Tag: thriller

Unnatural Deeds

Author: Cyn Balog
Published: November 1, 2016
274 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, not that she cares what anyone thinks. She and her homeschooled boyfriend, Andrew, are inseparable. All they need is each other. That is, until Zachary Zimmerman joins her homeroom. Within an hour of meeting, he convinces good-girl Vic to cut class. And she can’t get enough of that rush.

Despite Vic’s loyalty to Andrew, she finds her life slowly entwining with Z’s. Soon she’s lying to everyone she knows and breaking all the rules to be with Z. She can’t get enough of him—or unraveling the stories of the family he’s determined to keep hidden.

Except Z’s not the only one with a past. Straight-laced Vic is hiding her own secrets…secrets that are about to destroy everything in her path.

Kim’s Review:

Cyn Balog is one of my new faves! I read Alone earlier in the year and it blew my mind!!! I decided to read Unnatural Deeds and I tried really hard not to compare the two books . . . but I don’t think I did such a hot job. I think if I had read Unnatural Deeds before Alone, then I might have given it 5 stars. Alone was just so powerful and shocking and jarring. Unnatural Deeds was far more subtle.

Vic was an odd character and I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about her. And my inner teacher came out when Z showed up. Skipping classes, under achiever, ultra-popular . . . I wanted to strangle him! He’s one of those kids with so much potential, smart, able to accomplish anything he could possibly want, yet unwilling to work for it. But I’ll admit that he helped me commit to the story!

There is a nice twist at the end that satisfied my need for the psychologically crazy. So overall, I enjoyed this book and I think its perfect for someone who likes twisty stores, just without being super creepy. I would save this book for older teens because of language and some immature subject matter. A really good book!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

The Special Ones

Author: Em Bailey
Published: July 18, 2017
304 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

A mysterious cult leader has complete control over Esther’s life…or does he?

Esther is one of the Special Ones: four young spiritual guides who live under his protection in a remote farmhouse. The Special Ones are not allowed to leave, but why would they want to? They are safe from toxic modern life, safe from a meaningless existence, safe in their endless work. He watches them every moment of every day, ready to punish them if they forget who they are—and all the while, broadcasting their lives to eager followers on the outside.

Esther knows that if she stops being Special, he will “renew” her. That means being replaced with another Esther. Nobody knows what happens to the Special Ones who are taken away from the farm for renewal, but Esther fears the worst. She also knows she’s a fake. She has no ancient wisdom, and is deeply troubled about her life in captivity. But like an actor caught up in an endless play, she must keep up the performance if she wants to survive long enough to escape.

Kim’s Review:

To be 100% honest, this book seemed like a rehash of The Cellar by Natasha Preston. There were a lot of similarities and it really felt like almost exactly the same story. However, there were details that were different and I still enjoyed reading this book very much!

The first half of the book was definitely stronger than the second half. I enjoyed reading about the specifics of the kidnappings and imprisonment of the Special Ones and I liked learning about the nature of the delusion in which he has immersed himself. But, I was left feeling a bit disappointed about the photograph from which he got his inspiration. Who were these people? Why was that photo so important? What kind of research did he do? How did he know their names? We’ve had this discussion before, I’m a historian and you can’t leave me dangling like that! I need more information! Em, I’d like to formally request a book exclusively about those people in the photograph. Thank you.

The ending did get a little slow, but I liked the way the story resolved itself. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good psychological thriller or anyone who loves Criminal Minds. Yes, I did try to do some behavioral analysis on this book . . . it kept me stumped so I think that’s the sign of a stirring story! Definitely worth 4 stars!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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First Line Friday #59

Today’s First Line Friday was a new release this past July.  It is the debut of Riley Sager, which is a pseudonym of a previously published author.  I recently received this as an add on with Book of the Month. I had been wanting to get this one and the additional book was $9.99 for a hardback, which is cheaper than getting it on Amazon. So I grabbed it!!!!

My hands are covered in frosting when Jeff calls.

FIRST THERE WERE THREE.

III

THEN THERE WERE TWO.

II

CAN THERE ONLY EVER BE ONE FINAL GIRL?

I

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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