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The Things We Lost

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Maddie Butler has been haunted for fourteen years. After the suspicious death of a friend when she was twenty-two, Maddie tried to move on, convincing herself there was nothing she could have done. Now in an unfulfilling marriage, she realizes how much the guilt has led to an unhappy life. When she runs into her ex-boyfriend, the memories come flying back in full force. Bur Maddie Butler has been haunted for fourteen years. After the suspicious death of a friend when she was twenty-two, Maddie tried to move on, convincing herself there was nothing she could have done. Now in an unfulfilling marriage, she realizes how much the guilt has led to an unhappy life. When she runs into her ex-boyfriend, the memories come flying back in full force. Burdened with regret and unhappiness, Maddie wonders how her life could have been different. The next morning, she wakes up twenty-six years old and in a completely different life. Her daughters don’t exist, her husband is nowhere to be found, and her friend is still alive, four years after her funeral. As Maddie navigates this new world, she realizes she is the product of her own unhappiness. But is this new do-over exactly what she needs, even if it means never seeing her daughters again? For fans of Amy Impellizzeri's Lemongrass Hope and Taylor Jenkins Reid's Maybe In Another Life, that will have you wondering, what if?


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Maddie Butler has been haunted for fourteen years. After the suspicious death of a friend when she was twenty-two, Maddie tried to move on, convincing herself there was nothing she could have done. Now in an unfulfilling marriage, she realizes how much the guilt has led to an unhappy life. When she runs into her ex-boyfriend, the memories come flying back in full force. Bur Maddie Butler has been haunted for fourteen years. After the suspicious death of a friend when she was twenty-two, Maddie tried to move on, convincing herself there was nothing she could have done. Now in an unfulfilling marriage, she realizes how much the guilt has led to an unhappy life. When she runs into her ex-boyfriend, the memories come flying back in full force. Burdened with regret and unhappiness, Maddie wonders how her life could have been different. The next morning, she wakes up twenty-six years old and in a completely different life. Her daughters don’t exist, her husband is nowhere to be found, and her friend is still alive, four years after her funeral. As Maddie navigates this new world, she realizes she is the product of her own unhappiness. But is this new do-over exactly what she needs, even if it means never seeing her daughters again? For fans of Amy Impellizzeri's Lemongrass Hope and Taylor Jenkins Reid's Maybe In Another Life, that will have you wondering, what if?

30 review for The Things We Lost

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (Extremely Behind)

    2.5 stars, rounded up So I try to get out of thrillerville by choosing what I thought was a Sliding Doors/Maybe in Another Life style story. Yet what did I get? A quasi-suspense book that didn't even really come full circle in the end. Maddie is married to Nathan and they have two little girls. She's unfulfilled even though she has a great career as a novelist. When she reconnects with her university boyfriend Jayson, she wonders if she had made a mistake following her current path. She goes to sl 2.5 stars, rounded up So I try to get out of thrillerville by choosing what I thought was a Sliding Doors/Maybe in Another Life style story. Yet what did I get? A quasi-suspense book that didn't even really come full circle in the end. Maddie is married to Nathan and they have two little girls. She's unfulfilled even though she has a great career as a novelist. When she reconnects with her university boyfriend Jayson, she wonders if she had made a mistake following her current path. She goes to sleep and wakes up in a different reality--it's ten years earlier, she and Jayson are together, and nothing in her life is how she remembers. Can she figure out what is going on? The central theme of this story is that in one timeline, a close friend of hers died while they were at university. In the new timeline, that woman is still alive. There are some circumstances surrounding what happened involving another previous boyfriend that were never really clear to me, even when I got to the end. The story devolved into a weird suspense tale, but it's pretty clear from the start who the culprit is, yet the motivations aren't defined until the end and even at that point, they didn't make much sense to me. My biggest disappointment though (view spoiler)[ was that we never went back to the original timeline to resolve what happened! Her husband says he will be home soon, and hours pass and she calls and calls and can't get in touch with him. Somehow she falls asleep and then we're off to this split story, but we never get any sort of resolution. Did Nathan die? What happened to him? So she never goes back to see her kids again? Argh. (hide spoiler)] Even with how convoluted everything was, there was still something readable and compelling about the book that kept me turning pages. It has definitely appealed to many others, so give it a try if it sounds interesting. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I’m super excited to share my thoughts on The Things We Lost. I love a “what if” story, especially lately because I’ve been contemplating that very question in my own life. It’s amazing to think how one decision can shape the trajectory of one’s life. A dear friend of Maddie’s died under suspicious circumstances over a decade ago, and it continues to haunt Maddie. On top of that, she is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and she begins to think much of that has to do with the guilt from which she st I’m super excited to share my thoughts on The Things We Lost. I love a “what if” story, especially lately because I’ve been contemplating that very question in my own life. It’s amazing to think how one decision can shape the trajectory of one’s life. A dear friend of Maddie’s died under suspicious circumstances over a decade ago, and it continues to haunt Maddie. On top of that, she is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and she begins to think much of that has to do with the guilt from which she still suffers. Maybe she could have done more. Maybe one different decision could have made a difference for her friend. Maddie runs into an ex boyfriend from that time period, and it brings it all back emotionally. The very next day, Maddie wakes up in that former life, except this time, her friend is still alive. It’s through this experience that Maddie learns just how much her own emotions have affected her path in life. That do-over she so desperately wanted? Was it really that? At the cost of no longer having her daughters, or was it just a matter of accepting her feelings and walking through the grief over the loss of her friend? The Things We Lost is a thoughtful book that gave me all the feels, and if you know me, you know how much I love an emotional read. I am guilty of asking for that reset button, but what if it comes at an extreme cost? Maybe there’s a different answer to that question that lies within us all. Loved this! I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lacie

    Maddie's current life is crumbling. She loves her two young daughters. but her marriage to Nathan isn't working out. Her husband is having a midlife crisis and has pulled away from his wife and girls, leaving everything to Maddie. Desperate, Maddie starts an affair with Jayson at a writer's conference. Guilt drives Maddie, including her numerous bad choices. She still struggles with the death of her friend Gina. Gina died while dating Brian, who was abusive. Brian was also Maddie's ex, so she kne Maddie's current life is crumbling. She loves her two young daughters. but her marriage to Nathan isn't working out. Her husband is having a midlife crisis and has pulled away from his wife and girls, leaving everything to Maddie. Desperate, Maddie starts an affair with Jayson at a writer's conference. Guilt drives Maddie, including her numerous bad choices. She still struggles with the death of her friend Gina. Gina died while dating Brian, who was abusive. Brian was also Maddie's ex, so she knew his behaviors. Maddie begins to think "what if" she made different choices. Maddie wakes up, thrown in the past, now living with Jayson, her ex boyfriend. She also learns her friend Gina is still alive. Honestly, I had a difficult time getting into this novel. I picked it up and put it down several times before digging in. This is a book that plays out the alternate story line where Maddie goes back and chooses a different path. These types of stories are intriguing, but I struggled to decipher what this book wanted to be. Maggie just wasn't all that interesting to begin with. Then her character nosedives, somehow having chosen even worse decisions than her original path. Aren't we readers supposed to root for the MC? The weight of Maddie's guilt doesn't fit with what unfolded with Gina. At a party, Maddie didn't stop Gina from leaving with her abusive boyfriend and later dies in a mysterious accident. The narrative falls flat because it was Gina's CHOICE to leave, not Maddie's. Maddie had no direct impact on Gina's death. So that begins a weak story following Maddie on this mad path to fix her bad choices. The alternate story line takes a bonkers approach, swapping out Maddie it seems for someone entirely new, who deserves every bad thing that happens because of her horrific decisions. What was the silly story line with her and Brain supposed to do? Turn her into a murderer? I liked how the story came full circle, but the story made little sense. Thank you NetGalley and Rising Action Publishing Co. for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    What a fantastic debut and such a great concept!! Maddie Butler craves change. She's struggled with the death of a friend for the last fourteen years. She no longer feels whole in her marriage, and finds herself wondering what life would have been like had it been different. That is, until she gets her wish... This book definitely makes you stop and think about your own life and relationships. And as the saying goes, "be careful what you wish for." ... This gem hits shelves April 2022! Huge thank y What a fantastic debut and such a great concept!! Maddie Butler craves change. She's struggled with the death of a friend for the last fourteen years. She no longer feels whole in her marriage, and finds herself wondering what life would have been like had it been different. That is, until she gets her wish... This book definitely makes you stop and think about your own life and relationships. And as the saying goes, "be careful what you wish for." ... This gem hits shelves April 2022! Huge thank you to Rising Action Publishing Co. for my gifted copy!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kori Potenzone

    Cue the tears on this one! Ugh, major heart strings were pulled in this tug and war of emotions and "what ifs" . I have always been drawn to dark thrillers but when I read the synopsis for The Things We Lost, I was instantly drawn to this novel and I am so happy I decided to request this book! Big thank you to netgalley, for allowing me to read and review The Things We Lost, prior to the April 19, 2022 release date. I caught all the feels on this book and I was instantly captivated with the writ Cue the tears on this one! Ugh, major heart strings were pulled in this tug and war of emotions and "what ifs" . I have always been drawn to dark thrillers but when I read the synopsis for The Things We Lost, I was instantly drawn to this novel and I am so happy I decided to request this book! Big thank you to netgalley, for allowing me to read and review The Things We Lost, prior to the April 19, 2022 release date. I caught all the feels on this book and I was instantly captivated with the writing style early on. This is a story of family, friendship, second chances, and asking yourself, if you could go back and make just ONE change that could alter your own future..... would you do it ? Does everything happen for a reason or should we all be able to hit a reset button? Pick up your copy of The Things We Lost on April 19, 2022 to find out!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lainey Cameron

    Fans of Gone Girl and Oona out of Order will enjoy this tale of switched realities where a heroine is thrown back to her mid-twenties. Maddie Butler has lost the luster in her marriage, and is dealing with the aftermath of her own cheating. And she can’t help but wonder how life would be if she’d chosen an alternate path, perhaps one where she didn’t end up with her current husband. She wakes up in that alternate universe, thrown back in time to a different version of her mid-twenties. A new real Fans of Gone Girl and Oona out of Order will enjoy this tale of switched realities where a heroine is thrown back to her mid-twenties. Maddie Butler has lost the luster in her marriage, and is dealing with the aftermath of her own cheating. And she can’t help but wonder how life would be if she’d chosen an alternate path, perhaps one where she didn’t end up with her current husband. She wakes up in that alternate universe, thrown back in time to a different version of her mid-twenties. A new reality where, as she’d wished, she is with her lover and never met her current husband. At first, Maddie doesn’t know what changed in her past, but something in her drug, sex, and alcohol fueled college years and thereafter, has played out differently. In this reality, the friend she lost, whose death has weighed on Maddie, is still alive. But these changes also mean the two kids Maddie adores also no longer exist. Can she return to a future where she gets them back, and does she want all that involves? The Things we Lost has clever writing with a complex plot. The novel has major Gone Girl vibes, verging on suspense, with dark secrets, including memories the heroine is missing. From the first chapters, I rooted for Maddie to make better decisions and find her way. A fast read that will have you pondering your own choices in life. And remember to be grateful for the gift of those we love.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jenn (burlingtonbibliophagist)

    Mini Book Review The Things We Lost by Maggie Giles Impressions and Book Thoughts - debut author - Sliding doors/Lake house vibes - Idea that one decision, one choice- can send us down an alternate path - Harder to digest living another life aware of the one you lost - Husbands midlife crises, stale marriage, guilt over past - overdone tropes but with a twist Overall A slow start. A solid read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Virginie

    Maddie is a woman in her thirties, an author and a mother whose marriage seems to be falling apart. She goes to bed one night consumed with guilt over the betrayal she has committed. However, she wakes up the next day ten years younger, with a man in her bed who is not her husband and her two little girls never born. She has to learn to adapt to this new reality and bear the consequences of it. The version I read of this book is an uncorrected proof, so my opinion may be based on elements that wi Maddie is a woman in her thirties, an author and a mother whose marriage seems to be falling apart. She goes to bed one night consumed with guilt over the betrayal she has committed. However, she wakes up the next day ten years younger, with a man in her bed who is not her husband and her two little girls never born. She has to learn to adapt to this new reality and bear the consequences of it. The version I read of this book is an uncorrected proof, so my opinion may be based on elements that will not be present in the final version. This is Maggie Giles’ first novel, and it really is very promising. I was quickly drawn into the story and couldn’t put the book down all day. I am one of those people who often ask, ‘what if?’ and this book is a representation of that question that is often on our minds. ‘What if I had done things differently? What if I had made different choices? Where would I be today? Would I have a better life?’ All of this is set against a background of mystery that we try to unravel along with Maddie, the main character. However, I was a bit frustrated not to know more about why Maddie woke up in this new reality, I admit I would have liked to know more about that. The ending wasn’t necessarily to my taste either, I’m left with far too many unanswered questions. Overall, I enjoyed this book and I recommend it. Thanks to NetGalley, Rising Action Publishing Co and Maggie Giles for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Alexandria Brown

    This book though. Full disclosure, I am the editor but this book is incredible and extremely thrilling for anyone who loves a good grass is greener novel!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    I really enjoyed this book. I think most people wonder how their life might have turned out differently if they’d made different choices along the way. Maddie Is a wife and mother who’s dissatisfied with her life and runs into an old boyfriend leading her to start thinking about the past. Then one morning she wakes up and she’s twenty-six again. The choices she’s made in this version of her life have set her on the wrong path and ruined relationships with those she loves. But a close friend who I really enjoyed this book. I think most people wonder how their life might have turned out differently if they’d made different choices along the way. Maddie Is a wife and mother who’s dissatisfied with her life and runs into an old boyfriend leading her to start thinking about the past. Then one morning she wakes up and she’s twenty-six again. The choices she’s made in this version of her life have set her on the wrong path and ruined relationships with those she loves. But a close friend who died under suspicious circumstances is alive thanks to Maddie. Maddie must navigate this life in the hopes of keeping her friend alive while still finding her way back to her family. I liked how the plot wove together so you could see how the little things she did had a domino effect on those around her. Also, the author did a great job showing how Maddie changed based on what she learned.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Karen Winn

    For fans of Rebecca Serle's IN FIVE YEARS and the movie SLIDING DOORS, Maggie Giles's impressive debut THE THINGS WE LOST ponders the choices we make and the secrets and desires that haunt us. What if we could travel back in time and chose a different path? This is an intricate story with many plot twists and turns, and I devoured it in two days. I highly recommend this novel--it's one that I know I'll continue to think about over the weeks to come--and I can't wait to see what Giles writes next For fans of Rebecca Serle's IN FIVE YEARS and the movie SLIDING DOORS, Maggie Giles's impressive debut THE THINGS WE LOST ponders the choices we make and the secrets and desires that haunt us. What if we could travel back in time and chose a different path? This is an intricate story with many plot twists and turns, and I devoured it in two days. I highly recommend this novel--it's one that I know I'll continue to think about over the weeks to come--and I can't wait to see what Giles writes next.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Young

    The Things We Lost provides a dizzying view into a troubled woman’s past and present. Unfortunately, both lives are messy. After embarking on an affair with a former boyfriend, Maddie wakes up and discovers she’s somehow living several years earlier, but in an altered existence. Her marriage and daughters don’t exist and she’s back with the ex. As she struggles to recall / discover all the ugly details in her memories, she realizes her current relationships are all tarnished, hinging on secrets The Things We Lost provides a dizzying view into a troubled woman’s past and present. Unfortunately, both lives are messy. After embarking on an affair with a former boyfriend, Maddie wakes up and discovers she’s somehow living several years earlier, but in an altered existence. Her marriage and daughters don’t exist and she’s back with the ex. As she struggles to recall / discover all the ugly details in her memories, she realizes her current relationships are all tarnished, hinging on secrets and deceit. Maggie Giles’ debut offers a cast of deeply-flawed characters, centering around Maddie. Insightfully, she starts the story with her family life, so readers establish empathy in the very real love for her two small girls. She mourns their loss, even as she tries to work her way through the mire of her earlier life. But can she overcome her own selfish tendencies and bad decisions to enable a convergence to a better version of herself? Giles drives the tale forward – and backward – with unexpected twists that keep you flipping pages. As a redemption story, despite her shortcomings, you respect Maddie’s attempts to change her ways, which ultimately will determine whether or not she can recapture a life with her daughters and her husband. Readers who like darker-edged mysteries and characters definitely will enjoy the ride. Thanks to the author and publisher for the ARC.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Caron McKinlay

    My favourite genre is time travel and time splits and this novel with a sliding doors theme does not dissapoint. With beautiful writing and a tightly woven plot Giles explores the question of "What If?" with a fresh take on the genre by incorporating a mystery suspense at the heart of the narrative. Not only did I want to find the solution to the mystery but I also wished to know how things would work out for Maddie in her new life. I also loved seeing how different decisions changed the paths o My favourite genre is time travel and time splits and this novel with a sliding doors theme does not dissapoint. With beautiful writing and a tightly woven plot Giles explores the question of "What If?" with a fresh take on the genre by incorporating a mystery suspense at the heart of the narrative. Not only did I want to find the solution to the mystery but I also wished to know how things would work out for Maddie in her new life. I also loved seeing how different decisions changed the paths of her family and friends. A thought provoking read and a lesson to take the time to smell the flowers in your own back yard.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Reitmeier

    Thank you to the publisher for the ARC to review! Maddie wonders what would happen if she had chosen a different path in life. What if she sought out a relationship with someone else? Well she is about to find out as she wakes up to a completely new life. Without giving too much away, this wonderfully written book was so hard to put down. I was surprised that this was the author’s debut novel. This was a great concept and so well written that I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Orly Konig

    I’m guilty of getting lost in “what ifs” from time to time, so this story immediately caught my attention. And Maggie Giles’s debut did not disappoint. The Things We Lost is a thoughtful look at the choices we make and how one decision can snowball out of control. It’s the perfect clear-off-the-calendar read! Maggie Giles is a delightful new voice and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next from this talented author.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    I received a complimentary copy of this book "The Things We Lost" and all opinions expressed are my own. Regrets? Did you make the right choice in life? What if you made the other choice? What would your life be like? I have read other books about this subject and I find it interesting because everyone has had the same thought at one time or another. I thought the book was okay. I received a complimentary copy of this book "The Things We Lost" and all opinions expressed are my own. Regrets? Did you make the right choice in life? What if you made the other choice? What would your life be like? I have read other books about this subject and I find it interesting because everyone has had the same thought at one time or another. I thought the book was okay.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dave Giles

    Awesome! Kept me guessing. Loved the alternate lives!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl S

    A wonderful debut, I loved it! A page turner that kept me up late into the night to see how Maddie’s life unfolds after she wakes up one morning years earlier in her life. Maddie fell asleep wondering what if? What if she had made different choices in her life? Most of us have wondered the same. I hoped for her to make the better decisions and make her way back to the life she thought she wanted to escape.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alison Hammer

    review to come.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This debut novel got my attention from the very beginning and kept it throughout. Elements of thriller, mystery, with a dash of introspective angst made for a compelling read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I had such an easy time getting into this story. Probably something to do with the main character, Maddie, being a mom who wonders how life could've been different if she'd made different choices in life. I feel pretty confident that most of us have wondered the same thing at some point in our lives and that very "what if" question is what made me feel very connected with Maddie. I loved reading how very different her "what if" life was than her actual one, but yet it still felt very plausible. I had such an easy time getting into this story. Probably something to do with the main character, Maddie, being a mom who wonders how life could've been different if she'd made different choices in life. I feel pretty confident that most of us have wondered the same thing at some point in our lives and that very "what if" question is what made me feel very connected with Maddie. I loved reading how very different her "what if" life was than her actual one, but yet it still felt very plausible. It definitely made me reflect on my own path and the relationships I decided to invest in, and then ones I let fade away. This book was highly entertaining but it also made you think. Best of both worlds! This is a debut novel by Canadian author Maggie Giles. Keep your eyes out for this book when it comes out in the Spring of 2022! Many thanks to Rising Action Publishing Co and Maggie Giles for this gifted copy!

  22. 4 out of 5

    jenn

    Ahh! Thank you to the publisher for the ARC so I can review it. This book took me on a whirlwind and I absolutely did not mind at all. I really enjoyed this book and finished it so so fast! The decisions that you make on a daily basis have a big impact on the different outcomes in your life. Maddie is soon discovering what may have happened in an alternate version of her life.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ruby Reads

    Haven’t we all wondered about the choices we made in our younger years? Maddie Butler has struggled with the death of a close friend and decisions she made in her twenties. Now, in her thirties in a lifeless marriage with two daughters, she wonders how her life could have been different. A story to reflect on the question of whether or not you would trade the life you imagine for the one you have. Recommended for those who enjoy “What if” stories. #NetGalley #TheThingsWeLost

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Such a beautifully written debut that explores the question we’ve all asked ourselves a million times ‘what if?’ Decisions, mistakes, what would your life be like if you picked a different path in one of the million crossroads you’ve faced throughout your life? Maddie wakes up in an alternate version of her life and finds out whether the grass is always greener on the other side.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    This book was not for me. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the early copy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Poonguzhahli A

    Maggie Giles, a Canadian writer, has made her debut with 'The Things We Lost'. I got an opportunity to read an ARC (Advanved Reader Copy) of this book though the book is only getting out on April 19th. In this book, author Maggie has attempted a spin on a very common question we all have subjected ourselves to atleast once - what if I had done this instead of that? What if I had done things things differently? The principal character of this book Maddie is overcome by this question when her curr Maggie Giles, a Canadian writer, has made her debut with 'The Things We Lost'. I got an opportunity to read an ARC (Advanved Reader Copy) of this book though the book is only getting out on April 19th. In this book, author Maggie has attempted a spin on a very common question we all have subjected ourselves to atleast once - what if I had done this instead of that? What if I had done things things differently? The principal character of this book Maddie is overcome by this question when her current life isn't what it used to be. She feels neglected by her husband and craves for some attention and love from him. She is also cheating on him and is struggling to come to terms with her conflicting emotions regarding her infraction. Becoming upset with her husband's perceived neglect, she wishes that she had chosen her ex-boyfriend Jayson, with whom she had been cheating her husband, rather than her husband all those years ago. Astonishingly, she wakes up the next day to a different life, which is many years previous to the life she was living. While getting accustomed to this different life, she finds out that her choice hasn't led her to be the better person she was in her previous life making her to set out to right as many wrongs as she could in the life she now seems to live. She is also caught up in a strange situation, which is connected to one of her mistake, and she tries her best to get out of it unscathed. The story takes us through her new journey and her growth as a person because of it. Actually, the narrative is in an interesting non-linear pattern alternating between her previous life and the new one she is living now. In essence, the story's premise is an interesting one. The author has employed this concept of choice to explore how a single choice/decision taken by a person could affect so many people around them. She makes the reader wonder about all the seemingly inconsequential choices they might be making and gets them to pause a second. But to me, the story felt long and winding. There were too many details about things which i didn't care to know about. The pacing also could have been crisper and shorter. There are indeed some intrigue and thrill elements to the story; but they don't manage to keep the reader completely interested. And I can't say I loved where the story went and how it ended. I would have liked a different ending with Maddie learning some more lessons. I, however, enjoyed the story to some extent. If you like to read an intriguing story with this unique premise, you should definitely try this book. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for this ARC in return for my honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    Maddie has made some poor choices in her adult life, and while she loves her children and her husband, she has been unfulfilled for a long time. Her and Nathan have grown apart, and when Maddie meets up with her ex-boyfriend at a conference, her life begins to spiral out of control. She also cannot seem to get past the guilt of her actions that may have contributed to her friend Gina's death years prior. It continues to haunt her, and Maddie wonders what she could have done differently in her li Maddie has made some poor choices in her adult life, and while she loves her children and her husband, she has been unfulfilled for a long time. Her and Nathan have grown apart, and when Maddie meets up with her ex-boyfriend at a conference, her life begins to spiral out of control. She also cannot seem to get past the guilt of her actions that may have contributed to her friend Gina's death years prior. It continues to haunt her, and Maddie wonders what she could have done differently in her life to change this outcome? I think we often wonder what could have been, and this debut thriller delivers! It dives deep into the darkest secrets of Maddie's past. Will Maddie realize her mistakes, right her wrongs and make things right to alter her course now that she knows what is in store for her future? Will she meet Nathan again and be reunited with her children? At first, I really didn't like Maddie at all or any of the characters really. They are all self-centered and flawed. As the story progresses, you see immense growth within Maddie and I ended up really loving her character, and I really wanted her to find happiness. This novel is extremely far-fetched, and I'm sure the author realizes this, but I could see that being a turn-off for some readers. The first few chapters drew me in, then it got slow, but I really enjoyed the ending and I think the author did a perfect job wrapping things up. I hope to see more novels from this author in the future. Special thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Boczek

    A cross between “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Butterfly Effect,” “The Things We Lost” was nothing like I expected! While the summary reads like a love story/what if tale, this book is so much more! With a hint of mystery & a little bit of a thrill ride, it was a fun, quick read centered around author Madison Butler. Alternating between the present day & a past that may or may not be real life, we learn about Madison’s unhappiness & her wish to see if different choices would lead to a better li A cross between “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “The Butterfly Effect,” “The Things We Lost” was nothing like I expected! While the summary reads like a love story/what if tale, this book is so much more! With a hint of mystery & a little bit of a thrill ride, it was a fun, quick read centered around author Madison Butler. Alternating between the present day & a past that may or may not be real life, we learn about Madison’s unhappiness & her wish to see if different choices would lead to a better life, much like Jimmy Stewart’s character in the famed Christmas movie. But Madison soon learns this wish could have consequences with life-altering implications, like never being able to meet her beloved daughters in her new life (hello Butterfly Effect!). As “It’s a Wonderful Life” is one of my favorite movies, I really took to this book. I enjoyed Maddie, though at times her past was a bit shocking & leaned towards the annoying with her antics. I felt the ending was a bit abrupt & left some unanswered questions. Who was really following Madison in the black SUV? Where did Brian end up? Does Maddie still become a bestselling author? I felt like those were some questions that should have been addressed prior to the end, but overall a solid debut from Maggie Giles.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Clive Tern

    A fast paced page turner. the premise of having the chance to relive your life, but from a point where choices you made have already changed future outcomes, is interestingly handled. The author declares themselves as having a flair for the dramatic, and that is well borne out in the novel. It twists and turns so that you are held by a need to know who is doing what, why, and how things will turn out. The narrative is wonderfully accessible even as a subtextual examination of motivations is played A fast paced page turner. the premise of having the chance to relive your life, but from a point where choices you made have already changed future outcomes, is interestingly handled. The author declares themselves as having a flair for the dramatic, and that is well borne out in the novel. It twists and turns so that you are held by a need to know who is doing what, why, and how things will turn out. The narrative is wonderfully accessible even as a subtextual examination of motivations is played out across two timelines which both inter-connect and clash. By half way through the book I had no idea where we would finish. by seventy percent finished I thought I was getting a handle on things, only for a new twist to arrive. this is a terrific debut novel and an author well worth watching out for

  30. 4 out of 5

    elizabeth

    Thank you to NetGalley and Rising Action Publishing Co for the ARC I expected something totally different. While it was a good read I could not get into it as I was expecting something totally different based on the preview. I ended up with more questions than answers. I did finish reading the book though.

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