I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review. All opinions are my own.
Quick Summary of A Chilling Absence by Shelly Maynard. Lily Grimes had it all. She was head cheerleader, the girlfriend of the All-American High School Quarterback, had been accepted to a prestige college near her hometown and the best family and friends a young woman could ask for. Just before Christmas 2004, Dr. Jethro “Jet” Manning, the doctor-in-training for the quaint little town, nearly runs over Lily, who is found unresponsive and icy cold in the middle of a backroad. Fast forward to 2015 - Lily Grimes finally wakes up and has to face the reality of being in a coma for the past 11 years. Her life has changed but just as she feels like she is getting into the groove of things, Lily discovers secrets have been kept, lies have been told and everyone whom she considered a ‘friend’, may not be out for her best interest. Lily feels like something is missing - a piece of herself. Is it simply because she was in a coma for so long or is there literally a piece missing? As she sets out on a mission to find the answer, Lily discovers that she’s being stalked and someone is trying to kill her. Who can she trust and will she ever find the secret to those eleven missing years?
Content Warning - Due to mature language and content, this book is recommended for ages 18+.
Maynard packs a lot of story into a small package with A Chilling Absence. When I realized how short the book was; I will admit that I wasn't expecting a lot from the storyline. I was quickly surprised. Maynard packs a lot of story into the novel's few pages. The story moves quickly and the author uses every page efficiently and effectively to tell Lily's story. The author is able to develop characters readers will love and/or hate, share the characters' back-stories, and both shed light on the mysterious surrounding Lily's past and push the characters toward the future.
Don't be too put-off by the book's content warning. I generally skip books with content warnings. Too often, books with those "labels" contain little beyond the mature content. This book is not one of those books. Yes, the content theme is intended for mature audiences and the book does contain foul language and graphic scenes--but, there is a story beyond those pages.
Would I recommend A Chilling Absence? I enjoyed Maynard's story. I enjoyed her writing style and the book's pace. Having said that; however, there were a couple of times when twists or sudden revelations seemed a little misplaced or unrealistic due to the fast pace. There were a few pieces of the story that could have been developed a little deeper--but, all in all, it was a well written, entertaining story. I think it would appeal to both romance fans and mystery lovers--and I look forward to reading more from Shelly Maynard.
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About the Author
By 2002, Shelly was in college and switched her major from nursing to teaching and finally business. One year in and she discovered that she was pregnant with her first son. He joined the world in 2004 and was followed by a brother in 2006. During the second pregnancy, Shelly fought demons of a bad marriage and started trying to rebuild her life. She met her (now) husband in the Fall of 2006 and they’ve been inseparable ever since. Her three guys are her entire heart, soul, mind and spirit! After searching for several years, Shelly decided that it was time to find a place to settle in her career. She started working for a local, family-owned steel fabrication company in 2014 and was surprised when she found more than a job – she gained an extended family and friends who provided a tremendous amount of support. Between the support of her husband, children, family and friends, Shelly started writing again. Past demons haunted her but she wanted to set an example for her children and follow her dream through to the end to prove that hard work, persistence and dedication pays off!
Living in Lynchburg, Tennessee, Shelly Maynard is your typical mom – she enjoys spending time with her family, friends and for nine of the twelve months per year, you’ll find her at a ball field watching her children. She enjoys front-porch-sittin’ with a glass of sweet tea and the occasional margarita. She loves her morning coffee, a good book and writing for her blog. It’s the simple, “little” things in life that make life grand! She also blogs at www.lynchburgtnmama.com