Book Review: The Shadows by Alex North

The Shadows

The Shadows

Title: The Shadows
Author: Alex North
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Horror
Date of Publication: July 7, 2020
Publisher: Celadon Books


Synopsis

The haunting new thriller from Alex North, author of the New York Times bestseller The Whisper Man

You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.

Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn’t just the murder.

It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again…

Goodreads

Plot

I absolutely adore the plot trope of a person who returns home after being gone for years and solving a decades-old mystery. The Shadows takes this trope and runs with it, giving it a fresh new take.

Like The Whisper Man, this novel is eerie, bordering on horror, and it’s atmospheric while still fast-paced.  As I read the novel, I noticed another similarity to North’s previous work.  It’s very difficult to tell if there are paranormal elements at work, or if everything can be explained away by fact and reason. This questioning of what is real and what isn’t adds to the novel’s mystery, making it one of a kind, and a must read of 2020.

The Shadows has numerous surprising twists. One of them was quite shocking, but also required just a little too much backtracking and explaining to make it plausible. That said, the twists at the very end of the book were perfectly executed.  The resolution was well thought out and I just adore a book that has plainly laid out clues that I should have noticed while reading.

Characters 

I genuinely liked Paul, and I easily slipped into his head during the scenes written in his point of view.  It was refreshing to see a vulnerable, imperfect character who isn’t intentionally written to be “unlikable”, which is so common in thrillers these days. He was far from perfect, but I didn’t feel the urge to reach into the book and slap him in the face, either. An ideal compromise.

Language

Alex North writes with such a powerful prose that I got tingles while reading certain chapters, particularly towards the end as everything tied together perfectly and he revisited imagery that was introduced earlier in the book.  While I’ve found that novels with dual timelines often lag during the flashbacks, North’s style made the past timeline just as compelling as the present day events.

The Shadows

I recommend this book to those looking for a spooky, almost-horror thriller about a decades old mystery that centres around a spooky small-town legend.

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the arc to review*

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Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey

Not Like the Movies

Not like the movies

Title: Not Like the Movies 
Author: Kerry Winfrey
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Series: Waiting For Tom Hanks #2
Date of Publication: July 7, 2020
Publisher: Berkley Jove


Synopsis

In Not Like The Movies we finally get to see Chloe and Nick’s love story unfold! Chloe is a waitress at Nick’s Cafe, and she is slowly working towards getting her bachelor’s degree in business while juggling her job, taking care of her father who’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, and preparing for her best friend’s wedding.  She’s also dealing with the fact that her best friend wrote a screenplay based on a romanticized version of her relationship with her boss–Nick.  Now that she’s seen the trailers for the upcoming movie and read the Buzzfeed articles on why Nick would be the perfect boyfriend, she can’t help but look at her boss differently. But Chloe doesn’t believe in true love, and she definitely doesn’t have time for it… 

Plot & Characters

All while reading the first book in this series, I couldn’t help but connect with Chloe a lot more than Annie. I thought Annie was selfish in the first book, and honestly, this shines through even stronger in the second. Chloe is a fascinating protagonist. She’s so used to taking care of others that she doesn’t have time to stop and think about what she wants or needs. Like Annie, Chloe is self-destructive in love, but it just makes sense, because she doesn’t truly believe that she deserves it. Chloe is a three-dimensional and fascinating character, and I just love her coping mechanisms, including the “five-minute cry” which I know isn’t healthy, but damn if it isn’t efficient. 

Nick, on the other hand, is much less of an open book. We get to know him as Chloe does.  Their dynamic reminds me so much of Luke and Lorelai in Gilmore Girls, so if you’re into that, you should definitely be checking out this novel, regardless of if you read the first.

The romance is sweet and drawn out, and there are fewer cringey moments than there are in the first book. Chloe makes bad decisions, sure, but her life is such a mess that they just made me feel for her more.  I was heavily invested in the Chloe/Nick endgame (I had been since they were first introduced in the Waiting for Tom Hanks), so Not Like the Movies was perfect for me. 

Setting 

We get to return to the setting of Waiting for Tom Hanks–German Village in Columbus.  It’s very Gilmore Girls-esque, with Nick being gruff and owning a cafe.  If you like taht small-town vibe in your romance novels, then this book is a perfect fit.  There’s even a total weirdo regular at the cafe named Gary, and he frequently blurts out the most inappropriate and hilarious things. 

Not Like the Movies

I recommend this book to any fan of Gilmore Girls, the parallels are uncanny and you’ll love the way that the romance unfolds.

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-arc to review!*

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Find the book:

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams

Our Stop

Our Stop

Title: Our Stop
Author: Laura Jane Williams
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Date of Publication: June 13, 2019
Publisher: Avon


Synopsis

Nadia gets the 7.30 train every morning without fail. Well, except if she oversleeps or wakes up at her friend Emma’s after too much wine.

Daniel really does get the 7.30 train every morning, which is easy because he hasn’t been able to sleep properly since his dad died.

One morning, Nadia’s eye catches sight of a post in the daily paper:

To the cute girl with the coffee stains on her dress. I’m the guy who’s always standing near the doors… Drink sometime?

So begins a not-quite-romance of near-misses, true love, and the power of the written word.

Goodreads

My Thoughts

This book makes me want to hop on the tube and find my soulmate, but unfortunately, Saskatoon does not have a “tube”, so I’ll have to settle for reading cute meet cutes instead of experiencing them.

Plot

Our Stop has only 3.7 stars on Goodreads, which shocked me. I’m giving this book 5 stars. It’s cute, witty, and actually had some genuinely hilarious scenes. I literally laughed so hard at one part that tears streamed down my face (the part where Daniel is attempting to flirt with some strangers while discussing avocado. You need to read the book to find out what happens.).

I absolutely love the plot of this novel. It felt like fate kept trying to bring Nadia and Daniel together, but awkward circumstances and miscommunications kept them apart.

Characters

The novel is split between two points of view (and a random third that was somewhat jarring, in the middle).  Daniel has had a crush on Nadia since the moment he first saw her, when she was talking passionately with her boss about a charity she wanted funding for.  When he found out that she rides his train, he’s always hoping that she’ll be on it.  While Daniel is punctual, Nadia is not, and she’s always in a rush.  I absolutely love how they balance each other out. One of my only complaints about this book (and many other romances to be honest), is that it ends too soon. I want to see the first 2-3 years of their relationship, please and thank you.  All jokes aside, it does end a little too quickly, and I would have liked for a little more meat at the end of the story.  The epilogue is also a little repetitive, as it repeats what was said in the final chapter. However, it’s still a satisfying epilogue that wraps up the story and the newspaper theme that carries throughout the novel quite nicely.

Language

I adore the author’s writing style.  Nadia occasionally says the most crass things that made me laugh out loud, yet she isn’t necessarily a crude person. This made for a fun and  three-dimensional character that I wish I knew in real life.  

Our Stop

I recommend this book to those who are obsessed with the perfect meet cute and want to read a sweet romance that will make them wish they lived in a city with a subway.

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Find the book:

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

Happy Ever After Playlist

The Happy Ever After Playlist

Title: The Happy Ever After Playlist
Author: Abby Jimenez
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Series: The Friend Zone #2

Date of Publication: April 14, 2020
Publisher: Forever


*Warning: Spoilers for The Friend Zone are in this review, because it’s impossible not to have spoilers and actually say anything about the plot of this book!*

Was I ever happy to find out that Sloan would be featured in this book! After the events of The Friend Zone, I was hoping that I would get to see more of her, and Abby Jimenez did not disappoint! 

The book opens two years after the events in The Friend Zone. Sloan is still mourning the death of her fiance, and she’s yet to move on in any aspect of her life. She isn’t painting what she wants to paint, she doesn’t cook anymore, and she hasn’t been updating her cooking blog. Then Tucker enters the scene–a cute lost dog that seems to be just what the doctor ordered.  Sloan tries to find his owner, but after two weeks of no responses to her voicemails and texts, she starts to hope that she can keep him.  Tucker has been giving her an excuse to leave the house, and she’s getting exercise and she’s a lot happier than she’s been since Brandon died.  But then she gets a call from Jason, the dog’s owner.  Right off the bat, they have a flirty banter and a connection that goes beyond their shared love of Tucker.  Jason is a musician–a former indie singer who’s signed with a big label, and he’s currently on tour in Australia.  When Jason finally gets back to LA after the tour, they meet in person, and sparks fly. 

This book is sweet and funny, but their relationship is far from easy. Jason has signed with a label that views him as a commodity and not a human being. He’s being stalked by an ex-girlfriend singer who is both unstable and somehow always knows where to find him.  Sloan is dealing with her grief and finally learning how to put this huge loss behind her.  She’s finally rediscovering the things that she once found joy in.

It was absolutely delightful to get to see Kristen and Josh again after The Friend Zone. Since this book takes place two years later, they’re married, with a baby, and they still have that sizzling chemistry that made The Friend Zone such a good read.

That said, this book is even better than its predecessor, which is great! I can’t wait to see what Abby Jimenez cooks up next. I’m hoping Lola Simone will find redemption and love in a small town? Just an idea 😉 

Also of note: The beginning of each chapter lists a song that fits the tone of the chapter, and I have to say that this was the most brilliant idea ever. I knew quite a few of them already (and had them on my iPhone!) so I played them while reading. I also got introduced to a few new favourites, and I’ve been playing them on repeat on Spotify. 

Happy Ever After Playlist

I recommend this book to any fan of romance, regardless of whether or not you enjoyed The Friend Zone, since this one is a lot lighter in tone.

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*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the arc to review*

Find the book:

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston

Bookish and the Beast

Bookish and the BeastTitle: Bookish and the Beast
Author: Ashley Poston
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Series: Once Upon a Con #3

Date of Publication: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Quirk Books


Synopsis

In the third book in Ashley Poston’s Once Upon a Con series, Beauty and the Beast is retold in the beloved Starfield universe.

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.

Goodreads

Plot

This is by far the best instalment in this series. I think it might be the last, but I’m hoping there will be more. There’s always Calvin to pair up with a love interest, right? RIGHT? 

I absolutely love the interpretation of the Beauty and the Beast story to fit the romance between Rosie and Vance.

There are a few parts that require a suspension of disbelief, but these are easily forgiven, because if it’s destined to happen, maybe these aren’t eyeball-rolling coincidences and are actually the fates working their magic.  After reading the first two in this series, I’d already jumped on the bandwagon of believing that ExcelsiCon has some sort of sorcery that makes the cast of Starfield fall in love with mere commoners. I guess I just took each of these silly little “coincidences” in stride.

Characters

Vance is my favourite of the love interests in the Once Upon a Con series. He’s a ladies’ man, a child actor born into the business, and he has a lot of well-concealed self-loathing.  We met him in The Princess and the Fangirl, albeit briefly, and he was presented as quite the a**hat.  I was surprised to learn that he would be in the third book in the series, based on the way he was presented.  But then I realized that this was incredibly exciting, allowing for the opportunity for an compelling redemption arc, just like his character General Sond in the Starfield universe.

Rosie is my favourite type of protagonist. I love that she’s the bookworm type who also sometimes gets attention from boys – which is evident in the case that Garrett (essentially Gaston from Beauty and the Beast) won’t take no for an answer when he repeatedly asks her to Homecoming. In books like these, I like to see that the protagonist has seen some interest from boys but turns them down, because then when Vance falls for her, we don’t think that she’s falling for him back because she’s never had someone interested in her before.  If that makes sense?  She loves him for him, not because of the attention he’s giving her (despite the fact that the attention he gives her is a lot sweeter and more romantic than that douche Garrett–but that really adds to the humour of the entire situation).

Worldbuilding

The parallels between the world of Starfield and what is happening in the novel are just as pronounced in this book as they are in the previous instalments. However, as mentioned in my review of The Princess and the Fangirl, if you haven’t read Geekerella, the world of Starfield might be somewhat confusing and harder to appreciate in this book.  We don’t learn as much about the original television series, but this novel focuses more on the series/ book adaptations, which allows for General Sond to have a redemption arc and far more screentime than the original series.

Bookish and the Beast

I recommend this book to any nerd at heart who is looking for a sweet and funny romantic retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

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Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Beach Read

Beach Read

Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Date of Publication: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Berkley


Synopsis

January Andrews is a romance novelist with a deadline. The only problem? She doesn’t believe in happy ever afters anymore. After her father and role model died, she found out that he had a mistress and a secret love shack on the beach. Broke and desperate for inspiration, she decides to move to this house that she inherited for the summer so she can clear it out to sell while writing her next bestseller. Little does she know, her college rival, literary author Augustus Everett, lives next door. He’s infuriating and judgmental and just as handsome as she remembers.  They both think the other can’t write in their genre, and they find themselves making a bet: he’ll write a happy ever after and she’ll write a literary masterpiece.  Whoever sells their book first gets the other to formally recommend it.  Of course, things are never quite so simple…

My Thoughts

Beach Read has an intriguing premise, and the delivery does not disappoint. In the opening of the novel, January is quite distressed after finding out that her father had not only been cheating on her mother when she had cancer, but that he had a secret house with his mistress. January’s boyfriend of seven years had broken up with her, because she’s no longer the carefree woman that he fell in love with. How is January supposed to write a light romance with a happy ending when she doesn’t believe in them anymore?

Gus is a charming ladies’ man, but he uses his charm to keep women at an arm’s length. He’s had a rough past, and it’s reflected through his preferred genre. After the two make their bet, they both have to assist the other with their “research” or “training” in what it means to write in each other’s genre. For January, that means a night out at the carnival, (which, of course, Gus finds mortifying), but for Gus, this means researching a suicide-cult.  

January and Gus are polar opposites at the surface, but it turns out that they have a lot in common once you dig past those top layers. 

As a genre writer myself, I felt that I related to January on a deeper level. That level of finding literary authors who are condescending and full of themselves insufferable. I completely understood January and how she felt about Gus during their college days.  I could almost feel the judgment and arrogance ooze off him during the early scenes in the book. 

I absolutely adored the story line regarding January and her father. Every day she’s confronted with evidence of the fact that he had a secret life.  The subplot of her coming to terms with what her father did is part of what makes this book so remarkable. Beach Read isn’t just about her budding romance with Gus, it’s about her relationship with her father and figuring out who she is and who she wants to be.

The only thing I didn’t quite like about this book is the fact that January is incredibly broke, yet she’s an author. Authors shouldn’t quit their day jobs until they have a consistent income from their books. Both January and Gus talk about how much they need their advances, but it’s never mentioned how much January is making from royalties off her previous books.  Perhaps she should be supplementing her income with freelance writing gigs? This feels nitpicky, I know, but it’s a trope I’ve seen quite often in novels, which is ironic, because you’d think that the authors of these novels would know more about the intricacies of the publishing world.

Beach Read

Beach Read is equally hilarious and heartfelt, and there are parts that made me laugh out loud followed by heart-wrenching moments of honesty.  Ironically, the title of this novel is Beach Read, but unless you want to be alternating between laughing out loud and crying while reading at the beach, this book is best read in the confines of your home. 

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*Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for the arc to review!*

Find the book:

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: Monster She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kröger & Melanie R. Anderson

Monster she wrote

Monster she wrote

Title: Monster She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction
Author: Lisa Kröger & Melanie R. Anderson
Genre: Non-fiction
Date of Publication: September 17, 2019
Publisher: Quirk Books


Synopsis

Weird fiction wouldn’t exist without the women who created it. Meet the female authors who defied convention to craft some of literature’s strangest tales. And find out why their own stories are equally intriguing.

Everyone knows about Mary Shelley, creator of Frankenstein; but have you heard of Margaret Cavendish, who wrote a science-fiction epic 150 years earlier? Have you read the psychological hauntings of Violet Paget, who was openly involved in long-term romantic relationships with women in the Victorian era? Or the stories of Gertrude Barrows Bennett, whose writing influenced H.P. Lovecraft? Monster, She Wrote shares the stories of women past and present who invented horror, speculative, and weird fiction and made it great. You’ll meet celebrated icons (Ann Radcliffe, V.C. Andrews), forgotten wordsmiths (Eli Coltor, Ruby Jean Jensen), and today’s vanguard (Helen Oyeyemi). And each profile includes a curated reading list so you can seek out the spine-chilling tales that interest you the most.
Goodreads

My Thoughts

What a beautiful book, inside and out! Of course, I’m referring to the illustrations, but also the content. Lisa Kröger and Melanie R. Anderson have a witty and informative writing style, and this book is a must-read for any horror lover.

Monster She Wrote is broken up into sections, where like authors are grouped together based on what or when they wrote.  Each section has a brief foreword explaining the importance of the contribution of these women to literature, talking about the political and social climates in which they wrote, as well as the impact their works have had on later generations.  There are sections on the traditional Gothic authors, the women who penned ghost stories, “the women who wrote the pulps”, and much more.

Throughout each author’s biography, there are mentions of their works and the significance they had on the genre and literature in general.  I was impressed with how Kröger and Anderson managed to summarize these books in such succinct and intriguing ways that made me reach for my notebook to add yet another title to check out later.  The end of the section on each author provides recommended readings, both by the author, as well as by those who were influenced by her.  My to-read list has grown pages since picking up this book.

For example, (I picked this at random) under “Related Work” for the author Angela Carter, “Werewolf fans may enjoy St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Knopf, 2007), a story collection by Karen Russel about nuns, wolf-girls, and alligators set in the Florida swamps.” Um, yes please, add that to my list, thanks!

Monster she wrote

Monster She Wrote provides an excellent foundation on the women of horror and speculative fiction, and I recommend it to all readers and authors alike.

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Book Review: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners

The Unhoneymooners

Title: The Unhoneymooners
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Date of Publication: May 14, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books


Synopsis

Olive has always been the unlucky twin, but her luck changes when her sister and brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding and are unable to go on their honeymoon.  Olive decides to go for on their free vacation with her brother-in-law’s brother, Ethan, who she’s hated at first sight.  She expects to spend the entire beach holiday avoiding him, but things get a little confusing when her new boss shows up.  So she doesn’t get caught taking someone else’s free honeymoon, she tells her boss that she’s married to Ethan. But now she has to keep up the charade and pretend to be madly in love with this man she hates, all the while trying to remember why she hates him so much in the first place…

My Thoughts 

This book takes one of my favourite tropes (enemies turned to lovers) and brings a fresh new air to it. This book is laugh out loud funny, and there were a few parts that had me in hysterics.  The plot is fast paced, and the characters are absolutely lovable.

It was wonderful reading a romantic comedy where the protagonist is a woman working in the science field.  Olive is a scientist, and while it’s not a critical part of the plot, it is a part of who she is, and it’s brought up more than a few times. I loved this!  I am actually counting this book as my book featuring a woman in STEM for the PopSugar Reading Challenge.

I enjoyed the romance between Olive and Ethan quite a bit. While some of the plot “twists” are predictable (as is the nature of the romantic comedy, obviously they’re going to end up together. *Gasp* Did I just spoil the ending?), I didn’t mind one bit. For instance, it was obvious to me that Ethan didn’t think she was “disgusting” as she thought he did, otherwise this wouldn’t have made for a very fun or romantic read.

Another thing that I loved about this book was that it isn’t just about the romance. Olive does a lot of soul-searching over the course of the book, as she uncovers a fatal flaw in her outlook on life, and she works to overcome it. The book isn’t just about her falling in love with another person, it’s about finding out who she is and who she wants to be.  She grows as a person during the events in the book, making it so much more than just a romance story.

The Unhoneymooners

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a hilarious and romantic beach read this summer.

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Find the book:

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

Darling Rose Gold

Darling Rose Gold

Title: Darling Rose Gold
Author: Stephanie Wrobel
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Date of Publication: March 17, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada


Synopsis

For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold.

Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.

After serving five years in prison, Patty gets out with nowhere to go and begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes.

Patty insists all she wants is to reconcile their differences. She says she’s forgiven Rose Gold for turning her in and testifying against her. But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty Watts always settles a score.

Unfortunately for Patty, Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling…

And she’s waited such a long time for her mother to come home.” – Goodreads

Plot 

For those of you who are true crime fans like myself, you might have felt a niggling bit of familiarity when reading the synopsis. That’s because this book is loosely based on the story of Gypsy Rose, the girl who was poisoned by her mother for her entire childhood. Aside from this basic premise, the book has nothing to do with the true case (I hope–otherwise it’s a little too twisted for my liking!).

We get two points of view and two timelines in this novel. The story opens with Patty being released from prison after having served her five years for child abuse. Patty wants back into her daughter’s life, and Rose Gold welcomes her with open arms. But is it quite that simple? 

The other point of view if that of Rose Gold, beginning from the point where her mother goes to prison. We find out what happened during those five years to bring her to where she is today.  And let me tell you, there’s no way you could predict what happens…

The entire story is gripping and twisted from the very first page to its last.  

Characters 

Patty is your typical narcissist. I absolutely adore the way that she is portrayed. She doesn’t see herself as a villain, even though she knows deep down that poisoning her daughter was wrong.  She explains away everything as things that she has to do. She talks about the respect she deserves.  I get chills just thinking about her. 

Rose Gold is an absolutely fascinating character. She spent her formative years relying on her mother, who made her food (obviously), dressed her, and did everything else for her. When Patty goes to prison, Rose Gold has nobody. She’s alone, self-conscious about her slim figure and rotten teeth, and her chapters were quite hard to read. I genuinely felt for her, and I think that her perspective coupled with her mother’s made this into quite a phenomenal book.

Every single character in this book seems to be quite deplorable, which made for an engaging story, but really made me feel depressed after reading it.  At the risk of spoilers, I’ll leave it there, but I do want to say that I hope that people would be more forgiving of Rose Gold in the real world. I mean, she shouldn’t be mocked for having rotten teeth when she’s spent her entire life throwing up (stomach acid will do that).  

Darling Rose Gold

Ultimately, I recommend this book to anyone looking for a gripping psychological thriller that really delves into the minds of the damaged and broken. Bear in mind that it’s a very dark and twisted tale, so it’s not for the faint of heart.  

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* Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and the author for the arc to review! *

Find the book:

Goodreads | Amazon

Book Review: The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

The Other Mrs

The Other Mrs Book Cover

Title: The Other Mrs.
Author: Mary Kubica
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Date of Publication: February 18, 2020
Publisher: Park Row


Synopsis

Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. And as the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of what really happened that dark and deadly night. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light. – Goodreads

My Thoughts

This novel has been picked up to be a Netflix movie, and I could not be happier.  I’m also not surprised. The Other Mrs. is a compelling, character-driven thriller that I gobbled up in just one sitting.  Whenever I read a book to review, I always keep a notebook at my side to jot ideas down as they come to me.  I literally wrote five separate times that I couldn’t put the book down.  I remember jotting down those notes while holding the book in my other hand because I wasn’t ready or able to stop.

The Other Mrs. is primarily told through two points of view, that of Sadie and her husband’s mistress. The chapters flow quite nicely from one perspective to the other, and there aren’t any lags in the plot that gave me an obvious chance for a bathroom break.

Despite the character-driven approach to this book, it’s quite fast paced and has a lot of great twists throughout.  While I did predict the major twist, the story was so damn engaging that I didn’t mind at all, and in fact I was eager to see exactly how it would play out.

Sadie is an interesting main character, one who’s relatable, and doesn’t lean towards that “unlikeable” trend that’s oh too common in psychological thrillers these days. That’s not to say that she’s unnecessarily likable.  She has her flaws and makes some questionable decisions, but the author didn’t go out of her way to transform her into a deplorable human being.

The other characters are quite interesting and engaging, and I don’t want to go into depth at the risk of giving spoilers.

The Other Mrs

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick, thrilling read, something that they can’t put down. I don’t recommend you read this if you don’t have an entire evening to devote to The Other Mrs.

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* Thank you to Park Row and the author for the arc to review! *

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