Dire’s Club by Kimberly Packard – Book Review and Giveaway

Today I’m back with Lone Star Book Blog Tours (yay) with a review of a much anticipated book (and a great giveaway.) I was first introduced to Kimberley Packard through another tour when I was blown away by her novel Vortex. Today, I’m bringing you her newest novel Dire’s Club, so read on to learn more about this captivating book and enter our giveaway!

I was provided a copy of the book for review purposes; all opinions are my own.

Book blog tour banner for Dire's Club by Kimberly Packard

DIRE’S CLUB
by Kimberly Packard

Publisher: Abalos Publishing
Publication Date: March 23, 2021
Pages: 326 Pages
Categories: Action & Adventure / Contemporary / Women’s Fiction

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SYNOPSIS

BOOK COVER IMAGE FOR DIRE'S CLUB BY KIMBERLY PACKARD

 Dying isn’t just hard on the ones left behind, the regret of unfinished lives weighs heavily on the terminally ill. That’s where Dire’s Club steps in, a specialty travel agency that takes a small group of dying people on one final adventure-so they can be free of guilt, be more than a diagnosis, and find a way to confront life … and death. 
Life Coach Charlotte Claybrooke built a successful second career guiding people out of grief, but the impending tenth anniversary of her own heart-wrenching tragedy sets her on a journey to find life among the dying. 


Staring death in the face was Jimmy Dire’s business. He met it with a warm hug, a kind word, and a smile. Dire’s Club gave the terminally ill one final, bucket-list adventure before passing on, but dying was expensive. The bills, like Jimmy’s lies, were piling up. It’s only a matter of time before he’s forced to face a different type of death. 

A rock god, a telenovela star, a grandmother living her life-long dream, and a young tech genius round out this group of strangers facing death together. But when tragedy strikes, their bond is shattered. Lies and fraud surface, forcing the dying to come together to save someone’s life. 

Everybody dies. The lucky ones have fun doing it. 

Purchase: Amazon

REVIEW

This SHOULD be a depressing book. Its main characters are dying, after all: cancer, brain tumor, liver failure, Alzheimer’s. But there is something a little magical about this story of what is really people reclaiming their lives, even for a moment, from the death sentence they’ve been given. I don’t think I’d given much consideration to what Jimmy Dire, who runs the Dire’s Club, refers to as “dier’s guilt”. The worry about those left behind, the things left undone, along with the pressure that the dying are under to console those around them – it has to be overwhelming, along with facing their own mortality. The premise is of his “club” a grand one – a trip to tick something big off of your bucket list while surrounding yourself by people going through the same thing.

Honestly, it’s kind of a wonderful idea.

But this isn’t just a book about death – it’s one about mental health, too. Charlotte is, after all, a self-help guru who works with grief – and she’s a self-proclaimed big fat fraud. Her teachings are meant to have come from her own process of working through a personal tragedy, but the fact of is is that a decade later, she hasn’t let go at all, and a decade’s worth of grief can have devastating effects on your mental health.

Packard took a book about death and mental health and made it both hopeful and gripping, atmospheric and fast-paced, and laced with a few twists and remarkable characters.

What I loved most about the book was the character development. (Without it, I don’t think it would work as well as it did.) The characters are fully developed, layered, lovely and broken. My favorite was the aging rock star who is passing through his last days as he likely did his hey days – teetering on the edge of intoxication. There is something about his character, though, as messy and flawed as he was.

Charlotte is a complicated character: caring, thoughtful, and absolutely wrecked. She’s built a very large house of cards – carefully composed social media, books, public speaking, all on dealing with grief. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to keep it all balanced when you’re not only suffering yourself but feeling the weight of the guilt, and I think that empathy for her character is what kept her from becoming the kind you want to shake. However, her story arc is one of reclaiming her life in a different way, and it is satisfying.

The hardest part about the book was the fact that most of the main characters ARE dying. The moment it hit me that there would be no “what’s next” for most of them was heartbreaking, but Packard delivers and ending that provides hope and a sign that life goes on.

I’m giving a big five stars for this touching, emotional, and ultimately hopeful book.

Trigger warning: suicidal thoughts

DIRE’S CLUB BOOK TRAILER

Dire’s Club trailer from Kimberly Walton on Vimeo.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Biography of Kimberly Packard, author of Dire's Club

Find Kimberly Packard on: 

Amazon | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter Goodreads Bookbub

GIVEAWAY

FIVE WINNERS!
2 Winners: Autographed Paperbacks
3 Winners: eBook copies
(US only. Ends midnight, CDT, 4/16/2021)

IMAGE OF GIVEAWAY FOR DIRE'S CLUB BOOK
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FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY,
or visit the blogs directly:

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4/7/21ReviewMomma on the Rocks
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4/10/21ReviewJennie Reads
4/11/21Author InterviewTexas Book Lover
4/12/21ReviewBibliotica
4/13/21ReviewIt’s Not All Gravy
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4/14/21ReviewReading by Moonlight
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Comments

  1. This is an excellent review of a book that I simply must find time to read now. Uncomfortable and thought provoking and maybe even a little redemptive? Thanks for the post.

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