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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Rise by Leslie McCauley is a psychological suspense thriller about a woman named Antoinette, who has to battle external and internal forces in order to rebuild her life following a brutal attack. As a new photographer for a newspaper, she is on her way up in life. She thought she was strong, but life has a way of knocking the breath out of you. This is her story of determination and resilience. Nettie is what they call her, and yes, she does have her weak moments, as anyone would enduring the trauma and loss as she does, but she digs deep to find some strength and light. I enjoyed the character of her best friend, Jessie, who won't let Nettie give up, and isn't that what best friends do? Your closest friends will tell you the truth and help you get back up when you fall. Jessie is such a true friend that she is willing to take whatever negativity Nettie gives her in order for Nettie to get her second wind.
The book has a very strong beginning, and McCauley has a great way of building a plot you want to pursue until the conclusion, and characters you care about and root for. There are unexpected plot twists too, and that's always nice. It's fun to be surprised by a good book. When you hear about some tragedies, you wonder how anyone could survive. Well, Antoinette shows you how. I like how the author brings out small details which add to the setting and atmosphere, like hearing the rain, or describing how Nettie is feeling in a certain moment. Even though the story had a satisfactory ending, I'd like to read more about Nettie, this well-drawn character. If you like dark themes with some light at the end of the tunnel, you'll love the award-winning Rise by Leslie McCauley.