Book Reviews

Stranger on the Shore by Josh Lanyon – Book Review

“It’s beautiful. The writing. It makes your heart hurt.”

(I mean how can I not use a Misha Collins gif. Not only is it quite relatable, but also Misha Collins).

I picked this book up in the evening, and I did not set it down all night. I’m not kidding. This book accompanied me into the bathroom like seven times. All the tea I had been drinking probably wasn’t helping. I took the book with me to make more tea as well. I mean, this thing was so damn good that I just could not physically stop reading it.

*Heavy sigh*

Stranger on the Shore is a beautifully written book inspired byThe Great Gatsby, which is a book I am shameful to admit I have not yet read, though I’ve seen the movie, therefore I feel qualified to say that this book does have slight similarities toGatsby. It is not a retelling, though, let me make that clear. But the setting is similar, and the mood feels the same. Throughout it you are guessing who is going to get screwed over, because you know someone will.

Let’s start with the story. Griffin is a young journalist who has been given a chance to write a book about the kidnapping of a little boy named Brian Arlington, which occurred twenty years prior. He makes a deal with Brian’s grandfather, Jarrett, and stays are the estate for one week to interview and dig up as much as he can for his book. Jarrett allows for this painful part of his life to be resurfaced in hopes of finding his long lost grandson, who he still hopes is alive.

That, in itself, really intrigued me. I needed to know what had happened to Brian, which is a big part of what kept me on the edge of my seat. There were so many clues that I was picking up on, and it made me feel like a detective. (I don’t read a lot of mystery, sue me). So, Griff pretty much struggles with the entire Arlington family, especially their family lawyer, Pierce Mather.

Griff struggled throughout to prove that despite his young age and appearance, and lack of experience, he was worthy of writing a good book. Everyone tried to dissuade him, and I could relate to that. I understood Griff and I felt for him. I wanted to slap everyone who got in his way to allow him to write this book and finish what he started. Fortunately, he had Pierce. Who would have thought? The stick-up-his-ass lawyer who butted heads with him turned out to be his closest ally. And I mean come on they made the greatest team. And a little more than that…

I mean, this book pushed all of my buttons. The incredible writing made me picture every scene like an old movie I had seen a hundred times. It made me familiarize with the setting and the characters and the emotions. Not only that, but every subplot that opened was brought to a satisfying closure. All the ones that mattered, anyway. I wasn’t sorry to lose a night’s sleep over this book. I wanted to keep reading. I wanted more pages to magically appear. I wanted to stay in this world that I had come to love and hate. I wanted more Griff, more Pierce, more Chloe, more Jarrett, more Diana, more of that demented Arlington family.

I read a few reviews of this book before starting it. I got the sense a lot of people thought it was boring. I think my subconscious wanted it to be boring so I could put it down and go to sleep, but I thought it was magnificent. I don’t think I’ve ever used that word to describe a book. But hell, Stranger on the Shore was nothing short of magnificent.

I want everyone to read this novel. There’s a little bit of everything for all tastes. Go, read this book, you beautiful person. I need you to feel what I’m feeling.


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