit of joy as you borderline hope some of these insufferable folks fall prey to their surroundings (and when the first one does, you'll smile - hard). The poke and prod at the lives of these characters is telegenic and ripe for adaptation. It's a suck-you-in kind of read that is perfect for a little escapist moment. And it will make you want to keep your friends close, your family closest, and your enemies far away.

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This book started off really strong for me. I thought I was going to love it! It starts off with a couple getting ready to go to a dinner party. The wife, Liz, doesn't want to go, but feels like she has to as her husband is making a huge effort to fit into their new neighborhood. They leave their two young children with a new babysitter the husband found, who Liz quickly learns is only 12 years old and very inexperienced.

The dinner party feels pretty insufferable, but I was still all in as I got to know the hostess of the party, social media influencer Britta and the other guests. But suddenly, the guests are all alerted to the fact that "glimmering clouds" have formed outside and they'll instantly kill anyone who comes across one. They've already begun to kill thousands. Guests are stuck in the house with no way to contact anyone outside.

For whatever reason, this is where the book lost me. I guess the "glimmer" just didn't seem very realistic (even for a dystopian theme) or maybe it didn't feel unique enough after what we've all experienced in real life over the past several years. I didn't care to hear the nonstop arguing between the guests and it didn't feel like the stakes were high enough. I feel like I rushed through the second half of the book, not totally invested in the outcome.

I was a little disappointed because I enjoyed the first part of the book so much and I think Lee Kelly really is a fantastic writer. I'd love to read one of her novels with a different plot!

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This audiobook… I’m just being honest when I say it was strange, but in a GOOD way! I read this one in two sittings because I didn’t want to stop.

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This book is a mix of pandemic panic, neighborhood drama, family suspense, and how far parents go to protect their children. It was a creative story, but a little far fetched for me — but not as unbelievable as it would have been before Covid. There was a lot of drama that I felt took away from the main storyline, and I still have so many questions about the “glimmer.” I’m glad I finished it, but it wouldn’t be my first choice in a book. If you gravitate to post apocalyptic or pandemic type books - I think you would enjoy this!

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I absolutely loved this! It was interesting, there was mystery, a little sci-fi-ish element and the pace just propelled me to want more. I really enjoyed little social media/email snipets at the beginning of chapters that quickly allowed you to get to know the characters. It easily swayed me to love or hate certain characters. One of those characters was so vapid and it's scary to think that there are actual people out in the real world that are just like that.

This is my 2nd Lee Kelly book. This book was so different from the first and I enjoyed this one even more than the first. I will be instantly buying anything she writes from now on! I cannot wait to read her previous books.

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Didn't care for this one

A new deadly epidemic has hit the world. These luminous clouds are causing fatalities on a massive scale. Killing everyone and everything that comes into contact. The government even issued a warning for people to stay indoors and hunker down. Now a group of neighbors and friends are doing everything in their power to survive.

I wasn't invested in the drama between the friends and neighbors, nor did I have a fondness for any of them. I found the story to be lacking in depth. Additionally, we were never given a clear explanation as to what these clouds were and how they came into existence.

Overall, not for me.

*** Thank you to NetGalley, Lee Kelly, and Dreamscape Media for graciously sending me the audiobook to review. As always, all thoughts are my own.***

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With Regrets by Lee Kelly

Thank you to @netgalley, @dreamscapemedia, & @leeykelly for the opportunity to read this #advancedlistenercopy in exchange for my #honestbookreview! This is available now as hardback and audiobook.

Britta Harris-Che has been preparing for this dinner for months. Tonight is the culmination of her work as an influencer and it’s her chance to cash in big and change her family’s life. Liz Brinkley isn’t interested in going but decides to go as an act of good faith for her husband who has been withdrawing more from their marriage and trying to fit in with the upper class crowd. The party is barely underway when the crowd all receives a red alert on their phones about some glimmering clouds that have been looming over the country and killing anyone they touch. As they rush to their cars and see the street littered with dead bodies they realize that leaving the house is not an option. Now it’s survival mode as everyone tries to save themselves and do what’s best for their family.

This was wild and chaotic and I loved it! This was kind of like if Good Rich People met The Walking Dead. The apocalyptic feel really added to the suspense factor while also having to watch your back against a potential enemy at all times. I highly recommend this for those looking for a freshly innovative and twisty suspenseful read.

TW: sickness, apocalypse, gambling, substance abuse

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - 4/5

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I was intrigued by the premise but ultimately found the plot less fast moving than I would have expected and the characters very one-note and uninteresting. I wish I could have connected with it more since the blurb sounded really fascinating!

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3.5⭐️s rounded up
Thanks to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for access to this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. I received it just before the pub date.
A dinner party thrown by a local lifestyle-influencer quickly becomes a scramble for survival as an air quality advisory unleashes clouds of deadly glimmering light on society.
-I thought the little frustrations and offhanded comments (Liz's frustration about having to go to a suburbanite party and her husband's lack of support small hints about flights being cancelled, news alerts & Twitter updates, + no replies from her sister) did a lot to build tension before everything hits the fan
-as everything falls apart, you start to learn about the secrets everyone's keeping, and the dirt hiding beneath the perfect veneer. But actually, you're just learning that the secrets exist, as you don't actually find out what they are until about 77% into the book
-the description of The Glimmer is quite pretty:
"the sky is glimmering, twitching, as if it's covered in thin living lightning. As if someone's adjusted it to an old tv station. Millions of glittering, multicolored threads writhe across the sky. Rows of voltaic capillaries now undulating over the trees..." but not really clouds at all. "An unspooling light, shimmering masses that look alive" and a "swarm of tinsel," or "zombie fireworks". The sound is also a bit eerie: crickets and whistling chimes
-that being said, "the Glimmer" just isn't that scary of a name for the looming horror; perhaps the real scary bit is being stuck with people you don't like, being separated from loved ones, and the overall anxiety of the unknown
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I did think the "secrets" reveal was a little basic; since there are so many characters, there could have been more hidden connections/threads linking them together. I thought the narrator was good at doing different characters (multiple couples & kid voices).

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Wow! That was a wild ride! So much lying, intrigue, pettiness, and deception going on in this "friend" group! I loved watching all those threads play out and that in the end most of them were able to learn to be forgiving and a bit softer and come together to form real friendships and get back to their families! I am terrified of how this would play out in our current setting today, there would be a lot more dude-bro neighborhood watches trying to tell peeps what to do and shooting at them!


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Great story ! I really enjoyed all the personalities and how people cope with a horrible situation.

Dinner party with four couples turns into a fight for survival when a horrible event occurs in the world
There was enough information about each character’s backstory to keep it. Interesting without getting too long.

I loved that is was a horror book but not full of blood and guts! The psychological aspect really works. So much is going on with each character I wasn’t sure who to root for. I loved the escape scenario. Such brave ladies !

Only negative was the children’s voices. They were pretty annoying. Still 5 star with a hearty recommendation!
Thank you for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion

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This was the perfect mashup between domestic suspense and sci-fi thriller. I got my fill of neighbors behaving badly while a possible apocalyptic event was taking place. In between the scary bits, I found myself moved by the author’s bittersweet exploration of the ups and downs of marriage and parenthood. Overall, this was a unique story that I think will appeal to fans of domestic thrillers.

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