Book Review: The Lying Game (Ruth Ware) @SimonSchusterCA

The Lying Game

I’m just gonna come right out and say it. I have never read a novel by Ruth Ware.

I have never read a novel by Ruth Ware.

I know, I know, what kind of thriller lover am I?

I have them all purchased, sitting on my shelf, waiting patiently for me but I am a slave to my TBR pile and hadn’t been able to read them yet. So, I was more than thrilled when #cjsreads made The Lying Game by Ruth Ware a July title.

The novel opens with a body being discovered and Isa, a new mother, receiving a text from her childhood friend. A text she knows to always respond to. A text she hoped she would never get. Travelling to Salten, a boarding school she spent a year in, she meets up with Kate and two other friends who all went to the school; notorious in their time, they were known for playing The Lying Game. A game blurred with reality, and soon, the girls realize that their past is not as buried as they had hoped.

From the first pages, I was pretty much hooked. It sort of had that chick lit, Pretty Little Liars vibe that I enjoy in a thriller. Imagine Big Little Lies and a sort of darker Gossip Girl. I really enjoy where I can get that sort of “feeling” from a piece of fiction for an adult, especially since it usually can only be found in the realm of YA.

I found myself flying through the pages, which were narrated by Isa, and was gripped trying to figure out what had gone on in their past (which was also explored). I had plenty of theories.   This one peaked for me in the middle, it had a sort of “SAY WHAT” moment and I was completely perplexed.

However, I found the ending to be a little lacklustre. It sort of went the tried and true route and I felt a little disappointed.

Overall, I felt like this one was fast paced and juicy enough to be a perfect read for the beach.

I gave it a 4/5 stars!

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

Want to know if Chandra and Jessica felt the same way as I did about The Lying Game?  Keep reading to find out!

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Book Review: Bring Her Home (David Bell) @DavidBellNovels ‏@BerkleyPub

 

Bring Her HomeI read a lot of mystery and thriller books (obviously!) so, when I come across one that impresses me, I feel like shouting from the rooftops.   Bring Her Home, by David Bell, was one of those books that made me want to shout.  Fast paced and entertaining, I found myself completely invested to our protagonist and his struggles.

The novel opens with Bill, a widower, facing every father’s worst nightmare.  His fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer is missing (along with her best friend, Haley).  Days later, the girls are found in the park.  Haley is dead on the scene and Summer is badly beaten.   Bill is left begging his daughter to fight for her life but also begins to wonder if he knows his daughter at all.   As Bill searches for the truth, he discovers more than what he thought.

Instead of going for the gusto, Bell opens subtly and slowly draws his reader in.  I felt instantly intrigued.    From the first pages, Bell does a superb job at setting up lots of questions for the reader to continuously ask.  I really loved this; when I read, I love to be active in my thought process trying to figure out the plot and where the author plans on going.

One of the other things I enjoyed was the plethora of twists in the middle of the novel.  Especially since I am completely tired of the big, shocking, one moment twists that so many thrillers have these days.   I felt like this made the story even more eerie and ominous because it felt so real; this truly could have been a story that could happen to anyone.

As for characterization, I felt like Bill was relatable and the story felt very real; I really appreciated that!

I was able to guess pretty early on parts of the resolution of the novel but Bell did bring in some complex details that I would never have guessed that amped up the ending for me.

Overall, I feel like fans of the “feels real” thriller will enjoy this novel; think authors like Mary Kubica.  I absolutely relished in this one.  4/5 stars from me!

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

This one was also a #cjsreads title for July, keep reading to see what Chandra and Jessica had to say about this one!

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Book Review: Final Girls (Riley Sager) @riley_sager @DuttonBooks

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 9.54.37 PMThe day is finally here!

The publication day for one of the most anticipated novels of the year, Final Girls by Riley Sager, is here!!

When I read this novel late last year, I named it the book that everyone will be talking about.

Months later, I stand by this statement. Intense, on the edge of your seat, and completely addictive, this mystery thriller is binge read worthy.   If there is a novel that lives up to the hype, it would Final Girls.

If you are a fan of the mystery/thriller genre or just a fan of an extremely well-developed narrative, you’ll want to clear your TBR piles and make this one a priority.

My full review of this novel can be found here.

Chandra and Jessica gave this one a read and made it one of our #cjsreads picks for July.  Keep reading to see if they felt as strongly about this one as I did!

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Book Review: Don’t Close Your Eyes (Holly Seddon)

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 7.16.59 PM.pngDon’t Close Your Eyes, the sophomore novel by Holly Seddon, was a book I was very much looking forward to.  Twin sisters, torn apart by a family secret, are driven back together after one is forced to leave her family and the other is struggling to face her past demons.

There were lots of things I loved about this book; it has extremely short chapters moving back and forth between time periods and narrators.  Both twins get their POVs shown and I felt like this type of narration made the text very dynamic.  I was absolutely glued trying to figure out their individual MO’s and where their stories would intertwine.    I really liked the complex characterization in this one; filled with a twisted family dynamic, I loved watching them interact.

However, my major complaint was that I felt this book was mismarketed.  I wouldn’t categorize this as a mystery, psychological suspense or a thriller.  I would say it is contemporary fiction.  Was it well written?  Absolutely.  Did I feel compelled to finish the book?  Absolutely. Was it what I was expecting, or for that matter, anywhere close to what I was expecting?  No.   Aside from one moment in the text, right near the end, I did not find there to be any shocks or twists.

If you are looking for a psychological thriller to leave you breathless, this will not be the one for you.  However, if you enjoy a character driven narrative that is well written and intriguing, then this may be the perfect pick for you.  I, for one, gave this a 2.5/5 stars.

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

#cjsreads read this as one of our first July titles; keep reading to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of this one.

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