Well, the last day of March brings our last #cjsreads pick for March! Our final choice for our monthly buddy read was Bleeding Hearts by Lauren Bishop.
Keep reading for a book synopsis and to find out what we thought about this novel!
Synopsis from Goodreads
Simone is an only child growing up in Michigan with her two loving parents. They give her the world and she doesn’t want for anything. She spends her summers in her plush tree house that rivals some homes and her winters skiing in Minnesota with her best friends.
But one spring day everything changes. Her parents never come home and she’s left with only memories.
It’s been years since her parents’ death and she’s gone from foster homes to crashing with friends. She finds herself defeated with nowhere to go and desperation sets in.
Neil is a sinister man that feeds off of control. He has a way of always getting what he wants. Simone is young, beautiful and vulnerable. He has to have her. He becomes her knight in shining armor and sweeps her off of her feet. Little does she know getting wrapped up in Neil’s web will be the worst mistake of her life.
Living as Neil’s prisoner, Simone doesn’t think things could get any worse. But when Neil sets his sights on a new conquest obsession and murder threaten everyone in his path. With her life at stake, Simone must dig deep within herself to finally find a way out.
WHAT CHANDRA THOUGHT
Suffering a traumatic loss growing up, Simone shuffles from place to place. She just wants to fit in or be loved but keeps falling into the wrong crowd or being the victim of her foster siblings abuse. Neil is a controlling narcissist who is looking for that perfect woman. Setting his sights on Simone, he holds her captive for two years before seeking out new blood. He sets his sight on Vanessa, who promising her friends would date “outside of the box”, makes the wrong decision in accepting a date from Neil. Can Simone save Vanessa from becoming a captive like she is?
The chapters bounce back and forth between Simone at various ages of her life, Neil and Vanessa. I flipped to the first page not knowing what to expect and the next thing I knew, I was halfway through the book. I couldn’t wait to get on my lunch break and then home to finish it yesterday. What a thrilling debut! Completely fast paced! Kept me wondering, why didn’t Simone just leave? What the hell was Vanessa thinking? How is Neil getting away with all this shit? WHAT?! 100% impressing with this debut novel. I can only see Lauren’s writing getting better and more cohesive with every book she writes… and I most definitely will be reading them! Like psychological thrillers that read quickly and keep you turning the pages? Jump on the Bleeding Heart!
I loved this book! I had no idea what to expect going into this, and I was incredibly impressed. I really enjoyed the different perspectives throughout the book – it’s a writing style I’ve always liked because it answers so many questions as the story progresses.
Without giving away too much of the book, we follow Simone in her current situation. She’s living with Neil, a man that thrives off of control, and they have a unique relationship (think Doll House or the relationship between Jack and Grace in Behind Closed Doors). Neil sets his sights on Vanessa and his obsession has made him a ticking time bomb and Simone must tread carefully.
This book got going in the first chapter and didn’t stop. I loved the back stories and learning how Simone got to where she was currently. We really get a picture painted of her past; what she had to overcome in her life, and how she became tangled up with Neil. Lauren Bishop did a great job creating the characters. You could relate to Simone, you were creeped out by and hated Neil, and you felt for Vanessa for getting caught up in his web, despite her resistance.
It was a quick read and I really enjoyed it! I would highly recommend this one. I give this 5/5 stars.
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Bleeding Heart, the debut novel by Lauren Bishop, is one of those books that you read and then are not 100% sure where to categorize it. With elements of a coming of age story, suspense, domestic thrillers and tragic archetypes, this one had me thinking.
Told in multiple perspectives through multiple moments in time, Bishop takes the reader on an intricate journey through the life of Simone. The novel opens in crisis as we are introduced to the abusive Neil and his “daughter” Simone. Told through flashbacks and memories, we find out that Simone’s world had been turned upside down with the loss of her parents and has bounced from foster home to foster home since. Struggling with a negative peer group and her own desperation, she fell prey to Neil, a man who seemed to be her knight in shining armor but who, in reality, is a sinister sociopath that feeds off of control. Back to the present, as Simone becomes more tangled in Neil’s web and feels as if things could not become any worse, she realizes that Neil has a new target and the story begins to unfold rapidly.
This novel had me asking continuous questions and struggling to understand the motivations of the characters. This is not a novel that you will read complacently; instead, this one will have you actively trying to weave out the plot.
The content in this one is strong and explicit, however, I found that there were definite moments where this one read more like a YA novel than a twisty, suspense thriller. Mind you, the main character is in her teens, so perhaps this was to be expected.
Overall, I enjoyed the general story and will be looking forward to see how Lauren Bishop flourishes in her next published works! I gave this one a 3/5 stars on Goodreads.
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HUGE THANK You to Lauren Bishop who provided COPIES of Bleeding Heart; it was our pleasure to provide our HONEST REVIEWS.