Essentially Yours by Aaron Paul Lazar (#2 In Tall Pines Mystery Series)
Marcella Hollister has moved on with her life since her first love – Sky has disappeared eighteen years ago during a mission in Iraq. Her best friend since childhood, Callie, a quiet and shy girl suffering from agoraphobia, almost loses her mind when out of the blue a mysterious package arrives at her house. It’s her brother Sky’s old backpack and she doesn’t know how to deal with this, neither does Marcella.
The two women examine the contents of the unexpected package, trying to figure out why Sky would send them small colorfully labeled bottles full of precious essential oils. Not only that but there’s also a password-protected memory stick. And how the hell did Sky get hold of a velvet bag full of emeralds? It just doesn’t make any sense.
When Marcella’s husband of seven years – Quinn learns about the package from Sky, he’s not too happy about it. After all, he and Marcella have been happily married and suddenly the guy his wife was in love with is going to ruin it all? He’s just not gonna have it. Although there’s some jealousy, Quinn behaves very manly and bravely and doesn’t make a huge issue out of the whole situation, which I thought was nice.
There’s some tension between Marcella and Quinn but they don’t have much time to discuss their feelings as the events unfold. Callie is kidnapped, her sister is dead and Sky is who knows where with seemingly the whole world after him and the secrets he’s keeping.
That much of the plot should be enough to get you curious. Essentially Yours is the second book in the Tall Pines series but I didn’t fee like I was missing something as there weren’t almost any references to the previous book.
I want to talk a little bit about the main characters. Marcella, in my opinion was a well built character, flawed in some ways like all humans are. The annoying thing about her is that it’s like she constantly felt the need to justify her actions in her head. There was scene where she’s explaining why she bought an iPhone and a Macbook Pro. Seriously? Nobody cares what phone and computer you bought, lady – just continue with the story already (it’s told through her point of view)!
Quinn is the strong and silent type, who steps up when sh*t hits the fan but it was like his main purpose was to make Marcella feel better. Not that there’s something wrong with that but I didn’t feel his personality was very developed.
Callie was someone you easily feel sorry for from the start and throughout the book as so much bad stuff happens to her. There’are some more layers of feelings pushed down for years and other personality issues that make her a more complex character and not just your typical damsel in distress.
Now, Sky we don’t really see much of until the second half of the book and then he feels a little bit cookie cutter-y.
There’s definitely a mystic aspect to this novel with all the healing essential oils and crystals which I guess is interesting if you’re into that sort of thing. Otherwise it’s your regular evil-corporation-tries-to-stifle-scientific-progress type of mystery/thriller.
I found Hannah Seusy to be a very capable narrator. She did the male characters quite well and her voice really didn’t bother me with anything so I could easily get lost into the story.
Essentially Yours was an interesting and enjoyable audiobook with some unique aspects, but in the end it wasn’t very exciting, at least for me.
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