Codename Villanelle by Luke Jennings – Killing Eve #1

I was drawn to this novel because of the hit new TV show Killing Eve. I saw a trailer for the show ages ago and immediately knew I wanted to watch it – it looked so cool and featured some very strong female actresses! Now … I still haven’t gotten around to watching it because … life is busy and my TV binge list is just as long as my TBR list. But I decided to do the next best thing – I read the book that inspired the creation of the show!

36546651Summary (Goodreads): Villanelle (a codename, of course) is one of the world’s most skilled assassins. A catlike psychopath whose love for the creature comforts of her luxurious lifestyle is second only to her love of the game, she specializes in murdering the world’s richest and most powerful. But when she murders an influential Russian politician, she draws a relentless foe to her tail.
Eve Polastri (not a codename) is a former MI6 operative hired by the national security services for a singular task: to find and capture or kill the assassin responsible, and those who have aided her. Eve, whose quiet and otherwise unextraordinary life belies her quick wit and keen intellect, accepts the mission.
The ensuing chase will lead them on a trail around the world, intersecting with corrupt governments and powerful criminal organizations, all leading towards a final confrontation from which neither will emerge unscathed.

 


Review: So …. I finished reading it. And while I didn’t hate it, I didn’t go crazy over it.

The story is interesting but I have to admit, there was really nothing new when it came to this book. Villanelle is a psychopath who does a great job as a spy. But her character just wasn’t that unique to me. Maybe I read too many messed-up books but I could name quite a few psychopathic characters that were a lot better than her! The only thing that stood out for me about Villanelle was the way the author always used cat-like descriptions of her … and I didn’t really like that.

The story also wasn’t really that interesting. It was similar to Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews by Jason Matthews, except that all the main characters were female. Even then, I preferred Red Sparrow because the main character there had an interesting condition and was intelligent whereas Villanelle really didn’t have anything going for her.

I will say that I enjoyed the description of the events; they had the right amount of violence, and showed the cold, calculated behaviour that you would hope and expect from a killer.

Overall, this novel came off as a bit generic and didn’t really excite me too much. I will be watching the TV show soon, however, so hopefully I will enjoy that more. For now, this book gets a 2/5 stars from me.

2 star

Have any of you read this book? Who has watched the show Killing Eve? Is there a difference between the two? I would love to know so share your thoughts in the comments section!

Happy reading ~

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All The Ever Afters by Danielle Teller

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

I am such a fan of retellings of classic fairy tales and stories. I’ve read quite a few that have featured Cinderella but I’m always searching for a new take on this classic and I was really excited to give this one a shot! Here is my review:

36099691.jpgSummary (Goodreads): We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?

As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, a woman who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story. But what unfolds is not the princess’s history. The tale Agnes recounts is her own.

A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice at Aviceford Manor when she is just ten years old. Alone, friendless, and burdened with a grueling workload, Agnes carves a place for herself in this cold place that is home to Sir Emont Vis-de-Loup, a melancholic and capricious drunkard.

Using her wits and ingenuity, Agnes eventually escapes and makes her way toward a hopeful future, serving as a housemaid for the powerful Abbess Elfilda. But life once again holds unexpected, sometimes heartbreaking twists that lead Agnes back to Aviceford Manor, where she becomes nursemaid to Ella, Emont’s sensitive, otherworldly daughter. Though she cares for Ella, Agnes struggles to love this child, who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, ultimately, the celebrated princess who embodies all our unattainable fantasies.

 


Review: This was quite an interesting story, told from the perspective of Cinderella’s stepmother – a voice I had never heard from until now. And I’m really glad I did!

The author really changed the story of Cinderella but still managed to keep the basic framework recognizable for fans of the original tale. It was interesting having the villainous character take the spotlight, and have her turn out to not be a villain after all. The author created a very unique character in Agnes, and watching her grow up and learn about the harsh realities of life and still make something of herself is admirable. There were so many moments where I really connected with her, which made me really enjoy reading this book. Unlike in the classic tale, Agnes was a fully-fleshed out character in this tale, as were her daughters. If anything, it was Cinderella’s character that bothered me the most; I really found her annoying and the fact that she became queen (which I know is inevitable – but still!) just seemed unfair because, well, she didn’t deserve it! As you can tell, I became quite invested in the lives of the characters – and that’s always a good sign!

In terms of the writing style, I had mixed feelings about it. The prose was beautiful and lyrical and I really liked the shifts between the past and present that gave us a fuller picture of the events that transpired. However, the story moved at quite a slow pace and there were times when nothing really happened. I would say that this story might have benefited from being cut a little shorter at some points, but I also feel that if this novel was shortened, it wouldn’t create as nice of a picture or setting as it does now.

Regardless, I found this novel to be a very unique variation to a classic story that changed my perception of a character that was always portrayed as “evil”. I enjoyed reading this book and felt very drawn to the main character. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to reading more by this author. For now, I’m giving it a solid 3/5 stars!

3 star

Happy reading ~

The Wicked King by Holly Black – The Folk of the Air #2

I have been sooooo excited to read this book, considering how much I adored The Cruel Prince!

This book has also been highly anticipated by many Holly Black fans and others in the book community, so the hype was definitely there. I waited quite a while to read this book (even though the anticipation was KILLING me) because I didn’t want to be swayed by anyone else’s opinion …. so here are my thoughts:

26032887Summary (Goodreads): You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

 


Review:  I would highly recommend if you don’t remember what happened in The Cruel Prince that you read it right before reading this book because the story takes off right where the previous one ended.

Once again, the author did a great job with pacing and characterization. There was never a dull moment in the story, which means the reader is always kept hooked to the story. The characters also stay true to their nature, which is something I always appreciate because there are many cases where the things you loved about a character tend to disappear as the series progresses. If anything, some of the characters seemed to reveal their treacherous nature even more, which just made this novel even more enjoyable for me. The one thing I will mention is that I wasn’t as enchanted with Jude as I used to be; for a character that is constantly mentioning how deceptive this world is and how careful she must be with her trust, she really does a bad job of avoiding traps. Nevertheless, her misadventures and attempts to get out of sticky situations got my heart pumping and she had my support throughout the story.

The one thing I couldn’t help noticing – and maybe this is just a small pet peeve of mine – is that the language being used in the story was not always consistent with the setting. For instance, Jude and some of the other characters in faerie would use common modern slang at times, which was incongruent with their position in the faerie court and the world that they were in. Now, I know Jude is human and would visit the human world, so I can excuse her use of slang but why characters like Cardan or other fae would do so just made no sense to me.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book. It had great pacing, plenty of twists and turns to keep readers interested, and the same awesome characters I fell for in The Cruel Prince. I cannot wait to see what the author will come up with in the next book in this series: Queen of Nothing! I’m giving this a solid 4/5 stars!

4 star

Happy reading ~

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

My first encounter with Claire Legrand was when I read the book Furyborn. I absolutely loved it and I’m still eagerly anticipating the sequel. In the meantime, I found out that Legrand was releasing another novel and I knew I had to get my hands on it ASAP! So here I am, having read it and I’m finally ready to share my thoughts:

38139409Summary (Goodreads): Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep. He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.

Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

 


Review: While I thought this story was interesting, it didn’t quite hold the spark for me that Furyborn did.

I really liked that it featured 3 strong female characters who were all very different. Marion was a girl who was consumed by grief and while she could be annoying at times, her behaviour and personality made sense with what was happening in her life. Zoey was spunky and asexual and the kind of character you always want to root for. My personal favourite character was Val. She may seem like the typical popular “bitchy” girl, but there is so much more to her and the story really allows you to connect with her.

But apart from the character development and their interactions with each other, I didn’t really enjoy the story. I think my two biggest problems with this book was that it felt childish at times and that there were too many themes that the author was trying to address all at one go.

In terms of maturity, this novel was a bit too childish even for a teen read. I think my comments regarding this stem from my experience with Furyborn: while that was also a teen read, it had some maturity to it that made me take the story seriously. My feelings about this book might be a bit unfair in that I’m comparing these 2 novels together but it did affect my ability to enjoy this novel.

There were quite a few themes that the author tried to explore in this story …. but I felt that it was detrimental to the story in the sense that none of the themes were really explored as fully as they could be and it detracted from the story itself, leaving many vague plot points that the reader just had to deal with. Throughout the story, I was left with tons of questions that were just never answered. For instance, where did the monster that terrorized these girls come from? Why was the rock (is it a rock, is it the earth, is it the island?!) talking to these girls? And where did this random organization come from?! There were so many things that the reader was just supposed to accept and that really didn’t work for me. I want proper world-building and explanations for things or else I just can’t enjoy the story! Perhaps if the author had focused her attention on this rather than trying to shove in a bunch of feminist themes, it would have been better.

Now, before you take offense, I do think the themes that the author brought in were important. They should be addressed and we need more books that talk about sexuality and the struggles of women to be recognized as independent, to be more than just sacrificial lambs. But this just happened in bursts here and there and wasn’t fully developed. While the intent was great, the execution didn’t really work, making it a moot point.

Overall, this story had a lot of potential and it had an interesting plot. However, the execution was just not where I wanted it to be. I’m still looking forward to reading more by this author because Furyborn was absolutely fantastic. But this book gets a 2/5 stars from me.

2 star

Happy reading ~

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

When I saw this title at my library, I knew I had to get my hands on this book. As an Indian-Canadian, I was really excited to read a book that showed what life is like for a child growing up “indian” while being raised in a Western country. So here are my thoughts:

28458598Summary (Goodreads): Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

 


Review:

This book made me very happy and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! It was fun, it was a fresh perspective, and it was just downright adorable when it came to romance! I can go on and on about this book but I’m going to try to break it down into specific sections that I think were done really well:

First of all, the author created some wonderfully memorable characters. Dimple is such an amazing protagonist, fierce yet sensitive and full of spunk. It’s easy to connect with her and you really want to root for her! Compared to Dimple, Rishi’s character is much softer, but still likable. Just because he has a gentler and more romantic personality in no way means he is a pushover, and the way he stands up for his beliefs is admirable. It is easy to see how the two of them have this natural friendship and chemistry, and readers can’t help but “ship” them!

One of the things I really loved about this book is the way it explored parental pressure in an Indian family setting. As someone in her 20s, I could really empathize with Dimple, who was being pressured to consider marriage instead of focus on her career. This is something I’m going through currently, and let me tell you, it is NOT fun! The author explores this in such a way that even people who haven’t necessarily experienced this can still understand what Dimple is feeling and going through. The author also ensured that she showed both sides of the situation, through Rishi’s character and his own acceptance and support of arranged marriage.

Not only was the plot interesting, the writing style also made the story very readable. I loved that the author had alternating chapters from Rishi and Dimple’s point of view to give a fuller picture and see what was going on in each of their heads. It made this such a cute read and there were so many times when I would internally “aww” over something Rishi or Dimple said/thought about the other person. It’s always nice to see both people’s feelings evolve in a romance, and the author definitely delivers on that front.

All in all, this book was a major success for me. It is unique in its representation of second-generation Indians and their struggle to assimilate into the Western culture while still adhering to Indian traditions. It also highlighted the importance of females in STEM, and how girls should never have to give up on their dreams. And it had one of the cutest romances ever, and I completely fell in love with Rishi and Dimple and their growing chemistry. For those reasons, I’m giving this book a 5/5 stars!

5 star

Happy reading ~

Sadie by Courtney Summers

When I read the synopsis for this book, I thought this would be right down my alley. You know how much I love reading books that are seriously messed up, and a revenge story with this premise DEFINITELY fit into that category. But after reading this novel, I must say that this is so much more than that. Here are my thoughts:

34810320Summary (Goodreads): Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.


Review:

Wow. This book. Wow. I’m struggling to write this review because there is just so much I want to say about this novel. To say it messed me up would be an understatement because it SERIOUSLY messed me up. And I mean that in the best way. This novel has a lot of triggers for child abuse and assault so please do keep that in mind if you plan on picking it up.

The story has a very unique writing style in that it is told mostly through Sadie’s perspective but also through a podcast, where you can read the transcripts (or listen to them, if you have an audiobook version – and I really recommend that experience). This allows the reader to see the story from an outsider’s view, which is very much appreciated because it just added more depth and realism to the story.

There is so much going on in this story from an emotional perspective. As the plot shows Sadie’s journey to get justice for her sister’s murder, we also see Sadie handle her grief and get a glimpse into what her life has been like. And let me tell you, it is heart-wrenching. The author does not hold back the punches when delving into dark material like abuse, murder, pedophilia, and sexual assault. Readers get to really understand the experiences that Sadie has been through and how she has tried to stay strong and be mature for her sister. I loved Sadie’s character, even though there were times when I didn’t feel like I could connect with – at times, her reticence made her distant to the reader. But the rawness of the emotions, and the significance of the message of the story were so real and I was completely drawn into Sadie’s world.

There aren’t very many books that I say everyone should read. But this is one of those books. It is gripping, it is heartbreaking and it is completely relevant. If you haven’t tried this novel, I highly recommend that you do. I’m giving this book 5/5 stars!

5 star

Happy reading ~

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

So remember how I said I was back? Well …. it seems I lied. Once again, I underestimated my workload and put too much on my plate. But fear not, I have continued to read and I think (and I say this very hesitantly) that I am ready to get back into writing blog posts. I have a lot of books I want to get through and I feel quite motivated to do so …. and I thought this book would be a great one to start with, so let’s get started!

13623848Summary (Goodreads): Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.


Review:

To say I loved this book would not do it justice. It was absolutely amazing and months after reading it, I am still in awe of the author’s ability to create this vivid and fantastic story.

I went into this book completely blind; apart from vaguely knowing that Achilles was a Greek hero who fought in Troy, I knew nothing about this Greek legend. This story was so different than anything I have previously read and the direction of the story was not what I was expecting at all – and I mean this in the best way possible!

One of the first things that drew me to this book was the writing style. Told from the perspective of Patroclus, the prose is lyrical and rich in its detail. Every single scene, every single character, every interaction was fleshed out beautifully, giving it a realistic feel that the reader could really believe in. The author manages to accomplish this while still maintaining the simplicity of the language, making it easy to just keep reading.

I also thought the author went about telling this story in a very intelligent way. Rather than focusing on the actual fighting that usually is the central point of the Iliad, the author chose to explore the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles, and by doing so, she revealed a side to Achilles that I don’t think many people will have seen or read before. Instead of being this strong, untouchable demigod, Achilles has been rendered as a simple man, capable of love and humor. Achilles is given a personality that readers can connect with, which makes us understand why people were so enamored by him, why Patroclus loved him as much as he did. And while Achilles is definitely the star of the show, Patroclus’ character is in no way diminished by him. In fact, it is easy to see how this is the story of Patroclus, as we get to read about a character that is usually kept in the sidelines. While this means that the story didn’t necessarily have a great deal of action, it gave a lot of depth and nuance to a tale that most people are very familiar with.

The ending of this novel had me in tears, which is really a testament to how strongly the author made me connect with the characters. The love (because really, this is a love story over all else) between Patroclus and Achilles is timeless and strong and enduring; it is everything you dream of when you think of love. I was rooting for them from the start and seeing their love bloom and endure was absolutely beautiful. I was moved by their emotions and the lengths they would go for each other, and there was never a moment where I didn’t believe in their love for each other, even though they never declared their love for each other in the story.

At the end of the day, this was a masterful rendition of the story of Achilles, and one that I would encourage everyone to read. At the heart of it, this is a love story and it is a beautiful and tragic one, which will definitely make you emotional. I am so glad that I picked this book up, and I cannot wait to read more from this author. It should come as no surprise, then, that I’m giving this a 5/5 stars!

5 star

Happy reading ~

The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

With the advent of Halloween, I thought it would be nice to read a horror story. I love a good haunting, even if I don’t personally want it to happen to me! I chose this book because I had absolutely loved  The Broken Girls by this author, and I wanted to read more of her work. So let me just jump straight into my experience:

11832043Summary (Goodreads): Sarah Piper’s lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah’s task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy’s ghost is real, she’s angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair’s assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, where she came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?

 


Review: After reading this, all I can say is choosing this book was a really good idea. Because I really enjoyed it.

This novel is a blend of historical fiction and the supernatural/paranormal. I found the historical setting of the story to be interesting but not necessarily important to the story; it added some depth to a few characters but there were too many times where a character’s “emotional scars” were mentioned and it got old fast.

I loved the paranormal elements to the story and the writing style created the perfect atmosphere. I actually read this in audiobook format and I think that just amplified my experience. There were times when I truly had chills from a scene, even though I knew how it would play out.

The strength of this novel comes from the superb writing, which created the perfect ambience to convey the story. The plot wasn’t necessarily unique and the characters were not the most memorable (but there was some steamy romance that was pretty well executed), but none of that mattered because I was truly scared at certain points of the novel – and that’s what I honestly wanted. Sometimes, not every element of the story needs to be perfect: you just need to enjoy the experience of it. And that’s what happened for me. For those reasons, I’m giving this novel a solid 3/5 stars!

3 star

Happy reading ~

Children of Daedala by Caighlan Smith – Children of Icarus #2

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

When I was approved for this title, I had not realized that it was part of a series. I went through a lot of trouble to order the first book Children of Icarus and read it prior to this one. You can find my review of the first book here. Suffice to say, I did not enjoy the first book. However, I was determined to not let my previous experience cloud my judgement with this next installment. Here are my thoughts:

36049722Summary (Goodreads): Six months alone in the labyrinth has made her strong. But the search for the exit means gambling on an old ‘friend’ and going against everything she’s been taught to survive. You know the labyrinth will have yet more horrors lurking in its depths. You’ve learned few people can be trusted. But freedom is tantalizingly close. Are you ready to take the risk?


This book is an improvement from the first novel. But not by much. I still didn’t love this story as much as I had hoped. NB: you will definitely not understand this book if you haven’t read the first novel in the series!

The main character – who was still Nameless – wasn’t as irritating in this book as she was in the last. She came into her abilities a lot more in this novel so I wasn’t as mad when reading. But there were so many new characters that were involved and they all were just so flat and one-dimensional that it was hard to tell them apart. I had a tough time telling who was an ally and who was an enemy because they all sounded the same.

There was less violence in this story but it was still unnecessarily violent and graphic at times. Now, I love gore but even I had to say that there was too much of it in this series – and that’s saying something! I also thought that the book was unnecessarily long. It could easily have been a good 100 pages shorter, without losing any plot. Maybe that’s because not much happens in the story. I kept wondering when things would get going but it never really did. I definitely felt that this novel suffered from second-book-syndrome in that it was just filler until the next book came out.

I also felt that there just weren’t enough questions answered. The first novel left me with a lot of questions and I was hoping this one would provide some answers. Instead, it presented more questions. The story also lacked a solid backstory. I wanted to know more about how things got to be the way they were but that didn’t really happen, which was disappointing. I wanted more mythology and more explanations about mythology for those people who perhaps weren’t as familiar with mythology. This was definitely lacking in both books in this series.

Overall, this novel, while an improvement from the first in the series, was still not what I wanted or expected. Since it has gotten better, I’m going to give it a 2/5 stars. But I don’t think I’m going to be sticking to this series.

2 star

Happy reading ~

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

Lisa Jewell is an author whose work can be a hit or a miss with me. But when I read the premise of this novel, I knew I had to read it. It was just so unusual and I could tell it would give me the tension and thrill I was seeking. So here is how my experience went:

35297426Summary (Goodreads):

THEN
She was fifteen, her mother’s
golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her.
And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW
It’s been ten years since Ellie
disappeared, but Laurel has never given up
hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?

 


My feelings when it comes to this novel are very divided. There were things I felt were very well done, and things I thought could definitely have been improved.

Let’s start with the positives:

I really liked the writing style. It was very easy to read this book because it had a very good flow. I had no trouble at all getting through this story, and I thought the descriptions of the various scenes was apt. I also loved the way the author drew up the emotional elements of the story. This is where Lisa Jewell shines. She is able to make the reader connect so well with the characters and really feel the emotions that they are going through. Clearly, there is no problem with this writer’s ability to write.

But then there comes the negatives:

This story was just so predictable. The mother-daughter relationship in this book is nothing unique. I’ve seen it a million times already and while I’m not expecting some crazy variation, there just wasn’t anything there to set this one apart. I also didn’t like that the first few chapters contained all of the major revelations. It didn’t leave a lot to the imagination.

Now I’m pretty bad at guessing what happens in thrillers. In fact, that’s why I like them so much: they always have me barking up the wrong tree. But in the case of this story, I had it pegged from the very start. Every prediction I made turned out to be true. And that was really disappointing. Predictability is never a good thing when you’re trying to serve up a mystery or thriller because it will make the reader bored. And that’s what happened with me. I just wanted to get through the story quickly to see if I was right, and when I did, I felt nothing at all. There were also some parts of the story that didn’t really make much sense and that also affected my enjoyment of the novel.

Overall, I have conflicting thoughts on this novel. On the one hand, the writing and the emotional elements of the story are really well done. But the actual plot suffered due to its lack of originality. For those reasons, I’m giving this a 2/5 stars.

2 star

Happy reading ~