Thriller

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

The Other WomanThe Other Woman by Sandie Jones

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Expected Publication: August 21st!

Holy cow, was this book good!

First, let me just say how much this book made me appreciate my husband and all of the incredible things he does for me, how he treats me, and what a gentleman he is. Second, props to my mother-in-law for being incredible, accepting me into her family as her own, and not being a total crazy psycho. Segway into this book…. what a crazy psycho!

Emily loves Adam. Adam loves Emily. Adam loves Pammie, his mommy dearest, who doesn’t love Emily so much. Drama ensues.

I have not hated a character (or two or three) so much in a really long time. The fact that I hated them so much is a testament to how well they were written by Sandie Jones. I wanted to punch Pammie in the face most of the time, smack Adam across the face, and tell Emily to grow a pair and tell them both to eat dog shit.

As I consider myself a fairly independent woman (yes, I have a husband and I love him dearly but a gal has to stand on her own two feet as well, am I right?) I could not stand Emily’s reaction to Adam’s ridiculous behavior. I wanted her to whip out her Beyonce attitude and tell him to fly a kite on multiple occasions. It drove me nuts how submissive she was. But I appreciated that her character was written so masterfully that I found myself getting worked up about her utter stupidity.

While the story along the way was engrossing and kept me reading to see what would happen next, the ending was totally unexpected and made me love the book even more.

Funny enough, the cover contains a quote from Greer Hendricks, author of The Wife Between Us, which happens to be the book I would compare The Other Woman to (yes, I’m ending my sentence with a preposition… judge me). I adored The Wife Between Us and adored this book just as much. Would highly recommend for anybody looking for something “un-put-downable.”

-This advanced reader copy was gifted to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Sandie Jones, and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to review.-

My review for The Wife Between Us here: https://homesweethouser.wordpress.com…

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Audiobook Review, Thriller

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

All the Missing GirlsAll the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had seen the cover for this book some time ago, and when I came across it at the library as available to borrow I figured I would give it a try.

All the Missing Girls is a tale of a girl named Nicolette who returns to her hometown of Cooley Ridge after a decade of being away in order to care for her ailing father. Ten years ago, Nicolette’s best friend, Corinne disappeared without a trace. Now, in present day, another girl, Annaleise, goes missing and the past comes back to haunt Nicolette.

The story itself was fantastic. It was really well thought out as far as characters, relationships, and motives. Megan Miranda made everything come together really well. However, the timeline and sequencing were a little difficult for me to appreciate. The story was told backwards from Day 14 of Annaleise’s disappearance to Day 1. While I appreciated the attempt at uniqueness and the novelty of the story being told in reverse, I had a really hard time following the story line. I also thought it was a bit strange that the “climax” of the story was on Day 1, but all the days that followed didn’t really play into the main characters’ attitudes and actions very well from previous chapters. I guess I would have expected their actions to have been different in earlier chapters given how the book ended.

As far as the audiobook was concerned, the narrator, Rebekkah Ross, did a great job portraying Nicolette. Her narration was engaging from beginning to end and made me believe the story. Again, the reverse-nature of the timeline was difficult, particularly as an audiobook. I think if I had read the book instead, it may have been easier to follow.

Overall, I did enjoy the book and would give it a high rating. I would even recommend to others. But would probably suggest reading as opposed to listening.

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Thriller

Believe Me by J.P. Delaney

Believe MeBelieve Me by J.P. Delaney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Expected Publication: July 24!

J.P. Delaney strikes again! I ran across this author several months ago when perusing audiobooks to listen to from the library. His previous novel, The Girl Before, was dynamite. My review of it here:

https://homesweethouser.wordpress.com…

So imagine my excitement when Believe Me came up as an option to request from NetGalley, and a couple days later I was approved to receive an advanced copy by the publisher.

The first thing that struck me was the way in which the story was written. In addition to traditional story writing and sentence structure, parts of the book were written as the script of a play and others were delivered via poetry. It made for really interesting transitions and kept me engaged throughout.

I’m not even sure that I could write a quick synopsis that would do this book justice. Believe Me is about an aspiring English actress, Claire, who finds herself in America, struggling to make ends meet in the Big Apple. Without a green card, she finds work difficult to acquire and soon ends up working for a private investigator of sorts, hired by suspicious wives to “perform” as a prostitute and see if their husbands will take the bait. However, things don’t exactly go as planned when one of the wives is found murdered in a hotel suite, and her husband becomes the prime suspect. Claire will be hired for her biggest performance yet… seducing the husband and getting him to confess.

There are so many twists and turns in this novel that I never knew what was going to happen next. J.P. Delaney also did a great job of throwing just enough curve balls in that I found myself second guessing all of my intuitions. Just when I thought I knew what was going on, I started to doubt myself and think, “hmm…. maybe not…” I thought the ending was going to be an absolute let down, but I was caught completely off guard and loved it!

This book will make you question whether we are ever truly ourselves, or if we are just actors in the play that is our lives.

Highly recommended. And if you haven’t, check out The Girl Before as well. They are both superb.

-I received this advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, J.P. Delaney, and Random House Publishing’s Ballantine Books for the opportunity to review.-

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Audiobook Review, Thriller

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

The PassengerThe Passenger by Lisa Lutz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What do you do when you are wait-listed for all the new audiobooks at the library? Find some older books that are available now! That’s what I did with The Passenger by Lisa Lutz.

Time doesn’t mean anything for books, right? This may be a couple years old and no longer the new, shiny penny on the block, but it sure was a good read – ahem, listen. I started it 3 days ago. And thanks to the ability to listen at 2.0x speed on my Overdrive app, I’m now done (extra special thanks to my one hour commute both ways… couldn’t have done it without you).

So first, the narrator was perfect for the main character. Madeleine Maby did a fantastic job embodying the character (characters?)… you’ll see what I mean when you read it. I loved the attitude and personality of girl telling the story. I’d give you a name but considering the book is primarily based on a girl who is on the run, changing her identity with every step she takes, that would be rather difficult. Let’s call her Tanya as the book sometimes refers to her. The story starts with the death of Tanya’s husband, of which we are not privy to the facts. It continues with Tanya running. But can Tanya outrun her past?

This book really explored the complexities of living off the grid, changing your identity, and the ability (or lack thereof) to become somebody other than yourself. In modern society, can you ever really escape your true identity? Lisa Lutz was so creative in her approach to the main character, so masterful in her development of the various personas along the way.

If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be… whirlwind. I felt like I was falling down a rabbit hole from beginning to end. The story line changed directions so many times in such an interesting way that it kept me engaged the entire time. I couldn’t wait to see what Tanya was going to do next.

I would give The Passenger a solid 5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed it. While reading is fun and all, I would especially encourage you to listen to it on audiobook! It would make a fantastic “passenger” on a long car ride (see what I did there?).

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Mystery, Thriller

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

The Perfect MotherThe Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Whyyyyy?????

Listen. I wanted to love this book so much! I couldn’t wait to read it. I’ve seen postings for it everywhere on Facebook and Goodreads and various blogs. I was so darn excited I had selected it as my Book of the Month pick and I was patting myself on the back for having had the amazing foresight to select the one book that is blowing up social media with raving reviews.

So I started reading it. And for about 270 pages I was so engrossed I found myself walking and reading, not wanting to put the book down for a second. It was fantastic! Aimee Molloy’s writing was impeccable. What a great concept. A bunch of first time mothers who have formed a “mommy group,” getting together to provide support to one another. They plan a “girl’s night out” to relieve themselves from the pressures of motherhood for one night and blow off some steam. But little do they know, while they are out letting loose, one of their babies will disappear into the night! Where is Baby Midas? Did somebody take him? Did the babysitter do something sinister? Or heaven forbid, the mother?

The entire book gave me a total “Casey Anthony” vibe. The way the search for the missing child was sensationalized by the media. The way the mothers were chastised for partying while their babies were left at home, supposed victims of neglect (or so the day time talk show hosts would have you believe). It was a really interesting take on motherhood and it’s challenges.

Now here’s the sad part. The ending. Let’s talk about the ending (I’ll try to avoid spoilers here). Have you ever read a book, gotten to the end, and thought “wow there’s no way in Hell I would have guessed the ending to that book?” Not because it was “too clever” or was tricky enough to fool you, but because it had a plot twist that really didn’t have any significant relation to the rest of the story and nobody could have ever guessed the ending no matter how hard they tried? A plot twist for the sake of being a plot twist. That is how I felt at the end of this book. It was such a let down.

But here’s the gig. Like I said, I have seen raving reviews for this book all over social media. So maybe I’m the crazy one. Although I thought the last 30 – 40 pages were underwhelming, I still would highly recommend you read it and form your own opinion. Who knows? You may love it like all the rest! If I was giving the first couple hundred pages a rating, it would be 5 stars. But unfortunately, as a complete package, I have to give it 3.5 stars overall.

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