Thursday, September 5, 2019

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: The First Time I Died by Jo Macgregor

Title: The First Time I Died (Garnet McGee #1)
Author: Jo Macgregor
Publication Date: October 8, 2018
Publisher: Jo Macgregor
Pages: 320
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The first time I died, I didn’t come back alone.

When Garnet McGee returns to her small Vermont hometown for the holidays, she vows to solve the mystery of the murder which shattered her life ten years ago.

But then the unexpected happens — she dies in an accident and gets brought back to life by paramedics.

Now she’s hearing words, seeing visions and experiencing strange sensations. Are these merely symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and an over-active imagination, or is she getting messages from a paranormal presence?

Garnet has always prided herself on being logical and rational, but trying to catch a killer without embracing her shadow self is getting increasingly difficult. And dangerous, because in a town full of secrets, it seems like everybody has a motive for murder.

Lately I have been in the mood for mysteries and, when The First Time I Died popped up as available from my library, I really hoped it would be as amazing as it sounded! Between the murder mystery and the promise of a possible paranormal twist, I couldn't wait to dive in and see what was in store.

Garnet McGee left her town as soon as she could after her high school boyfriend was brutally murdered, hoping never to have to return. Years later she finds herself back in town to help her parents and dies herself after an accident. Thankfully, she's quickly revived, but isn't sure she has come back alone. Afterwards, Garnet decides to spend her time getting to the bottom of what really happened all those years ago and who was responsible.

The First Time I Died was one of the more unique mysteries I've ever read. I loved the paranormal aspects, but I won't say more about those to avoid spoilers. Garnet was such a relatable character and I appreciated the inclusion of a character with PTSD and thought it was well represented. The relationships in this book, both past and present, were really well developed and I found myself even loving some of the side characters!

The worst is when mysteries are easy to figure out from the very beginning, but this one kept me guessing right up to the big reveal! There were a few times when I thought I had it figured out, but I was always wrong. In hindsight, clues were dropped for the true villain all along. The author just did a fantastic job of keeping me in the dark and I love that!

Something I found interesting about this book was that, through the inclusions of flashbacks to Garnet's high school years, it definitely felt like an adult book with YA crossover appeal. I read mostly YA books and I found that reading this wasn't as jarring as some adult books can be.

If you're a fan of mysteries that aren't your typical whodunnit, I definitely recommend The First Time I Died! I can't wait to see what happens in the next chapter of Garnet's story!

When not writing books, Joanne Macgregor is a Counselling Psychologist in private practice and deals mainly with victims of crime and trauma. She consults and writes on alternate days, and in completely different head-spaces and physical environments.
She started her professional life as a high school English Teacher, but has also worked as an IT trainer, a theatre dogsbody, and management consultant. Also as a waitress, an in-store frozen vegetable demonstrator and make-up artist.
Although she lives in the frenetic adrenaline-rush that is the city of Joburg, Joanne has always been in love with nature, and escapes into the mountains and the bush whenever she can. She’s a pretty good cook, grows vegetables, and is addicted to chilies and bulletproof coffee.
Joanne is a bird of many feathers and enjoys writing for different ages.


Enter to win ebooks of books one and two in this amazing mystery series!


Must be 18 or have a parent's permission to enter. No giveaway accounts. Ends 9/19/19.
Winner will be contacted via the email within 3 days after the giveaway ends.
If winner does not respond within 3 days, a new winner will be chosen.