Throwback Thursday: In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch #TBT


Goodreads|Amazon
Release date: July 1, 2016

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Contemporary Fiction 

Blurb: 

Twenty years ago, six Penn students shared a house, naively certain that their friendships would endure—until the death of their ringleader and dear friend Bea splintered the group for good. Now, mostly estranged from one another, the remaining five reluctantly gather at that same house on the eve of what would have been Bea’s fortieth birthday.


But along with the return of the friends come old grudges, unrequited feelings, and buried secrets. Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire, and Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster. Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity. Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon Colin harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea. And Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty reality.


Reunited in the place where so many dreams began, and bolstered by the hope of healing, each of them is forced to confront the past.

Review: 

I’m joining in again with Throwback Thursday which was created by my good friend Renee at It’s Book Talk. She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favorites and read books that have already been published. I have so many older books on my TBR that get ignored in favor of review copies and I figure participating in Throwback Thursday will help me to read at a least one older title a week!

This is told from multiple perspectives that of Catherine, Owen, Annie, Colin and Lindy. This group couldn’t be more different, but maybe that’s what made them all connect in the first place twenty years ago. Catherine and Owen are married with children and go the non traditional route as he stays home with the kids and she works. They seem like the perfect all American family on the surface, but resentment bubbles under the surface. Annie is also married with one kid and she tries really hard to present the perfect life to the world, especially online. We all know no one is perfect though… Colin is a successful surgeon with a big secret about their late friend, Bea and Lindy is a famous musician with way too many issues to list here. For such a large ensemble cast of characters I found them all to be really well drawn and relatable. Some more than others, I didn’t have much in common with Lindy’s rock star life but could relate to both Annie and Owen as stay at parents. (I wonder why? 😜)

This isn’t a traditional mystery but rather a story of secrets and long held grudges with mysterious elements. When they reunite at the bequest of Bea most of them haven’t kept in touch at all and all have different issues with each other and things they really don’t want the others to know. I admittedly got slightly annoyed with most of them because so many of their problems could’ve been solved by simply talking to each other, but without conflict this would’ve just been a boring story about a group of middle aged friends, so I get that it was basically the driving force of the book. Overall this was an enjoyable read, the author is a good writer my only complaint was the ending, I felt like there were just too many loose ends that weren’t tied up at all BUT I’m super picky about endings so take that with a grain of salt. 

Overall rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy. 

Throwback Thursday: My Husband’s Son by Deborah O’Connor @deboc77 #TBT


Goodreads|Author Website
Release date: June 16, 2016

Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Blurb: 


You’d always recognise your own son. Wouldn’t you?


Heidi and Jason aren’t like other couples.


Six years ago, Heidi’s daughter was murdered. A year later, Jason’s son Barney disappeared. Their shared loss brought them together.


By chance, Heidi meets a boy she’s certain is Barney.


But Jason is equally convinced it’s not him.


Is Heidi mad? Or is Jason hiding something? And can their fragile marriage survive Heidi’s newfound quest for the truth . . . 

Review: 

I’m joining in again with Throwback Thursday which was created by my good friend Renee at It’s Book Talk. She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favorites and read books that have already been published. I have so many older books on my TBR that get ignored in favor of review copies and I figure participating in Throwback Thursday will help me to read at a least one older title a week!

I think the psychological thriller label has been thrown around quite a bit as of late and it’s not always quite accurate. I know I’ve been disappointed a few times when I read a book billed as a psych thriller and it’s actually just a mystery/thriller with the psychological aspect missing. My Husband’s Son is the definition of a psychological thriller with every single element needed to make this a gripping page turner. 

The entire story is told from Heidi’s point of view and why I wouldn’t go as far as to say she’s a completely unlikable character, I will admit she frustrated me. I did however feel genuine empathy for her, her young daughter was murdered and as a parent myself I cannot even begin to fathom how you live with that. The details of Lauren’s murder are revealed very slowly and methodically which made me uneasy as I wondered if there was more to that portion of the story than meets the eye. Adding to my apprehension was Heidi’s erratic behavior, she is totally convinced that she saw Jason’s son who has been missing for five years and she is adamant about proving it. As she begins to make rash decisions and altogether bad choices I questioned her motivations and stability again and again. Is she reliable or is she a delusional, grieving mother? I’ll never tell…

This was a perfectly paced read that had me totally addicted the entire time. It put a fresh spin on the whole missing child storyline which is always so appreciated. There were many secrets along the way and there was a killer twist in the end, it was so chilling and nothing I ever would’ve predicted. If you’re a psychological thriller fan and somehow missed this one when it was released last year give it a shot! 

Overall rating: 5/5

Throwback Thursday: Find Her by Lisa Gardner #TBT


Goodreads|Amazon
Release date: February 9, 2016

Publisher: Dutton

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Blurb: 

Flora Dane is a victim. 


Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.


Flora Dane is a survivor.


Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.


Flora Dane is reckless. 


. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her. 

Review: 

I’m joining in again with Throwback Thursday which was created by my good friend Renee at It’s Book Talk. She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favorites and read books that have already been published. I have so many older books on my TBR that get ignored in favor of review copies and I figure participating in Throwback Thursday will help me to read at a least one older title a week!

It’s a bittersweet feeling now that I’m caught up on this series. Find Her was an absolutely amazing read, but now I have to wait awhile for the next installment (February of next year to be exact) and I’ll truly miss D.D., there really isn’t any other fictional character out there quite like her.

Once again Gardner tackles some heavy, disturbing subject matter this time focusing on abduction. Flora was such a highly complex character, she has literally been through hell and back and I thought Gardner did a fantastic job of portraying a kidnapping victim and their possible mind frame. Flora is very bold in many ways, she chases danger and at times seems unafraid of anything. But then there are times where she is terribly fragile and vulnerable, totally understandable and wholly believable to boot. Her and D.D. clash, but then again who doesn’t tend to butt heads with D.D.? Their dynamic was tense and fascinating, I’m excited to see what happens between them in the next book. 

Gardner uses her trademark graphic, gritty writing style and many parts of this was hard to read. Flora tells her story via flashbacks and seeing as how she was contained in a coffin for most of her time in captivity, things were claustrophobic and stifling. Gardner is a prolific writer with a fluid style that keeps you turning pages long past bedtime. Per usual delving too far into this twisty plot would ruin things, but if you’re a Gardner fan and haven’t read this yet, I highly recommend it. If you’ve never read her before I still highly recommend it, it’s an outstanding read and I feel like every crime fiction fan should have the pleasure of meeting D.D.

Overall rating: 5/5

#TBT #TheSister by @Fab_fiction @bookouture @thecrimevault @littlebookcafe

I have a very special pick for my Throwback Thursday read this week! Last summer I was so impressed when I read Louise Jensen’s debut, The Sister and a year later  she’s one of my favorite authors, I loved The Gift as well and can’t wait for her newest book to be released soon. Today The Sister is being released in paperback and in honor of that I’m sharing my review again. 


Goodreads|Amazon|Author Website

Release date: July 7, 2016

Publisher: Bookouture 

Genre: Psychological Thriller 

Blurb: 

Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s words, the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend. 




When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home. 




But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger? 




There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there? 

Review:


I’m joining in again with Throwback Thursday which was created by my good friend Renee at It’s Book Talk. She started this weekly feature as a way to highlight old favorites and read books that have already been published. I have so many older books on my TBR that get ignored in favor of review copies and I figure participating in Throwback Thursday will help me to read at a least one older title a week!

This book is not one that instantaneously grabs you and doesn’t let go. No, instead it slowly pulls you in until it has you right where it wants you. And then, BAM! Twists and turns galore. While it’s not a book where you are flying through the pages at warp speed, you are still slowly and methodically pulled in to this fascinatingly concocted novel. Told from two different times; Then and Now, you know that Charlie is dead but you have no idea how she died. Was she murdered? Did she simply vanish? And why is Grace so overwhelmed with guilt? 
Grace thinks she may be going crazy. Or is she? She feels like someone is constantly watching her and she swears she keeps seeing a red car behind her. In her grief stricken state after the devastating loss of her best friend Charlie, Grace isn’t actually sure about anything. She is extremely innocent thinking and naïve, yet I still found myself caring about her. There is a vulnerability and tenderness surrounding Grace that tugged at my heart strings. She has very childlike qualities, especially in the scenes with her absolutely precious grandparents. Her boyfriend Dan, while so annoying to me, was very protective of Grace and I can see why. She has that air about her, as if she’s always a bit of a damsel in distress, moments away from needing to be saved.
Lexie is Charlie’s train wreck of a mother. My god how I loathed this woman throughout many parts of this book. She’s a cruel drunk, but although there were relatively few times I felt sympathy towards her, I admit I did. Her life hasn’t been easy. Then there is Anna, Charlie’s long lost sister. From the minute she was introduced she gave me a single white female vibe. I mentioned Dan earlier, and I really wanted to like him. I can’t. I don’t wanna say much more about these characters as it would spoil the plot twists, however if you’re anything like me you won’t trust any of them for a second.
The suspense in this book is a slow build up and I was playing guessing games the entire time that Grace’s life was torn apart and ruined. I made many incorrect guess along the way but that thrills me! Quite proud of myself for having things all figured out, then whoops totally wrong. Onto the next theory. 
If you like an intense psychological thriller, give this book a try. A few times over the past couple of days while reading this I had to look over my own shoulder to make sure I was not being watched. Always a good sign of a suspenseful thriller if I feel this way! 

Overall rating: 4.5/5