Book Review: Violet

VIOLET | S.J.I. Holliday
11.14.2019 | Orenda Books
Rating: 5/5 stars


Carrie’s best friend was supposed to go with her on an epic round-the-world trip, but ended up injuring her leg in a freak accident, so she has decided to set off alone. Violet has recently split from her boyfriend and is also travelling alone. A chance encounter at a train station finds the two lone travelers as each other’s companions. Violet is desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express and Carrie makes the impulsive decision to offer Violet her extra ticket after hanging out at the bar together.

Their journey starts off in Mongolia and moves into Russia, finding them in strange countries, on weird adventures, and sharing cramped living conditions. Carrie and Violet quickly form a close bond, but as the days go on, things start to unravel. Neither of these women are who they appear to be. Each one has secrets they are willing to go to great lengths to protect.


VIOLET is one of my favorite, binge-worthy psychological thrillers of this year! After the opening chapter I couldn’t put this book down. I was swept up in getting to know Violet and Carrie, going on their adventures, and watching things come crashing down. What’s a good thriller without some secrets and a dash of murder? VIOLET has it all and so much more!

Last year I read Holliday’s book, THE LINGERING, and was blown away by her writing style. I’m a massive advocate for short chapters in books, especially when it comes to crime fiction. Holliday has this magical ability to jam-pack short chapters with drama, insane behavior, cliff hangers, and every essential plot device needed to keep a reader’s eyes glued to the pages! The best part is, even though the chapters are short, they feel rich and deeply thought out. I never once was left feeling unsatisfied or as though I had any details left out while making my way through this story. In fact, the ending makes sure the reader has all of the loose ends tied up in a neat, jaw-dropping package!


The characters of Violet and Carrie are truly what make this book sing. From the opening onward you know that both of these ladies have some secrets in their past. It’s obvious that there are things they would like to leave behind. Despite knowing this fact, the reader doesn’t have the truth in their hands. It’s something you have to work for as you get to know Violet and Carrie. This duo do quite a few things that make me question their judgement, starting with the obvious example of Carrie giving this random woman her ticket. Never in a million years would you catch me doing this! That very fact made me want to keep reading, just to see what other bad decisions would be made. Rest assured…there are a lot!

I love when authors structure their books in a condensed timeline. VIOLET takes place over the matter of a few days spent in various locations. This shorter timeline truly helps the reader to feel how quickly the relationship between Violet and Carrie develops. Everything is moving at such a quick pace that I felt myself reading quicker, eager to know more and find out what would happen next.

Basically what I’m telling you is…buy this book! Not later, now! Be impulsive like Carrie and Violet and put this one in your shopping cart without any second guessing!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: A huge thank you to Orenda Books for sending me a free copy of this book!

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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