One by One Review

October 26th, 2020

Title: One by One
Author: Ruth Ware
Type: Thriller, Mystery 
Pages: 372
Rating: 4/5
Method Read: E-Book

“My breath in the kitchen was a cloud of white. Upstairs must be subzero. “Maybe… should we sleep down here?” I ask. “I—I guess. Yes. I suppose it makes sense.”
Ruth Ware-One by One

Ruth Ware is one of my favorite authors. Her books are always page turners for me. This didn’t disappoint in that regard. A hip tech company has decided to vacation in the mountains while they discuss the future of the company. The team goes skiing and when they return one of them is missing. No one knows what happened to Eva and decide she must have fallen off the side of the mountain while skiing. When there’s an avalanche they are cut off from the outside world and slowly it seems like maybe Eva’s death wasn’t an accident because one by one they are all being killed.

Things I liked:
1. I feel like the tech company, Snoop was a good way to draw in younger techy readers. The company, Snoop allows you to snoop and hear what music others are listening to in real time. I feel like this ap would appeal to a younger generation.
2. The story is fast paced and exciting. What’s not to love about a group of people stranded away from civilization due to an avalanche and it seems like one of them might be a cold blooded killer.
3. Ruth effortlessly is able to tell as story in multiple points of view.

Things I didn’t like:
1. The last 10% seemed to drag on. I find this funny because I thought the ending in her last book was rushed. haha. I also didn’t love the ending. While the ending was clever, I was looking for something a little different.
2. The story is told partially told from Liz’s point of view and I would have liked to see more of what her relationship was like with both her father, she has flashbacks to her childhood, and Topher another character in the book.

All in all this was a pretty good thriller. Ruth Ware continues to be a favorite author of mine and one I recommend often when people are looking for thriller recommendations.

His & Hers Review

October 25th, 2020

 His and Hers
Author: Alice Feeney
Type: Thriller, Mystery 
Pages: 304
Rating: 5/5
Method Read: Audio

“Nobody cares who you used to be; it’s only who you are now that counts. Like yesterday’s news, old versions of a person are easily forgotten.”
Alice Feeney-His & Hers

Anna Andrews is a TV star for BBC news and she made a lot of sacrifices to get there. When her career is threatened she’ll do anything to keep it. When a murder happens Blackdown, the town she grew up in, she is nervous to go until she finds out the victim is a childhood friend. Jack Harper is assigned to investigate the murder at Blackdown and decides to keep it a secret that he knows the victim. Soon he realizes he’s a suspect in the murder. This complex story is told in alternating points of view and will keep you guessing the entire time.

What I liked:
1. I did this one in audio and the narration was fantastic! The were three voices. One for Anna, one for Jack and one for the killer. The killer voice was set up to sound extremely creepy. All the characters and sub characters were well established. Likeable when they needed to be and vindictive when they needed to be.
2. This was pretty fast paced. The plot was fantastic and well developed. The story was dark, twisty, creepy and super fasted paced. It kept me guessing the entire time. When I finished I think my mouth hit the floor.
3. Never in my life have I wanted to reread a book immediately. When I finished I wanted to reread to see if there was something I missed. This thriller will sit with me for a long time and will be one I’ll likely read again.

What I didn’t like:
Honestly. I can’t think of anything. This story was so well done and I really enjoyed it! It’s one I am definitely going to recommend to everyone!

The Vacation

October 24th, 2020

 The Vacation
Author: T.M. Logan
Type: Thriller, Mystery 
Pages: 374
Rating: 3/5
Method Read: Physical

A group of families go on nice relaxing vacation together. Four women have been friends for ages and travel to a nice villa in France. Upon arrival, Kate discovers that her husband might be having an affair with one of the best friends. As Kate tries to get to the truth, it seems like one of her friends is hiding a terrible secret and is willing to kill to keep it from getting out.

Things I liked:
1. There were a lot of characters in this book but they were easy to keep track of and the author did a great job bringing out their personalities.
2. I really enjoy stories told in multiple points of view. The author does this beautifully. He truly captures how I feel some of these characters would act (when it comes to their age) and how they would talk based on their respective ages.

Things I didn’t like:
1. The story isn’t super exciting. I felt like it took awhile to get the story going. Kate spends most of the book playing detective searching for clues to figure out which one of her friends is having an affair with her husband. She analyzes all her friends actions and movements.
2. If you couldn’t tell, I found Kate’s character to be annoying. She wasn’t likeable at all. I found myself hoping the worst for her.

Overall, I’m pretty disappointed. I read another book by this author, Lies, and I loved it. This one fell way short for me.

The Lies We Told Review

October 24th, 2020

Title: The Lies We Told
Author: Camilla Way
Type: Thriller, Mystery 
Pages: 336
Rating: 3.5/5
Method Read: Physical

Thrilling and chilling novel told in two different timelines and perspectives. In the past, Beth, realizes her daughter Hannah isn’t like other children and soon her behavior becomes unbearable. It begins to put a strain on her marriage as she worries for her other child, Toby, and what Hannah might do to him. In the present, Clara’s boyfriend, Luke, goes missing and soon she finds he had received threatening stalker emails. As she begins to look into where he may have gone she finds he has secrets. One can assume that these two stories will collide but when and where will leave you speeding though this story super fast!

This story is super fast paced, kept me engaged but in the end I didn’t love it. I didn’t feel connected to the characters at all and the story was a bit predictable at times which made the story feel juvenile. I don’t regret reading it and will recommend it to anyone who is looking for a typical thriller that won’t make your brain hurt as you try to find out what’s going on. I’m willing to give this author another try.

Reviving the Hawthorn Sisters Review

October 15th, 2020

Title: Reviving the Hawthorn Sisters
Author: Emily Carpenter
Type: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, Historical Fiction
Pages: 332
Rating: 4/5
Method Read: Physical

**Thank you to Lake Union Publishing for an advanced readers copy in exchange for my honest review**

“He didn’t understand how coming to Alabama had changed me. How I’d found a side of my grandmother I never knew existed.”
Emily Carpenter-Reviving the Hawthorn Sisters

Reviving the Hawthorn Sisters is a gripping novel told in dual perspectives that slides smoothly between past and present. In the past we follow Dove during the 1930’s, she’s an evangelical con-artist who make people believe she is a faith healer that heals the sick. In the future, Eve, Dove’s granddaughter finds out that in addition to her grandmother being a con she may also be a thief and murder. Eve wants to solve the mystery of her grandmother to protect the legacy of her family.

What a great story! I really appreciate the research the author put into this novel. It beautifully illustrates some of the history in the south during the Great Depression with faith healers and big name preachers. It left me wanting to look into the faith healers in the 1930’s. The story and characters were beautifully developed and the way the mystery was woven into the story was exceptional. Emily Carpenter’s writing is truly captivating and had just the right amount of everything a good novel should have. I can’t wait to read more books by Emily Carpenter.

Sweet Little Lies Review

October 4th, 2020

Title: Sweet Little Lies
Author: Caz Frear
Type: Thriller, Mystery 
Pages: 341
Rating: 4/5
Method Read: Physical

“And for that second, the world shrinks to just us. Just his face and mine. Every smell seems to evaporate. Every color ceases to exist. And there’s a silence. I silence so laden with fear and mistrust that it turns everything else abstract and us both to stone.” 
Caz Frear, Sweet Little Lies

I’ve been in a bit of a book slump these last few days. Thrillers and mystery are definitely one of my favorite genres so I picked up this title off my bookshelf. I acquired it through a Facebook swap group. I wasn’t super excited about the writing style at first and it took some time for me to get into it but once I did I couldn’t put it down.

Catrina, Cat, Kinsella is detective on the police force in London when they come across a murdered victim. Soon they find out the victim, Alice, is connected to a runaway, possibly kidnapped teenager girl named Maryanne from Ireland. Maryanne disappeared 20 years ago and Cat had met Maryanne all those years ago when she was 8 and on vacation with her family. Cat had always thought her father had something to do with her disappearance. Now Cat must find out how it’s all connected but also feels obligated to keep her fathers secrets and she’s worried he might be involved with the murder of Alice.

This is a well developed, strong plot and I really enjoyed it. It is your classic “whodunit” mystery novel. It kept me guessing the whole time. The style really reminded of James Patterson and John Sanford or any other detective book. I always forget how much I love crime novels like this. It isn’t the last of Catrina Kinsella either which is pretty exciting. She has other crimes to solve. I can’t wait to read them.

The Wife and The Widow Review

October 2nd, 2020

Title: The Wife and the Widow
Author: Christian White
Type: Thriller, Mystery 
Pages: 326
Rating: 4/5
Method Read: Physical

If we don’t talk about the monsters in this world, we won’t be ready for them when they jump out from under the bed
The Wife and the Widow– Christian White

Christian White does it again with this on the edge of your seat thriller! The story is told in two different perspectives. Kate, the widow, who recently found out her husband was killed and is on a mission to find out what happened and Abby, the wife, who find evidence that her husband may have been involved in a serious crime. The two women must come together so they can discover the full story about their husbands.

What a wild ride that was. The chapters go back and forth between Kate and Abby often leaving a cliff hanger after each chapter. This story will keep you guessing the entire time. I don’t want to say much more but I will end with this. I’m an avid reader and its pretty hard to surprise me these days and the plot twist left feeling shocked. Add this to your list today!

The Suicide House Review

September 30th, 2020

Title: The Suicide House
Author: Charlie Donlea 
Type: Thriller  
Pages: 356
Rating: 5/5
Method Read: Physical

“What was it about being so close to danger that filled us with adrenaline?”
-The Suicide House–Charlie Donlea

Honestly, this is probably one of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time. I pretty much read it all in one sitting. It was on the edge of your seat thriller that kept me guessing the whole time. You are also pulled into the story right away when in the first few pages the killer shares how he killed his first victim by pushing him in front of a train and making it look like an accident. It’s not a spoiler. It literally happens within the first two and a half pages in a journal the killer writes in.

There is a secret society on the grounds of Westmont Preparatory High School where only a select amount of students are allow to be initiated each year. On the evening of the initiation two students are killed in a brutal massacre and a teacher is convicted. But a year later it seems like there’s still questions to be answered and some of the students in the elite group are going back to the scene of the crime and jumping in front of a moving train. Rory is an expert in solving cases and is asked to take a second look. The book has two easy to follow timelines, the year the killings happened and present time. The killers journals entries and throughout the book too.

I love a good crime thriller and this one did not disappoint! Seriously this book is fantastic and super fast paced. I could not put it down! A first of mine by this author and won’t be the last!

When No One is Watching Review

September 28th, 2020

Title: When No One is Watching
Author: Alyssa Cole
Type: Psychological Thriller 
Pages: 352
Rating: 4/5
Method Read: Physical

“Bad things happen in this world, every minute of everyday. We try to stop them, when we can, how we can.”
When No One is Watching-Alyssa Cole

The Brooklyn neighborhood Sydney Green grew up in is changing. Her neighbors are disappearing from their homes and new neighbors moving in. Several businesses are moving or changing. It’s all very suspicious. Sydney and her neighbor Theo begin to look into the history of the neighborhood and they start to develop a theory. Will they figure everything out before they disappear too?

This story is not your traditional thriller. It’s not a fast paced and doesn’t have a lot of twists and turns. It’s a slow build but has really strong story and character development. It’s worth the read. The author illustrates the reality for marginalized groups on a daily basis and how black and brown people are being forced our of their homes a term known as gentrification. I am guessing this happens more than we think. There’s also some chilling historical aspects included in the story which is pretty neat. I am amazed at how Cole was able to write a thriller but also educate her readers. The last 30% is where thriller elements really pick up and at that point it’s pretty fast paced. It ends up coming together in the end. All in all, I really enjoyed it and I hope Alyssa Cole continues to write thrillers.

This Cruel Design Review

September 20th, 2020

Title: This Cruel Design
Author: Emily Suvada
Type: Young Adult, Dystopian  
Pages: 394
Rating: 4/5
Method Read: Audio

“If there is a design that underpins us, Catarina, then it is cold, it is violent, and it is cruel.” 
This Cruel Design-Emily Suvada

***If you have not read the first book, The Mortal Coil please stop now to avoid possible spoilers for the first book in the series***

This is the second book in The Mortal Coil series and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It picks off right where it left off. Catarina finds out that the virus has mutated and they spend a good chunk of the book searching for Lachlan for help apply a patch to the vaccine the had been created. Cat also begins to recover lost memories which makes her question everything.

This story is truly magnificent. Her world building is truly stunning in how she involves futristic technology with coding and genehacking. This story is action packed and oh so good! Love all the characters, including the new ones introduced. Plus that ending?! OMG! Give me the next book NOW! Once again I’m glad I don’t need to wait. I’m probably going to have a book hangover when I finish the series. I highly recommend this series.