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review 2020-05-26 15:11
The Dilemma
 The Dilemma - B.A. Paris

Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.

 

So, this is weird to review. I have been reading Paris for about a year now and this book really doesn't fit in the thriller category in my opinion. This is more of a "drama" book which isn't really a bad thing, but there's no real thriller here. Mystery fits since you don't initially get what is going on between the married couple (Livia and Adam). The back and forth POV for them worked well, but have to say that the whole ending didn't work for me. I don't know if Paris was going for irony or what when you find out that once again several people know the truth about something, but not all parties do. The big dilemma in this book was really surrounding secrets Livia and Adam were keeping from each other.

 

"The Dilemma" follows married couple Livia and Adam. The two married young and had kids, Josh and Marnie. Livia is excited to be celebrating her 40th birthday and has been setting aside money for years in order to get the celebration she always dreamed of. We quickly find out that something is going on though between Livia and Marnie. Livia is ambivalent about her daughter returning from her study abroad in Hong Kong to come home for the summer. Adam though is very excited about Marnie returning and has a secret up his sleeve for his wife's birthday celebration. He and Marnie have secretly planned for her to return in time for the party. However, something terrible happens and we follow Adam and Livia as they both keep something from each other. That is ultimately the dilemma. What would you do in similar circumstances?

 

I have to say that I didn't really get a fix on Livia or Adam. They both needed therapy. They are both happy, but have strained relationships with their children. Paris sets things up a bit better though so you can see why Livia and Marnie's relationship became strained. Paris shows us an incident between Adam and Josh that just shows Adam to be a jerk though. I also think that they should have showed us more interaction as a family. We kind of get plopped in the middle of this story and have characters thrown at us. For example, we get the set-up of the core friend group via a couple of paragraphs. Maybe it would have made more sense to show flashbacks to them all. I am not one to push for flashbacks here, but it just felt like the book was veering off into separate storylines which did not all come together until the end of the book when things were revealed.

 

The flow was up and down. Switching between Livia and Adam just changed up the tone of things. Also since we know what secret Adam is keeping it just made things worse for me as I was reading since I did not get his reasoning at all. 


The book's ending really did not resonate with me at all because of what I said earlier. After characters realize the fallout from keeping things from each other, they went and kept things that another character should have been told. I hated the reasoning behind it and thought it was kind of BS honestly.  

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review 2020-05-26 14:51
The First Mistake
The First Mistake - Sandie Jones

I previously read Jones other book "The Other Woman" so thought I give this one a whirl. This was just plotted badly in my opinion. Some parts of it were really interesting and I think she gave the two women in this book very distinctive voices. But when we get to what is going on and why and who people really were I just went, I need a flowchart. This is a mess. The ending saved things in my view. 

 

"The First Mistake" follows Alice. Alice is the successful owner of a design firm. She and her late husband Tom built the business up. Alice still misses her husband, but is getting more settled with her second husband, Nathan who now works for her at the firm. Alice we see struggles with anxiety over Nathan and her two daughters because of how she lost Tom. When she starts to suspect that Nathan may possibly be cheating on her, she is confronted about how well she knew her first husband and if everything she believed is a lie. Alice's best friend, Beth, is trying to decide what to do about telling the father of her daughter about her existence. Alice feels for Beth and wants to help her, but starts to realize that maybe there are things about Beth she really doesn't want to know. 

 

Jones shows Alice's POV for the majority of the book though we do get Beth's POV as well. You feel for both women since there definitely seems to be questions concerning their personal relationships. I think I liked Alice more though. She seems at times a bit much with her hysterics and her inability to really move on from Tom. When she starts to realize things don't feel right though I am glad she doesn't ignore it. 

 

I honestly think thought that most of this book had way too many coincidences to be believed after a while which does not a good thriller make to my eyes. The flow does get pretty bad after we leave from Beth's POV. As a reader you start to put things together and you start to get impatient for all of the characters to catch a clue. 

I did like the ending, it was very vague about what happens and if you don't read closely you may not understand what happens. I liked it and thought it was very much set up to end like an old black and white movie. 

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review 2020-05-26 14:41
I See You
I See You - Clare Mackintosh

Honestly this book was dancing towards 5 stars before we got to the two reveals/twists and I went seriously? They are not explained very well so I just didn't think they fit the book at that point. 

 

"I See You" follows two women (Zoey Walker and Kelly Swift) and an unknown narrator. When Zoey sees a picture of herself in the local paper along with an add to a dating site she wonders what is going on. When Zoey realizes that a few days earlier she recognizes the woman in the ad she calls Kelly (a PC working in London). The two women start to wonder what is going on with women having their pictures put in ads and what it may have to do with some recent attacks of women. The unknown narrator gives us insight into what is going on and why. 

 

Zoey is a single mother two two children and lives with them and her partner, Simon. Zoey we quickly find out divorced her husband almost a decade earlier after finding out he cheated on her. She meets Simon around a year or two later and then he moves in with them. It seems her daughter Katie gets along with Simon, but her son Justin does not. Zoey at times I found hysterical and fairly exhausting. She is rightfully stressed but her character flips over minor things and also seems to be a helicopter parent excusing her son's issues while trying to force her daughter to get a 'real career." When Zoey starts her own investigation into things, she starts to wonder if someone close to her is behind the ad.

 

Kelly is a PC who we find out was demoted after an incident with a suspect. I actually liked Kelly's development here. We find out that an incident involving her twin sister has haunted her and Kelly definitely steps over the line throughout this case as well. I liked that she had a mentor and supervisor telling her she doesn't get to tell victims how they need to be/act. Kelly was being judgmental about a lot of things and it was interesting to read how she slowly starts to realize that she can't push people to do things just because that is what she would do. 

 

The unknown narrator sounds like a psychopath. When we get to who this really is though I went really and moved on.


The other characters in this book are developed as well and I think Mackintosh did a good job with setting them up into the main story-line. 


The writing was interesting and I liked the details on how something like this could be possible. The flow worked too I thought.


As I said earlier, the book pretty much slid down once we get to the reveal. It didn't make any real sense at all. Then we get a twist ending and I went, seriously? It left me with more questions than answers and I was left feeling dissatisfied. 

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text 2020-05-26 11:04
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Murder in the Mews: Four Cases of Hercule Poirot (Audio) - Agatha Christie,Nigel Hawthorne

I remember not being particularly fond of these stories, but they are actually quite good.

 

I´m still a little bit disappointed that the first story hasn´t been narrated by Hugh Fraser, though. It´s not that Nigel Hawthorne did a bad job, but he doesn´t even come close to Hugh Fraser, who is on a whole other planet when it comes to the narration of these books.

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review 2020-05-25 19:15
LITTLE CREEPING THINGS BY CHELSEA ICHASO
Little Creeping Things - Chelsea Ichaso

I'm not going to lie, I struggled to get through this one. I don't really have a problem with unreliable or unlikable narrators but when they whine all throughout and are constantly seeing everything through their self serving pity-me glasses, that's where I tend to draw the line.

 

 

I've LOVED books with a narratives from villains, from characters I didn't like one bit. I wish this could have been the case here but it just wasn't. The plot could have at least helped the story along but honestly I found it to also be lacking.

 

 

To me it was kinda like everything was rather one dimensional, the characters, the plot, and the mystery. The synopsis offered things I don't think the story ever delivered on. The big reveal at the end felt somehow predictable and easy, which was WEIRD because the one thing I can think of that I guess you could say is positive is that I didn't figure it out till right before.

 

 

But once it was revealed it felt like OF COURSE and only because no one should guess that for any other reason than it would seem the least likely and you were just supposed to accept it in the end for nothing more than because sometimes people are just evil or crazy or whatever. It felt very simplified.

 

 

Give me a breadcrumb or two along the way. I love to be surprised don't get me wrong, but it cheapens it to me when you did nothing along the way to give even miniscule clues or make it understandable how you got there or why things ended this way until literally right before, and even that is shakey at best. Maybe the fact that I'm reading such an emotionally complex grand series as well right now didn't help.

 

 

This just felt incredibly immature and unsatisfying to me. If major teen angst is your bag, or maybe you want to dip a toe in a light mystery, you might enjoy this one. To be honest I felt like the Scooby-Doo gang solved more indepth cases, but to each his own.

 

 

I received an arc of this book from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley and this is my honest review.

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