The Picky Bookworm

"Books are a uniquely portable magic." –Stephen King

What would you do for your child?

Izzy, the main character in The Sleepover by Samantha King, tries so hard to let her son, Nick, be independent and live his own life. At the same time she struggles because one year before the beginning of the book, Nick was beat up by some bullies at his old school. He had chosen, at the age of 11, to walk to school by himself.

The Book

Author: Samantha King

Number of Pages: 320

Genre: Thriller

Source: I received this book from Netgalley, in return for an honest review.

Izzy struggles with her son’s burgeoning independence. She wants to keep him her little boy forever, and wants to protect him from all the people that may hurt him. She’s a little one-dimensional in this regard.

When Nick is invited to a sleepover at his friend’s house, Izzy is reluctant to let him go. She’s thrilled that he is apparently making friends, but she’s scared that he could get hurt by said friends.

When she goes to pick him up from the sleepover, and finds out he’s missing, the whole book is set on its course. Will she find him in time? Will he still be alive? What happened?


“Nick? Nick?” Beth’s voice is shrill as she dashes across the landing.

“Everything OK? Can I help?” I call up, trying to decide whether it would look rude if I go up the stairs uninvited. Before I can make up my mind, Beth comes flying down them.

“Did Nick come down?” Her face is chalk-white, her mouth a pinched line.


“He’s not in any of the bedrooms. Or the bathroom.”

“What?” My pulse roars in my ears; my voice sounds like it’s coming from far away.

“The boys haven’t a clue where he is, either. I don’t understand. It’s like he’s vanished into thin air.”

“He can’t have. He must be hiding somewhere. Maybe the boys had a fight.” I scrabble in the back pocket of my jeans for my phone, my fingers trembling as I search for Nick’s number. The dial tone repeats endlessly, and I can feel my palms sweating as I wait for the call to click in, for the electronic drone to be replaced by the sound of Nick’s voice. Any second now…now…now. Please, please answer, Nick.

Holding the phone away from my ear, I strain to hear his ringtone, but the house is silent. I push past Beth to hurry up the stairs, my mind sprinting ahead to visualize Nick sitting on his bed, shrugging as if to say, What’s all the fuss about? I keep focusing on that image as I crash into the bedroom, panic blinding me so that I’ve whirled around the room touching each bed once, twice, three times before acceptance filters through disbelief.

The Review

This book is told in first person present tense. It’s a weird type of writing; one I can’t really get past. I was taught in school not to write this way, so when I find a book that is, I find myself yelling in my head at the writing. I also ran across a couple proofreading errors, but they didn’t really detract from the story.

I’ve noticed that Izzy “reflects” a lot. Yes, the author actually uses this word. This actually did bug me. I couldn’t figure out why the author couldn’t find other words to say the same thing.

The characters don’t develop very well, either. The story is told very well, and had enough interesting twists to keep me reading, but I found the characters one-dimensional.

Luckily for me, this book is action-driven. I don’t like books that are character-driven. I don’t know why, but they tend to bore me. This book also has plenty of back story, which makes the present easier to understand. The flashbacks are told quite well.

All in all, this book is really good, and I will likely read it again. It will be a while, but this story was unique, and I really appreciated all the little twists and turns. Just when I thought I knew what was going on, the story would switch, and I would be confused all over again. I actually love stories like these. It’s one of the reasons I love Saw 1.

The Rating

I gave this book 4 stars. It’s really good, and I will enjoy reading it again, but the character development wasn’t as great as I would expect from a thriller, and the main character was a bit one-dimensional for me. Character-driven books may not be my cup of tea, but I do like some in my action books.

If you enjoy a thriller, you should definitely check this book out. I could tell it wasn’t professionally edited or proofread, but the story is good enough that it doesn’t seem to matter much. I was reminded of The Family Upstairs a bit when reading this book, so if you like that book, you might like this one.

The Conclusion

I really did enjoy this book. I probably won’t be adding it to my top-ten list any time soon, but I loved it enough to recommend it, and even choose to reread at some point. I won’t be deleting it from my kindle anytime soon.

Have you read this book? Have you read one like it that you think I’ll enjoy? Let me know in the comments!

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Until next time, bookworms!

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