Book Review: White Bodies (Jane Robins) @alfresca @TouchstoneBooks

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 10.18.55 AM.pngI am such a sucker for a psychological thriller; I am always on the hunt for something new that will leave me thinking.  Enter, White Bodies by Jane Robins, a book that topped by fall TBR list and one that I was eagerly anticipating.  Chandra, Jessica and I added this one to our September TBR pile months ago so I was incredibly excited to dive in.

The story begins and develops your typical love story:  man (Felix) meets girl (Tilda), man controls girl, twin sister of girl (Callie) gets mad, man ends up dead.  Ya know, the stuff that makes ya warm and fuzzy inside.    I loved how Robins slowly built and weaved the tension throughout the plot; it truly left me feeling unsettled.    Especially in regards to the Callie character.  What a treat she was.  A completely disturbing and pretty messed up treat, but a treat nonetheless!  I think one of the first “um…WTF Callie??!” moments comes at about 13% into the book.   I don’t think I will ever look at a pair of twins the same!!

I also felt like the writing style of this one was incredibly different; the premise is like other books I have read but the execution felt more original.   The story does not follow a specific linear path; instead, it focuses on alternative narrative moments in time between the present and then two different snapshots from the past.   I think my favourite (is that okay to say something was my favourite when it was so twisted) were the Callie chapters from her childhood.  Creepy.

My biggest complaint with this novel was the pacing.  I felt like the first 100 pages or so really dragged.  I was interested.  I wanted to keep reading but I didn’t find myself tearing through the pages.  However, the second half of the book really shone and I did find myself completely engrossed.  I guess I wish it had paced more evenly so I felt entirely dedicated throughout.   I also had a hunch regarding the “reveal” fairly early on, but that didn’t deter me from completing the novel.  I loved Robin’s style.

Overall, if you want a psychological thriller that will give you the creeps, then I would pick this one up.  It is totally worth the read.

4/5 stars.

Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.

As mentioned this one a #cjsreads pick.  Want to see what Chandra and Jessica thought?  Keep reading to find out!

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Blog Tour: The Mother (Jamie Raven) @AvonBooksUK

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Good morning and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Mother, the newest novel by the brilliant Jamie Raven!   I am thrilled to be able to provide you with an extract today.

Following her previous thrillers (The Madam and The Alibi), Raven’s The Mother will have you gripped as it taps into every mother’s worst fear.   Interested? Here is a bit more about the book!

South London detective Sarah Mason is a single mother. It’s a tough life, but Sarah gets by. She and her ex-husband, fellow detective Adam Boyd, adore their 15-month-old daughter Molly.

Until Sarah’s world falls apart when she receives a devastating threat: Her daughter has been taken, and the abductor plans to raise Molly as their own, as punishment for something Sarah did.

Sarah is forced to stand back while her team try to track down the kidnapper. But her colleagues aren’t working fast enough to find Molly. To save her daughter, Sarah must take matters into her own hands, in a desperate hunt that will take her to the very depths of London’s underworld.

 A gripping new voice in crime fiction, this book is perfect for fans of Martina Cole and Jessie Keane.

I am such a sucker for an abduction thriller, aren’t you?!

Keep reading for an extract of The Mother

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BOMG Book Review: Young Jane Young (Gabrielle Zevin)

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A young intern, Aviva Grossman, makes the mistake of having an affair with her boss (who is also a successful and married politician) and blogging about it. After the affair comes to light, Aviva is thrust into the spotlight and ends up taking the brunt of the backlash.   Years later, after changing her name to Jane, moving to a new town and starting over in a new career with her daughter, she decides to run for office herself. Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin is a contemporary chick lit novel that will have you thinking.

I went into this book completely blind, I knew nothing about the synopsis and I knew nothing about the author, Gabrielle Zevin. All I knew for sure what the cover was incredible and that was enough for me!

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Book Review: 99 Red Balloons (Elisabeth Carpenter) @AvonBooksUK

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 9.40.22 AMWhen I first saw the cover of 99 Balloons, the newest release by Elisabeth Carpenter, I was pretty much obsessed. The ominous black and white silhouettes with the lone red balloon had me instantly intrigued, and, after reading the synopsis, this one found its way on to my TBR list.

Eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweet shop on the way home from school and her family is thrown into a nightmare. Meanwhile, a woman sees Grace’s story in the newspaper and instantly makes connections to her own granddaughter’s disappearance.   As both families begin to crack, everything is called into question and it seems that maybe no one is as innocent as they seem.

This one had a creepy opening. After reading the first chapter, I had actual chills.  I am always quite the fan of an abduction story and this one had all the caveats that I would expect in an abduction tale: unreliable characters, ominous tone and red herrings a plenty.

However, I have to say, as much as I loved the plot, I found the narrative style to be a bit confusing. Some of it was clearly labeled and other moments are not. I suppose this could be because we aren’t privy to the identity of the kidnapper, but even some chapters not narrated by the kidnapper were not clearly labeled. I still found this to be a little bit disorienting and it would throw me out of the story as I tried to figure out who was speaking and where I actually was.

Overall, was this my favourite abduction story I have ever read? No.

Was it worth the read? I’d say so.

In fact, this one really had a similar vibe to The Child by Fiona Barton, so if you enjoyed that story then I would say this one would be of interest to you as well!

Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved My First Year Blogging

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 5.43.21 PMTop Ten Tuesday an original feature that was created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Essentially, for each week the list is a new topic and the feature is designed to share lists with other bookish folks!  I love reading these posts and it’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

This week, the theme was an open theme looking back at any past books one might have read.  This worked out perfectly for me at Clues and Reviews, since my one year blogging anniversary is next week!! I was thrilled to see that my blog anniversary perfectly aligned with the Top Ten Tuesday post for this week and it had me taking a look back at all the books I have read and reviewed since I began my little old blog last September.  In total, I have read and reviwed 378 books (as of this morning) during my first year of blogging!

Even with all of the books I have read, I find it funny how there are some books that just stick out,. I am able to pick out (pretty easily) the top books that have kept me thinking, I am consistantly recommending or I have felt the urge to pick up and read again.

Keep reading to see my top ten picks for books that stood out for me my first year blogging!

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Book Review: Idyll Fears (Stephanie Gayle) @StephofLegends @SeventhStBooks

Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 4.58.29 PM.pngI read so many novels, a majority of them being police procedurals, and I find that many of them feel the same. Same old jaded detectives, same old love interests. Which is why I was so pleased when I read Idyll Fears, the second novel in the Detective Lynch series. What a breath of fresh air Thomas Lynch is. An openly gay police chief is not something I am used to seeing in a police procedural novel and I was so pleased to be able to read a story that featured a character like Lynch!

Although this book is the second in a series featuring this dynamic detective, I had no issues reading this one as a standalone and found that Gayle did a phenomenal job at making sure enough of Lynch’s character was brought into the plot for those joining in.

This story follows the race to find a missing six-year-old boy who wanders out into a snowstorm. With a rare genetic disorder that makes it so he cannot feel pain, there is a serious race against time to find the boy before it is too late.   I was pretty much captivated right away by Gayle’s prose and found it easy to settle into the story.

I did find that were a lot of secondary characters (mostly others on the police force and members of Idyll) that I found very confusing. I’m not sure if that was because I wasn’t introduced to them in the first book or just because there were so many; I did find that a little bit distracting but it didn’t really take away from the general plot.

Overall, I think this series seems to be worth looking into. I’ll likely go back and read the first!

3/5 stars!

Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to read this book and write an honest review!

This book was also a #cjsreads pick for September.  Want to see what Chandra and Jessica thought when they read Idyll Fears?  Keep reading to find out!

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Throwback Thursday: Pretty Girls (Karin Slaughter) #tbt @SlaughterKarin

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Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by book blogger extraordinaire, Renee at It’s Book Talk. She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favourites and read books that have already been published.

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This week, I am featuring Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter; this book had been on my “to read” shelf for well over a year and, now that I have read it, I am kicking myself for not reading it (and everything else Slaughter has written) sooner. THIS. BOOK. WAS. AMAZING.  Honestly, I went into it knowing absolutely nothing about the book. I just knew I had seen multiple reviews for it EVERYWHERE when it was released and that people said it was amazing. That was enough for me. Therefore, I am not going to give too much information about the plot and will absolutely leave this review spoiler free.

Slaughter has a distinct ability to completely grip her reader from the first pages; as soon as I read the first chapter, I knew that I was going to be in for a wild ride. Boy, was I right. A fast paced plot, multiple twists and turns and complex characters had me glued to the pages. As I was reading, I felt like I was in a battle. Part of me wanted to read as fast as I could to figure out the conclusion and tie everything together and the other part of me wanted to relish in each moment, reading slowly and enjoy Slaughter’s prose. I can say, without question, that I think Slaughter is one of the most masterful thriller writers and Pretty Girls proves it!  Continue reading