Publicat în Miranda Rijks

You Are Mine by Miranda Rijks

Synopsis:

Rupert has spent years searching for his perfect wife. Now he’s found her.

Her name is Charlotte Aldridge and she’s wonderful. A talented artist, modest and beautiful, she’s everything he ever dreamed of. Her hair, her eyes, her mouth – every little detail is perfect.

Rupert is confident that when they meet, she’ll fall in love with him just as he has with her. After all, he’s a wealthy British aristocrat. And he’s handsome – the relentless gym workouts and extensive plastic surgery have seen to that.

But what if Charlotte can’t see that they’re a perfect fit, that they’re meant for each other? Well, Rupert can be very persuasive. His father taught him certain methods which are extremely effective. Methods that can turn the most determined, ‘I don’t’ into a meek and submissive, ‘I do’….

Review:

Not good, not bad either. Or maybe I just read a lot of similar kind of books lately. Therefore, You Are Mine seemed just “meh”, even if I don’t really find anything specific to criticize.

Charlotte is a painter. Financially broke, with her heart shattered and not much to look forward to the future, she reluctantly accepts an offer from a young millionaire to move to his house for a few weeks and paint his portrait. But Rupert’s plan is not as innocent as it looks.

You Are Mine is yet another story about obsession, trauma, ignored sickness and mistakes that piled up until things explode. What seemed to be like an advantageous vacation will turn into a nightmare for Charlotte.

The story is entertaining, especially since the POV changes between the two main characters so readers will get a full view and see each fact from a completely different angle. Which is truly impressive and scary in the same time, because any small, innocent detail can be the trigger for a potential disaster. It starts slowly, but once the things are put in motion, they’re cascading with an unstoppable force. Just like Charlotte, the reader won’t even have time to prepare itself for the course of unexpected turns that follows.

Although not memorable, both Charlotte and Rupert’s roles are well written and realistic, not in white and black but in a complex palette of colors, with good and bad parts. And the most engrossing part comes in the end, when all the events that you knew from the beginning and that didn’t even seem intriguing will start to be connected in a very sick way.

You Are Mine will definitely keep you up at nights when all you wish for is an absorbing psychological thriller. It might be a great choice for a reader who’s just starting to explore this genre, but it won’t bring a lot to the veterans who are devouring this type of books.

Publicat în Livia Harper

Party Dress (Greta Bell #2) by Livia Harper

Synopsis:

Greta has her man, but paradise isn’t all she hoped for.

His frat brothers aren’t exactly welcoming her with open arms. Everyone still thinks she killed Amber. Especially the police. But her lips have been sealed by Blake’s kisses.

She adores spending all her time with him. She adores having such an amazing man to call her own. But her once-wild stallion is having a much harder time adjusting to life as a couple. He balks every time they’re seen in public together, and can’t resist the lure of wicked temptresses like Jessica James.

If Greta wants to keep him, she’ll have to find a way to fit in with his crowd. Luckily, Blake has plenty to teach her about being popular. His lessons are vile, hateful things that make her stomach turn. But she’s willing to do anything to have the life she wants—even if it means teaching Blake a lesson or two of her own.

He’ll learn. Eventually.

Review:

The story of the complete madwoman Greta Bell continues in this sequel with the same insane style that we got used to in the first novel of the series, but everything escalates to a whole new level. Perhaps some readers might find this progress as a good thing, but unfortunately, I couldn’t stop thinking that it’s such a disappointment…

Yes, the whole story grows from crazy to demented, to unbelievable. But that’s exactly the problem: that with every new, mad turn, the storyline loses its realism. The first novel of the series, Boyfriend Glasses instantly caught my interest mostly because of its strong grip in reality. Yes, it was very far from normal, yes, the protagonist was totally insane. But even so, her story looked like something that might happen in real life, something that you might read in the newspapers, something that might be the headline of the news that you’re watching on TV. There are sick, undiagnosed people that are walking freely, unsupervised between us, that are not treating their mental issues, that are pretending to be normal and it takes a while until everyone around them realizes that something is a bit off. So Boyfriend Glasses was exactly the story about someone like that. Shocking, but still so, so realistic and so, very gripping because of that.

Now, Party Dress, keeps up or actually increases the adrenaline of Greta’s story. Every new chapter is truly unexpected and mind blowing. But by doing so, you get more and more often the feeling that you are reading an invented scenario. You no longer think “Ohmygod, this could happen to anyone, people like this might live all around us!”. On the contrary, so many times I found everything exaggerated and just rolled my eyes on the improbability of all the events.

Depending on your preferences, you might enjoy this book more or less than the first one. It is a good story, it has every needed element to make you addicted, it leaves you breathless over and over again. But your own taste will actually be the one to determine how you will feel about it in comparison to Boyfriend Glasses. For me, the first novel was undoubtedly better. But for you, it might be the opposite. There’s just one more book left in the series and still, despite my current disappointment, I’m dying of curiosity to see how the story will evolve.

Publicat în Charlotte Duckworth

Unfollow Me by Charlotte Duckworth

Synopsis:

A gripping domestic thriller examining the terrifying depths of our social media obsessions.

You can’t stop watching her.

Violet Young is a hugely popular journalist-turned-mummy-influencer, with three children, a successful husband and a million subscribers on YouTube who tune in daily to watch her everyday life unfold.

Until the day she’s no longer there.

But one day she disappears from the online world – her entire social media presence deleted overnight, with no explanation. Has she simply decided that baring her life to all online is no longer a good idea, or has something more sinister happened to Violet?

But do you really know who Violet is?

Her fans are obsessed with finding out the truth, but their search quickly reveals a web of lies, betrayal, and shocking consequences…

Review:

No matter how hard you’d try to stay away from all the social media, it became such a big part of our lives that it’s absolutely impossible not to be struck on a daily basis by news, videos, articles and photos of the never ending number of “influencers”. Today, everyone’s a blogger or a vlogger or some kind of an online celebrity and their fame rivals more and more the success of traditional famous people: singers, actors, athletes etc. Maybe one of the reasons is that they seem more “like us”, easier to relate to, giving you the false feeling of closure, of affiliation, of being your friend.

Fame grows with the numbers of followers. But probably what Violet Young, a famous Instagram mommy vlogger, didn’t consider when showering into all those benefits of her successful online career is that part of her fame grew on the obsession of her followers. Her daily videos become the center of their lives, the most awaited part of their days, the reason they keep going during difficult moments. And when all her accounts are suddenly erased and she completely disappears from the Internet, her fans go crazy. And they won’t stop at anything to find her.

Unfollow Me comes with an amazing idea, wonderfully executed. The whole story is incredibly realistic and perfectly set up in this era that we’re living in.

Every chapter leaves you eager for more, there’s not a single boring page or paragraph that would prolong the story unnecessarily. The perspective changes from a character to another and for more than half of the book, it’s impossible to anticipate in what ways could their separate stories intertwine. The only thing all these people seem to have in common is their obsession over Violet. Only later, dark twists start to unfold in complicated and shocking paths and slowly, you’re allowed to connect the dots and reveal the whole picture.

I read this book without even breathing, devouring each word, each page, dying to know how the story of each character will evolve.

The rhythm is fast paced, the suspense is palpable but in the same time, there’s no feeling of shallowness throughout the novel. Charlotte Duckworth is digging through the human psychology like an expert, cold and precise, not fearing to expose the darkest corners of our minds, the shadiest wishes, the secrets that some people wouldn’t hesitate to kill for, in order to keep them hidden.

Publicat în Michael Crichton

Airframe by Michael Crichton

Synopsis:

The twin jet plane en route to Denver from Hong Kong is merely a green radar blip half an hour off the California coast when the call comes through to air traffic control:

‘Socal Approach, this is TransPacific 545. We have an emergency.’ The pilot requests priority clearance to land – then comes the bombshell – he needs forty ambulances on the runway.

But nothing prepares the rescue workers for the carnage they witness when they enter the plane.

Ninety-four passengers are injured. Three dead. The interior cabin virtually destroyed.

What happened on board Flight TPA 545?

Review:

I always loved those TV shows with aircraft disasters so when I read the description of this book, it was impossible not to put it in my cart. And I did like it, but honestly, not as much as I thought I would. Probably if it would have been at least a hundred pages shorter, the whole reading experience would have been much more enjoyable. But the way it is, I just found it to have way, way too many technical details for a casual reader. Of course, whenever a writer is choosing a topic that he’s not familiar with, he needs to gather as much information as possible in order to deliver a realistic story. But I feel like Michael Crichton overdid it in Airframe. Probably the people working as pilots or in aircraft engineering would find the book extremely accurate and realistic. But a normal reader will be completely lost in the never ending load of acronyms and technical items and aircraft pieces, no matter how well the author tried to explain them. It’s just too much and with every new details your interest drops a little.

Yes, I finished the book and no, it wasn’t a disappointment. But I honestly felt it more like a burden than a pleasure, since for every good twist you have to pay by enduring pages of useless details.

The last quarter of the novel starts having a faster rhythm, the accent falls more and more on the action instead of descriptions so you will probably find yourself reading it with more curiosity and excitement.

I can’t talk about the characters, because they felt more like chess pawns arranged in a way meant to deliver the storyline. We get a minimum amount of information about them, as the whole attention is centered mainly around the events. I got the sensation that the investigation of what happened on the Flight TPA 545 is both the story and the main character of the book and not the persons involved in it.

Airframe is a pretty good story but be warned that you need to prepare your mind with all the patience you can possibly gather in order to get over the scores and scores of technical terms to really get to enjoy the book.

Publicat în Nina Laurin

The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin

Synopsis:

„Local police have announced that they’re closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.”

I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband’s first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There’s a big difference.

My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it’s an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static.

When the voice does finally come, it’s female, low, muffled somehow. „Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is.”

A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She’s not just in my head.

A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It’s Colleen.

Review:

Oh, how confused I felt during the reading of this book…

It starts as a classic family thriller, with a growing feeling of unhappiness, in contrast to the dreams of joy that the main character had when she got married to the one who looked like the ideal husband. And then, slowly, things start to change and you get the feeling that something is wrong, although you cannot really put your finger on what exactly it is. The heroine starts acting weirder than the situation would ask for, normal things begin to look shady, the characters keep changing colors from white to black and vice versa from one chapter to another.

At some point, I was annoyed with the heroine, thinking she’s overreacting and going paranoid for absolutely nothing. Because we’re getting the whole story from her point of view, for a while things don’t seem to make sense, everything is foggy and unclear.

Not until the perspective changes and all of a sudden, boom! Here comes the shocking truth and after that, everything is spiraling out of control, all the puzzle pieces start falling in the right places and you discover a whole new story, in a way you couldn’t have predicted in a million years.