Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

#BookReview The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheNightSheDisappeared #LisaJewell

#BookReview The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheNightSheDisappeared #LisaJewell Title: The Night She Disappeared

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published by: Atria Books on Sep. 7, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

2017: 19-year-old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.

Kim watches her daughter leave and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.

The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah’s friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place.

She never returns.

2019: Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head-teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree.

‘DIG HERE’ . . .

A cold case, an abandoned mansion, family trauma and dark secrets lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s remarkable new novel.


Review:

Well-crafted, addictive, and sinister!

The Night She Disappeared is a creepy, clever, compulsive mystery that takes you into the life of Kim Knox as her world suddenly gets turned upside down when her teenage daughter, Tallulah, goes out one night to the pub and vanishes without a trace, and suspiciously no one present at the ”Dark Place” afterparty seems to have heard or seen anything.

The writing is intricate and twisty. The characters are distraught, troubled, and vulnerable. And the plot told from multiple perspectives and alternating between timelines quickly unravels into a menacing tale of manipulation, obsession, jealousy, secrets, unforeseen twists, well-timed surprises, violence, and complex relationships.

Overall, when I think about all the thrillers I’ve loved, at least one or two of Lisa Jewell’s books always come to mind, and this latest title, The Night She Disappeared, will certainly now be included on that list. It has everything I look for in a good thriller, nice intensity, great drama, and a storyline that not only keeps me guessing and on edge from start to finish but steadily makes me more and more unnerved as the story unfolds.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.

Photograph by Andrew Whitton.

#BookReview The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren @christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooks #TheSoulmateEquation #ChristinaLauren

#BookReview The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren @christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooks #TheSoulmateEquation #ChristinaLauren Title: The Soulmate Equation

Author: Christina Lauren

Published by: Gallery Books on May 18, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate.

But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River.

As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.


Review:

Witty, clever, and sweetly romantic!

The Soulmate Equation is a delightfully charming tale featuring the affable, kindhearted, single mother, Jess and the intense, thoughtful, geneticist River as they discover that it may be as easy as just comparing DNA to find “the one” or maybe numbers and algorithms really don’t mean a thing.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are dreamy, engaging, and dependable. And the plot is an enchanting, irresistible blend of tension, humour, chemistry, familial drama, friendship, parenthood, awkward mishaps, tender moments, introspection, tricky situations, and unconditional love.

Overall, The Soulmate Equation is another amusing, swoony, brilliant tale by Lauren that had everything I look for in a lighthearted rom-com and more. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline, and I loved the happy-ever-after ending. It is without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the year and should definitely be high on everyone’s must-read list for summer 2021. 

This novel is available on May 18, 2021.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined penname of longtime writing partners/best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 International bestselling authors of The Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Dating You/Hating You, Roomies, Love and Other Words, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, and the critically acclaimed Autoboyography.

Photograph by Alyssa Michelle.

#BookReview The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave @SimonSchusterCA #TheLastThingHeToldMe #LauraDave

#BookReview The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave @SimonSchusterCA #TheLastThingHeToldMe #LauraDave Title: The Last Thing He Told Me

Author: Laura Dave

Published by: Simon & Schuster on May 4, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

We all have stories we never tell.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her.

Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.


Review:

Sinister, sharp, and engrossing!

The Last Thing He Told Me transports you into the life of Hannah Hall, whose world gets turned upside down when her husband suddenly disappears one day, and she reluctantly must delve into his past that seems to be a lot more complex and contain more long-buried secrets than she ever could have imagined.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are mysterious, troubled, and multilayered. And the plot intertwines and unravels quickly into a suspenseful, intricate tale of lies, secrets, manipulation, parenthood, familial drama, unexpected twists, heart-wrenching motivations, violence, and deception.

Overall, The Last Thing He Told Me is a tortuous, clever, heartbreaking page-turner by Dave that keeps you guessing from the very first page and, ultimately, leaves you shocked, surprised, and thoroughly entertained.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or one of the following links.

              

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Laura Dave

Laura Dave is the international bestselling author of several novels including The Last Thing He Told Me and Eight Hundred Grapes. Dave’s fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times, ESPN, Redbook, Glamour and Ladies Home Journal.

Dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA Today), Dave has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends and NPR’s All Things Considered. Cosmopolitan Magazine named her a “Fun and Fearless Phenom of the Year.”

Several of her novels have been optioned for film and television with Dave adapting The Last Thing He Told Me for Hello Sunshine and Apple.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter @LAPainter @simonkids @SimonSchusterCA #BetterThantheMovies #LynnPainter

#BookReview Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter @LAPainter @simonkids @SimonSchusterCA #BetterThantheMovies #LynnPainter Title: Better Than the Movies

Author: Lynn Painter

Published by: Simon & Schuster BFYR on May 4, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.

Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.

The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.

But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.


Review:

Cute, quirky, and absolutely adorable!

Better Than the Movies is a lighthearted, comical tale that takes you into the life of teenager Liz Buxbaum as she navigates a senior year full of emotional, momentous occasions, her childhood crush returning to town from Texas, and some dating help from her irritating, yet annoyingly sexy neighbour, Wes.

The writing is fluid and smooth. The characters are friendly, lovable, and sweet. And the plot is an entertaining, enjoyable mix of familial drama, teenage angst, hard work, awkward situations, embarrassing moments, goals, dreams, friendship, and first love.

Overall, Better Than the Movies is a humorous, charming, swoony read by Painter that pays homage to all the greatest romcoms, gave me a new book boyfriend in Wes, and reminded me as a tween in the 80s just how much I really wanted Jake Ryan to pick me up in his Porsche and ask me to make a wish over a birthday cake while If You Were Here by the Thompson Twins played in the background.

 

This book is available on May 4, 2021.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

         

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lynn Painter

Lynn Painter lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and pack of wild children. She’s a biweekly contributor to the Omaha World-Herald’s parenting section, even though she is the polar-opposite of a Pinterest mom. When she isn’t chasing kids, she can be found reading, writing, and shot-gunning Red Bulls.

Photo by Jackson Okun.

#BookReview Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA #LettersAcrosstheSea #GenevieveGraham #CanadianHistory #BattleofHongKong

#BookReview Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA #LettersAcrosstheSea #GenevieveGraham #CanadianHistory #BattleofHongKong Title: Letters Across the Sea

Author: Genevieve Graham

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Apr. 27, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Inspired by a little-known chapter of World War II history, a young Protestant girl and her Jewish neighbour are caught up in the terrible wave of hate sweeping the globe on the eve of war in this powerful love story that’s perfect for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

If you’re reading this letter, that means I’m dead. I had obviously hoped to see you again, to explain in person, but fate had other plans.

1933

At eighteen years old, Molly Ryan dreams of becoming a journalist, but instead she spends her days working any job she can to help her family through the Depression crippling her city. The one bright spot in her life is watching baseball with her best friend, Hannah Dreyfus, and sneaking glances at Hannah’s handsome older brother, Max.

But as the summer unfolds, more and more of Hitler’s hateful ideas cross the sea and “Swastika Clubs” and “No Jews Allowed” signs spring up around Toronto, a city already simmering with mass unemployment, protests, and unrest. When tensions between the Irish and Jewish communities erupt in a riot one smouldering day in August, Molly and Max are caught in the middle, with devastating consequences for both their families.

1939

Six years later, the Depression has eased and Molly is a reporter at her local paper. But a new war is on the horizon, putting everyone she cares about most in peril. As letters trickle in from overseas, Molly is forced to confront what happened all those years ago, but is it too late to make things right?

From the desperate streets of Toronto to the embattled shores of Hong Kong, Letters Across the Sea is a poignant novel about the enduring power of love to cross dangerous divides even in the darkest of times—from the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child.


Review:

Powerful, immersive, and unforgettable!

Letters Across the Sea is a pensive, enlightening tale that sweeps you away to Toronto during the 1930s and into the lives of the Irish Ryan family and the Jewish Dreyfus family as they navigate relationships strained by the Great Depression, religious differences, hatred, loss, misunderstandings, forbidden love, tragedy, and the sacrifices and inherent consequences of war.

The prose is evocative and rich. The characters are genuine, kindhearted, and courageous. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine seamlessly into an alluring tale of life, loss, love, family, devastation, hardship, hope, friendship, self-discovery, and ultimately survival.

When it comes to novels involving Canadian history, nobody writes stories like Genevieve Graham. She takes little known or forgotten historical facts, infuses them with humanity, and then edges them all with a love story that is hard to put down, and Letters Across the Sea is no exception. It’s beautifully written, exceptionally memorable, and in parts devastatingly heart-wrenching, and in case it wasn’t obvious already, I absolutely loved it.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada & Genevieve Graham for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham is the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child, Tides of Honour, Promises to Keep, Come from Away, and At the Mountain’s Edge. She is passionate about breathing life back into Canadian history through tales of love and adventure. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Photo by Bryghton Towns.

 

#BookReview The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon @ScoutPressBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheDrowningKind #JenniferMcMahon

#BookReview The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon @ScoutPressBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheDrowningKind #JenniferMcMahon Title: The Drowning Kind

Author: Jennifer McMahon

Published by: Scout Press on Apr. 6, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 336

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Be careful what you wish for.

When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister’s things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.

In 1929, thirty-seven-year-old newlywed Ethel Monroe hopes desperately for a baby. In an effort to distract her, her husband whisks her away on a trip to Vermont, where a natural spring is showcased by the newest and most modern hotel in the Northeast. Once there, Ethel learns that the water is rumored to grant wishes, never suspecting that the spring takes in equal measure to what it gives.


Review:

Intricate, haunting, and imaginative!

In this latest novel by McMahon, The Drowning Kind, she transports us to Bradenburg, Vermont during 1929, as well as present-day, and into the family estate, Sparrow Crest, where emotions run high, tragedy seems to strike, tales are told, secrets are kept, skeletons are long buried, and the spring-fed pool provides hope and healing but only at a very steep price.

The prose is dark and tight. The characters are damaged, unsettled, and vulnerable. And the plot told from alternating timelines is a suspenseful tale of tension, desperation, loss, familial drama, tortured spirits, dark magic, supernatural phenomenon, and the dynamic relationship between sisters.

Overall, The Drowning Kind is a tragic, engrossing, mystical tale by McMahon that does a beautiful job of reminding us that often the choices we make have far-reaching consequences.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Jennifer McMahon

Jennifer McMahon is the author of nine novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Promise Not to Tell and The Winter People. She lives in Vermont with her partner, Drea, and their daughter, Zella.

Photograph by Zella McMahon.

#BookReview To Love and to Loathe (The Regency Vows #2) by Martha Waters @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #ToLoveandtoLoathe #MarthaWaters #TheRegencyVows

#BookReview To Love and to Loathe (The Regency Vows #2) by Martha Waters @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #ToLoveandtoLoathe #MarthaWaters #TheRegencyVows Title: To Love and to Loathe

Author: Martha Waters

Series: The Regency Vows #2

Published by: Atria Books on Apr. 6, 2021

Genres: Historical Romance

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

The widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are infamous among English high society as much for their sharp-tongued bickering as their flirtation. One evening, an argument at a ball turns into a serious wager: Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will forfeit one hundred pounds. So shortly after, just before a fortnight-long house party at Elderwild, Jeremy’s country estate, Diana is shocked when Jeremy appears at her home with a very different kind of proposition.

After his latest mistress unfavorably criticized his skills in the bedroom, Jeremy is looking for reassurance, so he has gone to the only woman he trusts to be totally truthful. He suggests that they embark on a brief affair while at the house party—Jeremy can receive an honest critique of his bedroom skills and widowed Diana can use the gossip to signal to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover.

Diana thinks taking him up on his counter-proposal can only help her win her wager. With her in the bedroom and Jeremy’s marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, helping to find suitable matches among the eligible ladies at Elderwild, Diana is confident her victory is assured. But while they’re focused on winning wagers, they stand to lose their own hearts.


Review:

Captivating, light, and entertaining!

To Love and to Loathe is an enemies-to-lovers romance set in England during 1817 that features the flirty Marquess of Willingham, Jeremy Overington and the feisty, widowed Lady Diana Templeton as they navigate a stay in the countryside, a meddling grandmother, an attraction that’s hard to deny, and wagers involving both marriage and the bedroom they’re both confident they’ll win.

The prose is authentic and cheeky. The characters are charismatic, passionate, and endearing. And the plot is an engaging mix of familial responsibility, tender moments, humourous mishaps, witty banter, goals, expectations, friendship, chemistry, and love.

Overall, To Love and to Loathe is an easy, fast-paced, highly amusing read by Waters that is the second novel in The Regency Vows series, that in my opinion, shouldn’t be missed.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.

                 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Martha Waters

Martha Waters was born and raised in sunny South Florida, where she spent her childhood reading lots of British children’s books and scribbling away in notebooks. Wishing for the novelty of seasons, she headed north (relatively speaking) and studied history and international studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also obtained her master’s degree in library science. She is the author of the historical rom-coms To Have and to Hoax, To Love and to Loathe, and To Marry and to Meddle (scheduled for publication in 2022). By day, she works as a children’s librarian, and loves sundresses, gin cocktails, and traveling.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheMemoryCollectors #KimNeville

#BookReview The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheMemoryCollectors #KimNeville Title: The Memory Collectors

Author: Kim Neville

Published by: Atria Books on Mar. 16, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Perfect for fans of The Scent Keeper and The Keeper of Lost Things, an atmospheric and enchanting debut novel about two women haunted by buried secrets but bound by a shared gift and the power the past holds over our lives.

Ev has a mysterious ability, one that she feels is more a curse than a gift. She can feel the emotions people leave behind on objects and believes that most of them need to be handled extremely carefully, and—if at all possible—destroyed. The harmless ones she sells at Vancouver’s Chinatown Night Market to scrape together a living, but even that fills her with trepidation. Meanwhile, in another part of town, Harriet hoards thousands of these treasures and is starting to make her neighbors sick as the overabundance of heightened emotions start seeping through her apartment walls.

When the two women meet, Harriet knows that Ev is the only person who can help her make something truly spectacular of her collection. A museum of memory that not only feels warm and inviting but can heal the emotional wounds many people unknowingly carry around. They only know of one other person like them, and they fear the dark effects these objects had on him. Together, they help each other to develop and control their gift, so that what happened to him never happens again. But unbeknownst to them, the same darkness is wrapping itself around another, dragging them down a path that already destroyed Ev’s family once, and threatens to annihilate what little she has left.

The Memory Collectors casts the everyday in a new light, speaking volumes to the hold that our past has over us—contained, at times, in seemingly innocuous objects—and uncovering a truth that both women have tried hard to bury with their pasts: not all magpies collect shiny things—sometimes they gather darkness.


Review:

Intricate, unique, and mystifying!

The Memory Collectors is an imaginative, moving tale that takes you into the lives of two women, Evelyn, a young girl with a harrowing past who is constantly overwhelmed by the darkness and desperation that leaches from the stains objects carry, and Harriet, an elderly recluse who feeds off the positivity and lightness found in all the things that surround her. 

The writing is rich and poignant. The characters are anxious, troubled, and scarred. And the plot sweeps you away into a compelling tale of magical realism involving memories and the importance we place on all the things that remind us of them.

Overall, The Memory Collectors is an intriguing, creative, fantastical tale by Neville that is darker than I was originally expecting and could have had a slightly tighter ending but was nevertheless a thought-provoking, enjoyable read.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                  

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kim Neville

Kim Neville is an author and graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop, where she found the first shiny piece of inspiration that became The Memory Collectors. When she’s not writing she can be found heron-spotting on the seawall or practicing yoga in order to keep calm. She lives near the ocean in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband, daughter, and two cats. The Memory Collectors is her first novel.

Photo by Jeremy Lim.

#BookReview The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn @SimonSchusterCA #TheGirlsAreAllSoNiceHere #LaurieElizabethFlynn

#BookReview The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn @SimonSchusterCA #TheGirlsAreAllSoNiceHere #LaurieElizabethFlynn Title: The Girls Are All So Nice Here

Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Published by: Simon & Schuster on Mar. 9, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Two former best friends return to their college reunion to find that they’re being circled by someone who wants revenge for what they did ten years before—and will stop at nothing to get it—in this shocking psychological thriller about ambition, toxic friendship, and deadly desire.

The Girls Are All So Nice Here opens when Ambrosia Wellington receives an invitation to her ten-year college reunion. Only, slipped in with all the expected information about lodging and the weekend’s schedule is an anonymous letter that says: “It’s time to talk about what we did.” Instantly, Ambrosia realizes that the secrets of her past—and the people she thought she’d left there—aren’t as buried as she’d thought. Amb can’t stop fixating on what she did—and who she did it with. Larger-than-life Sloane Sullivan (“Sully”), who could make anyone do anything. The game they played to get a boy who belonged to someone else, and the girl, Amb’s angelic roommate, who paid the price.

Amb had thought that she and Sully had gotten away with what they did their first semester at Wesleyan. But as Amb receives increasingly menacing messages during the reunion, it becomes clear that she’s being circled by someone who wants more than just the truth. Amb discovers that her own memories don’t tell the whole story, and that her actions and friendship with Sully had even more disturbing consequences than she ever imagined.

Told in alternating timelines between the reunion and Ambrosia’s turbulent first months of college, The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a gripping rollercoaster ride of a novel that examines the dark complexities of female friendship and the brutal lengths girls can go to take what they think they are owed.


Review:

Sinister, atmospheric, and disturbing!

The Girls Are All So Nice Here transports you into the life of Ambrosia Wellington as she reluctantly heads to her ten-year reunion at Wesleyan College, where the past will collide with the present, long-buried secrets will finally be unearthed, and her freshman year, mean-girl behaviour may at long last be punished.

The writing is tight and intense. The characterization is spot on with a cast of characters that are selfish, secretive, insecure, and unlikable. And the plot, using a past/present, back-and-forth style, is a suspenseful, twisty tale filled with friendship, drama, deception, jealousy, hatred, abuse, callousness, desperation, cruelty, and revenge.

Overall, The Girls Are All So Nice Here is a tortuous, clever, creepy page-turner by Flynn that keeps you guessing from the very first page and leaves you chilled, surprised and thoroughly entertained.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or one of the following links.

              

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Laurie Elizabeth Flynn is a former model who lives in London, Ontario, with her husband and three children. She is the author of three young adult novels: Firsts, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, along with Last Girl Lied To and All Eyes on Her, under the name L.E. Flynn. Her adult debut, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, has sold in nine territories and has been optioned for television by AMC.

Photo by Sandra Dufton.

#BookReview Do No Harm by Christina McDonald @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #DoNoHarm #ChristinaMcDonald

#BookReview Do No Harm by Christina McDonald @GalleryBooks @SimonSchusterCA #DoNoHarm #ChristinaMcDonald Title: Do No Harm

Author: Christina McDonald

Published by: Gallery Books on Feb. 16, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Emma loves her life. She’s the mother of a precocious kindergartener, married to her soulmate—a loyal and loving police detective—and has a rewarding career as a doctor at the local hospital.

But everything comes crashing down when her son, Josh, is diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

Determined to save him, Emma makes the risky decision to sell opioids to fund the life-saving treatment he needs. But when somebody ends up dead, a lethal game of cat and mouse ensues, her own husband leading the chase. With her son’s life hanging in the balance, Emma is dragged into the dark world of drugs, lies, and murder. Will the truth catch up to her before she can save Josh?


Review:

Crafty, addictive, and exceptionally twisty!

Do No Harm is a consuming, action-packed thrill ride that takes you into the life of physician Emma Sweeney as she puts her marriage, career, and life in jeopardy to do whatever it takes, including selling forged prescriptions for opioids to drug dealers, to pay for her five-year-old son’s experimental treatment that could potentially save his life from a rare, aggressive form of leukemia. 

The writing is gritty and intense. The characters are distressed, impulsive, and determined. And the plot told from two different perspectives is an ominous tale of life, love, deception, familial dynamics, desperation, lies, ethics, morality, drug abuse, tragedy, violence, and murder.

Overall, Do No Harm is a well-crafted, gripping, relentless tale by McDonald that reminds us just how far a mother will go to save her child and is definitely one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read in a long time.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

 

            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Christina McDonald

Christina McDonald is the USA Today bestselling author of Do No Harm, Behind Every Lie and The Night Olivia Fell, which has been optioned for television by a major Hollywood studio. Originally from Seattle, Washington, she now lives in London, England, with her husband, two sons, and their dog, Tango.

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

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