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review 2018-09-25 16:47
The Girl in the Locked Room
The Girl in the Locked Room - Mary Downing Hahn
How long do you keep your promise? To Lily….you keep it forever. Massie and Jules needed to convince Lily that there was another alternative to keeping that promise before it was too late.
 
This is another great ghost story that is threaded with compassion. I liked how Massie and Jules solved the mystery and then, went about proving to Lily that she mattered to them.

 

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review 2018-09-25 16:35
An Anonymous Girl - Greer Hendricks,Sarah Pekkanen

An Anonymous Girl a collaborative effort by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, is due for release in early 2019.  It is an interesting and nicely-paced thriller with some unfortunate credibility issues.  The story is told in alternating points of view, beginning with protagonist Jessica Ferris, a young woman barely getting by as a contract make-up artist in New York City.  In first-person narration, Jess describes her turning away from friends and a potential career in the theater after experiencing debasing sexual harassment.  She needs more income to support herself, and she also is secretly subsidizing expensive treatments for her sister with special needs.  During an appointment with two NYU students, Jess overhears them discussing a highly-lucrative university study that one of them is planning to skip out on the next day.  Jess decides to seize this opportunity for some quick cash by showing up for the appointment and impersonating the student.  It turns out that the study involves questions of morality and ethics and is being conducted by Dr. Shields-a well-respected psychology professor and therapist.  Dr. Shields provides the other voice in the novel, her chapters are presented from the second-person point-of-view.  After Jess and Dr. Shields meet in person, what began as a straightforward computerized questionnaire evolves into an expanded, in vivo sequence of experiments with greater personal risk and payment for Jess. Jess increasingly becomes dependent on the money and Dr. Shields but is unaware of the objectives of the research and its underlying motives.  The reader comes to understand that Jess is being manipulated, and she is not the first to be drawn into a potentially deadly scheme.  Hendricks and Pekkanen require the reader to believe that Dr. Shields has an almost supernatural ability to read people, collect details about them, and persuade them to act. While Jess is a sympathetic character, she makes many dubious decisions and her gullibility is often implausible. The stakes for Jess are so high, the reader might wonder why she allows herself to continue on such an obviously dangerous path.  A side romantic plotline is also cursorily brought into the story but it is thin and remains underdeveloped. An Anonymous Girl remains an entertaining novel, with some genuine thrills and originality for those who can suspend disbelief and overlook these minor flaws.

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review 2018-09-24 15:18
The Girl I Used To Be
The Girl I Used to Be - Mary Torjussen
I wanted to scream at Gemma to wake her up. The night was fading, the alcohol was flowing freely and her limitations were melting, as the man across the table soothed her. I believe everyone who reads this novel will feel that trouble was following Gemma when she attends a training convention out of town, alone. The novel had this vibe to it. It wasn’t like Gemma was out fishing for another man but I feel that she had her pole in the water, waiting just in case something tugged on her pole.
 
Imagine her surprise when she runs into one of her clients at the hotel that she’s staying at. How likely was it that David would be at this same hotel as her convention (eye rolling)? I hoped that Emma was smart enough to be professional around him. Nope: dinner, lots of wine and great conversation got Emma all loopy and she needed to be escorted up to her room. David was such a nice guy to do that but in reality, he ends up doing more than that. I wanted to help her but the alcohol ended up being her friend and by the morning, Emma will want to turn back time, but it will be too late.
 
A few months later, Emma has put that event behind her, but when she gets her mail, she receives a reminder in the form of a package. Who sent it and why? A few days later, she receives another reminder, a picture of herself, this picture is one she will not want to show anyone. Every few days, she receives something, sometimes via social media, that makes her relive that night in the hotel. She wants to talk to her husband about everything but she’s not sure of what all took place that evening at the hotel and she’s not sure what these reminders mean. Emma does some investigating of that night and what she discovers makes her angry and fearful.
 
I liked the anticipation that I felt as I read this novel, there was always this suspense of what might happen next. When Emma realizes what occurred, I enjoyed watching her trying to remedy the situation. I enjoyed watching the events unfold and then seeing someone trying to fix the situation. Sometimes not always the best of plans worked but the thoughts and ideas coming together made them see other avenues to try. I enjoyed the relationships inside this novel, past and present. I thought the author did an excellent job and I loved the twists that they threw in to give the novel a slightly different angle.
 
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for a honest review.

 

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review 2018-09-24 00:33
The Girl Before: A Novel - J.P. Delaney for some square TBA
The Girl Before: A Novel - J.P. Delaney

I spent half a hour down a rabbit hole just because I couldn't remember if this was a library copy and Amazon deleted my review, which was witty and succinct and insightful but not spoilery, and not at all like the review of  a very tired person, which I am.

 

Good book, lots of twists in the spaghetti and many of them unexpected.

 

Good for genre: suspense, romantic suspense, darkest London, amateur sleuth.

 

Library copy

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review 2018-09-22 20:59
Things A Bright Girl Can Do - Sally Nicholls

Book Blurb: 1914 The worlds stand on the edge of change. But women still have no vote. Evelyn is rich and clever, but she isn’t allowed to go to university. Life is set out for her, but Evelyn wants freedom and choice, even if it means paying the highest price alongside her fellow Suffragettes. Meanwhile, May campaigns tirelessly for women’s votes with other anti-violence suffragists. When she meets Nell, a girl who’s grown up in hardship, she sees a kindred spirit. Together and in love, the two girls start to dream of a world where all kinds of women can find their place. But the fight for freedom will challenge Evelyn, May and Nell more than they ever could imagine. As the Great War looms, just how much are they willing to sacrifice?

 

What I thought: It was a good read. You can tell that the book is well-researched. I did find it, though, a bit PC-ish that the book was trying to represent homosexuality, for example, and still managed to cotton-wrap the issue – I don’t think many people were yet as understanding in 1910s as the author makes it out to be. The book plot also missed the edginess for me with the issues it covers. It is written with YA in mind and yet I was taken aback that Nicholls describes sexual relationship of two fifteen year old girls. As an adult reading the book, it did make me feel somewhat voyeurish. There was no need for that at all in the story line. Overall, the book offers a wide range, perhaps somewhat lighthearted, introduction to subjects of the fight for women’s suffrage, the Great War and homosexuality.  Not bad, give it a go.

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