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With Malice

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It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published June 7, 2016

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About the author

Eileen Cook

41 books963 followers
Eileen Cook spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileencook.com. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

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5 stars
1,723 (13%)
4 stars
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3 stars
4,973 (37%)
2 stars
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1 star
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,252 reviews
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
June 6, 2016
Two pretty girls, an exotic foreign location, mystery as to why I did it, and the potential for revenge and jealousy to be the cause. It didn’t matter what the truth was — what mattered was that it was fun to talk about.

3 1/2 stars. I'm not going to pretend With Malice is perfect or a game-changer. It's nothing but a fast-paced, page-turning YA thriller. But - what can I say - I just had so much fun reading it.

This is a mystery/thriller clearly based on the Amanda Knox trial. Jill Charron wakes up in hospital and cannot remember the last six weeks of her life - a time in which she was involved in an accident that killed her best friend. That by itself would be hard enough to deal with. But now statements are emerging saying that Jill fought with Simone before the accident, that the crash looked deliberate, that their friendship wasn't all it seemed.

Jill can't remember this at all. She remembers a long, loving friendship. Two girls who shared everything. Two girls who would never let a boy come between them. So, how can she explain what people telling her? And there is, of course, the darker question: could she somehow be a murderer?
Anne looked at me as if I were delusional. “It doesn’t matter what’s true — what matters is what people believe.”

With Malice is very much driven by the plot and mystery. It's likely that you will find sympathy for Jill along the way, as she deals with the cruel depictions of the media and her increasingly suspicious parents (truly, the slut-shaming of her was enraging), but this is not the kind of book you remember for the characters. It's the kind of book you remember for the not knowing.

Jill's narrative is split up with interview transcripts, written witness statements, emails and Facebook statuses and comments. I enjoy multi format novels, especially in mystery/thrillers, so this worked well for me. And it showed how the truth could be distorted and differ so greatly among different people.

I foresee comparisons to Dangerous Girls arising, and it's not quite that good. But where DG is about the obsessive nature of teen girl friendships and all the lies, jealousies and manipulations of that world, this book is about the relationship between truth and memory. The flimsy nature of them both. Even when Jill's memories start to return, her doctor reminds her that she could just be remembering events she's been told happened by her parents and the press, making her an unreliable narrator and the truth even further out of reach.

It was exciting, thrilling and extremely enjoyable. I sometimes felt my eyes trying to skip ahead on the page because I couldn't wait to find out what would happen. There are problems with it - as I said, it's not character-driven, and some of the Italian characters/witnesses seem to fall into comical stereotypes - but, overall, it was a whole lot of fun.

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Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,571 reviews33.9k followers
June 21, 2016
Good thrillers are few and far between--and they're even scarcer in YA. This one has the heroine lying in a hospital bed for almost the entire book, and yet it manages to be full of suspense.

It features: characters who reveal their true natures gradually, a slower but well-paced plot, and methodical police/legal/medical procedures. (Obviously it takes some liberties, but enough ground work is laid to satisfy the inexpert reader.) These elements all fit neatly together into an entertaining puzzle of a story that touches on the dark underbelly of friendships and the uncertainty of new passion, as well as the terrible things that can happen when we're pushed to our limits. It also accurately portrays the culture of internet trial by jury, as well as skillfully rendered records of court transcripts and interviews.

I really liked the ending. I can also relate to

All in all, a really well-crafted book that I liked immensely; even if you guess the ending, it's an enjoyable experience. I was surprised to find that I've actually read two of the author's previous books, both of which I was lukewarm about. I hope she writes more thrillers in the future, though! She has a rare talent for it.

A review copy was provided by the publisher.

PS, the hardback came with a fun evidence bag and other mysterious crime items. Photographs on my Tumblr: http://misswendyd.tumblr.com/post/145... .
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,573 reviews5,902 followers
January 21, 2016
I had not heard of this book until I requested one of the Buzz Books from Netgalley. It was featured in that and I read a bit of it and realized that maybe it wasn't a cheap knock off of the books it's being compared too. 'For fans of We Were Liars and The Girl on the Train comes a chilling'...I hated both those books. Please I've said this before.......
Palm Springs commercial photography

Jill wakes up. Finds out she is in a hospital with a jacked up leg and stitches everywhere.
Palm Springs commercial photography
She then finds out that she took that trip to Italy that she has been dying to go on and that her best friend Simone is now dead. (Not a spoiler-cool your panties)

She has no memory at all of the last six weeks. She discovers that the Italian police want her for questioning and her rich dad has hired a lawyer for her. Jill is not a character I hated. I really thought she would grate on my last nerve because...
Didn't she know who she was talking to? National Merit Scholar. Perfect score in Ms. Harmer's chemistry class, first time in school history. State debate champion and an almost certain shoo-in for our class valedictorian.

Jill is quite like-able as a character. Even though she comes from a rich broken family she still comes through as very real and her pain about Simone's death was actually believable.
Listening to Simone talk about her love life. I was the observer. I didn't bother with messy relationships. I preferred crushes on unattainable people-actors, musicians, or characters in a book. Fictional boyfriends were way more satisfying, in my experience.

The reader gets to go through the aftermath with Jill. The therapy trying to bring back some memories.
Palm Springs commercial photography

The real fear of going to jail in another country.
My only experience with jail was a show on Netflix, and I was willing to bet my cellmates wouldn't have such a great sense of humor.
Palm Springs commercial photography

How the internet and media can make a person feel like a bag of turds?
Anyone who says "sticks and stones might break some bones, but words will never hurt you" has never been in my shoes. I'd prefer being beaten with rocks-it would hurt, but it would be nothing compared to the razor cuts of a million nasty words.

Then finding out that she was involved with a boy that she has no memory of and that she and her best friend might not have been as perfect as she thought?
Palm Springs commercial photography

I would have given this book that full five stars except for the fact that the ending seemed a bit rushed and I expected more from a book that didn't let me put it down all day.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.

Palm Springs commercial photography

There are not many reviews up yet for this book. (You guys need to run and get it and let me know if I'm crazy for liking it so much). This review gives you a peek of what you are getting into also.

Profile Image for Deanna .
664 reviews12.4k followers
August 8, 2016
4.5 Stars!!


Simple Definition of malice

: a desire to cause harm to another person

Full Definition of malice

1 :desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another
2 :intent to commit an unlawful act or cause harm without legal justification or excuse

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up to what she thinks is the annoying sound of an alarm clock. However she quickly realizes she's in the hospital and it's the monitors she's attached to that are beeping. She has absolutely no idea why she's in the hospital. But she knows things must be bad as BOTH of her parents (divorced with no love lost between them) are there. When she tries to speak she has trouble expressing herself and remembering the correct words for certain things. She also can't remember what happened.

She wants to talk to her best friend Simone but her mom says only family can visit. She's told that she was in a car accident. One of her first thoughts is that she won't be better in time for her trip to Italy. Shockingly, she finds out that the trip has already happened and that Italy is where the car accident took place. Jill is devastated to learn that Simone was killed in the same car accident and that Jill was driving the car.

Jill still has no recollection of her time in Italy or the accident. She is horrified to hear that people are suggesting that it was no accident and that Jill crashed the car on purpose. That the police may in fact even hold her responsible for Simone's death, that she could have to go to court and possibly even to jail.

She loved Simone. She would never hurt her best friend, especially on purpose....
Would she?

Quite a bit of the story is told from Jill's point of view. However, the author also included other things like interviews with police, newspaper articles, Facebook posts, emails, media statements and much more to give an idea of what happened. It also gave an idea of how Jill was being perceived in the media, by the public and by police. I loved the fact that the author included this other information to give the reader a better perspective of everything going on in the story.

I really enjoyed this book. Well written with a fantastic plot that had me gripped from beginning to end. I have not previously read any other books by Eileen Cook. However, after reading this book, I am really looking forward to more from this author.

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and Eileen Cook for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

My reviews can also be seen at:

Profile Image for Ariel.
301 reviews64.2k followers
September 15, 2016
Well! This book took me for a spin! Never before has a book caused me so much unending stress.. but in a fun way where I just had to keep reading to try and find that sweet relief.
Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,243 followers
May 17, 2016
You wake up all groggy in a hospital bed in a state of confusion. You can’t remember why or how you got there. You realize you are in a lot of pain, but still can’t remember a damn thing. You are at the mercy of others to tell you what happened. Come to find out, you’ve been in an accident - one that killed your best friend. You were driving. And you have absolutely no memory of the last six weeks of your life (or more like of your best friend’s life) including that trip to Italy you were so excited for. There’s a bigger problem. They are saying it wasn’t an accident after all. It was deliberate and the two of you were fighting. You know you wouldn’t have done such a thing. But how can you defend what you can’t remember?

Welcome to Jill’s world. We are with her as she tries to put all the missing puzzle pieces together. With Malice is mainly set in a hospital and rehab facility as Jill works on healing her body as well as her memory. The story is told mainly from Jill’s perspective. Every other chapter is made up of excerpts from police interviews, email, Facebook, incident reports, blog posts, texts, articles, etc. These added additional insight to the story giving an idea of what the general public and media were thinking. It helped to show how easily things can be twisted and viewed in different ways.

The comparisons to Dangerous Girls are inevitable. Both stories focus on two female best friends and the investigation of a possible murder in a foreign location. Unlike the latter, this one didn’t have our story actually set in the foreign country. Our characters made it back to America before the actual investigation occurs. They also have different themes, possibly in part because Dangerous Girls happens to include more of a psychological exploration of the aforementioned female friendship. Though they both drew comparisons to the Amanda Knox trial, I found they really weren’t too similar.

I really enjoyed this book. It was quick, thrilling, and I read it in only a few hours. My intentions were only to read a chapter...you see how that turned out. The story was plot-driven and had plenty of twists. If you typically enjoy YA thrillers, you don’t want to miss out!
Profile Image for Jennifer Masterson.
200 reviews1,126 followers
June 18, 2016
3.5 Stars for "With Malice". This book is NOT "Dangerous Girls". This book is not "Gone Girl". This book isn't even "The Good Girl"! If you are looking for a thrill ride on hyper speed go elsewhere, but, but, it's a descent little YA mystery! I wish it was marketed as such!

Jill wakes up in a hospital room with Aphasia. She can't remember what has happened in the past six weeks. She finds out that she and her best friend, Simone, had been in Italy. While they were in Italy they had been in a horrible car accident. Jill was the driver. Jill is hurt, but Simone is dead! Jill's father is a piece of work. That's all I'm going to tell you. If you want a better and more in detailed review please check out my friend Shelby's review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... . Her review inspired me to give this book a try. I'm so glad I did!!!

I listened to the audio version. The narrator was good until she had to do an Italian accent. No mas!!! This could have used a better narrator. I'm just keeping it real.

Recommended for fans of the YA genre!
757 reviews2,346 followers
May 3, 2017
DNF at page 58.

I have a right to DNF a book I can't find a fuck to give about. Life is too short to read shitty books. :))

My reason to DNF this book?
The main character. :))

Jill fucking Charron is such a bland, plain, and emotionless character.

Jill: *wakes up in a hospital room bruised and hurt*
Lawyer: We need to question you about your accident shit blah blah blah
Jill: -Oooh damn boy you're probably my dad's age, but you're fucking hawt-
Lawyer leaves
Jill: *finds out her best friend Simone is dead*
Jill: Oh okay. *stares into space*
Jill: *continues to stare in space*
Mom comes in.
Jill: *gets all fucking angry and punches mother's hand* WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T YOU TELL ME THAT SIMONE DIED???
Mother: *sobs* WE ARE SORRY HONEY
Jill: *stares into space again*
Jill: "I want to cry"
but she doesn't cry. She doesn't even care. this bitch has no emotion. and I don't want to continue reading about some emotionless bitch. This story didn't pull me in and I definitely did not connect with any characters.

Ugh I can't even with this one.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,438 reviews78k followers
May 14, 2016
Full review found at https://thesuspenseisthrillingme.word...

Date Read: 05/14/16

Pub Date: 06/07/16

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last 6 weeks should be. She comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy three days previous but was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

COVER ART!!! Gorgeous. This is the most beautiful cover I’ve laid eyes on in awhile. It has all my favorite colors, the water, even the fonts used are aesthetically pleasing. I don’t usually gush over cover art but this one deserved it!

” Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists, unless laughter
could be said to remedy anything.” -Kurt Vonnegut

When we are first introduced to Jill, she is waking up in a hospital room with no memory of the past 6 weeks, battered and bruised, and not as concerned about her situation as she should be. Her and best friend Simone were in an accident abroad in Italy and Jill can’t piece together what really happened. Jill is transferred to a rehab facility to “focus on healing” while also being shielded from the ever-growing paparazzi that seem to stalk her family’s every move. We join Jill in a journey to discover the truth about that disturbing day and what truly transpired. Was the wreck truly an accident or something more sinister?

I found myself completely sucked into this book once I began. Eating? Showering? Who needs those silly things; I had a mystery to solve! The pacing and length of this book was fast moving, which caused me to finish in just over 24 hours. I was trying to find excuses to pick this book up at all costs; heck I went to the gym twice so that I could read without being disturbed on the elliptical. The characters were pretty good for such a quick read; my favorite was Jill’s rehab roommate Anna. I liked her gumption; she got more accomplished in her few moments than that arrogant lawyer Evan and Jill’s pompous daddy combined throughout the entire novel. I also really liked the format of how the story was told; we had chapters from Jill’s perspecticles (that’s totally a word) that were broken up with chapters from travel books, police interrogations, and news/blog updates.

I was slightly disappointed that not all my questions were answered by the books conclusion. I’m not the type to need everything spelled out for me but there were a few crucial aspects (or so I felt) that needed explaining. I also felt the ending was a bit rushed after all the suspense and tension was built throughout most of the book, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this read! The sheer fact that I couldn’t put this book down seems reason enough to read it, but if you enjoyed Dangerous Girls I think this is right up your alley. This is my first experience with author Eileen Cook but certainly won’t be my last!

*I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review; this has not influenced my review in any way.
Profile Image for Bren fall in love with the sea..
1,574 reviews272 followers
August 5, 2022
“Why is it they say you always hurt the ones you love? Because you know exactly how to do it.”
― Eileen Cook, With Malice

I just love the cover for this one. It makes me want to go to Italy. Rome..Amalfi...yes.

So this is a mystery along the same lines, (to an extent) as The Dangerous Girls. But it has it's own style as well.

The plot concerns Jill who has amnesia. She wakes up in hospital. She cannot remember anything and is horrified to find out her best friend is dead..and she is being looked at as the prime suspect.

All of this story takes place in the hospital, as Jill fights to regain her memory and figure out what happened. She had gone on vacation to Italy with her friend..and like with Dangerous Girls, their friendship was complicated.

It is impossible..for me anyway..to read this and NOT be reminded of Dangerous girls..the plot is so similar. Yet there are important differences as well. Throughout the story we, the readers do not know if Jill is an unreliable narrator or not and part of the fun is not knowing what will happen next.

Also you would think a book that takes place in a hospital would be depressing but it is not. I quite enjoyed this story. I would not rank it anywhere near as good as Dangerous girls although that is my personal preference talking. But this book does not slap you with a plot twist in the way Dangerous girls does.

I think many people will want to read this, particularly if you have a passion for mysteries. Also if you liked Dangerous girls you will most likely like this although as I said, there is not the twisted element in this nearly as much.

In short..3.5 stars rounded up to four for a fun, interesting piece of great quality writing.
Profile Image for Sandra.
193 reviews98 followers
June 8, 2016

Two best friends.
A trip to Italy.
An accident.
One girl injured.
The other one dead.
“Don’t you get it? Who we are is what comes out when shit goes bad . You can’t tell anything about a person when things are great. If you want to really know someone, be there when everything goes to hell.”

18-year old Jill wakes up in the hospital, with a broken leg, a concussion, and no recollection of what happened at all. The news that her best friend Simone was with her during the incident, but did not make it, devastates her. To make matters worse, the Italian police doesn't think it was an accident.

We see everything unfold from Jill's perspective, but there is an added dimension through police reports, relentless (social) media coverage and public responses. It involves the reader and lets us form our own opinion. Questions arise and you just want to know more and more. What actually happened? Who is this guy who seems to play an important role on their trip?

This book got my heart thumping, my mind racing, and I have to admit that it was one exhilarating ride! The book just sucks you right in and it doesn't let you go until you are done with the last page.

Highly recommended whether you read YA or not.

Review copy supplied by publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a rating and/or review.
Profile Image for Andie .
261 reviews373 followers
February 16, 2017
Actual rating 4.5 stars

The synopsis really gripped me and I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book! With Malice is an addictive, fast-paced YA mystery-thriller. There are so many variables and twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't put the book down and ended up finishing in less than a day! Real life - what's that? There was no such thing till I turned that last page.

Jill wakes up in a hospital room with multiple wounds, unable to walk, and no recollection of how she got there or the past six weeks. She soon discovers she was in a car accident during a school trip in Italy that she doesn't even remember going on. And she's definitely not prepared to hear that her best friend, Simone, ended up on the trip with her and was killed in that accident.

The majority of the book is Jill trying to piece together the events she's forgotten all the while trying to heal her body and mind. The authorities believe the accident wasn't really an accident at all, but rather malicious intent. Learning the truth may be the difference between Jill walking away free or spending major time in an Italian prison for murder.

The story is told strictly from Jill's pov with police transcripts, text logs, emails, blog posts, and various newspaper and talk show scripts woven throughout. I loved this added element because with Jill's head injury, she is a pretty unreliable source. So it's up to the reader to use these additional sources to try to determine if Jill is guilty or innocent. Seeing Jill and Simone's characterization from third party perspectives adds to the whole mystery aspect. Are these sources telling the truth or are they just trying to feel like they are in the know? That's for you to guess.

Overall, I'm very impressed with this book! It's exciting, suspenseful, and keeps your head spinning. I haven't read many thrillers in the YA genre so this was a wonderful surprise. Definitely recommend to those looking for their next entertaining mystery novel.

Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,723 reviews1,278 followers
June 8, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Bonnier Publishing and NetGalley.)

“You were in a car accident.”

This was a YA mystery story about a girl who couldn’t remember the car accident which almost killed her.

Jill was an okay character, although her amnesia was a bit frustrating. She did seem totally in the dark as to what had happened though, and truly believed that she couldn’t have crashed the car on purpose.

The storyline in this was able Jill waking up in a hospital, and having no memories of the previous 6 weeks of her life, including the car accident that landed her in hospital. We got the police trying to work out what had happened, and Jill trying to regain her memories, as well as the threat of Jill being arrested for her part in the accident. We did get a couple of twists, and I thought the mystery aspect of the story was done pretty well.

The ending to this did thankfully tell us what had happened, although I did guess part of the mystery.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
592 reviews3,540 followers
November 14, 2016
4.25 stars

"It doesn't matter what's true—what matters is what people believe."

With Malice shares a lot of similarities with Dangerous Girls. Two teenage girls go on vacation, a boy is the source of a lot of tension, and most importantly one girl is accused of murdering her best friend.

It puts its own spin on the female relationship-oriented narrative though. I would wager it's more realistic than Dangerous Girls because Jill and Simone aren't incestuously close—they're just really, really good friends, and there lies its appeal. You can see your own relationships reflected in theirs.

Like Gone Girl, it plays with the media's ability to conjure a story. In this age, no jury is unbiased. We all get the truth in one form or another. With Malice adds another element: social media. The MC suffers from retrograde amnesia and readers are left to piece together what happens alongside her. We never know if something's wholly true or the problem of perspective. Even the ending leaves us guessing if the version of events we heard is the real one. Is there even an ultimate truth, is what With Malice ultimately asks. Or are we limited by our own viewpoint?

I really liked how they addressed privilege and white feminism. Jill used to run a blog about feminism, but shut it down after a troll accused her of being unable to relate because of her status as a rich girl who has never faced any real problems. Sara, her Latina roommate, pointed out that Jill unconsciously expected everything to turn out right because it always has. When she sees a police officer, she's always going to think he's here to help.

It makes readers question our sympathy towards her. Oh, rich little white girl using her American status to get out of being trialed in Italy. Remember that American man who removed a painting in North Korea and was sentenced to prison there? I feel bad for him and North Korea is obviously a horrible place, but he did commit a crime. I'm probably going to get a lot of flak for pointing this out, but if anyone in North Korea did it, they'd be arrested. Why should he get special treatment?

Even so, it's hard not to feel sorry for Jill because she's us in so many ways. I'm willing to bet a lot of us on this site are in the middle-class sweet spot. We may not be able to afford a jet ski, but we have a roof over our head, food to eat, money to buy books. When we see a police officer, our first instinct isn't to hide. I know not everyone on Goodreads has the same advantages I described and I in no way mean to force my perspective on you, but Cook's characterization of Jill just made me think. About the criminal system, about privilege, and about myself.

(Just to clarify, I'm a Chinese girl living in Hong Kong. We have our own version of privilege here and I have to honestly admit I am part of the advantaged class. I can bitch about the rising property market and my family's lower middle-class status, but I won't worm my way out of it.)

Profile Image for Constantine.
832 reviews134 followers
February 21, 2022

Rating: 3.5/5.0

Mystery + Thriller + Young Adult

This is the story of two 18-year-old girls, Jill Charron & Simone McIvory. One day Jill wakes up in a hospital not remembering the fatal car accident that she was involved in during her trip to Italy. She will be accused of murdering her best friend. Did she do it or not? This is what you need to find out.

Book Structure:
The book is 316 pages with a total of 32 chapters. The writing structure is mixed between first person's narration which is from Jill's point of view and police reports and interviews, blogs, emails, others comments, news reports, etc.

“Why is it they say that you always hurt the ones you love? Because you know exactly how to do it.”

My Thoughts:
I went into this book not expecting much. Usually, YA thrillers do not impress me much. I have no idea why. Hate to say this but many times I feel they tend to be somehow superficial. Of course, that is not the case with all YA thrillers but at least the majority of books that I have read. With Malice has an interesting structure. As a reader, you will get to see the point of view of the main character and also many points of view of different characters. I feel this has created some kind of conflict to spice up the story. The reader will not know who to believe!

Like most thrillers, it is hard to pick sides or to know who tells you the truth or who is lying. But every reader has a gut feeling and may predict something about the events. Through the middle of the book, I could tell where the story was heading. There are some small reveals changing the direction of the story every few chapters but the end result remained what I was expecting.

The writing is easy to follow and one can read this book in one single sit if desired. I honestly don't have anything to rave about characters here. This was a lot more story-driven book than character-driven. The biggest reveal in the book is not a twist. I call them twists only when I don't expect them to happen. With Malice is not a top-notch thriller but it was not a boring one for me. I was entertained despite the predictability. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.0.

“Fictional boyfriends were way more satisfying, in my experience. They almost always said the right thing, and when you got bored with them, you just put them back on the shelf.”
Profile Image for Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd).
332 reviews7,309 followers
July 10, 2016
With Malice is a YA thriller that is both fun to read, and has a fantastic pay off once you reach the end of the story. The book follows 18-year-old Jill, who wakes up in the hospital to find that she has no memory of the previous six weeks of her life. She is informed that she has spent a portion of that time in Italy, with her best friend, and that she was involved in a fatal car accident. A car accident that people are telling her doesn't seem quite so accidental.
This book was a deeply interesting and utterly enjoyable read. The use of an unreliable narrator as the main character was clever and well done. Jill was a character that kept me invested, she was sympathetic while allowing me a lot of room to form my own ideas and theories regarding in the mystery.
This book also uses multi-media elements in an incredibly smart way, mixing them intermittently with Jill's narration so we get to see clues from the point of view of investigators, reporters, and average at-home followers of the story. It was my favorite use of multi-media in a book that I have seen in quite a while now. It was effective while not feeling like a gimmick.
Overall, the story kept me utterly interested from the first page to the last, and it kept me up for hours reading it. It was entertaining, interesting, and such a welcome addition to the YA thriller genre, feeling just a step above so many others I have read.
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,036 reviews669 followers
January 28, 2016
This YA novel seems to hit a lot of the right notes. Best friends Jill and Simone are on a school sponsored trip to Italy. Jill is a bookworm, studious, with a great love of history. Simone is the life of the party, the daredevil, she is the cool kid without even having to try. As with any friendship, there is always one who backs down more quickly, one who gives in first, one who compromises more. The same holds true here.

Six weeks isn't really a very long time, but when you are only 18 and the past six weeks have included at least three life-altering events, it just might seem a little more significant. The trouble is, Jill has had those six weeks wiped clean out of her head, courtesy of a horrific auto accident.

As she heals, Jill tries desperately to remember what happened during that trip to Italy. Bits and pieces of memory flash in and out of her consciousness, just out of her grasp. Beat with her as she puts it all together.

A copy of this ARC was furnished to me by Net Galley in exchange for a review. Thank you.
Profile Image for Heather.
387 reviews16.8k followers
October 4, 2016
This book was ok. I was expecting alot more. It def wasn't scary. I did enjoy the mystery aspect but found it to be boring and slow at times but still enjoyed it
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,444 reviews7,532 followers
April 25, 2016
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Jill and Simone weren’t exactly what anyone would have pegged as being besties for the resties . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

Somehow the two had managed to stay thick as thieves from 4th Grade all the way through high school and a six week study abroad program in Italy. When Jill wakes up in the hospital, those six weeks are missing – and Simone is dead. Now facing potential murder charges, Jill has to try and piece the puzzle back together in order to prove her innocence and that Simone’s death was accidental rather than intentional.

The usual book pusher almost got me to request this one, but I remained strong like bull and was able to resist temptation. But thennnnnnnnnnnn Sandra read it and loved it and I couldn’t stop myself.

So here’s the deal. There was nothing inherently wrong with this book. Unfortunately the story was a little bit “been there/done that” for me and I liked both Dangerous Girls and Defending Jacob (I read that before I started puking out these “reviews” so go read JaHy’s instead – she’s nuts and totally awesome) waaaaaaaaay more than this one . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

If you’re interested in a YA thriller, this is a good choice. If you want something with a little more meat on the bones, I’d opt for either of the selections listed above before picking up With Malice.

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, NetGalley!
Profile Image for Drew.
449 reviews504 followers
September 4, 2016
“Why is it they say you always hurt the ones you love? Because you know exactly how to do it.”

3 1/2 stars. I really wanted to give this four stars. Because, oh boy, was this ever good… right up until the last ten pages.

With Malice is a hyped up YA thriller, and for good reason. It was extremely well written and didn't suffer from the cheesiness I usually find in this genre. The pacing was unbelievably fast and I flew through the pages. I was totally in love with it… right up until the end, when I couldn't help but lower my rating.

Considering what I've come to accept as YA thrillers, this book really impressed me. I've read too many weakly plotted, cliché, and lacking in suspense "thrillers." The Creeping, The Darkest Corners, and Confessions of a Murder Suspect are just a few off the top of my head.

With Malice checked all the boxes for a good thriller: an intriguing narrator, suspense, an edge of your seat plot, and a mind racing ability. The beginning was wonderfully eerie; Jill wakes up in a hospital and can't remember the last six months. She can't remember her trip to Italy with her best friend, Simone… or the fact that Simone died in a mysterious "accident."

The media is putting the blame on Jill, saying she murdered Simone, but Jill knows she would never do something like that. At least that's what she keeps telling herself. I had no problems with the plot; I think even without the mystery, it would have held strong. There were interesting subplots about relationships falling apart, the fact that Jill was a feminist and not everyone agreed with her, and the author pointed out how the law isn't always black and white.

My fault with this book lay in the ending, which wasn't nearly resolved enough. Let me give you an example: When I finished And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, I was furious. I couldn't believe it would end just like that, leaving me hanging. Then I turned the page and discovered there was an epilogue that tied up the mystery perfectly.

In my opinion, With Malice was missing that final epilogue to clear things up. While the mystery was a real page turner, it just ended right in the middle of things. It almost felt like Cook didn't know the ending to her own mystery and thought "oh well, I'll just let the readers decide how they want it to end."

Like I said, I think this book would have been strong even without the mystery, so I can't be too mad at it. Full of excitement, it pulled me along on a heart pounding journey.
Profile Image for Rose.
417 reviews589 followers
June 5, 2016

I got Gone Girl vibes.

I know, I know. Every new YA book is said to be 'the new Gone Girl' and what not, but this one reminded me of it a lot. Not the plot or outcome or anything really, just the viiibeezz, kay? I'm not making any sense, please ignore me lmao.

So, anyway..

Jill Charron wakes up and remembers nothing. Not her trip to Italy, not the horrific car crash she was in, and oh, that her best friend died. Suddenly she's trapped in this hospital while the whole world outside is out there thinking that she is responsible for murdering her best friend.

Mom squeezed my hand. "You're going to be okay, Jill."
"That's right," Dad added. "You're going to be just fine."
They smiled, but I had the sense they were trying to convince themselves more than me.

So I originally gave this 3 stars, but I'm bumping it up because I can't stop thinking about it. Can you imagine losing your memory of an entire month(s)? And then wake up not knowing if you did or didn't kill your best friend? Oh, and on top of that: interviews with the police, recovering from injuries, the possibility of jail time, and everyone on the internet calling you a slut?

It doesn't matter what's true- what matters is what people believe.

I'm really not going into the plot, etc. because everything could be a possible spoiler. But I'm just gonna say I really liked Jill. Yeah, she could be naive at times, but she's a feminist and loves reading and is passionate about these things. I was rooting for her from the beginning.. but you'll have to see how it all plays out.

I think every book- romances, thrillers, fantasy, even dark books- need a little humor. Anna was that for this book, and hence why she was easily my favorite character. She had me laughing from the second she was introduced, and brought a type of relief every time things would get too tense. Plus, she was constantly just being so R E A L about life, it was so refreshing.

Overall, it was an entertaining read filled with interesting police interviews, some flashbacks, and an interesting group of characters who I liked. Yup, I even liked Evan and Jill's dad who I found to be hilarious (this is literally only me I promise you). It's a super quick read, and the cover is to die for (everyone keeps asking me to borrow it just cause of that), so I'd definitely recommend if anyone's looking for a thriller!

Thank you to the publishers for this one! I really enjoyed it :D
Profile Image for Olivia (Stories For Coffee).
593 reviews5,607 followers
February 26, 2020
An interesting premise but the execution was much to be desired. This book was very slow-moving and didn't grip me the way I hoped it would, considering it's a mystery novel. There were no moments where I felt truly invested in the story, and the ending was wrapped up too quickly and easily for my liking.
Profile Image for Brittany S..
1,486 reviews697 followers
June 7, 2016
Initial Impressions 2/11/16: 4.5 stars
WITH MALICE was a thrill a minute! I simply could not put it down and it was incredibly intriguing. I love books with unreliable narrators (the main character suffers from memory loss after the accident and doesn't know what happened) and it's so crazy to wonder what's real and what's not.
The set up is done so well and something that I loved is how clues and pieces are slowly revealed and leaked so the reader is still drawn in but on the hook.
The book definitely had a DANGEROUS GIRLS feel (in fact, they were incredibly similar) but I loved that book so much that I was thrilled to have a read alike and not bothered that they were so similar in content. After all, this story can happen to more than one girl and the way everything plays out really is different.
The book was incredibly thrilling and I had a blast reading it! I finished in one day (thank goodness my internet was down so I had the time and I didn't need to stop) and I'm definitely recommending this one for fans of thrillers, especially DANGEROUS GIRLS!

Review as originally posted HERE on The Book Addict's Guide 5/9/16: Line up here, mystery and thriller fans — you won’t want to miss WITH MALICE! I’ve always loved mystery/thrillers and any book that can surprise me, get that adrenaline going, or keep me on the edge of my seat. So far 2016 seems to hold so many young adult titles like these and I’m trying to gobble up every single one! It’s been a while since I’ve been so hooked and particularly invested in a thriller and I have a feeling that WITH MALICE will be one of those special books that holds readers and sucks them in!

Right off the bat, the reader is hit with an unreliable narrator. After a terrible accident, Jill wakes up in the hospital with no recollection of what happened so the reader really has no idea what happened either — and trust me, even though this review just presented you with the synopsis, don’t read it right before you read the book. I hadn’t read it since I added the book to Goodreads and I got hit with a few surprises that are in the synopsis that I didn’t remember. It really started the book off with a bang! The whole book was so exciting and it was interesting to try to fit the pieces together of what happened to Jill. Since Jill is the main character, obviously you want to root for her and help her prove her innocence and that the accident was not her fault but the question that remains from the police, the hospital staff, and even Jill’s parents and friends is: Is Jill really to blame? No one really knows exactly what happened and Jill has to piece the puzzle back together and hope she gets some memories back to try to find an answer.

I loved the slow reveal of clues, facts, and reports. Jill really has to dig for some things that no one else can answer since she was one of the only people involved in/on the scene of the accident. Along the way, she has to deal with lawyers, reporters, and even family that doesn’t quite trust her. As the evidence slow starts pouring in, Jill has to come to some hard realizations about herself and how she’s treated other recently as well as if that means that she really is guilty.

I don’t really want to say too much about the book because it’s really best to experience. I was honestly hooked from start to finish and I ended up finishing it in a single day! (Thank goodness our internet was down that day, huh?) WITH MALICE definitely had a DANGEROUS GIRLS feel in a lot of ways and although they were similar in content, the book was unique enough that I never really knew where it was going to go. I mean, with any book like this, who can really say what will happen in the end! I really enjoyed the ending as well and I think readers are going to love this one!
Profile Image for Gabby.
1,228 reviews26.6k followers
June 20, 2016
3.5 stars
"Don't you get it? Who we are is what comes out when shit goes bad. You can't tell anything about a person when things are great. If you want to really know someone, be there when everything goes to hell."
I was sent an ARC from the publishing company in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion on the book. This book was a surprising YA thriller. I honestly wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. This book follows an eighteen year old girl named Jill who wakes up in a hospital with no memory of the last 6 weeks. This book reminds me a lot of Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas because it's a YA thriller that centers around two female best friends in a foreign location. This book had a few twists that I did not see coming and a few twists that I did see coming, but overall it was an exciting fast-paced, read. I was initially planning to finish this book within 3 days (reading 100 pages a day) but then on the 2nd day of reading I couldn't put it down until I finished it. I think it's a good sign when you become so involved in the story and the mystery that you have to finish it immediately.

Jill is an interesting narrator, I found her relatable in the sense that she is the "quieter" friend out of the two of them, and she appreciate things like books and history and art. Every other chapter this book contains snippets of detectives interviewing witnesses, and text logs from Jill and Simone, and online blog forums discussing the case, and to be honest I thought this aspect of the book got a little repetitive. I found myself just wanting to get to the next chapter from Jill's perspective. I feel like it would've been better if the chapters in between Jill's perspective chapters showed flashbacks of what was actually happening, as opposed to what witnesses think they saw.

Overall, it was a really quick and enjoyable read. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending but I understand why it ended that way. If you like YA thrillers then this is definitely one you're going to want to check out this summer!
Profile Image for Erin Dunn.
Author 3 books88 followers
July 13, 2016

I won a copy of With Malice in a giveaway on Twitter. Thank you Bpoelle!

I have been DESPERATE to read With Malice since I first saw it a while back on Goodreads before it came out. I can't even express how ecstatic I was to win it in the Twitter giveaway.

With Malice is an EXCELLENT thriller and I loved everything about it! I devoured this one and I finished it in just a few hours. I love unreliable narrators and Jill was the perfect one for this story. The whole time I was reading it I wasn't sure what to think about her and what happened in Italy. I didn't know what the end would bring, but I did like and root for Jill throughout the novel.

As much as I enjoyed the story, I will say I feel like this book is more about the telling of the story. The actual story is great, but the telling of it is just as fantastic. I hope that makes sense to someone else other than me. Ha. The slow unraveling of the story is spectacular and I absolutely love the ending!

Overall With Malice is the perfect example of a fast-paced and thrilling novel. This is what a mystery/thriller should be. It's addicting and extremely well written. I was completely unable to put this one down. Everything about With Malice is perfection and it's definitely one of my favorite books of 2016.

I definitely recommend With Malice to all thriller lovers. I will be recommending this one for a long time to come.

Profile Image for Theresa.
107 reviews140 followers
July 24, 2016
I really liked this book! I don't usually read much in this genre by I really enjoyed this. It was engaging and I was hooked the whole time, it kept me guessing!
Profile Image for Frank Phillips.
504 reviews250 followers
November 22, 2017
So, this is my third young adult novel read for the year, all three of these were in suspense/thriller genre and all three were equally eagerly anticipated and praised. Coincidentally, all three of them were 3 Star for me. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that adults have been more exposed and therefore need a little bit more to freak us out, but I really felt like this book could’ve been a little bit more twisted and it was missing a part, as I felt it was rushed at the ending. Obviously with the storyline like this there can only be so many outcomes so I was not shocked by the ending on this one. I will give this book props and say overall, character development was good, Making these teenage characters incredibly believable and the plot was decent, Although I do suspect it did take from an actual event that occurred not so long ago, much like one of the other YA novels I’ve read this year, Dangerous Girls.
I think I’m going to continue reading YA novels however i will go into the read with modest expectations so that there is no letdown. I believe I’m also going to switch genres and read more fantastical/dystopian world type books in the YA World as there seem to be up plethora of them.
I would recommend this to any young adult/teenager as I think it will impress them, but for those hard-core adult psychological thriller readers, this may not do a whole lot for y’all. Let me know what you all think, and how you would compare this book too Dangerous Girls as they had similar story lines. Till next time!
Profile Image for Cora Tea Party Princess.
1,323 reviews802 followers
July 1, 2016
5 Words: Friendships, memory, first-love, media, betrayal.

Wow. This was not at all what I expected.

Going in, I have to admit that I didn't even read the blurb. So I was supremely impressed by what I read and absolutely surprised. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't that.

I loved how unreliable Jill was. I loved how she couldn't even trust herself, how nothing was certain, everything could be imagined. I loved how she changed between the pages as things started to come back.

And I loved the media aspect of this too, the mix of mediums with transcripts and blog posts peppered throughout the story.

I did find it quite slow to start, but as the story progressed the pace picked up and that past was slowly revealed, and by the last quarter I was 100% hooked.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,719 reviews462 followers
June 13, 2016
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life

I thought that this book was very well done. I kept trying to imagine what it must be like to be in Jill's place throughout the story. I really had no idea where the story was going at any given point in the book and I felt almost as desperate as Jill to learn the truth. This was a story that really kept my interest and I found myself thinking about it even when I was reading.

Imagine waking up in the hospital with no clue what has happened to you. That is the reality that Jill faces at the opening of the story. Not only does she have no idea what happened to cause her to be in the hospital, it appears that she has no memory of the last 6 weeks of her life. It turns out that it was a rather eventful 6 weeks and Jill is in the middle of a story being covered in the media all over the world.

Jill has to physically recover from her injuries while learning to come to terms with the events that have taken place. She desperately wants her memory back so that she find out how things really happened. Her frustration over her loss of memory and learning to compensate for her difficulty in finding the right words in speech as a result of a traumatic brain injury were very authentic. I was rooting for Jill and felt as strongly as she did that she couldn't have done what she was being accused of doing.

I thought the story was rather unique. Jill doesn't know what happened and neither does the reader. I thought that the author did a great job of giving us just enough information to keep the interest level high. I did hope for just a bit more for the ending but I was overall quite pleased.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I think that this book will appeal to a lot of readers looking for something just a little bit different. This is the first book by Eileen Cook that I have read but I would definitely pick up her work again in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.

Initial Thoughts
Decent read. I thought I had it all figured out but I was wrong in the end which is a good thing.
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