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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Castles in the Sand
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on December 10, 2016
Really enjoyed reading this book. Very engaging and hard to put down, very emotional, as well. Because of last recession that began some 8 years or so ago, the main character's behavior will most likely remind you of yourself or someone you know. As the title of this review states "very thought provoking ". Only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was because I saw some of it coming mid-stream, but the ending still harbored a surprise.
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on April 22, 2013
From the first sentence, the first paragraph, the first page. . . I was hooked, and Castles in the Sand held my interest to the last page, the last word. Annie Daylon has, in my opinion, a writing style that is clear and convincing, and the scenes and events are written with a wonderful "picture" style which puts the reader right in the action. I "felt" the main character's struggle. The author delivered on all accounts. . . characters are credible; there's elements of mystery, suspense and tragedy, and I found myself rooting for Justin. One of the best fiction books I have read this year. Definitely a five-star review from this reader!
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on September 19, 2016
I received this book for free for an honest review. Castles in the Sand is one of the best written books I have read in a long time. It captures your interest with the first paragraph and continues until the last. I couldn't put the book down. This was my first book written by Annie Daylong but it won't be my last. Can't what to read her next book.
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on July 26, 2016
“I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.” Right from the start of this book, it really takes you to the journey of this young man and how he lost his parents. How he me his true love Sarah and then loses her and their son. It was a very intense and gripping story. I loved it.I would recommend people to read this book.Great story teller.
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on August 17, 2013
SATISFYING and enjoyable. I read far into the night. Had to learn Justin's fate and find out who Steve really was.
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on June 3, 2013
This book kept the reader wanting to continue. It had a meaning and a story that people could relate to.
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on August 6, 2016
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is definitely out of my realm of normal reading material. I'm not sure what drew me to this book, perhaps some personal experience with certain aspects this book touches on, for more understanding, but whatever the reason, I'm so glad I read it. I even finished it in record time for me. Once I started reading, I just couldn't put it down. It was like coming upon a wreck on the highway, blood, guts, and limbs all over the place and yet you can't look away... I could not stop reading.

The story of Justin's life and all of his hardships is written in such gut ripping detail. You live and feel every bit of this story. It's so real. It's so scary. It could easily be about you, a friend, a family member, anyone. I loved how this story was told. I think having him have to re-live all of the mistakes and pain, helped Justin in the end. Helped him learn, and hopefully help him not repeat those mistakes in the future. The plot twist was something I didn't even suspect. In fact, my mind had gone in a totally different direction. But I really liked how it played out. And that one word at the end. Wow... so powerful. In that moment... If it weren't for my son sitting across from me, I would have lost it. Right then and there. Total tear jerker.

Such a gut-wrenching and heart-rending story. A wonderful job by author Annie Daylon! Everyone should read this! If for nothing else, understanding. Understanding that at any moment, this could be you. One minute you are on top of the world and the next, you've hit rock bottom. But there is always hope... always... hope... Always something or someone to live for...
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on August 14, 2016
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is not the "type" of book I typically read; however I am so glad I read this one. It's taken me a couple of days to gather my thoughts into how I might review this book. It's one of those books that makes you think, and keep on thinking for several days after you've finished the book. I'm not certain how Annie Daylon had the insight to write this book, but it was fantastic. If you're looking for lighthearted reading next to the pool, don't read this book. If you want to read a really good book, choose this one. You won't be disappointed.
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on September 14, 2013
This is the first book I've ever read from Annie Daylon. I won this book in a contest, but that won't sway my review whatsoever.

The Review:

This book switches a lot between the past and the present. So it keeps you on your toes, but the flow is perfect, so you don't get confused. It's quite obvious what age/stage in life he is in during those moments.

Annie Daylon did an exceptional job of helping us understand the way Justin was, the way he could've been and they way things really are. The writing was fast paced, precise and just...chipper to an extent, even though the content wasn't always that way. There was no lull in her writing, no blah moments. She just told his story. No embellishments or too much explanation...just...perfect. You were there with Justin in every single moment and I mean RIGHT there. Heart, soul, emotions, everything. She made his life, your life. By doing so, you learn things about yourself you never considered.

The book starts off with Justin, homeless and cold, trying to sleep, imagining he's with his wife Sarah and son Bobby. His thoughts are interrupted.

[Book Quote]"Hey, you! What do you think you're doing?"

My body jumps and my eyes pop open. Some guy in a puffy, white jacket hovers over me. A marshmallow. A goddam talking marshmallow. My heart pounds. The watch. Do I still have it? I grab for my wrist. Yes. Still there. Relief gushes, and I yank at my sleeve until the watch is hidden. It's safe, my gift from Sarah, safe. My heart rate slows, but not much; the marshmallow lingers.[Book Quote]

BAHAHAHA!! Talking marshmallow!!

As the book goes on, we find the true significance of that watch and another item he holds dear. A castle figurine. Not long after his encounter with the marshmallow, aka Steve, Justin is attacked and Steve comes to his rescue. He offers to take Justin to his home, in return for his life story and how he came to be homeless.

Justin tells Steve, "I guess it all goes back to the funeral."

From that point on, we go through Justin's life. When he was getting ready for college, his parents, meeting Sarah, marrying Sarah, having a son, making his fortune and losing everything. You go through his struggles, his underlying issue that put everything into motion and his fight to get his life back.

You also find out what Steve's ulterior motive is. When Justin begins having flashbacks of his attack, he starts to suspect Steve isn't all he's pretending to be. Is he really trying to help Justin? Or is he trying to make sure Justin never finds his way out of the gutter?

[Book Quote]Suddenly, laughter rumbles and my focus shifts. Time to listen. Just listen. I hear voices, two voices. I know those voices. The thugs who beat me and tossed me. Wait a minute. There are three voices now. Who's the third? The one saying, "Thanks guys. Where is he? In the dumpster? You got to be kidding me! You were only supposed to scare him, not kill him!"

I jump up, wide awake. Steve's voice. That was Steve's voice. Jesus Christ! That was Steve's voice. I'm shaking now, grand mal tremors and my whole body is raining sweat.


"Only a dream, only a dream," I mutter. Must be imagining things, Wentworth. Why would Steve want thugs to scare me?[Book Quote]

I have to be completely honest and admit, I didn't think I'd really like this book. I am a hardcore romance book fan. I tend to avoid books like this. Maybe because I find fantasy easier to read about. Most romance books you are pretty much(not always, but usually) guaranteed a Happily Ever After. But this one, you don't know for sure how it will end until it does. But I wouldn't trade this book or experience for the world. It had some funny moments, some sad moments and some happy moments, but most of all, it had reality. It made me look at myself and the way I view things. It made me appreciate what I have and acknowledge what I've lost.

This book was exceptional the whole way through. I literally could not and DID NOT put it down from start to finish...and the very last word in the story...oh my goodness....the power that one single word held. I tear up just thinking about it. Probably because that is the word that I would want to hear the most if I had to go through what Justin does. A simple word with the power to take my heart, squeeze it, pull all my emotions out with it, then put it back filled with love and hope that even at a person's lowest, there is always that light if you look for it.

I wish I could explain to you how wonderful this book is. All I can say is, take a chance on this book. Even if you don't think you'll like it, take that chance. Take that chance for yourself. ♥

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on September 27, 2016
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is one of this.book that makes you think about life and how precious it is. How in a split second you could lose everything. This happened to Justin a few times...when his parents are killed; when he has to sell his parents house and when his wife and son leave him. He buries his life by drinking living on the streets and holding onto his sons castle reliving all the bad hoping one day he will wake up and figure out how he can get his family back
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