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What It Seems

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  40 reviews

A page-turning novel of suspense about the perfect family, and the perfect lies, by the bestselling author of When I’m Gone and The Waiting Room.

Adopted by her controlling foster mother at the age of eight, twenty-year-old Tara has seen little of the outside world. Lonely, punished for the slightest offense, her only distraction comes from watching the Feely family’s

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Kindle Edition
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  49 ratings  ·  40 reviews


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Deborah Blanchard
This book is a real page turner! Tara was a foster child at age eight, she is now twenty. Mother is beyond cruel to her but Tara escapes at night by watching a You Tube family, the Feelys. All is not as it seems in this book and you will be especially surprised at the ending. I was like, OMG, with my mouth hanging open! There is so much more to this story but I don't want to leave spoilers. Tara is an intensely written character and she will make you feel many emotions. Sadness emanates from ...more
lovebooks
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What It Seems is about a foster child, now 20 living with her foster mother. She was 8 went Tara went to live with her controlling foster mom. Lonely Tara locked in her room all day finds happiness in a Vlog on YouTube about a real family. Something Tara never had. Fortune happens when the family need an intern for their show. Will Tara be able to escape her foster mother?
lovebooks
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley

What It Seems is about a foster child, now 20 living with her foster mother. She was 8 went Tara went to live with her controlling foster mom. Lonely Tara locked in her room all day finds happiness in a Vlog on YouTube about a real family. Something Tara never had. Fortune happens when the family need an intern for their show. Will Tara be able to escape her foster mother?
Terrie
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Thanks to #NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book - the opinion expressed is entirely my own.

I found this book to be a solid read (a 3.5 stars). Tara (Angela) is a 20 year old young woman who is totally dominated by a creepy and truly awful 'foster' mom. She has been abused physically and mentally since she was 12, so if that's a trigger for you, you might want to avoid this book. At 20 circumstances occur that allow her to try to escape. That escape is successful, but as
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Andrea Pole
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
What It Seems by Emily Bleeker is a tense and taut thriller that kept me fully engaged and turning the pages with a growing sense of unease. This is the first novel that I have read from this author, but I am certainly looking for more to add to my always growing TBR list.

Tara was adopted by her foster mother when she was eight years old. Never having a clear understanding of why her birth family abandoned her, Tara is a damaged young woman who has found herself the victim of emotional and
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Jennifer Newell
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a heart wrenching story that slowly unfolded. This is a story that will effect how you look at YouTube stars and will highlight things are not as they seem.
Angela’s life dramatically changed when she was adopted by her foster mother at 8 yrs old, including her name to Tara. She is isolated and very little contact with the outside world for 12 yrs.

She finds comfort in an internet family that she thinks is perfect. She manages to get an internship with the channel, that gives her the
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Gianna Lorandi
Tara is 20 but living a life as a 12yo, her stepmom keeps her locked in away from the society. Will she ever escape? Unfortunately, this one was not for me, I thought the book was going to have much more suspense than it did and I had a hard time believing the plot and characters.
It's a quick read but it didn't do it for me.
Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for the advanced copy.
Jeff
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Experimental Excellence. With this book, Bleeker does something she's never done before - writes a tale in first person. And for this particular tale, that was likely the only way to make this story as good as it is. This story involves some pretty heavy abuse, but that actually drives the reader to want to find some resolution... and drove me to complete the 304 page book in less than 12 hrs, which is a rarity even for me. An excellent take on the not-what-it-seems side of a popular cultural ...more
Bethany Corbett
What It Seems is a thriller about a 20 year old girl, Tara, who was a foster child from age 8. Her foster mother is manipulative and abusive and forces Tara into morally questionable situations. Tara's only outlet is the friends she's made among her dolls, a bird she named Sampson, and the YouTube families that she watches when her foster mother thinks she is working on one of her projects. An opportunity arises for an internship with one of the YouTube families that she adores for an ...more
Donna Hines
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Oh, what tangled webs we weave...
Tara now 20 was adopted at 8 yo by a controlling mother who punished her for the slightest offense.
She gravitates towards the hope that one day she'll be free and can be herself.
As she waits she uncovers an internet sensation grabbing the world by storm --known as the Feely family.
She eventually accepts an internship with this vlogging quintet and joins the merry go round.
But everything isn't as rosy as she'd hoped and soon begins to question motives.
Now facing
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Randi
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This book was not what I expected, which is why I've been teetering between 3.5-4 stars. Nonetheless, the story was original, which I really appreciated.

It starts off quite slow, there were a few times I wondered if this would be a DNF, but I'm glad I stuck through. The blurb made it seem as if there was something really sinister happening with the Feely family, and frankly, I was a little let down there wasn't. That being said, I think the ending made up for it (even if it felt a tad rushed).
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Mina Vucicevic
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review originally published at Stacked.

Big thanks to NetGalley, Emily Bleeker, and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a free review copy!

What It Seems was such a breath of fresh air! I’ve been on a bad NetGalley streak for a while now and I started reading the novel without any expectations. Unexpectedly, the novel caught my whole attention with the very first paragraph. It got better and better and, in the end, I read the whole book in one evening!

The novel is fast-paced and super
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Викторија
Big thanks to Lake Union Publishing for the ARC I received via NetGalley.

What It Seems is a fast-paced page-turner that launches us into the troubled head of a twenty-year-old girl who has been living with Mother for twelve years, convinced that her biological family had given her up when she was eight.
Mother puts a roof over her head and food on the table. Mother is there to protect her against the cruel, unforgiving world. Mother can be kind when she feels like it, but that comes at a price.
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Jacqueline
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was not what it seems! At first I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was quite literally hooked from the very beginning. If you’ve read Emily Bleekers previous novels, this is a similar style, written in just as clever a manner, it really gets you thinking and doesn’t let go. I couldn’t put it down.
Tara has a very strange life. We are aware of that from the start. We know she has possibly been abducted but she has very little memories of her ‘past life’ and she is trapped in an unhappy
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Jennifer
I would probably give the book 2.5 stars almost 3 stars. I LOVED all of the authors previous books, but this one just didn't click with me. I wasn't a fan of any of the characters. I know I should feel for Tara/Angela but she was just as irritating. Although, I'm sure she had some type of brain injury. The story was pretty predictable. I was just wondering how long it would take before the Feely family realized the truth about Angela. Alyssa and Stan Feely are pretty messed up. Who has their ...more
Cristina Trowbridge
Tara’s foster mother adopted her 12 years ago, when she was only 8, so even though living with “mother” isn’t exactly the only thing Tara knows, it’s pretty close. So when Tara’s “mother” keeps her locked in her room, oftentimes withholding food from her as punishment, Tara assumes this is just how most family’s live. Except for those moments when Tara is able to sneak onto her computer and watch the Feely family on her favorite You Tube station---that is the perfect family, and Tara would do ...more
Cristina Trowbridge
Tara’s foster mother adopted her 12 years ago, when she was only 8, so even though living with “mother” isn’t exactly the only thing Tara knows, it’s pretty close. So when Tara’s “mother” keeps her locked in her room, oftentimes withholding food from her as punishment, Tara assumes this is just how most family’s live. Except for those moments when Tara is able to sneak onto her computer and watch the Feely family on her favorite You Tube station---that is the perfect family, and Tara would do ...more
Marianne
Interesting and different

I liked the premise, writing and characters. The story is not exactly a thriller and very suspenseful but don’t let that spoil it for you. There were some crazy and awful moments at the beginning of the story.

The Feely family, professional bloggers, gave an insight to something that I wasn’t familiar with. I can’t imagine how this works for someone to profit enough to live. Also, why you would want to put so much of your life and children in the public eye. I just feel
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Kate Southey
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why has no one thought to write a novel based around a YouTube vlogging family before?? A fantastic premise especially as my 9 year old is obsessed by following a particular family online.
This novel has the perfect level of creepy. Just enough whiff of suspicion that you aren’t quite sure who Tara should trust. I have enjoyed other books by Emily Bleeker and her descriptive powers are top notch. I need a lot of help from authors in building my minds eye picture of the characters, homes and
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Konny
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What It Seems by Emily Bleeker is a full length, stand alone novel that put me in e roller coaster of emotions. This is not a romance, it's a dark novel with thriller elements, raw and gritty and reading Alngela's story gutted me. The 20 year old formerly foster child is not in a good place in her life, to be honest, she never was. Her past is a rough one and she's still under the thumb of Mother, a woman who manipulates her, brainwashed her, is her puppeteer.
What It Seems is a story full of
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Melissa (honeybee.reads)
First off I want to thank @netgalley & @lakeunion for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book, unfortunately for me it did not live up to my expectations. I was expecting more suspense, more mystery, more action. It was still an enjoyable read that I was able to read in one
sitting.

The writing style was nice and easy to read. It did keep me flipping the pages, but there was something missing for me to make it great. I didn't like the
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Laurie
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A psychological thriller with quite a twist at the end! Wow!
Tara aka Angela was adopted when she was small.
But... what is normal now at the age of 20?
Tara has been brainwashed by this woman she calls "Mother".
The mental and physical torture becomes the standard in this young girls life.
Mother often locks her in her room for her own well-being without food and water.
Her only respite is an old computer that allows her to carefully view the outside world.
She follows a family on the internet.
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BooksnPugs
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Adopted by her controlling foster mother at the age of eight, twenty-year-old Tara has seen little of the outside world. Lonely, punished for the slightest offense, her only distraction comes from watching the Feely family’s online videos. They’re an affectionate vlogging quintet and an internet sensation. Most important, they are Tara’s mental refuge. Then the opportunity arises for them to be something more. When Tara accepts an internship with the close-knit clan, they’re her escape."
This
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Jen McCarthy
Nov 29, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cant-finish
Thank you NetGalley for an advanced
Copy of What It Seems.

I’m so incredibly disappointed. I LOVED Emily Bleeker’s last book, The Waiting Room, and was super excited when I got approved for this one. Unfortunately this just fell really flat for me. I gave it a pretty fair shot (57% read) before I had to put it down. The book wasn’t really what I was expecting and there was no suspense, which is what I crave in a book. I was really torn between sticking it out and putting this on the back burner,
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Sheri
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things are definitely not what they seem in this suspenseful page turner by Emily Bleeker. Angela (aka Tara) escapes a horrifying upbringing when she takes a job with a picture perfect family she has admired for years. The Feely's appear to have everything a loving family needs and Angela works hard to hide her past and present secrets from them. As she gets a closer look at the family she realizes that appearances are deceiving. When a traumatic incident brings her past crashing down around ...more
Henriette
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
This was an okay read, not great and for me definitely not edge of the seat as some reviewers have said.

The story is about Tara (Angela) who has been living with her controlling and abusive foster mom, basically locked away since she was 8. Now age 20 she manages to escape her foster mom but is very unsure and makes so rather poor choices. I wasn’t a big Tara fan and also didn’t care for her internal dialogue, but all the same I wanted to know if this story had a happy end and what kind of end
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LeTresa Payne
I will rate What it Seems by Emily Bleeker a 2/5 stars. This book just didn't do it for me. I found myself greatly aggravated with the fact that Tara "Angela" had no idea that she had been kidnapped as a child. I figured that out early on in the book. It became mind-numbingly even more annoying as the story droned on. I didn't like any of the characters and the story bothered me immensely. I found myself skipping through the story just to see when the girl would realize the truth. I will not be ...more
Joann
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Examining the era of YouTube stars, along with a failing foster care, Tara (Angela) and her life story was powerful, intense and absorbing. I ended up staying up all night to finish this one! Quite a nice twist at the end that I didn't see coming - which is always nice.
I am a fan of Emily Bleeker, and this novel continues my appreciation of her writing. So grateful for the advance copy from Lake Union and NetGalley. If you love a twisty mystery, with modern gripping themes, grab this quick
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Johnna Whetstone
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3-4 stars. This was an okay read, which I was able to finish, but didn’t love, like I do my complete 4 and 5 star books. I did think it was well written and definitely provided some thrills and chills; but something was lacking that had me wanting to rip through the page and find out what’s next. Overall, I would recommend to those looking for a quick, intriguing read, but not someone wanting lots of twists and turns and an unbeatable pace.
Will make sure I buzz it up on different platforms!
Amanda
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What it Seems is a perfect book about things not actually being as they seem. I was intrigued right from the beginning of this book, constantly trying to "help" Angela/Tara. I couldn't stop reading and at times would be downright disgusted and angry about the story - feeling like it was so real. I pray and pray that this does not happen to people, but I know it does and so I pray that abductees find freedom and peace again like Angela!

This is a good suspenseful read with a good plot and
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Emily lives in suburban Chicago with her family. Between writing and being a mom, she attempts to learn guitar, sings along to the radio (loudly), and embraces her newfound addiction to running.
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