Review – The Stepmother

The StepmotherThe Stepmother by Claire Seeber

Published July 15,2016





My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Jeannie and Matthew have had a fairy tale courtship. After years of being let down by so many people, Jeannie has finally found her Prince Charming…

Or has she?

As the book begins we meet Jeannie’s sister, Marlena. She is extremely upset, and is urgently trying to find a taxi. She tells us she will not let this wickedness hide, that she will find out the truth…

Jeannie and Matthew are newlyweds. They both have children from previous partners. Jeannie has one son, Frankie and Matthew has teenage twins, Scarlett and Luke. As with any blended family, it can be a trying time getting to know and accept each other. Jeannie has always been very close with her son. She wants things to go smoothly and hopes that they will all get along. So far, her stepson Luke, though quiet seems to be okay with her but she feels like Scarlett just doesn’t want her around. When strange things start happening, Jeannie wonders if she’s imagining things or if someone is really trying to make her lose her mind. Jeannie also has secrets some secrets of her own that could destroy her new-found happiness.

The story alternates between Marlena and Jeannie’s perspective. I liked how the chapters headings were clear as to whose point of view it was. The first part of the book had me a bit annoyed and confused. It seemed like a lot was happening at once and I was having trouble keeping up. I was irritated by the characters, their actions and the things being said. I honestly thought about shutting it down.

But I didn’t. And honestly I am glad I kept going. I ended up getting pulled into the story and finished it in record time.

I’ve said this before but I often get a bit hung up on plausibility. I sometimes have a hard time just enjoying a book. Instead I can get so caught up in wondering if this or that could have actually happened. There were definitely a few things that had me saying “No Way” but in the end again I just tried to enjoy the escape of the story. Honestly if all of the books I read only had things that could really happen? Then I would probably be complaining that they were boring.

One thing that did really bother me about this book though and may bother other readers is the issue of animal cruelty and death. I understand that it may be used to show a characters depravity, but it just feels like there’s been a lot of it in recent books. I don’t feel it’s necessary in many cases. It’s just really upsetting to me.

Although I did have some issues with the story, I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I really was surprised that the book turned around for me like the way it did. There were a few really good twists and a couple of them I didn’t see coming at all. I may have had a few lucky guesses but it was still really interesting reading how it all played out. I was about halfway done and from that point on I read straight through. I just had to know what was going to happen at the end of this twisted fairy tale.

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Claire Seeber for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews


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