Video Review 🌻 An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

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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.

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Book Review: Who Took Eden Mulligan? by Sharon Dempsey

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Who Took Eden Mulligan?

Rating: ⭐⭐


Synopsis: 

‘They’re dead. They’re all dead. It’s my fault. I killed them.’
Those are the words of Iona Gardener, who stands bloodied and staring as she confesses to the murder of four people in a run-down cottage outside of Belfast.

Outside the cottage, five old dolls are hanging from a tree. Inside the cottage, the words “WHO TOOK EDEN MULLIGAN?” are graffitied on the wall, connecting the murder scene with the famous cold case of Eden Mulligan, a mother-of-five who went missing during The Troubles.

But this case is different. Right from the start.

Because no one in the community is willing to tell the truth, and the only thing DI Danny Stowe and forensic psychologist Rose Lainey can be certain of is that Iona Gardener’s confession is false….


Review:   

  1. Good premise but…

Unfortunately, this book did not manage to live up to its intriguing premise. And boy, I really tried to get into it but in vain, perhaps it was just a tad too slow for my liking.

  1. The Setting

The setting of this story was way more interesting than the story itself, I’d go so far as to say that it was the highlight of this book.

  1. The Good and the Bad

The writing was good but repeating certain details, multiple times, was not needed and made my reading experience a little less enjoyable.

  1. The End

I had so much hope for the finale, I even thought that if it was good, it would redeem the whole book and make it worth a read. Unfortunately, the ending was a bit of a let-down as it was both, rushed and unconvincing.

5. The Final Verdict

This book was not my cup of tea but it might be your cup of coffee, who knows? Might be worth a read to find out.

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: An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

An Unwanted Guest

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


Synopsis: 

We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped.


Review:   

  1. The Getaway from Hell

How would you feel if you find yourself trapped in a secluded hotel during an ice storm with no means of escape and a killer on the loose? Sounds like the getaway from hell, doesn’t it?

  1. The Agatha Christie Vibe

This is a suspenseful whodunit mystery with a prominent ‘Agatha Christie’ vibe to it.

As the myriad characters were introduced, I feared that it might be a bit of a shore to remember each one of them with their respective secrets and backstories but fortunately, that wasn’t the case as the author made sure to give them enough substance to stand out but not enough to connect with, which I don’t mind in this kind of stories.

  1. The Cliché

I loved the writing and the creepy setting. Some of the characters were somewhat cliché and not very likeable.

  1. The Final Reveal

The story also gives you the feel that everyone is guilty till proven innocent. Therefore, I did not figure out the killer or why they did what they did till the final reveal, which I felt was a bit rushed and also a tad underwhelming but that’s probably because I had high expectations and so I was bound to feel a bit let down. Moreover, the motives of the killer weren’t very convincing in my opinion.

  1. The Final Verdict

However, I did enjoy the very last sentences of this utterly gripping book and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a thrilling 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: The Present by D.S. Devlin

Review of The Present 

Rating:  ⭐ ⭐ 

Synopsis:

This book can also be read with The Present by Charlotte Phillips. Two books, one unforgettable Christmas…

12 deadly gifts, one killer on a Christmas countdown…

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… this is one deadly Christmas that you can’t forget.

The police are baffled by the ‘Santa’ killer, who sends his intended victims gruesome presents based on the twelve days of Christmas. When a young journalist receives a mutilated bird in the post, it’s a race against time to find the killer…


Review:   

This is a Christmas thriller, quite easy to read but lacks the mystery component!

The story starts off with a good premise but

I tend to like stories that are peppered with thought-provoking twists and turns and this story, unfortunately, has none; guessing the culprit was basically a walk in the park.

If you’re looking for an easy ready, revolving around some incredibly gruesome crimes and you’re not bothered by the lack of mystery then you should definitely give this book a read.

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

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Amazon: The Present 

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Book Review: I Dare You by Sam Carrington

Review of I Dare You

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  


Synopsis: 

AN INNOCENT GAME. A SHOCKING CRIME. A COMMUNITY FULL OF SECRETS.

Mapledon, 1989
Two little girls were out playing a game of dares. Only one returned home.
The ten-year-old told police what she saw: village loner Bill ‘Creepy’ Cawley dragged her friend into his truck and disappeared.
No body was found, but her testimony sent Cawley to prison for murder. An open and shut case, the right man behind bars.
The village could sleep safe once again.

Now…
Anna thought she had left Mapledon and her nightmares behind but a distraught phone call brings her back to face her past.
30 years ago, someone lied. 30 years ago, the man convicted wasn’t the only guilty party.
Now he’s out of prison and looking for revenge. The question is, who will he start with?


Review:   

Who’s the killer? What’s their motive? And what everybody’s hiding and why?

So many questions and the answers turned out to be far more intriguing than I anticipated!

The story is told from various perspectives and as it alternates between timelines, we get to uncover the many facets of the well-developed characters.

Moreover, in the middle, I felt the plot did drag on a little and most of the twists were  somewhat predictable but still thought-provoking.  

Infused with twists, turns, and a lot of secrets, this gripping mystery is definitely worth a read!

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

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Amazon: I Dare You

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Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Review of The Guest List 

Rating: ⭐ ⭐   


Synopsis: 

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?


Review:   

A slow burner that failed to hold my interest.

I liked the premise of this book and even though the writing was quite good, I still struggled to get invested in the characters, which made it all the more difficult to care about who did what and for what reason. Most of the twists were rather predictable and the finale was a bit too hasty for my liking.

This book was not my cup of tea but I’m sure a lot of people will find it quite entertaining!

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

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Amazon: The Guest List 

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