Review : Tell Me No Lies

Tell Me No LiesTell Me No Lies by Lisa Hall

Published October 20,  2016

Carina

 

 

My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

NO NO NO NO NO…..You did not just do this to me!!  What do you mean “turn the page to read an excerpt from the author’s debut novel”? Where’s the rest of THIS book?

I’ve been having major problems with my Kindle and so I thought that pages must have been deleted, lost….somewhere! It did NOT just end there? Did it?

IT DID!

I loved Lisa Hall’s debut novel and I was really looking forward to reading this one. I was hoping that I would enjoy it just as much as I enjoyed “Between You and Me”.

Mark and Steph have just moved from their cramped apartment to a new house. This is supposed to be a fresh start for them and for their six-year old son, Henry. Steph is also pregnant with their second child. All she wants is to fix everything that has gone wrong in the last year, and give Henry the happy family home he deserves. Steph knows a big house won’t fix everything but she hopes it’s a start.

But is it really possible to start over again?

**** Possibly very minor spoilers. Usually things that are already mentioned in the description or within the first few pages of the book

The boxes are barely unpacked in their new home and Mark already has to go out-of-town. Steph tries to reassure him that she’ll be fine. However, she’s dealing with constant morning sickness and is trying to get Henry settled at his new school. Henry is sensitive. He’s not a rough and tumble boy, but prefers to sit quietly drawing or reading. Most of the other school moms haven’t been very welcoming and she’s already butt heads a few times with the leader of the PTA.

When she meets two of her neighbors it seems like things might be looking up. Laurence seems like a very nice man and Lila quickly becomes someone Steph feels she can rely on. She misses her best friend, Tessa who has moved away. Tessa was always there for Steph….always there to help pick her up, dust her off and put the pieces back together. So when Lila appears wanting to be friends and to help Steph out while Mark is away, Steph feels she should be thankful to have her around.

But then strange things start happening. Someone is leaving Steph dead flowers and messages. Things start disappearing and she even feels like someone has been in her house. However, she doesn’t have proof and when she brings it up, no one else seems to be worried. On top of all of that Steph is apparently doing things that she has no recollection of doing and having conversations she doesn’t remember having.

Is someone out to get Steph? Or is she making a big deal out of nothing? The people around her just want to be kind and helpful and have only good intentions….right?

Steph is constantly trying to make sure that people don’t think she’s “losing it” again. We are given a glimpse into her past and what Steph refers to as “bad stuff” that happened when she was in her teens. She also had some difficulties after Henry was born. Difficulties that she believes led to the problems in her marriage.

I was really frustrated with how Steph was constantly doubting herself and how people talked to her in such a patronizing way. Telling her she was being paranoid and overreacting. But then she would seem oblivious to what was happening right in front of her. One moment angry at her husband (understandably) but then blaming herself for everything that’s gone wrong in their marriage.

“I’ll say all the right things, behave the right way and then none of them can say I’m paranoid, or ill”

I was really tense! But I was hooked… I couldn’t stop reading.

I think most readers will figure out who is behind things. But part of the suspense is waiting to see how it will all turn out and the other twists and turns that come along the way.

When things come to a head I was really interested in finding out what was going to happen. Finally! This stress I’m feeling is going to subside! But then….

WHAT? You can’t do that! How can it end like that?

It was both gripping and thrilling with some great twists but that ending! It could just be me. Some readers may LOVE it!

Honestly, I loved Lisa Hall’s first book but this one I definitely had a hard time with. However, if there is a follow-up to this book I want to read it!

Thank you NetGalley, Carina UK, and Lisa Hall for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

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Review : Final Boarding

Final BoardingFinal Boarding by A.J. Mayers

Published November 1, 2016

Mascot Books

 

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Flight MH 370 Malaysia Airlines went missing in 2014 like everyone else I was in disbelief…how on earth could a plane just disappear? After reading the description for Final Boarding, I was excited to begin reading this novel.

Patrick Baldwin had always love the sky and airplanes. After a thrilling skydive when he was a freshman in college, he decided to switch his major to aerospace engineering. He wanted to improve the way people travel in the sky.

So it’s no surprise when the forty-two year old begins work for a commercial airline company, Phoenix Airlines. The company was relatively new, only two years old but growing rapidly. Royce Killington, the wealthy entrepreneur founded Phoenix Airlines with the idea of making travel affordable for everyone and travelers were all treated the same, with no first class, business class etc. Not out to make a huge profit, this CEO wanted everyone to know the luxury of travel. Everything was state of the art and high-class, from the food to the in-flight entertainment. This was making travel and vacation planning available to lower-income families with most tickets costing $99 and the maximum cost of $500.

When he’s promoted to senior engineer by the CEO, Patrick almost can’t believe it. His boss tells him that his first task will be to attend a conference in China with the company that manufacturers Phoenix Airlines, safety systems. Royce’s new goal is to make history providing accident free travel. Patrick and three other engineers are to leave that evening on the flight to China.

But after the meeting and Royce leaves, the other engineers bring up another meeting they are attending in China and they want Patrick on board. They have been working on something new and this discovery and their project will apparently change the world and the method in which people travel. They will be meeting with another tech company on the trip. But they don’t want their CEO to know anything about it. Patrick has questions but they tell him he will be advised of everything in due time. Until the meeting in Beijing everything is hush-hush.

Patrick wonders if they feel guilty that they are doing this behind Royce’s back. This would mean leaving Phoenix Airlines. Their boss is a good man, even donating his income to charity. For him it was about doing good for humanity.

“Royce wanted to do good for mankind. We are going to do better. It’s not being selfish. We are doing a service for the future of this country and this world. You will understand in a few days. It is the biggest discovery of the twenty-first century, and you will soon be a part of it.”

Patrick’s head is spinning with everything he’s been told in the last few hours. Just promoted and now the possibility of striking out on their own with this new venture. He’s very intrigued and even flattered that these highly educated intelligent men want him to be a part of their team. But of course until the meeting he has no idea of what any of this means for his future.

After packing and having a few celebratory drinks, Patrick falls asleep. He wakes and rushes to the airport. He arrives just in time to hear the final boarding call for flight 619. He’ll make it if he runs. Patrick sprints towards the gate and doesn’t notice the spilled soda on the ground. He slides through it, loses his balance, and crashes to the ground banging his head . Patrick is okay but he’s missed the flight. He watches in devastation as Phoenix Airlines Flight 619 heads down the runway for takeoff…

Patrick doesn’t know it yet but falling asleep and a bit of spilled soda actually saved his life.

He books another flight for the next morning. When he gets there the next day right away he can tell something is wrong. People are rushing around and overhears something about how contact was lost with a flight and it can’t be found on the radar.

The flight? Phoenix Airline Flight 619

He’s thankful that he wasn’t on that flight, yet he’s devastated that his colleagues as well as many other people weren’t so lucky.

Where is Flight 619? What happened? A mechanical failure? Was something done intentionally? So many questions arise as the media works everyone into a frenzy. Many people, including Patrick feel like they are not being told the entire story.

Patrick just wants to know the truth behind the disappearance. Weird things start happening the further he delves into what is going on. He feels like he’s being watched and followed. He becomes suspicious of everyone.

Who can he really trust?

Final Boarding is a fictional story but is definitely inspired by Flight MH 370 Malaysia Airlines that disappeared in 2014. I think that made this an even more interesting read. I remember wondering how it could possibly happen. How could a plane go missing? Especially in this day and age.

A thought-provoking and enjoyable read. Very intense with well paced action that kept me turning the pages. I honestly had no idea what was going to happen next. I occasionally had to go back and re-read a page or two as there are quite a few characters and I had a bit of difficulty keeping them all straight. But at the same time those same characters all added something important to the story. I liked the plot and how the author pulled it all together. I agree with other reviewers that said this would make a good movie.

Thank you, A.J. Mayers for providing me with an advanced copy for me to read and provide my honest review.

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Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Published July 19, 2016

Gallery/Scout Press

 

 

My rating: 3.5 stars

This is my first book by Ruth Ware. I have always wanted to take a luxury cruise and so the plot of this book intrigued me.

I was actually going to read Dark Dark Wood prior to reading this novel. However, since I won a copy of this book from a Goodreads Giveaway, so I figured I could always go back and read Dark Dark Wood some other time.

Journalist, Laura (Lo) Blacklock is a writer for a travel magazine. Lo suffers from anxiety and after a terrifying home invasion she doesn’t feel safe anywhere anymore. Maybe her new work assignment will help. It is a free week-long trip on a luxury cruise. This assignment could also help with the promotion she’s been wanting.

The Aurora is a beautiful brand new boat. Luxurious but small and intimate with only ten cabins.

But the assignment of a lifetime soon turns into a nightmare when Lo is positive she sees a woman from the cabin next door thrown off the boat. But that can’t have happened as all passengers on the boat are accounted for….

Lo is insistent and knows that she didn’t imagine the woman she spoke to, the woman even gave her a tube of mascara. So where is she now? Where is the woman from cabin 10?

No one seems to take her concerns seriously.

Did she have too much to drink? Is she losing her mind?

I did have a bit of trouble getting into the book at first. I’m not entirely sure why but I found my mind wandering. However, once I got into it, I had a hard time putting it down. I had a few minor issues with the plot and a hard time with Lo’s character at first ….but she grew on me.

Honestly, the suspense was good and I had no idea what was going to happen next but I definitely wanted to find out.

All in all this was a creepy (in a good way) and entertaining read, and I look forward to reading more from this author.

I would like to thank Goodreads Giveaways for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: The Sleepwalker

The SleepwalkerThe Sleepwalker by Chris Bohjalian

Expected publication: January 10, 2017

Doubleday Books

 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

par·a·som·ni·a

noun: parasomnia; noun: para-somnia

a disorder characterized by abnormal or unusual behavior of the nervous system during sleep.

Parasomnias are a category of sleep disorders that involve abnormal movements, behaviors, emotions, perceptions, and dreams that occur while falling asleep, sleeping, between sleep stages, or during arousal from sleep.

I really enjoyed Chris Bohjalian’s last book “The Guest Room” and I was very excited to read his new novel, especially after reading the description.

A character in this book suffers from a disorder called Parasomnia, which is a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness. As someone who has also suffered from this affliction, I was quite intrigued.

The book begins in the year 2000. Annalee Ahlberg is a wife and mother of two who vanishes one night. It is assumed that her disappearance has something to do with sleepwalking, a condition that has caused her to do many bizarre and dangerous things. Some of the things she’s done are almost funny, like destroying the plants in front of her home, spraying them with silver paint. But she’s also done things that are terrifying to her and her family, for example almost jumping off a bridge in the middle of the night. Thankfully her oldest daughter woke her just in time.

After her disappearance, her husband places ads with his wifes picture in the area newspapers to keep her image fresh in people’s minds. He tells his daughters people will quickly forget. He says that people survive by being callous, not kind…

Some of Annalee’s behavior led to feelings of shame in both her and her husband. He was embarrassed by her behavior and what people saw, and Annalee was ashamed because of what she could not control.

The night she disappears her husband, Warren is away on a business trip, her daughters both asleep in their beds.

It seems like everyone seems to have something to hide. So many lies and secrets. Where is Annalee and what really happened the night she disappeared?

***Possibly very minor spoilers***. Usually things that are already mentioned in the description or within the first few pages of the book. However, if you prefer knowing very little about a book then you may want to stop here. I don’t ever want to spoil things for anyone.

Annalee’s husband deals with her disappearance by throwing himself into work during the day and drinking until he falls asleep at night. Daughters Lianna and Paige deal with their mother’s disappearance in different ways. Lianna is twenty-one and self medicates in order to cope while her younger sister, Paige who is twelve starts to swim the local river in search of their mother. Both feel very guilty that they didn’t wake up the night their mother vanished.

Everyone is surprised when her body is not found immediately. Why did this happen most often when her husband was out-of-town?

Detective Gavin Rikert is part of the team investigating Annalee’s disappearance. Annalee’s oldest daughter feels as though the detective knows more than he’s saying. She’s determined to find out what he knows about her mother.

I really enjoyed this book. I can tell that Chris Bohjalian is on top of his research. Along with a great story, there was a lot of interesting information about sleep clinics and sleep studies, the different types of parasomnias as well as examples of what kinds things people with this disorder can do. It’s terrifying and sad to think of the things that happen while they are asleep. They don’t just walk around the room and talk. They can cook, have sex, leave the house, drive, and even commit crimes.

This is a subject that many readers may not have thought about, unless they happened to come across an article or news story where someone has committed a crime or had an accident while “sleepwalking”.

I found it both informative and entertaining.

I have had two sleep studies or polysomnograms. The descriptions of the sleep clinics and the tests were very familiar. But while I have done strange things in my sleep (eating, walking, moving things around, waking up in different parts of the house) thankfully I’ve never left my home. My issues are nowhere near as serious as what Annalee suffered from but it gave me some insight and understanding.

The plot was great. The story flowed well and I grew very attached to the characters. I could almost feel the pain and frustration of the characters coming off the page. Reading Lianna’s point of view, her pain and guilt as well as the thoughts from someone else who felt so hopeless and ashamed.

I really wanted to know what happened to Annalee.

In my opinion Chris Bohjalian has written a fantastic book. I found it not only entertaining but also believable. Of course not every single thing is plausible but that’s the beauty of fiction, it doesn’t have to be! If real life hadn’t gotten in the way I could have easily read this in one or two sittings.

This was a suspenseful read with a slow build-up that kept me interested all the way up to a great finish.

Thank you to Chris Bohjalian and Doubleday Books for providing me with an advanced copy to read and review.

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