#10

Behind Closed Doors by B.A Paris

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The description from Goodreads:
The 2016 debut bloggers can’t stop raving about. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and The Ice Twins
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace.
He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. Though, you’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

 

A good friend of mine saw this book on Goodreads a couple months ago and told me I needed to get the sample. After reading the 5 chapter preview I was immediately pulled in, I love a good, toxic marriage story.

I bought Behind Closed Doors yesterday (the first day it was available to buy) around noon and finished it last night. I couldn’t put this book down.

I loved the setting of this book and the characters were really well developed.I can’t remember ever hating a character more than I hated Jack. My friend and I were reading it at the same time and I we were going back and forth in our Whatsapp group with messages like “this f**king guy!!!” and “Ughhhhh I hate him”.

Behind Closed Doors is a thriller, through and through. While it did lack a little depth, I took this book for what it was, a really good, really disturbing thriller. The dynamics of this book is where B.A Paris excelled. The relationship between Grace, her sister Millie, and Jack is so intertwined it kept me on edge until the very end.

I give Behind Closed Doors 5 stars for a couple reasons:
-I read it at such a feverish pace, in one sitting
-I haven’t read a book with such a disturbing (in a good way) story that didn’t feel recycled in a while
-The story itself, while again lacking some depth, is extremely intricate in a very easy to read way
-I cannot stop talking about it

I look forward to reading what this author puts out next!

 

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#9

The Sister by Louise Jensen
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*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for an honest review. Thanks to Bookouture and the author for the opportunity.*

The description from Goodreads:
Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s words, the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.
When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.
But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?
There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there?

This is one of those books that kept coming up on Goodreads, Indigo emails, Kobo emails so when I saw it was available from Netgalley, I jumped on it.

I really enjoyed this book and was pretty surprised to find out it was Louise Jensen’s debut novel. It was easy to read and I finished it in a couple days, even though I wish I could have devoured it on a rainy day, on the couch with tea.

The characters were really well developed and easy to relate to. I find a book is a lot easier to read when you actually like the main character and I liked Grace. The relationships in the book between couples and best friends and family was written really well.

There’s also a lot of emotion in The Sister; grief, betrayal, longing, fear, love, it hit on a lot of feelings that we’ve all experienced.

The book had a lot of moving parts which was told through the past and present that act like little puzzle pieces to make a whole picture. While parts were a little far fetched, I didn’t seem to mind because I was so into the book.

I give this book 4 stars and I look forward to Louise Jensen’s next book.

 

 

 

 

#8

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

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The description from Goodreads:
On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street . . .
I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.
At the same time, the novel tracks the pair of Bristol police investigators trying to get to the bottom of this hit-and-run. As they chase down one hopeless lead after another, they find themselves as drawn to each other as they are to the frustrating, twist-filled case before them. Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner, says, “I read I Let You Go in two sittings; it made me cry (at least twice), made me gasp out loud (once), and above all made me wish I’d written it . . . a stellar achievement.”
 *Peter James, author of Want You Dead

I was fifty pages into this book  when a friend asked what I was reading and I summed it up as “alright so far, a nice, cozy, easy read”. I really enjoy books about women running away, abandoning their old life and starting again so I was contently reading at a leisurely pace. That was until part 2 that is, then I could.not.put.it.down!

Everything about this book felt right, the location was quaint and comfortable, the characters were well developed, likable and relatable. There were sad parts, disturbing parts, triumphant parts and oh no oh no oh no parts.

I kept wondering about the twist, but I’ll be honest and say I didn’t guess it right away, which I always appreciate.

I was leaving work on Saturday, on my way to a birthday bbq and I realized I only had a couple pages left of my book. The only problem was I was almost at my destination and I couldn’t put the book down, not with 5 pages left! So I did the only thing I could think of, I finished it in the back of my Uber, outside the party.

I Let You Go is a fantastic debut novel, I look forward to reading anything Clare Mackintosh’s writes next.

 

#6

Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell

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The description from Goodreads:
A fiercely imagined fiction debut in which two young women face what happened the summer they were twelve, when a handsome stranger abducted them
Everyone thought we were dead. We were missing for nearly two months; we were twelve. What else could they think? -Lois
It’s always been hard to talk about what happened without sounding all melodramatic. . . . Actually, I haven’t mentioned it for years, not to a goddamned person. -Carly May
The summer precocious Lois and pretty Carly May were twelve years old, they were kidnapped, driven across the country, and held in a cabin in the woods for two months by a charismatic stranger. Nearly twenty years later, Lois has become a professor, teaching British literature at a small college in upstate New York, and Carly May is an actress in Los Angeles, drinking too much and struggling to revive her career. When a movie with a shockingly familiar plot draws the two women together once more, they must face the public exposure of their secret history and confront the dark longings and unspeakable truths that haunt them still. Maggie Mitchell’s Pretty Is beautifully defies ripped-from-the-headlines crime story expectations and announces the debut of a masterful new storytelling talent.

I had this book on my ‘to read’ list so when I saw it at a book sale I scooped it up. The description pulled me right in but after finishing it, I’m not so sure what I think of it.

The book is really well written despite the dialogue being a bit forced at times. I thought the stark difference of the fear of being kidnapped and the romanticism of the situation by the main characters was an unrealistic depiction, however it did add a lot of depth to the story.

I was disappointed that the action only really happened in the last 50 pages, the end of Pretty Is seemed very rushed.

Overall I give this book 3 stars.

#5

The Stranger by Harlan Coben

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The description from Goodreads:
The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.

I sprinted through this book, it was really easy to read. I read a bunch of Harlan Coben books years ago because I liked his writing style and characters, this book was no different.

The plot was a little predictable and the end was a tiny bit anticlimactic but I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a quickie (read, that is!)

I give it 3.5 stars out of 5.

#4

Dry by Augusten Burroughs

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The description from Goodreads
Revisit the second memoir in Augusten’s bestselling trilogy of Running with Scissors, Dry, and Lust & Wonder.
You may not know it, but you’ve met Augusten Burroughs. You’ve seen him on the street, in bars, on the subway, at restaurants: a twenty-something guy, nice suit, works in advertising. Regular. Ordinary. But when the ordinary person had two drinks, Augusten was circling the drain by having twelve; when the ordinary person went home at midnight, Augusten never went home at all. Loud, distracting ties, automated wake-up calls, and cologne on the tongue could only hide so much for so long. At the request (well, it wasn’t really a request) of his employers, Augusten landed in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey, Jr., are immediately dashed by the grim reality of fluorescent lighting and paper hospital slippers. But when Augusten is forced to examine himself, something actually starts to click, and that’s when he finds himself in the worst trouble of all. Because when his thirty days are up, he has to return to his same drunken Manhattan life and live it sober. What follows is a memoir that’s as moving as it is funny, as heartbreaking as it is real. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a higher power.

I read Running with Scissors years ago and when I saw Dry on sale at a bookstore that was closing, I figured I’d try it out.

I love reading these types of books. I like to delve into peoples lives and learn all about the good, bad and ugly. I chalk it up to my nosiness.

I really like the author’s tone and authenticity throughout the book.

I found myself immediately drawn in. At times it made me sad, other times anxious, I cried, I laughed.

I recommend this book if you…
a.) Have read anything else by Augusten Burroughs
b.) Like memoirs about addiction/rehab etc.
c.) Are a nosy Nancy, like me.

I can’t think of anything I would have changed or anything I didn’t like so I give it 5 stars!

 

#3

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

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The description from Goodreads:

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…

I couldn’t wait for this book to be released. I called Chapters to put a hold on it so I could pick up after work. I tried to take my time reading Hidden Bodies because I loved You so much and I didn’t want to race through it.

It’s a tough thing when you love a book so much and the author writes a sequel. You can’t help but have high hopes for the second part but then again, you don’t want to get your hopes up if it doesn’t end up being as good.

I liked Hidden Bodies but I didn’t love it. I think what made You so enticing was the fact that no one had read a book quite like it before. The newness of the writing and the whole concept of a new-age, likable stalker pulled me right in.

Hidden Bodies didn’t creep me out the way it’s predecessor did. There were moments in You when I got goosebumps all over, Hidden Bodies gave me more ‘oh shit, oh shit, oh shit’ moments.

Caroline Kepnes does a wonderful job at creating seriously flawed but totally appealing characters. I can’t help but fall in love with the characters (Joe and Love mostly) even though they’re deplorable people who do horrible things.

Contrary to a lot of other reviews, I love all the of pop culture references placed in this book.I enjoyed how true the author kept to the Los Angeles stereotype and the differences between New York and LA.

The story line rambled a bit but the writing is magical and so enthralling that despite the wandering plot, I didn’t mind it.

If you read You, definitely read Hidden Bodies, it missed the mark a bit, but it’s definitely still enjoyable. I also can’t wait till Caroline Kepnes publishes another book.

I gave You 5 stars, Hidden Bodies gets 4 stars.