Review: Social Misconduct

Title: Social Misconduct
Author: S.J. Maher
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 23, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A timely and shocking thriller about a young woman who is the target of a social-media smear campaign.

“Smart, sardonic, sexy, suspenseful—and scary, because it’s probably true.” —Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series

Her perfect job becomes the perfect nightmare when a stalker hacks her phone.

Candace Walker is thrilled when she lands a new job at a hip Manhattan tech company and gets a brand-new iPhone. She’s more than ready to move on from creating clickbait ads for weight-loss pills and herbal erection boosters, and is determined to dazzle the startup team she joins.

A week later, though, everything is at risk: Candace is the target of a mysterious harasser and an online smear campaign. She tosses her new phone into the Hudson River, begins hiding out in her sister’s storage locker in New Jersey, and can’t think of a single person she can trust. But Candace hasn’t come this far—and gone to such lengths—to submit to what is happening without a fight.

Review:

This was a creepy thriller. I started reading it before bed, and I was getting so creeped out that I had to put it down. The way that Candace’s phone was hacked and she was harassed was so disturbing, yet it seemed realistic. There are so many ways to hack into technology and really affect people’s lives.

This story gave an inside look at the way social media can be used to promote companies. The ads that we see online are not always random, but are often targeted for the user. It was creepy to see how we can be manipulated through social media to purchase goods and services.

I can’t say much about this story without giving away the ending. It didn’t end the way I had predicted. I thought I had figured it out, but I was wrong. It was actually the solution that made the most sense, but I had ruled it out because of that.

The only problem is that I still had so many questions at the end. I would have loved to know more about Candace’s past, because there were hints to things that had happened to her, but it wasn’t explored in detail. I would also love to see what happens next.

This chilling thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat! 

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Salvage by Stephen Maher

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

Have you read Social Misconduct? What did you think of it?

Review: Stay Up with Hugo Best

Title: Stay Up with Hugo Best
Author: Erin Somers
Genre: Fiction, Literary
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An incredibly timely, terrifically witty and moving debut about a young writer’s assistant on a late night comedy show and what transpires when she accepts an invitation from its enigmatic host to spend a long weekend at his mansion in Connecticut.

June Bloom is a broke, cynical twenty-nine-year-old writer’s assistant on the late-night comedy show, Stay Up with Hugo Best. Hugo Best is in his sixties, a beloved icon of TV and humor, and a notorious womanizer. After he unexpectedly retires and a party is held for his now unemployed staff, June ends up at a dive bar for an open-mic night and prepares for the sad return to the anonymous comedian lifestyle. What she’s not prepared for is a run-in with Hugo at that dive bar. Nor for the invitation that swiftly follows: Hugo asks June to come to his mansion in Greenwich for the long Memorial Day weekend. “No funny business,” he insists.

June, in need of a job and money, confident she can handle herself, but secretly harboring the remains of a childhood crush on the charming older comedian and former role model, accepts. The exact terms of the visit are never spelled out, but June is realistic and clear-eyed enough to guess. Even so, as the weekend unfolds and the enigmatic Hugo gradually reveals himself, their dynamic proves to be much more complicated and less predictable than she expected.

At once hilarious and poignant, brilliantly incisive and terrifically propulsive, Stay Up with Hugo Best is an incredibly timely exploration of sexual politics in the #MeToo age, and the unforgettable story of one young woman’s poignant stumbling into adulthood.

Review:

I enjoyed this new literary story. It has some humourous parts, but it is also sad.

The characters developed in different directions in the story. It takes place over a weekend, but you really get to know them in that short period of time. June goes from a quiet assistant writer to a confident young woman. Meanwhile, Hugo moves from being a late night comedian to a lonely, friendless old man. June grew up, while Hugo deflated.

Some of the story was difficult to read. There were some depressing parts. June gets to live this fancy life for a weekend, where she can pretty much have anything she wants. However, she knows it will end. She has always idolized Hugo, but he isn’t really the person she has always fantasized about. Hugo loses his career and his friends over the space of a few days. They have both lost their jobs, but June’s youth gives hope for her future.

This was a good story with a satisfying ending.

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

What to read next:

The Showrunner by Kim Moritsugu

Have you read Stay Up with Hugo Best? What did you think of it?

Review: Queenie

Title: Queenie
Author: Candice Carty-Williams
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 19, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.

Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. She works at a national newspaper, where she’s constantly forced to compare herself to her white middle class peers. After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places…including several hazardous men who do a good job of occupying brain space and a bad job of affirming self-worth.

As Queenie careens from one questionable decision to another, she finds herself wondering, “What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Who do you want to be?”—all of the questions today’s woman must face in a world trying to answer them for her.

With “fresh and honest” (Jojo Moyes) prose, Queenie is a remarkably relatable exploration of what it means to be a modern woman searching for meaning in today’s world. 

Review:

This is a modern romantic comedy.

Queenie is a British woman who works for a newspaper in London. She is of Jamaican descent. Her storyline reminded me of Bridget Jones’s Diary, because of the way she has to balance her work with her romantic life. However, there were some serious issues in the story.

I really liked the way realistic issues were addressed in the story. Queenie got a little carried away with dating multiple men after her serious relationship ended. She ended up at health clinics a few times because of these encounters. I appreciated that she had to deal with the consequences of her actions, unlike many characters in romance stories.

The story wasn’t all serious. There were some funny parts as well. Queenie refers to her friends in their group chat as the “Corgis” because they support their queen. There were also some funny situations with Queenie’s grandparents. Though there were a lot of serious parts of the story, I enjoyed the light humour as well.

I really enjoyed this story! It’s a refreshingly modern take on a romantic comedy.

What to read next:

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Have you read Queenie? What did you think of it?

Review: The Au Pair

Title: The Au Pair
Author: Emma Rous
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day?

One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.

Review:

I was so excited about this book! I love thrillers like this. It was kind of a mystery but very suspenseful like a thriller.

I was so intrigued throughout the story. It was hard to stop reading, because I wanted to figure out what happened. There were dual narratives. It alternated between Seraphine’s perspective in 2017 where she’s trying to figure out who the baby in the picture is, and Laura’s perspective in 1992 where she was an au pair for Seraphine’s family before her birth.

I love it when books surprise me at the end, and this one definitely did. However, it was impossible to guess the ending because some information is left out until the end. I don’t like when this happens, but it was necessary to hold the suspense until the end.

I really enjoyed this story!

What to read next:

The Child by Fiona Barton

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Have you read The Au Pair? What did you think of it?

Blogger to Blogger Series: An Interview with Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog

This is my interview for the Blogger to Blogger series with The Reading Chick aka Deborah Kehoe! I love her blog, so you should definitely check it out! Thanks Deborah!

The Reading Chick

I always know when Jill releases a post because in my mind her pink graphic (see pink stripes below) is synonymous with her posts. She alternates between reviews from many genre’s, weekly wrap ups, and commentary. Her voice is articulate, genuine, and exudes a niceness that is emphasized by her pink stripes. It would just be wrong to love pink and write naughty reviews, wouldn’t it? If you haven’t checked out her blog, then please click the link below, but COME BACK! You won’t want to miss her answers to my 10 questions.

Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog

Let’s get to those answers, shall we?

Blogging is universal and even though we inhabit the same community, we don’t always live in the same country. What country do you live in?

I live in Canada.

What is the view outside your front door? 

The view outside my front door is of…

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Book Blogging Goals for 2019

I had an awesome blogging year in 2018, with reaching 1000 followers, being added to the blogging databases for some major publishers, and attending BookCon and other book events such as launch parties, book signings, and fall previews.

I don’t usually make resolutions, but I want to make some blogging goals for 2019. They will keep me accountable and make me work harder, since I will be constantly working towards my goals. Here are my goals:

  • Have a NetGalley rating of 80% (my current rating is 68%)
  • Post at least one Blogging meme a day and six reviews a week
  • I will be adding Six for Sundays and Top 5 Wednesday to my weekly blog roster
  • Clear my inbox at least once a week (and reply to comments much faster)
  • Write 1,000 words a day for my creative work

My last goal isn’t about my blog, but it is a writing goal that I want to work on. I want to get my first book published and I’m almost finished my first draft, so I need to work hard to get to the end.

Hopefully with these goals I will have another great blogging year.

Have you made any blogging goals or resolutions for 2019?

TBR Thursday – December 13

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Broken Things by Lauren Oliver.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods. 

Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it. 

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?