Review : It Ends With Us

It Ends with UsIt Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Audiobook – Published August 2, 2016

Simon & Schuster Audio


My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I am a bit late to the party for this one. I’m not sure what I can say that hasn’t been said already.

This was my first CoHo book and it looks like I picked a good one to start with. It’s surprising but even though the book had already been out for a while, other than hearing that it was very emotional, I didn’t actually know what it was about. I am happy I was able to listen to it without knowing very much. It didn’t take very long to see where the story-line was headed. The book’s main theme deals with a very delicate and important subject.

I can understand the variety of feelings this book brings out in different people. I’ve seen reviews from friends that absolutely love this book and some from friends that really didn’t care for it. I can see both sides. I fall in the middle but more towards really liking it. Does that make sense? I don’t know… but that’s the best way I think I can describe how I feel about it.

I’ve now listened to handful of audio-books and I’m really enjoying them. I will always love to read books but on those days where I have a headache or my eyes are bothering me, it’s awesome to have this choice. In my opinion the narrator for this novel did a wonderful job…..Olivia Song (Great name too!).

“It Ends With Us” is a heartbreaking novel that deals with sensitive and extremely important issues and I think that Colleen Hoover handled it well.

Sometimes you have to tell yourself…

“Just keep swimming.”

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Review : She’s Not There

She's Not ThereShe’s Not There by Joy Fielding

Published February 23, 2016
Ballantine Books




My rating: 4.5 Stars

I have been a fan of Joy Fielding’s books for many years. I have read all of her books and although I’ve enjoyed some more than others I’m never disappointed.

Needless to say I was very happy when I was I was approved by NetGalley to read her newest book, She’s Not There. Once again I was not let down. I thought it was a great psychological suspense novel. I read it in two days but could easily have read it in one sitting if I had the time.

Instantly after reading the blurb for She’s Not There, I thought of Madeleine McCann. I have followed her story since her disappearance from Portugal in 2007. Although the story had many similarities at first, it was still an intriguing read on its on. Reading about a child that has gone missing or any crime regarding a child can be upsetting but I was compelled to find out what happened.

Fifteen years ago, Carole Shipley was happily married with two young daughters. However, her happy life exploded after her daughter, Samantha is kidnapped while the family is on a trip to Mexico.

For years Carole suffers the torment of not knowing where her daughter or what happened to her. Her relationship with her other daughter Michelle has suffered as a consequence of the kidnapping. Her marriage falls apart under the stress. But she clings to the hope that one day her daughter will be returned to her.

The story is told from Carole’s point of view and flows easily from past to present. It shows us a lot of what Carole goes through over the years. She is continually scrutinized and villainized by the media, frequently called a murderer when out in public and often let go from teaching jobs once they find out who she is. Her husband seems to be let off relatively easy by the media but she is constantly under attack.

Then fifteen years later she gets a call from a young woman…

“I think my real name is Samantha. I think I’m your daughter.”

This book really made me think of how I myself have judged people in similar situations. For example, when I first heard about Madeleine McCann and that she went missing while her parents were out having dinner (in a restaurant just outside the hotel). I thought to myself, while reading this book that I would never leave my children alone like that. But it is so easy to say what I would or wouldn’t do as I’m not in that position myself. And regardless no mother or father deserves to have their child taken from them for making a bad choice. In this instance a choice that had horrible consequences but still, show me a parent who has never made a mistake. Plus with media involvement who knows if we are ever being given the full story.

I found this book extremely emotional, at times hard to read but I was hooked. I even flipped back a time or two to see if I could figure things out. While I may have been right about some minor things I really wasn’t even close in my guess of what happened.

I highly recommend this great read by Joy Fielding.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Ballantine Books, and Joy Fielding for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.

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Review : Only Ever You

Only Ever YouOnly Ever You by Rebecca Drake

Published March 22, 2016

Thomas Dunne Books



4.5 Stars!

Jill Lassiter is at the park with her three-year-old daughter, Sophia when she sees a frazzled young mother trying to get one of her children into the swing while holding on to her other child. Jill helps her out and when she looks back just a few moments later, Sophia is nowhere to be found.

Thankfully, Sophia is found after 40 terrifying minutes. When Jill checks her over she finds what looks to her like a puncture wound on Sophia’s arm. However, no one else seems concerned and the doctors find nothing to indicate that she was drugged or harmed in any way. Everyone else is positive that Sophia just wandered off as she tends to do sometimes and that the mark is just a bug bite. Jill is positive something isn’t right but is thankful Sophia is safe.

But is Sophia really safe? Odd things start happening around the Lassister home. For example, a window is open when Jill is positive she closed it. But as they are both busy with work they don’t notice when even stranger things start happening.

Someone has taken a very big interest in the Lassiter family and is watching everything they do.

That someone is waiting for just the right moment to execute their plan….

Three months after Sophia’s first disappearance she disappears again. At first Jill is positive her rambunctious daughter has just wandered off again.

But this time the nightmare isn’t over in 40 minutes….

As well as fighting to find their daughter, Jill and David are fighting to prove they have not harmed their daughter and have nothing to do with her disappearance. Every move they make is closely watched by the media, public and the police. When Jill doesn’t cry during a press conference the media and public is all over her.

“Her mother is a cold woman-you can tell on the TV, the camera doesn’t lie.”

I think I’ve mentioned it before that it makes me question how quick to judgement we can be. I’m guilty of it myself. Although lately I’m trying not to be so quick to judge. It’s sad to think that someone is going through something so horrible and on top of that they are attacked in the media and by the public. Of course in some cases it’s warranted but until we know the entire story, judging someone on whether they cry or don’t cry is of little help.

Jill is convinced her daughter is alive and is desperate to bring her home. However, as more and more people focus on her and David, she worries no one is looking hard enough to find her daughter.

“Did you kill your daughter?”

This book was pretty intense and held my interest from the beginning. The story is told from three points of view. Sophia’s mother Jill, a woman named Bea, as well as an anonymous young woman’s journal. The book flowed well. Quite a lot of information was given out early in the book and so it made it a bit easier to guess what might have happened. But there were still some great twists and turns and I was really anxious to see what would happen next.

“Parenting was more stressful than the rest of life, much more stressful”.

I really liked the way the author portrayed the characters and their emotions. It felt quite realistic, the actions very genuine. For example the reactions of a mother with a child whose a bit of a handful. How sometimes a parent just wants a little bit more sleep or feel like they are at their wit’s end with a stubborn child. Honest feelings about parenting, marriage and the heartbreaking pain of loss and betrayal etc. Of course this a psychological thriller – a work of fiction, so not everything is supposed to be true to real life ….what fun would that be?

“It was strange how intense emotional pain could become physical”.

I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be looking for more from Rebecca Drake.

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

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Review – After the Lie

After the LieAfter the Lie by Kerry Fisher

Published April 29, 2016



4.5 Stars

In 1982, Lydia is thirteen years old. Pre-internet, when mistakes didn’t go viral. Like most kids she enjoys riding her bike for hours on weekends and listening to music on her Walkman inside when it rains.

Lately she’s been going to the library after school to find books for school projects. At least, that’s what she tells her mother she’s doing….

“And that little lie made the big difference. It led to the ten minutes I could never get back, never undo.”

***Possibly minor spoilers ***

During the fallout her family ends up moving and her mother declares that “all that business” is never to be talked about again. I can’t imagine living in a family where nothing is discussed. Some days I wonder if I do too much talking. (Lord knows I do too much typing!).

Thirty years later, Lydia is happily married to husband Mark and life seems perfect. Her husband’s business is doing well and her own wedding business is flourishing. She has two wonderful children. A son, Jamie who’s sixteen and a daughter Izzy who’s thirteen. Deep down though she feel that at any moment the truth will come out and destroy all that is good in her life.

When she takes on the added responsibility of acting as chairwoman of the fundraising committee at school, a familiar face joins the group. Just like that it seems her past may have caught up with her.

I REALLY wanted to know what the lie was. I thought the build up was good. You can see how lies and keeping secrets can affect everyone, even years later.

Lydia also has to deal with her judgemental mother, who she feels she can never please. Her mother would often say things like “it’s wonderful how you’ve moved on from all that…you know…” or “It hasn’t turned out so badly, considering” (when she was just about to walk down the aisle to marry Mark) and even “We’ll keep an eye on this one, we don’t want history repeating itself” (when one of Lydia’s children were born). This made me want to know EXACTLY what had happened “that day”.

Even after finding out what happened, I was still completely immersed in the story. I thought it was well-written and it kept me engaged until the very end. Lydia’s inner dialogue really did have me laughing out loud at times as did the antics of the often naughty (but hilarious) family dog, Mabel.

Some people may feel that the “lie” isn’t big enough to cause so much damage but I tried to imagine keeping secrets from everyone for so many years. As well as the anxiety at the thought of things coming out at any moment and possibly ruining my life.

Although it is a fiction book, there were times that it felt quite realistic. The characters were very well-developed. Especially Lydia, someone with flaws and baggage but a great heart. Made me think of the damaging effects of lies and keeping secrets and how betrayed you could feel finding out someone you love has been keeping so many secrets from you. As well as how the guilt about the past could be preventing you from embracing your future.

I loved the 80’s references. Growing up as a teenager in the same time period, it made me nostalgic. Made me think of some of the choices I wished I hadn’t made but relieved they didn’t turn into anything that would haunt me for years to come. Thankful that I came through it relatively unscathed.

I really did enjoy this book and will definitely be looking for more books from Kerry Fisher.

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

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