Adult book reviews, Book Reviews

The Vacation by John Marrs – ARC Review


My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  29 December 2021

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Pages: 501


How far would you run to escape your past?

Venice Beach, Los Angeles. A paradise on earth.

Tourists flock to the golden coast and the promise of Hollywood.
But for eight strangers at a beachfront hostel, there is far more on their minds than an extended vacation.

All of them are running away from something.
And they all have secrets they’d kill to keep….



Thank you to Macmillan Australia, for providing me with a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review!

In a dingy hostel on Venice Beach, 8 strangers are all staying for different reasons. Some are running away from a previous life, some are trying to find something and some are hiding out until they can move on. All of them have secrets. None of them can trust anyone else. Some of them don’t realize they’ve crossed paths before.

When I first started reading The Vacation I honestly wondered why we were learning the life story of 8 seemingly unconnected people. I couldn’t for the life of me see where it was going, other than just a meander through their lives. But I should have known John Marrs wouldn’t leave me floating aimlessly. As each story slotted together, the fantastically clever plot revealed itself and I was enthralled!  The twists just kept coming and I didn’t want to put the book down. I honestly couldn’t even choose a favourite character in this story, each and every one brought a unique and interesting story to the table. Some of them heart stopping and some of them heartbreaking, which made the eventual connections even more powerful.

Finishing this book felt like the satisfaction you get from putting together a tricky jigsaw puzzle.  I don’t want to give too much away, because the beauty is in the twists discovered along the way, but if you enjoy clever mysteries, pick this one up!

Image from my Instagram account


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