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review 2018-07-18 04:31
Quick Thriller
Bring Me Back: A Novel - B.A. Paris

First of all I will not look at Russian Dolls the same again. They’ve greatly increased in the creep factor thanks to this book. (It’s a good thing!)

 

I enjoyed reading this one as throughout the novel you’re always second guessing yourself and just when you think you got it right, something else happens and you’re guessing again. Loved the twists and endless possibilities with this plot! I thought it enhanced quite a few things once Layla’s point of view is introduced because this is where it gets more complex and things start going a bit darker and uglier.

 

Ellen’s behavior was frustrating. You felt right up there with Finn sometimes because of her bouncing back and forth in opinions and it added more to Finn’s stress (although, it now makes sense as you head towards the ending) It’s definitely felt as it takes its’ toll on Finn. It’s hard to sympathize with him. He does have a temper and his personality and reasoning makes it hard to like him. He rather treats Ellen as a means to an end and his obsession with Layla reaches a disturbing factor.

 

The book is a quick read and engages the reader. I enjoyed the last bit in the end of the book, it’s well thought out and brings everything to a nice close. I liked how it kept me guessing and the thriller elements are well placed to keep the reading going.

 

Definitely recommended for a good thriller read!

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review 2018-07-17 18:34
’Baby Teeth’ has a lot of bite and is not so sweet BUT it’s ‘un-put-down-able’
Baby Teeth - Zoje Stage

This amazingly creepy story from debut author Zoje Stage has got a lot of bite. The ‘Daddy’s Little Girl’ complex takes center stage as Hanna, a seven-year old (supposedly) mute girl plays nice-nice in her father Alex’s company, but when she is the company of her mother Suzette, she just about unleashes horns on her head and a devil’s tail.


I’m exaggerating a little bit: there are no supernatural horns or tails although it’s way to easy to imagine them on this devil child that Zoje has so well-written for this novel. And somehow Hanna only manages to talk, now suddenly in French, just in her mom’s company, never so her dad can hear.


For years, Suzette has had to sacrifice her career by staying at home to homeschool Hanna, as she has been thrown out of preschools for bizarre and nasty behavior, but it’s behavior that her parents felt she would grow out of, and that once she was school-age, she could be handled better by an elementary school. Suzette also struggles with Crohn’s disease, which often keeps her bedridden and very ill, but it’s something that Hanna only has so much patience for but luckily her husband Alex has been sensitive to over the years.
Hanna persists in showing only one side to her father, who is Swedish to a fault, following Swedish holidays and traditions, which is something Hanna loves, including the special names Alex gives her, like Lilla Gumman, and she delights in little things like jumping in this lap and bedtime stories, shows of affection she reserves only for her father.
Alex and Suzette have not ignored Hanna’s lack of speech and antisocial behavior over the years though; they’ve taken her to specialists and had tests done, MRIs and other scans but there are no medical reasons for these behaviors. The answers start to become clearer especially to Suzette, as the behaviors become more pronounced; she questions herself, her parenting, whether Hanna is possessed, but she starts to realize this is just Hanna.


Reading Hanna’s side of it (as the novel goes -effectively - back and forth between what is going on for Hanna and Suzette, as if they are making an argument for their case) is just so incredibly disturbing. As she makes ‘plans’ for things she is about to do, and as she reasons ‘why she should’ do things, you’re allowed to see inside a very sad and twisted mind. As the book progresses so does her negativity towards her mother, and her need to push her mom out of the way to get closer to her father becomes greater.


The methods she does it by made me literally gasp out loud and sent my own child running (with questions for me), so that’s a good sign for me when it comes to a book.
In terms of how Suzette and Alex were able to handle Hanna: I will say that if you’re not a parent, you may have the view that it would have been easy to think ‘call the police’, or do certain other drastic things at times, but once you’re a parent, your perspective changes. You try everything else first. You want to try and help your child and do what you can, or you don’t believe they’re doing these behaviors. Your love for your child makes you run through all other avenues of help first, or in Alex’s case, stay in denial or in oblivion.


For many readers, this book may have gone too far; I know of many reviewers who passed on it because of the subject material, and it wasn’t for them. But it was totally right for me. I had been waiting for a book to be this daring for a while, and if it turns some people away, then you’ve at least elicited a visceral reaction to your work, whatever it is. In this case, it was because it was something that was going to make them feel uncomfortable or scared. I’d read that some people also got the wrong idea about the book, that it contained sexual abuse: it’s a shame people jump to conclusions before they actually have any real information.
Even if I didn’t know that the author Zoje used to work in film (as I also did) I probably could’ve guessed, as this would hold up so incredibly well as a movie; I had so many scenes in my head when I was reading this! Pure magic for the camera. Especially with the right Hanna.
The characters were so fascinating, and well-written, and I loved all the little bits about Sweden, Zoje did a fine job making these characters unique, especially for a thriller in a crowded genre. But then again, the whole book is unique, right down to the crushed lollipop on the front of the book.


And since at the center of this book is the ‘Daddy’s Little Girl/Electra’ complex, I found this fascinating. I don’t think I’ve seen a book personally written about this to this degree. It made Alex so blind to his daughter’s behavior, although it also made me question whether the ending was realistic.
The ending did kind of peter out a bit but I was satisfied with it; overall the book was such a page-turner, and kept me so enthralled, it was thoroughly ‘unputdownable’. I want more of this from Zoje!


*Warning: it might make some people question whether they want a ‘Little Girl to spoil’ after reading.

**Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for my early copy! 

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review 2018-07-17 12:46
BABY TEETH BY: ZOJE STAGE
Baby Teeth - Zoje Stage

 

Let me start this review by saying I have a teenage daughter. Now, as a mom, I can't be the only one ever to have one of those dreams...one of those terrifying nightmares where your child is basically the devil incarnate and you're just feverishly drowning in helplessness, no matter what you do the situation/your child cannot be swayed, controlled or tempered. Like trying to slog through the quicksand stairs while the monster is chasing you. This book is like living that nightmare and you just can't escape from it.

 

 

 

 

I was completely riveted by this story. It plays on so so many parental fears, fears we all have,

 

'am I doing this right?'

 

 

'Should I have done it this way or that way instead?'

 

'Am I wrong for thinking this..or feeling that?'

 

'Am I a good mother?'

 

 

 

 

It made me waiver constantly on my feelings towards Suzette. Much of her thought process was so relatable. We tend to, right or wrong, have a constant internal battle with ourselves and Suzette was a pretty spectacular example of this. Even the way she constantly compared her upbringing to that which she provided for her daughter. We all strive to 'be better', we all want for our children that which we felt we lacked and needed the most. On the flip side though, she could be selfish and quick to think or expect the worst, although considering her history it wasn't exactly a stretch to see why she would do so in some ways, and her constant desire to exude perfection, especially to her husband was concerning. Really she was a spectacularly flawed human, much like the rest of us. I mean, can you still call it paranoia if there's a legitimate reason to be paranoid?

 

 

Hannah was an equally compelling character. It was easy to teeter back and forth between feeling sympathy for her and wondering how much of what was happening with her was in fact due to the dynamic in the household, or stemming from Suzette's shortcomings or overreaching and her father's overcompensation and denial, or being terrified of the fact that maybe she is a deeply disturbed little girl capable of horrifying actions. Either way it was impossible to look away, I was as determined as Suzette to get to the bottom of this mystery. Admittedly some of her actions seemed over the top and to be a thrill just for the sake of the thrill, but it was honestly still riveting nonetheless.

 

 

 

 

I don't want to spoil anything because a lot of the page-turning fun of this book is waiting to find out what is really happening and which side you will ultimately fall on. Although I will say that even at the very end I still found myself conflicted on that! But I must say, as frustrating as that can be, it was also an unexpected surprise and I feel like it fit the story as a whole quite well. I truly enjoyed this book and had trouble putting it down, it was pretty much everything it promised it would be, a disturbing, fast paced page-turner that will keep you engrossed till the very end!

 

 

*I received an ARC of this book via St. Martin's Press and this is my honest review*

 

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review 2018-07-17 02:35
An American Killing ★☆☆☆☆
An American Killing - Mary-Ann Tirone Smith

Ugh. It started off so well. The characters seemed interesting and the writing was okay and I was curious to know more about the powerful politician found dead in an apparently accidental case of autoerotic asphyxiation, but maybe was murdered instead. Then it all went to heck on page 18, when the first person narrator suddenly began swinging between present tense and past tense, the story became clogged with celebrity name-dropping, and it became painfully obvious that the author was drawing so heavily on the Ann Rule/Ted Bundy story that it completely kicked me out of the story. I did power through to page 50, but there’s no way I could bring myself to finish the book.

 

DNF on page 50. Hardcover, purchased years ago on a whim from a clearance table at a big box bookstore that has long since gone out of business.

 

Previous Updates:

7/15/18 – 15/368 pg

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review 2018-07-16 19:36
Giveaway & Review for Stolen Obsession by Marlene M Bell @ewephoric
Stolen Obsession (Annalisse Series Book 1) - Marlene M. Bell

 


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

 

Stolen Obsession
(Annalisse Series #1)
By Marlene M. Bell
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 294 Pages
June 30th 2018 by Ewephoric Publishing

 

MY REVIEW

 

The fabulous cover hints at the story inside and I do like when that happens. Doesn’t it peak your curiosity?

 

Annaliise has lost one friend to the curse and she struggles to stop any more from being added to the tragedy. She’s determined to protect her friends, whether they believe in the curse or not.

 

I love any twist on murder in my mystery and suspense/thriller reading, and Marlene M Bell supplies that in Stolen Obsession.

 

Traveling through words are some of my favorite adventures. I go places I would never visit otherwise. So…are you ready for the journey?

 

Annalise fights her attraction to Alex, but he is persistent and patient in his wooing of her, offering to help her on her mission to solve the mystery of the jewels. Annalise had suffered a great loss and protected her heart from more hurt. Of course, we know that can’t stand forever, seeing this is romantic suspense, but he will have to earn his way in.

 

I can relate to him, because my Mr Wonderful was the same way. And we know how that ended.

 

 

Their relationship developed in a realistic fashion, no instalove, but a familiar face appears in a new light for her. I won’t explain any more. You will need to read Stolen Obsession to find out more.

I couldn’t help but crack up at the Art Lady. She carries Ms Smith, her trusty 38, because pepper spray doesn’t cut it for her and is only used for backup.

Numerous times Marlene M Bell takes me to the brink of suspenseful tragedy, only to keep them safe and let me know there is more danger to come. I am very suspicious and she leads me to the edge of a cliff. I feel I’ll fall off, but she yanks me back from the precipice saying…not yet…but soon. I love that!!!

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Stolen Obsession by Marlene M Bell.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos  4 Stars

 

READ MORE HERE

 

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Source: www.fundinmental.com/giveaway-review-for-stolen-obsession-by-marlene-m-bell-ewephoric-ewephoric
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