All These Beautiful Strangers follows multiple perspectives with the main being Charlie a 17 year old girl who is attending a prestigious prep school for the elite called Knollwood Academy. She is struggling to overcome the dark legacy of her family and is trying to become a member of the school’s elite secret society called the A’s.
I liked the multiple perspectives and the way we time jumped from present day back to the summer that Grace went missing; slowly piecing together all the details really made me engaged in the story and eager to read on to find out what was going to happen. Is Grace alive, did Alistair kill her, did something else happen? Having this story woven into the present day situations that Charlie has to deal with kept the anticipation at an all time high!
I actually really liked Charlie’s character. I think her being one of the rich kids and getting that perspective was quite refreshing for me. Her not really having to worry about money and blending in so well with the other wealthy kids at the school and seeing how they function was fascinating and a point of view that really isn’t explored a whole lot in YA. I like that she is so unaware of how much she really does manipulate those around her to get what she wants and the fact that it is thrown back in her face unexpectedly was gratifying!
I liked the pace of the book, there was definitely tension built up throughout the story line. Mixing in the initiation process for the A’s and having that come full circle was really entertaining. All of the characters are very morally ambiguous and you really can’t predict what anyone is going to do next as they all have the means to be able to pretty much get away with anything!
School setting are always a favourite of mine and even though I never went to somewhere as prestigious as Knollwood it did bring around feelings of nostalgia for me.
⭐️4/5 stars Suspenseful, unexpected, tragic!
Good not great!
An Anonymous Girl follows the perspective of a girl who decides to participate in a psychological test study headed by a mysterious professor on morality and ethics.
Jessica’s character was at times a little morally ambiguous, which I guess feeds directly into the plot and keeps the audience guessing. Sometimes she will be willing to do what Dr. Shields asks of her with no complaint and other times she will stand up for herself and refuse, but usually she will get talked into doing it anyway. I like seeing her putting the little pieces together and figuring out what is really going on, seeing her paranoia build up and trying to investigate what Dr. Shields is hiding. She was a little on the naïve side for most of the book and that kind of soured her a little for me, so by the end I wasn’t all that invested in the outcome.
Dr. Shields was an interesting character. I like that she genuinely thought what she was doing was ok and not at all on the psychotic side of things. Going through with the actual case study even after what happened with her previous participant just to keep trying to catch her husband in a lie. She was manipulative, cold and calculating and she had an answer for everything! I like that we are given a bit more background into her life to acknowledge that her behavior has really grown and evolved over time, but it was always present!
The pacing of the book was pretty fast and I was able to get through it really quickly. There were enough twists and turns that it kept me engaged and entertained, however, there were sections of the story that felt like I really had to drag myself through. There was a nice build-up of tension and anticipation and the ending was actually quite explosive. I just wasn’t all that interested by the end. I found that this isn’t really the kind of thriller that I personally enjoy as much as others!
⭐️3/5 ok just was a little meh…
The Turn of the Key follows the story of Rowan who is a nanny. When she comes across an advert for a live in nanny position it looks too good to pass up.
I like the format of the book, the use of the letters at the start to kind of establish all of the details and then backtracking to find out how Rowan came to be in this situation. There was quite a short time frame that the book focuses in on which I appreciate. I think the whole story was over the course of a week, which really enabled the plot to go into the minute details of all the events that take place!
I really enjoyed Rowan’s character. She was definitely self-aware and wasn’t at all arrogant or above anyone else, I found her to be super relatable and I could find myself really connecting with her and all the events that happen at Heatherbrae. I thought she wasn’t the most likable of characters and I think that endeared her to me even more. I like the fact that she swore and but some of the thoughts she had in regards to the girls were a little off-putting and didn’t really enable me to trust her completely as a character. Especially when she was supposedly this highly regarded nanny and childcare worker, so I kind of picked up on that and it made me a little wary of her.
Ruth Ware really has a way of creating this completely chilling and creepy ambiance out of a perfectly normal scenario. The atmosphere was a little off kilter from the start and I liked how the technology was incorporated as a way to make Rowan a little more paranoid. The way that Ruth weaves the story definitely had me on the edge of my seat and really had me concentrating on what was happening and when in order to figure out how everything goes down.
The only qualm I had was that the ending felt a little rushed to me. We had this whole, long drawn out, build-up of suspense and in the end Rowan was really just stumbling around while the events took place. I get that she didn’t really know what happened from the start but we are really just told and not shown what actually took place. It was still a great twist and I didn’t see it coming at all, I just thought it would have been explained a little more in detail.
Still a fantastic, nail-biter of a psychological thriller and I will definitely be checking out a few more of Ruth Ware’s backlist titles in the near future!
⭐️4.5/5 stars Dark, unsettling, spooky!
This was a roller-coaster ride!
This book follows the story of a suburban couple who decided to spice up their marriage by murdering people!
I absolutely loved the concept of this book! Reading from an inside perspective of the killers is something that you don’t really come across in thrillers. Especially when the husband kind of portrays himself as the innocent bystander really and Millicent is the one who does all of the dirty work. Looking after his daughter when she is sick and being so in the dark of what his wife is really capable of.
I actually really loved Millicent’s character! I love how meticulous and mercurial she is. Her rigidity and need for order and structure in all aspects of her life and how controlling she is of her family was an indication of how she truly is but I didn’t pick up on anything! She was really unpredictable and I had no idea of what she was capable of. I definitely wanted to know where she was keeping the girls and when she was going to see them, but through her husband’s perspective she really covers every aspect of her crimes and very nearly got away with it all!
I like the fact the even though we are deep in the husband’s mind and we are reading through his perspective we only know him as Tobias which is his alter-ego. The fact that we aren’t even given a name I think proves how inconspicuous he is and how easily he is able to blend into society without a second thought or glance.
I thought the pacing of the book was perfect! We are really given just enough to keep turning the pages and the sense of foreboding is implemented really well throughout the course of the plot. Every page I was waiting and anticipating for when the other shoe was going to drop and the truth was going to come out. And when the climax finally did occur it was totally unexpected and shocked me! The twists and the turns really keep you engaged and the characters and their lives kept you enthralled.
I highly enjoyed this book and I feel it’s one of the best domestic, suspenseful thrillers I’ve ever read!
⭐️4.5/5 stars calculating, twisted & dark!
Was definitely very thrilling!
Vanessa’s husband of 7 years just recently left and divorced her already moving on to the next woman, who is like a younger version of herself.
I love how we are always misdirected in this book. It says it in the blurb to not make assumptions about this love triangle but of course I thought Vanessa was just another alcoholic housewife whose husband has left her and moved on to greener pastures. I was so invested in the storyline that I almost forgot that it was a thriller and when that first plot twist hit me I was thrown for a second. I connected more with Nellie than Vanessa initially when I started reading and then when I came to find out they are the same person it shocked me. It really made me stop and look back at what I had already read and see how it all pieced together.
All of the jumping between time periods was also very effective. I was easily able to follow along and again try to piece together Vanessa’s life and how everything managed to work out the way it did. The second half of the book really went in another direction that I wasn’t expecting. Seeing Vanessa’s motives shift quite suddenly from essentially sabotaging the wedding to wanting to save Emma and reading how almost manic she was really propelled the plot forward and made the book as a whole a lot more thrilling for me.
Vanessa’s arc over the course of the book was almost inspirational. There was already so much she had to overcome from her early twenties and everything that happened in college, then to seemingly find the man of your dreams and think that you are set for life only to have that fall through as well. I was happy that Vanessa decided to fight and not just give up and let Richard continue his ways with Emma.
I was very much engaged throughout the course of this book and all of the twists and turns kept me invested in the plot! I will definitely be reading An Anonymous Girl soon to see how it compares!
⭐️4/5 stars Fast paced, addictive, page turning!!