Review: Don’t You Cry

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Title: Don’t You Cry
Author: Mary Kubica
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: MIRA
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Format: Paperback
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In downtown Chicago, Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her roommate Quinn Collins to question how well she really knew her friend. Meanwhile, in a small town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more sinister.

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under the stranger’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us.

Review:

My friend recommended this book to me, so I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it.

It took a long time to get into the story. It moved very slowly. There was a lot of description and not a lot of action.

What was the most frustrating was the ending. There was no way I could have guessed what would happen. It took me a minute to understand what was happening because it was all twisted up and complicated. Some of the issues weren’t even resolved, or didn’t have a logical conclusion.

This book didn’t work for me.

What to read next:

  • The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
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  • When The Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica
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Have you read Don’t You Cry? What did you think of it?

Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

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Title: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Author: Kiersten White
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Review:

I loved this book so much! It was so thrilling and suspenseful.

I loved the way this story was woven together. Elizabeth reflects on her childhood with Victor throughout the beginning of the book while she is searching for him. He stopped returning her letters, so she went looking for him at his school. But once she finds him, everything changes. She finds a lot more than just her friend Victor.

Parts of Elizabeth’s past are constantly reflected in her current life, including the many ways she saved Victor in their childhood. She was a strong woman, who was a huge influence on Victor. However, she was still restricted to the life of an eighteenth century woman. She was an orphan and she could have been kicked out of the house at any moment without any help. She didn’t have anything to fall back on, except staying with the Frankensteins.

I haven’t read Frankenstein yet, but I’m planning on reading it soon since it is the 200th anniversary of its publication this year. I’m curious to see how it measures up to this book, because this story had me on the edge of my seat the whole time!

What to read next:

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

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  • And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga #1) by Kiersten White

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Have you read The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein? What did you think of it?

Review: Tell Me You’re Mine

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Title: Tell Me You’re Mine
Author: Elisabeth Norebäck
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this riveting domestic suspense debut, a woman’s life shatters when she meets a girl she believes is the daughter she lost years ago–and she finds that reclaiming the life she lost might cost her the life she has. Tell Me You’re Mine is a story of guilt, grief, and the delicate balance between love and obsession.

Where is the line between hope and madness?

Three women: one who believes she has found her long lost daughter, one terrified she’s about to lose her child, and one determined to understand who she truly is.

Stella Widstrand is a psychotherapist, a happily married mother to a thirteen-year-old son. But when a young woman named Isabelle steps into her clinic to begin therapy, Stella’s placid life begins to crumble. She is convinced that Isabelle is her daughter, Alice. The baby that tragically disappeared more than twenty years ago on a beach during a family vacation. Alice is believed to have drowned, but her body was never found. Stella has always believed that Alice is alive, somewhere–but everyone around her worries she’s delusional. Could this be Alice?

Stella will risk everything to answer that question, but in doing so she will set in motion a sequence of events beyond her control, endangering herself and everyone she loves.

Review:

This was a slow paced thriller with a good ending.

It took a while for me to get into this book. The first few chapters ended with cliffhangers and things weren’t clear, so I didn’t really know who was related and what they believed was the truth. Once I got used to the pace of the story, it became exciting.

I found the ending predictable, but good. I think the ending was the only possible solution to the mystery of the possibility of Isabelle being Stella’s long lost daughter. I don’t think there could have been another ending, especially considering the involvement of Isabelle’s mother in the narrative.

There were some things in the story that weren’t believable, including the fact that Stella could just abandon her job for days and no one noticed or complained. However, this is still an entertaining story.

What to read next:

  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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  • Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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Have you read Tell Me You’re Mine? What did you think of it?

 

 

Review: The Exes’ Revenge

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Title: The Exes’ Revenge
Author: Jo Jakeman
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: Publisher
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Originally titled Sticks and Stones

A wickedly dark debut thriller about three women who’ve all been involved with the same man and realize the one thing they have in common is that they all want revenge against him…

Divorces are often messy, and Imogen’s is no exception. Phillip Rochester is controlling, abusive, and determined to make things as difficult as possible. When he shows up without warning demanding that Imogen move out of their house by the end of the month or he’ll sue for sole custody of their young son, Imogen is ready to snap.

In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable–something that puts her in control for the first time in years. She’s desperate to protect her son and to claim authority over her own life.

But she wasn’t expecting both Phillip’s ex-wife and new girlfriend to get tangled up in her plans. These three very different women–and unlikely allies–reluctantly team up to take revenge against a man who has wronged them all.

Review:

This was a dark, suspenseful thriller.

The premise behind the story reminded me of the movie The Other Woman. In that movie, three women join together to get back at a man. The women are his wife, his mistress, and his new young girlfriend. In this story, Phillip’s ex-wife, current wife, and new girlfriend try to get revenge against him together.

Most of the story was narrated by Phillip’s current wife, Imogen. The only parts that were not narrated by her were flashbacks into the other women’s lives. I found her frustrating most of the time. I kept wanting to yell at her to do something different. For example, she didn’t want to go to the police for help. Her husband is a police officer, so they were likely to side with him like they had done in the past. But I still think she should have reported what was happening.

Even though I found Imogen frustrating at times, I still liked this fast paced thriller.

What to read next:

  • With You Always by Rena Olsen

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  • Still Mine by Amy Stuart

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Have you read The Exes’ Revenge? What did you think of it?

Review: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

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Title: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle
Author: Stuart Turton
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed—again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend—but nothing and no one is quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

Review:

This is a unique mystery. It’s Groundhog Day meets Freaky Friday in an Agatha Christie novel.

I couldn’t put this book down for hours. There were loads of twists at the beginning so I had no idea where the story was heading.

I liked how the story ended. However, I didn’t like the explanation for how the main character entered the loop of living the day over and over to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder. I wish that background was either explored more in the story or simplified. It seemed like the start of a side story but it wasn’t detailed enough.

The title is confusing I’m not sure why sometimes it is the 7 deaths and other times it’s the 7 1/2 deaths. I understand what the deaths are, but not why there are two different numbers in the titles. If anyone knows, I’d love to hear it.

I loved this book! If you like a suspenseful thriller in the style of Agatha Christie, you’ll love this book.

What to read next:

  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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  • The End of Temperance Dare by Wendy Webb

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Have you read The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle? What did you think of it?

Review: With You Always

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Title: With You Always
Author: Rena Olsen
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the author of The Girl Before comes a tense and incisive work of psychological suspense that examines how easy it is to fall into the wrong relationship…and how impossible it can be to leave.

In the wake of a painful breakup and struggling to prove herself at work, Julia feels adrift. When Bryce blows into her life, he seems like the perfect anchor. Handsome, charming, secure, and confident, Bryce brings out the best in Julia, sweeping her off her feet with attention and affection while grounding her with his certainty and faith. Together they embark on a path guided by the principles of his family and their church, each step a paving stone leading to happily ever after.

But this is no fairy tale.

Step by step, one small concession leading to another, Julia is slowly isolated from her job, her friends, and her family, until she comes to find that her dream come true is a cage. Then one day everything changes…and Julia is faced with no choice but to find a way out.

Review:

This book disappointed me a little, because it is marketed as a psychological thriller but it takes a long time for the thriller to begin.The thrilling parts of it only began in the last third of the book.

The thriller aspects of the story only began in the last third of the book. The beginning of the book laid the groundwork for the rest of it, but it took too long for the exciting part to start.

It is clear pretty early on that Bryce is controlling. He was very creepy, and I don’t know why Julia couldn’t see it. He was way too perfect. Since he was obviously creepy, the long story of their relationship leading up to the climax could have been shorter than the 200 pages it took up.

This book wasn’t for me, because I like fast paced thrillers. If you like a book that has a slower pace, this is for you.

What to read next:

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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  • The Girl Before by Rena Olsen

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Have you read With You Always? What did you think of it?

 

Review: Believe Me

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Title: Believe Me
Author: J.P. Delaney
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Timesbestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap? But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

Review:

This was a great thriller. It had tons of twists!

Claire was an unreliable character. I couldn’t trust what she did or said because sometimes she would lie and I couldn’t tell what was true. It made for a good story since I didn’t know what was happening, but it was frustrating at the same time because I couldn’t trust her.

Halfway through the book, I was sure that I had figured out who killed Stella. But there was a twist in part 3, which completely through me off. I was also wrong with my theory.

The last part of the story was different from the first two. There was less of the mystery because everyone was more settled in their lives. The mystery was resolved at the very end, but it felt rushed to me. I was surprised at how it ended.

This book is great if you love twisty thrillers!

What to read next:

  • A Noise Downstairs

  • Gone Girl

Have you read Believe Me? What did you think of it?