Blog Tour Book Review: A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

About A Simple Favor

• Hardcover: 304 pages
• Publisher: Harper (March 21, 2017)

“Riveting and brilliantly structured, A Simple Favor is an edge-of-your seat domestic thriller about a missing wife and mother that relies on a rotating cast of unreliable narrators to ingeniously examine the cost of competitive mom-friends, the toll of ordinary marital discontent and the fallacy of the picture-perfect, suburban family.”—Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author

She’s your best friend.

She knows all your secrets.

That’s why she’s so dangerous.

A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.

A Simple Favor is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense—a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Simple Favor by Darvey Bell. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review of it. 

A Simple Favor is a domestic thriller that centers around the disappearance of Emily. It s a psychological thriller, which is something that I have had a taste for in the past few years (much like the rest of the world with the success of novels like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train). While I try my hardest not to make comparisons between these specific books, I do believe that this one definitely shares the same genre.

I love that in this book, we are immediately thrust into the thick of the story where we find out that Stephanie’s best friend Emmy is missing. I had a love/hate relationship with Stephanie and her blog. I’m not into mommy blogs because I’m not a mother but I’m sure if I was I might be interested in them. That being said, I do like the inclusion of a different format within the book, for me including some other type of format rather than traditional narrative is super creative and just draws me into a story that much faster. It also makes it seem like a much faster read and essentially makes it like candy for me. I just literally soak up the pages until an hour later I’m sitting in my chair with a finished book. That happened to me with this book. I love a book with alot of character introspection, secrets and surprising reveals – definitely got that with this book.

Immediately I could pick out little things that just felt wrong in Stephanie’s blog posts so that was SUPER interesting and made me want to keep reading. It’s always interesting, I think, to view a main character through the eyes of the rest of the characters in our story and that very much happens in this one as we receive the story from a couple of different perspectives. This was an entertaining story that absolutely captured my attention. Though I wasn’t wild for any of the characters in particular, I did love following them and the myriad events that unfold throughout. Very intriguing plot that I definitely think would work well on the big screen as it has been acquired by Fox 2000 which is something to look forward to.

This is a debut novel so I anticipate what the author may have in store for us next. Although not completely comparable, I do think fans of unreliable narrators like in Girl on the Train, would enjoy this story!  4 stars!

About Darcey Bell

Darcey Bell was born in 1981 and raised on a dairy farm in western Iowa. She is a preschool teacher in Chicago. A Simple Favor is her first novel.

Follow Darcey on Twitter.

Blog Tour Book Review: The Drifter by Christine Lennon

About The Drifter

• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 14, 2017)

Megan Abbott meets M.O. Walsh in Christine Lennon’s compelling debut novel about a group of friends on the cusp of graduating from college when their lives are irrevocably changed by a brutal act of violence.

Present Day…

For two decades, Elizabeth has tried to escape the ghosts of her past…tried to erase the painful memories…tried to keep out the terrifying nightmares. But twenty years after graduating from the University of Florida, her carefully curated life begins to unravel, forcing her to confront the past she’s tried so hard to forget.

1990s, Gainesville, Florida…

Elizabeth and her two closest friends, Caroline and Ginny, are having the time of their lives in college—binge watching Oprah, flirting for freebies from Taco Bell, and breaking hearts along the way. But without warning, their world is suddenly shattered when a series of horrific acts of violence ravage the campus, changing their lives forever.

Sweeping readers from the exclusive corners of sorority life in the South to the frontlines of the drug-fueled, slacker culture in Manhattan in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, when Elizabeth is forced to acknowledge her role in the death of a friend in order to mend a broken friendship and save her own life, The Drifter is an unforgettable story about the complexities of friendships and the secrets that can ultimately destroy us.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Happy Thursday!! It’s almost the weekend which makes me incredibly be happy because I am planning to do some well deserved reading! 

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for The Drifter by Christine Lennon. I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review of it. 

The Drifter is a thriller about a girl named Betsy who lives and goes to college in a somewhat small town. During the events of this book there is a killer on the loose in her town that is murdering young women in their apartments so it sends their campus and town into high alert.

I ended up giving this book a 3 star review. I liked it and it was certainly a little creepy in my opinion. I read the brunt of it in bed at two in the morning with all the lights off and my husband and puppy asleep so that definitely increased the creep factor for me. There were some definite creepy moments that made my skin crawl which is something I look for in a thriller read. However, it was a little slow for me. The prologue definitely caught my attention and I liked the writing style and thought it was atmospheric. I think all the sorority stuff lost me and the general girl versus girl cattiness that goes on in this book. 

I did find it interesting to explore the evolution of Betsy through time. During her college days she’s very carefree, independent and bold, but after what happens she becomes understandably fearful, dependent and protective. 

Overall it was a fast, entertaining read that thriller fans may enjoy. I recommend reading it in bed at night with the lights off (except for your reading light!)

About Christine Lennon

CHRISTINE LENNON is a Los Angeles based writer. Before she moved to the West Coast and started her freelance career, she was an editor at W, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar. Since then, she has written for publications including, T, the New York Times Style Magazine; the Wall Street Journal; Town & Country; W; Vogue; Harper’s Bazaar; Martha Stewart Living; Sunset; C California Style; Marie Claire; Self; Net-a-Porter’s Porter and The Edit online magazine—among others. Christine lives in California with her husband, Andrew Reich, and their twins. The Drifter is her first book.

Find out more about Christine at her website.

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Book Review: Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims

17933522Title: Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims
Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Thriller
Length: 336 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication date: May 24, 2016
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Rating: 4/5

Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.

What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.

In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other. It’s a story that will keep readers turning pages and questioning their own sense of right and wrong.

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I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss.

Please Don’t Tell by Laura Grims is a gripping YA thriller told in the alternating perspectives of two twin sisters: Joy and Grace. When Joy learns what Adam, the school bad boy, has done to her sister she attends his birthday party with the purpose of confronting him. But Joy awakes in her own bed the next day with no recollection of what happened the night before and learns that Adam has been found dead. When she begins to receive letters from an anonymous source attempting to blackmail her into revealing some really dark secrets about the people around her, Joy is unsure what exactly she is capable of.

Please Don’t Tell definitely had the thriller/suspense vibe. It gripped my attention from the very first page and after that I couldn’t bring myself to put it down. It was thrilling, dark and suspenseful. It always had me on the edge of my seat trying to guess who the blackmailer was and although the person it ended up being was one of my guesses, I still wasn’t one hundred percent sure about it until the reveal happened.

It was a pretty dark, gritty story. It does cover some hard topics like rape, death, abuse and grief. It’s definitely not a happy book though there are a few happy moments. I loved the scenes between Levi and Joy when they are getting to know one another. There were alot of great, quotable lines throughout the book but specifically in the conversations between Levi and Joy. I hate how it ended between them even though it’s totally understandable, given the events that went on in the story but oh how I wished a happy ending for them. It was difficult to read the story from Grace’s perspective because of this terrible thing that has happened to her and that she has had to deal with in the only way she knew how.

It had this psychological element to it that made me want to keep reading more. It was a pretty intense read. I am giving this book a four out of five star review. It’s definitely a light read in terms of length and the fact that it will go by really fast because you won’t stop wanting to read it but definitely heavy in terms of topic. I recommend giving this book a read if you are a fan of YA thrillers! Also, I MUST mention the cover because the cover is fantastic. It’s eye catching with the bold, loud font contrasting with the muted black and white photo in the background. Genius!

Audiobook Review: My Sister’s Grave (Tracy Crosswhite #1) by Robert Dugoni

61xgo0yWpfL._SL300_Title: My Sister’s Grave(Tracy Crosswhite #1) by Robert Dugoni, Narrated by Emily Sutton-Smith
Genre: Fiction – Thriller
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Length: 10 hours and 49 minutes
Format: Audiobook via Audible
Publication Date: November 1, 2014
Rating – 4/5 stars – I loved it!

Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House — a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder — is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past — and open the door to deadly danger.

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It’s hard to believe, given my recent obsession with them, that a year ago I really hated listening to audiobooks. This past week I listened to My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni and I, of course, loved it.

My Sister’s Grave is a thriller read about a detective whose younger sister disappeared when they were both younger. After the “supposed” killer was put behind bars, Tracy never actually felt right about her sister’s death. When her sister’s body is found and new evidence comes to light that contradicts evidence used to convict the killer, Tracy starts to look into the circumstances surrounding her sisters disappearance and subsequent death. What she founds will be creepy and altogether, unexpected.

really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Apparently I have a thing for listening to thrillers on audiobook as more than half of the ones I have listened to this year have been thrillers. I really liked this story. I thought it was really interesting and thrilling, it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat and kept me wanting to listen. I went through the ten plus hours of listening pretty fast and I really liked the narrator. I thought the pacing in this book was really good and I wasn’t ever bored. At first I thought the plot twist was weird but it was actually pretty good. I’m surprised to hear that there is going to be a sequel (I’m not exactly sure how many are going to be in this series) but I am rather glad. I was surprised at first because I thought the mystery surrounding Tracy’s sister and her killer was wrapped up pretty well but then I realized that she had been working on another case during this book that kind of just got lost in everything else. I really wish that had been saved til the next book because it literally was just..there…throughout the whole book with not much attention being paid to it although I realize that the title of this book is about her sister. I just think it should have been introduced and worked on in the next one.

Overall this was a good, solid read.Whether you listen to it via audiobook or read it in physical form, I recommend giving it a read! I’ll be looking forward to the sequel!

Book Review: The Road to Ataco by Belinda Bennett

Road to AtacoTitle:  The Road to Ataco by Belinda Bennett
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Publisher: Self Published
Length: 75 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: September 11, 2015
Rating – 4/5 stars

Best-selling American novelist Charity Chalmers is in El Salvador to find inspiration for her next book. Cocooned in the luxury of the five star Plaza Hotel, she thinks she is in paradise. But the beautiful scenery of La Costa del Balsamo masks terror.

Danger is stalking her every move in this journey from paradise to hell.

Where beauty cloaks evil, there is No Mercy…

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Happy Friday!!! I hope everyone had a great week and is gearing up for a wonderful Halloween weekend! Today I am excited to share with you my review of The Road to Ataco by Belinda Bennett. I want to send a huge thank you to the author for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

The Road to Ataco is  a novella about author Charity Chalmers whom in the throes of extreme writers block and publisher deadlines, takes a holiday to beautiful El Salvador. Underneath the beauty of this vacation/tourist spot lies a dark side burgeoning with gang activity and tourist kidnappings. All too trusting and naive, Charity soon finds herself at the very center of the darker side of this destination spot.

I really enjoyed The Road to Ataco, it is probably my most favorite novella that I have read this year. It was a very fast read, I believe it can be read in an hour as it is really fast paced which I liked. It is a mystery/thriller so it kept me on the edge of my seat for the main character and the predicament she finds herself in. I feel like it’s also part cautionary tale for people who desire to travel to be vigilant. The writing and the plot were both so good that I almost wish this novella were longer! Everything Charity went through was pretty detailed , moreso than I would have expected in a novella and I really liked that. The writing was believable and the characters were believable and there was even a tiny bit of romance in this story. I don’t know if anyone else would have thought the ending a bit cheesy but I really liked it.

I ended up giving this novella a four star review as I really liked it and enjoyed it and I think other’s will enjoy it just as much. If you are a fan of suspense and thrillers, check this novella out. It is fast paced, thrilling and a really fast read. You can purchase a copy on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015AH5PMK?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Audiobook Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

22529254Title: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Genre:  Fiction – Thriller
Publisher: Penguin
Length: 10 hours 59 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Rating – 5/5, loved it!

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

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Happy Wednesday everyone! I wasn’t sure if I was going to get to complete any books in these last few days of the month but I did! I’m actually hoping to complete one more but we will see how that goes. In the past I haven’t been a big fan of audiobooks, I was actually pretty against them in the past. I had tried them before but I just could never get into them. I would always feel like I was missing things or I would get annoyed by the narrators voices. I decided to give them another chance and bought The Girl on the Train on audiobook. I’m really glad I did because I ended up really loving this book.

My reading/listening experience of this book ended up being a pretty great one. I gave the book itself a 5 star rating because I thought it was fantastic. I’m normally not one to gravitate towards thrillers but when I read the summary for this book, it just struck me.

The Girl on the Train is told through the point of view of three different women whose lives overlap. Rachel is our main point of view and is an alcoholic divorcee struggling with a few issues like her alcoholism and getting over her ex husband. Anna is the current wife of Rachel’s Ex husband whom is struggling with motherhood and Rachel’s continued presence in her life. Megan is a young married woman living a few houses down from Anna with alot of external and internal struggles of her own. Megan’s disappearance on a fateful Saturday night throws each of their worlds into chaos.

As mentioned above, I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. It was beautiful written with haunting narrative and descriptions. I loved the air of melancholy throughout. I’ve heard that this is a book that you either hate or love and I just found this book to be so spellbinding. I was on the edge of my seat which was so surprising to me since I am not an audiobook fan. This just makes me want to rush out and buy the physical copy which I definitely will do in the future because I would reread this book.

Aside from my loving this book, there were actually a slew of characters that I did not like and that’s probably because every single character in this book is majorly, majorly flawed. They’re human! I’ve read a few reviews that stress the fact that this book is depressing but I just really think even if it is dark and troubling, it is also starkly realistic. I love how each character has their own conflict going on within themselves and their lives. It reminds me of the “grass is always greener on the other side” idiom. Each of these characters at one time in the novel has wondered what someone else’s life is like and gotten it grossly wrong, ultimately forgetting that the other person is just human. My favorite character starting out was Megan  but we learn things about her that made me not like her so much towards the end. Rachel at the beginning and the end was not my favorite but she definitely grew on me the deeper I got into the novel and I just straight up never liked Anna. These characters were ALL very complex characters and I applaud this book and author for that…there wasn’t one character that wasn’t well developed.

What a ride. This was a whirlwind of suspense for me. It had the feel of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl but altogether, different. I’m trying hard not to compare them though I actually think I may have enjoyed this book more. I highly recommend this book whether on physical copy or audiobook. I only really liked one narrators voice but I enjoyed listening to it nonetheless. I was so engrossed in it and found myself wanting to listen to it when I wasn’t. Also, I just heard this is being adapted to film…I will be there on release night. Yes!! I’ve also heard rumors that Emily Blunt may be on board to play Rachel…if this is true…yes, yes and yes!!!

Cover Reveal: Lost (Awaken Series Book #2)!

I am oh so excited to be a part of the cover reveal for the second book in an awesome series. I reviewed the first book Awaken and am super excited to read Lost when it’s released!! Anyway, how gorgeous is this cover?!

Title: Lost (Awaken Series Book #2)

Author: Jaime Guerard

Genre: YA Paranormal Romantic Thriller

Cover Designer: Kimberley Marsot (K-Design)

lost cover

Lost Blurb:

One…Two…Three…Breathe

There is no other choice

You know what you have to do

Don’t think, Bre, just go

I begin to take my final step forward, feeling the urgency of what I know I should do, but I immediately think of who I will be leaving behind. If I go I won’t be able to say goodbye. I won’t be able to tell him that I love him. I want to tell him that I’m sorry for what’s going to happen to me, and beg him to forgive me for what I’m about to do.

Tears begin to filter from my eyes as I realize there is no other choice. Perhaps I will finally know why I have been given this gift of seeing into the future.

Accepting that this is my lot—my final end—I take a deep breath and run to the boy. As I do, I block out everything and everyone that I love far from my mind.

Time has run out for me.

Don’t think, Bre, just go.

Lost, the electrifying sequel to The Awaken series, will draw you deeper into the world that Bre is beginning to unfold. This riveting novel will prove that true love comes in many forms, that deception is all around us, that the secrets of our opposers are often hidden in plain sight, and that the world in which we dwell holds more than what we see on the surface.

Goodreads

Jaime Guerard - Copy (2)

Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Website / Tumblr / Goodreads

LOST is the sequel to AWAKEN in the Awaken Series by Jaime Guerard! See what readers are saying about AWAKEN!

“Right when you think you have it all figured out, you are thrown in the opposite direction. The end of the book…my jaw was on the floor!” – Two Sassy Chicks Blog

“The story building was just plain amazing and super intense. When I got to the last page all I could think was, WOW.” – Maria’s Book Blog

“Awaken kept me at the edge of my seat, biting my nails and wondering what would happen next!” – Melanie Dawn, Author of So Much It Hurts

Goodreads

Awaken

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