Monday, September 14, 2015

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Well, that didn't go as I had hoped.

Brace yourself.... less than flattering review headed your way...

I've heard of Karin Slaughter and was pretty excited to receive an advance copy of her latest thriller, Pretty Girls.  But wow.  After reading this, I 'm thinking it would be a really great idea if authors were required to use a rating system much like movies do. Because if this was a movie, it would have been rated worse than an R for sure.

I've really been into psychological thrillers lately, but requesting this one was a bad move on my part and one I'm ultimately regretting since there are so many mental images that I can't give back.  Seriously, the amount of detail and disgusting mutilation of these women was horrific.  I've been a bit addicted lately to watching The Forensic Files and even those come across as more Sesame Street than what's described in this novel.  There's just no way I would recommend this story to anyone I know.  I rarely ever post a negative review - but I would be remiss if didn't share my honest opinion after reading this.  I love a good intense thriller, don't get me wrong - but when it drifts over into the perverted world of necrophilia.  Wrong.  Just all sorts of wrong.

Don't pick this one up.  Just don't.

I still want to thank HarperCollins Publishers and ShelfAwareness for allowing me the chance to read an advanced copy!!  (*All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.)

Description: #1 internationally bestselling author Karin Slaughter returns with a sophisticated and chilling psychological thriller of dangerous secrets, cold vengeance, and unexpected absolution, in which two estranged sisters must come together to find truth about two harrowing tragedies, twenty years apart, that devastate their lives.

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful thriller from one of the finest suspense writers working today.

Rating: ** (the only reason I give it 2 stars is because the story flowed amazingly and her writing is intriguing and keeps you hooked - but the story itself was the huge turn off for me).

Recommend: Nope.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

I'm a self-admitted Chevy Stevens addict.  I freakin have loved everything she has put out.  She knows that less can often be more when it comes to a psychological thriller & suspense.  As soon as I saw her latest Those Girls was coming out, I begged every avenue of publisher I could find to request a copy.  As a result, I won 2 copies!!  I was able to gift a copy to a friend of mine who first introduced me to the amazing fictional world of Ms. Stevens and she was thrilled to say the least.

I loved everything about this story line.  I had to put it down at various intervals in order to catch my breath.  And the fact that this story revolves around 3 sisters?  Well of course you have me there too.

Ugh - I just love her - read the synopsis below and if you're into suspense thrillers - you HAVE to try this one.  Even if you're not, you might discover that you could be!  

Thank you so much to Goodreads, ShelfAwareness AND St. Martin's Press for graciously allowing me the opportunity to read a copy for an unbiased review!  This book is already out, so scoop up your copy here! (*All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.)

Description: Chevy Stevens is back with her most powerful, emotional thriller yet— a story of survival…and revenge. 

Life has never been easy for the three Campbell sisters. Jess, Courtney, and Dani live on a remote ranch in Western Canada where they work hard and try to stay out of the way of their father’s fists. One night, a fight gets out of hand and the sisters are forced to go on the run, only to get caught in an even worse nightmare when their truck breaks down in a small town. Events spiral out of control and a chance encounter with the wrong people leaves them in a horrific and desperate situation. They are left with no choice but to change their names and create new lives. 

Eighteen years later, they are still trying to forget what happened that summer when one of the sisters goes missing and they are pulled back into their past. 

This time there’s nowhere left to run. 

As much of a thriller as it is a deep exploration of the bonds among sisters, THOSE GIRLS is an unforgettable portrait of desperation, loyalty, and evil.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy was creepy and weird all in the right ways.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect after reading the synopsis, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I loved the details of them renovating this huge old mansion and at the flashbacks of the letters between the two old sisters.  I was completely spooked out but entirely engrossed.  Great pic for Halloween coming up!! 

This was a total win for me - and I highly recommend it!

Very appreciative to NetGalley & Ballentine Books for allowing me the opportunity to read an advanced copy for an unbiased review!  This book is already out, so check here for your own copy! (*All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.)

Description: In this enthralling and atmospheric thriller, one young family’s dream of a better life is about to become a nightmare.

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.

When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.

House of Echoes is a novel that shows how sometimes the ties that bind us are the only things that can keep us whole.

Rating: ****

Recommend:  Really enjoyed it and pretty sure I bit off all 10 of my fingernails.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell

Because I was so intrigued and even enthralled with the development of The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell, which I had read last fall - I knew I needed to get my hands on her most recent novel, The Third Wife.  And again - this novel was comprised of a completely unique plot and characters - some kinda weird, some likable, some lovable and even some despisable.  Throughout the entire time, I seriously could not for the life of me figure out who the heck had "done it".  It was so well written.  I admit because there was a lot of characters going on I got a bit confused now and then, but I actually didn't put it down long enough to lose my place in the narrative.  In fact I read it in 2 days - which is pretty quick for even me!

If you enjoy a story that will challenge your way of thinking or show you a different perspective to how some families live, I think you'll really enjoy this book.  I'm fast becoming a fan of Lisa Jewell and look forward to seeing what else she comes up with!

A massive thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for allowing me the chance to read an advanced copy!!  If you are interested in picking this one up, go here!   (*All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.)

Description: In the early hours of an April morning, Maya stumbles into the path of an oncoming bus.

A tragic accident? Or suicide?

Her grief-stricken husband, Adrian, is determined to find out.

Maya had a job she enjoyed; she had friends. They'd been in love.

She even got on with his two previous wives and their children. In fact, they'd all been one big happy family.

But before long Adrian starts to identify the dark cracks in his perfect life.
Because everyone has secrets.
And secrets have consequences.
Some of which can be devastating.

Rating: ****

Recommend:  Yes!  I thought it was refreshing to not read a cookie-cutter novel.  Lisa Jewell keeps her novels fresh & exciting!