Audiobook Review: The It Girl by Ruth Ware
The It Girl
Author: Ruth Ware
Narrator: Imogene Church
Published: July 12, 2022
Audiobook: 17 hours 09 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 24- May 5, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
April Coutts-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.
Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the second, April was dead.
Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide… including a murder.
Ruth Ware and Imogene Church did it again! I enjoyed this one. This was a book club selection for May otherwise I would have listened to it before now. Her books are not perfect for me, but I enjoy them and she is a must listen to with an always fabulous narrator: Imogene Church!
It’s time to go back to college with this one and Hannah is our narrator. We get ‘Before’ and ‘After’ timelines, before and after April’s murder. April and Hannah were roommates and became best friends. College at Oxford was something: Oh, to have a bedroom suite like Hannah and April had! Each had their own fire place. We get a feel of the college life as our cast of characters all experience strip poker on their first night at Oxford.
There is the creepy porter John Neville who is stalkerish and there is also a professor who doesn’t seem squeaky clean. We go back to the past and current day with Hannah. It’s been 10 years since April’s death and her killer has died in prison. A reporter stirs things up for Hannah and she has her doubts now on who actually killed April.
As with all of Ware’s novels, its is a moving mystery that is not super speedy. I did figure out who the killer was just before Hannah did, but the why motive, I did not. April was not likeable at all to me and it didn’t really seem like she thought of herself and Hannah as best friends. You can be friends and roommates and not besties, but Hannah felt that they were best friends.
I enjoyed it and would listen to it again! At one point in the audiobook where we get to a twist I was driving and I had to rewind the track because I was shocked and had to make sure I heard it right! I did and OMG! Imogene Church was wonderful and this time ‘effects’ were used when Hannah was on the phone with other characters. It was different and brought a more realistic feel to the story for me.
Audiobook Review: Death Warrant by Bryan Johnston
Author: Bryan Johnston
Published: June 21, 2022
Audiobook: 9 hours 34 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 8-12, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Death Makes Great TV. Frankie Percival is cashing in her chips. To save her brother from financial ruin, Frankie―a single stage performer and mentalist who never made it big―agrees to be assassinated on the most popular television show on the Death Warrant . Once she signs her life away, her memory is wiped clean of the agreement, leaving her with no idea she will soon be killed spectacularly for global entertainment. After years of working in low-rent theaters, Frankie prepares for the biggest performance of her life as her Death Warrant assassin closes in on her. Every person she encounters could be her killer. Every day could be her last. She could be a star, if only she lives that long.
I really enjoyed this audiobook! I can almost see that this would be the direction that reality tv would go. Set about 50ish years in the future with main stream references to movies and actors that are famous now which would be considered ‘old’ in the future. With references to certain actors (Tom Hardy) and more. In the future we have the super popular television show Death Warrant. This is where someone has signed up with their consent to be killed on television. When they die, the ‘volunteer tribute’ has assigned a benefactor that gets a portion of the revenue of the show. The more people that tune in, the more money the benefactor receives.
We learn all about Frankie, whom I liked and I wanted her to somehow beat Death Warrant. We learn about her reasonings as well. I had decided about 41% in where this was going and I was partially right, but then… OMG, I was still blown away by the twists! I suspected just about everyone at some point!
I was not surprised to find out that the author, worked in television for 30 years. He definitely took what he knew and wrote a great book with surprises too! There is also some dark humor that I enjoyed in addition to the ‘Old Hollywood’ references.
The narrators are Justine Eyre and Holly Palance. I believe I have listened to Eyre before and she really brought Frankie to life for me! Both narrators did a great job. This is one I would want to listen/ read again now knowing how it ends!
Many thanks to the publisher for making Death Warrant available on NetGalley with ‘listen now’ availability. Because of that I was able to listen to and enjoy a book I had not heard of until I saw it there!
Book Review: The Mindf*ck Series: Paint it All Red by S.T. Abby
Paint it All Red
Series: Mindf*ck #5
Author: ST Abby
Published: December 26, 2016
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 2-6, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Hush, little baby, don’t say a word…
Will Logan choose them? Or will we watch them burn together?
It’s time to fuck with their minds.
It’s time to finish it all.
It’s time to paint it all red…
Monsters don’t usually wish for happily-ever-afters.
This series…. It is far from realistic, but it was a fun read! I’m not a fan of Logan and that opinion never changed through all five books, but I adored Lana and this final book ended the series in a great way! It was far from perfect, but it gives readers what they wanted!
Action, action, action! It was an intense read and I got 40% read on a Sunday afternoon. I had no idea what was going to happen to the town and what did happen, Dang! We got answers to questions and **Spoiler** the bad guys all got it! Some were unexpectedly easier than others to be ended. **End Spoiler** I was not sure who the original killer was and that answer and what happened. Oh dang! ST Abby really went dark when she wrote this series.
And the ending, I am happy with it! I loved every part of it! I also liked how Hadley’s role became greater over the course of the series. Would I read this series again? Yes! I think I will order the paperback copy at some point. I love that cover so much more than the e-books.
I am really saddened that the author has passed away, so we cannot get anything else dark like this series! Her other two pen names are not my genre of choice. It seems that this series is getting more attention in the past few months. I did a buddy read with several friends and they all liked it. Some were in it for the smut, but this series isn’t about that. It’s a thriller with some sex scenes sprinkled in there.
If you like thrillers and a book that deals with a badass female serial killer, then read this series! I adore Lana and she is the perfect main character for those who like ‘villains’ who really aren’t a ‘bad guy. Lana is the woman who takes a stand for those who can’t.
Buy the series in paperback with the better cover: