JP Delaney – The Girl Before


“There’s a kind of purity to a relationship unencumbered by convention, a sense of simplicity and freedom.”

Book Details:

  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • Published On: January 24 2017
  • Pages: 320

Synopsis: Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Emma
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

Jane
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

Review: Read the book on @Crimebythebook ‘s recommendation. The idea of a home with such strict regulations & such a minimalist appeal is what really made me want to read the book. I’m so glad I picked it up, I liked the book, it definitely had me into it from the start. The chapters switch between the POVs of Emma & Jane. Emma is the girl before & Jane’s the after. The twists in the book were really good & the way everything unfolded was “oh shit” 😄. I really do recommend reading the book & would love to know what you think of it!

Would you go for a house like this (obviously without the whole drama & murder surrounding it)? I think I would 🤔. 

Rating: 💎💎💎💎

Agnete Friis – What My Body Remembers

What My Body Remembers

“Living without your past is like swimming on dry land, awkwardly, meaninglessly.”

Synopsis: Ella Nygaard, 27, has been a ward of the state since she was seven years old, the night her father murdered her mother. She doesn’t remember anything about that night or her childhood before it but her body remembers. The PTSD-induced panic attacks she now suffers incapacitate her for hours sometimes days at a time and leave her physically and psychically drained.

After one particularly bad episode lands Ella in a psych ward, she discovers her son, Alex, has been taken from her by the state and placed with a foster family. Driven by desperation, Ella kidnaps Alex and flees to the seaside town in northern Denmark where she was born. Her grandmother’s abandoned house is in grave disrepair, but she can live there for free until she can figure out how to convince social services that despite everything, she is the best parent for her child.

But being back in the small town forces Ella to confront the demons of her childhood the monsters her memory has tried so hard to obscure. What really happened that night her mother died? Was her grandmother right was Ella’s father unjustly convicted? What other secrets were her parents hiding from each other? If Ella can start to remember, maybe her scars will begin to heal or maybe the truth will put her in even greater danger.

Review: The book is written in a way that the more we read, the more layers of Ella’s past we peel off. There’s subtle tension & not the “I’m on the edge of my seat waiting to see what’s happening”, I don’t know how to explain it 😂.  It’s more like I want to know what happened but I’m not flipping the pages like a mad woman (does that make sense?) The book is primarily told through Ella’s POV but there are chapters of flashbacks from Helgi & Anna’s POVs (her parents) that lead up to the day of the crime. The final chapters is when things really start happening. The book isn’t like a regular mystery novel so I would suggest that if you read the book, don’t expect a “flipping the pages like crazy” book. The ending really did shock me when I thought it was someone else entirely but I really do recommend the book for when you want a mystery book that doesn’t mess with your head like Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney & Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough.

Rating: 💎💎💎💎

Laura Miller – The Life We Almost Had

“Sometimes, our greatest dreams are born under the stars – when they are all we have to light our path.”

Book Details:

  • Expected Publication: September 19 2017
  • Pages: 290

Synopsis: Back before everyone left the little town of Sweet Home to the ghosts, she was the girl next door. And he was the boy, who could never get on her father’s good side. But none of that mattered. The only thing that mattered was that her heart had picked him.

But that was years ago. And now, Berlin’s sister is praying for someone to show up to take her brother’s mind off the girl from his past. And surely enough, that someone does. But will this girl be able to cut the chains of his first love or will she just make him fall harder for that little girl he left behind in Sweet Home, Missouri? 

One week is all they have.

Review: Thank you so much Laura for sending me the book for an honest review! The book is definitely one that feeds my want of the perfect romance, it’s so cheesy but so romantic too. I would suggest having a few tissues with you 😂. It’s a super cute, heart breaking but at the same time a heart melting story because of how romantic the dialogues can be. It totally gave me Colleen Hoover & a bit of Nicholas Sparks vibes! I’m so happy that I also won a giveaway that Laura hosted, giving away a signed copy of her book & I’m so excited to receive it! Definitely recommend giving the book a read! 

Rating: 💎💎💎💎💎

Nuala Ellwood – My Sister’s Bones

My Sister's Bones

“People think we’re fearless because we go towards the battle rather than run away, but I could never call myself brave. For me, being a journalist is about giving a voice to those who have been silenced; to tell their stories and show the world the true human cost of war.”

Book Details: 

  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • Published On: March 28 2017
  • Pages: 400

Synopsis: Are You Brave Enough To Go Back?

Kate Rafter is a successful war reporter. She’s the strong one. The one who escaped Herne Bay and the memories it holds. Her sister Sally didn’t. Instead, she drinks. But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return to the old family home. And on her first night she is woken by a terrifying scream.

What secret has Kate stumbled upon?


And is she strong enough to uncover the truth . . . and make it out alive? 

Review: The book is divided into 3 parts: The first part is in Kate’s POV, the second part is in Sally’s POV & the last part switches back to Kate’s POV. There were clear distinctions so it was all confusion free. The book covers a range of topics that are important:

  • The war in Syria: Kate’s parts in the book mainly revolve around her time in & out of Syria where there is currently a war going on. The war started, if I’m not wrong, in 2011 & it is still going on. The book brings this war to the awareness of all it’s readers which I really appreciated. Many people have left their homes to go to different countries, one country being the USA. There are many people living in countries as refugees which must be extremely hard considering they’ve left everything behind, their old life, the amount of deaths they may have seen, the loss of loved ones & the trauma.
  • PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder is a very common psychological after effect of facing a lot of trauma & it may be very common in all the people affected by war. Kate went to Syria as a journalist & when you see the life that the people are living, the terror around them, the not knowing of whether they’ll be alive at the end of the day & everything else takes a toll on every single person. Kate suffered with reliving the trauma that she witnessed in Syria again & again in her sleep & flashbacks during the day. 
  • Abusive relationships: Apart from the trauma Kate witnessed in Syria, her childhood living in an abusive household may have been added stress because she did think her neighbour was being abused because of some signs that she recognised from the times her mother was being abused. 

The book was definitely one that I would recommend, it was shocking & had me flipping the pages waiting to see what was going on. I think it was the last part or the last few chapters that had me decide: “Girl, you are not putting this book down until you are done.” which is exactly what I did & wow. 

*SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER*

I hated Paul, at first I thought he was being a nice, caring brother in law & then him constantly showing up at Kate’s door & then going out of his way to take care of her told me he was interested & that’s exactly what happened but then, the twists, OH BOY. That was…. I don’t even know how to put it in any other words except jaw-dropping.

Sally was one hell of an annoying woman (in terms of doing nothing but drinking herself to a slow death & hating everyone around her) & I just hoped she would die with her bitterness but at the end though, woah. 

When Kate kept seeing the little boy in her mother’s garden & then she going & checking but there was no one really made me think: “oh great, she’s losing her mind too!!” but hey, she didn’t!

*SPOILERS END*

Rating: 💎💎💎💎💎

 

B.A. Paris – Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors

“I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was making the biggest mistake of my life.”

Synopsis: Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace’s friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

Review: The book is really well written & is one of those nothing-is-what-it-seems plots & I love psychological thrillers like these. I really enjoyed the book, the way Jack completely switches up his behaviour. It was a good book to read but I wish that we got to see some blood, some gore or really evil parts involving Jack & Millie or even Grace but that didn’t happen which was kind of disappointing. The book switches from Past & Present point in times in the story which I felt was helpful but kind of redundant towards the end of the book. But oh wow, the plan Grace carried out to get rid of Jack, that was pretty well done.

And ohmygod, the amount of times I wanted to just kill Jack:

idk i wasnt counting the meme

Rating: 💎💎💎.5

Sarah Dessen – Once And For All

Once And For All

“So much of life is not being sure of anything. How I wished, later, I’d been able to savor them, those few steps and moments when for once, I just knew.”

Synopsis: As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Review: The book was a good read & it made me respect wedding planners more, it was like behind the scenes of wedding planning showing how much work really goes into all of it. It was so heartbreaking that Louna lost the guy she loved in a school shooting. It’s so sad that school shootings are becoming more & more common & the thought of losing someone close to you is terrible. I felt that Ambrose having feelings for Louna was kind of sudden, like I didn’t think he was interested in her at all, I knew they were going to end up together but I was interested in the how they end up together. The whole thing happened in the very last chapters which was kind of disappointing.

Rating: 💎💎💎