Megan Goldin is true to form with her novel, Stay Awake. Another explosive, mind bending novel, Stay Awake is the story of Liv, who wakes up and has no recollection of how she got where she is. Liv has writing all over her hands and arms and the messages are quiet ominous - like STAY AWAKE and trust no one. Liv immediately goes home to check in with her roommate, but finds that she no longer lives there. She can’t find her boyfriend, and her best friend’s mom practically hangs up on her when she calls, and when she goes to work, she doesn’t recognize anybody at the office. With no one to turn to, how can Liv figure out what happened to her and her memory? And with the forbidding messages on her hands and arms, is she truly safe as she tries to get to the bottom of this mystery?
Told in duel timelines, Stay Awake quickly grabs the reader and tells the story of Liv’s past as well as her uncertain future. The dual timelines was a nice approach, as we continue to get bits of pieces of how Liv ended up in this situation while learning more about the situation she had awoken in. The danger for Liv increases throughout, and as the tension ratchets up, Megan more rapidly switches between the timelines to increase the tension.
Stay Awake was a delicious and unique thriller, as the memory loss that the protagonist deals with renders her helpless in a multitude of situations. Another great novel by Megan Goldin! Thank you to Megan Goldin and St. Martin’s press for the copy.
The Trade Off is the story of a new reporter, Jess, eager to improve the corrupt world of journalism. Jess was a rapidly rising reporter at a small paper, and then her boss recommended her for an opportunity at one of the largest tabloids in the country. Jess is excited and can’t wait to make a positive difference in the world of reporting, as her head of the paper wants to change their reporting practices. However, her immediate boss, Stella, seemingly stands in her way.
Stella started off much like Jess, but now she knows the increasing importance of getting the scoop, even if she has to put subjects in a particular situation to create her own scoop.
Jess unwittingly participates in several of Stella’s stunts to manipulate the story, and then feels incredibly guilty for her part once she realizes what happened. Soon, Jess realizes that somebody is trying to stop her from revealing the truth, and may be willing to kill to cover up the backstory. Will Jess be able to stop Stella and the Globe before it’s too late, will Jess turn to manipulation herself to get the viral views, or will Jess be taken out of the picture before she can do any damage to the Globe?
A multitude of twists keep the reader eagerly turning pages while reading The Trade Off. Told from the multiple perspectives of Jess and Stella, this story makes you think about the world of digital media, viral videos, and immediate gratification that we live in, and the impact this has on viewer expectation and the lives of these in the public eye.
Thank you to Sandie Jones and St. Martin’s Press for the advance copy. The Trade Off will be on shelves on August 15th.
Wow. Ruth Ware’s stunning, pulse pounding new thriller, Zero Days, is a propulsive page turner that you won’t be able to put down!!! Pre-order this one now!!!!!
Jacqueline “Jack” and her husband Gabe are “pen tester,” which means that she legally breaks into companies at their request to test their security, both physical security and data/computer security. After getting caught at the end of a job, Jack can’t get Gabe on the phone to clear things up with the police. When everything is finally straightened out, she goes home to find him brutally murdered, and it doesn’t long before she finds herself at the center of the police investigation. Jack wants justice for her husband, and she knows if she is arrested, there won’t be justice for his killer, so she takes off to find her husband’s killer on her own. The rest of the book follows the trials and tribulations of avoiding police capture while trying to investigate her husband’s murder, and this is engrossing!
I couldn’t put Zero Days down! Jack’s adventure tears at your heartstrings, as I could only imagine her heartbreak at the unexpected and brutal murder of her husband, and the shock she felt at being the police’s main suspect. The story is told as a countdown in days to the climax, and Ruth Ware’s detailed descriptions grab the reader and make you feel as though you are watching the scene unfold before you.
If you love Ruth Ware, you won’t want to miss this book! Perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, thrillers, suspense, and whodunnit mysteries, this book had a little of everything!! Thank you to Gallery Books and Ruth Ware for the advance copy. Another breathtaking stunner of a thriller from Ruth Ware!!
The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth is a tale of the tribulations of marriage when love, power, and mental health issues collide. Everybody has a secret that they want to keep, but what at what cost?
Gabe and Pippa live with their toddler girls in a cottage up on a cliff by the seaside. The cliff by their house is unfortunately a known location for suicide jumpers. Gabe, with his charm and charisma, has found a new purpose in his life in talking potential jumpers off the ledge. Gabe has a history of mental health struggles, and Pippa worries about Gabe’s reaction when the inevitable happens, and there is a jumper that he cannot talk off the cliff.
Max and Amanda are an extremely wealthy married couple. Their marriage is a marriage of convenience, and they both provide each other with stability and loyalty. Until one day, Amanda commits suicide.
Amanda is the one Gabe couldn’t talk off the cliff. But Pippa questions if Gabe is telling the truth about what happened up on the cliff side that evening. Amanda’s husband has the wealth and power to get even, and Pippa is terrified for her young girls and their family. Will Pippa's family be safe? Did Gabe push Amanda off the cliff?
The Soulmate is told from multiple viewpoints and multiple timelines, but Sally Hepworth helps the reader keep everything straight by clearly labeling the narrator and timing of each chapter. Amanda narrates both before and after her suicide, and has more of an “all seeing” viewpoint after her death. This definitely enhances the story. The alternating narrators and viewpoints ratchet up the tension thought out the story, as Sally comes to a crucial part of the story and then will switch narrators, keeping you propulsively turning pages.
Thank you to Sally Hepworth and St. Martin's press for the advance copy!
The woman in the shed, Emily, and Cecilia are all intimately connected by one man - Aiden. They call him by different names, and know different facets of his personality. Only one of them knows the dark secrets of what Aiden is capable of, and she is the one that doesn't know his name.
The Quiet Tenant is the story of a woman that is hiding behind the name of Rachel - she has been kidnapped by a man and kept in his shed for 5 years. During this time, she has learned the rules to survive, which include many repetitions of "I'm sorry" and not fighting back, and is fairly certain that he has killed others during her stay in his shed. She doesn't completely know why he decided to spare her, but strives to maintain the tentative equilibrium to stay alive. One day, he tells her that he has to move soon, and the woman in the shed fears for her life again. He seems reluctant to kill her, and she takes advantage of that by working to manipulate him to take her along. She repeatedly assures him that she will be good and cooperative in the new place, because she wouldn't be alive without him.
However, a complication exists in the form of his daughter, Cecilia. The man has to come up with a story to tell Cecilia about why he is bringing this strange woman into their home, as well as figure out new work arounds to contain her while keeping his daughter clueless as to the real arrangement. While this is going on, Aiden is also beginning a romantic relationship with Emily. Will Aiden be able to keep all of these separate pieces of his life apart and juggle the complexity of the situation he has created, or will one of these women discover the truth behind the others and bring everything crashing down?
The Quiet Tenant was an intriguing read for me, as although it was a novel about a serial killer, it was told from a very different perspective as it included people who loved him. This emphasized that although he was a monster, he could be quite loving, and that he had a multitude of facets to her personality. What was it about him that drove him to kidnap and kill? Why did he see different women in different lights? How did he choose his victims vs. somebody that he took care of? We do not get to see Aiden's perspective, but the narrative of all 3 women is woven together with great skill to paint the picture of a man that is unbelievably cruel, but a loving father, and reminds us that you never truly know everything about anybody.
Thank you to the Clemence Michallon and to Knopf, Pantheon, Vintage, and Anchor Publishing the advance copy of The Quiet Tenant. It comes out on June 20th, 2023, and you'll want to scoop it up right away!
What the Neighbor's Saw tells the story of Alexis and Sam, who are young parents, looking to move on up in the world. They find their opportunity when a fixer-upper is listed in a prominent neighborhood, and jump on the chance to buy this home for their growing family. However, in working to fix up their new home, Alexis and Sam feel the strain of stretched finances, adding a second child to their family, and building relationships in their new neighborhood where Alexis doesn't quite feel she fits in as people continue to mistake her for the nanny.
The story is told through alternating viewpoints, primarily from Alexis and Blair's perspectives. Blair is a neighbor that has seemingly befriended Alexis and is the most welcoming to her of anybody in the neighborhood. However, early in their burgeoning friendship, Blair's husband is murdered. Police struggle to find the murderer, and a few other small yet troublesome events occur with neighbors traipsing through the nearby woods at night that cause Alexis to be worried about the safety of their new neighborhood.
Although this neighborhood is overall inhabited by wealthy families, they do not have the privacy and lack of drama that Alexis expected, and she begins to wish that they stayed back in their old neighborhood. Who murdered Blair's husband? Will Alexis and her family be safe?
Thank you to the Melissa Adelman and Minotaur Publishing for the advanced copy. Publishing on June 20th, definitely one to scoop up now!
In the Intern, Madison is a college student working her way through law school, and struggling to balance the necessities of her studies with her family's needs. Madison's brother is arrested, and her mother thinks that Madison has the connections to "fix" the situation that he has found himself in due to her knowledge of the law. However, Madison is trying to prepare for finals, and recently started an internship for a judge and doesn't want to rock the boat.
However, concerning events begin occurring while Madison is working at the internship, and things aren't quite adding up. Could the judge that Madison is interning for possibly be mixed up in some shady deals? Is there a connection between the judge's potential shady dealings and the fact that the judge was also the judge for Madison's brother's case? Madison finds herself sneaking deeper and deeper into the underpinnings of the judge's life to try to get to the bottom of the situation, for both herself as well as her brother. What she discovers may
The Intern was an interesting story and an enjoyable read. The sentence structure and writing style mirror the age and personality of the narrator, and it’s impressive how Michelle has altered her writing style to mimic the voice of her main character. I felt the voice was a bit young for me to connect completely with the character; however, I still enjoyed the storyline and the book overall.
Thank you to Michelle Campbell and St. Martin's Press for the advanced copy. If you've enjoyed Michelle Campbell's previous books, you'll enjoy The Intern. Grab a copy now!
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