#14 Every Last Lie

Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica

32735394The description from Goodreads:
New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL, Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow’s pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche.
“The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us.” 

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. 
Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit. 
Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

I was excited to see this book at Chapters after reading some really good reviews on it.

The characters in this book are relatable and well written, Mary Kubica does a really good job at setting a scene and describing emotions. That tied with a well done dual perspective made it a quick and easy read.

There’s a ton of suspense, maybe even too much, towards the end of the book I was starting to get a little weary with the whodunits.

I didn’t enjoy the ending, I felt there was way too many elements unresolved.

I liked it but didn’t love it, I give it 3.5 stars.

 

#13 The Circle

The Circle by Dave Eggers

18302455The description from Goodreads:
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. 

As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. 

Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America – even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

I really wanted to like this book but I’m just not sure what I think of it. I liked certain parts of it, but as a whole I wasn’t that impressed. I finished it thinking, was this book just okay or did it go completely over my head?

I really liked certain aspects, like how detailed Eggers describes the campus. However, I found that in-depth detail to be tedious when describing other things, like the different projects the main character Mae is working on. The premise of the book is great, but I think it got bogged down in a lot of supporting story for example, the water/sea symbolisms. While I understood why they were used,  I don’t think they added more to be the story.

There are some very eerie parts of the book but they fall flat on the 2 dimensional characters. I think that’s what made this book so hard for me to really get into because I kept doubting myself. Are the characters supposed to be distant seeming and submissive or is this book just lacking character development and interaction?

There were a lot of WTF elements for me, Kalden’s appeal to Mae, Francis, where did the parents go? That list got longer and longer the more I read.

The end was what I thought and didn’t disappoint or excite me.

Overall, the dislikes outweighed the likes. I’m excited to watch the movie, which also has very mixed reviews just like the book.

I give this book 3 stars.

 

 

 

#12 Fierce Kingdom

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

33155777The description from Goodreads:
An electrifying novel about the primal and unyielding bond between a mother and her son, and the lengths she’ll go to protect him.
The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours—the entire scope of the novel—she keeps on running.
Joan’s intimate knowledge of her son and of the zoo itself—the hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits, the best spots on the carousel and overstocked snack machines—is all that keeps them a step ahead of danger.
A masterful thrill ride and an exploration of motherhood itself—from its tender moments of grace to its savage power—Fierce Kingdom asks where the boundary is between our animal instinct to survive and our human duty to protect one another. For whom should a mother risk her life?

My worst nightmares are kidnappings and mass shootings so of course I fed into my own neurosis and bought this book.

Fierce Kingdom is very well written, you can picture yourself right there, the atmosphere is described so well. I really enjoyed that the book only took place over the course of a couple hours.

I found the pace was odd at times, there were parts that seemed to drag on then other parts that I felt more could have been added. It was also a little wordy in spots, but usually that was attributed to the little bit of character development there was.

I spent the whole book agreeing and disagreeing with Joan’s choices, when to run, when to hide, and I couldn’t stop thinking if that were me, what would I do? Where would I go? Clearly I was really into it because after reading for a couple hours two nights ago, I dreamt of swimming with polar beers and being really scared but really excited.

Fiona Barton is quoted on the book jacket as saying “It tore at every maternal fiber in my body. I couldn’t put it down.” and it’s true, this book fills you up with maternal feelings of survival, you can relate to the main character Joan, who does all she can to keep her son safe.

KINDA SORTA SPOILER ALERT BELOW…

I felt there was a lot of ends that weren’t tied up. I would have liked the ending to include the husband (but maybe that would have been to cliche). Also, what happened to Robby? The baby? Mrs.Powell?

OK, SPOILERS ARE DONE

I think a book like this could have had more of a grand, heroic end and it just kind of ended all the sudden, which disappointed me a bit.

I give this book 4 stars.

#11 Our Little Secret

Our Little Secret by Roz Nay

33305530The description from Goodreads:
For fans of In a Dark, Dark Wood and All the Missing Girls comes Our Little Secret, a compulsive and thrilling debut about a missing woman, a tangled love triangle, the secrets we keep and the secrets we share.
The detective wants to know what happened to Saskia, as if I could just skip to the ending and all would be well. But stories begin at the beginning and some secrets have to be earned.
Angela is being held in a police interrogation room. Her ex’s wife has gone missing and Detective Novak is sure Angela knows something, despite her claim that she’s not involved.
At Novak’s prodding, Angela tells a story going back ten years, explaining how she met and fell in love with her high school friend HP. But as her past unfolds, she reveals a disconcerting love triangle and a dark, tangled web of betrayals. Is Angela a scorned ex-lover with criminal intent? Or a pawn in someone else’s revenge scheme? Who is she protecting? And why?
Twisty and suspenseful, Our Little Secret is an intense cat-and-mouse game and a riveting thriller about the lies we tell others—and ourselves.

HOLY SHIT! I brought Our Little Secret to work with me today so I could read on lunch and much to my delight it was extremely slow. Here we are, 4 hours later, I’m done the book and in literary love!

The story between Angela and HP was so delicious and exciting, reading about their budding teenage love wrapped me up in sweet nostalgia blanket and I was hooked from the beginning. The characters are so well written (I know I say this a lot, but seriously). I loved how ruthless, unlikable and obsessive Angela is. She’s such a manipulative narrator, I felt how she felt and I hated who she hated even though I knew it wasn’t right. Saskia is so sweet and oblivious but I hated her because Angela did, all up until the end.  HP is the epitome of teenage cool and I was yearning for an HP perspective chapter so I could get more insight into him. There’s one scene in the interrogation room between HP and Angela that was written so well I felt like it was happening to me.

The current and past perspectives was done so well, during each chapter I was quickly reading to get to the next perspective and so on. The interrogation room was a perfect setting, you could feel the confines of that sterile room and it made me so nervous. Our Little Secret read like a movie in the best way possible.

Sorry for the manic sounding review, but I literally just finished it and I LOVED IT! I can’t believe this is a debut novel.

I give this book 5 stars!

#10 Find Her

Find Her by Lisa Gardner

The description from Goodreads:
25644437Flora Dane is a victim.
Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.
Flora Dane is a survivor.
Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.
Flora Dane is reckless.
. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.

This is the first book I’ve read of Lisa Gardner so I’m not familiar with the Detective D.D Warren series but you don’t need to have read the previous books.  This is the type of thriller I love; good pace with a build up at the end , enough moving pieces to be complex without being too much and an eerie, creepy feel. I was really pleased with this one.

The story was so easy to read, a bit predictable in spots but that didn’t bother me. The characters were unique and compelling and the dual character perspective was easy to follow. The author did an excellent job writing about kidnapping, captivity and survival, I just kept thinking ‘I could not imagine…’ while reading Flora’s chapters. There were also points in this book where I felt so creeped out, and that’s hard to do for a true crime and horror lover like myself.

I really, really enjoyed this book and I plan on reading more from the Detective D.D Warren series.

I give this book 4.5 stars!

#9 – The People at Number 9 DID NOT FINISH

The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

32600066The description from Goodreads:
Have you met them yet, the new couple?
When Gav and Lou move into the house next door, Sara spends days plucking up courage to say hello. The neighbours are glamorous, chaotic and just a little eccentric. They make the rest of Sara’s street seem dull by comparison.
When the hand of friendship is extended, Sara is delighted and flattered. Incredibly, Gav and Lou seem to see something in Sara and Neil that they admire too. In no time at all, the two couples are soulmates, sharing suppers, bottles of red wine and childcare, laughing and trading stories and secrets late into the night in one another’s houses.
And the more time Sara spends with Gav and Lou, the more she longs to make changes in her own life. But those changes will come at a price. Soon Gav and Lou will be asking things they’ve no right to ask of their neighbours, with shattering consequences for all of them…
Have you met The People at Number 9? A dark and delicious novel about envy, longing and betrayal in the suburbs…

I picked The People at Number 9 up in the mystery/thriller/suspense section with high hopes. This book was not a mystery or a thriller or suspenseful in anyway.

It was interesting in premise but fell flat with overly done writing that went absolutely no where. Determination got me through more than half, but enough was enough and I asked my mom (who read it right before me) if it was worth finishing and she said it wasn’t.

The book went on and on and on and I NEVER don’t finish a book, but I just couldn’t keep reading this one.

I give The People at Number 9 1 star.

#8 The Change Room

The Change Room by Karen Connelly

The description from Goodreads:
31226315Happily married, great career, mother of two. What more could a woman possibly want? Enter The Change Room, by award-winning writer Karen Connelly, and find out.
Eliza Keenan is the mother of two young sons, the owner of a flower studio that caters to the city’s elite, and the loving wife of a deliciously rumpled math professor named Andrew. She’s on the move from dawn until her boys are in bed, and after they’re asleep she cleans her house. Her one complaint about her life is that the only time she has for herself is her twice-weekly swim in the local community centre pool, where sunlight shines in through a tall window and lights up the water in a way that reminds her of the year she spent as a footloose youth on an island in Greece. Then one morning into this life that is full of satisfactions of all kinds except sexual (because who has the time or the energy once the kids are asleep?) comes a tall, dark and lovely stranger, a young woman Eliza encounters at the pool and nicknames ‘the Amazon.’ The sight of this woman, naked in the change room, completely undoes Eliza, and soon the two of them are entangled in an affair that breaks all the rules, and threatens to capsize not only Eliza and her happy family, but her lover’s world, too. And yet the sex is so all-encompassing, so intimate, so true…how can it be bad? Be ready to be shaken up, woken up, scandalized and deeply stirred.

**I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

The Change Room isn’t the type of book I usually reach for but the description piqued by interest and I’m glad I read it, I enjoyed it SO much.

Eliza is a wife, mother and business owner who is overwhelmed with all the duties that come along with those roles. She meets a women in a pool change room and embarks on an affair. Let me just say, I related to this book so well despite having nothing to relate to at all.

The book is beautifully written and being from Toronto, I enjoyed all the Toronto tidbits. The author does a great job and creating really well developed characters and settings. I appreciated how unfiltered the sex scenes were written, they were so sexy and raw. Give me that over flaming loins and heavy bosoms, any day. I liked how positively sex work and bisexuality were portrayed.

The end was such a let down, I kept thinking ‘am I missing something or is this really the end?’

Because the book dragged a bit in places and because of the ending, I give this book 3.5 stars.