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review 2018-02-16 15:04
The Perfect Neighbors: A gripping psycho... The Perfect Neighbors: A gripping psychological thriller with an ending you won’t see coming - Rachel Sargeant

Helen joins her husband Gary in Germany where he’s a teacher at an international school, but things are not what she expected. There’s a strange atmosphere in the street where they live and a very overbearing neighbour, the wife of the headmaster, and also the local busybody. After a promising start, it did meander a bit, so wasn’t quite the thriller it could have been. I found the characters a bit bizarre with no likeable traits, especially the ones living in the street who “sucked’ up to Louisa. Loved the cover which was very enticing but wouldn’t want to live anywhere near neighbours like these!

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review 2018-02-10 21:02
Goodbye Perfect by Sara Barnard Was Actually Perfect
Goodbye, Perfect - Sara Barnard

Goodbye, Perfect is the story of what happens to those left behind when an A grade ‘good’ schoolgirl runs off with her music teacher.

 

I completely adore Sara Barnard’s writing. I asked to be a part of the blog tour because I adored Beautiful Broken Things so much I sobbed into my pillow when I finished it. My copy of Goodbye, Perfect was sitting next to my computer as I was waiting for something to load, and I picked it up just to have a quick flick through, read the first page, and was instantly hooked. I devoured it over the next 24 hours. I haven’t been reading much lately, and I had honestly forgotten the joy that a damn good book can give.

 

It’s not just that Barnard has a wonderful grasp on how teenagers talk - to each other, to adults, to themselves - but her characters are so three dimensional and I recognise so much of my own life in them. I think that’s why they touch me so much. I could totally identify people from my teen years in the book, and I think Eden’s relationship with her boyfriend Connor was not exactly sweet, but certainly comforting and incredibly real, although Connor does seem particularly mature in response to his on personal circumstances, in comparison to teen boys I knew.

 

I really liked that the question in the book wasn’t really about Bonnie, the ‘good girl’, and whether or not she really was in love with a man almost twice her age, and whether or not he really was in love with her. The real point of the book was the impact Bonnie’s departure made on those left behind and the position it left Eden in. Eden had a very undeserved bad reputation courtesy of being adopted when she was nine years old, and Bonnie had a good one. Eden was the brash, nonacademic, reckless one and Bonnie was the polite, straight A, measured one. Their friendship cemented on the fact that Bonnie grounded Eden and Eden helped Bonnie loosen up. Bonnie's actions shook her world and Eden was there to witness it.

 

What really helped me fall even more deeply in love with this book is the layout. There’s not exactly chapters, but it’s divided into the days Bonnie is missing. At the end of these, Eden recaps conversations that took on another meaning after Bonnie left. Text messages and Whatsapp messages are formatted differently. Everything looked so great and I thought it was a really smart and charming way to lay out the contents of the book.

I can’t pinpoint a favourite part of the book because there were just too many, but I’ll mention some things I really loved: Eden’s exploration into what family means when you’re adopted; her relationship with Valerie, her adoptive big sister; the way she looked after both her own and Bonnie’s little sisters; the relationship with Connor; Eden’s mouthiness and how everyone was kind of exasperated with her swearing but she kept doing it; stereotypes of teen girls and reputations and broken homes and perfect lives. In fact, it was Eden who so rightfully pointed out that if Eden’s such a bad girl and if Bonnie’s so good, why was Bonnie the one that ran away, right before final exams?

 

When I read Beautiful Broken Girls I wondered if it was just going to be it for me, if Barnard was capable of writing another book so perfect and that touches me unlike any other I’ve read before. I did skip over A Quiet Kind of Thunder because I thought it was more about a hetero romance than strong (British) teenage female friendship, which I think Barnard tackles and showcases unlike anyone else. But since Barnard has now managed to hit the ball out of the park twice for me, I am going to read A Quiet Kind of Thunder, and I hope I adore it as much as I have fallen deeply in love with both Beautiful Broken Things and Goodbye, Perfect.

 

I received this book for free from Pan MacMillan in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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review 2018-02-09 18:31
Virtually Perfect by Paige Roberts
Virtually Perfect - Paige Roberts,Marguerite Gavin

I add the randomist of books to my Overdrive queue. This is another that I added for whatever reason and by the time it came around to me I had no idea why I requested it. Sometimes it works out, other times notsomuch. This was one of the notsomuch times.

 

Lizzie was once a Food Network star but was fired for some reason I don’t think they ever revealed. I think I would've caught that because I was hoping it was embarrassing but I could’ve missed it because I might’ve dozed off a time or two. She’s since been making a living taking whatever job comes her way, mostly cooking for rich people. When she’s offered a full time gig cooking for a wealthy family at their luxurious summer home at the beach she takes it.

 

What follows is a modern day chick lit story of a woman who puts up with all sorts of crap to keep her job which is something most of us can probably relate to. We do need to eat and sometimes it pays to keep your big mouth shut. But this changes a little later in the story when she begins to make a few unprofessional moves and remarks that weren’t at all thought through. I mean I get it, a girl can only take so much, but it’s never a good idea to talk crap about the family who pays you to another family member that you barely know just because you think he’s the black sheep of the family. Even I know that! During the daily dramas that enfold she’s also attempting to patch things up with a friend she left behind for fame (snooze) and learns her mother has been hiding a big secret which she might’ve discovered sooner if she’d tried harder to get in touch with her mom.

 

This book gets mostly good reviews so perhaps it just wasn’t a story meant for me. I thought it might be light and entertaining and though it is very descriptive with the food and I enjoyed that bit, it started to aggravate me midway and never recovered. The plot was nothing special, nothing new, nothing that wasn’t predictable and basically bored me. None of the characters were all that likable, even Lizzy. The wealthy socialite who NEVER shuts up and all but one of her family members and friends were horrible people who the reader gets to spend way too much with. Imagine being stuck in a room with no hope of escape with loud, drunk, shallow, wealthy people who think of no one but themselves and their pleasure. I’d rather have toothpicks jammed under my nails than suffer through that. And their presence makes up much of this story. That’s not my idea of a good time but who knows maybe it’s yours?

 

On the positive side, the narrator has one of those musical and lively voices that’ll keep you going even when you know you should probably quit. Yep, it’s her fault not mine that I did not DNF.

 

This one gets a two because if I’m being honest I just did not like it very much.

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review 2018-02-05 03:03
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
The Perfect Mother - Aimee Molloy The Perfect Mother - Aimee Molloy

A special thank you to Edelweiss and Harper for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

A mommy group dubbed as the May Mothers meet at a park twice a week to discuss being new mothers, swap stories, alleviate their anxieties, and offer advice and support.

 

It is one of the hottest summers on record.  As a break from the heat, and the babies, the members decide a night out is in order at the local hip bar.  Winnie, a single mother, had never left her six-week-old infant, Midas.  One of the May Mothers offers up her babysitter so that Winnie can join them, insisting everything would be fine.  On this stifling Fourth of July, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is abducted right from his home.  Midas is missing and the police are asking disturbing questions that are putting Winnie's private life on display and the media can't get enough.

 

None of the other members are particularly close to the guarded Winnie, yet three of them will go to great lengths to help find her baby.  Secrets are exposes, relationships are tested, and the mothers are scrutinized.  

 

All I can say is, what a surprise!  Apparently this book will be adapted for the big screen and will star Kerry Washington (um...yes, please).  Molloy's novel is also eagerly anticipated as one of this coming summer's must reads and I would definitely recommend it as well.    

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text 2018-01-31 09:34
The Perfect Nanny: A Novel - Leila Slimani

Awesome

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