Book Review

Silent Lies by Kathryn Croft (Book Review #250)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 10/10/19

My 42nd book this year)

Mia’s husband, Zach, commited suicide, leaving her a single mum to their daughter, Freya. Mia has finally found a way to move on, then Alice appears bringing her a life changing message “Your husband didn’t kill himself”.

Alice knew Zach, Zach knew Alices’ flatmate, Josie. Alice hates Josie and visa versa.

Alice think she knows a secret and she isn’t afraid to tell. She’s not sure if it’s true but it is enough to turn a few people’s lives upside down. Alice is hiding a secret of her own. Now she wants justice for the real truth.

***SPOILER ALERT***

This book was the perfect pace for me and not overly dramatic to the point of shaking my head. It’s a shame when too many characters have to be “weird” just so we can keep guessing at what the truth might be. Normal people can have secrets too!!

I liked the twist although I had an inkling very early on what may happen. I guess Zach was my favourite in this book. I can’t say I liked any of the others.

Interesting plot. A book I would recommend to other readers. I would also love to read more by this author, Kathryn Croft.

Written by Ling Lee (10/10/19).

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In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (Book Review #249)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 30/09/19

My 41st book this year)

Leonora has been invited to an old friends Hen do. She hasn’t seen her nor been in contact for over 10 years. One of the other girls invited persuades her to go.

She knows she shouldn’t, but she does. Her whole world is turned upside down when she is told who the groom was to be. Someone of huge significance in her past. But she just has to get through two nights and she can leave it all behind all over again.

The secrets that come out are so much worse than expected. The perfect hen do includes strange ouiji board messages and shooting. Are there clear warnings here before the big finale?

***SPOILER ALERT***

Although the plot was odd and had hugely flawed characters I found I enjoyed this book and wanted to find out the end. Slow to pick up but maybe after reading so many violent and over the top dramatic thrillers, this book turned out to be just what I needed.

The characters acted way out of their age groups. Maybe it should have been a school reunion rather than a Hen do. In their mid to late twenties, each character seemed to act more like teenagers. Petty, immature, randomly put together.

The end was not what I expected. I think the more obvious candidate would have made a better ending for me. It’s a shame all authors feel the need for a final twist, because sometimes less is more.

Although Ruth Ware’s books have not been amazing, I am still happy to pick up her book and would recommend her to others.

Written by Ling Lee (30/09/19).

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Last to Die by Arlene Hunt (Book Review #248)

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 24/09/19

My 40th book this year)

Jessie is a teacher at a special needs school. One unfortunate day she becomes a hero. But not in a way that she takes pride in. There is a mass shooting at her school. She must protect the children. She kills the shooter, but the shooter is another child. Jessie is haunted by this for a great length of time after the ordeal. Now Jessie must find a way to get past the nightmares of this day.

Caleb is a hunter, he likes to hunt humans, his new target is Jessie. With all that is going on in Jessie’s life, this seems to be her biggest test of survival once she realises she is targeted. Can she outrun him or will she be hunted?

***SPOILER ALERT***

I’m not that into school shooting material, but this book made it a bit less horrifying in some way. Maybe because what happened to Jessie after was even more terrifying.

The only downside to this book was TOO much drama for Jessie alone. I would have preferred for the shooting to be removed from this book and for the plot to revolve around Caleb and his “hunts” more. I would have loved more insight from Caleb’s point of view, more depth when he tracks his prey.

I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend this one. I am highly looking forward to discovering more books by this author.

Written by Ling Lee (24/09/19).

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The Secret by K.L Slater (Book Review #247)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 19/09/19
My 39th book this year)

Louise is a busy woman. Busy at work, busy at home, busy overtime. There never seems to be enough hours in a day meaning something has to give. She just doesn’t have the time to spend with her son Archie. She often leaves Archie with Auntie Alice.

Auntie Alice enjoys her time with Archie, but she is becoming more and more concerned with her nephew’s well being. More and more signs of unpleasant things occur, but Archie keeps his secrets. Archie holds a secret so big it could destroy his family, so he knows he must stay quiet.

Someone is getting hurt, someone is not being nice, someone may be in danger. The secrets must eventually be told.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I quite enjoyed this book. I found it to be quite a slow paced suspenseful read. Not heart racing but enough to keep me wanting to read more. I wanted to know how a child could hold such a life impacting secret. I wanted to know what was happening to Archie, I needed to know he would be ok.

Alice is a very strange character. It didn’t entirely make sense how she was supposedly afraid of the outside world yet because of wanting to get to know a stranger, she manages to break through her fears.

I highly disliked Louise. She was supposed to be an unlikeable character so well done to KL Slater. I felt for Archie throughout the book. I kept thinking about if one of my children were ever in such fear, how I would react as a mother. But I can’t see how I would let my child reach this disastrous situation and not try to resolve the issue much sooner.

Not the first book I have discovered by this author and definitely not the last. Highly recommended author. I would recommend this book but don’t expect too much of a wow factor.

Written by Ling Lee (19/09/19).

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I Found You by Lisa Jewell (Book Review #246)

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 11/09/19

My 38th book this year)

Alice found him on the beach, he has no memory of his past, he doesn’t know his name, he doesn’t know why he is here. She names him Frank. She lets him into her home, she lets him discover himself. There are dark memories, there are dangerous memories. Neither of them know what to do.

Meanwhile Lily’s husband has gone missing and she has has no idea where he could be. Newly married, still deep in love with one another, Lily is sure something sinister has happened. She calls the police only to be told her husband Carl does not exist.

With the secrets forgotten, the secrets hidden, then the secrets that need to unfold and be told, this suspenseful book hides a story that spans two decades.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I thought this story was really well told. I enjoyed most of the story and it was set at a nice rolling pace.

I found the characters a bit too edgy, too strange and they held too many secrets. But otherwise the plot was great.

I enjoyed the ending although it turned out a bit too coincidental. A well recommended read. I would very much like to read more books by Lisa Jewell.

Written by Ling Lee (11/09/19).

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The Death Cure by James Dashner (Book Review #245)

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 04/09/19

My 37th book this year)

Thomas is once again torn about his decisions. WICKED has approached him and asked him to voluntarily bring himself back for the final phase of testing to get the cure for the epidemic, the Flare.

Thomas wants nothing to do with WICKED but his best friend has the flare and is gradually getting worse. He will eventually go mad and end up in a zombified state being unable to control himself.

The other subjects, immune to the flare, who have escaped from WICKED are planning both revenge and the destruction of WICKED so they can no longer go on using people for testing.

The flare is destroying humankind. WICKED needs to develop a cure no matter what the cost may be. The potential subjects are trying to eliminate the experiments headquarters. Thomas knows he is running out of time. Be free and sacrifice his best friend, or sacrifice himself and hope the cure can be found in time to save everyone.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Not quite the sort of finish I had hoped for however the ending still worked well. The plot itself was good but the delivery of the story felt a bit long winded and not as good as the earlier of the series.

Not really much to say without ruining the best parts of the book so I will leave off here. The series was worth reading but not amazing.

Written by Ling Lee (04/09/19).

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Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane (Book Review #244)

I rate this book 2.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 01/08/19

My 36th book this year)

Someone has killed a whole family. Someone has finally snapped and followed through with the most final act of life.

There are 4 women who each have their own struggles in day to day life. One has a cheating husband, one has a dead beat husband, one has a son who is bullied and one has just had a child abducted from them. With each of the families the women are close to breaking point. Who will be the weakest mother? The one who makes the kill?

***SPOILER ALERT***

The first chapter was great. A highly intriguing scene where we as the reader are left wondering who killed everyone. Then all of a sudden, for the rest of the book, the author is trying too hard to maintain the mystery behind who the killer is.

There is too much focus on every negative aspect of married life and family life. None of the good moments shine through to remind us that life isn’t all bad. Not much of a read considering most readers probably pick up something fictional to just escape reality.

The abduction ended at a total anticlimax. Maybe it wasn’t even worth having this part of the story at all.

Apologies but this book is pretty amateur in comparison with Liane Moriarty. Similar type of story but needs much more experience in the story telling and the importance of what detail needs to be included. I would definitely not recommend this book to other readers. I would also say it is not worth the read.

Written by Ling Lee (01/08/19)

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The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (Book Review #243)

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 21/07/19

My 35th book this year)

A novel about a man who has been in a horrific accident, leaving him severely burnt and is struggling every step of the way with only plans of suicide helping him to get out of hospital.

Then Marianne appears. She tells a wonderful tale believing that the man is her love from another lifetime. She must save him once again and hand him her heart.

The strange pair are often together and Marianne seems to grow on him. She gives him hope, love, faith, stories, truths, but best of all she gives him a reason to cling on to life and to live.

***SPOILER ALERT***

What a beautifully written story. So much depth in the descriptions at every turn of the story. The horrifying details of how it feels to be in a fire, to feel the pain, to smell the burnt flesh, to hear himself scream, to then wake up in agony every single day. Having even more disturbing surgery where they take skin grafts that are rejected by his body, how they must cut away the dead flesh of his body, how they must cut into him to release the pressure under his skin where the fluids build up. I can picture every moment of his pain and recovery.

Then Marianne appears like an angel in disguise. Full of goodness and love, finding reasons for him to live, helping him every step of the way. I love how their relationship is so deep. I love the way this love story unfolds. So much beauty in this book full of horror and pain.

I would not normally enjoy religious books. This book was not even close to what I was expecting to discover. Somehow it worked. Somehow I would definitely recommend this book and have actually already started to recommend this book to other readers. My review cannot give this book justice. Even a 5 star review isn’t enough to show how amazing this book turned out. I am hoping to search and find more books by Andrew Davidson. My fingers are crossed in hope he has published more amazing works like this one.

Written by Ling Lee (21/07/19).

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Sadie by Courtney Summers (Book Review #242)

I rate this book 3.5 stars out of 5.

(Finished Reading: 13/07/19

My 34th book this year)

Sadie has led such an awful life. Her mother is a drug addict and pretty much spends no time acknowledging Sadie. They are very poor, Sadie is always miserable and hungry. Then her mother has another child, Mattie. This is both terrible and a blessing depending whose point you view life from. Mattie brings hope, life and love into Sadie’s life. Sadie learns to live.

Then Mattie is murdered. Sadie’s life spirals out of control all over again. One day she has had enough and just packs a bag and gets out of the trailer. She has a mission. She has a switchblade knife. She is on the hunt for a very bad man.

***SPOILER ALERT***

I’m not sure that it was necessary to turn this book into a “TV series” format. The plot itself was compelling, yet the details just didn’t quite hit the spot. Although Sadie already has an almost unbearable life, the author could have zoned in on the details of her emotions more. Sadie was too detached leaving me as the reader feeling detached to her character too.

When I read the synopsis I was bracing myself for so much more detail, so much more pain, violence and disturbing material. What actually happened was extremely mild although the subject matter was highly disturbing.

I enjoyed “following” Sadie but I absolutely despise the ending. I felt it was “unfinished”. I felt cheated by this book.

Sadie was never really loveable. Her only reason to live was for her sister Mattie. It would have been nice to have a little more goodness in her life, even if it were just for a moment or two.

I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from reading this book yet I’m not quite wanting to recommend it either. So much more could have been done to make this book amazing. Maybe it would be better as a movie.

Written by Ling Lee (13/07/19)

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Kiss the Girls by James Patterson (Book Review #241)

I rate this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

(Finished Reading: 10/07/19

My 33rd book this year)

A serial killer who calls himself Casanova is on the loose. He only takes the most perfectly beautiful and intelligent girls out there. He keeps them captive, he gives them rules. If they disobey the rules they get punished, tortured or killed. Casanova loves the girls, they are all special in their own ways.

Alex Cross is a psychological profiling detective. His niece has disappeared. It is suspected she has been taken by Casanova. Now he is even more determined to break the case. Cross has even more motive to work faster in hope of finding his niece alive.

Things get worse when the detectives suspect there is more than one killer working alongside one another. The other is known as the Gentleman Caller. He is more brutal, more violent, they seem to be competing for body counts. They both have similar agendas. They take the beautiful ones. There are more and more missing girls, there are also more bodies appearing. The police need to act fast to save those who are possibly still out there, alive.

***SPOILER ALERT***

The plot was great and the story was great, however the language and the way the author uses his words has made this book less amazing. He has a difficult way with delivering character speech. He is trying too hard to street talk. This book felt like it was written by a totally different author compared with his first book of the Alex Cross Series “Along came a Spider”.

I hated how Kate had been through such an ordeal yet within such a short span of time she is able to feel anything emotional or sexual towards another person already.

I dislike how Alex seems to be in a complicated relationship with someone involved with the current case because this had already happened in the first book of the series. This could have happened to another character.

I loved the twist. I loved the end of the story. But the very final reveal was probable unnecessary because it is only there to remind us that this is a series and something else horrendous is possibly going to happen to Cross all over again.

I would recommend this series but would like to warn readers of the difficult processing of the language that James Patterson has chosen for this book. I cannot associate the characters with real people. But the plot itself is awesome enough to make up for this flaw. I am excited to pick up the next book in the series but definitely not straight away.

Written by Ling Lee (10/07/19).

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