Review: The Turn of the Key

Title: The Turn of the Key
Author: Ruth Ware
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback, Ebook
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Review:

I loved this thriller!

I read The Turn of the Screw by Henry James a few times in university, and I loved it. I was excited to see what would happen in this adaptation.

This story was very fast paced. I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down. It was quite creepy too. One new element in this adaptation was that the home was a “smart” home. Everything was connected by an app, including the water in the shower and the locks on the front door. These things were convenient, until they malfunctioned. The home was originally a Victorian house, but was renovated to have this modern technology. I love how this can be compared to the original book, Turn of the Screw, which was a Victorian novella, but has been adapted into this modern story.

One thing that I can’t really talk about is the ending. It gave more closure than the original story, but it felt a little rushed, especially in the last couple of pages. I’m curious to hear what other readers thought of this 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 Turn of the Screw by Henry James

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Have you read The Turn of the Key? What did you think of it?

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Review: The Love Solution

Title: The Love Solution
Author: Ashley Croft
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 15, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s all in the chemistry…

Sisters Sarah and Molly are close, but they couldn’t be more different. Sarah runs a craft business and is obsessed with all things shiny and glam, whilst Molly is much more at home in her white coat and goggles, working in a science lab.

When Molly is put onto a new assignment, she’s over the moon. It’s a high-profile, top secret project – and she has a handsome new boss to ogle at when she’s not bending over a petri dish…

But when Sarah finds herself on the painful end of a disastrous break-up, no amount of Ben & Jerry’s or trashy rom-coms can cheer her up. She wants to take a more drastic approach to dealing with her heartbreak, and one that only her sister – and perhaps a sprinkle of science – can help with . . .

Will Sarah find love where she least expects it, or is it really all in the chemistry?

Review:

This was a fun romantic comedy!

Though many parts of this book were funny, they often had a serious spin on it. Sarah discovered her boyfriend cheating on her, at the same time that she found out she was pregnant. Molly has a crush on her supervisor at work, but then she jeopardized her job. These serious parts made the story tense at times.

The premise of the story is quite funny. Molly and her supervisor Ewan have come up with a “love bug” which is a virus that can make two people fall in love. This seems like the perfect solution to Sarah’s problems, until it all blows up in their faces. I don’t know much about science, so I’m not sure how realistic this “bug” is, but it was fun for the story.

I really enjoyed this romance!

Thank you Avon Books UK for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Have you read The Love Solution? What did you think of it?

Review: Love at First Like

Title: Love at First Like
Author: Hannah Orenstein
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Eliza Roth and her sister Sophie co-own a jewelry shop in Brooklyn. One night, after learning of an ex’s engagement, Eliza accidentally posts a photo of herself wearing a diamond ring on that finger to her Instagram account beloved by 100,000 followers. Sales skyrocket, press rolls in, and Eliza learns that her personal life is good for business. So she has a choice: continue the ruse or clear up the misunderstanding. With mounting financial pressure, Eliza sets off to find a fake fiancé.

Fellow entrepreneur Blake seems like the perfect match on paper. And in real life he shows promise, too. He would be perfect, if only Eliza didn’t feel also drawn to someone else. But Blake doesn’t know Eliza is “engaged”; Sophie asks Eliza for an impossible sum of money; and Eliza’s lies start to spiral out of control. She can either stay engaged online or fall in love in real life.

Review:

This was a hilarious romantic comedy!

Eliza accidentally posted a photo of herself wearing an engagement ring from her jewelry store. However, it boosts her sales for their struggling business, so she wants to continue having a pretend engagement online. She keeps getting deeper into her lie when she’s offered a free wedding and accepts! Then, she has to find a fiancé with only five months to spare.

This story is a little extreme, but I can imagine this happening in real life. Social media is addicting, especially when you can see the numbers increasing your business following. Eliza got a little carried away by accepting a wedding without having a groom because she was blinded by her digital numbers. This craving for followers and likes was so relatable.

I highly recommend this new romance!

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

What to read next:

Playing with Matches by Hannah Orenstein

Have you read Love at First Like? What did you think of it?

Review: Wherever She Goes

Title: Wherever She Goes
Author: K.L. Armstrong
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When it’s your word against everyone else’s–what do you do?

Bree Finch has fallen on some troubled times: her marriage has ended, she’s separated from her young daughter, Charlotte, and she’s haunted by a past she can’t escape. Routine helps, and every afternoon, during her lunch break, Bree goes for a jog in the park near her office. It’s the same every day: the same route, the same mothers with their children, the same people walking their dogs.

One day, during her jog, she spots a young boy a bit older than Charlotte, a boy she saw just the day before with his mother. But his mother is nowhere to be seen now. Nervous, Bree watches the boy as he wanders into the parking lot. And then she watches as a man grabs the boy, forcing him into an SVU. She watches as the boy cries and screams for his mother. She watches as the man slams the door shut, revs the engine and takes off. 

She runs after them into traffic, and tries to take a photo, but can’t. The SVU is gone.

Bree can’t deny what she’s seen, and she can’t get the little boy or his screams out of her head. But, she’s the only one who believes that she witnessed the kidnapping of a child. No one else at the park saw the boy or someone snatching him, and she can’t give a detailed description of the child. The police don’t believe her, nor does her estranged husband, with whom she has a tense and complicated relationship. Instead, they begin asking Bree the questions: Why is she always alone in the park? Why does she spend so much time there? Does she realize that she makes the other mothers nervous, with the way she watches them and their children?

Then, days later, a woman is murdered–and Bree is the first person the police talk to. 

Not because they think she may have witnessed something. 

Not because they believe her about the kidnapped boy. 

Because she’s their main suspect. 

Review:

This was an amazing new thriller!

I was glued to this book. I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down. It was fast-paced and unpredictable.

Bree was an unreliable narrator, which added to the plot. Even when she would talk about seeing things, I couldn’t really trust her. I was still unsure about some things she said right until the end.

I usually don’t like books that don’t give you enough clues to solve the mystery. I don’t think there was a way to figure out this mystery before the end, but I loved it. It was an exciting story because I was so surprised at the ending.

I highly recommend this gripping thriller.

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

What to read next:

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Have you read Wherever She Goes? What did you think of it?

Review: Please Send Help (I Hate Everyone But You #2)

Title: Please Send Help (I Hate Everyone But You #2)
Author: Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this hilarious follow-up novel to the New York Times bestseller I Hate Everyone But You, long distance best friends Ava and Gen have finally made it to the same time zone (although they’re still over a thousand miles apart).

Through their hilarious, sometimes emotional, but always relatable conversations, Ava and Gen are each other’s support systems through internships, relationship troubles, questionable roommates, undercover reporting, and whether or not it’s a good idea to take in a feral cat. Please Send Help perfectly captures the voice of young adults looking to find their place in the world and how no matter how desperate things seem, you always have your best friend to tell it like it is and pick you back up.

Review:

This story follows Ava and Gen during their first jobs/internships. They finally live in the same time zone, but different ends of the country. Neither of their lives really work out in the way they had hoped, with one getting fired and the other getting an STD.

I love the two voices of Ava and Gen in this story. They’re both hilarious and relatable. Unlike other stories about two best friends, these ones have fights and hurt each other’s feelings. They’re realistic, which makes them relatable.

I loved this fun story! I hope they write another book in this series.

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Giant Days by Non Pratt

The Twitter Diaries by Georgie Thompson and Imogen Lloyd Webber

Have you read Please Send Help? What did you think of it?

Review: Star-Crossed

Title: Star-Crossed
Author: Minnie Darke
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 21, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sometimes even destiny needs a little bit of help.

When childhood sweethearts Justine (Sagittarius and serious skeptic) and Nick (Aquarius and true believer) bump into each other as adults, a life-changing love affair seems inevitable. To Justine, anyway. Especially when she learns Nick is an astrological devotee, whose decisions are guided by the stars, and more specifically, by the horoscopes in his favorite magazine. The same magazine Justine happens to write for. As Nick continues to not fall headlong in love with her, Justine decides to take Nick’s horoscope, and Fate itself, into her own hands. But, of course, Nick is not the only Aquarius making important life choices according to what is written in the stars. 

Charting the ripple effects of Justine’s astrological meddling, STAR-CROSSED is a delicious, intelligent, and affecting love story about friendship, chance, and how we all navigate the kinds of choices that are hard to face alone. 

Review:

This is an amazing new story about crossing paths and destiny.

Justine meets her childhood love Nick again when they’re grown up. She knows he loves reading the horoscopes in the magazine that she works for, so she alters his Aquarius horoscope every month to persuade him to fall in love with her. However, he interprets them differently from how she intends, and decides it means he should get back together with his ex-girlfriend. These misunderstandings were kind of funny, because it all works out in the end.

Interspersed between Justine and Nick’s story were other stories of people who were affected by Justine’s horoscopes. At first, I didn’t understand these parts because I couldn’t see how it related to the main plot. By the end, I loved those stories. Everything ended up being connected, which was amazing. I think you could reread this book and notice new connections every time!

I loved this story. It’s a fun romantic comedy.

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

What to read next:

Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Have you read Star-Crossed? What did you think of it?

Review: The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Title: The Death of Mrs. Westaway
Author: Ruth Ware
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.

Review:

I was hooked on this story right from the beginning. It was so intriguing. Hal received a letter saying that she was going to receive an inheritance from her grandmother who just passed away, but her grandparents had died years ago. Since she needed money, she decided to play along with the family. However, she ended up getting tangled up in their complicated family.

The story was quite fast-paced. Everything moved quickly with new twists in every chapter. When I thought I had it all figured out, I discovered I was wrong, which kept me in suspense. I also loved that Hal was a tarot card reader. It added to the mystery of the story.

I loved this mystery! I highly recommend it!

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

What to read next:

Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Have you read The Death of Mrs. Westaway? What did you think of it?