We Were Kings by Court Stevens We Were Kings by Court Stevens
Narrator: McKenzie Fetters
Published by Thomas Nelson on February 1, 2022
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Length: 8 hrs 6 mins
Pages: 400
Format: Audiobook
Purchase at Bookshop.org or Audible
Add on Goodreads
four-stars

Twenty years ago, eighteen-year-old Francis Quick was convicted of murdering her best friend Cora King and sentenced to death. Now the highly debated Accelerated Death Penalty Act passes and gives Frankie thirty final days to live. From the Kings’ own family rises up the one who will challenge the woefully inadequate evidence and potential innocence of Francis Quick.

The at-first reluctant and soon-fiery Nyla and her sidekick (and handsome country island boy), Sam Stack, bring Frankie’s case to the international stage through her YouTube channel Death Daze. They step into fame and a hometown battle that someone’s still willing to kill over. The senator? The philanthropist? The pawn shop owner? Nyla’s own mother?

Best advice: Don’t go to family dinner with the Kings. More people will leave the dining room in body bags than on their own two feet. And as for Francis Quick, she’s a gem . . . even if she’s guilty.

We Were Kings is one of those stories that you just want to keep listening to, even if you should be doing something else. With the passage of the accelerated death penalty, time is running out for Frankie, convicted of murdering her best friend Cora King 20 years ago. There was little evidence then and no new clues have surfaced since. Frankie’s other best friend Beth insists she’s innocent. Beth’s daughter Nyla wants to know the truth, so heads back to the island where it all happened, where her mom grew up.

Nyla is a good character, determined and caring. I liked her friendship with Sam and her relationship with her mom. Some of the other characters were one-dimensional, but quite honestly that worked for the story. We don’t need everyone to be fully fleshed out. From Nyla’s point of view, all of them are suspicious and capable of murder and/or attempting to intimidate her — that’s the important part.

This was just super fun. It’s fast-paced and a bit over the top, but it definitely grabbed my attention. There’s a lot going on. We’ve got family secrets and more family secrets, murder, violence, friendship, youtube, and protestors. There are twists and turns, some of which were surprising, some I could see coming.

About Court Stevens

Courtney “Court” Stevens grew up in the knockabout town of Bandana, Kentucky. She is a former adjunct professor, youth minister, Olympic torchbearer, and bookseller at Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN. These days she writes coming-of-truth fiction and is the community outreach manager for Warren County Public Library in Bowling Green, KY. She has a pet whale named Herman, a bandsaw named Rex, and a tiny fleet of novels with her name on the spine. More importantly, she is in search of the perfect biscuit recipe and a kind way to get the children who live in her house to pick up after themselves.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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