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review 2017-02-26 01:00
Blink
Blink - K. Slater

By:  K.L. Slater

ASIN: B01NBF30MU
​Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: 2/16/2017 
Format: Other
My Rating:  4 Stars

 

K. L. Slater returns following her gripping debut, SAFE WITH ME with another twisty psychological suspense BLINK, with plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing.

Meet Toni, a woman in Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham. Trapped by silence within her own body. Terrified. Screaming to be let out. She is alive- she wants to escape this nightmare. A defibrillator is keeping her alive. This cannot be happening, but yet it is very real.

No one knows she can hear what they are saying. She desperately is crying out for help. She is blinking and no one seems to notice. She needs "help" for her daughter. She is haunted, desperate, and tormented. What happened to her beautiful girl?

Had everyone given up on Evie? They only talked as they had personal knowledge about their family. Evie's terrible, neglectful mother and her unhappy home. She must think back to before it even happened.

" . . . For one day very soon, you will wake up to the realization that the horror has only just begun."

Flashing back and forth from three years earlier to the present, readers slowly learn the backstory and it unravels.

Toni Cotter’s husband Andrew was killed in a freak accident in Afghanistan. As a single mom, taking care of her daughter she is stressed, with money problems and her grief of being left alone. She takes comfort in the little pills left over from her husband’s accident to help her get through.

With the bills mounting she is forced to move, look for a job, and change Evie’s school. These life changing moments created more havoc. She had to move closer to her mom for help- for a fresh start.

As they say, when you are desperate, trouble has a way of seeking you out and sticking to you. The new neighborhood is not so safe, nor the school. Especially the teacher’s assistant. She feels guilty.

She had dragged her daughter from a respectable neighborhood to live next to a convicted criminal. She did not have very many friends or a support group to turn to. Even her own mom appears critical of her actions. She needs to keep her job to help them survive.

Between the malicious wasps, and the crazy teacher’s assistant, Harriet Watson from St. Saviour's Primary School, with her own psycho-problems — bullying Evie, Toni, and Toni’s mom, Evie’s constant whining about not wanting to go back to the school, and afraid— as well Toni trying to balance work and home life, and a new job— she begins relying more and more on the little pills. She is in a sleepy haze most of the time.

Others are watching her every move.

We slowly learn why Toni is hospitalized. Her daughter has been missing for three years. Everyone has given up on her. Toni must set things right. She must protect and find her daughter.

How will she do this when they could take her off life support. No one knows she is trying to be heard, trapped in her own body. Someone is out to get her. Are the police even still looking for her?

The question. Who, and why? There may be more than one person on her trail and now she must delve deep to solve this mystery and rescue her daughter. Take back the life which was brutally ripped from her.

In the blink of an eye, one day she receives a phone call regarding her mom. She had an accident and cannot pick up Evie from school on time. Toni must leave work to tend to her mom at the hospital and is late picking up Evie. She tried calling and no one answered. Evie is gone. No trace. How could she vanish? She had let down her own daughter.

At the time, she has no idea someone is controlling everything around her. Nothing is by accident. It is carefully planned, orchestrated, and manipulated.

A ruthless psychopath wants revenge.

Slater delivers a strong second novel, keeping the tension high; however, some parts were slow and dragging a bit--and the ending felt rushed; however, overall a solid thriller with a nice twist you are not expecting. An author to follow. Highly recommend both books.

In our day of social media where everyone’s life is on display, when in the wrong hands, of a psychopath, this could mean danger for the person in question and all those close and dear to them. Some people will go to great lengths for revenge. They can destroy. Guard you lives. A cautionary tale. Be careful of routines. They may kill you.

In addition to the reading copy, also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Lucy Price-Lewis delivering an entertaining performance especially for the characters of Toni, Harriet, and Evie.

I enjoyed reading the author's inspiration behind the book. It is true how the public and press are interested in how parental error may have contributed to events, rather than in debating the actual issue of —by whom the child has been taken.

So easy for someone to take advantage of a parent, child, teen, or anyone when they are in a bad place. Their defenses are down. Gullible. They trust, to easily when they are not thinking correctly. When someone is struggling or grieving. Someone they trust with their lives, their children. How do you cope with a tragedy and the crippling guilt? In today's world when everyone expects a parent to be perfect.

For fans of Clare Mackintosh's I See You. Someone may be watching.

A special thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/12/01/Blink
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review 2017-02-15 19:04
Book Review: One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank
One Paris Summer (Blink) - Denise Grover Swank

*I received a free copy of this book at BEA.*

 

When I went to BEA with my husband this past year, my main goal was to find great young adult books that his high school students could fall in love with. So when I saw this cute, fluffy romance book set in Paris, I went for it.

 

This is a cute book about two teenagers who go to Paris to reconnect with their dad, who left them just about a year before and who is now marrying another woman in Paris — Sophie and her brother, Eric, are sent to Paris to celebrate the wedding and meet their new stepmom and stepsister. Their stepsister is awful to them, and gets Sophie into all sorts of trouble by playing games and manipulating things. So, it becomes really complicated when Sophie ends up falling for Camille’s friend, Mathieu. Hijinks ensue.

 

One Paris Summer is pretty much what I was expecting. It’s a fast read and it’s fun. Sophie at first got on my nerves, but it made sense within the context of the story and her character evened out within the first few chapters, thank goodness, so I actually ended up enjoying her character and looking forward to reading about her adventures in Paris. My favorite parts were her interactions with her brother and her crush, Mathieu. It was nice to see Sophie realizing that people didn’t hate her and cared about her. My main problems with a lot of this book had to do with logic and drama. Characters’ reactions to things didn’t seem to fit with their personalities and seemed only to serve the purpose of creating conflict that felt melodramatic and fake.

 

However, aside from that, the romance and Paris aspect were really fun. This is a book you don’t want to think too much about — what I like to think of a beach read. Just breeze through it and enjoy the fun, cute parts. Because of that, this took me very little time to finish once I started focusing on it, and overall, I enjoyed it. I think younger teens would enjoy this a lot, but there isn’t a lot of crossover appeal for older readers simply because what I said earlier about the conflicts feeling overly dramatic.

 

Side note: I loved that we got some French words thrown in here, so readers might be able to learn a couple of phrases. Nice touch!

Source: www.purplereaders.com/?p=3380
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review 2017-02-15 08:09
Review: Blink by K. L. Slater
Blink - K. Slater

Published by: Bookouture (16 February 2017)

 

ISBN-13: 978-1786811295

 

Source: NetGalley

 

Rating: 4*

 

Synopsis:

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace. 

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter. 

 

Review:

We're given a lot of information about the main characters in this book, so we get to learn a fair bit about Toni and little Evie, and their life together before Evie's disappearance. I really like it when authors give more background on characters as it makes me feel I know them a bit more, like friends, maybe; or neighbours. Perhaps this is why I felt so invested in Toni - I was rooting for her from the beginning. I got exasperated alongside her and anxious about her, as well as silently (I read quite a lot of this book in a public place!) willing her do/not do certain things! All the characters here are believable and very well written.

 

As with the author's previous book, Safe With Me, the narrative switches between the present time and a point in the past. In this book, however, I think it comes across almost seamlessly; much improved since the author's debut novel. The point in the past is the time of Evie's disappearance, upon which the tension builds and builds like a pressure cooker.

 

I was so shocked by the killer twist, which I definitely didn't see coming! To say any more would give the game away, but...wow! I found this book compelling in places would recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers.

Thanks to K. L. Slater, Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest review. 

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review 2017-02-10 16:43
The Lost Girl of Astor Street
The Lost Girl of Astor Street (Blink) - Stephanie Morrill

Piper Sail and Lydia DeVine have been best friends since toddlerhood when they moved to the upper class neighborhood of Astor Street in 1920's Chicago.  The two ladies are polar opposites, Lydia is sweet, kind and demure and Piper is inquisitive, tenacious and quick to act.  Now that they are young ladies, Piper and Lydia are supposed to be looking to the future and a potential husband.  However, that all changes when Lydia goes missing. Piper jumps into action to try and find her friend; Piper knows secrets about Lydia that even her parents won't divulge and her persistent nature makes her a natural detective.  WIth the help of the the detective assigned to Lydia's case, Marion Cassano, Piper is determined to find out what happened to her friend.  As Piper delves into Lydia's disappearance, she also must go into the underbelly of 1920's Chicago, bordellos, speakeasies, mafia connections and plenty of secrets will be unearthed during Piper's search. 

 
The Lost Girl of Astor Street is an exciting historical mystery with an awesome female lead.  From the very beginning I knew that I would like Piper, she never gives up, loves with a ferocious heart and encompasses the emerging modern and independent '20's female.  Her determination and grit to find out what happened to her best friend drives the story. As Piper gets deeper into Lydia's mystery, carefully layered secrets begin to reveal themselves.  Another part of the story that I loved was the exploration of 1920's Chicago, with having to investigate all types of people and places, Piper gets to the heart of the time period.  With a sweet romance that doesn't take away from the plot, The Lost Girl of Astor Street provides a riveting historical mystery. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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review 2017-02-02 12:57
Unfolding (Blink) - Jonathan Friesen

This tornado traveled over five hundred miles with a fury rarely seen previously and the tornado gently stole a little girl before pulling back up into the sky. Stormi isn’t your normal teenage girl she has a talent to see future events. Gullery is a small town that doesn’t even have a police force only The circle- an unconventional justice system made up of men including Jonah’s dad. The men consider themselves responsible for the town and can pass judgement  on the people of the town. Everybody knows everybody and everything in Gullery. It’s a weird little town in Oklahoma which is proven as more and more of it’s secrets are revealed. Jonah is a deformed boy because of the severe case he has of scoliosis and he also has epilepsy. Jonah has a rough life as he is bullied by classmates and treated like he is lacking by his parents and other adults. His only relief is his close friendship with Stormi who he secretly is crushing on. But she can't acknowledge Jonah’s deeper feelings for her. Stormi had been dropped next store in his neighbor's yard by a tornado. That same tornado destroyed the supermax prison in town that gave a  lot of jobs to  the townspeople. The prison now only employs one person and that is Jonah and there is only one prisoner left in the prison and Jonah doesn’t even know her crime but knows it is linked to the  town’s darkest secret he basically feeds her. And also give tours through the tornado museum and prison if anyone wants them. Then Stormi and Jonah are eighteen and there is an attraction between them. The town had began as a  mining town but then there was too many accidents and sinkholes that forced the  mines to be closed. Then the prison was built. Jonah was  suppose to have surgery on his back to straighten it and Stormi warned him not to go but he and his dad went anyway to group therapy for kids like Jonah set up to have the surgery. Jonah has his first seizure there and then the seizures and his back get steadily worse. Strange things start to happen happen in town and then Stormi makes a warning  that is followed by one of her classmates dying and people start to turn on Stormi and want to kill her. Stormi asks Jonah for help and it may risk his health, job, relationship with his father,possibly even his life. Then the couple go on the run and start to discover secrets the town has been hiding for years. AS the town secrets come out Stormi learns things about her past. When Jonah's family atones for their sins Jonah’s seizures stop.

I had mixed feelings about this story.  I had a BIG problem that the story made it look that Jonah’s epilepsy was from the bad doings of his family. My husband died young and had epilepsy and my teenage son also has it and I don’t believe it was any  kind of punishment for anyone doing bad and evil things!!!!! That really made me angry. But beside that this is a different kind of story and I liked it. It was a  quick read. It also had mystery and adventures in it. It did drag at  times and i had some trouble following the story. A lot of things were also left unexplained. I would ask the author if he does write another book including a condition or disease not to make the cause evil spirits  or a   sort of punishment. People are affected but what their loved ones have and are very protective and can be  offended in  cases such as this.  

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