Review: The Family Upstairs

Title: The Family Upstairs
Author: Lisa Jewell
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Be careful who you let in. 

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am. 

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them. 

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone. 

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

Review:

This was such a creepy story.

There were three different alternating narratives. Two were in third person, and followed Libby and Lucy. The third narrative was in first person, told by Henry. It took a while for these narratives to come together, but each story was thrilling in itself.

There were so many creepy parts to the story. I couldn’t figure out how everyone was related for a long time, but I really wanted to find out. I couldn’t put the book down.

I highly recommend this book if you like fast paced thrillers!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

The Au Pair by Emma Rous

Have you read The Family Upstairs? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – January 8

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin. The expected publication date is February 4, 2020.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target. 

They picked the wrong girl. 

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly. 

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Me and Banksy

Title: Me and Banksy
Author: Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Publisher: Puffin Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A Banksy-style protest against cameras in classrooms brings a group of middle-grade students together. For fans of Rebecca Stead, Susin Nielsen and Gordon Korman.

Dominica’s private school is covered in cameras, and someone is hacking into them and posting embarrassing moments for the whole school to see. Like Ana picking her nose. When Dominica quickly changes her shirt from inside out in what she thinks is the privacy of a quiet corner in the library, she’s shocked — and embarrassed — to discover a video has captured this and is currently circulating amongst her schoolmates. So mortifying, especially since over the past three years, they’ve had a half-dozen school talks about social media safety.

Who has access to the school security cameras and why are they doing this? Dominica and her best friends, Holden and Saanvi, are determined to find out, and in the process start an art-based student campaign against cameras in the classroom. 

Review:

This book tackles the tough issues of cyber bullying and cyber security in schools.

Dominica and her friends are targeted by a cyber bully, who is posting embarrassing images of them online. They discover that the images were taken from the school’s security cameras. They stage a protest to show how damaging the security cameras are to the students and teachers.

These are important issues for children to be aware of today. Just because the school administration in this book thought the cameras in classrooms and hallways would keep children safe, that doesn’t mean they’re right. The cameras actually posed a threat to students when the embarrassing images were leaked. The cameras also made the teachers and students alter their behavior in class because they knew they were being watched at all times. Though there are some advantages to cyber security, it can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

I really liked this story!

Thank you Penguin Random House for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Mya’s Strategy to Save the World by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Unplugged and Unpopular by Mat Heagerty, Tintin Pantoja, Mike Amante

Have you read Me and Banksy? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated Books for the First Half of 2020

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Most Anticipated Books for the First Half of 2020. Here’s my list:

1. Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

2. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

3. Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith

4. Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

5. Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

6. The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz

7. Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner

8. Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2) by Emily A. Duncan

9. The Queen of Paris: A Novel of Coco Chanel by Pamela Binnings Ewen

10. Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

What’s your Top Ten Tuesday list?

Blog Tour Review: A Love Hate Thing

Title: A Love Hate Thing
Author: Whitney D. Grandison
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love.

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the wealthy coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares and the feeling of not belonging. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the rough streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything, much less how the rest of his life will play out.

Golden girl Nandy Smith has spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in when it comes to her hometown Pacific Hills where image is everything. After learning that her parents are taking in a troubled teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames. 

Now with Trice living under the same roof, the wall between their bedrooms feels as thin as the line between love and hate. Beneath the angst, their growing attraction won’t be denied. Through time, Trice brings Nandy out of her shell, and Nandy attempts to melt the ice that’s taken Trice’s heart and being. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.

Review:

This is a great modern romance.

I loved that Nandy and Tyson came from two completely different worlds, yet they made such a good couple. Nandy is from Pacific Hills, which is a wealthy community. Tyson came from Lindenhood, where he was involved with dangerous people. They still found common ground, though they had very different upbringings.

The story was fast paced. Though it was long, there were so many ups and downs, so I was always kept guessing as to what would happen next. There was loads of tension between Nandy and Tyson, so I kept wondering if and hoping that they would get together.

I was a little confused about the ending. I had an ARC of the book, so it may have been different in the final edition. My copy had it ending in the middle of a conversation. I’m not sure if that’s what was supposed to happen because it was kind of abrupt.

I really enjoyed this book!

Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

About the Author:

Whitney D. Grandison was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, where she currently resides. A lover of stories since she first picked up a book, it’s no surprise she’s taken to writing her own. Some of her works can be found on Wattpad, one of the largest online story sharing platforms, where she has acquired over 30,000 followers and an audience of over fifteen million dedicated readers.

Buy the Book:

Have you read A Love Hate Thing? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – January 6

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Me and Banksy by Tanya Lloyd Kyi.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – January 5

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 8 weekly blogging memes:

I also wrote a list of my Best Books of 2019:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… A Love Hate Thing

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading A Love Hate Thing by Whitney D. Grandison.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When they’re stuck under one roof, the house may not be big enough for their hate…or their love.

When Tyson Trice finds himself tossed into the wealthy coastal community of Pacific Hills, he’s ready for the questions, the stares and the feeling of not belonging. Not that he cares. After recovering from being shot and surviving the rough streets of Lindenwood, he doesn’t care about anyone or anything, much less how the rest of his life will play out.

Golden girl Nandy Smith has spent most of her life building the pristine image that it takes to fit in when it comes to her hometown Pacific Hills where image is everything. After learning that her parents are taking in a troubled teen boy, Nandy fears her summer plans, as well as her reputation, will go up in flames. 

Now with Trice living under the same roof, the wall between their bedrooms feels as thin as the line between love and hate. Beneath the angst, their growing attraction won’t be denied. Through time, Trice brings Nandy out of her shell, and Nandy attempts to melt the ice that’s taken Trice’s heart and being. Only, with the ever-present pull back to the Lindenwood streets, it’ll be a wonder if Trice makes it through this summer at all.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Bookish Resolutions

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Bookish Resolutions. Here’s my list:

1. Review 6 books per week.

2. Keep a reading journal, detailing the synopsis of books.

3. Get NetGalley rating to 80%.

4. Review books before the release date.

5. Do 8 weekly blog memes.

6. Get 1,500 blog followers.

Did you write a #SixforSunday post? What was your list of Bookish Resolutions?

Review: Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars #1)

Title: Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars #1)
Author: Tara Sim
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide.

Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…

Packed with high-stakes adventure, romance, and dueling identities, this gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo is the first novel in an epic YA fantasy duology, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo.

Review:

This story is a gender swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo. I’ve never read that book, but I really enjoyed this story.

The narrative switches between Amaya, a prisoner on a ship, and Cayo, the son of a businessman in the main city. Amaya escapes her captivity, and she tries to take down the men who were keeping her prisoner. Cayo also does his own investigation to figure out who is making counterfeit money in their city.

I liked the pacing of this book. There were some small reveals every couple of chapters. I was surprised at the twists that happened. I also liked the main characters. They had good chemistry with each other. I’m curious to see where the story goes next.

Thank you Disney Book Group for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody

Serpent and Dove (Serpent and Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

Have you read Scavenge the Stars? What did you think of it?