I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Bookouture.
Everyone, even her parents, says Lorna Bell is a bad little girl.I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Bookouture.
Everyone, even her parents, says Lorna Bell is a bad little girl. But when a child tells you someone is abusing her, you have to believe her, no matter what. Because a little girl would never lie about something so terrible. Would she?
Bad Little Girl is a dark psychological thriller that will leave you feeling horrified at how truly evil someone can be, and how far they are willing to go in order to get what they want.
There were several things I liked about this novel. The story is much different from anything I’ve read in a while, with strong characters and vividly written throughout. I could easily picture everything in my mind as I read; even as I write this review more than a month later, I can still ‘see’ several scenes that played out in the story.
The one thing I was disappointed with, and what ultimately led me to give a three star rating rather than a four star rating, was being able to figure out a few key things in the story long before it was ultimately revealed near the end of the novel. I’m still torn on whether or not it’s fair to give it the lower rating, but I’ll leave it as that’s how I rated it immediately after I finished it.
Rating uncertainties aside, Frances Vick is definitely a worthy addition to my Author Radar. I’ll be on the lookout for more of her work!...more
I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing.
When I’m reading a good novel, I become attached to theI received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing.
When I’m reading a good novel, I become attached to the characters. I’m always sad to reach the end because I always want to know what happened next. When I read Saving Abby last year, I wasn’t ready to let go of the Turner family. I wanted—no, I needed—to know how Josh managed to go on without Claire at his side… how he coped with raising their daughter alone… and wondering if he would ever be able to find love again. I wanted to know what came next in Josh’s life.
Those questions do get answered in Abby’s Journey, but this sequel isn’t focused on what came next for Josh. The spotlight falls on Abby this time around, concentrating on her European vacation with grandmother Millie, visiting Christmas markets.
I enjoyed reading about Abby, but… taking a winter vacation despite her medical condition? I had trouble accepting that Millie would be willing to risk it, after losing Claire.
Abby’s Journey wasn’t quite the sequel I’d hoped to read, but it was nice to be able to read about these characters again, and find out what came next in their lives. While I didn’t love the winter setting, I did understand why visiting the Christmas markets was so important to Abby, and why she longed to do other “normal” winter activities.
The way the book ends made me smile… I can’t say why in this review, but it was something I dreaded seeing the resolution of, but I need not have worried. That particular issue resolved itself in the most wonderful way, and is probably my favorite part of the book....more
Emily and Elizabeth Rooth have deep psychological scars due the horrific abuse they suffered as very young children. What could have been a tragedy beEmily and Elizabeth Rooth have deep psychological scars due the horrific abuse they suffered as very young children. What could have been a tragedy becomes a rescue, allowing the girls to escape their hellish existence in their mother’s home and be adopted by a loving couple. Some wounds never fully heal, however, and the girls are unable to let themselves trust their new parents—or anyone else—with their secrets and fears, depending only on each other and dealing with their emotional pain as best they can. At 18, Elizabeth is a college student sharing an apartment with a severely depressed, self-harming Emily, and spending most of her free time alone with her sister and keeping her in the dark about her boyfriend. When the truth is revealed, it kicks off a chain of events leading to Emily’s death and Elizabeth’s stay in a psychiatric hospital. In order to heal, she has to face the unbearable truths of her repressed memories, and learn how to finally let Emily go… if she can.
We’ve all read books at one time or another that don’t live up to the hype, but this book is most definitely NOT one of them. Phantom Limb is absolutely phenomenal, and I highly recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers. Finely crafted characters and an intricately woven plot culminated in an ending so unexpected, it took my breath away. This book was a pleasure to read, and earned Lucinda Berry a spot on my Author Radar....more
I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Bookouture.
Shortly before publication day rolled around, this book—previouslyI received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Netgalley and Bookouture.
Shortly before publication day rolled around, this book—previously titled The Secrets of Second Wives— was given a makeover. While I didn't dislike the original title and cover image, I have to agree that the changes were for the best. The new cover image is captivating; the new title succinct and just a bit mysterious.
I've come to expect characters who feel authentic and stay true to their roles in Fisher's books, and she definitely delivered on that score. Whether it was the image they presented in front of others, or the true selves revealed only in their thoughts and/or private moments, there was never a moment of atypical behavior. (I've read many books where that was not the case, so it's worth mentioning.)
While Maggie's story is interesting, I have to admit Lara's story was far more fascinating to me. The things Lara kept silent about—as well as the why and how behind her silence—were far more serious and worrisome than the things Maggie kept hidden, in my opinion. I felt far more concerned about her than I ever did about Maggie, even though I cared about her story, as well. The silence is shattered for both women in an explosive scene that shines the unflattering light of truth on those closest to them, shaking the entire family to the core and changing all their lives forever. One character in particular gets some much needed comeuppance and I loved every moment of it!
This is a great read by a great author, and I definitely recommend it!...more
I'm not quite sure how my fascination with polygamy began. It may have been a news report that sparked my curiosity, or perhaps it was an article in a magazine, or an interview on a talk show. However it started, I'm usually unable to pass up the chance to read the memoir of someone who chose to share their personal experiences of such a life.
The Polygamist's Daughter is the memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious Ervil LeBaron. Ervil was the self-proclaimed "prophet" of the Church of the First Born of the Lamb of God. As leader of this polygamous Mormon fundamentalist group, LeBaron ordered the murders of 25+ people, citing the doctrine of blood atonement as justification for killing rival leaders, members of his family, and followers. It began with the murder of brother Joel LeBaron in 1972, and finally ended seven years after his death with the "4 O’Clock Murders" in 1988—carried out by seven members of his family, who killed their targets at exactly 4pm.
Anna's childhood was spent being moved from one location to another, often in the dead of night, in an effort to prevent the authorities from tracking down her father. Often separated from her mother and siblings, her childhood years were marked with uncertainty and fear, living in poverty and having very little contact with her father. When she was 13, Anna made the decision to leave the cult, and it changed her life forever—but it was not without long-term consequences.
LeBaron's writing style is engaging, drawing you in without over-dramatizing even the most shocking events of her life. She tells her story in a straightforward manner that reflects not only the wisdom she's gained over the years, but also the strength that came out of enduring hardship and devastation... culminating in a spiritual peace that was lacking when she was a child.
Definitely worth reading if this is a subject you're curious about.
The narrative is told from multiple points of view—Alex Gardinier (referred to as Alexandra Hallow in the psych hospital, which is set in the present day), Caroline Gardinier (her sister), Lucia Belo (a nurse at the hospital), and Sandra Jackson (mother of a missing young woman). With so many different points of view, it could easily have become confusing, but each character's particular voice was easily recognizable to me. I felt it enhanced the book to be able to see all parts of the story through the eyes of the character 'living it', so to speak, as well as enhancing the sense of danger and/or urgency of recent or impending actions.
I don't want to give anything away about the story, so I'll just say this: Several events take place in each character's story where the tension is painfully intense. I found myself holding my breath or gasping out loud more than a few times as I was reading. And that's a very good thing when you're reading a psychological thriller!
Twardowski's debut is a well-crafted thrill ride that will keep you on the edge of your seat, leading to an anxiety-inducing finale that, for me, felt like the perfect resolution for one of the four women in particular. It has earned her a well-deserved spot on my author radar, as well... I'll be on the lookout for Kristen Twardowski's next novel. I'm envisioning great things from her in the future....more