Reviews

The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater by Jaime Jo Wright

melaniepickeringwrites's review

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adventurous mysterious sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

caterina_1212's review

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Something smelled off from the beginning, and I tried to give it a chance after encountering the horrid phrase "Christian female purpose" (pg 35), skipping ahead to see if the devil did it. Read maybe 100 pages total, it's a mess and when people start praying against witchcraft (like a medium) I need to gtfo. Give me bdsm romance any day this sucks.

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farmfreshlisa's review

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4.0

Seriously. If you know you have a thing for ghost-like stories, but want to avoid them but still experience the thrill--you need to go for Jaime Jo Wright. She somehow manages to give you the spooky vibes, yet weaves excellent faith lines throughout her book.

This is a dual time story that progresses sequentially--so as things are mentioned in the modern day--you see it play out in the timeslip. PLUS you get answers to the questions and "unsolved mysteries" from the modern day. So like you have a behind the scenes look.

speaking of behind the scenes...that's what this book is in a sense. Which is fun since it takes place surrounding the Barlowe Theater. Our main characters are Kit Boyd and Greta Mercy. Kit is modern day and Greta Mercy is in the past. Both women are experiencing a connection with the Barlowe Theater--Kit because her best friend Madison just went missing in it. Greta because she saw a woman drop a baby over the balcony during a performance and no one believes her--and her brother died in construction--and now her OTHER brother has disappeared inside the theater!

Kit struggles with deep deep deep seated fear of abandonment and that loyalty and love have a time limit due to her abandonment as a baby. Even though she has a beautiful family that adopted her shortly after--she has lived her whole life trying not to upset the apple cart for fear that it will then cease the love. And now with her friend disappeared--she has panic attacks because it is bringing those feelings of abandonment to life. she even projects this into her relationship with God--convinved that at some point God will be done with her.

This is woven throughout the book in her interactions with others and part of her inner dialogue. I think it's something that I'm sure others who have dealt in adoption, foster care, or abandonment would relate to. I appreciate it because I kept finding myself going--HOW can you think those things? And just having to accept that I cannot project my own background and emotional strength onto someone else. I have to accept that they have a perspective different than my own.

and that my that my friends is why reading is soooo important.

Okay--now back to the plot. I always find it interesting how Jaime ties in the modern line characters to the historical characters. Even if you see the name connections--it's never QUITE what you think.

I also liked how the Grove House goes from being a place where to put people no one wants--to being a restoration and helping place as a food pantry.

I give this one a full 4 stars. :)

**I was given an ARC copy from the publishers and NetGalley. All opinions are 100% my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

rusticreadingal's review

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5.0

Jaime Jo Wright did it again! The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater is another gothic masterpiece! I've read all of Wright's books, and this is one of my favorites. I'm always in awe of the way she is able to write spooky and atmospheric tales that have such a strong and unwavering Christian message.

This story immediately drew me in and had me gripped to the pages. A cursed theater, missing people, mysterious deaths, and a ghost-hunting TV show? How could I resist?

I enjoyed both timelines and couldn't pick a favorite if I had to. They both featured great characters and compelling mysteries. Even though they take place over a hundred years apart, it was so interesting to see the parallels and connections between the two.

I highly recommend this book, and I can't say enough good things about it. I loved it so much!

I received an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

melissasbookshelf's review

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5.0

Have you ever watched a ghost hunting show? In this latest thrilling, gothic, romantic suspense from Jaime Jo Wright, a creepy theater is the site of unexplained disappearances and ghosts. It’s a riveting dual time period mystery that kept me guessing to the end. Be prepared to read this with the lights on!

1915 - Greta Mercy is just trying to care for her brothers and keep a roof over their heads after the tragic deaths of her parents and older brother. She’s befriended by a wealthy brother and sister who offer her the chance to escape her problems and go to the theater. When Greta witnesses a terrible accident, her sanity is called into question when no one can confirm what she saw. Her younger brother and his friends break in to the theater to investigate, but never come out. Where did they disappear to? Are there ghosts haunting the theater, or is there something more sinister at play?

Modern day - Kit Boyd reluctantly agrees to participate in her friend’s latest scheme to save the Barlowe Theater. She’s invited a popular ghost hunting show to check out claims that the theater is haunted. As they explore the creepy underbelly of the theater, Kit’s friend Madison suddenly disappears and is no where to be found. Desperately trying to find her, Kit and the show’s hired skeptic Evan Fisher explore the theater’s past and venture back into the tunnels. But, will they make it out alive?

I loved this book! Jaime Jo Wright pulls out all the stops. The intricate plot, sympathetic characters, and nail biting suspense had me on pins and needles the whole time. It was impossible to put down. Yet, while there are definitely creepy, spooky moments, she always manages to keep things in the cozy horror realm. There’s also a refreshing dose of faith & sweet romance.

I loved both Greta & Kit and found both time period stories compelling. I loved the message of knowing in Whom to put your trust. The theater was its own character and I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of the tunnels and secret passageways.

I listened to the audiobook version and thoroughly enjoyed the narrator for Greta’s story. Kit’s story was just okay for me. I wasn’t a fan of the way she voiced the male characters. But, all in all a great listen if you enjoy audiobooks.

This is definitely a must read for romantic suspense fans & the perfect book to usher in the spooky season. I received an advanced complimentary copy from Partners in Crime Tours and also purchased the audiobook version from Audible. All opinions are my own and voluntarily provided.

thebookscript's review

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4.0

Wright is at it again, creating a book full of suspense, ghostly appearances, historical accuracies and a dash of romance!

If you enjoy Christian fiction but want something a little different, The Lost Boys of Barlowe Theater has you covered. When a theater has a history of missing boys, tragic accidents, and ghosts...a team of modern day ghost hunters will insert themselves to find some answers.

This is a dual POV story that goes back and forth to solve a mystery a century apart. It deals with harder topics that each main character is going through such as poverty and adoption but also has a light hope and faith vein to round it all out. And romance fans, no fears here because theres a little something in here for you too.

Both characters have a lot to lose and don't know who to trust. Will the mystery be solved before time runs out? You'll just have to read it to find out.

I also loved that this story is based on historical foundations. A great read thats spooky for October, but wont keep you up at night.

lkoehl's review

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

swozniak13's review against another edition

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The alternating POVs and time periods were complicated. The story was too slow paced and did not hold my attention.

busymomsreadtoo's review

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3.0

3.5 stars

imkevbo's review

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challenging dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. The writing was great, the story intriguing, but a times, it got a bit preach for me. 

Oh well, give it a shot as you may enjoy it!