Tag Archives: Chevy Stevens

Challenge Update, November 2018

3 Dec

I’m in the final stretch. It’s time to power through to the end of the year to finish all my goals and read those books that have been lingering on my shelf for too long. Can I do it? You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in November:

Not Me // Michael Lavigne (3)
That Night // Chevy Stevens (5)
Old School // Tobias Wolff (4)
The Nick Adams Stories // Ernest Hemingway (3)
Treasure Island // Robert Louis Stevenson (4)

I’m very happy with this number! I can tell I’ve had more reading time since I finished school. I hope I can report this number again next month because I’ll need to in order to finish my challenges. Bring it on! I’ll also be caught up on reviews by the end of next week, so that will feel good, too.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

10/12
I’ve got this one. I’m just finishing up a book for the 1800s and I’m in the middle of a short one for the 1600s and then I’ll be done! Just in the nick of time but it counts! I’m going to make a small adjustment for next year that should make this a bit easier. Stay tuned!

Goodreads Challenge

46/55
I’m still four books behind. I’m not sure I can make this one anymore. I was optimistic, but that goal is seeming very far off now. Maybe it’s time to surrender defeat? And I need to start thinking of a goal for next year. 50 is sounding more achievable.

Cover image via Goodreads

Book of the Month

I’m so glad I push myself to read outside of my comfort zone! I loved reading Chevy Stevens’ That Night this month. It was a great fall read for me. The creepy overtones were great for fall-tree studded runs and cozy snuggles with a blanket. I may have to change some of my go-to reads if they’re all this good!

Added to my TBR

I’m still at 92. I expect it to go up soon only because I got the to-read list for another book club that will take me through the summer. I’ll read them all slowly, but it does inflate this a bit. ‘Tis the life of a bookworm!

  • American by Day by Derek B. Miller. This was described as a sequel to the amazing Norwegian by Night so I’m excited to see what else Miller has in store!
  • Birthright by David Hingley. I’m excited to have a 1600s book on my shelf to be ready for some historical fiction reading next year! I think this will be a good one to start with.

Personal Challenge

I used these monthly posts to keep myself accountable to my personal goals for 2017 and I’m excited to do that again this year. You all were so supportive before.

  • Graduate and keep my 4.0- Done! I walk on the 11th and I’ll be officially graduated and have kept the 4.0 the whole time!
  • Travel to Europe with my husband- All done and I’m dreaming of some more trips to come!
  • Complete a 2018 Weather Blanket- I’ve been catching up on this lately. I’m in early/ mid-October but catching up fast. I think I’ll be fine finishing around the end of the year or really early in 2019.

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for 2019, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Book Review: That Night by Chevy Stevens (5/5)

13 Nov

I saw this book at a mystery bookstore years ago. Then I saw it on clearance at a B&N going out of business sale. Stevens is pen name so I felt like this book was haunting me. I’m glad I finally got to it on audio. It had been too long since my last thriller.

Cover image via Goodreads

That Night by Chevy Stevens

Summary from Goodreads:

As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn’t relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren’t easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night.

Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison.

Now thirty-four, Toni is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she’s doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms. But nothing is making that easy—not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni’s innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni’s life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night.

But the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.

I had trouble stopping the audio for this book. It grabbed me and had me on the edge of my seat (or leaning forward in my run) from the beginning. I knew something was up with Shauna from the beginning but it was hard to puzzle out exactly what it was. I loved the twists and turns of this book and how it came together in the end. This is the kind of book that gets you to read an author’s entire backlist.

Steven’s portrayal of girls in high school was spot on. I loved how much I could picture Toni and Nicole and Amy and Shauna. The backstabbing and secrets were right on and I kept thinking “Yes! I remember that,” as I was reading. There were always bullies and burn-outs and good girls and Stevens captured all of it. I can’t speak as much to the characters when they were older. I have no idea what spending so long in jail could do to a person. That was harder for me to wrap my head around.

Toni was a great narrator. You almost doubted her innocence when you were in her head and knew how much she lied and how strong her anger was. You almost believed she was capable of killing her sister. But at the same time, you couldn’t believe it and knew something had to be up. I was completely sucked in the last third of the book and went on a two-hour trail run where this story kept me moving forward so I could see if Toni got justice or if she deserved to rot in jail.

The girls in high school were very reminiscent of my school days. I had more drama in middle school so that’s what I had flashbacks. There wasn’t the drinking and intimacy that Toni experienced in my middle school, but the emotions were there. The raw hatred two girls can have for each other in adolescence is terrifying. While my life never escalated like Toni’s, I could relate to friendships turned bad!

Chevy Stevens
Image via the author’s website

The anticipation of Nicole’s death had me dying for more (hah!). I knew it was coming so every time we flashed to 1996, I was on edge. I felt it was coming each time and I loved the thrill I got from the author dangling something so monumental in front of me. It was well written and paced wonderfully.

I felt the first chapter put me off a bit. It was a little out of the timeline with the rest of the story. We start with Toni getting out of jail but then jump back to 1996 and to her time in jail, bouncing between the two. The first chapter made it confusing how the narrative would progress for a while and I wish it had been placed where it belonged chronologically.

The audiobook was narrated by Jorjeana Marie. I thought she did an amazing job. I felt Toni’s anger for a lot of the story and it built as the story progressed. She portrayed the flippant attitude of teenagers well and kept me engaged.

Everyone assumes Toni is a murderer because she’s a bad kid. When we find out what really happened, Toni isn’t surprised, but everyone else is. There is a lot more to the people involved than anyone expected. There was a lot of anger that was pent-up over the years and the way it all came out, in the end, was the worst thing possible. I want to stay more, but I’ve kept this review spoiler-free so far and I’m trying to keep it that way.

Writer’s Takeaway: Dual timelines are a great way to build suspense, especially in a thriller novel. I think Stevens did a great job of pacing and keeping me listening every second I could. Except for the one exception I mentioned above, I think it was masterfully done.

This book was outside my usual genre but captivated me from beginning to end. I loved it. Five out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Review- That Night by Chevy Stevens | Love, Literature, Art, and Reason: A Book Review Blog
That Night by Chevy Stevens: My Spoiler-Safe Review! | Multilingual Mama
Review: That Night by Chevy Stevens | Brooke’s Books and Brews

WWW Wednesday, 7-November-2018

7 Nov

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently readingThe Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl should get attention again soon. Really, I swear! I want to get back to it soon and I’m feeling like I will. Eventually…
I’m past halfway in Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. It’s a bit more violent than I was expecting for a children’s story, but I should know that censorship has changed since it was written.
I started reading Old School by Tobias Wolff, the next selection for one of my book clubs. It’s a slim book so I’m hoping I can finish it up quickly and get back to Poe! So far, so good. I’m hoping this is done by next week.
I also got to start a new eaudiobook, The Gilded Hour by Sara Donati. This is another book club pick and I was beyond relieved to see it was offered as an eaudiobook because of its length! Over 700 pages and over 31 hours on audio. How perfect toward the end of the running season!
My hold on The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway came in and I started it on Sunday. It’s a nice change of pace to listen to short stories after having gone through some really long books. I hope I can continue to enjoy these.

Recently finished: I wrapped up Not Me by Michael Lavigne and will have a review up next week. I’m a little unsure what to think of it still. There were some big leaps in logic in my opinion and some very unnecessary plot elements that confused the message I got from it. Maybe it’s just not for me, maybe I missed something, and I for sure need my book club to help me figure it out.
I sped through That Night by Chevy Stevens and wrapped it up already. I haven’t read a thriller/mystery novel in a while and I need to remind myself to read one every once in a while. I really enjoyed the tension in Toni’s story and it kept me listening at every opportunity. Review for this one will be up next week, too.

My review of Ken Follett’s A Column of Fire went up on Monday. I really liked this book, but it just didn’t live up to my astronomically high expectations. No wonder. I gave it Four out of Five stars.

Reading Next: No plans right now. It’s a great feeling, really. I’ll see how long I can keep it up.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 31-October-2018 [Halloween Edition]

31 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently readingThe Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl looks so good on my bedside table. That’s a reason not to be reading it, right? I’ll get back to it soon…
I’m doing most of my reading of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson during lunch and it’s slow going, but it’s been fun. I’ll likely string this one out until the end of the year. Not by choice, just by slow reading habits.
I hope I can finish Not Me by Michael Lavigne this week. I’m not enjoying it as much as I did at first and I honestly want to finish it and get back to Pearl. I feel like there are too many questions and not enough answers. The main character is languishing, not moving and I’m a bit tired of it.
I was able to start That Night by Chevy Stevens on my phone and I’m using it as my car audiobook until another comes in. So far, It’s been a well-balanced mystery. I know what happened but I don’t. And I know what the future looks like, a bit. It’s muddled and fun so far!

Recently finished: I was able to finish A Column of Fire by Ken Follett on my way home from my swim meet on Saturday. It felt SO GOOD to call it done. I still have to return the huge audiobook to the library but I’m already imagining my car so much more empty. I’ll be writing a review for this next week.
I wrapped up A Night to Remember by Walker Lord, too. It was fun to revisit the Titanic after my trip to the Belfast museum this summer. I feel like a real nerd now. But I loved it. My review went up Monday so please check it out! I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I have my next audiobook on hold at the library and it will be The Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway. I’m not usually a fan of short stories, but I am a fan of Hemingway. I think this one will work out well between the two.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 24-October-2018

24 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Maybe I won’t get back to The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl as soon as I’d hoped. A girl can dream, right?
I’m SO CLOSE to finishing A Column of Fire by Ken Follett! It feels really amazing to be so close after so long. I think passengers in my car will appreciate not having the massive audiobook case in the seat!
I’m 25% through Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and I think I can push forward pretty quickly with it. It’s a fun book and every time I think it’s going to get dull, something changes that and I’m intrigued again.
I’m close to finishing A Night to Remember by Walker Lord as well. I love everything Titanic and this one has been fun to explore because it’s written before the wreck was found and things that were ‘known’ at the time have been disproved.
I’m enjoying Not Me by Michael Lavigne and trying to figure out what’s going on. I can tell there’s a big secret I’m not privy to but I can’t figure out what it could be. I like being kept guessing a little but I hope it doesn’t become any more than this.

Recently finished: After doing so well the past two weeks, it’s caught up with me. Nothing new this week. I think that will change again next week and I’ll finish the month strong! At least I can hope so.

I posted my review of Dark Matter by Blake Crouch on Thursday. Thanks to the many of you who came back to check that out! I gave it 5/5 stars.

Reading Next: The plan is still for That Night by Chevy Stevens. I should easily be able to start it this week. Stevens is my maiden name so I feel attached to this writer!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 17-October-2018

17 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: It might be optimistic, but I think I can return to The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl soon! I’ve only got one more book standing in my way. The future is at hand!
Unsurprisingly, I’m still working through A Column of Fire by Ken Follett. I’m getting close now, only a normal-length audiobook to go!
I’m moving slowly through Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson but I think this will be faster than some of my other ebooks. It’s a lot shorter than I thought it would be, honestly. I double checked four times that I didn’t have the abridged version!
I began listening to A Night to Remember by Walker Lord on my phone. I love everything Titanic and I’m honestly surprised I didn’t have this on my radar earlier than I did. It’s a short one and I expect I’ll fly through it.
I began Not Me by Michael Lavigne on Friday. Not too far into it yet but I’ve had such a good run of print books that I’m optimistic that this one will go fast. too!

Recently finished: I finished two again! The first was The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz which was a phone audio. I was happy to wrap it up on my way home from school. It was a very satisfying ending for me and set up well for another one in the series! I gave it Four out of Five Stars and posted my review yesterday, check it out.
The second was Dark Matter by Blake Crouch which I flew through. I was skeptical for about the first 100 pages and then finished it in less than 24 hours. I’m yawning as I type this because I sacrificed a lot of sleep for this book. So worth it. A full Five out of Five Stars and my review will be up tomorrow.

I also posted my review of Artemis by Andy Weir last Friday. It wasn’t The Martian, but it was good. I’ll expect good things from Weir in the future. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: It seems too optimistic to think about finishing yet another book this week. If I do, it will probably be an eaudiobook and next will probably be That Night by Chevy Stevens. This book haunted me for a while before I found it on clearance when a Barnes and Nobel closed and decided to buy it. We’ll see how it goes.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!