Friday, November 6, 2020

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James-- Creepy and Ghosty, But Kinda Repetitive

The Sun Down Motel

When Viv leaves home for NYC in 1982, she doesn't quite end up there. Somehow she gets stuck in a small town in New York called Fell. She gets a job working the night shift at a motel that sits out on the highway and immediately knows that this motel and town has secrets. Missing and murdered women seem to be a theme here and if Viv doesn't want to wind up as one of them, she knows she needs to figure out what is going on....

In 2017, Carly is determined to find out what happened to her long-lost aunt Vivian. Viv disappeared in 1982 while working the night shift at a motel, so Carly travels to the small town to see if there's anything she can find out. Immediately she realizes that Fell is like the town that time forgot. She gets the same job her aunt had, and is determined to find out what this hotel is hiding.

Since this book came out earlier this year, I've been hearing so much about it. How it was such a good, creepy mystery-- so it sounded like the perfect book to read around Halloween time!! To say I was hyped going into this was an understatement. I was 100% on board to love this book (especially because I've been reading and loving mainly Adult Mystery/Thrillers lately).

And I did like this book. But did I LOVE it?? No. I think a list is in order to organize my feelings about this book:

  • The Setting.  This book is set in a motel on the outskirts of a town called Fell.  Both the motel and the town brought some interesting things to the story.  The motel was one of those relics from the past-- those cheap motels that are never updated and probably end up being rented by the hour at some point.  The town of Fell was basically a place where time stood still.  The modern part of this story takes place in 2017, but it was clear little had changed from the 2nd timeline of 1982.  I enjoyed the creepy motel setting and the way Fell felt unchanged by time-- it was endearing in a way and made things easier to figure things out in the 2017 timeline.
  • The Dual Timelines. The first timeline is in 1982 and features Viv, a girl who was originally going to New York City, but winds up in Fell working the night shift at The Sun Down Motel.  While there, she discovers that there's been a string of unsolved murders taking place in and around Fell.  
  • The second timeline is present day (2017) and features Carly, Viv's niece who is determined to find out what happened to her.  Viv disappeared while working the night shift at The Sun Down Motel and has never been found.  Carly has always been curious about why her mother refused to talk about her aunt that she's never seen or met beyond a faded newspaper clipping.  She ends up traveling to Fell and working the same shift that Viv worked at The Sun Down-- all the while looking into what could've happened to Viv.  
  • It was an interesting concept and definitely could've worked, but for some reason it just didn't for me.  The 2 timelines were so similar-- the girls were around the same age, were both very similar in how naive they were, they were both investigating virtually the exact same crimes and coming to the same conclusions, and they were both living in the same apartment and working at the same motel.  Adding to that, the town of Fell was like a time-warp-- it was practically unchanged from Viv's time there to Carly's.  Because of these things, I was forever getting the details confused (was Carly the one who saw the ghost that time, or was it Viv?? Was Carly the one who figured that one detail out, or was it Viv?).  I needed more differences in the characters and their movements to be able to keep things straight.
  • The Ghosts. Normally I do not like a surprise ghost book.  I mean, I don't mind a this place is creepy and may be haunted book, but this was straight up real ghosts in your face from the get-go.  And usually that would bug me and make it feel fake, but here I actually liked it.  The ghosts were scary in a The Sixth Sense kind of way-- they were angry and had unfinished business.  I really think the ghosts saved this book for me.
  • The Mystery. I thought it was an interesting mystery.  Did I think that BOTH Viv and Carly would figure out everything a serial killer was doing when the police couldn't??  I mean, that's kind of far fetched-- but it was a really good mystery to follow despite that.  There were multiple twists and I kind of did love that because I saw the major twist coming, but didn't figure out the minor twist at all (even though the minor twist was kind of unnecessary and didn't really make a ton of sense).
  • The Pacing. The best part of this book (besides the creepy ghosts) was that it didn't drag. It's the kind of book that will hook you and keep you wanting to read just one more chapter.
  • Is it YA or Adult?? I know this is classified as Adult Mystery, but it felt VERY YA to me. It's one of those things where just because a book is about teens, doesn't mean it's YA-- and just because this one is about girls in their 20's doesn't mean it's Adult. I think there's more to those categories than age-- and this one just didn't have the Adult Mystery feel. I don't have a definitive reason why I feel it's YA beyond the fact that the writing felt like YA-- it's just my gut feeling being a reader of both genres, but I feel it works better as YA. One reason could be that it didn't feel as polished or developed as Adult Mysteries usually are. Not that I'm talking crap on YA, it's just that Adult Mysteries usually get pretty deep into their characters and this one was very surface level.

I definitely had mixed and complicated feelings on this one. I think some things could've been done better and that the 2 main characters could've been differentiated better-- but I do not regret reading this. It really was the perfect Halloween-time read and I was happy that it was a page-turner.

OVERALL: I'm in between on this one. I liked the creepy motel and the real ghosts that resided there. I wished the characters were better developed and better distinguished from one another. I do recommend this, and I think if you're looking for an easy Mystery to read, this is your book.

Date Published: 2/18/2020
How I got this book: Library
Publisher: Berkley/ Penguin Random House
Type: Adult Mystery/Thriller/Horror

My Rating: 3/5

Character: Carly (and let's be honest, Viv too-- they're the same character)
Book: I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara


  1. I don't do scary books or mysteries for the most part, but I have been seeing this one everywhere. Maybe it was the pacing that made it feel more YA. Many people have told me that was something they liked about YA vs adult fiction.

    1. It's a little scary because the ghosts are a big part of it and they are creepy!! It could've been the pacing... it was way more actioney than the typical Adult Mystery-- but then it lost some of the development that I'm used to.

  2. Wow, this is fascinating reading. I am glad I found this and got to read it. Great job on this content. I liked it a lot. Thanks for the great and unique info 토토사이트

  3. Wow, that’s what I was exploring for, what a information! present here at this weblog, thanks admin of this web page. 카지노사이트

  4. A debt of gratitude is in order for your knowledge for your fabulous posting. I'm happy I have set aside an ideal opportunity to see this. 토토

  5. I really want to read more your posts. They are so useful that I can use them to solve issues.
    I hope you will upload articles frequently. I like them very much. They are pieces of advice for me.

    Try to check my webpage :: 인터넷경마

  6. There are consistently financial backer gatherings or purchasing clubs that have a data set of individuals that are continually watching out for venture openings and could be appropriate for you to way to deal with sell your house. the wilshire condominium

  7. Excellent Blog! I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this post. 토토사이트도메인

  8. Looking at this article, I miss the time when I didn't wear a mask. 오공슬롯 Hopefully this corona will end soon. My blog is a blog that mainly posts pictures of daily life before Corona and landscapes at that time. If you want to remember that time again, please visit us.

  9. When I initially commented I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. There has to be an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thanks! What i don’t understood is actually how you’re now not really much more well-favored than you may be now. You’re very intelligent. You realize therefore considerably when it comes to this subject, produced me for my part imagine it from so many various angles. Its like men and women are not involved unless it is one thing to do with Girl gaga! Your individual stuffs great. Always handle it up! 사설토토

  10. Hi, I do think this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit yet again since I book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others. It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people about this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks . When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment. There has to be a means you can remove me from that service? 먹튀폴리스주소

  11. After I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Many thanks! Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It's the little changes which will make the most important changes. Many thanks for sharing!| You are so interesting! I do not think I've read a single thing like this before. So wonderful to find someone with a few original thoughts on this subject. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This site is something that's needed on the internet, someone with a bit of originality! It­s hard to come by educated people about this subject, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks 파워볼사이트

  12. You’re so cool! I don’t think I’ve truly read through something like that before. So wonderful to find someone with some genuine thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality! Good day! I simply wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your great information you have here on this post. I’ll be returning to your web site for more soon. An interesting discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you ought to publish more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people do not speak about these topics. To the next! Best wishes!! 먹튀검증업체

  13. This particular papers fabulous, and My spouse and i enjoy each of the perform that you have placed into this. I’m sure that you will be making a really useful place. I has been additionally pleased. Good perform! Keep up the good work; I read few posts on this website, including I consider that your blog is fascinating and has sets of the fantastic piece of information. Thanks for your valuable efforts. 메이저공원

  14. I wish more authors of this type of content would take the time you did to research and write so well. I am very impressed with your vision and insight. I have added and shared your site to my social media accounts to send people back to your site because I am sure they will find it extremely helpful too. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. 바카라사이트

  15. Your post is very interesting to me. Reading was so much fun. I think the reason reading is fun is because it is a post related to that I am interested in. Articles related to 메이저사이트순위 you are the best. I would like you to write a similar post about !

  16. Which is some inspirational stuff. Never knew that opinions might be this varied. Thank you for all the enthusiasm to provide such helpful information here.바카라사이트 It helped me a lot. If you have time, I hope you come to my site and share your opinions. Have a nice day.

  17. sharing like that i cherished it. Once more thank you loads. Very splendid!!! Once i search for this i discovered this website at the top of all blogs in seek engine. Thanks for sharing such a pleasing questioning, submit is good, thats why i've examine it completely 토토

  18. Thanks for the great article, but it would be great if more
    detailed information was added.

  19. good information very good read. But I have a lot of questions.
    Could you please leave a comment on my website?