#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!

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#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.

#8 I See You

Quick update:

I feel out of the reading loop. I spent April and May in vacation planning panic mode.
I went to Paris and Rome for 2 weeks with two girlfriends and while it was amazing and everything I could have hoped for, the book I brought was totally ignored.
When I got home I spent two weeks feeling really blah and endlessly scrolling through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I finally said enough was enough and fell back into reading and buying too many books.

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I See You by Clare Mackintosh

31160324

The description from Goodreads:
You do the same thing every day.
You know exactly where you’re going.
You’re not alone.
When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it’s there. There’s no explanation: just a website, a grainy image and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it’s just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.
Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .

I read I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh last year and really enjoyed it so I was looking forward to I See You and it did not disappoint.

The pace of this book I found similar to I Let You Go, it’s definitely a slow burn. It starts off pleasant and easy then somewhere in the middle it picks up speed and you’re tuning the world out, frantically turning pages trying to figure it all out.

Clare Mackintosh does settings and characters well, the places felt quaint and familiar and the characters were well developed and likable (and equally unlikable). Dual POVs are sometimes tricky to navigate but they were seamless in this book.

There was a lot of moving pieces in I See You but in the end everything fit like a puzzle and made sense. I love a good whodunnit and didn’t anticipate the two major twists in the end, even when I was sure I figured it out.

I give this book 4.5 stars.

 

 

#7 The Marriage Lie

The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

asdfasdfasdfadsfasdThe description from Goodreads:
Even the perfect marriage has its dark side… 

Iris and Will’s marriage is as close to perfect as it can be: a large house in a nice Atlanta neighborhood, rewarding careers and the excitement of trying for their first baby. But on the morning Will leaves for a business trip to Orlando, Iris’s happy world comes to an abrupt halt. Another plane headed for Seattle has crashed into a field, killing everyone on board, and according to the airline, Will was one of the passengers on this plane. 

Grief-stricken and confused, Iris is convinced it all must be a huge misunderstanding. But as time passes and there is still no sign of Will, she reluctantly accepts that he is gone. Still, Iris needs answers. Why did Will lie about where he was going? What is in Seattle? And what else has he lied about? As Iris sets off on a desperate quest to find out what her husband was keeping from her, the answers she receives will shock her to her very core.

I saw this book mentioned in a magazine so when a friend asked for a recommendation, I mentioned this book. After her and our other friend both finished it in 2 days, I knew I needed to read it right away.

The Marriage Lie is a very easy, quick read. The story line is interesting, full of twists and turns and SO engrossing. The book has a really good pace and the author does a very good job at building suspense with her writing. 

The characters were really well developed (I feel like I write this a lot) and likable. I liked Iris the most and her need to know everything was definitely relatable to me. I spent a lot of time thinking which celebrities would play each character in a movie and that only happens when the characters are lifelike with well composed personalities and thoughts etc. 

I finished this book quickly, it kept me hooked until I finished it and I liked the end. 

I give The Marriage Lie 4 stars. 

 

 

 

#6 The Girl Before

The Girl Before by J.P Delaney

28016509The description from Goodreads:
Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.
The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
Emma
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.
Jane
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.
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I’m surprised because despite the good reviews on Goodreads, I really didn’t enjoy this book.

I couldn’t relate to The Girl Before at all, which may have something to do with how much I disliked it. I couldn’t get a good read on the characters or the setting itself. There was also some plot lines (the Japanese restaurant?!) that I felt lacked sincerity. It was as if they were added just for shock value which came across crass to me.

I felt the story had good premise but the book lacked suspense and that thrilling element that made it feel like a thriller. I remember reading and thinking ‘I should feel scared or at least eerie right now’ but it kind of just fell flat.

I couldn’t get past the 50 Shades of Grey vibes this book was serving. The ‘rules’ for the house and relationships were offputting and because of that, it had an overall ughhh factor for me.

I found it hard to keep track of who was who in the dual perspective narrative (which I usually love). Perhaps because I couldn’t connect with the characters, it took me a while to figure out who was who.

All in all, I think this book was both overdone and underdeveloped at the same time.

Ron Howard has signed on to direct the movie so I’ll definitely be watching it so see how it translate on screen.

I give it 2 stars on premise alone.