All Her Little Secrets Review

*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..

Sharp Objects Review

*SOME SPOILERS*

When two girls are abducted and killed in Missouri, journalist Camille Preaker is sent back to her home town to report on the crimes. Long-haunted by a childhood tragedy and estranged from her mother for years, Camille suddenly finds herself installed once again in her family’s mansion, reacquainting herself with her distant mother and the half-sister she barely knows – a precocious 13-year-old who holds a disquieting grip on the town.

I love the premise of this book, having Camille return to her home town after years to report about the two murdered children. We learn about the setting through Camille’s memory and how she compares to how it is now. There is already that mystery surrounding why Camille left in the first place and why she doesn’t speak to her mother.

I have to say I found myself at times being sympathetic towards Camille but I can’t say I actually liked her as a character. I think she was at times a little problematic and she really should of recused herself from the story from the beginning. She knew it would be triggering to come back to town and she definitely unravels and makes some strange decisions.

I absolutely hated Adora and Amma but I can say that’s a positive for Gillian Flynn for making me have a reaction to the characters she’s written. The over sexualised nature of Amma and the casualness she exudes whenever she is being nasty or inappropriate was horrifying. I just wish Camille would of exerted some form of authority over her and told her what she was doing was bad which I feel she’s never been told in her life. Adora on the other hand was just unnerving and weird.

I enjoyed the fact that there is the overarching mystery surrounding the girls murdered and I found the way Camille uncovered it to be entertaining for sure. The way the plot unravels and we start to have more a clear picture as to who the murderer was very intriguing. I had my suspicions from the start and the misdirect was a great touch but I was eventually correct.

⭐️3/5 stars Shocking and twisted!

The Paris Apartment Review

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

Jess’s character felt new and fresh to me. I liked the fact that she’s led a completely different life to Ben and even though they’ve had their differences and grown apart she doesn’t give up her search. She’s definitely wary of those around her and I appreciated how she didn’t just take everyone’s word at face value and dug around a little more to unearth all the dirty little secrets.

The multiple POVs were a great touch I think. It made it easier to differentiate between all the different characters and added depth to the plot. Learning what everyone was doing prior to Ben’s disappearance and seeing how they all weave together was very satisfying.

The setting of this apartment building in Paris was fantastic. We really get a sense of just how gritty and dark Paris can be and how one’s perception of a place can just be so wrong. Having all the secret passages between the apartments and the mysterious nature of the concierge added to the overall tone of the book.

In terms of all the different twists and reveals it was very dramatic for sure. I can’t say it was the most shocking thriller book I’ve read but I feel like the entertainment factor was so high that I was just happy to go along for the ride. In retrospect the main twist was quite obvious but during my read I really didn’t predict any of the main plot points which made for a easy and fun experience.

⭐️4/5 stars I was here for the drama of it all!

Local Woman Missing Review

*A FEW SPOILERS*

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold. Now, 11 years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find….

First of all reading from Delilah’s point of view those first few chapters where we find out what happened to her was horrible. I can’t imagine being in that situation, being abused and starved on a regular basis for years and still having the courage to fight and break free from her captors. It really showed her resilience and perseverance and I was glad she was able to escape from those horrors and find her way back to her family!

Meredith on the other hand I didn’t really care all to much about. She clearly has taken on too much with her two jobs and taking care of Leo and Delilah, letting things go where she would of otherwise taken a lot more serious. I don’t understand why she didn’t just tell her husband about what was going on with Shelby and that malpractice case as well as the threatening texts she was receiving. She claims to love and trust him more than anything yet she’s keeping all of these secrets from him, struggling to maintain her lifestyle and feeling guilty about sending her son to day care when she doesn’t even really need to work.

I was confused as to why we were getting the perspective from Kate but she definitely added much needed context and diversity to the storyline. I can’t say I was particularly attached to either of them but their dynamic was interesting to read from and to get an outside but still close look at the aftermath of Meredith and Delilah going missing. Leo’s perspective was my favourite though! I loved his candour and unapologetic nature of his thoughts and feelings. He has had to deal with a lot growing up under the shadow of this tragedy and more often than not he is overlooked and unappreciated.

The pacing started off a little slow for me and I found myself getting disinterested the first half of the book. But then when we start finding out about what happened to Shelby and then when all of the timelines converge and we get the full truth it all felt a bit rushed. I can’t honestly say this would be a believable scenario that would ever play out, it was a little over the top and ridiculous but still entertaining and unpredictable!

⭐️3/5 stars Good not great!

Reckless Girls Review

*SPOILERS BELOW*

When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.

Lux was definitely an interesting perspective. She just comes across as quite lost and without a tether really holding her anywhere since her mother died. Then she met Nico and attached herself to him and his dream and is now disappointed with how things have worked out for her. She has the potential to be a very strong, independent woman but just acquiesces to Nico’s every whim and allows him to be very dismissive of her and her feelings, which then builds up until she completely unloads on him when she is at her breaking point. I don’t really like how she is so blase towards Amma and Nico and I feel like she let them off way too easily, I wanted more of a rage fuelled drawn out fight or argument.

I think what would of made me love this book more is if we had another perspective in the now. Lux got to be a bit tedious at times and even though she goes through this emotional awakening during the plot and stands up for herself and calls out the insanity that Chloe and Brittany created. She knew that something was off with how everyone was reacting to Harvey being missing and then the radio situation but just let things slide a little too much.

The dual timelines I really enjoyed. It gave a lot of these characters depth and added much needed context to the story and how all of they all ended up at this ‘off the beaten track’ island. In hindsight it’s kind of glaringly obvious who everyone was and how they are connected but as I was reading I had no idea. I ended up really despising Nico in the end and I was glad that he died but I wanted to see him actually get killed. To not get to witness it and just have Lux coming across his body like she did with Harvey and Amma was underwhelming.

I liked that we got to read about the journey to the island from Hawaii and there was some action scenes sailing through the storm. The actual setting of the island though was great. The forced proximity and isolation made the tension continuously build throughout the course of the storyline. The addition of Harvey was kind of an obvious red herring to me, I would of been more inclined to believe he was going to have more of an impact had they had just a few more interactions with him as a group. But otherwise the atmosphere was suspenseful, the twists I could not see coming at all and I was overall entertained!

⭐️4/5 stars This was a wild one!