Blog Tour: The Vacation by John Marrs

Good Morning! Today I’m bringing you my review of The Vacation by John Marrs, as part of the blog tour organised by Tracy Fenton for Random Things Tours. Thank you to those guys, as well as the author and Pan Macmillan for the review copy.

Photo by Roberto Nickson on

Let’s dive into the premise:

The Book:

The cover for The Vacation

The Vacation is a compulsive holiday-set thriller from John Marrs, the author of The One, now a Netflix Original Series.

How far would you run to escape your past?

Venice Beach, Los Angeles. A paradise on earth.

Tourists flock to the golden coast and the promise of Hollywood.

But for eight strangers at a beach front hostel, there is far more on their mind than an extended vacation.

All of them are running from something. And they all have secrets they’d kill to keep……

Originally published as Welcome to Wherever You Are, this is a re-edited release perfect for fans of T.M. Logan.

The Author:

John Marrs himself

John Marrs is an author and former journalist based in London and Northamptonshire. After spending his career interviewing celebrities from the worlds of television, film and music for numerous national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time author. He is the best selling author of The One, Passengers, The Minders, What Lies Between Us and When You Disappeared.

His links are:





The Review:

I’ve been meaning to pick up a book by this author so took the opportunity to join the blog tour for this re-edited version of a book he’d published under the name “Welcome to Wherever You Are” back in 2015. At the time, it was his second book and was self-published.

John Marrs is very popular in a bookish Facebook group I’m in, THE Book Club (TBC) so he’s been on my radar for a while.

This book is set in a run down hostel in Los Angeles. One of the first things that struck me was that this is a GREAT setting for a book! I stayed in a fairly run down hostel in Hollywood in Los Angeles many moons ago. There were people there from all over the world and from different walks of life. As with the book, the majority of people there were on the younger side, at that interesting time in life between childhood and adulthood, often having a first real taste of freedom and of the larger world. It was a manic, busy place in a less than salubrious part of town, and definitely the kind of place that could be mined for some good stories.

There are eight key characters in the book, all finding themselves at the hostel for very different reasons. The chapters cycle through these characters, in the present day, as well as regularly giving us glimpses into their past, so we can see how they got to where they are now and what has happened to them – some bloody awful stuff for most of them! The first part of the book is mostly us getting to know them all, before we progress and see some action.

There are quite a lot of characters to keep track off but it wasn’t too difficult to keep track and this gets easier as the story progresses. I really liked the almost mystical character of Peyk – he intrigued me and I was itching to know a bit more but I think mystery is part of his charm.

The book is pacey, the chapters are short which keeps you reading, and there is plenty going on with bit by bit reveals to keep things compelling. There a few elements of the plot that stretch the realms of what I was willing to believe, but it was entertaining enough a read for me to buy into it.

I would have liked a liiiiittle more insight into the ultimate fate of some of the characters and I did have a few questions at the end but thought it resolved itself in a predominantly satisfactory way, in some ways heart-breaking but with hope for some of the characters.

I can’t make any comparisons with other books written by the author as this is the first I’ve read, but many reviews I’ve seen suggest that some of his other works improve on this one. Given that this one is such a page-turner, I’ll look forward to picking them up in the future.

This would be a perfect holiday read, though it won’t last you long as its a pretty compelling read so take some more books too!

Check out the rest of the blog tour stops below.

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