The Inspection by Josh Malerman

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Title: The Inspection

Author: Josh Malerman

Pages: 400

Publisher: Del Rey Books

Publication Date: March 19, 2019

Genre: Horror

Rating: 3/5

Boys are being trained at one school for geniuses, girls at another. And neither knows the other exists–until now. The innovative author of Bird Box invites you into a tantalizing world of secrets and lies.

J is a student at a school deep in a forest far away from the rest of the world.

J is one of only twenty-six students, who think of their enigmatic school’s founder as their father. And his fellow peers are the only family J has ever had. The students are being trained to be prodigies of art, science, and athletics, but their life at the school is all they know–and all they are allowed to know.

But J is beginning to suspect that there is something out there, beyond the pines, that the founder does not want him to see, and he’s beginning to ask questions. What is the real purpose of this place? Why can the students never leave? And what secrets is their father hiding from them?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the forest, in a school very much like J’s, a girl named K is asking the same questions. J has never seen a girl, and K has never seen a boy. As K and J work to investigate the secrets of their two strange schools, they come to discover something even more mysterious: each other.

In Inspection, the masterful author of Bird Box crafts a sinister and evocative gender equality anthem that will have readers guessing until the final page.

Goodreads

To me this is actually a two star read but the actual idea of this story is so compelling to me that I just felt like I needed to give it a three. Also, when the book is actually focusing on giving answers to what is happening it really shined and if the book had been more of that I probably would have given it a four. So my compromise with myself is a three and I feel comfortable with that.

The pacing was really off in this book. There were so many unnecessary pages of details into what certain characters were thinking that it really started to take away from the story. This book would have been a much better story with at least 50 pages cut. I also wish that the characters were older than 12 because it made certain things that happen later on in the story very uncomfortable for me. This is might just be a me thing though because my oldest is a few weeks away from being 10 so it hit pretty close to home. I think 14 would have been a more believable and appropriate age for the kids to be. Also, this whole experiment hinges on the fact that the opposite sex is a distraction preventing us from reaching our true potentials but it is never brought up that there are plenty of people in this world who are attracted to their own sex. It is disappointing that a whole group of people are never even mentioned in this book.

My favorite part of the book was the end because of all the action. I have read one other Malerman novel (Bird Box) and I noticed he did the same thing at the end of that one too. The story just goes along with tiny sprinkles of action throughout the bulk of the story but the end is almost constant action. I would love to read one of his other books and see if he does the same thing in those ones. I’m not against it and I actually think it would be pretty cool if that was his style of writing because I feel like the suspense the reader would be in just knowing that the ending is going to be full of so much horror, action and answers would be a fun reading experience.

I have seen some people classify The Inspection as a dystopian but to me this is a straight up horror novel. Beyond the actual horrific acts that happen or are alluded to the real horror of the story is how these boys and girls are being raised. If you like the Hunger Games or the Divergent and are interested in something darker than I suggest this book to you. Or, if like me, you find the synopsis interesting then I think you will be happy that you picked this one up.

~Cassie

Mini Reviews #6

April was a crazy busy month for me where my family and I did three separate road trips. So, while I wasn’t able to post as much I did do a lot of reading. And my last road trip started me on an intense need to read and I have already finished 10 books this month. A lot of shorter stuff, one I dnf’d, but I’m still pretty impressed with myself. I do have a lot of reviews to catch up on now especially since I finished 8 books in March. Of the 18 I have already reviewed 6 and dnf’d 2. The remaining 10 I will be splitting up into a couple of these mini reviews posts and also hopefully keeping up with reviewing as I finish books so I don’t get behind again (fingers crossed).

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The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

This has the distinction of being the first book that I have ever dnf’d. I made it 20% in and I just couldn’t do it anymore. This book was so painful for me and all of the characters were terrible and I didn’t care to find out who killed who for what reason.

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Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies) by Scarlett Curtis

This is a collection of mostly essays from various women all centering on the idea of feminism. Unfortunately I didn’t connect to a lot of the essays and there were only a few that I absolutely loved. What I really liked about this was that it presented all the different ideologies of feminism side by side. It really cemented to me that I am a liberal feminist but at the end of the day a feminist is a feminist is a feminist and I proudly stand with all of them.

Rating: 3/5

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Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I was seriously underwhelmed by this book. I really liked Ng’s writing and I liked how everything connected together in the end. However, the ending really annoyed me and left me feeling like what was the point. I do hope to pick up her debut novel during the next round of the buzzword readathon so fingers crossed I like it better.

Rating: 3/5

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The Silent Picture by Alex Michaelides

This was a fantastic thriller. I absolutely loved the twist in this story and I didn’t see it coming at all. It’s also incredibly fast paced and I loved the mystery of finding out what really happened with Alicia.

Rating: 5/5

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The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zghibe

This is a heartbreaking story of a woman at an inpatient eating disorder clinic. It tells the story of how she got to where she is and also details her dysfunctional relationship with food. This book could be pretty triggering so just be aware of that if this sounds interesting to you.

Rating: 4/5

~Cassie

ARC Review: Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for letting me read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

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Title: Red, White & Royal Blue

Author: Casey McQuiston

Pages: 425

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Queer

Rating: 5/5

A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

Goodreads

I don’t read a lot of romance but when I read the synopsis of this book I instantly wanted to read it because it is such an original idea. And it definitely delivered. I am obsessed with the romance between Alex and Henry and I loved how real their relationship felt. I can honestly spend pages gushing about how freaking cute the two of them are together but I want you all to discover that all on your own.

In fact, all the relationships in this book are incredibly well done and realistically told. All the flaws felt so real and the characters were all so well rounded. Also, this gives such a positive spin on politics and politicians and it was a breath of fresh air from the world that we live in. The characters were all working towards making the world a better place and it was done in a really non confrontational way.

This is a world that I want to live in. I was crying at the end of this book because I so badly want this to be the kind of world that my boys have when they are older. Where all our differences are celebrated and it’s ok to love whoever we want. Where people are strong enough to push past old ideas and ways of thinking. But it’s done from a place of love and compassion and not from a negative place.

Honestly, this book is just amazing and I really hope that everyone gives it a chance. This is such a positive book with an amazing love story that I think so many people will relate to. I liked how much Alex grew as a character throughout the story and watching him fall in love with Henry was one of the sweetest things I have ever read.

~Cassie

ARC Review: The Night Before by Wendy Walker

Thank you to Netgalley and St.Martin’s Press for allowing me to read an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

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Title: The Night Before

Author: Wendy Walker

Pages: 320

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: May 14, 2019

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 2.5/5

First dates can be murder.

Riveting and compulsive, national bestselling author Wendy Walker’s The Night Before “takes you to deep, dark places few thrillers dare to go” as two sisters uncover long-buried secrets when an internet date spirals out of control.

Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.

Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date.

When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him…

Goodreads

This is my second Wendy Walker book and I think she does a fabulous job writing characters. She does such a great job of putting the reader inside the character’s heads and making them feel so real. There were obviously some things I didn’t like about this book but her characters were a high point.

For most of the book I thought this was going to be a three star read because while I do enjoy her characters I didn’t connect to the actual story the way I wanted to. There were a few things that I didn’t see coming but I figured out the final twist pretty early on. Since I figured out the end twist so early I was really just anxious to get to that point so I don’t think I enjoyed the lead up to there as much as I could have.

The pacing of the story is really well done though so I feel confident that most of my problems with this book are an “it’s me not you” situation. The story is told from both Laura and her sister Rosie’s perspectives as well as parts of Laura’s therapy sessions. All these different parts helped tell the story in a suspenseful way. Things would build up to something and then it would switch to another perspective. Because of that this book just flies by and I really liked all the different reveals.

Some of the things that I didn’t like would be spoilers so I can’t really go into them. I can tell you that I knocked half a star off at the very end because I really don’t like when authors booksplain (I heard this recently and thought it was genius). I don’t need pages at the end of the story to explain things to me. If an author feels it is necessary than maybe a paragraph at the most but any more than that and it comes across as lazy storytelling. Sorry if that seems harsh but booksplaining is one of my bookish pet peeves.

Overall, this is an average (average doesn’t equal bad!) thriller that I think anyone who is a fan of thrillers will enjoy. I know I rated it low but I did enjoy 99% of this book. I also think that someone who enjoys women’s fiction would also like this book because a lot of Laura’s story has to do with dating and relationships. I am also going to link the other Wendy Walker book that I read because I gave that one four stars and I do think she is so great at fleshing out characters. Also, if you aren’t familiar with the name Wendy Walker I bet most of you have heard of her last book Emma in the Night. I think she has written five novels and I plan on reading all of them.

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

~Cassie

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

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Title: Dead Letters

Author: Caite Dolan-Leach

Pages: 332

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: February 21, 2017

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 3/5

Ava doesn’t believe it when the email arrives to say that her twin sister is dead. It’s not grief or denial that causes her scepticism – it just feels too perfect to be anything other than Zelda’s usual manipulative scheming. And Ava knows her twin.

Two years after she left, vowing never to speak to Zelda again after the ultimate betrayal, Ava must return home to retrace her errant sister’s last steps. She soon finds notes that lead her on a twisted scavenger-hunt of her twin’s making.

Letter by letter, Ava unearths clues to her sister’s disappearance: and unveils harrowing truths of her own. A is for Ava, and Z is for Zelda, but deciphering the letters in-between is not so simple…

Goodreads

This book had a premise that I absolutely love. The whole thing involving letters from her sister while she is missing gave me serious Pretty Little Liar (season 1-4) vibes and I knew that I had to buy this book. Unfortunately, this book fells short on delivering what I was hoping for but it was still a really solid debut novel and I can’t wait to read more from this author in the future.

This book was pretty fast paced and the mystery kept me hooked but all the unnecessary tangents the main character, Ava, goes on in her head started to really annoy me. This book could easily have cut 30 or more pages out and not lost any of the story. Most of Ava’s inner monologue was her thoughts and opinions on random things and it ended up feeling like the author’s ideas and opinions on things.

I also had a hard time connecting with the characters. None of them were particularly likable but I also don’t think they were meant to be. My problem was more that I didn’t really care how the characters ended up. I think that may have been due to the author not having a good way to transition into the next letter. So, sometimes Ava would be doing the most random things completely out of the blue so that the author could have it lead to her finding the next letter. This would take me out of the story and I would just be thinking this girl is so dumb and other times I would think she was being so callous. Instead of Ava’s character having a set kind of characteristics her character became a plot tool to move the story along.

I also really didn’t like the ending. The ending left me wanting so much more and I really felt like it was going to build to some kind of resolution but instead it just fell flat. I did like the journey to get to the end though so I still think this is a decent mystery. I do want to give a trigger warning for alcohol abuse because a majority of the characters are alcoholics who run a winery so there is almost constant talk of it. Also, the characters don’t seem to care that they are alcoholics which I think could be really harmful for some so please be aware of that going into it.

The author, Dolan-Leach, has a new book coming out July 2 and I am so excited for it. It is another book where the synopsis sounds right up my alley. I am going to link it here for you to check it out if you are interested. If you are a fan of mysteries I highly recommend you check out this author’s work.

~Cassie

 

Netgalley Review: The Better Sister bay Alafair Burke

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper for allowing me to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

 

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Title: The Better Sister

Author: The Better Sister

Pages: 336

Publisher: Harper

Publication Date: April 16, 2019

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Crime

Rating: 4/5

From Alafair Burke—New York Times bestselling author of the runaway hit, The Wife—comes another twisty tale of domestic noir. When a prominent Manhattan lawyer is murdered, two estranged sisters—one the dead man’s widow, the other his ex—must set aside mistrust and old resentments . . . but can they escape their past?

Though Chloe was the younger of the two Taylor sisters, she always seemed to be in charge. She was the honor roll student with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic. Nicky was always restless . . . and more than a little reckless—the opposite of her ambitious little sister. She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.

For a while, it seemed like both sisters had found happiness. Chloe earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job. Nicky married promising young attorney Adam Macintosh, and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ethan. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.

Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different—and Chloe is married to Adam. When he’s murdered by an intruder at the couple’s East Hampton beach house, Chloe reluctantly allows her teenaged stepson’s biological mother—her estranged sister, Nicky—back into her life. But when the police begin to treat Ethan as a suspect in his father’s death, the two sisters are forced to unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past

Goodreads

The beginning of this book I was disappointed because it was resembling a book that I had recently dnf’d but thankfully it made a sharp right turn and got a lot better. The reason I didn’t like the beginning is because the author, Burke, heavily took from current events, which is fine by itself, but when page after page is the the main character, Claire,  thinking all these thoughts about current events and no actual story building is being done it got to be annoying. What Claire does is an important part of the story but it is not necessary to spend so much time on just building up her character when the author would have been better off building up the relationships that she has with the people around her. We know from the synopsis that Claire’s husband, Adam, is murdered but we don’t get to see much of their relationship before that happens. Which, if I had a choice in how the author started this book I would much rather they spent their time on Claire and Adam and not Claire and all the amazingness that she has done with her magazine.

Once the story really got going though it was a fantastic thriller. There were a lot of twists and turns and I loved watching the story unfold. If thrillers aren’t a favorite genre of yours then you might find some of the plot overdone with all the different reveals. For someone like me, who loves mysteries and thrillers, than this will be a fun adventure for you.

I also really enjoyed the pacing of this book. This book would jump forward in time at different plot points and I really felt like it kept the book from getting too stale. It also helped it to feel more realistic since everything wasn’t happening in the span of a few days. Burke also did a great job of balancing all the drama and different storylines that were happening. We know going into it that their is obviously some drama with Claire and her sister and I liked how their relationship unfolded throughout the story. Going between the drama between them, the mystery of who killed Adam and Claire trying to deal with the police and social media kept me engaged in the story.

Overall, this was a really well done thriller/mystery and I highly recommend that anyone who enjoys this genre check this book out. If you like Law & Order: SVU I also think that you would like this book. It follows the basic narrative of the episodes where there is a crime, the police investigate and then there is a court case. Also, I know I spent some time talking about how I didn’t really like the beginning but the rest of the book more than made up for that.

~Cassie

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

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Title: The Secret History

Author: Donna Tartt

Pages: 523

Genre: Literary Fiction, Modern Classic

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: October 16, 1992

Rating: /5

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.

Goodreads

I went into this thinking it had a mystery aspect but oh no it doesn’t. The very first page, two paragraphs in, we find out who is killed and who killed this person. The Secret History is really about what led up to the killing of this person and then it deals with the consequences of this action. And I loved it. But I also just don’t know how to talk about it. This book seems so big in my head that I have a hard time explaining all the different parts of it.

I very much enjoy character driven stories and this is definitely one of them. In fact, Donna Tartt is probably one of my top favorite authors because she is so incredibly talented at writing characters. All the characters in this group of college kids felt so real to me but at the same time we only see them through the lens of Richard. I can see why some people might not like this aspect but I found it really enjoyable. We get to know a lot about Richard through his interactions with the people around him and less from him explaining things to us the reader. If you are familiar with my reviews you will know that I really appreciate it when an author shows the reader things versus telling us. Also, the other members of the Greek class are very complex. I could honestly write whole essays on each of the characters and how their story progresses throughout the book. Bunny, Francis, Henry, Charles and Camilla are where The Secret History really shines.

Another plus to Tartts writing is all the foreshadowing she does in the story. There are so many times when we are just moving along in the story and then Richard drops a line alluding to something (usually shocking) that is going to happen. I would get so excited by these little nuggets of information and it made it hard to put the book down. I also love how well Tartt brought the environment of the book to life. If you want to know what America was like in the early 90’s this book will tell you. The good, the bad and the ugly.

The only reason that I couldn’t give this book five stars is because I do think that it lagged  at times. The Goldfinch is a bigger book than this one but to me that book had perfect pacing. This book sometimes felt stuck at some parts. I think for me it was exhausting to read about all the times Richard drinks and does drugs away from the other characters. I didn’t mind when it was mentioned here or there but when whole pages were devoted to it I felt myself not caring. Perhaps, my issue with this book really lays with how I only felt connected to Richard when it came to his interactions with the other characters.

Honestly, Tartt is one of the best authors of our time and everyone should read her books. Also, if you enjoy true crime shows like Snapped or Dateline than I think you will appreciate this book. One of the appeals for me in watching those shows is how people can actually commit murder and that is one of the main themes in this book. This is a book that will stay with me for the rest of my life and I look forward to rereading it one day.

~Cassie

ARC Review: Last Girl Lied To by L.E. Flynn

I received this ARC on Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

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Title: Last Girl Lied To

Author: L.E. Flynn

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary

Pages: 352

Publisher: Imprint

Publication Date: April 16, 2019

Something made him angry that night.
Something made her cry.
Something made Trixie disappear.
What if it was all the same thing?

Fiona claims she doesn’t remember anything about the night her best friend left a party early and walked into the ocean. But the truth is, she wishes she could forget.

Trixie’s disappearance is ruled a suicide, but Fiona starts to believe that Trixie isn’t really dead. Piecing together the trail of a girl who doesn’t want to be found leads her to Jasper, Trixie’s former friend with benefits, and Beau—the boy who turned Fiona down, who loved someone else, who might be happy Trixie is gone.

The closer Fiona gets to finding out what happened, and the closer she gets to Jasper and Beau, the more she realizes that the girl she knew better than anyone may have been a carefully constructed lie—and she might have been waiting to disappear the entire time.

Told in alternating chapters between the past and the present, Last Girl Lied To is a gripping emotional thriller.

Goodreads

This is a fantastic YA mystery. I flew through this book and it was so hard for me to put down. I really connected with the main character, Fiona, so much. And I’m in my early 30’s. If I was still a teenager I would have loved her even more. Fiona is messy and sometimes makes wrong choices but most of these choices come from her being in pain or her need to feel loved. The characters in this book all felt realistic which kept me wanting to find out what was going to happen next to them. The pacing of the story was also really well done. There would be some stuff happening and then it would skip ahead  in time but nothing ever felt rushed. I actually liked that not everything happened in a short amount of time.

Also, the mystery of her trying to figure out what exactly happened to her friend, Trixie was giving me major Pretty Little Liar vibes. The stories aren’t all that similar but it is about a friend dying and trying to figure out what happened in the backdrop of high school drama. So, I guess sort of similar. Except it’s basically just Fiona trying to figure stuff out and there is no A or threatening text messages.  It could be that I have PLL on the brain since the spinoff has started but I do really think that if you enjoyed PLL that you will like this book too.

I do want to point out that Fiona does reference her weight a lot in the book and I know for me, that would have been really triggering if I was still a teenage girl. It was making me uncomfortable at times reading it but I do think that it also helped to make Fiona more of a realistic character. I think a lot of people will identify with her but I know that for some of us that kind of talk can be harmful. There is no reference to her actual weight in the book just how Fiona feels in her body and how she perceives others to see her.

For me the ending of this book was predictable but I still really enjoyed it. There were parts of the final reveal that I didn’t see coming. Also, the way the reveal was done was so good. We had been building to the reveal the whole book and it didn’t disappoint at all. The actual ending was a pretty typical YA ending but since I was so invested in the characters I didn’t mind it too much.

This book comes out today and I hope that if it at all sounds intriguing to you that you check it out. If you usually shy away from mysteries but enjoy YA contemporaries than I strongly recommend this book to you. Even if you don’t really read YA but enjoy mysteries or contemporaries than I still think you would enjoy this book. I will definitely be checking out Flynn’s past novel and anything else she writes in the future.

~Cassie

Netgalley Review: The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

Thank you to Negalley for giving me a free copy of this book to read in exchange for my honest review. 

 

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Title: The Perfect Girlfriend

Author: Karen Hamilton

Pages: 352

Publisher: Graydon House

Publication Date: March 26, 2019

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 5/5

YOU’VE NEVER READ A LOVE STORY AS TWISTED AS THIS.

Juliette loves Nate.

She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

Goodreads

The main character, Juliette, is such a twisted character but by the end of the book I felt like she was a friend. Which is such a bizarre thing to say about someone who is a stalker and sees nothing wrong with doing whatever it takes to achieve her end goal. Books like this almost make you question yourself because I felt so connected to Juliette even though she was doing these terrible things. So many times throughout the book I just wanted to shake her and tell her not to do it, that it wasn’t worth it, that she could be better. To me this really speaks to what an amazing job the author, Hamilton, did because in any other situation I would have been totally freaked out by someone doing what Juliette does.

There was a couple of moments about a third of the way through that I found myself annoyed with the flashbacks to Juliette’s past. However, I really think that these flashbacks are what cemented in me the way I felt about her character. Also, they do serve a greater purpose because not only is she stalking her ex boyfriend she is also obsessively stalking a girl that she used to go to school with. The more the story unfolded the more I appreciated what the author was doing with the story. And this story has turned into one of the best thrillers that I have read this year.

Juliette is one of the most twisted characters that I have ever read before. She is able to justify every wrong decision and every bad action that she makes. It was entertaining to see her do these things and then normalize it when as the reader you know that she is so out of control. Since the book is told in first person this became a very powerful narrative tool. I think that if the author had chosen to tell this story in a third person narrative that it would have fell flat and ridiculous. The things that Juliette do are so over the top but it works because of the way the story is told. The books that I connect to the most (and probably most people) are ones that feel real even though they aren’t and this easily felt real to me.

This book immediately brought me back to when I read You by Caroline Kepnes. Even though the stories are different they also have a lot of parallels. So if you liked that one than I feel confident that you will enjoy The Perfect Girlfriend. Honestly, I can see myself rereading this book throughout my life which feels unnatural to say about a thriller. So, if you are a fan of thrillers than I believe you will enjoy this and hopefully love it as much as I do.

~Cassie

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

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Title: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Author: David Grann

Genre: Non Fiction, Crime

Pages: 359

Publisher: Doubleday

Publication Date: April 18, 2017

Ratings: 5/5

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.

Then, one by one, they began to be killed off. One Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, watched as her family was murdered. Her older sister was shot. Her mother was then slowly poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances.

In this last remnant of the Wild West—where oilmen like J. P. Getty made their fortunes and where desperadoes such as Al Spencer, “the Phantom Terror,” roamed – virtually anyone who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered. As the death toll surpassed more than twenty-four Osage, the newly created F.B.I. took up the case, in what became one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations. But the bureau was then notoriously corrupt and initially bungled the case. Eventually the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including one of the only Native American agents in the bureau. They infiltrated the region, struggling to adopt the latest modern techniques of detection. Together with the Osage they began to expose one of the most sinister conspiracies in American history.

A true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history.

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David Grann, the author, did a fantastic job writing this book. There is so much information packed into this 350 page book but the story never felt jilted at all. The book flowed so well together even with all the different people, crimes, and the history of everything. The pacing was perfect for me as well. I liked how we first got to see the story unfold from the perspective of the Osage Indians and then it switched to seeing how the story unfolded from the perspective of the FBI. Both of these perspectives were so fascinating to me for different reasons.

My biological grandma is/was a Shoshone Indian but she gave my mom up for adoption when she was born. My mom was raised by a white family and she has no interest in trying to find her birth family. So, although by blood I am part Native American it is a part of me that I don’t know at all culturally so it is not something that I claim. However, I have always wanted to learn more about my background but I also want to respect my mom’s wishes and so I do all of my learning from afar. The Native American culture is so beautiful and it is one of my life goals is to always be learning more. For this reason I was so heartbroken by this book. Although, even without my background this book is heartbreaking. The white man felt that they could do these terrible crimes of poisoning and killing and it didn’t bother them because they considered the Osage animals. It made me so disgusted reading this that people can believe that they are better than anyone because of the color of their skin. Although, it is even more disgusting that more than a hundred years later we are still dealing with the same issue.

I also really liked the FBI aspect of this book. I have mentioned before that I am a true crime junkie so this book really appealed to me. I definitely am on the lookout for a great non fiction book about J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI because the little tastes that I got of it in this book definitely intrigued me. The book mainly focuses on Tom White as he is the main investigator for the FBI. He is such a stand up guy and I really liked learning about his life and how he handled the investigation. It was also interesting to learn about how private investigators got their start and the different techniques that they would use.

This third act of this book deals with the author, Grann, and his research for this book. Which led to him putting together more information that what was done in the original FBI investigation. The whole story is so unbelievably sad and such a dark time in American history. As if what the American government did to Native Americans wasn’t awful enough this happened.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys true crime or anyone interested in the different histories of America. It is so important that we keep telling and reading these stories so we are always cognizant of our past. History is so so important to our lives and to society. We should always be striving to be better than we were.

~Cassie