Member Reviews

Kalan Chapman Lloyd's "The Sisters of Blue Mountain Beach" narrates the complex journey of three close friends facing life's trials, including infidelity, cancer, divorce within a Ponzi scheme, and the death of a deceitful husband, all set against the backdrop of an impending hurricane. The novel's unique storytelling style, with chapters alternating between the perspectives of each friend and their acquaintances, initially draws interest but soon proves disjointed and challenging to follow. The narrative, filled with jealousy, lies, and health struggles, strains believability and makes it difficult to connect with the characters. Despite an appealing beach setting, the execution—marked by a fragmented style and uneven pacing—makes for a demanding read that struggles to engage fully. The attempt to weave the characters' experiences through shared meals and mutual disdain falls short, lacking the cohesion and depth needed for a compelling beach read.

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This book overall really bored me and felt very predictable. I wasn’t really enjoying this book so it took me a while to finish.

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Loved this one! I think we will be seeing it as a highly-sought after pick for a lot of book clubs. I highly recommend this unique story.

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It took me awhile to get into the book. I was having a difficult time getting into the plot. Overall a decent read, but I would not put this on the top of my list.

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Thank you to NetGalley for an eARC of this book! This book follows three "sisters" as they stay at the beach together once again. It's about family relationships, a dash of romance, and what happens as you grow up, grow closer together and further apart, and how life gets in the way.
I would classify it as a women's fiction; however, I don't normally pick those up, and I'm so glad I chose this one. The beach setting lured me in, but I stayed for the sisters and their dynamics. I really enjoyed this book, and think those who enjoy books exploring family relationships would too (Celeste Ng comes to mind). I'll definitely be recommending this! A very easy read that moved at a good pace and kept me coming back for more!

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The writing of this book initially put me off, I did not understand the settings, the family dynamics nor did I know which character were which, I didn’t even know their name I kept describing them in my head as the tall one the fat one and the short one. I loved the interconnectedness of the story but that’s about it unfortunately I just felt like this wan ant a book for me however I can see how other people would enjoy this and tbf I would recommend it to people it just wasn’t my cup of tea

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Novel Concept: 5/5
Execution of Novel Concept: 1/5

Title: 2/5
Characterization: 5/5
Dialogue: 5/5
Plot: 2/5
Atmosphere: 5/5
Theme: 1/5
Prose: 3/5

Does this pass the Bechdel Test: Yes

I tried so hard not to DNF this book at 63% because I feel lucky enough to be given an ARC that the least I could do is finish it. It got to a point where I was only trying to finish it because it was an ARC, and managed to get 10% more done before I finally called it. If I hadn't of trudged on, the DNF would be at 49%

I thought this was going to be part slice of life and introspective about the lives of these three women, sort of like Beautiful World Where Are You or Light Woman, as well as a intense, emotionally distraught search for these women. I was right on the first part, and completely wrong about the second and I think that's where we lost the plot.

1. Nothing happens and everything repeats

This feels like a nothing novel in the most unentertaining way. The things that happen occur very slowly and are bogged down by the repetition of the same laments and same miseries that it genuinely feels like nothing is happening. It feels like the author doesn't trust us to recall important information about characters, thus causing the need to keep repeating that x character is sad about this and y character is sad about that.

I never even made it to the hurricane. The intense storm that's supposed to be dire? I never got there.

2. No Chapters and No Formatting

The most unreadable part of this book is that there are no chapters. Without them there's no reward loop or feeling of competition with a chapter, causing the book to feel like it's rambling on and on and on. Chapters aren't ugly. They help make books approachable because it sections them out.

Additionally, there is the 3rd Person Pov of the three women, Cilla, Arden, and Mary Fran, as well as first person accounts of people being interviewed after they go missing. There is nothing in the formatting to differentiate between these. You'll just be reading and the next paragraph switches and you're just expected to be okay with that. It's jarring and it makes the book aesthetically ugly because there's no organization.

3. Tension is high, but nothing is being resolved

We spend pages and pages going over every little detail about these women and nothing ever gets resolved. Even little things. And because nothing is getting resolved, more things are just being added to make everyone more upset and no one communicates so it's all just Feels Bad Vibes and nothing interesting is happening except characters getting progressively madder at each other. Which sure, for a few "chapters" is fine, but 63% of the book is like that.

4. No one from the interviews are important
5. The three women are grandmothers but are written like women in their 30s

I wish I could have loved this book, but I just can't read another page. I don't care about any of these characters and why they're mad at each other. I want something to actually happen.

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I made it about 26% of the way through and had to stop. Maybe I’ll try again when the edited version is published but there were too many typos and easy grammatical errors that were irritating. The sentence structure was stiff and lacked dialogue between characters.

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Kalan Chapman Lloyd’s, The Sisters of Blue Mountain Beach is the tale of three sister-friends (none are blood sisters) who spend one final two-week adventure in a beach house riding out infidelity between one sister-friend and the other’s spouse, a cancer diagnosis, a disastrous divorce disguised inside a Ponzi scheme and the death of a cheating husband. Although the hurricane was mentioned throughout the book, the unrelatable event didn’t take place until the climax. Although I kept reading because my interest was initially piqued by the author’s unique choice of writing style, the individual chapter tales were disjointed and hard to follow. Each chapter was dedicated to a particular sister-friend, and/or an island acquaintance that had opinions about these three women. At one point I liked it because I could relate to sister-friends as sisters, when the first family of siblings in our lives fails us. But the sister-friends were hard to relate to, as jealousies, lies, shame and health issues pervaded the novel, giving the story an almost unbelievable feel which kept forcing me backwards to make sure I got each chapter right. The book was time-consuming to read, patchy and ill-paced, and I almost gave up in the mushy middle. Honestly the book read like numerous peoples’ diaries and only connected over the incessive meals they shared or places they shopped and ate, or the dislikes they seemed to have for one another. The style was just too fragmented for an easy, breezy beach read. The setting intrigued me right away because I love a good beach read, but the storyline, plot and style seemed crammed together like lobsters in a tank. Some of the details such as the hurricane needed more research and reality to ring true. It was hard to embrace any single one of the sister-friends or feel any empathy for them. I have lived through a few hurricanes and the way these sisters stuck to their guns and remained after the evacuation in the final chapters of the book, didn’t jive with any of my experiences. Although I would try another novel by Lloyd, the delivery style, and authorial voice simply didn’t resonate with me. But three stars because it kept me reading, hoping to find a cohesive story I could relate to that represented the intriguing cover art. I want to thank Net Galley for the copy, and I will read another book by this author out of sheer curiosity.

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Thank you to Rebelle Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy of 'The Sisters of Blue Mountain Beach' in exchange for my honest review.

The novel delves into the lives of three women whose friendship is likened to that of close-knit sisters. Each chapter explores their struggles while vacationing in one of their beach homes, intertwined with a mystery element. Although the premise held promise, I found myself grappling to connect with the story and struggled to immerse myself in the characters' experiences.

While this particular book may not have aligned with my personal preferences, I am thankful for the opportunity to explore the author's work. I appreciate the nuanced storytelling and would remain open to reading more from this author in the future. Thanks again for allowing me to read and review 'The Sisters of Blue Mountain Beach.'"

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Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced reader copy of this book. I chose this book admittedly because of the cover and the synopsis. The first 25-30% of the book I was confused by the fragmented sentences and choppiness; I had to keep re-reading sentences and paragraphs to grasp what the author was trying to say. And I have no clue of the stores, artists, designers, perfumes, make up and such that Arden's character had or bought, I have to assume I'm in the wrong tax bracket to get it. The middle part, I seemed to get on a roll and started to enjoy the characters and their lives. But, the summary of the book made it sound like the hurricane would have more of an impact on their lives earlier, rather than the last 5% of the book. After going through hurricane Ian recently and seeing what happened to my parent's condo's and those around them, it is just not feasible that these sisters survived in a house on the beach in a basement with a mattress covering them and by digging holes and trenches, I'm sorry, but no way! I really wanted to like it this book because I did like the characters and the plot, but it was just poorly executed.

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I had high expectations for this book after reading previous good reviews but unfortunately it let me down. The main characters, although sisters, were all very different indeed which made interesting reading. Each chapter concentrated on one sister at a time and sadly i don’t feel that there was much interaction between them all. The story was certainly intriguing and i stuck with it to find out how it ended but i felt like i was giving up at least 3/4 of the way through. This is the first book I have read by this author but i would try another.

Thanks to Rebelle Press and NetGalley for allowing me an advanced copy to read in exchange for my open and honest review. As always, my reviews will also be posted on Amazon, Goodreads and Waterstones and interaction on Facebook and instagram where possible.

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I'm sorry that I didn't read much of this book but after every sentence of the first pages started with they, and every sentence of the next few pages started with " the most important thing " i couldn't take it anymore. Sorry but in my opinion this made reading to boring.

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"The Sisters of Blue Mountain Beach" is a gripping and emotional tale that revolves around the lives of three remarkable women who go missing in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane on Florida's renowned 30A. Arden, the youngest of the sisters, finds herself at a crossroads in her life, facing difficult decisions and a longing for something more. Cilla, newly retired, has just received a devastating cancer diagnosis, prompting her to confront her mortality and live each day to its fullest. Mary Fran, the oldest sister, is mourning the loss of her husband and grappling with the secrets he left behind.

As the women navigate their individual struggles, they find solace in each other's company, sharing memories, arguments, and meals amidst the serene backdrop of Blue Mountain Beach. The beauty and fragility of life are ever-present as they gaze upon the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The search for the missing women intensifies, strengthening the bonds between Arden, Cilla, and Mary Fran. With each passing day, they find hope within and with each other. However, as secrets are uncovered and hidden truths emerge, their lives are forever altered.

"The Sisters of Blue Mountain Beach" is a heart-wrenching and inspiring story that explores the resilience of the human spirit, the unbreakable bonds of chosen family, and the relentless search for hope, even in the darkest of times. Will the sisters be found? This captivating novel immerses readers in a world where love, loss, and the search for answers collide against the untamed forces of nature.

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This book had me from page 1. The story of these women and the circumstances of their lives but their ability to bind together when they need each other most to overcome the fear of being lost. Each character was developed perfectly and I found myself feeling lost in the story. Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for my advance copy!

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