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: Part of the Silence (Debbie Howells)

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I had never read a novel by Debbie Howells before, so, when #cjsreads decided to add this novel to our June line up, I was excited to dive into the work of an unfamiliar author.   Part of the Silence had a beautiful cover and an intriguing synopsis involving a woman (Evie Sherman), with no recollection of whom she is, left for dead in a field and a daughter that she insists she has; however, there is no evidence of the girl’s existence. As Evie goes deeper into her own mind and her obsession with “a daughter” intensifies, she must figure out whom she can trust and how she can protect the child she knows exists.

In the first few chapters, I was really interested to see who these characters were and how the plot would develop; it opens so vaguely that I was grabbed instantly. Though, as I continued reading, one of the things I struggled with about this novel was the predictability and the actual characterization.

The novel is told through multiple perspectives; for the most part, the plot is described through the eyes of Charlotte (a local woman who knows Evie Sherman) from her high school years. Jack, the police detective on the case, and, finally, a few chapters by Evie, narrates the remaining chapters.   There are also random entries from a diary of a girl named Casey. I did like the multi-perspective narration; I am always a fan of different character views.  However, I didn’t really care about what any of these characters had to say. I found the Evie (sometimes known as Jen) character a little whiney, I found Jack to be randomly placed in the plot and I found Charlotte to be obviously off base.   These characters one-dimensional attitude gave a lot of predictability to the plot and I found myself easily able to figure this one out within the first 50 pages.

For someone who is new to the thriller genre, this would be an entertaining read. However, for someone more familiar with the genre, this one plays out like the same song and dance.

I gave this one a 2/5 stars.

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

As I mentioned, #cjsreads read this title as one of our June titles; keep reading to see what Jessica and Chandra thought about Part of the Silence.

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Book Review: The Girl Who Was Taken (Charlie Donlea) @KensingtonBooks @CharlieDonlea

The Girl Who Was Taken.pngFollowing two high school seniors, Megan and Nicole, in a small town who go missing at a beach party one summer evening. With no clues or leads, police are shocked when one of the teens, Megan, miraculously escapes and finds her way back home. A year later, Megan has written a book about her experiences and Nicole’s sister, Livia, has never given up hope that her sister could be alive. The Girl Who Was Taken, by Charlie Donlea, follows these women as their paths collide, connections are made and truths are revealed.

Sounds crazy right?

When #cjsreads decided to read this as a May pick, I was ecstatic.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Girl Who Was Taken (Charlie Donlea) @KensingtonBooks @CharlieDonlea”