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Sunday, February 23, 2020

#ATBR2020 Review: Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin @wednesdaybooks @jessmapreviews

Foul is Fair 
by Hannah Capin


Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publish Date: February 18, 2020
Hardcover 
336 Pages
Standalone
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Retellings

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

Foul is Fair is a bloody, thrilling revenge fantasy for the girls who have had enough. Golden boys beware: something wicked this way comes.

My Review:


If I read any Shakespeare in high school/college, I have completely forgotten any part of it and have no desire to read him now.  Would I have liked this better if I had fully known the story of Macbeth??? I don't know.  And yes yes, I don't live under a rock, Macbeth has been retold at least a dozen times so don't @ me. ;)  I've seen/read a few of them to have at least that must of a gist.

Set any retelling aside, let's just look at this zany story as it is.  Definite Cruel Intentions vibes which I love... but it made the writing style a bit hard to get used to (for me) at the beginning.  I found myself thinking I would've enjoyed this more on screen. *shrug*  Also I found myself inadvertently reading two books in a row that dealt with rape culture in a YA world and the other one resonated a bit more for me. 

Here's the thing - the more I read, the more I started to like it.  I liked how out of control it was getting.  I loved suspending reality and just watching Jade get her revenge on everyone.  The whos, the whats, the hows… the blood.  😈 The entitled rich kids finally not getting any with it... the snarky bitchy girls... the at times cheesy dialogue.  It all definitely grew on me.  While I wouldn't say this was THE story for me, I certainly did have fun with it towards the end but I'm glad it's over.

★★★

Jessica's Review:


Are you ready for one hell of a revenge story? FOUL IS FAIR begins with what feels like chaos. Four girls getting ready to go out to celebrate a sweet sixteen – getting all dressed up, hair done, make up on, and claws ready. Elle, Mads, Jenny, and Summer decide to crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party for a night they won’t forget – well, they weren’t wrong. It just wasn’t the kind of night they were hoping for.
These girls have teeth and claws and they’re out for blood on those that were involved in what happened to Elle. As a warning, this does include the topic of rape. The author does include that disclaimer at the beginning for the readers. I think she handled the topic tastefully and while it was the motivation for the revenge, it wasnt the only thing driving the plot.
Ellie is one hell of a force to be reckoned with and with her Coven behind her, their bloody revenge is unstoppable. If you’re looking for something fun and with a writing style with bite, then this will be perfect for your TBR. I can’t  wait to see what Capin comes out with next.
4 stars


Saturday, February 22, 2020

#ATBR2020 Review: The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly by Meredith Tate @putnambooks @mltate24 @jessmapreviews

The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly 
by Meredith Tate

Thank you to G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for these copies.


Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: February 11, 2020
Hardcover
368 Pages
Standalone
Genres: Young Adult, Thriller


When band-geek Ivy and her friends get together, things start with a rousing board game and end with arguments about Star Wars.



Her older sister Autumn is a different story. Enigmatic, aloof, and tough as nails, Autumn hasn't had real friends--or trusted anyone--in years. Even Ivy.

But Autumn might not be tough enough. After a drug deal gone wrong, Autumn is beaten, bound, and held hostage. Now, trapped between life and death, she leaves her body, seeking help. No one can sense her presence--except her sister.

When Autumn doesn't come home, Ivy just knows she's in trouble. Unable to escape the chilling feeling that something isn't right, Ivy follows a string of clues that bring her closer to rescuing her sister... and closer to danger.

Autumn needs Ivy to find her before time runs out. But soon, both sisters realize that finding her also means untangling the secrets that lead to the truth--about where they're hiding Autumn, and what Autumn has been hiding.


My Review:



I love reading some good YA and Tate gives us a feeler of a novel surrounding Ivy and her sister, Autumn.  They're polar opposites and barely exist to each other after the death of their mother, in a house their father and stepmother aren't really trying to keep together.  When Autumn goes missing, Ivy is determined to find her because this doesn't feel like the usual disappearing act Autumn would give.. something is amiss...

This novel touches on a variety of important topics, the most centralized topic being rape culture.  Unfortunately a topic that needs to be addressed.  At certain times, it did feel a teeny bit PSA, but handled well.  The best part of this whole book is getting to know Ivy and Autumn.  I appreciate the uniqueness in how they end up getting connected.  And within the space of a few days, how they grow.  

Tate keeps you captivated as you continue to wonder if Autumn will ever be found.  There was one moment where I actually gasped! There is some levity within this somber read that comes from Ivy's cast of friends.  All of these characters feel very real and human and you feel the teen angst.  Personally, I feel this is a fantastic contemporary YA thriller serving up some life lessons.

★★★★

Jessica's Review:

I haven’t really ventured very far into the YA umbrella of genres, and I’m trying to branch out more in what I’ve been reading. The cover and title for THE LAST CONFESSION OF AUTUMN CASTERLY got my attention right away and the synopsis sounded intriguing. This is a mix of mystery, thriller, and contemporary YA fiction and I think the author did a great job joining them all together.

Some timely topics are covered as well as the bond between sisters, dealing with the loss of a parent, a disappearance, and a drug deal gone wrong that starts it all. Ivy and Autumn are sisters but are two very different girls. One is a diehard Star Wars fan and band-geek, while the other is quiet, to herself, and trusts no one. When Autumn has a drug go bad, she ends up beaten and kidnapped – how will anyone be able to find her?

The part that stuck out the most for me was how real these characters felt. The author did an incredible job bringing them to life and making them feel authentic – some YA books I’ve read some of the teens feel so overly done and over-dramatized in a way. You won’t find that here.

I don’t want to give away too much more than the synopsis does, but I will say that if you’re a fan of YA thrillers, then this is one that needs to be on your TBR. If you’re a reader like me that’s trying to branch out into more YA, then I think this would be a good one to try out! A very easy read and one that has very timely elements to it that the author handles very well.

4 stars

Friday, February 21, 2020

Review: The Ruin of Delicate Things by Beverley Lee @constantvoice

The Ruin of Delicate Things 
by Beverley Lee 

Thank you to Beverley for this early copy for review. You don't want to miss this one.


Publish Date: April 7, 2020
Kindle Edition
Standalone
Genre: Horror

Barrington Hall is a place of secrets—something Dan Morgan has worked hard to forget. But when a heart-breaking loss brings him back to the place where he spent his childhood summers, Barrington Hall will do what it must to make him remember.


Faye Morgan blames her husband for the death of their teenage son. She doesn’t want to leave the place Toby called home. But after she catches a glimpse of a strange boy in the midnight woods and learns of his connection with Barrington Hall, her need to learn more pulls her further and further into a nightmare world filled with past atrocities and the burning flame of revenge.



A tale of grief and horror, A Ruin of Delicate Things explores how loss can leave a hole inside of us. A hole large enough for anything to crawl into. 


My Review:



There's something about the author being a friend that gets you even more excited but also even more nervous to read their new work.  I already knew Bev was extremely talented from reading The Gabriel Davenport trilogy but I still didn't expect the brilliance that is The Ruin of Delicate Things.

Dan and Faye have lost their son and in that, their connection to each other.  When Dan heads back to his childhood home at the bequeath of his aunt, he's also heading back to memories that had been buried deep.  With that, the story behind the strange happenings at Barrington Hall... and these things will creepy crawl their way straight to your inner being.  *SHIVER*

There's a LOT going on with this read - heartache, marriage issues, loss, history, fantasy, horror, thrills and chills.  I can only imagine the various forms my face made as I went on their journey that spiraled into a goose pimply hell.  Many a time did I physically shudder.  Bev took her own fear of moths and incorporated that along with a number of other creatures that made my skin crawl.. A LOT.  I felt SO MUCH for Corrigan and the story behind the story.  Which way do I root? Well, the only way I could of course and you'll have to read this to figure it all out.  I know I'll never think of certain creatures the same again. And I adored how the story played out with an ending that seemed extremely appropriate.  I LOVE it when I finish a book with a smile on my face.

A gothic atmospheric read with bits of fantasy horror that I wanted more of.  Put this on your TBR.

★★★★★

Review: Whispers in the Dark by Laurel Hightower @HightowerLaurel @nightworms #nightwormswhispers #JournalStone #atbr2020 @jessmapreviews

Whispers in the Dark 
by Laurel Hightower

A Night Worms book party!


Publisher: JournalStone
Publish Date: December 7, 2018
Paperback
318 Pages
Standalone
Genres: Horror, Thriller


Rose McFarland is a trained killer--a Memphis S.W.A.T. sniper with a secret. Her team knows about the burn scars that lurk under her clothes, a legacy of the house fire that killed her father and brother sixteen years before. Her supervisors know that she spent two years in a rehabilitative facility, healing and learning to cope with the emotional trauma of the fire. But no one knows about the visions that drove her there, angry spirits that consumed her childhood, alienated her from her family and made her doubt her own sanity--the Whispers.


When Charlie Akers, a half-brother she never knew, ends up on the wrong side of Rose's rifle, she unwittingly sets off a chain of events that puts her family in the middle of increasingly dangerous paranormal visitations. Charlie won't stay dead, and soon ghosts from Rose's past are creeping back into her life. People she's killed in the line of duty, family she thought long buried, every one of them under the influence of Rose's greatest fear, the Whispers themselves.

As the walls between our world and the world of the dead grow thin, Rose will have to face her old nightmares to stop the Whispers from breaking free. If she can't, it won't just be Memphis that falls to the dead--there will be no safe place left on earth for the living.


My Review:




A woman named Rose who is a mother and S.W.A.T sniper with fierce loyalty, a sordid and painful past and a fierce personality - this is a woman you do NOT want to mess with.  What can I say? I fell in love with this book.  Solid writing, a very interesting story line, some shiver inducing scenes and characters that felt extremely human.  What more do you need?  

I absolutely love Rose's characters.  For all that she's endured, she has risen above and yet now she's in for the fight of her (and her children's) lives.  I appreciate that the men around her have supporting roles and she's not a character who depends on them to take the wheel.   Absolutely engaging, I was riveted from the very first chapter and didn't feel like the book let up much throughout the entire read.  I do wish that the synopsis didn't mention that Charlie is her half-brother as I felt this was a good reveal within the story that would've been more impactful had that piece of news hadn't already been known.  But that's just being nit picky. 


Debut novel?! So very impressed with this entire story.  As an avid thriller and horror lover, this book encompasses both of these so well that it's like this was written for me. (I'm just gonna pretend it was.)  Then I see that Hightower is a paralegal who loves beer, bourbon and horror movies and I know that I would absolutely hang out with her because I resemble all of those!

I will be waiting (impatiently) for Hightower to grace us with another book.  Until then, I'll try not to let the whispers get to me.

★★★★★

Jessica's Review:



For those horror and thriller fans out there, this is the perfect mashup of those two genres! WHISPERS IN THE DARK isn’t what I was expecting and I absolutely loved all of the twists and turns that Hightower threw at us.

A bad ass female protagonist and plenty of action and thrills to go around. I almost don’t want to describe too much because I loved going into this knowing as little as possible. Paranormal elements, gore, and evil around every corner. Rose is a force to be reckoned with and the author does a great job developing all of the characters for us so we get a more rounded image of them. The Whispers – well I think those will haunt you for awhile after putting this one down.

Once I picked it up I flew through it. Only positive to being sick, I have zero interruptions and responsibilities besides getting rest – and the best way to do that is to binge a horror thriller novel. I feel that Hightower was able to weave everything together in the end and I was satisfied with how it all ended. Sometimes there are too many unanswered questions, but I feel like she got it all for us. Overall, if you love horror and the paranormal, then pick this one up. If you want a binge read and want to support a new author? Add this to the TBR now! I can’t wait to see what Hightower releases next for us.

5 stars

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Review: But Like Maybe Don't by Arianna Margulis @RodaleBooks #butlikemaybedont #aroamma,argi;os

But Like Maybe Don't 
by Arianna Margulis

Thank you Crown Publishing for this free book.


Publisher: Rodale Books
Publish Date: February 4, 2020
Hardcover
176 Pages
Standalone
Genre: Nonfiction

The creator of the Instagram sensation But Like Maybe takes us on an illustrated journey through her worst dating mistakes--a hilarious, hopeful guide to what you need to get wrong in love before you get it right.

Arianna Margulis's pen was set aflame when a boyfriend took her for a walk in Central Park. She was sneak-attack dumped because she "interfered with his meditation schedule." After a few sobs, she found her way to a Sharpie, doodled the hilarity and the heartbreak, and But Like Maybe was born. As her cartoons became an Instagram cult hit, Arianna chronicled her misadventures through modern love via a crop-topped doppelganger, equal parts optimistic and anxious, who holds tight to the belief that bae is out there.

Now, with 70 never-before-seen toons, her first book is a witty and winning primer on what not to do when dating. Inspired by all the ways Arianna's gone wrong in her search for love, from planning matching outfits with her high school boyfriend without his knowledge to deplaning an aircraft because her crush texted, this charming and off-kilter anti-guide gently leads you to what matters: realizing that you're already pretty awesome.

With plenty of advice for recognizing and moving on when he's just not that into you, Arianna shows how to not let a read receipt ruin your night, what to do when the slow fade commences, and how to flip the busy script on a guy. Dating can make the best of us a bit crazy. Keep this guide by your side so that the next time tequila urges you to text your ex, you can instead tell yourself . . . but like maybe don't.
 

My Review:



This book showed up on my doorstep last night and I started flipping through it and then just devoured it.... and I feel personally attacked by this book. I resemble way too many things in this book, I don't even know what to do with myself! Hahaha. Anyone who has been trampled in the stampede of dating (at any age) will enjoy this fun, illustrated read on all the stupid (and human) things we've all done. Unless you're in the one and only relationship you've ever been in (applause), then you probably have your own set of problems. ;).

I've always agreed that the "too busy" excuse is bullshit. When you want it, you'll always find a way. And what is worse? Getting ghosted or slow faded? But in all the things done "wrong", lessons are learned (hopefully) and sometimes, it's not you. I could probably add a chapter or two in here as my friends can agree that I'm not great with relationships and have some definite interesting stories to tell. The author does a fantastically hilarious job of covering the basics and I recommend this for anyone who needs a good laugh and has been through the gaunlet.

5 stars for pure entertainment and relatability.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

#ATBR2020 Review: Don't Look Down by Hilary Davidson @jessmapreviews

Don't Look Down 
by Hilary Davidson

Thank you to Thomas & Mercer for these copies!


Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publish Date: February 11, 2020
Hardcover
368 Pages
Series: Shadows of New York #2
Genres: Mystery, Police Procedural


Jo Greaver is a model of success. Young and ambitious, she’s built a thriving beauty business from nothing. But she has secrets she’ll do anything to keep buried. When her blackmailer offers to meet, Jo expects to pay him off—but gets a bullet instead. Bleeding and in shock, Jo flees with no one to turn to.


When NYPD detective Sheryn Sterling and her partner, Rafael Mendoza, find Andray Baxter murdered in his own home—shot through the heart—everything points to Jo as the killer. Her blood is at the scene, and so are disturbing photos of her taken as a young teen. But Sheryn has doubts. Was the kindhearted Andray really a criminal? Why did he repeatedly report finding spyware in his apartment? Was there something shady about Jo’s sister dying a year earlier?

Something’s not right, and it’s up to Sheryn to piece together the sinister puzzle, no matter the cost. 


My Review:




What I liked: engaging story that runs at a moderate speed.

What I didn't like: not fully believable in the procedural aspect of it comparatively to other procedurals I've read. Repetitiveness. Somewhat forced dialogue with the underlay of "lesson" that seemed unnecessary in how it was portrayed.

Overall, a decent and fun read but towards the end I wasn't as engaged as I was in the beginning.  Don't think I'll be continuing the series.

For those who don't read a ton of procedurals and want an interesting mystery, this will be entertaining. 

★★☆

Jessica's Review:



I'll keep this short - I dont like when I have to give a less than favorable review. Based on other reviews I am definitely in the minority for this. So I think it could be more so "it's not you its me" with this book. DON'T LOOK DOWN is the second book in the Shadows of New York series, but it read just fine as a standalone (as I hadn't read the first book).

I found myself in and out of the story as far as my interest. If you don't frequent the police procedural genre then I think this will be perfect for you. For those that read a lot of these books, this might feel a little repetitive at times. Suspend some belief for this one and I didn't feel too connected to the characters.

Again, I really think it that this didn't mesh well with me as a reader. The writing was solid and I think Davidson put together a good mystery with some cat and mouse to it. The pacing is what got me and this one took longer than anticipated to get through.

 2.5 stars



Monday, February 17, 2020

Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus @DelacortePress @writerkmc #bravethebacklist

One of Us is Lying
by Karen M. McManus


Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publish Date: May 30, 2017
Hardcover
361 Pages
Series: One of Us is Lying #1
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
    Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
    Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
    Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
    Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
    And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
 
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

My Review:


I have been wanting to read this for a while now - and nothing lights a fire under your reading butt than having a few people to buddy read with! You've probably seen the comparisons around but yes yes... it really is like Breakfast Club meets Gossip Girl (sorry, never watched Pretty Little Liars).  And all of this just makes me so very happy. 

I just love me some YA - and couple that with mystery, intrigue and characters I understood - well, this is just a win win for the likes of me.  I did figure it out fairly early on... or rather, I had my suspicions and was RIGHT! WoOt!  But there was a couple small things I raised an eyebrow to.  I have a favorite couple and it was fun to see these characters grow from page one to the last.  While we start with the stereotypical teens in their set places of high school (the brain, athlete, etc.), we end up finding layers of humanity within each of them that surprisingly made them complex characters.

Some tough subjects were addressed in this read which I think will make for some interesting reviews depending on how people related to some of the subject manner.  In my opinion, I think it was handled well... don't want to say much as to not spoil the book.  All things considered, this was a fun, although slightly dark, read that's easy to binge.  I became engaged with these characters and thought the story came together brilliantly.  Book Two is on my bookcart and I can't wait to see what happens next!

★★★★

Sunday, February 16, 2020

#ATBR2020 Review: The Dark Corners of the Night by Meg Gardiner @blackstoneaudio @meggardiner1 @jessmapreviews

The Dark Corners of the Night 
by Meg Gardiner

Thanks so much to Blackstone Publishing for these copies.  I can't even begin to describe how much I love this series!


Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Publish Date: February 18, 2020
Hardcover
384 Pages
Series: UNSUB #3
Genres: Thriller, Crime Fiction


I am the legion of the night …


He appears in the darkness like a ghost, made of shadows and fear—the Midnight Man. He comes for the parents but leaves the children alive, tiny witnesses to unspeakable horror. The bedroom communities of Los Angeles are gripped with dread, and the attacks are escalating.

Still reeling from her best friend’s close call in a bombing six months ago, FBI behavioral analyst Caitlin Hendrix has come to Los Angeles to assist in the Midnight Man investigation and do what she does best—hunt a serial killer. Her work is what keeps her going, but something about this UNSUB—unknown subject—doesn’t sit right. She soon realizes that this case will test not only her skills but also her dedication, for within the heart of a killer lives a secret that mirrors Caitlin’s own past. Hesitancy is not an option, but will she be able to do what must be done if the time comes? 


My Review:



I said this with book 2 in this series, and I'll say it again, it's like reading a Criminal Minds episode and I am here for every single letter of every single word on every single page.

I love seeing the growth of Caitlin and her relationships.  How they all navigate their work life with their personal one. I love the thought process of how she deals with the profiling of the Unsub. And can we please talk about Hannah - I love her character so much in this book.  Huge heart eyes for this little girl.

Gardiner does an outstanding job of giving us the creepiest of villains and creating the backstories of the main characters that just keep me absolutely glued.  This entire series has been 5 star reads for me.  If you love the behavioral aspect of the procedurals then these reads are definitely for you.... especially if you love seeing the characters growth from books one through three.  Do these need to be read in order? Probably not... but personally I think you should to get the back stories while still reveling in the extraordinary cases they pursue.

I can't recommend this series enough.  And woah that epilogue - bring me #4 ASAP please and thank you!

★★★★★

Jessica's Review:


This is book three in the UNSUB series and this is one that has not disappointed in the slightest. Meg Gardiner has created something sinister, thrilling, and incredible here! I highly recommend this to those that love criminal and investigation shows like Criminal Minds, CSI, etc, because these books are just as intriguing and they suck you in.

A new sadistic killer is on the loose in California, and Caitlin Hendrix, an FBI Behavioral Analyst, is called in for the case. Dubbed the Midnight Man, this killer is targeting homes with families. The Midnight Man kills the parents then stays to torment and torture the children that are left behind. Will Caitlin be able to track him down before he strikes again?

This series does a great job connecting you directly to our characters. Watching Caitlin grow from book one to now has been a treat. While you don't NEED to read them in order to be able to follow along, I would definitely recommend picking up books one and two because you'll get some backstory that continues to be built upon. The research that goes into this series just shines through in every page. Gardiner puts in so much information without it feeling bogged down and unnecessary. Plenty of suspense to keep you gripped from start to finish, a new twisted and terrifying killer, and make sure you don't skip that Epilogue! 

Meg Gardiner remains on the auto-buy author list and I can't recommend this series enough. Now the countdown begins for book four - because I think we can all agree that we need it ASAP.

5 stars

Friday, February 14, 2020

Review: The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd #buddyreadstodiefor #bravethebacklist

The Innocent Wife 
by Amy Lloyd 



Publisher: Hanover Square Press
Publish Date: March 6, 2018
Kindle Edition
336 Pages
Standalone
Genres: Thriller, Suspense


You Love Him. You Trust Him. So Why Are You So Scared?


Twenty years ago, Dennis Danson was arrested and imprisoned for the brutal murder of a young girl. Now he’s the subject of a true-crime documentary that’s whipping up a frenzy online to uncover the truth and free a man who has been wrongly convicted.

A thousand miles away in England, Samantha is obsessed with Dennis’s case. She exchanges letters with him, and is quickly won over by his apparent charm and kindness to her. Soon she has left her old life behind to marry him and campaign for his release.

When the campaign is successful and Dennis is freed, however, Sam begins to discover new details that suggest he may not be quite so innocent after all.

But how do you confront your husband when you don’t want to know the truth?

My Review:


WHAT. I'm so torn in how I feel about this book.  You see all the time stories about women who write, get involved with and eventually marry an inmate.  The addiction in this is seeing that story from the point of view of the woman who gives up everything (well, what little she had) to be with inmate who she believes is innocent.  But omg, he gets out, vindicated and a free man and well.... is this where the illusion dies? How do you negotiate from a visiting type relationship to an every day one?

This type of story has always fascinated me.  To be honest, I wanted to throat punch each and every one of these characters. EVERY ONE. And yet, that's kind of part of the appeal of the story.  You have to take out what you think YOU would do and see it from the eyes of Samantha - her obsession. It makes you feel icky... and yet you can't tear your eyes away. Here lies the brilliance of this read.

My biggest issue, though, is the ending.  You can't just jump from THIS to THAT and have it make sense.  How did it jump from that point to the other?  ARGH.  And then you just *had* to go there... right? Right. I know.  If you haven't read this then I'm probably not making much sense here. But I don't want to spoil anything for you either. So I close the book just going UGH.  The ending took away the brilliance for me and I'm left with more questions of a book that seemed slow to moderately paced and then took off like a rocket that burst in my face.

★★

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

#ATBR2020 Review: Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough @wmmorrowbooks @sarahpinborough @jessmapreviews

Dead to Her 
by Sarah Pinborough 

Thank you to William Morrow and NetGalley for this copy!


Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: February 11, 2020
Kindle Edition
400 Pages
Standalone
Genre: Thriller

Being the second wife can be murder . . . 


“Once a cheat, always a cheat,” they say.


Marcie Maddox has worked hard to get where she is after the illicit affair that started her new life a few years ago. But her world of country clubs, yachts and sumptuous houses in Savannah, Georgia, isn’t easy to maintain, no matter how hard she tries. Nor is keeping her husband, Jason, truly interested.

So, when Jason’s boss brings home a hot new wife from his trip to London, the young Mrs William Radford IV isn’t quite the souvenir everyone expected. Sexy, drop-dead gorgeous and black—Keisha quickly usurps Marcie’s place as the beautiful second wife. But when Marcie sees the extra spark in the room when Keisha and Jason are together and their obvious, magnetic attraction, the gloves come off.

Revenge is best served cold, but in the steamy Savannah heat, blood runs so hot that this summer it might just boil over into murder.

Jessica's Review:



I became a fan of Pinborough after picking up 13 MINUTES and CROSS HER HEART, so I was anxious to see how this new one would shape up. One thing I've noticed about a lot of her books is that they become pretty divisive among readers. People either love the twists and the plot or they just don't connect with it. DEAD TO HER is no different. Now that I've finished it and read other reviews, I completely understand where both sides are coming from, but this one just worked so well for me!

There are a lot of elements in this book and some very unlikable characters. The only thing that brought down my rating was that the pacing felt a little off at times while I was trying to keep all the chaos straight. Of course the author is able to bring it all together well and it was amazing at how all these pieces worked.

All the secrets, all the drama, some voodoo elements, the rich and the poor, and so much more. Another very original story, which is something I feel like the thriller community has been craving lately. Again, this one will be very divisive like her other books, but you gotta love that for discussions! Pinborough does a great job at keeping you guessing from start to finish and I will continue to pick up her books in the future!

4 stars

My Review:


Pinborough is one of my favorite authors.  Not just in her writing, but also her as a person as she was extremely nice in an interchange with me a couple years back.  She's an autobuy author and I absolutely love how divisive her books make the thriller community. It honestly just tickles me.

One thing I've noticed is that people tend to compare all her reads to Behind Her Eyes (especially if that's their first and only book).  Personally, I say don't do that.  That book is a divine entity of its own (for those who loved it like I did).  

I think Dead to Her will also be equally divisive as most of her books are within the reading community.  There's a LOT going on with the different, very unlikable characters.  We have second wives, love triangles, voodoo, the rich, the poor, secrets on top of secrets and parties with masks! Let's dance, y'all!  Personally, this is the kind of Pinborough read I love.  I was highly suspect about one character and felt a certain warm feeling when I was right about said person. *ding ding*

Now some times you'll feel this story is getting just a tad bit too convoluted and you may go cross eyed a bit, but this is what I love.  Keeping all this madness going while still keeping my interest.  I did feel there were some lull moments but not enough for my eyes to glaze over. I was keenly looking for the next hint or misdirection.  

This country club-esque, entitled neighborhood and all their drama reminds me why I would never want to be a part of such an elite, rich, white world.  And that's what made the ending all that more satisfying.  


★★★★