Review: Because of You by Helene Fermont @helenefermont @BOTBSPublicity #BecauseOfYou

Goodreads|Amazon

Release date: October 15, 2018

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

How desperate are you to get the one you love?

When Hannah and Ben meet at a friend’s party, he knows she’s The One. But Hannah’s in an intense relationship with Mark and planning to return to her native Sweden to embark on a teaching career.

Desperate to make Ben fall in love with her, rich spoilt heiress Vanessa sets in motion a devious string of events that ultimately changes the course of four people’s lives indefinitely.

Hannah is the love of Ben’s life, yet Vanessa will stop at nothing to claim the man she is convinced is her destiny.

Because of You is a dark, morally complex and cross-generational story of enduring love, fate and destiny.  

Review:

I haven’t read a good, epic story of a life in way too long and I hadn’t realized how much I’ve missed them until I started reading Because of You. It was so completely different from the books I’ve been drawn to as of late. It was an emotional, yet sometimes dark journey alongside Hannah Stein. The novel follows her during the majority of her adult life,  and the reader experiences all the highs and lows of her life right beside her.

It begins when Hannah is just a teenager getting ready to move from her home to London for a gap year. It seems from the start that she’s led a charmed life, she has doting and kind parents and a good relationship with her brother, Peter. Hannah comes across a bit sheltered and pampered in the beginning, and I found myself wondering just how much I would be able to relate to her. I shouldn’t have worried because as the story progresses and Hannah matures, she becomes a woman that practically anyone could relate to. 

I’m reticent to reveal too much about the plot as I really enjoyed going along with Hannah on her journey. She experiences so much throughout her life, and Fermont is not afraid to discuss difficult subject matter. There is divorce, death, grief, loss, epic love, pain, heartbreak, rape, abuse, illness, honestly anything you can imagine that a person may experience in their lifetime. This book had such a genuine and authentic feeling to it and I think it’s partly because all the situations Hannah has to endure are ones that many people have gone through themselves. 

Besides Hannah, there is a wide variety of characters, some you will fall in love with and adore, and others that you will hate. Again, this is no different than the types of people we all encounter in our lives, making it all the more relatable. Since it spans decades of her life, she meets a varied and colorful cast of characters along her way.

I was very invested in Hannah’s life and eager to see where she would end up. As much as I wanted to see how it would end, I was sad to say goodbye to Hannah and her friends and family when it was all over. This is a story of love, friendship and family. A story of one woman’s fascinating life experiences and how she copes with all the pain and loss that comes with simply living life. 

Overall rating: 4/5

Review: By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank #ByInvitationOnly

About By Invitation Only

• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 23, 2019)

The Lowcountry of South Carolina is where By Invitation Only begins at a barbecue engagement party thrown by Diane English Stiftel, her brother Floyd, and her parents to celebrate her son’s engagement. On this gorgeous, magical night, the bride’s father, Alejandro Cambria, a wealthy power broker whose unbelievably successful career in private equity made him one of Chicago’s celebrated elite, discovers the limits and possibilities of cell phone range. While the mother of the bride, Susan Kennedy Cambria, who dabbles in the world of public relations and believes herself deserving of every square inch of her multimillion-dollar penthouse and imaginary carrara marble pedestal, learns about moonshine and dangerous liaisons.

Soon By Invitation Only zooms to Chicago, where the unraveling accelerates. Nearly a thousand miles away from her comfortable, familiar world, Diane is the antithesis of the bright lights and super-sophisticated guests attending her son Fred’s second engagement party. Why a second party? Maybe it had been assumed that the first one wouldn’t be up to snuff? Fred is marrying Shelby Cambria, also an only child. The Cambrias’ dearest wish is for their daughter to be happy. If Shelby wants to marry Frederick, aka Fred, they will not stand in her way—although Susan does hope her friends won’t think her daughter is marrying more than a few degrees beneath her socially. At the same time, Diane worries that her son will be lost to her forever.

By Invitation Only is a tale of two families, one struggling to do well, one well to do, and one young couple—the privileged daughter of Chicago’s crème de la crème and the son of hard -working Southern peach farmers.

Dorothea Benton Frank offers a funny, sharp, and deeply empathetic novel of two very different worlds—of limousines and pickup trucks, caviars and pigs, skyscrapers and ocean spray—filled with a delightful cast of characters who all have something to hide and a lot to learn. A difference in legal opinions, a headlong dive from grace, and an abrupt twist will reveal the truth of who they are and demonstrate, when it truly counts, what kind of grit they have. Are they living the life they want, what regrets do they hold, and how would they remake their lives if they were given the invitation to do so?

By Invitation Only is classic Dorothea Benton Frank—a mesmerizing Lowcountry Tale that roars with spirit, humor, and truth, and forces us to reconsider our notions of what it means to be a Have or a Have Not.

Review:

DBF is one of those authors I’ve been meaning to read for years, I’m not sure what took me so long because this one was really fun! Southern Fiction is fast becoming one of my favorite sub genres and I can see why the author is a fan favorite, this was full of southern charm.

This flips back and forth between Diane and Susan, with a few chapters from Susan’s daughter, Shelby as well. When Shelby and Diane’s son Fred get engaged two very different worlds collide. Diane is a country girl through and through and Susan is the total opposite. She’s extremely wealthy and snobby and when the two families meet for the first time, let’s just say it was funny to watch but a nightmare for them both I’m sure. Fred’s family was lovable from the beginning and Shelby’s was again, exactly the opposite but by the end I sort of liked her. There are enough amazing, likable characters with Fred’s extended family and friends that it was actually pretty fun to dislike her.

One small, unique touch from the author was that every chapter was headed with a little snippet of dialogue between the characters that sets the tone for what’s next and I found it to be a really charming little touch. I’m not sure if this is the authors usual style, but either way it was appreciated. I can totally recommend this one to add to your summer reading list, just beware, you may find yourself craving some sweet peach tea and biscuits a few times!

By Invitation Only in three words: Endearing, Funny and Spirited.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Debbie Zammit

About Dorothea Benton Frank

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

Find her on the web at www.dotfrank.com, or like her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Review: Mine by Courtney Cole

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Release date: May 28, 2019

Publisher: Gallery

Genre: Thriller

Blurb:

Tessa was prepared for the hurricane. Lindsey was the storm she didn’t see coming.

When Tessa Taylor unlocked her husband Ethan’s iPad to discover nude photos from a twenty-six-year-old bombshell named Lindsey, her seemingly perfect life came to a screeching halt.

With a hurricane barreling toward Florida and Ethan stuck on a business trip, Tessa finds herself imprisoned in her own home with a choice to make: Does she ride out the storm until she can confront Ethan in person, or does she take matters into her own hands?

Increasingly restless and desperate for revenge, Tessa resolves to act. And when she lures Lindsey over a few hours later, there’s no turning back.

What ensues is a battle of wills between two well-matched opponents, blinded by love for the same man but driven by demons of their own. Like storm-ravaged Florida, neither woman will be the same when the skies clear. 

Review:

I love a good revenge story and while the basic premise of this is nothing new, I liked the idea of a wife and the mistress being stuck together during a hurricane, I mean what could possibly go wrong?! While this wasn’t a bad read by any means it was over the top, melodramatic and utterly implausible, so if you have a difficult time suspending disbelief, this isn’t for you. However, if you like Lifetime movies, train wrecks, and soap operas, you may like this one.

There was a lot to like about this one, it was incredibly fast paced and gripping right away to start, I found myself sucked into the lives of Tessa and Lindsey immediately. I was captivated in the same way as when I’m watching a cat fight during an episode of the Real Housewives so make of that what you will. The writing was also solid, no doubt that the author is talented and I also liked the whole locked room vibe of both women being trapped together. Beyond that though I did struggle, it was just so far fetched and unbelievable, I was especially not impressed by the ending and found it to be both unrealistic and unsatisfying. As you can see, I’m torn here, I can’t say I actively liked or disliked this one. Super helpful I know, but if you truly like books that read like a made for TV movie then this will probably be fine.

Overall rating: 3/5 (I really should just split the difference and go with a 2.5 but I round up anyway so 🤷‍♀️)

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

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Release date: May 28, 2019

Publisher: Gallery

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.

Review:

I’ve read quite a few LL books and she never disappoints! I love her style of writing, her use of humor and snark and her ability to create fun, relatable characters that you like instantly. This is the first in a new series following a group of new friends living in NYC and I’m so excited to see where things are headed next.

From the first chapter I was hooked, Naomi meets two new potential friends in the most bizarre way, think the opposite of a romantic meet cute, except it is kind of cute. Anyway, it was a solid way to reel me in and get me invested in these women and their lives and their friendship may have been unlikely but it feels fun and genuine. On the romance side of things is the good old enemies to lovers trope, why do I love this tried and true storyline so much?! I think it’s because if it’s executed well there’s always amazing chemistry and witty banter and LL has that down pat. Oliver was exactly the kind of leading man that I like, charming and smart, a little reserved but you just know there’s more to him than meets the eye.

I got serious Christina Lauren vibes from this one and that’s a huge compliment from me cause I’m obsessed with them, but with less sex. That appeals to me though, I like all the sweet parts in a romance novel and don’t really need the steam. This isn’t totally clean but it’s pretty damn close, so keep that in mind depending on your personal preferences. Overall a fabulous read, I think it’s her best yet and I can’t wait for the second book!

Passion on Park Avenue in three words: Witty, Sassy and Amusing

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Dear Lily by Drew Davies @bookouture @Drew_Davies #DearLily

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Release date: May 17, 2019

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Fiction

Blurb:

Dear Lily, 

It’s me, Joy, your much wiser and (very slightly) older sister. I thought I’d start a new tradition of letter writing – now that we’re long distance. 

On the plane over here, I began to cry in seat 21C. I think the magnitude of it finally hit me, after everything that happened… 

I haven’t even unpacked yet – the only thing I’ve taken out of my suitcase is Harville, your beloved childhood teddy. Sorry for stealing him, but I need him more than you do. Every time I look at that little brown bear I think about our childhood. Remember that dance we made up to Annie’s ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’? (Remember the broom choreography?) 

I’m also sorry for abandoning you – I’ve always been your agony aunt, and a buffer in your infamous shouting matches with Mum. But I had to leave, Lily, I had to. 

Anyway, I’m here now. I’m here to start over, and to face up to the past. I want to learn to laugh again, and to find someone to love who will maybe even love me back. You always told me I was just getting by, not actually living, so I’m finally doing it. Wish me luck, little sister. 

Love, 

Joy x 

A beautiful book-club read for anyone who has ever hit rock bottom, longed for a fresh start, or needed to heal a broken, aching heart. 

Review:

Every once in awhile I stumble across a book that is like a breathe of fresh air, and that was the case with this gem. It was beautifully unique and extremely touching and way more emotional that I was expecting, I just adored it!

The entire story is told via letters from Joy to her sister Lily and I really enjoyed the intimacy this structure provided. At the start Joy leaves her whole life back in England to take a new job in Denmark, it’s clear she’s looking for a fresh start after some big changes in her life and you slowly find out what she’s been through throughout the book. I connected to Joy immediately, she was raw and vulnerable in her letters to Lily but she was also incredibly funny and I got a real Bridget Jones vibe from some of her humor.

This really had it all, it was funny and charming, warm and wise and also heartbreaking at times. Joy was quirky and relatable and you can’t help but want the best for her, I was cheering her on the whole way. Totally recommend this one as a mostly feel good novel, it is sad at times but it’s ultimately uplifting and sweet.

Dear Lily in three words: Warm, Delightful and Touching.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea

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Release date: May 28, 2019

Publisher: Kensington

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

The truth is easy to miss, even when it’s right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father’s law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more. 

In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind—until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before police could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder—the only crime the DA could pin on him. As a former client of her father’s, Rory becomes reluctantly involved with the killer—though he continues to insist he didn’t murder Angela. Now he wants Rory to do what her father once promised: prove that Angela is, in fact, still alive.

As Rory begins reconstructing Angela’s last days, another killer emerges from the shadows, replicating those long-ago murders. With every startling discovery she makes, Rory becomes more deeply entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell—and in The Thief’s tormented mind. Drawing connections between past and present is the only way to stop the nightmare, but even Rory can’t be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging . . . 

Review:

Every single time I start a Charlie Donlea book I’m reminded why I still love thrillers. He someone manages to breathe fresh life into the genre with each book and as someone who has been having a super hard time finding a thriller to blow me away, I appreciate this so much. His books just feel really skillful, the kind that have an impeccable attention to detail but are also twisty and gripping so the pages fly by at a rapid pace.

I love a well written story that alternates timelines and perspectives and there’s plenty of that here. Rory is the present day character and she’s a forensic reconstructionist which is such a fascinating occupation and one that I really never gave much thought to before reading this book. She begins looking into a cold case that her late father was somehow wrapped up in and then you also hear from Angela back in the late seventies. There’s also a couple of more POV but I won’t mention them for fear of spoilers, but they came together and all made up a super compelling storyline that I seriously could not put down.

Donlea is one of those authors who does the best job of leading the reader down one seemingly straightforward path only to take a sharp left (and then maybe a right) turn just when you think you know exactly what will happen next. There are so many intricate plot points that even if I figured out some, I never quite pieced everything together and I really enjoyed the ride regardless of what I already knew and also what I didn’t know.

As much as I found myself racing through this is does have more of a slow burn feel than his previous books and the suspense builds gradually but I found it to be gripping nevertheless. I just love his books and am a firm fan, though this may not be my absolute favorite book from him, it’s still a really solid read and most definitely worth adding to your TBR.

Some Choose Darkness in three words: Entertaining, Compelling and Addicting.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Audiobook Review: Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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Release date: May 14, 2019

Publisher: St. Martin’s/Macmillan Audio

Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance

Narrator: Ramon de Ocampo

Blurb:

A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you? 

Review:

Could this book BE anymore adorable?! Spoiler alert: NO! It was such a fun read, the perfect blend of snark, wit, romance and charm, everything that I look for in a romance novel (and more). Did I mention that this is a debut? I’m even more impressed by that fact and so excited to see what the author does next because this was seriously cute.

Enemies to lovers tropes are always so fun to me and I’ve never read one with the first son of the United States and the Prince of Wales. It’s pretty genius timing actually, US politics have never been more of a hot button topic and the entire world is currently obsessed with baby Archie so this one couldn’t really be anymore relevant and fresh feeling. Henry and Alex are individually interesting characters but when you put them together it’s a little bit magical. They have great chemistry and a fantastic, sharp banter, I kept doing that snort laugh thing while I was listening. The secondary characters are just as engaging and hilarious, from Madam President herself (Alex’s Mom) to Henry’s quirky best friend they all added some extra flavor and spunk to the story.

The narrator was great, he delivered the dry and sarcastic lines like a pro, it was seriously perfect and I think he was a great choice. Since I listened to this one versus read it I did feel like it dragged a bit at times but maybe if I was reading the actual book it would’ve been quicker, just wanted to throw that out there because it did feel a teesny but long for awhile. But overall this was a really fun read and one that I can definitely recommend, if you’ve had your eye on it go ahead and give it a shot, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

Red, White and Royal Blue in three words: Smart, Hip and Hilarious

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo

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Release date: May 14, 2019

Publisher: Gallery

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Blurb:

A charming romantic comedy about three sisters who are struggling to keep the family wedding planning business afloat—all the while trying to write their own happily-ever-afters in the process. 

All’s fair in love and business.

The de la Rosa family and their wedding planning business have been creating happily ever afters in the Washington, DC area for years, making even the most difficult bride’s day a fairytale. But when their parents announce their retirement, the sisters—Marisol, Janelyn, and Pearl—are determined to take over the business themselves.

But the sisters quickly discover that the wedding business isn’t all rings and roses. There are brides whose moods can change at the drop of a hat; grooms who want to control every part of the process; and couples who argue until their big day. As emotions run high, the de la Rosa sisters quickly realize one thing: even when disaster strikes—whether it’s a wardrobe malfunction or a snowmageddon in the middle of a spring wedding—they’ll always have each other.

Perfect for fans of the witty and engaging novels of Amy E. Reichert and Susan Mallery, The Key to Happily Ever After is a fresh romantic comedy that celebrates the crucial and profound power of sisterhood.

Review:
I’m a sucker for both books about sisters and anything wedding related, so I was pretty excited about this one! Bonus points for sisters who are wedding planners, I’ve always thought that would be an interesting job too, and then that adorable cover just screamed READ ME as well. All sorts of positive possibilities for me surrounding this one and I’m delighted to tell you that I really enjoyed it.
This follows the de la Rosa sisters right after they take over their parents wedding planning firm, so they’re all at a very transitional time of their lives. Mari is the oldest and also the new CEO, she’s a classic older sister, type A personality to the max and a natural leader. Jane is the middle sister and she’s the peacekeeper, she’s low maintenance and not interested in drama. Pearl is the youngest and was my personal favorite, I felt bad for her as she struggled to prove herself to her sisters and gain more responsibility in their business. Sisterly relationships are often rife with drama, so there was quite a bit of that here. There was also some light romance but at its heart this really a story about family relationships and the bonds between sisters.
Overall rating: 3.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

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Release date: May 7, 2019

Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love. 

Review:

Like many of you I fell in love with the authors debut, The KISS Quotient last year and was really looking forward to her sophomore novel. I’m so pleased to say that I liked this one even more than TKQ and cannot even wait to see what she comes up with next! Something I wanna make clear really quick is that I’ve seen this being called a sequel to TKQ and it’s not, it’s more of a companion novel at the most. There are small appearances from some characters in that book but you definitely don’t have to read TKQ in order to enjoy this one.

From the prologue alone I was invested in Khai, he thinks he is incapable of true feelings, like love, because of a traumatic event in his past and his life as someone on the spectrum. I love that the author had another main character with ASD but showed a totally different side to it which is completely accurate. Just because you know one person on the spectrum means just that. You know one person on the spectrum, hence it being called a spectrum. Anyway, before I go off on an unnecessary tangent, I just really liked that she went in a new direction with this one. Esme also wiggled into my heart early on, she was such an interesting character, there were so many layers to her personality and I loved her unique little quirks, she had so much spunk and heart.

So as much as I love romance I’m a bit of a prude when it comes to reading super steamy scenes. TKQ made me blush even though I loved it and I was happy that this one wasn’t nearly as racy. Don’t get me wrong, there was definitely some heat here and it’s not a totally clean book, it was just toned down here and I liked that! This was more sweet and tender with just a dash of spice.

Interspersed between the burgeoning romance between Esme and Khai was this strong sense of family and culture that was just fascinating to me. Esme is from Vietnam and so is Khai’s family and the representation of their culture was so authentic. The author herself is Vietnamese and autistic so she is writing what she knows, and with heart and it shows. It deeply shows and was just a beautiful story of family, adversity and finding love when it’s not an easy road. Highly recommended by me for a different type of romance that will give you all the feels.

The Bride Test in three words: Tender, Diverse and Authentic.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Review: Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf

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Release date: April 16, 2019

Publisher: Park Row

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb:

A gripping thriller about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town

For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover—movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora—and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted—not even those closest to Cora.

Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe—even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

Review:

While this is could technically a be YA thriller I want to go ahead and let you know right away that it doesn’t feel like one at all. I myself struggle with YA thrillers but really the only thing that would make it fall into the category is the fact that three of the main characters are twelve year old girls. There is nothing soft about this one, nothing light about the mystery, in fact it’s hard hitting and bold. So if the idea of it being too juvenile has prevented you from reading this one, please know it’s not whatsoever!

I love when an author writes in an original structure and there was plenty of that to love here. You get multiple perspectives, everyone from parents and grandparents to the girls themselves and everyone had such a well developed and individual voice. Cora’s POV was revealed through diary entries which was such an intimate way to learn about her character and there were also transcripts from police interviews, message boards, a therapists notes and text messages that kept things so interesting.

The whole concept of this one was frighteningly timely, I loved how the author took current events and hot button topics and weaved them seamlessly into the plot. As a parent to a child almost the same age as the preteen girls I was horrified by some of the behaviors of the kids, mostly because I know it was an accurate representation of how kids can and do behave. Besides a totally gripping plot, fantastic writing and really well drawn characters, the ending of this one was a true sucker punch. It takes a lot for me to be completely surprised but I was shocked by the end of this one and so awed by the authors cleverness. Highly recommended by me for thriller fans!

Before She Was Found in three words: Timely, Sharp and Intense.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.