Throwback Thursday: All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is: 

 

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

All Is Not Forgotten

Published July 12, 2016 by St. Martin’s Press
 
Goodreads Description:
 
In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut everything seems picture perfect.

Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world.

As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town – or perhaps lives among them – drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.

My Thoughts:
 

I find that I can usually read a book and still have my mind on other things.  That was definitely not the case with this novel. I was focused on everything I was reading.

After she was brutally assaulted at a party, Fifteen-year-old Jenny Kramer undergoes an experimental treatment that is supposed to rid her of memories of that night. However, this doesn’t work out like everyone had hoped.

There will be unexpected consequences for everyone involved….

I thought this was a fantastic novel. But I understand it may not be for everyone. While there were some very emotional and disturbing events in this novel, I didn’t feel like the author was trying to sensationalize anything. It was graphic and I did have to put the book down a time or two, but I felt the author just wanted to try to show readers what Jenny went through.

I can’t imagine being given the opportunity to literally erase an event from my memory, traumatic or otherwise. I feel that prior to reading this book if I had suffered a horrible trauma, I may have jumped at the opportunity. But now? I’m not so sure.

Imagine if a pill could make you forget something horrific? A pill……instead of years in therapy. It might sound good at first. But trauma cannot be cured by taking a pill. But what if a doctor was telling you it WOULD work? I think it would be a difficult decision to make. I’m sure I would desperately want to believe it would work.

In my opinion, this was a very well written psychological suspense novel with an amazing plot and great characters. This book had many shocking moments that snuck up on me, leaving me stunned. But I was always eager to get back to the story to see what was going to happen next. I was hooked from the start right up until the very satisfying ending.

I can’t wait to read more from Wendy Walker.

 

***The author does clarify that the drug treatment in the book does not currently exist (entirely). Scientists have in fact used drugs to successfully alter memories and alleviate the emotional impact of similar drugs and therapies described in this book. They are still looking for a drug to erase the memories completely. Originally intended to potentially help soldiers with things like PTSD. But apparently it has already made its way into the civilian world. And as the author says it’s likely extremely controversial.

 

Review – Bring Me Back by B.A Paris

Bring Me Back

Expected publication: June 19, 2018 by HQ
 

Twelve years ago Finn’s girlfriend, Layla disappeared from a rest stop on their way home from vacation. In his statement to police, he said that Layla was in the car when he stopped to use the restroom. When he got back she was nowhere to be found. His phone wasn’t getting a signal so he drove to the nearest gas station to ask for help.

“It was the truth. But not quite the whole truth”

Finn was arrested on suspicion of Layla’s murder. However, her body hadn’t turned up and there was insufficient evidence to prove Finn did anything wrong, so he was cleared of any wrongdoing. Layla was never seen again.

Twelve years later, Finn has moved on and is even engaged. Finn and his fiancé are heading out for dinner one evening when Finn’s phone rings. It is one of the detectives who worked on Layla’s case calling. Apparently, one of Finn’s old neighbors came into the police station and told the detective that he saw Layla the previous day.

 “He said he saw her standing outside the cottage and that when he went to speak to her, she ran off”

At first, Finn is shocked but both Finn and the detective figure the elderly neighbor must have been seeing things. They let it go, but the thought stays stuck in the back of Finn’s mind. And as days go by more and more strange things keep happening.

The story flips back and forth between “then” and “now” as we learn more about Finn’s relationship with Layla as well as his relationship with his fiancee. Finn feels like he’s losing control. He doesn’t know who he can trust.

So what really happened the night Layla disappeared? Could she really be alive after all of these years?         

After reading and enjoying the author’s two previous novels, I was hoping I would enjoy this one too….and for the most part, I did.  Suspending disbelief is necessary for this novel (as with most thrillers), but that really didn’t bother me. But I did find that there was some repetition that was a bit distracting. I also felt like things really slowed down midway through. Thankfully, things did pick up again and I was pulled back into the story.

For quite a while I was pretty sure I had it all figured out. But the author tossed in a few red herrings as well as some twists and turns that threw me off.  I may have been right about a couple of things but I didn’t see everything coming…ESPECIALLY that ending!!

So although there were a few things that bothered me about the story, overall I still enjoyed it. In my opinion, this was another clever psychological suspense novel from B.A Paris, and I am excited to see what she comes up with next.

I’d like to thank Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

WWW Wednesdays – May 23, 2018

WWW WEDNESDAYS

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme is hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What have you finished reading?

What might you read next?

 

I am currently reading:

Click on any book image and it will take you to Goodreads description of the book.

Before and Again

All We Ever Wanted

Sailing Lessons

I just finished reading:

Our Little Secret

Shelter in Place

Three Days Missing

Next I will be reading:

Somebody's Daughter

Vox

Pieces of Her

I hope everyone is reading some great books this week!

Happy Reading!!

 

 

REVIEW: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

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Expected publication: June 12, 2018 by Minotaur Books
 

Throughout High School, Georgina (Geo) Shaw, Angela Wong, and Kaiser Brody were best friends. They were practically inseparable… until the day Calvin James entered their lives. From then on nothing was the same….

Angela was the captain of the cheerleading squad, the one everyone wanted to be friends with. She craved attention and Georgina was fine with letting her have it. But Angela didn’t like it when Georgina caught the eye of the good-looking, and older Calvin James.

“When she spoke to you, she could make you feel like you were the only person in the room, or she could shred you with one dirty look”.

Soon, Calvin is all Georgina can think of and her friends aren’t impressed. And then one night after a High School party, Angela goes missing. Fourteen years later her remains are found.

Over the years, Georgina had done well for herself. She’s thirty years old and is the youngest VP at Shipp Pharmaceuticals. She’s even engaged to the company’s CEO. She built a new life and kept all her secrets tucked away into compartments in her mind. But her new life ended the day she was arrested by her former best friend, Detective Kaiser Brody, as “Wonderwall” by Oasis played in the background.

“Today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you”

The book opens as Calvin James aka The Sweetbay Strangler is on trial for the murder of four women, including Angela Wong.  Georgina Shaw is a witness and after she’s finished giving her testimony, she will be sent to Hazelwood (Hellwood) Correctional Institute to serve a five-year sentence. This was the plea deal for her testimony, though many think five years isn’t enough for Georgina’s part in what happened.

“in every story, there’s a hero and a villain. Sometimes one person can be both”

Detective Brody still has questions for his old friend Geo. He feels that there is more to the story. Will he ever find out exactly what happened that night? And when new bodies start showing up… will the detective be able to be able to do his job properly? Or will old feelings cloud his judgment?

SEE ME

 “Jar of Hearts” was an interesting read packed with well-developed characters and an engrossing plot. The story shifts between past and present and is broken into five parts. The five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The majority of the story is told from Georgina’s point of view but also includes chapters from Kaiser Brody’s perspective.

An extremely well-written story of friendship, obsession, jealousy, and murder. One that does require some suspension of disbelief, but still had me flipping pages quickly to see what was going to happen next.

The author tells an exciting story, one that drew me in right from the very first page. And though I figured out a couple things early on… my jaw still dropped as I came to the unexpected ending of this twisted and addictive read.

This was my first read from Jennifer Hillier and I can guarantee that it won’t be my last.

I’d like to thank Minotaur Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.