“An Anonymous Girl”–Review

419p4E1XfqL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

When she comes across an opportunity for a paid study on ethics and morality by the mysterious Dr. Shields, Jessica Farris jumps at the chance. Not only do the questions arouse her curiosity, she knows she could use the extra money. As the questions become intense and personal, however, Jessica asks herself if she ought to continue or just take her pay and never look back.

But Dr. Shields isn’t done with her.

Even though extra pay is offered, Jessica starts to feel there is more to the outside assignments she is given. She was supposed to get paid only for the surveys, after all. So what is the reason for Dr. Shields’s assignments?

As her paranoia grows–especially after revealing her most personal stories–Jessica can no longer trust what’s going on around her, especially Dr. Shields’s obsession and her manipulative experiments.

I finished reading this book yesterday and I think it’s worth the read. In fact, I actually liked it better than the authors’ previous novel. The suspense was great and the supposed flawless Dr. Shields made me want to know more of how it all was going to go down. So, dear readers, what would you do in that situation? For a substantial amount of money, would you be willing to be tested on ethics and morality? Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this early copy in a giveaway. An Anonymous Girl will be available on January 8, 2019.

About the authors: Sarah Pakkanen is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous solo novels and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. A former investigative journalist and award-winning feature writer, she has published work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. She is the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C. For more info, click here.

Greer Hendricks is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly.She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children. For more info, click here.

Advertisements

“The Adults”–Review

41M7vuDU+sL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Do you want to spend the holidays with:

a) your new love

b) your ex

c) your kid

d) your ex’s new love

e) all of the above

Although Claire and Matt are divorced, they both agreed on the idea to spend Christmas together for the sake of their seven-year-old daughter, Scarlett. At the same time, neither can agree on whose idea it was to spend the holidays at the Happy Forest holiday park, let alone who agreed it was okay to bring their new significant others. Claire brings her new boyfriend, Patrick, and Matt brings his new girlfriend, Alex. Since Claire and Matt seem to get along on their own, even with their new loves involved, what could go wrong?

But that’s where things did go wrong. While Claire and Matt seem to be okay on the outside, Patrick is suspicious of Claire’s relationship with her ex-husband and concered where Patrick fits in. Meanwhile, to keep occupied, Patrick stays in training for the upcoming Ironman. Alex, on the other hand, seems to be the only one who feels the holiday trip is a bad idea, yet she does her best to remain patient with everything, as well as trying to get along with Claire. While the adults are trying to be civil, Scarlett has her imaginary friend, Posey, a giant rabbit, who both seem to be suspicious of Alex.

The more time spent under the same roof, the faster the tensions increase with the couples, and it isn’t long before secrets are spilling out. With things going from bad to worse, each one of them questions their parts in their relationships. And then it all ends with a phone call to the police. But didn’t they all agree to be adults about this?

I can’t say I loved this book; however, I’ll give it three stars for the storyline. I was curious to know why it began and ended the way it did. In my opinion, though, the idea of two exes and their significant others spending the holidays together is one of the worst ideas. Sure, it works just fine if it’s a Jerry-and-Elaine relationship (for those who watch Seinfeld, you get it), but it doesn’t work that way in real life. Throughout the story, I wasn’t sure how I’d felt about the characters. Patrick was always uptight; Matt acted like he didn’t care about anything; Claire was a little too nice; and, Alex seemed to ask too many questions. But I suppose that’s what made the tensions better.

Readers, what do you think? Would you go on holiday with your ex and his/her new love, even for the sake of making your children happy?

The Adults will be available on November 27, 2018.

*I received this early copy from Random House, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Caroline Hulse spends most of her days writing, having fulfilled her dream of having a job she could do in pajamas. She also works in human resources, sometimes. She is openly competitive and loves playing board and card games. She can often be found in casino poker rooms. She lives with her husband in Manchester, England.

“I Like You, I Love Her”–Review

FULL WRAPGood evening, bloggers! Congrats to J.R. Rogue on the release of her new book, I Like You, I Love Her. Here’s a quick review:

In a lot of ways, I was one of the lucky ones. My high school crush liked me back. It should have been magic and fire, but it was tragic and brutal. I wrote it that way, anyways.
His name was Bryan Winthrop. He was our high school basketball star. The prom king. The most beautiful boy I had ever laid eyes on. He liked me — the theatre geek who never should have caught his eye — but he loved her.

Alternating from her high school days to ten years later, Severin Thompson tells her story of her involvement with Bryan Winthrop. Severin was always drawn to the boy she never could have. He was meant for someone else, after all. During the homecoming dance, however, a mistake is made and the gossip quickly spreads. Ten years later, Severin drives back from Los Angeles to her childhood home in Kansas. Although she’d built a new life in L.A., Severin never denied her constant thoughts of her old crush, Bryan. When they do see each other again, it all comes back to her. The betrayal. Their unhealthy involvement. Their hurting the ones they love. Nevertheless, Severin hangs on to the false hope that Bryan will finally come through for her, that just maybe she can feed her addiction again.

This story is a work of fiction, based on the author’s high school days. I think it was well-written. At times, I’d get annoyed with Severin because she’d been obsessing and chasing a guy who never intended to change, who made one excuse after another, who claimed to like her, but the excuses and pity parties never ended. Still, Severin lived on false hope for years. I really like the author’s poetic writing in her novels and how the topic of her stories really connect with many readers who can relate to such heartache. This story tells us that it’s normal to make mistakes, that we can learn from them. Letting go can be difficult, despite how we feel about someone. But, sometimes, we have to think about what’s more important. Once I got toward the end of the novel, I really understood why the book got its title.

If you haven’t check out her work, I encourage you to do so. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: J.R. Rogue first put pen to paper at the age of fifteen after developing an unrequited high school crush and has never stopped writing about heartache. She has published multiple volumes of poetry, such as Tell Me Where It Hurts, All Of My Bullshit Truths; Exits, Desires, & Slow Fires, and three novels, Burning Muses, Background Music, and Kiss Me Like You Mean It. Two of her poetry collections, La Douleur Exquise and Exits, Desires, & Slow Fires, have been Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees. She can be found on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. For more info, click here.

“The Exes’ Revenge”–Review

51oWSC9XY+L._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_Good evening, bloggers! Happy Pub Day to Jo Jakeman’s The Exes’ Revenge. Here’s a quick description and my review.

There’s only so far a woman can bend before she breaks…

He made their lives a living hell. Now three women will get their revenge in this gripping and darkly satisfying debut thriller.

The story revolves around Imogen Rochester’s point-of-view and her marriage to Phillip. A marriage that’s been difficult for a long time. Phillip is manipulative, abusive, and he’s cheated on Imogen enough times. After years of a failed marriage, they both want out. All that’s needed to move on is for Phillip to sign the divorce papers; however, he’s making it a mission to make the divorce as difficult as possible.

To make matters worse, Phillip demands that Imogen and their son move out of the house by the end of the month. If she doesn’t, Phillip will sue her for sole custody. Imogen is furious, yet terrified. For years, Phillip has always been one step ahead of her. He’s always had power over her. She always had to be careful to not make him angry. But, now, she’s had enough. And that’s when she does the unthinkable.

While plotting to take Phillip down, Imogen never expected to come together with Phillip’s first wife, including his current live-in girlfriend—two women who’ve also been hurt by the same man. Despite their differences, the three women plot to make sure Phillip gets what is coming to him.

This book had a pretty good storyline. I do enjoy a domestic thriller every so often. Even in some scenes, Phillip nearly had me fooled, even though I was practically saying, “Don’t fall for it, don’t fall for it.” Although I didn’t really love the book, I still think it was pretty decent. I suppose I expected a little more toward the end, but I’ll still recommend this one, anyhow. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this early copy from Berkley Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Jo is a writer based in Derbyshire. Her debut psychological thriller will be published in the UK as Sticks and Stones, by Harvill Secker (Penguin Random House) on 12 July 2018, and as The Exes’ Revenge, by Berkley in the USA on 11 September. For more info, click here. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

“When The Lights Go Out”–Review

51n0qBZuHsL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Insomnia has taken her sleep. Now it’s taking her mind.

There are scarier things than the dark…

After years of taking care of her sick mother, 19-year-old Jessie Sloane wants to start over. After moving into her new apartment, she applies for college. But then she receives an unusual call from the college. Apparently, her social security number has raised a red flag. According the the information she’d given, Jessie doesn’t exist. Now that her mother is gone—the only family she’s ever had—Jessie has to rely on herself to know why she has no identification.

While she tries to figure everything out, Jessie is suddenly suffering from insomnia. The insomnia gets worse as time passes and Jessie can’t tell what’s real and what’s imaginary. No matter, she’s not giving up on finding herself.

Each chapter also alternates from Jessie’s story to Eden’s, a woman who’d made a bad decision 20 years ago that all leads up to answers for which Jessie is searching. Has Jessie’s life been a lie? Was there something her mother had kept from her? As the insomnia slowly kills her, will Jessie get to the truth in time?

This is my first read by Mary Kubica. Although I liked the storyline, I’m not sure how I felt about the whole twist toward the end, but I enjoyed reading Eden’s story, so I’ll recommend the book because of that. I won’t spoil a thing, but it was so sad; the very ending actually surprised me. The author did a great job with Eden’s story. I’ll have to check out her previous books, now. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this early copy from the author in a giveaway. The opinions are my own.

*When the Lights Go Out will be available on September 4, 2018.

About the author: Mary Kubica is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including The Good Girl, which has sold over a million copies. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in history and American literature from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children. Follow the author on Twitter. For more info, click here.

“Lies”–Review

51EeVWg+xuL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_What if you have the perfect life, the perfect wife, and the perfect child—then, in one moment, you discover nothing is as it seems? What if your whole life was based on lies?

Joe Lynch is driving home with his four-year-old son, William, when he suddenly spots his wife, Mel, driving on the same route for a work meeting. Then Joe has an idea for his son: why not surprise her at her destination? But what comes next changes everything for Joe when he sees Mel meeting with another man.

What makes the meeting all the more suspicious is that Joe recognizes the man. With a meeting that threatens to tear apart his family, Joe is willing to do what it takes to protect them. But his life is soon in danger when he is threatened by a more clever, cunning opponent who is out to destroy him. While Joe tries to get his life back, the enemy always seems to be one step ahead of him. As one lie and threat after another accumulates, Joe has to ask himself: can we ever really trust those closest to us?

I started reading this book a week ago. And, today, I was halfway into the book and just spent the day reading it til the end. That’s how good the book was. The ending shocked me and I enjoyed the suspense. The way it all happened, I definitely didn’t expect. If you’re looking for a good thriller, I recommend this one. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review.

*Lies will be available on September 11, 2018.

About the author: T.M. Logan was born in Berkshire to an English father and a German mother. He studied at Queen Mary and Cardiff universities before becoming a national newspaper journalist. He currently works in communications and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children. Lies is his first novel. Check him out on Facebook, as well as Twitter.

“Sadie”–Review

51q4dmgrQUL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_If she dies, she takes the truth with her.

“I’m going to kill a man. I’m going to steal the light from his eyes. I want to watch it go out. You aren’t supposed to answer violence with more violence, but sometimes I think violence is the only answer.”

The story begins with a public radio personality, West McCray, who’s taken an assignment regarding a missing person case in a small town in Colorado. Although McCray is hesitant about the job—especially because young girls disappear all the time—he can’t fight his curiosity. He has to know what happened to 19-year-old Sadie Hunter, so the investigation begins.

Ever since they were kids, Sadie has practically raised her younger sister, Mattie. With one hardship after another, including their mother eventually dropping out of their lives, the sisters were inseparable. Sadie had felt almost like a parent to the sister she loved more than anything.

But, then, Mattie’s dead body is discovered and Sadie’s world is shattered. Feeling she has nothing left to lose, Sadie leaves home and vows to avenge her sister’s death. She drives from one small town to the next, in hopes of speaking to anyone who may have connections to the murderer. When or if she confronts him, Sadie will be ready to kill him, to avenge her sister—or die trying.

Rarely do I read YA novels, but this one did an amazing job. I won’t give anything away, but I liked the story’s realistic ending. It was such a sad story and, at the same time, it amazed me that such a young girl was willing to risk her own life after the only family she’s ever had had been taken from her. It makes me wonder: would you have done the same? Again, I won’t say any more, so I’ll just encourage you to read this book. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

*I received this copy from St. Martins Press, in exchange for an honest review.

*Sadie will be available on September 4, 2018.

About the author: Courtney Summers was born in Belleville, Ontario, Canada in 1986 and currently resides in a small town not far from there. At age 14, and with her parents’ blessing, Courtney dropped out of high school to pursue her education independently. At age 18, she wrote her first novel and never looked back. Her first book, Cracked Up to Be, was published in 2008, when she was 22. To date, she has authored five novels and is best known for her unapologetic, difficult female protagonists. In 2016, Courtney was named one of Flare Magazine’s 60 under 30. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.