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Saturday, July 28, 2018

#allthebookreviews: Mad by Chloe Esposito @duttonbooks @ChloeJEsposito

by Chloe Esposito

The first in a trilogy - this is quite the ride! Come get absolutely MAD with Alvie.
So intrigued to see where book two, BAD goes - stay tuned for our thoughts on that one later on.

Publisher:  Dutton Books
Publish Date: June 13, 2017
336 Pages
Trilogy: Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know Trilogy #1) 

In this compulsively readable debut, set between London and Sicily over one blood-drenched week in the dead of summer, an identical twin reveals the crazy lies and twists she'll go through to not only steal her sister's perfect life, but to keep on living it.
Alvie Knightly is a trainwreck: aimless, haphazard, and pretty much constantly drunk. Alvie's existence is made even more futile in contrast to that of her identical and perfect twin sister, Beth. Alvie lives on social media, eats kebabs for breakfast, and gets stopped at security when the sex toy in her carry-on starts buzzing. Beth is married to a hot, rich Italian, dotes on her beautiful baby boy, and has always been their mother's favorite. The twins' days of having anything in common besides their looks are long gone. 

When Beth sends Alvie a first-class plane ticket to visit her in Italy, Alvie is reluctant to go. But when she gets fired from the job she hates and her flatmates kick her out on the streets, a luxury villa in glitzy Taormina suddenly sounds more appealing. Beth asks Alvie to swap places with her for just a few hours so she can go out unnoticed by her husband. Alvie jumps at the chance to take over her sister's life--if only temporarily. But when the night ends with Beth dead at the bottom of the pool, Alvie realizes that this is her chance to change her life. 

Alvie quickly discovers that living Beth's life is harder than she thought. What was her sister hiding from her husband? And why did Beth invite her to Italy at all? As Alvie digs deeper, she uncovers Mafia connections, secret lovers, attractive hitmen, and one extremely corrupt priest, all of whom are starting to catch on to her charade. Now Alvie has to rely on all the skills that made her unemployable--a turned-to-11 sex drive, a love of guns, lying to her mother--if she wants to keep her million-dollar prize. She is uncensored, unhinged, and unforgettable."

My Review:

This book is QUITE the ride! Let me start by saying that Alvie, the main character, has an obsession with Channing Tatum.  I DON'T GET IT.  I love his personality but he's so not my type otherwise and I don't understand anyone's obsession with it so I did a bit of eye rolling throughout this read due to this one fact.  Ridiculous, I know, but it's true! 

Anyways.... this book is entertaining from beginning to end!  At first, I was wondering what the hell was going on with Alvie and where could we POSSIBLY go - I was getting a little ho-hum about her internal rantings.  She's crass, doesn't give a shit and completely neurotic.  I don't mind any of these things but after a while I wondered how she was even barely surviving!  Then she goes to Sicily to visit her twin sister and THAT'S when I really started to like this book. 

Suspend reality, welcome a crass and wholly unlovable character who is 100% batshit and watch her go roll with punches while delivering some of her own.  Plot holes be damned, if you want entertainment this is the way to go.  I'm really torn on how to rate this so I'm just going to rate it based on entertainment value, the fact that it's a debut and how there's no way that I'm not going to continue to book two.  

I would describe this is a mafia soap opera on cocaine that goes way off the rails... and yet, I'm a bit mad for it.  (See what I did there.) Also, I'm REALLY happy I don't have any siblings after reading this. 🤣  Definitely a love it or hate it type of read.  Get in and see how you feel!


Jessica's Review:

Talk about a great debut from Chloe Esposito! MAD is book one of the MAD, BAD, AND DANGEROUS TO KNOW trilogy. I loved everything about this. Alvina has also lived in the shadow of her identical twin sister, Beth. Years of Beth bugging her to come visit, Alvie has been able to successfully avoid her, but after losing her job and being kicked out her apartment, she decides to go to Italy to see her sister and her perfect family.

She arrives to Italy to find out that Beth has ulterior motives to her sister's visit. She begs Alvie to switch places with her just for a day. Reluctantly, Alvie agrees. They switch places, down to the nail polish and lipstick color that Alvie was wearing. Beth leaves for the day with her baby while her husband, Ambrogio, has no idea Alvie is at home in her place. All hell breaks loose and the night ends with Beth dead and Alvie still in her sister's clothes. Everyone thinks Alvie is dead.

Wanting to get to the bottom of things, Alvie digs deeper to find out what her sister's intentions were in having them switch places. Secrets, mafia connections, secret lovers, hit men, and a corrupt priest are all thrown into the mix! Will Alvie be able to live her sister's life? Or will they find out she's not who she says she is?

I loved Alvie. She's uncensored, unhinged, and she has a deep rooted hatred for her sister. She's the perfect anti-heroine, and I know most people don't really like that in a main character. Esposito did a great job building her as a character. We have flashbacks to their childhood and seeing how Beth and Alvie grew up - Beth being the golden twin and Alvie as the bad twin. This book takes place over the span of one week, and I really liked how the seven deadly sins were incorporated into the sections! Each day is a different deadly sin, which worked perfectly to show the progression of the events.

I will definitely be grabbing the next two books when they come out! If you want a book you're not going to be able to put down then I'd highly recommend this one! It's a quick read with a touch of murder, mafia, obsession, and mystery.

I give this 5/5 stars!

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