My rating: 5 of 5 stars
‘Playing in the Rain: When All That Matters is Freedom’ is the first book in the ‘Escape Series’ written by Sandra J. Jackson in 2018. This is the second book I’ve read by the author, and I’m sure I will read more in the future. To start with, the cover is beautiful. It’s magical and mysterious, yet comforting and alluring all at once. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be dropped into a fantasy world or a science-fiction drama, and perhaps, it has just a little bit of both. Let’s get into the details.
A young girl is in a medical facility. We’re not sure if she’s dangerous or simply sick. Something has happened to the outside world, and we’re unsure exactly when and where this takes place. As the first few chapters unfold, we realize she’s being held prisoner for some reason. From there, the story takes off as readers watch her try to escape. The girl learns her name is April, and a nurse or doctor is trying to help her. She gets a roommate, who turns out to be someone she actually knows and begins to remember. What has happened to these girls? When April finally escapes, she’s actually not really free (no spoilers, you must read for yourself). By the end of the book, we’re set on a course for the second in the series, and it will definitely draw in your attention.
Jackson created an easy-to-read page-turner. It’s not a mega-thriller where the action is constant and tense. It’s more subtle, yet you feel a passion to help April succeed. Through repetition and failed attempts, our hearts break when we learn she hasn’t achieved her goal of being free. From daily work to pry open a window, to discovering someone near death in an adjoining room, April is a strong protagonist who we quickly want to follow. I enjoyed how Jackson creates the story, leaving readers in suspense about what’s happened to the outside world. We don’t really know what happened to her family either (she’s right at the cusp of exiting her teenage years).
I saw similarities in the writing style and tone to the previous book I read — in positive ways. Jackson has a bit of an ethereal tone to her prose. She paints a vivid picture but it’s murky in all the right areas. There’s a budding sense of hope, then it’s pulled away and readers are smacked back into reality. Life isn’t always perfect, and there will be pain and sadness. Then again, the ending leaves us with a promise for a better future. I look forward to finding out if/how it will happen.
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are five books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, Mistaken Identity Crisis, and Haunted House Ghost. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.