Posted in Julie Clark

The Last Flight by Julie Clark

I just turned the last page of The Last Flight and I’m at a loss for words. I here declare my forever loyalty to this writer and promise to read every single book that she releases 🤩

10 pages into this book and my heart was already in my throat! Whaaaat a ride it has been! The whole book, every single page, every phrase buzzes with electricity, keeping your heart pounding and giving you permanent goosebumps. Even the recollections from the past, the side stories that should throw a wave of calmness and nostalgia don’t manage to dissolve for a second the tension and suspense.

And compared to most of the thrillers published in the last few years, the character’s portraits are anything but bland or stereotypical. I’m absolutely mesmerized by the depth of the two heroines’ personalities and how the author managed to merge the incredible tension with such profound backgrounds, detailed psychological features and intense and relevant message for the present days.

There is absolutely nothing missing from this book, nothing that feels missmatched or inaccurate. Every action, every trait, every step that either Claire or Eva take are deeply rooted in their past, from their childhoods to their recent years. I’m not even sure if some other readers will feel like some parts of the protagonists’ personalities have negative sides. Perhaps Eva might look too dark and too cold or Claire too paranoid and weak. But for me, the background given to them was so well depicted that makes it impossible to judge them even for a second or to feel like they would have had any other choices at any given time.

And over everything else, you can’t stop feeling their fear constantly, like a heavy blanket that covers everything they do, think or feel. Both Claire’s and Eva’s fear feels like a drowning moment on a loop, over and over again. Impossible to forget for even a moment, impossible to be completely free or relaxed even during the simplest activities. Whatever actions they take, whatever thoughts they have, they feel like gulps of air taken between desperate attempts to move, to survive. And yet, both of them find enough strength to fight, to find ways, to give themselves a chance to calculate the difference between reality and the paranoid thoughts seeded inside their minds by the constant terror.

I loved the side characters as well, how colorful they were sketched and how well the writer illustrates the impact of their choices over the lives of Claire and Eva. How a small gesture for someone can mean the world for someone else.

I don’t even know how to end this review, other than highly recommending it. I feel like nothing I could say gives enough justice to how intense the book is or to the way it will throw you on a roller coaster of emotions from the first to the last page.

Posted in Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Some books just don’t give you that addiction feeling that doesn’t let you to put the book down until you don’t find out what happens next or until you’ve finished one more chapter. But in the same time, they are so cozy and comfortable to read that you wouldn’t mind if they would last forever.

This was the case for me with Nine Perfect Strangers. The book doesn’t have any wow factor, it’s not mind blowing in any way. Everything is balanced and mild: the drama, the characters, the mystery. But in the same time, slowly, with every page you read, you get attached to each one of the completely normal and non-spectacular characters, you want to find out more about their boring lives and just dive deeper into their minds. They’re all absolutely normal people, but they’re all nice and funny and the connection that forms between them creates the same pleasant atmosphere.

I’ve read other books from the same author and until now, Nine Perfect Strangers was the most superficial of them all. You know those thin commercial books that used to come when you were buying women magazines in the 90’s? This novel has the exact same vibe. Light, summer read that keeps you entertained enough but without leaving any marks in your memory once you’ve finished it. I wasn’t disappointed by reading it but it’s clearly not the book that I would enthusiastically talk about.

Posted in Trish Harnetiaux

The Secret Santa by Trish Harnetiaux

This book felt very much like a shot of alcohol: super fast and surprisingly intense, you’re finishing it before you even know it and it gives you no time to get bored or lose your interest.

Yes, the story doesn’t go super deep and it might feel more like a short story or novella instead of a full length novel despite the decent number of pages. However, it definitely doesn’t feel rushed or incomplete. Perhaps it’s not offering a lot when it comes to people’ motivations or complex descriptions, but it brings a clear view of the actions happening and colorful enough portraits of the main characters. And by colorful I believe it is the best way to describe the individuals that we’re encountering in The Secret Santa. Nobody could argue that their personalities are the most genuine, but in the same time, they’re not annoyingly unbelievable also. It feels like the author took some very normal features and just exaggerated them enough to make a statement, but not to the point where the characters turn to caricatures. I encountered this technique before with other authors and always loved it. It’s like the characters themselves become the definition of certain traits: ambition, platitude, stubbornness, revenge, etc. But in the same time, they are portrayed with enough colors to give them full personalities. Frankly, you’ll never meet in real life such unidirectional personalities but for sure you won’t mind loving them or hating them when you’re reading about them.

As long as you don’t start the book expecting a deep dive, but instead, a light and catchy story, I’m sure you’ll be enjoying it a lot and find very little things to judge or to dislike.

Posted in Livia Harper

Boyfriend Glasses (Greta Bell #1) by Livia Harper

Synopsis:

The first time Greta saw Blake, she knew he was the one. Knew it like fire knows tinder.

She hadn’t thought she’d be at a frat party her first week in college, but her roommate, Amber, convinced her to go. Greta couldn’t believe how easy it was to get in. It seemed like they threw those parties just so girls like her would come. But she was pretty now, and everything was different. No one knew anything about her ugly duckling past or all the darkness before. It was a whole new world, a brand new start. Then she saw Blake and knew he was her destiny.

But Blake saw Amber first. And he got…confused. Blake was her soul mate. She could tell. She knew all about soul mates.

Too bad about her last one.

Review:

Sick, sick, sick, it’s mental and I fricking loved it. This was by far the craziest novel that I’ve read in… I don’t know… forever?

I definitely did not expect something like this! From the book’s description you can already imagine that something is twisted and wrong, but in no way you can fathom the level of insanity that you will encounter between the pages.

At some point, I was honestly wondering if there are people who are so insane in reality. Then I decided that I don’t actually want to find out. I prefer living in my small glass bubble where everything is fine and everyone is normal and continue imagining that only in books things can go so, so wrong. But afterwards, I noticed some other Goodreads reviews that are mentioning the “Clerambault syndrome” and of course I had to google that and omg, it’s real and damn scary and we should all be afraid to live in this world.

I don’t want to spoil anything from the book, I don’t want to dissect the character’s motives and actions. But I can promise you that you’ll be hooked from the first to the last page and that if you take any breaks from reading, your mind will not be able to concentrate on anything else. You’ll just wish to get back to the story as soon as you can and find out what in the world will happen next. It’s absolutely addictive. I bought the next two books from the series as soon as I reached the last page of Boyfriend Glasses and I swear I felt like my fingers were not moving fast enough on the screen to complete the purchase, that’s how much the adrenaline was pumping through my veins.

If you’re still not convinced to give this book a chance, please be informed that for the moment, it’s still free on Amazon. And even if your reading list is never ending long, be sure that you will finish it in a day or two, so you have no excuse not to let yourself dive into all the madness that this book offers. So do yourself a favor and get it as soon as you can. Be ready for a ride that will defy your logical chain of thoughts and turn the table upside down. You’ll thank me later.

Posted in 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.