Review – The Sister

The SisterThe Sister by Louise Jensen

Published July 7,2016

Bookouture

 

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Sister begins in the present. Twenty-five-year old Grace Matthews is digging up an old time capsule that her and her best friend Charlie buried ten years before.

She never thought she would be alone opening the box that contained all of their hopes and dreams. Things that were important to both of them as well as a bright pink envelope that Charlie slipped in right before they buried it. Grace doesn’t know what’s in the envelope but hopes if it will give her some answers to all the questions she has. Questions that Charlie can’t answer herself since she passed away four months earlier.

Charlie’s last words go around and around in her head.

“I did something terrible, Grace. I hope you can forgive me.”

When she opens the envelope she realizes just how little she knew about her best friend. Since Charlie’s death, Grace has become even more determined to find out what Charlie did that was so terrible. These thoughts occupy so much of Grace’s time that she feels she won’t be able to move on until she knows everything. It’s even affecting her relationship with her boyfriend.

When Grace met Charlie in middle school she instantly felt like she could trust her. The book delves into the friendship between her and Charlie as well as their close friends and the drama surrounding them all. There are many references made to Grace’s parents and her past. We are aware that something tragic has happened and Grace seems to feel very guilty. She refers to it as the day she’s tried to forget.

“Am I really to blame? Am I always to blame?”

When Grace starts an online search for Charlie’s father, someone else from Charlie’s past shows up. At first Grace is really happy, but it’s not long before strange things start happening. She begins receiving strange phone calls, things start to go missing, and she feels like someone might be following her. She wonders if she’s in danger or if she’s making a big deal about nothing.

When things start to take an even darker turn, Grace doesn’t know who to trust. Is this all related to Charlie and the past? Grace feels like someone is playing with her life and she’s terrified to find out what they’ll do next.

I thought “The Sister” was a good psychological thriller. It was easy to follow as it alternated between past and present. The story line and characters were interesting. However, there were a few times that Grace REALLY annoyed me. She would be overly paranoid about some things but didn’t seem to notice things that seemed glaringly obvious. A few of the decisions she made really baffled me, but it wasn’t enough to dissuade me from continuing on. I did have a few questions but still felt the book ended pretty strong.

Although I had to suspend belief occasionally I tried to stop analyzing (so hard for me sometimes) and just enjoy the book. Honestly, all in all it was a pretty good ride. The author did a great job of keeping me in suspense, and there were some good twists that I did not see coming! It was a very hard book to put down.

I think this is an very good debut novel and I look forward to more from Louise Jensen.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and Louise Jensen for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Review: Someone Else’s Child / What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross

someone else's child

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read this novel last year under the title “What Was Mine” It was recently released under the new title “Someone Else’s Child”. I really enjoyed the book and posted my original review below.

What Was MineWhat Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross

Published January 5, 2016

Gallery Books

 

 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I do try my best to not spoil anything in the story but if you don’t usually read the entire book description (which is how I base how far to go) then proceed with caution.

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When I first read the book description I felt like it almost told the whole story. But honestly this book is about so much more than a kidnapping. Obviously that is a huge part of it. But it’s very different from any other kidnapping story I have read. Right off we know who did it. But we also see how everyone is affected by it. We see time passing and how everyone tries to cope. It is about a kidnapping but It’s also about the power of a mothers love, family, the connection between mother and daughter, loss, anger, reunion, forgiveness and so much more.

We first meet Lucy Wakefield. Lucy tells us she can’t tell her story straight. She has to tell it in circles, like rings of a tree that signify the passage of time.

Lucy starts by saying how badly she wanted a child. She is very successful in business but what she wants most is a child. She is devastated that she’s been unable to conceive a child after years of trying both naturally and with medical help. When having a child consumes all of her thoughts and time, her husband eventually leaves her. She knows that her chances of adopting as a single mother are very slim. On one of her frequent trips to IKEA she makes a split second decision that will change her life and the lives of so many others. She sees a baby sitting alone in a cart. She picks the baby up and leaves the store.

Just like that she’s kidnapped a baby……and she gets away with it for 21 years.

Marilyn has relived the day that her daughter was stolen from her over and over. She remembers that she overslept that day. She remembers that the babysitter had to cancel and she was anxious as she was supposed to deliver a report at work that afternoon.

“Without a babysitter, I was in trouble or so I thought, then unaware of what real trouble was.”

I can’t even imagine going through something like this.

I loved that the chapters were labeled clearly as there were many points of view. It just made the alternating perspectives of Mia, Lucy, Marilyn and so many others involved easier to keep up with. An easy read in regards to the way it was written. But it was also emotional, heartbreaking and devastating. I felt all kinds of things reading this powerful book! All of the characters were very well developed. The author writes about what the characters go through so well. The passing of time and how differently people adapted to what had happened. I was interested in everything the author was writing about. As much as I wanted to see what was going to happen I was still enjoying everything I was reading, learning about meditation and yoga, the reunification process, China and Chinese culture and more.

I felt the author ended the book fairly well. A bit open to interpretation but I was okay with it. I can’t even imagine how hard it was to try to write an ending to a story like this.

I highly recommend this engrossing read. I look forward to more from Helen Klein Ross. I hope she is hard at work on her next novel.

Thank you to Helen Klein Ross, Meagan Harris, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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Review: Watching Edie

Watching EdieWatching Edie by Camilla Way

Published July 28, 2016

Harper Collins UK

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

My legs were really bothering me yesterday and so I spent a lot of time with my feet up reading. I was so into this book, that I ended up staying up late to finish it.

Pregnant and alone, thirty-three year old Edie has a lot on her mind. So when the doorbell rings and she opens the door one day, she is completely surprised when she sees who’s standing on the other side. It’s her former best friend, Heather. They haven’t seen each other in almost seventeen years. Edie has imagined and dreaded this reunion over the years. Now that the moment has arrived, she is in shock and has no idea what to say to the one person she hoped to never see again.

Edie and Heather met when they were sixteen. While Edie had an easy time making friends, this wasn’t the case for Heather. When Edie shows an interest in being friends, Heather can’t believe it. Quickly they become close, but the friendship is always a bit lopsided with Heather a bit needier. Her home life is no better. They had moved to the town when Heather was ten for a “fresh start” after a tragedy rocked their family.

For awhile things are better for Heather, her friendship with Edie makes her so happy. But when Edie finds a boyfriend and starts hanging out with him and his friends, things start to change. But Heather doesn’t want things to change, she doesn’t want to lose Edie. Heather will do anything to keep from losing her.

However, not only do things change but everything goes horribly wrong. Betrayal and anger sets things in motion that changes both of their lives completely. Secrets that they have both kept all of these years. But who betrayed who? Why has Heather chosen to find Edie now?

What exactly happened all those years ago?

After that first visit, Edie avoids Heather but feels like she sees her everywhere she goes. But a few months later, Heather returns just when Edie has sunken far into feelings of hopelessness as a new mother. Edie doesn’t understand the feelings she’s having and why motherhood is so hard. Helpless to refuse the help that Heather offers, she even begs her to stay. But when she starts to come out of the black hole she had fallen into and her thinking clears, she starts to wonder about the timing of Heather’s return. Was it coincidence or was she just waiting for the perfect moment to come back? After everything that happened in the past, what does she truly want? And now that she’s back in her life, will Edie be able to get her out of it?

The book alternates between Before and After and is told from both Edie and Heather’s point of view. In the beginning I had a bit of a hard time figuring out who’s point of view it was but it didn’t take very long to catch on.

I think this is a really good psychological thriller. Full of suspense, with a clever and unique plot. Lots of little twists throughout the book made it even more enjoyable. It shows the darker side of friendship, obsession, and betrayal. That not everything is always what it seems. I would be positive I had figured something important out and and the author would throw a curve-ball into the mix and I would be back to trying to figure out just what was going on. I did not see the ending coming at all.

A gripping book. I was captivated by the story from start to finish. I hope to read more from Camilla Way very soon.

Thank you to NetGalley, Camilla Way, and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Review: All the Missing Girls

All the Missing GirlsAll the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Published June 28, 2016

Simon & Schuster

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading the description for this book I was really intrigued. Then I read the “Dear Reader” at the start of the book which stated that I would be spellbound and unable to stop reading until I found out what happened to the missing girls. That the twist makes it unlike any reading experience I’ve ever had. Phew!!

“The book is told backward. After the setup, the story jumps ahead fifteen days and then counts down, day by day, until we reach the beginning again”

This is a story about the disappearances of two young women – a decade apart – told in reverse.

Now I was more than intrigued…I was psyched! But to be honest I was also a little concerned as to how this was going to turn out. But I couldn’t wait to read it.

The way this book is written, makes it hard to read anything else at the same time. I sometimes like to read two or three books at a time. With this one that would be difficult. And once I was into it I didn’t want to read anything else. I wanted to know what happened! Definitely not a book that I could speed read.

Nicolette (Nic) Farrell left home ten years ago after her best friend Corinne went missing. Nic has and returned only a few times to visit. Corinne has never been found, her case never solved.

Nic receives a call from her brother Daniel stating that their father is not doing well and some decisions have to be made. Two days before her brother’s call she received a letter in the mail. The letter says “I need to talk to you” and “That girl, I saw that girl.”

The letter is from her father.

“Corinne was larger than life here. Had become even larger because she disappeared.”

Nic decides that she needs to go home.

“Tick-tock, Nic”

Now just like Corinne went missing all those years ago, another woman, Annaleise is missing. Annaleise just happens to be Nic’s neighbor and was recently dating Nic’s ex-boyfriend, Tyler.

Are the two cases connected?

What really happened to Corinne all those years ago? And where is Annaleise? Nic is determined to find out. To do so she has to look closely at all of her friends and family. She needs to look at everyone’s relationship with Corinne….including her own.

“The facts. The facts were fluid, and changed, depending on the point of view. The facts were easily distorted. The facts were not always right”

I thought All the Missing Girls was a good psychological suspense. Well written and gripping. There were times I did get confused and had to read back a few pages. But the story is very interesting and it was hard to put down. I look forward to more from Megan Miranda.

Thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster, and Megan Miranda for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

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