The Vacation by John Marrs is a chaotic thriller

They all have very different backgrounds, though all seem to be running from something or in search of something and each of their stories unravels bit by bit.

I did find the question of why Nicole and Eric were travelling America, having come from overseas, clearly looking for something very intriguing. This is hinted at and yet not revealed very carefully, and I felt the anticipation for finding out their story was well done and certainly kept me guessing and very much wanting answers. I enjoyed that it was almost like a scavenger hunt they were on to figure out the mystery they had been left with, while very well kept a mystery to the reader with information slowly doled out that amped up the intrigue of it.

I felt there were entirely too many different point of view characters which kind of had me losing the actual story in trying to keep track of who was who and the point of swamping characters so frequently. Another thing I struggled with was the constant back and forth within these short chapters between present and past. It was a bit overwhelming having two different timelines for such a brief amount of time from one characters point of view just to shift to a new character in the next chapter and do the same thing. All in all there was a lot happening within short bursts that overshadowed the story itself for me. Having so many different characters featuring in chapters also made it hard for me to care about any of them. There was no real moment of getting to actually know a character and develop a bond with them because of the sheer number of different points of view the chapters went between. It didn’t quite work for me. On top of that, particularly in the flashbacks, the information presented oftentimes seemed so irrelevant to the story that I was left wondering why I should care.

The story did improve for me once the storylines started to come together more and the information seemed less superfluous but it took longer to get to that point than my attention span could really handle and it still felt like there was too much back and forth between past and present for my liking. As more information came to hand about the characters and their situations I did become more interested and did enjoy how their stories started to unfold.

I will say I did really enjoy the ending of The Vacation. How everything wrapped up and came together, how heartwarming and bittersweet some of the endings for the characters were. It did redeem the book a bit in my eyes and helped the initial struggle feel more worthwhile. I also felt it was much easier to connect to some of the characters closer to the end so I didn’t leave this book feeling entirely disconnected like I thought I was going to. All together The Vacation by John Marrs is a mystery about a number of different strangers and their secrets and a short, enjoyable read for fans of this type of story.


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