Review: Lynn Weingarten’s Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls

suicidenotes.jpg
When I found Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls on Book Depository, I immediately added it to my cart. I had seen this book floating around Goodreads and Bookstagram before, so I was excited to add this to my backlist books this year.

TW: mentions of suicide, drug use, abortion, sexual assault, and rape

Synopsis
June’s best friend is dead. The official report says that Delia committed suicide by burning herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. June and Delia used to be best friends – the kind that did everything together and knew everything about one another. The two were inseparable, until they weren’t. This is why June doesn’t believe Delia committed suicide. She believes Delia was murdered. Now all she needs to do is prove it.

Spoiler Free Review
I’m going to be upfront and say that I gave this book a 2/5. I honestly did not really enjoy it. With that being said, there was still some things that I did like about Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls. For starters, I love the title. It’s very catchy, and it immediately drew my attention. I also loved the book cover. Honestly, everything about the outward appearance made me so excited to begin reading.

I also enjoyed the first chapter or two of the book. The premise drew me in, and it seemed like everyone could have been guilty right off the bat. Plus, I was quickly turning the pages to see the reason behind June and Delia’s falling out. All of this was great. The book had a strong start, but then it lost me.

My first (small) issue is with June’s narration. There is something about reading through her POV that is so troubling. Her voice sounds dead and detached (and not in a good way). Further, she sounds like this before she realizes her best friend is dead. From the very beginning she just sounds alone, detached, and lifeless. It did not seem purposeful and just felt off putting.

My largest issue with this book is the plot itself. Honestly, it felt all over the place. The plot goes from cheating to suicide to murder to rape to sexual abuse to abortion to drug use and it just keeps going. There were a lot of twists and turns, but not in a good way. It more so felt like the author was just throwing elements in there for the sake of having them.

By the time I got to the end of the book, I still had no idea what was going on, really. There were so many questions left unanswered. So many issues left unresolved. Then, naturally, the ending is open-ended; it allows the reader the ability to interpret the ending. I did not like this. When I’m reading a thriller, especially a whodunit, I want to know whodunit. I don’t want to read an entire thriller and still be just as confused on the last page as I was on the first. You have no idea if any of Delia’s reasons/explanations were true or not. I also still didn’t understand the depth of the relationship between June and Delia. It seemed at times June was willing to go to the ends of the earth for Delia, and there was a depth of desperation there. Yet, just a while before, June was completely fine with not being friends anymore, content to live her life with her boyfriend. It just didn’t make sense.

Overall, I give this a 2/5. It was not the thriller for me, and I don’t recommend it.

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.png

Ratings
Goodreads Rating: 3.46/5
My Overall Rating: 2/5
Suspense: 3/5
Ending: 1/5
Characterization: 1/5

Get More Info: visit Lynn Weingarten; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls on Amazon

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls is young adult thriller, and it published on July 7, 2015. It is available to purchase here.

About the Author: Lynn Weingarten is a New York Times bestselling author and Creative Director living in Brooklyn. In the past, Lynn has been an editor at Alloy Entertainment and Working Partners, where she developed ideas for books (and edited them). She is currently Creative Director of Dovetail Fiction, a new YA packager and sister business to  Working Partners. She lives in Brooklyn.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links.

Review: Chloe Liese’s He’s a Brute

Brute.jpg

Happy publication day to Chloe Liese’s He’s a Brute. I am so very fortunate to have been sent a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Chloe Liese!

He’s a Brute is Chloe Liese’s debut novel, and it’s the first book in the Tough Love series. He’s a Brute tells the story of Zed and Nairne. Nairne is a brilliant scientist whose ambitions lie with making healthcare more affordable and accessible. Its why she takes a job at a nonprofit where she just so happens to run into “Adonis” himself. Zed is the chair of the board, but he’s also a lot more. He’s a mafia prince, a professional footballer, bad boy, oh and he’s totally hot for Narine.

You might like this book if:

  • you enjoy steamy romance novels (18+ sexual content – dom/sub)
  • you need a little thrill/suspense in your romance i.e., the mafia
  • you love well rounded, inclusive female characters

You might not like this book if:

  • you don’t enjoy slow burn romance
  • you dislike mafia romance
  • you prefer to read standalones as opposed to series

So much to talk about here, so lets get into it. I pretty much knew I wanted to read He’s a Brute the second I saw the synopsis. Hot footballer? Check. The Mafia? Check. Slow burn romance? Check. (!!!!) I have to say that this is my first mafia romance, and it certainly won’t be my last. It adds an element of suspense and danger that I didn’t know I even needed in my romance until now.

Perhaps one of my favorite elements of this book was a reveal about the main character at about the 20% mark. This reveal may sit differently among readers. For me, it totally worked, and I loved it. First I got to know a bit about Nairne – I learned about her job, her personality, her friendship – then I got to know about a significant part of her character/life. All are different facets to her and all are important. I just in particular liked the way this was deliberately withheld and then shown to the reader. I don’t want to say more because I don’t want to spoil anything!

I loved the slow-burn romance between Zed and Nairne. The push and pull between them built up a lot of tension, and I loved the inevitable pull between them. Plus, the scenes between these two are very saucy. Liese definitely delivered a new adult romance. The sexual content in this book has a dominant/submissive dynamic.

Another great aspect of this novel is the characterization. Both Nairne and Zed felt well written and fleshed out. They both had intense backstories, and some of it we still don’t know! (*waits impatiently for the sequel*) I haven’t read a romance series in awhile (I still mainly to standalones) so I’m going to have to remember how to be patient. More than our main characters, though, Liese did an amazing job on the secondary characters. I hate when I’m reading a book and the secondary characters feel thin, forced, and as though they are thrown in with no real purpose. That was not the case here. I loved Narine’s best friend and even Zed’s family. I can’t wait to see more from this cast of characters in the sequel.

If I had any complaint, it’s that I wanted to see more of the mafia aspect. I wanted to know more of the inner workings and experience some more of the danger that Zed was in. I’m assuming that we will learn a lot more about Zed’s involvement in book two as I know this book had a lot of “setting up” to do plot wise. I really hope book two delivers a healthy dose of danger (what can I say, I’m a sucker for it in my romances. Maybe I’ve watched too many crime shows? I’m looking at you, Bones.)

Overall, I really enjoyed this new adult romance. If y’all check it out, please let me know what you think! He’s a Brute gets a 4/5 from me.

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.png

He’s a Brute is new adult romance, and it was published on May 6, 2019. It’s 236 pages and has a 3.86 rating on Goodreads. As of 5/6/19, it is available on Kindle Unlimted.

get more info: visit Chloe Liese’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; find He’s a Brute on Amazon; pre-order the sequel, She’s a Spitfire, now

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. The author was kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Carol Wyer’s The Dare

thedarejpg.jpg

Alright y’all I have got to talk about one of my new favorites, Carol Wyer. I actually came randomly across Carol Wyer’s The Dare while browsing on Netgalley, and was immediately intrigued by the premise. I of course had a blonde moment and requested the book without realizing it was actually the third in its series. (Side note: thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me early access to this ARC!) Luckily, I was able to read the story without feeling like I missed out on anything. Wyer does a great job of explaining any plot/character growth that may have occurred in the past that is relevant to know. I didn’t feel left out at all. Even so, I’m quickly going back and reading the first and second in the series, so hopefully I can eventually review the series as a whole.

Long intro aside, I loved Carol Wyer’s The Dare, the third book in the Detective Natalie Ward series.

spoiler free: There was so much that I loved in The Dare. First, I can’t praise Carol Wyer enough regarding the quality of writing. I genuinely felt as though I was a part of Ward’s investigation team. I actually felt as though I was in the midst of a serial killer. Wyer lets you (the reader) in on each stage in the investigation and it makes it feel hauntingly real. If you’re a fan of Law and Order, CSI, Criminal Minds or true crime/police investigations – you will love this book.

I also loved reading through the perspective of Natalie Ward. She was an amazing character to focus on. She felt so well rounded – like I could actually walk into a police station and find her sitting there. I also really enjoyed the contrast between the intense situation in her work life and the drama of her home life. Wyer shed light on just how difficult it is to have a demanding career and balancing the intricacies of being a parent (especially a parent to teenagers). Natalie Ward was complex, flawed, and fiercely dedicated. This made for a compelling main character.

Lastly, let us talk about, you know, the actual mystery here. I truly flew through his book – it had be hooked from the very first chapter. The plot is fairly complex, and I didn’t know the killer’s identity until the book revealed it (and then of course, I couldn’t believe I didn’t see it.)

During the middle of the book, the plot did feel a bit slow as the case felt somewhat hopeless as the team was left with so few clues. Yet, I felt this was intentional. It was slow and a bit frustrating as a reader, because it was slow and frustrating to the team. This just added to my connection with the story. I felt like I was in the thick of it with them.

Overall, I gave this one a 5/5. I recommend this fully, however if you’re new to Carol Wyer – I may suggest starting at the beginning of this series as I’m about to now!

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.png

get more info: Visit Carol Wyer’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find The Dare on Amazon

The Dare is Carol Wyer’s third book in the Detective Natalie Ward series. It is classified as a thriller, and it releases on April 25, 2019. It is available for pre-order now.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. Netgalley and the publisher were kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Peter Swanson’s Before She Knew Him

BeforeSheKnewHim.jpg

Hi y’all! I am happy to announce I am a proud new member of the Book of the Month (BOTM) club, a book box subscription. Each month BOTM chooses five (hardcover) books and allows each subscriber to choose the one they are most interested in reading. The book choices vary in authors and genres so there really is something for everyone.  It’s $14.99/month and shipping is always free and you can skip any month you want. What I love most about BOTM is the sense of community it creates. Seriously, check out Bookstagram. It’s flooded with BOTM choices. But, I digress. The point of this long intro is that Peter Swanson’s Before She Knew Him was my March BOTM and I was very excited about it. (*not sponsored lol*)

Before She Knew Him follows Hen. Hen lives with her husband, Lloyd, and they have just moved to a quiet suburb outside of Boston. Hen is an illustrator and artist, and she finally feels her life is at a point of peace. Oh, and she also suspects her neighbor, Mathew, is a murderer.

spoiler free: Before She Knew Him was an unconventional thriller read for me. I remember thinking within the first thirty or so pages that I knew everything there was to know about the story. I felt like the author let me in at every angle, so I always felt like the other shoe was about to drop. Around the fifty page mark, I remember thinking ok so I know x, y, z…where is this story headed? For me, that was exciting. I felt like the author freed up the second half of the book to go anywhere. It felt like a very fresh take on a whodunnit.

In that same vein though, I felt like the beginning of the book was a bit slow. The suspense really picked up in the last third and it was great. However, I felt like the suspense was a little lacking at the beginning just because of how much I (thought) I was “in on” regarding the story. But this was my only complaint.

I was impressed by the ending and truly did not see it coming. I think I was so focused on the fact that I (thought) I *knew* everything, that I was constantly waiting for something to pop up out of nowhere. Due to this, I felt like I missed so many signs that were right in front of me. I didn’t know the reveal until the author showed me, and that’s an impressive feat. I enjoyed the last 1/3 of the book the most.

Overall, I this was a 4/5 for me. I really did enjoy it and I can’t wait to read more from Peter Swanson in the future. The only reason it isn’t a full 5/5 is because the beginning was a bit slow for me, but I still highly recommend this one!

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.png

Before She Knew Him is an adult thriller, and it was published in March of 2019.

get more info: visit Peter Swanson’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Before She Knew Him on Amazon; visit Book of the Month

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links.

Review: Frances Vick’s Two Little Girls

I want to say thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for providing me with an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!!

Two Little Girls tells the story of Lisa and Kirsty. They are Best Friends Forever. At least, they are until the day Lisa disappears. It’s 1985 and Kirsty, afraid for her friend and traumatized by her disappearance, helps provide evidence to put the killer behind bars. The killer even gives a confession. So why, ten years later, is Kirsty still haunted by the thought that she made a terrible mistake?

spoiler free: I really wanted to love this one, because I was so captivated by the premise of the novel and the first third of the book. The author wrote a compelling, chilling, and questionable friendship between two young girls. The first third of the book explored their warped friendship through a child’s POV and it was eerie.

I loved how from the very beginning we were introduced to the theme of real vs. fake. Lisa told so many lies that we were left, alongside Kirsty, to wonder what was real after all? I was excited to see how the author was going to play off this theme when exploring how time distorts memory and how the line between real and fake becomes blurrier as time marches on.

It was really the latter half of the book that fell flat for me. I just could not buy that Kirsty was so unconcerned that she potentially put away an innocent man on a murder charge. I kept wanting her to wake up with some drive or intensity to uncover the truth. That never really happened. Instead, Kirsty was pulled along throughout the book until the truth literately fell into her lap. This was unsatisfying.

Further, I felt like the author missed an opportunity to really play up the theme of memory distortion. There were some moments where Kirsty potentially misremembered aspects of her childhood, but she pretty much stood firm on what she saw as a child. I felt like the novel would have been so much stronger (and quite honestly Kirsty’s attitude more believable) if she were constantly questioning what she truly saw back then.

Instead, we were left with the (pretty much) absolute truth of her memory and this caused there to be so few characters to pick from when questioning who the murderer was. There was a minor red herring, but this was hardly strong enough to mislead the reader. Instead, the ending felt obvious and inevitable, which never bodes well for suspense/mystery.

Overall, this was a 2/5 for me. (I did not enjoy the book overall, but there was some aspects that were ok).

Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.pngScreen Shot 2019-02-01 at 5.36.40 PM.png

Two Little Girls is an adult suspense/mystery. It releases on April 17, 2019 and it is available for pre-order now.

get more info: visit Frances Vick’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Two Little Girls on Amazon