The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (Book Review #178)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 20/05/18

My 34th book this year)

Cia is waiting to find out whether she is lucky enough to be selected for testing to enter university. The community requires intellect and skills to help improve what remains of the world and its resources. Going to university isn’t a choice. It is the best way to save and nurture the community in which each person is positioned. If you refuse to attend, there is severe punishment in wait.

All those who take the test are given a memory wipe for the entire testing period. No one knows what to expect. But Cia’s father has nightmares. He doesn’t know if they are horrible memories from the testing or if they are simply nightmares. But he tells Cia to trust no one.

The tests appear to be normal at first but punishment for wrong answers seem to quickly escalate to horrific ends. The final part of the test is the ultimate test of survival. Candidate’s must fight for their lives, fight what is out there and fight for their places at the university.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I enjoyed this book. It reminded me of the Hunger Games series. With survival being the ultimate reward.

The extreme measures in which to test people in order to filter out candidates for higher learning. To sustain and nourish the earth and nature. To utilise each persons skills and to combine their ideas for a better future. The testing is definitely a book that challenges the candidates to the brink of what they can manage. Each of their lives are at stake.

I would recommend this book and am very much looking forward to the next book of the series. Well done to the author, Joelle Charbonneau.

Written by Ling Lee (20/05/18).

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Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens (Book Review #177)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 16/05/18

My 33rd book so far this year)

Lindsey is in an abusive relationship. She does all she can to protect her daughter from the truth. She has reached her limit and needs to find a way to escape. She must escape otherwise he might go over the edge and take her life.

After her escape, they move on with their lives until her ex catches up with them. He says he’s changed. But mysterious things keep happening. Lindsey is still terrified. Will he ever let her go?

***SPOILER ALERT***

I quite enjoyed this plot but I felt the author tried too hard to create more of a mystery in the story.

I disliked Andrew as much as we were supposed to. I felt sorry for Sophie and the life she has had to lead without being able to settle down. I felt for Lindsey, the fear and the constant looking over her shoulder.

I enjoyed the novel and would definitely pick up another book by this author. Pick up the book and give it a read. Worth the time. Well done Chevy Stevens.

Written by Ling Lee (16/05/18).

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The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham (Book Review #176)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 12/05/18

My 32nd book this year)

Agatha is pregnant and wants to be friends with Meghan. Meghan is also pregnant and has the perfect life. Great kids, great husband, luxurious life and a beautiful house. Agatha is envious as her life is not even close to this perfect life.

She learns Meghan’s due date is close to hers. They finally meet. They finally talk. Meghan enjoys Agatha’s company.

Agatha has a deep dark secret that will change both their lives. Agatha has a plan to make her life just as perfect as Meghan’s. She will stop at nothing for her dream to come true. For the perfect life, the perfect family.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I really enjoyed this book. With the creature in Agatha’s mind. I could feel her torn up mind. I could understand her confusion. Her need for a child and her sense of right and wrong is so confused with the other voice in her head.

I love the secret Agatha hides. It was totally unexpected. I was excited to turn each page and to watch the story unfold.

I can’t imagine it being so easy for Agatha to accomplish what she does. But without focusing on this major point, I still absolutely found this story a great find and would enthusiastically recommend this to other readers. Such a psychologically emotional book. Well Done to the author, Michael Robotham. I am very much looking forward to picking up one of his other novels.

Written by Ling Lee (13/05/18).

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Killing Floor by Lee Child (Book Review #175)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 08/05/18

My 31st book this year)

Jack Reacher has just arrived in a new place, a new diner for the first time in his life. Then all of a sudden he is arrested for murder in this town.

He knows he didn’t do it but he needs to find out who did. Especially once he realises the dead guy is a family member of his.

Trying to unfold a massive scale illegal activity. He must stay one step ahead at all times otherwise his life will be ended in an instant.

Jack is ex military. His enemies are unknown. Can he find out who is behind all this drama before it escalates out of hand?

***SPOILER ALERT***

An action packed adventure. Definitely read like a movie. Full of overly dramatic violence and activity right from the first chapter.

I really enjoyed this book and loved the way the story unfolded. It was definitely over dramatic especially at the end, however the book was still highly enjoyable.

None of the characters really felt real and you don’t connect with them. But if you read the book without looking for faults it is very much action all through. Somehow the character that stood out most was the crazy and strange Kliner Kid. Creepy, out of control character who loves inflicting pain and violence at people.

My first Lee Child book. I am very much looking forward to more. Fabulous job! Very much recommended to violence and action lovers.

Written by Ling Lee (08/05/18).

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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (Book Review #174)

I rate his book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 04/05/18

My 30th book this year)

It’s almost the end of the human race. Cassie has lost her mother and father. Her brother has been taken to a safe camp and she has promised she will see him again.

The 1st wave left Earth in total darkness. All electronics immobilised. The 2nd wave, only the lucky survive. The 3rd wave, only the unlucky survive. The 4th wave leaves the remaining survivors so unsure of life, they can trust no one. The 5th wave is on the way and it is all the more terrifying.

Cassie fights for whats left in her life. Her brother. Every time she encounters other people she cannot trust them to be human. Yet she cannot bring herself to kill them just in case it is one of the few survivors left. Then Evan saves her life. But she knows the rule: trust no one.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Parts of this book were stunning to read yet other parts felt overly dramatic. As a whole, I enjoyed the story and got a glimpse into what could be the end of our world.

It’s that much worse when the Others look like us, talk like us and behave like us. Trust is the biggest factor. The world has become such a devastating place that some decide to end their lives before it is taken from them. But only the strong ones survive.

It is disturbing to have children learning to fight, to use such violence, to hold weaponry and fire arms. As young as 5. Children are what they are. The images are horrendous. But it is one of the possible outcomes of this sort of future.

I would recommend this book to others and have very much enjoyed most of this book. It seems there are more books in the series. I am very much looking forward to reading book 2. Job well done to Rick Yancey.

Written by Ling Lee (04/05/18).

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Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent (Book Review #173)

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 28/04/18

My 29th book this year)

Lydia and her husband Andrew have killed a girl, Annie Doyle. Now Annie is buried someplace safe and Annie is just another missing person.

Andrew is mentally distraught and cannot seem to move past this event yet Lydia has managed to carry on as though nothing has happened. But Lydia is being strong to protect their son Laurence.

Laurence knows his dad has something to do with Annie. He has also found evidence and is slowly trying to unravel the mystery, hating his dad and being doted on by his mum.

The more Laurence finds out, the more disturbed he feels. As he grows up he meets Annie’s family. He feels extreme guilt for the secret he hides yet he cannot tell the truth because over the years he has somehow entwined himself into Annie’s death. Can they hide the body forever? Or is the past going to merge with the present until the truth is uncovered?

***SPOILER ALERT***

I was definitely captivated by this plot. Lydia is such a disturbed individual yet it made the story work. The ending left me feeling uncomfortable but it was great to have some ending “outside of the box”.

Laurence and his poor excuse for existence. Bullied, overprotected, controlled, forever treated like a child, all the way up to the final page. I can’t say I liked any of the characters but I was compelled to push through the story with an urgent need to find out how it unfolds.

So much mental instability that is well hidden by different members within the story. I felt disturbed but I enjoyed the read. The twists were totally unexpected but made the book even better without being overly dramatic.

I would definitely recommend this book. It’s not a happy book, it is somewhat dark, but a highly recommended read all the same. I am very much looking forward to discovering more books by this author if she has any more to share.

Written by Ling Lee (28/04/18).

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The Wife by Alafair Burke (Book Review #172)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 24/04/18

My 28th book this year)

Angela has experienced something extremely traumatic in her past, she has moved on, but the event will always be a part of her life.

With a husband who knows her secret and willingly accepted her for her whole being they build a life together. Then all of a sudden her life is turned upside down when her husband is accused of rape, then charges even more serious follow.

Angela must pause to think if she really knows her husband as well as she thinks she does and whether she will stand by his side for better or worse.

If she stands by to fight, it is very likely her past will be made very public and she definitely doesn’t want her secrets to surface once again.

***SPOILER ALERT***

The book was pretty average until the final scenes which were ‘wow’. A totally unexpected ending that actually worked and completed the book with a hugely dramatic end.

I disliked the husband due to infidelity and the way Angela kept finding out things that were quite mind blowing due to the case at hand. So many unpleasant secrets in a marriage. One of my pet hates.

Not really much to discuss without spoiling the contents. I’m still indecisive whether I would recommend this book or not because the ending makes it all worthwhile, yet the rest of the book was a bit bland for me.

Written by Ling Lee (24/04/18).

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The Memory Watcher by Minka Kent (Book Review #171)

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 18/04/18

My 27th book this year).

Autumn gave her daughter up for adoption unwillingly. She found out which family adopted Grace and has since been watching the family’s every moment on social media. Over the years Autumn feels like she knows every detail of her daughters’ life and every perfect moment of her “new” family.

All of a sudden, the social media account has been suspended. Autumn is distraught, obsessed and desperately needs to find out what has happened. Autumn already lives in the neighbourhood, now she just needs to find a way to get closer to the family and to be with her daughter in person.

Secrets find a way to the surface. Things always look better when you only see the good and the bad times are hidden. That what social media does. Nothing is quite what it seems. But at least Autumn knows exactly what she wants. At least she thinks she does.

***SPOILER ALERT***

What a unique storyline with a totally unexpected end. I absolutely loved this story and how desperation and obsession is portrayed exactly in all its unpleasantness.

Autumn is a disturbed individual and I guess it makes sense once we reach the end of the story.

I connected with Daphne (Grace’s adoptive mother). I felt the need for escape from the routine of everyday life. The mental pressures of having children just being children. I felt her need for an extra pair of helping hands. Her need for hiding and not showing her weakness to others. With the seemingly perfect life, how can she be such an ungrateful woman. But every person has their issues. So there’s no need to judge anyone because you cannot possibly know the entirety of what they are dealing with.

What a wonderful book find. I’m hoping Minka Kent has more books for me to read as I am highly recommending this book and I am very much wishing this book didn’t have to have an ending.

Written by Ling Lee (18/04/18).

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The Mermaids Singing by Val McDermid (Book Review #170)

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 14/04/18

My 26th book this year)

Dr Tony Hill is a criminal profile analyst who has been helping to find killers. His latest job is to help catch a serial killer who enjoys torturing their victims to the extreme. Inspector Carol Jordan is on the case working alongside Tony to help find this killer before the next body appears. The case becomes all the more challenging when a member of the police force turns up dead, mutilated and tortured, just like the others.

They think they are getting closer to uncovering the killer, but the killer is intelligent, careful, patient and is abiding time to grab the next victim.

***SPOILER ALERT***

What a find!! I absolutely love the way Val McDermid delivers the story. When I read the synopsis I thought I would hate this book as I am not fond of gore, blood, guts and over the top detail into the violent scenes. I don’t know how, but this amazing author managed to pull this off without going into too much grisly details. I loved how the torture instruments were well described so we have a clear idea of how it works. I love how the killer kept a diary of the killings which helped move the story along.

I disliked one particular character, Tom Cross, who came across as one of the old timers on the force. Trying to bully his way through the job and using unfair techniques to help push his findings along.

I am very much looking forward to the next book of the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series. I am excited to share this book with other readers and would highly recommend you all to give this book a go. Right up to the last page, I enjoyed the whole book. Fantastic reading material!!

Written by Ling Lee (14/04/18).

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Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear (Book Review #169)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 08/04/18

My 25th book this year)

Cat Kinsella is a detective on the police force. She knew since she was 8 years old this is what she wanted to do. The reason being all those years ago a girl went missing. The police came to ask questions and Cat knows her dad lied. Lied about not knowing the missing girl, lied about ever talking to her or meeting her.

Cat thinks her dad has something to do with the disappearance but she also knows she shouldn’t say anything to the police. She keeps the secret buried.

Now years later, a woman is found dead, close to her childhood home. Close to her father’s place of residence and Cat has to find out the truth behind this death. She also needs to uncover the secrets from all those years ago.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Nicely paced but got a bit long winded towards the end. The plot itself was great and the final reveal was unexpected.

I don’t like difficult parent and child relationships so this book felt uncomfortable to read. Especially due to the circumstances. If you are a detective, can you or do you turn in family or someone you love? The worst thing is speculation and the uncertainty behind what you believe to be true.

I didn’t feel the suspense and excitement in exposing the killer. Yet I still found myself interested in turning the pages to finish the story. Apologies to the author but this book didn’t quite grip me and I unfortunately would not recommend it to other readers.

Written by Ling Lee (08/04/18).

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