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review 2018-09-16 06:45
Missing Abby by Lee Weatherly
Missing Abby - L.A. Weatherly

I assume this is set somewhere in England, based on the author's bio. It's written from the perspective of Emma, a 13 (or possibly 14?) year old girl who realizes that she was likely the last person to see her former best friend Abby before she disappeared. She reports their encounter to the police and is forced to think about a time in her life that she thought she'd left behind and that she desperately hopes no one at her new school will ever find out about. Although a part of her wants to try to continue with her life as normally as possible, she can't stop thinking and worrying about Abby, Abby's last words, and the events that eventually drove them apart.

This was aimed a bit younger than the YA I normally read, and some of my issues with it stemmed from the fact that I was too old for this book - definitely not the book's fault. Emma was concerned with how others viewed her in a way that made perfect sense for her age and experiences but that I found extremely frustrating. For example, back when she was friends with Abby, Emma loved sci-fi, fantasy, writing stories, and playing make-believe games in which she and Abby were adventurers fighting against an evil witch named Esmerelda. Some horrible bullying eventually led to her cutting herself off from Abby and attempting to completely remake herself, right down to her hobbies and interests (this isn't a spoiler - it comes up pretty early on). It struck me as a huge and emotionally draining amount of work for something that seemed likely to cause a new set of problems later on.

Although Emma's actions and thoughts often frustrated me, I could see where she was coming from. Every time she considered taking the route I wanted her to take - talking to an adult about her plans to find Abby, talking to her friends about the bullying she went through - something came up that made that route seem, to Emma, potentially more dangerous and/or difficult than the alternative.

This was a more realistic take on a "missing persons" mystery than I was expecting. Emma wasn't smarter than the cops, although she had knowledge, through her past connection with Abby, that turned out to be helpful. Also, there were no 13-year-olds battling adults in adrenaline-fueled climactic moments - instead, Emma mostly battled her own emotions and the reactions of some of Abby's friends.

I appreciated the scene between Emma and her friends near the end, and I liked the way the relationship between Emma and Abby's friends progressed, once I got past Emma and Sheila's horrifically awful first encounters. Unfortunately, one sore spot for me was the way Weatherly wrote about counseling. It wasn't so much Emma's reaction to the idea of it - horror and anger that her family thought worrying about Abby was crazy - but rather that her reaction was never really challenged. One character told Emma that she'd been to counseling before and that it wasn't what Emma thought. In the end, however, Emma's dad decided that it'd be better to just talk and listen as a family more. Readers were never shown that Emma's ideas about counseling were false.

All in all, this was pretty good, if occasionally frustrating and exhausting from an adult perspective. I did wonder how dated certain aspects were, though. This was originally published in 2004. The parental controls on Emma's internet seemed to be extremely strict - at one point, she mentioned that there was really only one site that she could go to that at all interested her. And is it still believable for that many parents and teens to be weirded out by teens who play Dungeons & Dragons and like sci-fi and fantasy?

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-09-15 22:30
Review on Lies by T.M. Logan
Lies: The Gripping Psychological Thriller That Will Take Your Breath Away - T.M. Logan

Title: Lies

Author: T.M. Logan

Publisher: St. Martins Press

Publication Date: September 11, 2018

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Synopsis:

What if you have the perfect life, the perfect wife and the perfect child—then, in one shattering moment, you discover nothing is as it seems? Now you are in the sights of a ruthless killer determined to destroy everything you treasure.

It’s the evening drive home from work on a route Joe Lynch has taken a hundred times with his young son. But today, Joe sees his wife meet another man—an encounter that will rip two families apart. Raising the question: Can we ever really trust those closest to us?

Joe will do whatever it takes to protect his family, but as the deception unravels, so does his life. A life played out without any rules. And a cunning opponent who’s always one step ahead.

Review:

T.M. Logan! Wow, how have I not learned of you sooner? This book was all sorts of crazy and nail-biting, edge of your seat thrilling. I definitely did not find the ending coming. I caught myself dreaming of this book at times and would wake up in the middle of the night to read until my eyes would burn.

You have Joe Lynch and his wife Mel, or Melissa, they seem like a happy go lucky family. The wife is the main bread winner and Joe is a teacher in a prestigious school where image is everything. Outside looking in you wouldn't think you're looking at a murderer and a heavy coverup of some sort. Mel is having a torrid love affair but with who? What will Joe do when he finds out? How will this effect the lover and the lover's family? Are things really as they seem? Can the love Joe felt for Mel be salvaged, and how will this effect the relationship for their son?

I ask you these questions because I really don't want to give too much away, this is a MUST read!

Rating: * * * * */* * * * * 5 out of 5 stars!

Disclaimer: I received an early reader copy for my reading pleasure and was asked for an honest rating. Thank you St. Martins Press and T.M. Logan for allowing me this opportunity!

Happy reading y'all and have a great week!

~Steph

Source: bookreviewsbysteph.blog/2018/09/10/book-review-lies-by-t-m-logan
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review 2018-09-13 01:50
Review: Truth and Lies (D.I. Amy Winter #1) by Caroline Mitchell
Truth and Lies - Caroline Mitchell

Published by: Thomas & Mercer (30th August 2018)

 

ISBN: 978-1503903142

 

Source: Netgalley 

 

Rating: 5*

 

Synopsis: 

DI Amy Winter is hoping to follow in the footsteps of her highly respected police officer father. But when a letter arrives from the prison cell of Lillian Grimes, one half of a notorious husband-and-wife serial-killer team, it contains a revelation that will tear her life apart.

Responsible for a string of heinous killings decades ago, Lillian is pure evil. A psychopathic murderer. And Amy’s biological mother. Now, she is ready to reveal the location of three of her victims—but only if Amy plays along with her twisted game.

 

While her fellow detectives frantically search for a young girl taken from her mother’s doorstep, Amy must confront her own dark past. Haunted by blurred memories of a sister who sacrificed herself to save her, Amy faces a race against time to uncover the missing bodies.

But what if, from behind bars, Grimes has been pulling the strings even tighter than Amy thought? And can she overcome her demons to prevent another murder?

 

Review :

I have been feeling rather spoilt of late with the number of incredible female lead characters I've had the fortune to read, and DI Amy Winter is no exception! Although she appears somewhat of a closed book at times, the way this particular case interweaves with her childhood forces her to open up. She's a fascinating, multi-faceted character, deftly supported by an array of other characters that play their part in building the story.

 

The way Amy's background pertains to the main case is intricately plotted, down to the very last detail. I enjoyed the amount of focus on the police personnel's home lives, it really brought the characters to life as well as satisfying my nosey streak! There were plenty of surprises that I didn't expect including one huge one. I thought I had it all worked out, but I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong! I'm a huge fan of the author's work, and am really looking forward to the next outing for DI Amy Winter. I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley; this is my honest review. 

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review 2018-09-10 19:00
Halloween Bingo 2018: Murder Most Foul
Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

I had already seen the tv series and spoiled all of the reveals for myself. Note to others: always read the book first! That said, it was easy to picture the characters :) This book was still riveting and hits you hard with its realistic portrayal of life in suburbia and all of the little ugly truths that lie behind the picture perfect Facebook updates. I loved it. It was like hearing some juicy gossip for hours and hours. There's murder but if you haven't seen the tv show you won't know who dies, who did it and why it happened. Getting there is all the fun!

 

I listened to this one at the tail end of August so I'm going to use it as my sneak peek read for the Murder Most Foul Square for Halloween Bingo 2018. 

 

 

BOOKS CALLED:


9/1- Classic Horror 
9/3- Cryptozoologist 
9/5- Cozy Mystery

9/7- New Release

9/9- Southern Gothic

 

Squares I've Read on My Card that are not called yet:

 

SUPERNATURAL: The Mouth of the Dark

MURDER MOST FOUL:  Big Little Lies

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review 2018-09-09 01:46
The Rough Patch
The Rough Patch - Brian Lies
Wow, I didn’t expect such emotions from this book. This is one of the those books I wished I would have read the synopsis again before reading, and to think that this came from a children’s book. Great work, Brian Lies, great job!
 
Evan, the fox and his dog did everything together. They had such a great relationship. They especially loved spending time together in the garden. Then, one day the dog passes away and fox is devastated. If you could only see the book’s illustration of fox down on his knees, peering down into dog’s bed, you would know exactly how this event affected him. I had to pause as I read this page, for it was an emotional moment, the first of many that this book held.
 
Evan tried to get on with his life but he missed his best friend and he took out that frustration, on the garden. His beautiful garden, he tore to shreds. I could feel his defeat and anger on the pages and I wondered where this novel was headed. It was a powerful moment as he tore what the two of them worked so hard to obtain, to shreds. Yet, I knew why he did it and I understood.
 
As the novel continued, fox didn’t look for hope in his world. He was content to live in misery. One day though, a small piece of hope came into his life. Slowly, overtime Evan accepted this small piece of hope and in the end, it was a great ending for him and I think dog, would be happy for his friend.

 

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