HAPPY FRIDAY, you guys! So happy to be back with a book review, especially because there are not one, not two, but THREE books I would highly recommend! Let’s get started!
1. The Stranger In Our Home, by Sophie Draper
Ok guys I COULD NOT put this book down!!! I bought it in the Vancouver airport and by the time we landed in Charlotte, I had already devoured this book. It’s one of those creepy, gothic page-turners that will keep you up at night! Things are looking up for Caro: she has just inherited her childhood home in the rural English countryside, she is making amends with her sister whom she hasn’t spoken to in years, and she even has a cute neighbor living next door. But NOTHING is at it seems in this novel. The minute Caro moves in, strange things start to happen and Caro wonders if she’s losing her mind. Memories start to return. Family secrets are exposed. What exactly happened in that house? And who was to blame? Every time I thought I had things figured out, the story had another twist in store. I LOVED this novel, and even though it did get pretty dark and sinister, I enjoyed every second it!
2. The Last House Guest, by Megan Miranda
I’m a huge fan of Megan Miranda and how her novels inevitably revolve around small towns with lots of secrets. Needless to say, I could not wait to read her latest novel The Last House Guest, and it definitely lived up to my expectations! Littleport, Maine, has always felt like two separate towns: an ideal vacation enclave for the wealthy, and a simple harbor community for the locals whose livelihoods rely on service to the visitors. Typically the two groups don’t cross paths in a social manner, but Avery and Sadie become friends anyway. Each summer for almost a decade, the girls are inseparable – until Sadie is found dead. While the police rule Sadie’s death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name and finding out the real story behind her best friend’s death. I blew RIGHT through this thriller – the twists kept me on the edge of my seat, I loved the charming and atmospheric setting and I found the relationships absolutely fascinating. And the ending was a huge surprise!
3. A Stranger On the Beach, by Michele Campbell
I read two novels by Michele Campbell, and this was definitely the best one! I LOVED this thriller because it took me on some wild turns while still maintaining believability. It was extremely well-crafted and had me guessing almost until the very end. The novel begins with Caroline at her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with her family. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when a stranger and local, Aiden, shows up on the beach outside of Caroline’s home, it seems like fate that they should meet. As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aiden for comfort… and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline but everything to him, Aiden’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. This is a MUST-READ!
4. She was the Quiet One, by Michele Campbell
Although I read this novel pretty quickly, I don’t know if I would recommend it to others! I didn’t like ANY of the characters in this book and I found the subject matter very dark and twisted. The author’s writing wasn’t descriptive enough for my taste, and I truly wish I could have connected with even one of the characters! Here’s the gist: twin sisters Rose and Bel are sent to live with their grandmother after their mother dies, where they’re enrolled at a prestigious new boarding school for a fresh start. But with its sinister rituals and traditions, the boarding school brings out a deadly rivalry between the sisters, whose personalities couldn’t be more different. From the beginning of the novel, we immediately know that an Enright sister is dead, but not which one. Narrations from Bel and Rose are interspersed with snippets from police interviews as we try to piece together exactly what happened to lead to murder. Although it was a puzzle to figure out who had been killed, I didn’t enjoy the subject matter, which included sexual relations with a teacher, bullying, bad attitudes and, in the end, a lot of blood.
5. The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine
Liv Constantine is another author I really enjoy – especially her first novel, The Last Mrs. Parrish. Although I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much and found it a little farfetched, it was still a decent read. The protagonist, Kate, is an heiress to a large fortune, has a gorgeous husband and daughter, an incredible career, and a lives in a beautiful mansion. But all of that changes the night Kate’s mother, Lily, is found brutally murdered in her own home. Soon, Kate begins receiving threatening messages and “gifts,” and it seems that Kate is next on the killer’s list. I really enjoyed the first half of this book. After that, there were several questionable, over-the-top events that happened that were just TOO unbelievable and I couldn’t let go of. I read a few reviews that compared this novel to a soap opera, and that completely sums up my feelings as well. Overall, this was a highly entertaining, dramatic story that kept me flipping the pages, but isn’t one that left a lasting impression or impact. If you haven’t read The Last Mrs. Parrish, I would probably forgo this one and read that one by Constantine instead!
Let me know if you have any book to add to this list!! 🙂