Book Review: The Girlfriend (Michelle Frances) @kensingtonbooks

Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 8.15.08 PM.pngI try to avoid reading reviews pertaining to titles that are in my current TBR pile but, by the time I was ready to dive into The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances, I had already read several reviews and the reviews of my fellow #cjsreads members. And, in this case, I feel like it really helped me prepare for this novel.

Marketed as a psychological thriller, I didn’t really feel like this one had a whole ton of “thrills” in the traditional sense.   Instead, I felt like maybe this one would have been better marketed as a domestic drama or maybe contemporary family drama.   There was no lack of family issues, manipulative girlfriends or overbearing mothers but I did find this one to be missing the fast-paced, twisty-turny type plot that I expect when reading a psychological thriller.

The novel opens with Laura, the woman who has it all (a successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband and a handsome, doctor in training son), who quickly becomes disgruntled when her son begins to spend all his time with Cherry, a real estate agent from the wrong side of the tracks.   Cherry wants to be welcomed into the family, but Laura suspects she is not all she seems.

From the first pages, this one had a lighter vibe to it and that didn’t bother me at all.  I have been finding myself feeling a little “weighed down” by all the heavy, dark, thrillers I have come to know and love.  I welcomed the break in The Girlfriend.     Initially, I was able to breeze through the novel quite easily but it ended up taking me a long time to finish when I started to find this one a little bit too predictable and the characters generally unlikeable.

In the end, this one missed the mark for me in regards to the plot but I did enjoy the author’s writing style and found that easy to digest.  I feel like with a different type of story, she probably would have had me hook, line and sinker!

I think fans going into the novel expecting a thriller, will be highly disappointed.  However, if you like a domestic drama, then this would be better up your alley!

2.5/5 stars.

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

Keep reading to see what Chandra and Jessica thought of this one!

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Book Review: Force of Nature (Jane Harper) @Flatironbooks

Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 7.53.50 PM.pngLast year, when the #cjsreads trio was formed, our first novel was The Dry by Jane Harper which was an atmospheric thriller starring Federal Police Agent, Aaron Falk. Pretty much as soon as we finished reading, we unanimously decided we needed more of this series and our dreams came true with Harper’s sophomore novel, Force of Nature.

This novel follows Aaron Falk and his partner, Carmen, as they investigate a missing informant from their latest investigation into some corporate money laundering. A group of five ladies went into the woods, four came out and the only one missing is the whistleblower set to testify against her employer and colleagues. There is no doubt that betrayal and deceit were present in this work place but could it have led to murder?

From the first pages, when the women emerge from the wilderness missing a member of their crew, it had a The River At Night by Erika Ferencik vibe and I was all about this. I am not a nature girl myself so anything that has to do with people fighting through the elements and battling mother nature totally creeps me out. Adding the extra layer of personal relationships and the struggle of who to trust was icing on the cake for me.   I think one of my favourite features of a Harper novel is the atmosphere. She does such a fantastic job at creating the setting as an entire character and throughout my read, ng I couldn’t help but feel fascinated by how INVESTED I was in the descriptions of the bushlands. There is no doubt that Harper’s prose excels in this landscape.

Told in back and forth between the women in the bush, fighting for their lives and trying to survive, and Aaron Falk with Carmen, investigating in the present was entertaining even though I didn’t find there too be very many twists and turns. It was a very straightforward story: this is who went missing and this is why it happened. Very blunt. No time wasted.

Overall, did I enjoy this novel? Absolutely! Will I read more in this series? Absolutely! Did I LOVE it as much as The Dry? No, but it was still a fantastic 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.

Of course, the #cjsreads crew read this one as one of our February picks!  Want to see what Chandra and Jessica thought of Force of Nature?  Keep reading to find out!

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Blog Tour: Top Five Reasons I Found Myself OBSESSED with The Chalk Man @cjtudor

Late last year, after fighting it for some time, I gave into my temptation and read one of my most anticipated 2018 releases, The Chalk Man by C.J Tudor.    After finishing the novel, I understood completely why there had been so much buzz surrounding this book. Fast-paced, completely compelling and binge-able, I sat down and read this book in an entire sitting.  From the core mystery to the intricately woven characters, I could immediately state that this book would end up one of my favourites for 2018, already!  That, my friends, is a pretty serious statement to make!  If you want, you can check out my full review of The Chalk Man HERE.  But, in honour of my stop on the TLC Blog Tour for this title, I thought I would do a little bit of a breakdown, get a little deeper into the novel and talk about the five reasons why I felt completely OBSESSED with this novel during (and after!) my reading.

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Top Five Reasons I Found Myself OBSESSED with The Chalk Man @cjtudor”