Review: The Eighth Girl

The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung
Publication: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 3/17/2020

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy of this book from HarperCollins  in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: One woman, multiple personas. 

But which one is telling the truth? 

Beautiful. Damaged. Destructive. Meet Alexa Wú, a brilliant yet darkly self-aware young woman whose chaotic life is manipulated and controlled by a series of alternate personalities. Only three people know about their existence: her shrink Daniel; her stepmother Anna; and her enigmatic best friend Ella. The perfect trio of trust.

When Ella gets a job at a high-end gentleman’s club, she catches the attention of its shark-like owner and is gradually drawn into his inner circle. As Alexa’s world becomes intimately entangled with Ella’s, she soon finds herself the unwitting keeper of a nightmarish secret. With no one to turn to and lives at stake, she follows Ella into London’s cruel underbelly on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, Alexa will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her most dangerous obstacle.

Electrifying and breathlessly compulsive, The Eighth Girl is an omnivorous examination of life with mental illness and the acute trauma of life in a misogynist world. With bingeable prose and a clinician’s expertise, Chung’s psychological debut deftly navigates the swirling confluence of identity, innocence, and the impossible fracturing weights that young women are forced to carry, causing us to question: Does the truth lead to self-discovery, or self-destruction?

Review: The Eighth Girl is Maxine Mei-Fung’s debut novel. This psychological thriller explores mental health (more specifically dissociative identity disorder or also known as multiple personality disorder), trauma, abuse, sexuality, and control. Overall, I found the storyline to be quite intriguing. I loved the alternative perspectives of Alexa and Daniel. For Alexa, it was interesting to learn about her multiple ‘selves’, how they interacted with one another, and how we are introduced to them throughout the book. For Daniel’s perspective, I found his psychiatrist and patient sessions to be most fascinating and learned a great deal. It was great to see how complex these characters were by diving into their pasts and seeing how it affected their present selves. I did find that I took my time with novel due to the nature of the content instead of speeding through books like I usually do. If you decide to read this book, I recommend to definitely read the synopsis before you dive in so you can be emotionally prepared and know the trigger warnings in advance if needed.

After I finished the book, I found out from the author that The Eighth Girl has been optioned by Netflix. Click here to learn more. I’m super excited to see that this book will be potentially a movie and can’t wait to see who they will cast!

Review: 5/5

Review: You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Publication: St Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 3/3/2020

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest opinion. I also received a free advanced listening copy of this book from LibroFM, MacMillan Audio, and St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: You probably know someone like Shay Miller. She wants to find love, but it eludes her. She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end. She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated. You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters. They have an unbreakable circle of friends. They live the most glamorous life. They always get what they desire. Shay thinks she wants their life. But what they really want is hers.

Review: This is the third book I’ve read from Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanan.  You Are Not Alone reads similar time their previous works, The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl. However, it’s not a domestic thriller. Overall, I found the writing to be intriguing and fast-paced for the most part. Towards the end, it felt like it was dragging a bit. The characters weren’t as fully in-depth that I liked, but it was still enjoyable read.  In terms of the audiobook, I felt that there wasn’t much of a voice difference between the two women who were narrating it even though the book is told from multiple perspectives. Personally, An Anonymous Girl, is my all-time favorite from them.If you love thrillers and/or loved the author duo’s previous books, I’d recommend checking them out. 

Rating: 3/5

Review: The Other People

The Other People by C.J. Tudor
Publication: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books
Publication Date: 1/28/20

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .

Three years ago, Gabe saw his daughter taken. In the back of a rusty old car, covered in bumper tickers. He was driving behind the car. He watched her disappear. But no one believes him. Most people believe that his daughter, and wife, are dead. For a while, people believed that Gabe was responsible.

Three years later and Gabe cannot give up hope. Even though he has given up everything else. His home, his job, his old life. He spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, sleeping in his camper van in service stations, searching for the car that took her. Searching for his daughter.

Katie spends a lot of her life in service stations, working as a waitress. She often sees Gabriel, or ‘the thin man’ as she has nicknamed him. She knows his story. She feels for him, because Katie understands what it’s like to lose a loved one. Nine years ago, her father was murdered. It broke her family apart. She hasn’t seen her oldest sister since the day of the funeral; the day she did something terrible.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people that want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows that if they ever find them, they’re dead.

Review: The Other People is C.J. Tudor’s third book. Overall, I found this to be a decent read. I really loved the premise of this novel. The character development and element of mystery were pretty strong. However, I found the writing style in this particular book to be somewhat odd. I noticed that the transitions alternating from past and present didn’t flow well. I also did not like the supernatural elements at the end which seemed to completely off. Despite these discrepancies, I would still recommend checking this thriller out if you loved The Chalk Man and Hiding Place.

Rating: 3/5

Review: 29 Seconds

29 Seconds by T.M. Logan

Publication: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: 3/8/18

Disclaimer: I received a free finished copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synposis: When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.

He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

All it takes is a 29 second phone call.

Review: 29 Seconds is the second book I’ve read from T.M. Logan. Overall, this was a solid three star thriller for me. The storyline was intriguing and action packed from page one. However, the plot seemed to be a bit too far fetched for my taste. I didn’t see one of the twists coming which was a pleasant surprise. I found Sarah to be such a weak and naive main character which irked me a lot, but I enjoyed learning a bit more about the other characters. Personally, I liked Lies better than 29 Seconds. If this is on your TBR, then it may be up your alley.

Rating: 3/5

Review: The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Publication: Atria Books

Publication Date: 11/5/19

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy of this book from Atria Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

Review: The Family Upstairs is Lisa Jewell’s latest thriller. Lisa Jewell has quickly become an auto-read author for me! I love the multiple POVs and the past vs. present narratives in this storyline. The book starts off a bit slow at the beginning, but quickly picks up towards the middle. I definitely didn’t see any of the twists coming which was quite refreshing. The characters are well-written and the writing style keeps you on your toes. If thrillers are your jam or if you’re craving an intriguing mystery, I highly recommend picking up The Family Upstairs!

Rating: 4/5

Review: The Chestnut Man

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup

Publication: Harper Collins

Publication Date: 9/3/19

Disclaimer: I received a free finished copy of this book from Harper Collins in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis:The heart-pounding debut from the creator of the hit Scandinavian television show The Killing.

If you find one, he’s already found you.

A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen.

His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene.

Examining the dolls, forensics makes a shocking discovery—a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, a government minister’s daughter who had been kidnapped and murdered a year ago.

A tragic coincidence—or something more twisted?

To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues.

Because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over.

And no one is safe. 

Review: The premise of the book is quite intriguing and captures your attention from page 1. I found the multiple characters at the beginning to be quite confusing, but at the end it all makes sense. I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style as I felt like it jumped around a bit. I found that I needed to be in a certain mood to read this book and really pay attention to every little detail. The storyline was definitely unique and resonated with me well after I finished the book. If you like crime books with gore, I’d recommend picking this one up.

Rating: 4/5

Review: Imaginary Friend

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Publication: Grand Central Publishing

Publication Date: 10/1/19

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

NetGalley Synopsis: Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend. 

We can swallow our fear or let our fear swallow us. Single mother Kate Reese is on the run. Determined to improve life for her and her son, Christopher, she flees an abusive relationship in the middle of the night with her child. Together, they find themselves drawn to the tight-knit community of Mill Grove, Pennsylvania. It’s as far off the beaten track as they can get. Just one highway in, one highway out.

At first, it seems like the perfect place to finally settle down. Then Christopher vanishes. For six awful days, no one can find him. Until Christopher emerges from the woods at the edge of town, unharmed but not unchanged. He returns with a voice in his head only he can hear, with a mission only he can complete: Build a tree house in the woods by Christmas, or his mother and everyone in the town will never be the same again.

Review: Imaginary Friend is Stephen Chbosky’s long awaited second novel. If his name sound familiar to you, it’s because he wrote The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Imaginary Friend was definitely a book that was out of my typical reading genre, but I’m glad that I gave it a chance. This horror book gave me Stranger Things vibes all the way and I loved how unique and intriguing the storyline was. I was immediately captured with the story and its characters from page 1. However, there were some instances in the story that lowered my overall rating of the book. First and foremost, the book felt like it was way too long (over 700 pages) and I thought it could have been culled down to under 500 or so. I wasn’t a big fan of religion talk or the descriptions of the dark fantasy in the book. There were also too many characters to keep track of and I lost interest in a few of the characters towards 60% of the book. Overall, if you like thriller or horror books, I would recommend picking this one up. 

Rating: 3/5