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Book Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

The Wife Upstairs

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ 


Synopsis: 

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?


Review:   

1. The Hype is Real

I know this book is hyped for a reason and I know I’m in the minority here and I get it, I get why this book is hitting the mark for so many readers, but these are my reasons why it completely missed it for me…

2. Make me Believe 

Neither the characters nor their actions are believable and usually, I’m ok with this to a certain extent, especially if the book has other qualities to redeem it; this was not the case in this one.

3. Surprise Me

When I pick up a thriller, I look forward to a thrilling ride with twist and turns that keep me on my toes. The main twist of this book is crystal clear from the very beginning and it sets the scene for a series of predictably underwhelming twists.

4. Ridiculous

You know what’s worse than predictable twists? A ridiculous ending and this book managed to have both!

5. The Final Verdict

Not my cup of tea but it’s so many readers’ cup of coffee and as I said before, I get it!

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Author for sending me a copy of this book.

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Book Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

The Last Time I Lied

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Synopsis: 

12 hours, 13 minutes
Fifteen years ago, summer camper Emma Davis watched sleepily as her three cabin mates snuck out of their cabin in the dead of night. The last she–and anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the NYC art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings.. They catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of the very same Camp Nightingale–and when Francesca implores Emma to return to the camp as a painting counselor, Emma sees an opportunity to find closure and move on.

Yet, it is immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by surfacing memories, Emma is suddenly plagued by a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca, and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian apparently left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. And as history begins to repeat itself and three girls go missing again, Emma must face threats from both man and nature in order to uncover all the buried secrets–including what really happened all those years ago.


Review:   

1. The Front Page

A brilliant psychological thriller, bringing mental-illness and revenge to the front-page!

Sometimes the only way out is through.

2. Lies & Uncomfortable Truths 

The story dragged on a bit at the beginning but then quickly picked up speed as it headed downhill where everything unravelled in a series of enticing lies and uncomfortable truths.

You could learn more about a person from their lies than their truths.

3. Trust? What is that? 

Who’s telling the truth? And who’s covering their tracks with a  cloak of lies? Can anyone be trusted?

4. Well-Thought-Out

I absolutely loved the writing, the multi-layered characters as well as the density of the well-thought-out plot.

Sometimes a lie is more than just a lie. Sometimes it’s the only way to win.

5. The Final Verdict

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for an utterly engrossing read.

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Author for sending me a copy of this book.

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Book Review: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

The Broken Girls

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐


Synopsis: 

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .


Review:   

1. Paranormal 

This is an unnerving mystery with a refined touch of the paranormal.

Mary Hand, Mary Hand, dead and buried under land.

She’ll say she wants to be your friend.

Do not let her in again!

2. It Flows

The writing flows beautifully as the story switches between past and present. I personally preferred the past timeline as I found it to be more captivating.

I’m going to get out of here. Someday we all will. And when we do, we will finally be free.

3. Powerful

My favourite part was the powerful friendship formed between the four girls at the boarding school, which slowly but surely, had shaped up their reality.

4. Addictive 

The story is fast-paced and quite addictive; it succeeds in addressing some tough subjects with the utmost delicacy.

There is no justice, but we stand for it anyway. Justice is the ideal, but justice is not the reality.

5. The Final Verdict

The plot is tragic and heart-breaking. Unfortunately, the revelations left me with an unusual sense of dissatisfaction.

I’d still recommend this book to anyone looking for a compelling mystery.

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Author for sending me a copy of this book.

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Book Review: Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

Every Last Fear

Rating: ⭐⭐


Synopsis: 

“They found the bodies on a Tuesday.”

So begins this twisty and breathtaking novel that traces the fate of the Pine family, a thriller that will both leave you on the edge of your seat and move you to tears.

After a late night of partying, NYU student Matt Pine returns to his dorm room to devastating news: nearly his entire family—his mom, his dad, his little brother and sister—have been found dead from an apparent gas leak while vacationing in Mexico. The local police claim it was an accident, but the FBI and State Department seem far less certain—and they won’t tell Matt why.

The tragedy makes headlines everywhere because this isn’t the first time the Pine family has been thrust into the media spotlight. Matt’s older brother, Danny—currently serving a life sentence for the murder of his teenage girlfriend Charlotte—was the subject of a viral true crime documentary suggesting that Danny was wrongfully convicted. Though the country has rallied behind Danny, Matt holds a secret about his brother that he’s never told anyone: the night Charlotte was killed Matt saw something that makes him believe his brother is guilty of the crime.

When Matt returns to his small hometown to bury his parents and siblings, he’s faced with a hostile community that was villainized by the documentary, a frenzied media, and memories he’d hoped to leave behind forever. Now, as the deaths in Mexico appear increasingly suspicious and connected to Danny’s case, Matt must unearth the truth behind the crime that sent his brother to prison—putting his own life in peril—and forcing him to confront his every last fear.

Told through multiple points-of-view and alternating between past and present, Alex Finlay’s Every Last Fear is not only a page-turning thriller, it’s also a poignant story about a family managing heartbreak and tragedy, and living through a fame they never wanted.


Review:   

1.    That Slow Kind of Burn

The book started with a “Bang!” and I was hoping it will keep up the momentum. Unfortunately, it turned out to be too slow for my liking, to the point where I almost gave up on it.

2.    We Need to Talk About Danny

I was really looking forward to getting a glimpse into Danny’s world, his thoughts, just more of him but that didn’t happen, which was a bummer in my opinion!

3.    Too Much…

Too many characters, too many POVs, too many fillers, too much jumping back and forth, up and down, and sideways. Adding that to the slow pace of the book and you get my recipe for a 2 stars read.

4.    Keller and the Friends Circle

I only liked two things about this book, the FBI agent Sarah Keller and Matt’s friends circle, and that was it for me.

5.    The Final Verdict

This book lacked everything I like in a Thriller; no surprise element, too much going on, too slow, not very believable, and can also be considered problematic for various reasons. It just wasn’t my cup of tea and I’m fully aware, I’m in the minority so take my review with a grain of salt 🙂 !

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Author for sending me a copy of this book.

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Book Review: Little Liar by Lisa Ballantyne

Little Liar

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Synopsis: 

The accused

While Nick Dean is enjoying an evening at home with his family, he is blissfully unaware that one of his pupils has just placed an allegation of abuse against him – and that Nick’s imminent arrest will see the start of everything he knows and loves disintegrating around him.

Because, mud sticks, right? No matter if you’re innocent or guilty.

The accuser

When Angela Furness decides that enough is enough – she hates her parents, hates her friends and, most of all, despises what has recently happened at school – she does the only thing she knows will get her attention: calls the police. But Angela is unaware that the shocking story she is about to tell will see her life begin to topple.

Because, once you’ve said what you’ve said, there’s no way back, right? No matter if you’re innocent or guilty.


Review:   

1. Secrets, Lies, and Other Thorny Pathways

This book filled me with so many conflicting emotions and got me racing through the pages, looking for the truth.

Is Nick the culprit or is there more to the story? What has happened to Angela to alter her character and her life? Who’s telling the truth and who’s lying through their teeth? Who’s protecting who and why? So many questions, so much emotional distress in this roller coaster of a story.

2. Remember, There Are Always Two Sides…

There are always two sides to every story but most people, instead of seeking the truth, they prefer to sit back, judge, and ruin lives.

It’s also quite hard to trust a problematic character but that made it all the more intriguing.

3. The Undoing

As the story progressed, I began to untie the web of lies and then I genuinely hoped I was wrong. Unfortunately, I wasn’t and as it all came undone, the awe factor took form and then lingered on for a long while.

4. Yes & No

This book deals with sexual assault, an incredibly delicate concept, which the author handled rather skilfully. However, there were certain aspects, related to the medical field, that didn’t sit well with me.

5. The Final Verdict

All in all, this was a superb psychological thriller that I’d definitely recommend!

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Author for sending me a copy of this book.

Check our collection of Psychological Thrillers!!