Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads Reviews

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine #travelingfriendsread #BookReview #BookBloggers

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The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Print_L435-2_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Review

THE LAST MRS. PARRISH by LIV CONSTANTINE  is an entertaining, fun, suspenseful, and a twisty psychological thriller that was quite the tale of manipulation, deceit and revenge. I wasn’t immediately drawn into this story though as I found parts of the first section a little bit slow and repetitive but once I reached the next section I was flipping those pages as fast as I could.  

LIV CONSTANTINE delivers an intriguing, clever, and gripping story here with quite the twisted, wicked and vindictive characters.  The story is told from the points of view of our two main characters, Amber and Daphne and divided up into three parts. I really enjoyed how this story was divided up and once I reached the second part of this book it totally took a compulsive and unputdownable turn.     

I wasn’t too much of a fan of Amber and her character though.  I found her character to be quite off-putting and that really affected my overall enjoyment for this novel.  Usually a characters behaviour and actions don’t really bother me but there were definitely some scenes that rubbed me the wrong way and made me a little unforgiving.  I would say though that Amber’s delusional ways definitely made for good reading.

As for Daphne’s character, I enjoyed her perspective best and I was thoroughly intrigued.

FC-10-CarlyKris’s Review

Hide ya wife. Hide ya kids. And hide ya husband…

‘Cause Amber Patterson is on the prowl and liable to steal your entire life right out from under your nose.

And this time her envious glare is set upon the beautiful and unsuspectingDaphne and her filthy rich, disgustingly successful husband, Jackson.

I’ll be the first to admit that I love a good cast of whack job characters, but there’s certain criteria I feel necessary for their levels of insanity to work:

– The characters must feel fleshed-out and human.
– They should have layers and appear altered when viewed from different angles. (No one is all “one” thing.)
– They have to be convincing enough to make even the “unbelievable” seembelievable . (No matter how absurd a theory may seem, good writing willmake me a believer.)

While the characters here certainly nailed psychopathy, I felt they lacked the depth and dimension needed for me to buy what they were selling, although I’m not saying the ride wasn’t fun. It just felt a bit “put-on” and inauthentic at times.

This plot is divided into three parts with alternating focus, which I thought worked well. The first section felt slightly repetitive and was my least enjoyable, but the rest of the book had me flipping eagerly through its pages, anxiously awaiting reveals.

As for the twists—they seemed more edgy than surprising, which isn’t a bad thing. The ending left me a little divided for reasons that are too spoilery to mention, but since this is fiction, I can stand to give a high-five to good ol’ book-karma for doing her job with efficiency and vigor and a sweet twist of irony as a cherry-topper.

Overall, a stellar concept that, with a tighter execution, I could have easily 5-starred. I can definitely see this becoming a movie; it certainly reads like one. I do think many readers will enjoy the compulsive nature of this one and easily soar through this story. Enjoy!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Book Stats:
▪  Genre/Category: Psychological Thriller/Mystery/Suspense
▪  Characters: Deliciously Unhinged but largely one-dimensional
▪  Plot: An envious woman greedily sets out to steal the life and husband of a new “friend”.
▪ Writing: Straightforward. Fluid.
▪ POV: 1st & 3rd Person Perspectives: Alternating Heroines
▪  Cliffhanger: None. Standalone

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Norma’s Stats:
Cover: I wouldn’t say I was drawn into this cover but I do think it a fitting representation to the storyline though.
Title: Piqued my interest and was curious to learn how it tied into plot.
Writing/Prose: straightforward, readable
Plot: Fascinating, great concept, and entertaining
Ending: I wasn’t totally satisfied and might have thought up my own alternate ending. LOL
Overall: Even though I had some reservations and felt it was lacking in some areas it was still a highly-entertaining, irresistible, and unputdownable read! Would recommend to anyone that enjoys a fast-paced, unputdownable, and an entertaining mystery/thriller novel.

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Have you read this one? Want to read this one! Drop us a comment!  We love to hear from you!

Posted in Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden Gems #travelingsistersread

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Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  This week’s topic is Hidden Gems.

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Night RoadNight Road by Kristin Hannah

An emotionally complex story that had me experiencing so many emotions.  Such a heartbreaking story that really captures a mother’s love, loss, forgiveness, and hope.  I thought it was of Kristin Hannah’s best.  A very unforgettable story for me.

The AnimatorsThe Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

This one left me an emotional mess during and after reading this one.  I have never been so blindsided by a story before or since.  It captures the love of two friends for each other and the love of their art.  Another unforgettable story for me.

Lost in the BeehiveLost in the Beehive by Michele Young-Stone

A girl’s magical coming of age love story and journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance full of emotional depth.

 

In the QuietIn the Quiet by Eliza Henry-Jones

An emotionally and beautiful story that captures the different types of characters within this family giving each of them their own conflict and voice that allowed me to feel multiple emotions for each of them.

 

The TasterThe Taster by V.S. Alexander

The Taster has a different perspective on WWII than I am used to reading and I learned some things I was not aware of.

V.S Alexander takes us to the places Hitler lived, giving us some insight into his life and relationships and as to why Germans followed him. I was intrigued and became fascinated by a part of history I never really put much thought into before.

The Last SuppersThe Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak

Captures the emotional memories surrounding food.  Food becomes its own character in this story and we begin to see the “last suppers” more in an in-depth and complex thought-provoking way as it is tied into the desire of our main character Ginny to find out her own truth and what that means.

Black Heart (Detective Dan Riley #1)Black Heart by Anna-Lou Weatherley

Nice change of pace with a strong and kind lead male Detective who struggles with his demons and a female serial killer who took me a little bit surprised with the way I felt about her.

I was left wanting more from Detective Dan and I look forward to book two.

The Killing GameThe Killing Game by J.S. Carol

The Killing Game was a traumatizing, chilling and disturbing story with it’s killing game.  My heart rate soared while reading this one.  It’s so unsettling and disturbing but I was unable to put it down.  I really wanted to and in the end, I loved it.  I was left a little worried about myself for loving it.

The Silent CompanionsThe Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Great one for Halloween.

The Silent Companion is creepy good, deliciously creepy and intriguingly creepy that grabbed my attention right from the very beginning and held it right to the end. Some really good spooky elements to this story.
The Girl Who Came BackThe Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson

The Girl Who Came Back is a fascinating, gripping and a fast-paced psychological thriller that hooked me in right from start to finish.  This one had me guessing the whole way through.  I thought this one has a brilliant twist to it.

 

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Have you read any of these titles?  Want to read any?  Do you have a hidden gem to share with us?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you.

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

#fashionvictim by Amina Akhtar #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers @Drrramina @crookedlanebks

Web_L301-4_brunetteOut today!!!  Happy Pub Day!!!!!

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#FashionVictim
by Amina Akhtar

Norma and I read #FashionVictim with three of our Traveling Sisters and we all were drawn into this story right away.  However, we did have some different thoughts on this one.

Web_L337-3_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s review

Fashionably dark and a wickedly fun read! Dexter anyone?

#FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar is a campy, compulsive and highly entertaining dark comedy that was a refreshing and fun book to read. It started off a little shaky for me but it sure didn’t take me long to be wrapped up in Anya’s world of fashion, her deadly antics and her mood boards.

AMINA AKHTAR delivers a creative, interesting, unique and easy read here with characters that were not the easiest to like but boy were they ever compelling and highly entertaining to read about though. The story is told from Anya’s point of view and there isn’t a lot of surprises to be had here as we are pretty much privy to the way that Anya’s mind works and what she is up to right from the beginning of the novel. I really enjoyed this approach as she really had me so curious and the tension comes in with the suspense of what she is thinking, going to do next and how.

I haven’t had this much fun following along with a character like Anya since maybe Dexter. I wouldn’t say that the storylines were at all similar though but there were some aspects to their characters that were, which I found to be rather appealing in a fictional-based kind of way mind you.

Web_L367-1_brunette_green-eyesBrenda’s review

Amina Akhtar takes some of the sillier parts of the fashion world and turns it into a ridiculously, uncanny and bizarre over the top fun read. The characters are so exaggerated, unlikeable and stereotyped it will have you laughing out loud at times but also feeling a little uncomfortable as well.  There are some serious issues here as well but I felt that Amina Akhtar took them to show just how catty things can get in the fashion world.  This is where things went a little sideways for Christina as she felt it was a little much at times.

I love the title and how Amina Akhtar ties that into the story.  That was a laugh out loud moment for me when I read that part of the story.  Such a clever title for this story.

We all enjoyed our unlikable yet so likable in a very unsettling and weird way fashion psychopath Anya.  Amina Akhtar does a good job pulling us into her mind and her intrusive thoughts that really felt real in my head at times, leaving us feeling a little weird at liking her.  We could see how the cattiness like shallow friendships, betrayals, and shifting alliances played on her mind.

#FashionVictim made for a really fun, and interesting discussion for us and it’s one I recommend for groups.  It leaves you with a lot to talk about.  I also recommend this one to anyone looking for something fun and different for an entertaining read and not to be taken very seriously.

Publishing Date: September 11, 2018

Thank you so much from both of us to Sarah at Crooked Lane Books for sending us a physical copy of this book.

From our Traveling Sisters

From Carol’s review

This is an over-the-top, absolutely entertaining, dark comedy.

The story follows Anya St. Clair who works in a fashion magazine and whose main goal in life is to become besties with her glamorous and influential co-worker Sarah Taft. When the opportunity for a promotion is put on the table, Anya becomes hyper-focused on getting it, even if it requires taking extreme and deadly measures.

This novel is deliciously addictive and once I started reading I could not stop. The story is told from the point of view of Anya and takes place in NYC. The characters are not explored deeply but are still compelling enough to give you some chills.

From Christina’s review

God, there was always so much work to do. Update this, kill so-and-so. I wish people understood how hard we worked in fashion – all to make it look effortless, easy.

When we enter into the story Anya is at the very beginning of an ever-growing mania. Her mental health is waning and she’s just dipped her toe into a murder spree that will last the entirety of the book. This is told solely from the POV of Anya and she is something else, to say the least. She’s one of the most complexly one-dimensional characters I’ve ever read. She’s absolutely you’re unlikable, unreliable narrator trope to a T. However, I don’t think Akhtar wrote these characters to be likable, they’re written to be entertaining and this book was pure entertainment.

I would’ve liked to see some break-up of Anya’s frenzy. While I enjoyed reading her POV I think the book suffered a bit because it ended up being a little choppy. I would’ve loved to see the Detectives take on things or a past / present break up of how Anya got to where she is today.

“I need to look like I belong in a photoshoot! That I’m cool and chill and don’t care. I need to affect – what’s the word? Not boredom?” “Ennui?” “Yes!” I jumped up and clapped. “I need to ennui the fuck out of my life. You’re brilliant Dr. M.”

There was a dry, dark and campy humor here that really worked for me and colored my overall enjoyment of this. However, despite the interesting premise things grew a bit tired throughout. The overuse of OMG, WTF and other abbreviations was grating at times. There is also a bit of stereotyping going on in this read. From body shaming to the assumption that anyone working in fashion is vapid, vane and dense. I do think this was meant to be ironic and to poke fun at the stereotypes but it got a little old for me in its redundancy.  For Christina’s full review

From Mackenzie’s review

Anya is someone who is destined to carry a novel. Her voice demands to be heard, and she doesn’t shy away from anything. It might be hard to imagine that living inside the mind of a delusional, deranged, murderous fashionista would be fun, but here we have proof that it is.

Anya is absolutely nuts, in the most fun way. We may see her killing someone off, only to later envision interacting with them and calling them #TeamAnya (Thanks, girl!). Every time this would happen I got positively giddy! There is something about the way Akhtar writes that is so readable.

And then that ending! Wow, what a trip the ending to this book is!!! It is perfect and delightful and twisted—just what I wanted from Anya and her cast of zany fashion friends! I heard that this was chosen for a Book of the Month and I’m so happy for Amina Akhtar. It is a well-deserved, but surprising choice. (Surprising because this book is so different and unique, not because it isn’t amazing). I loved it! I am already excited to see what Akhtar does next! For Mackenzie’s full review

Publishing Date: September 11, 2018

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, dark and a good representation to story.
Title: Drew me in, extremely fitting and ties into plot perfectly with multiple scenarios.
Writing/Prose: colorful, exaggerated, satirical, and amusing.
Ending: Satisfying, wrapped up nicely but also open for the possibility of a sequel, and enjoyed Anya’s thought processes in the end.
Overall: An enjoyable, twisted, fun, quick, entertaining, and fast-paced read. Although there were definitely some aspects to this novel that was a little bit trying though with the way some things were portrayed and narrated. Would recommend!

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Have you read this one? Want to read this one?  Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you