Review: Keep Her Safe

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Title: Keep Her Safe
Author: K.A. Tucker
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that’s been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family’s life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret.

Gracie Richards wasn’t born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it’s all she knows anymore. At least here people don’t care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive…until a man who clearly doesn’t belong shows up on her doorstep.

Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department’s dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.

Complex, gritty, sexy, and thrilling, Keep Her Safe solidifies K.A. Tucker’s reputation as one of today’s most talented new voices in romantic suspense.

Review:

This is an amazing thriller!

There are so many emotions in this story. I was rooting for Noah and Grace. But I had sympathy for their situation. And the corrupt officials were so frustrating. I was emotionally invested in this story.

K.A. Tucker did a fantastic job with this narrative! It switches between Noah and Grace, and occasionally returns to Abe and Jackie from fourteen years ago. It was fast paced so I was never bored. I loved the way the story unraveled through these different narrators.

The mystery was great. There were twists and turns throughout the book. It was difficult to know where it would head next. The ending became very complex and unpredictable. Though I did suspect one person who was involved in the plot, I was surprised at the ending.

I absolutely loved this book. If you’re looking for a gripping, thrilling mystery, this is the book for you!

Review: All The Missing Girls

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Title: All The Missing Girls
Author: Megan Miranda
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898Goodreads Synopsis:

Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.

Review:

This is such an amazing thriller! I read it in just one day. The story is great, and the way that it’s told is very original.

I don’t want to give much away about the plot because it’s so clever. I loved that it is told backwards. It starts with Nic going to her hometown and then jumps to 15 Days later. The following chapters are told going back a day each time. The story slowly unravels backwards.

One thing that wasn’t realistic about the story is that some major events happened on the first couple of days that Nic was there, but they aren’t discussed by the characters after that day. This makes it suspenseful for the reader, since these things are only revealed at the end of the book, but I think the characters would have brought it up at some point if it happened in real life.

I just loved this thriller! If you love thrillers and original stories, this is definitely for you!

Review: That Girl

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Title: That Girl
Author: Kate Kerrigan
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: January 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898Synopsis:

You can escape a place. But you can’t escape yourself.

Hanna flees the scene of a terrible crime in her native Sligo. If she can just vanish, re-invent herself under a new name, perhaps the police won’t catch up with her. London seems the perfect place to disappear.

Lara has always loved Matthew and imagined happy married life in Dublin. Then comes the bombshell – Matthew says he wants to join the priesthood. Humiliated and broken-hearted, Lara heads to the most godless place she can find, King’s Road, Chelsea.

Matthew’s twin sister, Noreen, could not be more different from her brother. She does love fiance John, but she also craves sex, parties and fun. Swinging London has it all, but without John, Noreen is about to get way out of her depth.

All three girls find themselves working for Bobby Chevron – one of London’s most feared gangland bosses – and it’s not long before their new lives start to unravel.

Review:

This is a great romance, with some thrilling crimes thrown in.

I liked how the girls’ lives paralleled each other. All three women are from Ireland, and they moved to London to escape the men in their pasts. They all end up together in the same apartment above a night club. Eventually, their pasts catch up to each of them.

The sixties atmosphere was great in the story. I found Lara’s “rags to riches” story a little optimistic. She goes from being a waitress to a designer in a matter of months, which is unrealistic, but it worked in the story.

Some parts of the story were quite slow. There were many parts where the characters reflected on things they had already done. But then something huge would happen that got the story going again. If it were a little shorter and more fast paced, the story would have been much better.

This story was an entertaining and thrilling romance.

Review: The Only Girl in China

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Title: The Only Girl in China
Author: Eric Qiao
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Release Date: May 13, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Adoptee Ed Li is on a mission to find his missing sister. An elaborate plan is devised that involves him teaching in a rural Chinese village, which Ed soon discovers it isn’t his idea of a good time. In fact, when he sees a chance to quit, he takes it. But just before he can get out of Dodge, a local girl is murdered.

Suspect? That Chinese teacher from America: Ed.

With the help of his female colleague, Ed sets out to clear his name, uncovering a web of deceit in a village that’s on the verge of becoming a lucrative jade mine. The deeper he digs, the more horrors he unearths. With memories of his sister drawing uncanny parallels to the victim’s life, possibility of redemption and revenge looms.

Review:

This book is very unique. I learned a lot from this story.

Many parts of the story are hard to read. The abuse that children suffer in orphanages in China is described in detail. It’s horrible to imagine that children, particularly little girls, have to suffer for no reason other than having no parents.

The way that Ed goes to China to find his sister while working for UNICEF was an interesting plot. Though Ed originally plans to use his position as a teacher for UNICEF to find his sister, he gets wrapped up in a murder investigation in the small town where he’s staying. This murder derails his plans to find his sister.

The last half of the story turned into a really good murder mystery. I tried to figure out who did it, but I couldn’t. It was a great mystery, though the circumstances were devastating.

I really enjoyed this story. It’s a great debut!

Review: White Bodies

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Title: White Bodies
Author: Jane Robins
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: September 30, 2017
Rating: ★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898Goodreads Synopsis:

Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless façade, not everything is as it seems.

Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.

Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies—or was he murdered?

Review:

The concept of this book is so intriguing, but it had many weird aspects that were hard to get past.

First of all, this story talks about an important issue. Domestic violence. Particularly, abusive partners who are very controlling. There are some serious situations in the novel that show just how dangerous these relationships can be. It’s scary to imagine a loved one in this kind of relationship, while being helpless to get them to see the truth.

Callie is weirdly obsessed with her sister. She’s worried about her sister’s relationship which is valid, but the way she stalks her is strange. Callie waits outside her sister’s home to follow her and she sneaks into her house to find out stuff about her relationship. That was so extreme.

I found Callie super creepy. When she was younger, she would eat things belonging to her sister to feel closer to her. She would eat her sister’s hair, paper from her journal, and even her baby teeth. Yes her baby teeth. I was so grossed out that it made me really dislike Callie. I couldn’t get past her weird obsession with Tilda.

Some parts of the story reminded me of The Girl on the Train, in the way that the plot unfolded. Callie is an unreliable narrator, so it’s hard to know what to believe. But Callie was so creepy that I didn’t even want to get involved in her story. And she made some strange and dangerous decisions.

Normally I don’t mind an unreliable narrator because they can add to the mystery, but I couldn’t get past Callie’s strange tendencies in this story.

Review: Me Before You

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Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Release Date: December 31, 2012
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898Goodreads Synopsis:

Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

Review:

I really loved this story.

I loved Louisa. She’s a funny and quirky character. She’s very positive, even when Will is constantly making her life harder. But he has some redeeming qualities too. He’s very thoughtful. And his bitterness can be understood, since he was in a terrible accident that left him paralyzed.

The ending of the story absolutely broke my heart. And it made me wonder how there could be a sequel (and another one coming out this year!). But I look forward to reading After You very soon!

Soon after After You was released, I went to a book signing and met Jojo Moyes! It was a fun event, where they even gave away bumblebee tights! Here’s a photo of her signing my book.

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Have you read Me Before You or After You?

Review: The Wolves of Winter

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Title: The Wolves of Winter
Author: Tyrell Johnson
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898Goodreads Synopsis:

Station Eleven meets The Hunger Games in this ruthless, captivating story of a young woman’s survival in the frozen wilderness of the Yukon after the rest of the world has collapsed.

As the old world dies, we all must choose to become predators. Or become prey.

The old world has been ravaged by war and disease, and as far as Lynn McBride is concerned, her family could be the last one left on earth. For seven years, the McBrides have eked out a meagre existence in the still, white wilderness of the Yukon. But this is not living. This is survival on the brink.

Into this fragile community walk new threats, including the enigmatic fugitive, Jax, who holds secrets about the past and, possibly, keys to a better future. And then there’s Immunity, the pre‑war organization that was supposed to save humankind from the flu. They’re still out there, enforcing order and conducting experiments—but is their work for the good of humankind or is something much more sinister at play? In the face of almost certain extinction, Lynn and her family must learn to hunt as a pack or die alone in the cold.

Breakout debut novelist Tyrell Johnson weaves a captivating tale of humanity stretched far beyond its breaking point, of family and the bonds of love forged when everything else is lost. Reminiscent of Station Eleven and The Hunger Games, this is a classic and enthralling post‑apocalyptic adventure and a celebration of the human spirit.

Review:

This book is a great way to start of the new year! It’s a cross between the Hunger Games, Station Eleven, and even a bit of The Maze Runner.

I love dystopia stories. Some seem so realistic, especially with the way the world is going these days. In this story, there has been nuclear war that destroyed a lot of the world. Asia was decimated by the Asian flu, which eventually made its way to North America. This future is terrifying, but unfortunately it is believable.

I loved the character of Lynn. She’s conflicted and takes chances but she sticks with her decisions. This doesn’t always have the best outcomes, but it made the story thrilling and unpredictable.

Also, while I’ve been reading this story, the weather in Toronto has been breaking records for how cold it is. This has nothing to do with the story, but it made me sympathize with the cold Yukon environment that the characters were experiencing. It really set the scene.

From the ending of the story, I hope there will be more to come. I’ll definitely be looking for it!