Carpe Diem , Illinois by Kristin Oakley


Kristin Oakley is next up for our Madtown Author Daze reviews! I just finished Carpe Diem, Illinois and it blew me away! Can’t wait to get my hand on her second book, God on Mayhem Street!

You can meet Kristin at Madtown Author Daze in Madison WI at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art from 11am to 4 pm! It’s a FREE event!

Also, funny story, the first time I saw the cover for this one I was on my phone. The image was small, and I seriously thought it was a Dementor or phantom on the cover lol Yeah…… It’s Leo’s leather jacket 😉 (Yup….. I’m not addicted to Harry Potter or anything)

Add it on your Goodreads   Get it on Amazon


Book Description

For decades, the small town of Carpe Diem, Illinois has quietly unschooled its children, eschewing tests and classrooms for real-life experiences. Now, long-smoldering political feuds and deep personal secrets threaten to explode. When her mother is hospitalized in Carpe Diem after an auto accident, teenager Tali Shaw, the daughter of a powerful state senator, finds herself at the heart of a vicious conspiracy to bring Carpe Diem down. Can prize-winning Chicago Examiner reporter Leo Townsend overcome his own demons and expose those behind the scheme before it’s too late? And when the truth is finally revealed, can Carpe Diem ever be the same?

My Review

This book was amazing! Kristin Oakley created such a great story filed with suspense and mystery, it was addicting and I got through it really quickly because I couldn’t put it down.

The entire concept of the story surrounds Carpe Diem, a town whose children are “unschooled”. Now I’ve heard of homeschooling, but before this book I’d never heard of the term unschooling. I totally learned something new reading this book, and I loved it! The plot was fast paced and interesting, the characters were amazing and very detailed, and the whole explanation of unschooling throughout the book really sold me on the concept and I’d love to read up more on it. There were some great twists and turns throughout that I didn’t see coming, and a few I did. It kept me on my toes and in some parts made me anxious to see what would happen on the next page. It was just an all around great read.

I loved the characters in this book. I think my favorite character was Quinn. She was quirky, and interesting, and I loved the relationship she built with Tali and Leo. Leo was a great character. He’s a journalist after a story, but he realizes that he loves the town and people of Carpe Diem and will do whatever it takes to help them out. Tali was great too. All around there were just some amazing main and secondary characters in this story, and that is one of the biggest things I look at in books, my connection to the characters, and this book definitely delivered!

Check out this book, I highly recommend it!

About the Author


Kristin A. Oakley’s debut novel, “Carpe Diem, Illinois”, is the winner of The Chicago Writers Association 2014 Book of the Year Award for non-traditionally published fiction. Kristin is a founding member and past president of In Print, a professional writers organization in the Rockford, Illinois area and a board member of the Chicago Writers Association. As a writing instructor at the UW-Madison Division of Continuing Studies, Kristin critiques manuscripts and offers an online course on cliffhangers. She has a B.A. in psychology and a J.D., both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kristin is currently writing the sequel to “Carpe Diem, Illinois” titled “God on Mayhem Street” and is playing around with the idea for a science fiction novel.

Goodreads Author Page   Amazon Author Page   Website

Facebook Author Page   Twitter @KristinOakley

Check out the Second Book in her Series!


Add it to your Goodreads   Get it on Amazon

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