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Thursday, December 5, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: Reputation by Sara Shepard @duttonbooks @jessmapreviews

by Sara Shepard

Publisher: Dutton
Publish Date: December 3, 2019
Kindle Edition
384 Pages
Genres: Thriller

In this fast-paced new novel from Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars, a tight-knit college town scrambles for answers when an e-mail hack reveals life-changing secrets and scandals.

Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people's e-mails—the entire faculty, staff, students, alums—onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning's handsome husband, Dr. Greg Strasser, is found murdered. Kit's sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled fifteen years ago, after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something isn't right about the night Greg was killed, and she's determined to find the truth. What she doesn't expect is that everyone has something to hide. And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone else is murdered.

Told from multiple points of view, Reputation is full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals. It's a story of intrigue, sabotage, and the secrets we keep—and how far we go to keep them hidden. Number one bestseller Sara Shepard is at the top of her game in this brand-new adult novel.

My Review:

Well cream my corn, smack my ass and call me biscuits.  What am I talking about? Hell, I don't know but that's how I feel after reading this book because my neck hurts and my brain is muddled from all the whiplash.

Told from multiple POVs, this is QUITE the roller coaster of a read. And it makes total sense as it was originally written to be for TV.  So yes to all the DRAMA MAMA BING BANG happening page after page after page!  Think about it.  Everyone has a reputation.  You have one throughout high school, through college and then while you think it lessens as you reach adulthood - it doesn't - it just changes course.  You're constantly comparing yourself to the other mother you think may have more advantages than you or is doing a better job, whatever that means.  Or to the family you're missing out on because you never had kids.  To the man you think you're not because you allowed this and that to happen.  There's always SOMETHING.  So you hide behind your secrets.  You chase what you think will complete you, but does that ever really work?  This is a fast lesson is learning that no matter what happens, eventually you WILL be found out.

If your emails got hacked, what would come out about you? Do you really think deleting your messages keep you immune?  You realize that the person who holds your "secret" with you means it's not REALLY a secret right?  Bring in this cast of characters where EVERYONE has some secret.  Emails have gotten hacked and shit is about TO GO DOWN.  No one is innocent.  The author does an amazing job of keeping you guessing.  There are little bombs dropped here and there and just when you think … THINK.. you have it almost figured out... BOMB DROPPED.  Now, normally having ALL these twists and turns would almost seem to much but it really works for me here.  Even while I was looking back and forth from character to character and all the messes they were in, I was still feeling for them... well... some of them.  But with every black cloud, there is that little silver lining.  Mostly.  Maybe.  Hell, I don't know.

Even with all the craziness that is going on, the book does touch on some very important subjects and it's all too real how certain things can easily be looked over when they shouldn't. And while, if I'm being completely transparent, the epilogue was nice to see where the characters ended up... it felt a little *off* after the crazy roller coaster... like I got stuck at the end for a few minutes, trapped, before I was let off. BUT... I do think it was necessary as well.  People, be as good as you can be but remember we're all human.  And in this day and age, be careful what you put out there.  And as the author notes in her acknowledgments: "People will always find out."


Jessica's Review:

This is my second book by Sara Shepard (I'm probably one of the few that hasn't picked up Pretty Little Liars yet) and the main thing I remember was all the drama in the story. Well, we weren't short on drama in REPUTATION! What would you do if all of your emails were available for the world to see? What if your entire reputation was at stake? As people always say, nothing is ever *really* gone form the internet. Even when deleted, there's still a record somewhere of it and any hacker can find it.

When this happens all hell breaks loose. What secrets are you hiding? What would happen if those secrets got out? All of this goes down with quite the cast of characters - just chaos and drama ensue and I loved it all. There were a lot of twists and red herrings throughout the book, and you definitely need so suspend some reality (but I'm sure that was expected). We had a lot of different POVs from characters and it did get a little confusing at times for me, but otherwise I thought Shepard did a great job creating characters that the readers just wouldn't particularly like. I did enjoy the epilogue at the end of the book - definitely one I would recommend reading as well (I'm sometimes guilty of skipping those, but I've learned I can miss a lot by doing so).

Considering how much I enjoyed all the drama that went down in this book, and with plenty of nudging from others, I might have to finally pick up Pretty Little Liars and get that started. Overall, if you want a crazy thriller that throws all kinds of curve-balls, then look no further. It's also a good reminder to be careful what we put out there because it will almost always come back.

4 stars

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