2018 Book #8 – In a Cottage In a Wood by Cass Green

51nqAxpBqbLTitle: In a Cottage In a Wood
Author: Cass Green
Date finished: 1/23/18
Genre: Fiction, thriller,suspense
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: September 21, 2017 on Kindle (Paperback January 23, 2018)
Pages in book: 321
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Her dream home will become her worst nightmare…

A USA Today and Sunday Times top ten bestseller. This is the dark and twisty psychological thriller from the No.1 ebook bestselling author of The Woman Next Door.

A strange encounter
Neve comes across a troubled woman called Isabelle on Waterloo Bridge late one night. Isabelle forces a parcel into Neve’s hands and jumps to her death in the icy Thames below.

An unexpected gift
Two weeks later, as Neve’s wreck of a life in London collapses, an unexpected lifeline falls into her lap – a charming cottage in Cornwall left to her by Isabelle, the woman on the bridge. The solution to all her problems.

A twisted secret
But when Neve arrives, alone in the dark woods late one night, she finds a sinister-looking bungalow with bars across its windows. And her dream home quickly becomes her worst nightmare – a house hiding a twisted secret that will change her life forever…

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

How much fear can one person withstand? 

This book reminded me a little bit of The Girl on the Train, mostly because of the extremely flawed and sometimes unreliable main character. I have to say though I absolutely hated that the main character didn’t have a car – it made me so anxious every time she stepped outside to go somewhere. And (**SPOLIER ALERT**) I should have known from the beginning that a woman was behind the hi-jinks just based on how passive aggressive it was. Not to generalize (but stereotypes exist for a reason) but if a man were trying to scare Neve he would’ve done something much more forceful and in her face. Only a woman would think to leave the radio on all day so that there was no electricity left by the night time and Neve was stuck in the dark, that is just diabolical.

I loved how the author really was able to get inside the reader’s head and make you question whether the things that were happening were real or not. And there was a pretty darn good twist at the end of the book, although I kind of pieced it together it was still really good. While I didn’t love the main character, mostly because of how flawed she was, I did like the character development overall. There were some unanswered questions for me in the story and I don’t like it when villains get to just skip away with no consequences, but overall I really enjoyed the book and I would recommend it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2018 Book #5 – The Safest Lies by Megan Miranda

518u1R1zo6L._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Safest Lies
Author: Megan Miranda
Date finished: 1/14/18
Genre: Young adult, thriller/suspense
Publisher: Ember
Publication Date: May 30, 2017 (Paperback; hardcover was released May 24, 2016)
Pages in book: 357
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: My friend Alex

Blurb from the cover:

Kelsey has lived most of her life in a shadow of suspicion, raised to see danger everywhere. Her mother hasn’t set foot outside their front door in seventeen years, since she escaped from her kidnappers with nothing but her attacker’s baby growing inside her—Kelsey.

Kelsey knows she’s supposed to keep a low profile and stay off the grid for their protection, but that plan is shattered when her dramatic car accident and rescue by volunteer firefighter and classmate Ryan Baker sparks media coverage.

A few days later, she arrives home to find her mother missing. Now, to have a chance at a future, Kelsey will have to face her darkest fears. Because someone is coming for her. And the truth about the past may end up being the most dangerous thing of all.

My rating:  3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review:

What do you do when your worst fears are realized?

Kelsey’s whole life her mother has been subtly training her, giving her the knowledge that she would need to survive. Kelsey always believed that her mother was paranoid because of what she experienced when she was around Kelsey’s age – being abducted and held against her will. But after Kelsey’s mother disappears and Kelsey finds herself in danger, facts start to surface that don’t fit with this story. As Kelsey fought her way to freedom and in the days and interrogations that followed, I found the thought process for the police and for some of the other adults in charge to be a little unrealistic. Overall though I liked this book and found it to be an interesting read. I especially liked how Ryan and Kelsey’s relationship developed through the book, I thought it was really sweet. And I think the part where they were trying to escape the panic room was one of the best parts of the book, I only wished it had been closer to the end since it created such great tension in the story. I thought this was a good read though and I would recommend it.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #103 – Surviving Valencia by Holly Tierney-Bedord

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Title: Surviving Valencia
Author: Holly Tierney-Bedord
Date finished: 9/29/15
Genre: Fiction, thriller
Publisher: Unknown
Publication Date: June 30, 2012
Pages in book: 335
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Author/publisher NOTE: I received this book for free from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

A car accident robs the Loden Family of twins Van and Valencia shortly after they start college. Charmed, bright, and beautiful, they held their family together and elevated the Lodens to greatness. In their loss, a shadow is cast upon the family, particularly on the remaining child, who lacks the easy grace and popularity her older siblings took for granted.
As an adult, her life begins to turn from mediocre to amazing when she is saved by cool, artistic Adrian. The kind of happiness once reserved only for others is finally hers, until pieces of the past begin ruining what seems to be a perfect life.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of our narrator, a 30-ish year old woman who is married to a well-known and wealthy Savannah artist. Now an adult, she is still haunted by the death of her siblings (who were twins and 7ish years older than her) when she was young, and her upbringing has made her feel significantly inadequate as a person. The book alternates between chapters from the past and the present, starting when the narrator is a child and her siblings were still alive. As the book goes along, the chapters about the past eventually catches up to close to where the story began in the present so we luckily end up covering the span of the narrator’s entire life. As the story evolves, we learn a lot more about the narrator’s husband and how he hasn’t been as honest as expected.
Overall I liked this book, it kept me interested from the very beginning and honestly I didn’t want to put it down. I was a little let down with the ending, only because it happened pretty abruptly and I found it to be a tad confusing plus there were some unanswered that as a reader I probably would’ve like to know the answers to. The story switched to a different narrator for the last chapter (not saying who but be prepared for a twist) and the second narrator mentions a baby with green eyes but you really have to pay attention to small details during the rest of the story to grasp the significance of this and even then its entirely possible that there is another villain out there with green eyes. And there is a reference to the second narrator escaping but what were they escaping from and how long did they have to wait before they escaped? And there is a mention of an old and a young guy but who the heck is the old guy? Just a lot of questions. Which really, I mean the story is very engrossing, i just wish we found out what happened to the second narrator! Other than that though the story is interesting and mysterious and a bit thrilling. Honestly while I was reading it reminded me of a cross of both Luckiest Girl Alive and The Space Between Heartbeats in certain parts of the plot line. It was a great read!

The bottom line: I liked this book a lot but the ending left something to be desired for me personally. Story really draws you in though, I would recommend it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #66 – The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor

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Title: The Daylight Marriage
Author: Heidi Pitlor
Date finished: 6/30/15
Genre:  Fiction, Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Pages in book: 245
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

She still had time before work. She could go food shopping. She could fold the kids’ laundry and get the car washed and return some library books. Or Hannah could do something else. She could do something that she had never done–drive to a part of town where she had never been, pretend to be someone that she was not.
Hannah was tall and graceful, naturally pretty, spirited and impulsive, the upper-class young woman who picked, of all men, Lovell–the introverted climate scientist who thought he could change the world if he could just get everyone to listen to reason. After a magical honeymoon, they settled in the suburbs to raise their two children.
But over the years, Lovell and Hannah’s conversations have become charged with resentments and unspoken desires. She has become withdrawn. His work affords him a convenient distraction. And then, after one explosive argument, Hannah vanishes.
For the first time, Lovell is forced to examine the trajectory of his marriage through the lens of memory. As he tries to piece together what happened to his wife–and to their life together–readers follow Hannah on that single day when a hasty decision proves irrevocable.
With haunting intensity, a seamless balance of wit and heartbreak, and the emotional acuity that author Heidi Pitlor brings to every page, The Daylight Marriage mines the dark and delicate nature of a marriage.

My rating: 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a book with bad reviews” check box since there are a number of bad reviews on Amazon, 17% of reviews were for 2 stars and 15% of the reviews were only for 1 star. The one I think I agreed with the most is this one, which touched on many issues I had with the book. I think that the Amazon reviewer hit the nail on the head when they said that it felt “like an unfinished manuscript.” There were just so many holes in the story and so many things that did not make sense and could not be pieced together. It felt like the story had started to develop and then it was over and the reader is left feeling as if there are so many questions left unanswered or even unasked.
Lovell’s relationship with his daughter in the book really bothered me. She was afraid of him the whole book pretty much and the whole time Lovell is trying to convince her that he wasn’t really acting that badly the last night that Hannah was home and then all of a sudden at the end of the book he remembers things the way Janine has been describing them? That didn’t make any sense. And what caused his sudden revelation? And honestly that girl needed a lot more discipline. She was fifteen and she offered to be a surrogate for her gay next door neighbors. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? That is an unhealthy relationship, and they let her get drunk at their party and Lovell is having Ethan stay at a party where two dudes are making out and grinding on a dance floor. Ethan is NINE. TAKE HIM HOME.
That’s really all I want to say about the book. I could go on for awhile I think but I will just leave it here at “this book was not my cup of tea.”
The bottom line: I wasn’t a fan of this book. There just wasn’t much about it that appealed to me, it left me fieeling both unfinished and unsettled.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page