April Coutts-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford. Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the second, April was dead.
I enjoyed Hannah as our main perspective. I found her to be pretty relatable in both the before and after settings and I liked the fact that her love for her friend but also her compassion for John Neville is what drives her to find out the truth. Had I have been in her situation I think I would of reacted exactly the same.
I also really enjoyed the rest of the friend group as well. At the start it was a little difficult to differentiate between them but as the story progressed I thought they were all easily distinguishable. April obviously isn’t a very likeable person but I can see how her lifestyle and energy would overwhelm Hannah and skew her perception of who April is. She is always making excuses for her and explaining away her pranks and is devastated that April’s personality has faded away from the notoriety.
I just thought Will’s reaction to everything was really weird and not explained enough for me. He kept trying to get Hannah to drop everything and even though his requests were reasonable he would just act strangely. When Hannah finally comes straight out and asks I don’t understand why he acted the way he did. He had to have known that she would come to that conclusion eventually so why would he just laugh?
The dual timelines definitely kept me engaged throughout the course of the book and the overarching mystery surrounding who did it had me turning the pages and eager to see what actually happened to April that night!
⭐️3/5 stars wasn’t anything spectacular but it was entertaining!
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is the books I plan to read this Winter! I’m in the mood for a lot of mystery/thriller books this Winter so that is what I am going to try and pick up over the next couple of months and these are the 10 at the top of my TBR!
The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
His and Hers by Alice Feeney
The Other People by C.J. Tudor
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin
Dead to Her by Sarah Pinborough
Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica
So Happy for You by Celia Laskey
The It Girl by Ruth Ware
The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda
*BEWARE OF SPOILERS BELOW*
Ellice Littlejohn seemingly has it all: an Ivy League law degree, a well-paying job as a corporate attorney in midtown Atlanta, great friends, and a “for fun” relationship with a rich, charming executive—her white boss, Michael. But everything changes one cold January morning when Ellice goes to meet Michael… and finds him dead with a gunshot to his head.
Ellice was definitely an interesting character. I honestly didn’t think she had much to hide per se but as the story progresses and we find out more of her secrets I felt sad for her. She had a traumatic upbringing and even though she managed to escape her circumstances she was left feeling immense guilt for leaving her little brother there. Which is obviously why she kept bailing him out and loaning him money. I liked to see her kind of devolve as she delves further into the mystery behind Michael’s death and who she thought was behind it.
I think it would of been more interesting if this was a dual perspective from Sam’s point of view as well. He is so wrapped up in this whole conspiracy and he eventually pays for it with his life. I still feel like he could of gave us more insight into what they had to deal with in childhood and it could of been a fascinating to see how contrasting their lives are now.
I did however really enjoyed the flashbacks to Ellice’s past. I like that there was more to her than what we originally perceived. Vera I adore and I liked the fact that she is still a major factor in both Ellice and Sam’s life and they continue to visit and show their love for her. It added a lot of depth to the storyline and showed us why Ellice acts the way she does and her reasonings behind her decisions she’s made in her life, like keeping her little secrets.
In terms of the actual mystery surrounding Michael’s death and who was behind it, I was underwhelmed. I just feel like there wasn’t enough high stakes moments that could of upped my entertainment factor. I want to be shocked and even though there were some twists throughout the plot I didn’t foresee it was all that interesting to find out. Talks about shipments and deliveries and gun orders to find out about a secret deal that leads to a conspiracy was boring.
⭐️2/5 stars I was just a little bored at times..
At a party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed – again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. The only way to break this cycle is to identify Evelyn’s killer. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is desperate to stop him ever escaping Blackheath…
This book was really hard for me to get into for some reason. I picked it up and put it down I think half a dozen times and I had never even gone past 20 pages. I finally decided to push through and it wasn’t until around the 100 page mark exactly that I started to become invested in Aiden and what was actually happening at Blackheath.
I was a bit indifferent to Aiden’s character a the start of the book. We definitely learn more about his as the book progresses and we figure out his motivations for why he is at Blackheath. We get no real sense of who he is though because he is continuously influenced by his hosts. Had we maybe got to see some flashbacks to before he entered and what he was feeling at that time and then come back to the present maybe I would of gained more of an insight into how much he’s changed.
I never really trusted Anna. Just the way she was always around right when Aiden needed her and how the plague doctor kept telling him that she is going to betray him. And then when we find out who she really is I can’t see why Aiden would be adamant that she has changed. I just feel like we aren’t shown enough of her character to make that distinction, but then again we didn’t know her before either. The same can be said for Daniel, I knew he was too good to be true right from when he exposes himself to himself. He was just that little too sure of himself and the decisions that Aiden was going to make even though he hasn’t made them yet.
Multiple timelines and POVs can get a tad confusing for me and it’s hard to keep track of all the characters and who is a host and who isn’t. I have to say as he switches from each host and the days start ticking down the level of urgency felt throughout the plot kept rising. I had no idea at any point in time what was actually going to happen, I had my suspicions but at every twist I was definitely surprised!
⭐️3/5 stars Unique, confusing and intricate!!
Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.
I felt sorry for Mariana for the majority of this book. When we learn about her life and how much death there has been in her family and how she has overcome it all only to be thrown into the midst of these tragic events would trigger anyone. I love how mostly calm and collected she is, instead of reacting she will stop and think about why she is feeling this way and what the other person has said to elicit these feeling, which as a therapist made sense. But then she sort of devolves throughout the course of the book and leans into her anger and is more prone to outbursts, like when she punched Edward in the face.
We are led to believe right from the start that Edward was the killer so naturally I didn’t believe it. I was thinking it was more along the lines of Fred being the killer simply because the way he was introduced was so random and then he was just always around. Sure he was interested in the murders and was attracted to Mariana but the whole prediction thing was a little strange. Then Morris seemed like the next likely out of the male characters to potentially be the killer, but then again it just seemed too obvious so I really had no idea.
I can definitely say I was surprised that Zoe would be able to pull it off. But then there were signs all throughout the book when Zoe would talk about Sebastien and I found it odd how almost accusatory she would speak to Mariana about it, especially when she would throw his death in her face and wish he was here instead of her. I remember thinking how weird for a niece to speak about her uncle who isn’t even her blood. I also found the fact that Zoe would just use Mariana’s first name and wouldn’t call her Aunt or Aunty, even though Mariana would call her niece often. I honestly didn’t even think they were related for the first half of the book, I just thought she was a random girl they adopted.
I liked how Alex Michaelides called back to his previous book and integrated those characters into this book. It honestly made me want to reread The Silent Patient and connect the dots once again. I liked this book, it was intriguing, mysterious and I loved the college setting. I was constantly on edge and surprised at every turn.
⭐️4/5 stars This was unpredictable, weird and pretty fast paced!