• Selena | Beauty's Library

Long Bright River Review

Updated: Apr 14

Two sisters travel the same streets, though their lives couldn't be more different. Then, one of them goes missing.


Rating: 3/5

Two sisters travel the same streets, though their lives couldn't be more different. Then, one of them goes missing.


In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don't speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.


Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey's district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit--and her sister--before it's too late.


Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters' childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

This is definitely an uncomfortable read. I can already see this is not a book for everyone. Long Bright River takes such serious topics and showcases them with all their ugliness yet does so in such a captivating and in its own way beautiful manner. Now that being said, I didn’t agree with all the events that occurred within these pages. I could see this book being a great book club pick for a thoughtful discussion.


Long Bright River takes such serious topics and showcases them with all their ugliness yet does so in such a captivating and in its own way beautiful manner.

This book wasn’t what I was expecting but that’s not a bad thing. From the start, I immediately got Ellen Hopkin vibes, particularly her Tricks series. But instead of seeing the point of view of the addict, we get the point of view of the sister of an addict. It was such an interesting take. I truly enjoyed Hopkins books and I enjoyed Long Bright River, just not nearly as much as Hopkins books.


For me it was hard to love any of the characters, I felt empathy for them and their situations but I did not feel connected with them. It felt like the blame was always aimed at someone else and no one took responsibility. I just found it hard to care for any of them.


For me it was hard to love any of the characters, I felt empathy for them and their situations but I did not feel connected with them.

Especially when the ending came, it felt predictable but also not. It came across as a happy ending that just didn’t feel logical in my opinion. Based on everything that had happened, I was expecting a much different type of ending, I expected one or more of the characters to make a selfish choice that hurt another. But as I said, this book would make a great discussion. I could see so many opinions being made, mine included.


As I mentioned, this is definitely not for everyone, the pacing was moderate for this type of book. I wasn’t necessarily enjoying everything in it, but I was completely captivated by it. It’s such a beautifully written story. It showcases all the ugliness in the world when it comes to abuse of power and drugs. There was definitely a lot of moving pieces within this story as well that made it hard to distinguish what was relevant and what wasn’t. There were a few parts that completely turned me around and left me standing there going “wait, what?”


Overall, I enjoyed reading this even though it was not what I expected. If you like reads that focus on serious topics and make you uncomfortable, I think you’ll enjoy this. It’s filled with a lot of emotion and suspense and makes you question who you can trust.