Tag: mystery

Someone We Know

Someone We Know
Author: Shari Lapena
Published: July 30, 2019
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 7-16, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars

Book  Description:

Maybe you don’t know your neighbors as well as you thought you did . . .

“This is a very difficult letter to write. I hope you will not hate us too much. . . My son broke into your home recently while you were out.”

In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses–and into the owners’ computers as well–learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.

Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets?

In this neighborhood, it’s not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide . . .

You never really know what people are capable of.

Jessica’s Review:

Yet another thriller that had an intriguing premise that did not deliver for me. The beginning definitely pulls you in with a brutal murder, but from there the book just did not work for me.  I really did want to like this novel. The idea of a teenager sneaking into homes and getting on people’s computers and possibly finding out things…. Oh yeah!  But I was not attached to any of the characters or care about them in any way. I just know one thing: I would not want to live in this neighborhood as everyone has secrets.  This one was ultimately forgettable for me. 

Do yourself a favor and read Lapena’s first novel The Couple Next Door. I LOVED IT! Other than her first novel, Lapena may be another author I need to steer clear from as all of her other novels have fallen short for me. 

My review for The Couple Next Door is here.

 Purchase Links:
Amazon US  
Amazon UK

Here There are Monsters

Published: August 6, 2019
352 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls in this story of codependent sisterhood, the struggle to claim one’s own space, and the power of secrets.

Sixteen-year-old Skye is done playing the knight in shining armor for her insufferable younger sister, Deirdre. Moving across the country seems like the perfect chance to start over.

In their isolated new neighborhood, Skye manages to fit in, but Deirdre withdraws from everyone, becoming fixated on the swampy woods behind their house and building monstrous sculptures out of sticks and bones.

Then Deirdre disappears.

And when something awful comes scratching at Skye’s window in the middle of the night, claiming she’s the only one who can save Deirdre, Skye knows she will stop at nothing to bring her sister home.

Kim’s Review:

Another amazing cover!! Pretty much the main reason I got this book. The description sounded interesting as well, so lets do it! I think I got it . . . But I’m not sure. And I think that’s ok. I think this is one of those books that can be interpreted in many ways, depending on who is reading it. I found this to be a book about the difficulties of growing up and the coping mechanisms used to deal with stress and problems. I don’t want to go into any more details because I don’t want to ruin it for anybody. I was expecting something a little scarier, but the imagery was still effective and vivid.

I found Skye and Deirdre to be realistic and fanciful all at the same time, and I liked that. There was a part of me that both loved and hated them,, depending on which part of the story I was in. I also liked the look into dealing with friendships in high school.

This is an overall fascinating read that I would suggest to anybody who likes creepy fiction. I don’t know that I’d let younger kids read it, but older teens who enjoy reading would probably like it.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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A Simple Favor: Book Review and Movie Comparison

Author: Darcey Bell
Published: March 21, 2017
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 16-24, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars

Book Description:

She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.

A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.

Jessica’s Review:

Unlikeable and flawed characters are in A Simple Favor, some you don’t like while some you just love to hate!  This was a good one and I listened to the audiobook. Though some parts of it were easy to figure out, I did not know how this one was ultimately going to end. There are three narrators and one is just like Amy Dunne from Gone Girl, you just want to hate her so much!  The three narrators bring us everything we need to know.

My main issue with the novel was a particular relationship that was constantly mentioned. It seemed like it was written to show the flaws of the character and also shock value from Bell. To me it was not needed and actually lessened my enjoyment of the novel. I even debated on DNF’ing (did not finish)  it due to the constant mentions of the relationship.  Another issue I had was that it comes off as a Gone Girl ‘lite’. I read Gone Girl when it first came out for a book club and absolutely loved it.  This was before the hype came out with it and now every other thriller has some form of ‘Girl’ in the title.

I know it is a movie which I watched and the movie comparison will follow. I actually pictured Anna Kendrick as Stephanie and Blake Lively as Emily as I listened to the novel. They seemed perfectly cast based off the audiobook. 


Movie Comparison:

Movie Trailer:

Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

This is a very rare case of the movie is better than the book! OMG, the movie was MUCH better!!  As with all movies, there are minor changes: Stephanie is a vlogger and not a blogger, Emily’s tattoo is different, and the police investigations are different…. But the huge difference is this: They changed the last reel of the film and really improved it from the last quarter of the book!! 

Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick were just perfect as Emily and Stephanie.  Blake captured the character of Emily to a ‘T’ and Anna Kendrick seamlessly played Stephanie’s character in all the ways she was supposed to, especially the annoyance factor of “Hi Moms” on her vlog. 

Yes, the particular relationship I mentioned in my book review is brought to life in the movie, but not the constant occurrences that the book had. We also meet other ‘moms’ in the movie that were not in the book. They brought about comic relief to the movie. 

This is a case where I say read the book first and then see the movie. They are the same story but with the diverging endings, you will have no idea what will happen in the movie.  I highly enjoyed the film.

Purchase Links:
Novel
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Film
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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