Review: Kiss Her Goodbye by Susan Gee

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Kirsten Green is my best friend.
Kirsten Green has gone missing.
 

I killed Kirsten Green.

Seventeen-year-old Hayley Reynolds is unwanted at home, and an outsider at school. Pushed away by her best friend Kirsten Green, she makes a deliberate, chilling decision – if Kirsten can’t belong to her, then she won’t belong to anyone…

DI Beverley Samuels has the body of a schoolgirl on her hands – a murder that brings back the hauntingly painful memories of the case she’s tried so desperately to forget. There’s something deeply disturbing about this crime – and yet with little hard evidence it’s up to her to decide who she will believe…

I’m not going to lie – this is a gorgeous cover.  It’s initially what drew me to the book in the first place.  Which is a good thing becuase it made me want to read the blurb and the blurb intrigued me enough to request the book from Netgalley.

Hayley Reynolds is quite a character.  Half the time you don’t know if she’s lying or being truthful, although you figure out quite quickly that she’s not very trustworthy.  It was annoying in so many ways for the first half of the book, this constant lying and then retracting.  But, as you find out more and more about her history – her mother’s ‘illness’ and the reasons why her father left – the pieces begin to fall into place.  By the end, when you find out the truth about the baby, I almost felt sorry for her.  Almost, becuase she’s rational enough to know that the things she’s doing are wrong and does them anyway.  While it makes for a great story, it also makes it difficult for me to feel any sympathy for her.

Beverly Samuels is another story.  While she is also a fascinating character, her motives are much easier to undestand.  The guilt she carries from a previous case cause her to overthink everything she and everyone else says and does.  With her previous inaction having resulted in a teenaged girl dying, she’s determined to not make the same mistake again.  Sadly, her narrow-minded approach causes something much worse to happen this time around.  While she’s not totally at fault, Hayley’s quite believable when she wants to be, if she’d had a bit of a more open-minded approach, maybe she would have seen the truth sooner.

Both Hayley and Beverly are a mess emotionally, although their reasons are very different from each other.  Hayley’s lies and Beverly’s obsession with finding the truth lead the two into a convoluted dance of truth and falsehoods.  At times, this back and forth between them, as well as Hayley and her mother’s boyfriend, Mike, cause the story to drag.  The characters are too busy scene setting to move the plot along.  I wasn’t sure why some of the characters were even there, honestly.  That said, the premise was fascinating.  The idea of a teenaged psychopath is terrifying and lends to a dark, intense story.  Despite not wanting to dream a sixteen-year-old is capable of the things Hayley does, in today’s world, it’s all too believable.

3.5/5

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Aria, for this advanced copy of the book for review.  

Monday Memes: What are you reading? What’s in your mailbox?

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Hosted by: The Book Date

What I read last week:

Under a Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania by Haya Leah Molnar.  Man, what a story.  I’m not sure what else to say other than this was a real eye opener.  Having been a child in the 1980’s, you heard a lot about the evils of Communism, bread lines and the like, but you don’t really get what it all entailed.  Now, I have some inkling and, as an adult, I’m astounded.  But for Eva, as a child who knew no different, it was quite an interesting experience to see it all through her eyes.

Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil by Kim Harrison.  This is the first novella in the Dates from Hell anthology.  Loved seeing how Ivy came to work with Rachel.  Also happy to see Kisten in this story because I adore their relationship, even when he’s being a punk vamp.

What I’m currently reading: 

Dates From Hell by Kim Harrison, Lyndsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, & Lori Handeland. One down, three to go!

Red Horizons: The True Story of Nicolae & Elena Ceausescus’ Crimes, Lifestyle and Corruption by Lt. Gen Ion Mihai Pacepa

Kiss Her Goodbye by Susan Gee.  One of my outstanding Netgalley books.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith.  In audio.

Juror #3 by James Patterson and Nancy Allen

What I’m reading next (hopefully):

I need to get started on my pile of print books about to fall over and bury me.  So, from my OWNtober list (via random draw):

Bury Me Standing by Isabel Fonseca

The Wife by Alafair Burke

Plus another outstanding Netgalley book:

Like Never and Always by Ann Aguire

 

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Hosted by Mailbox Monday

Only one new book this week!

Library Haul: 

I had to renew two of the books I had out since I haven’t been doing very well with actually reading lately.  Good news is, one is now finished!

Mailbox Haul:

One book in my physical mailbox this week – The Black Ice by Michael Connelly, #2 in the Harry Bosch series.  I won this from a contest on The Book Date.

Purchased: 

I am happy to say that I have not purchased a book since September 10, 2018.  That’s thirteen days.  I think it might be a record.  Although I did buy a movie yesterday so, um, maybe I’m not doing as well as I thought?

Anyway… read anything good this past week?  Find any amazing surprises in your inbox?  (Watch anything interesting?)  Let me know!  Hope y’all have a wonderful week.

Monday Memes: What are you reading? What’s in your mailbox?

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Hosted by: The Book Date

What I read last week:

Asking for Truffle by Dorothy St. James – really cute cozy mystery!  I was so tempted to buy the second in the series when I finished on Saturday night, but resisted.  For now.  Hah.

What I’m currently reading: 

Dates From Hell by Kim Harrison, Lyndsay Sands, Kelley Armstrong, & Lori Handeland

Under a Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania by Haya Leah Molnar

What I’m reading next (hopefully):

Red Horizons: The True Story of Nicolae & Elena Ceausescus’ Crimes, Lifestyle and Corruption by Lt. Gen Ion Mihai Pacepa

Another unimpressive week!  I think I’m finally over whatever funk my kids and/or co-workers gave to me, so I’m hoping for a better week this week!

 

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Hosted by Mailbox Monday

The mailbox was rather quiet this week, which is a good thing.  I need to catch up!

Library Haul: 

I had previously cleaned out my list of holds so that I could get through some of the owned books I have piling up around me.  I forgot I even had this one on my list still.

Juror #3 by James Patterson and Nancy Allen

Mailbox Haul:

My physical mailbox was empty this week!  That’s good and bad.  Good because it means no more books piling up this week, but bad because NO MORE BOOKS.

Purchased: 

I’ve also currently put a moratorium on buying books with the exception of say, a blockbuster book everyone is raving about on sale for $1.99.  But, for the most part, I’m trying not to buy anything for the rest of the year.  And then I realize I’d made a preorder a month back and hey, surprise!  You have a new book.  Hahaha.

Hit and Nun by Dakota Cassidy – I love her and her oddball sense of humor.  I need to read Then there Were Nun first, but at least I have both books on hand for when I get that chance.

Enough babbling for one Monday morning.  How’d your mailbox look this past week?  Get anything good?  Read anything exciting?

Review: When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

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Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

Jessie is an interesting character in that I can both relate to her and not.  I don’t know what I’d do if I lost my mother, and I’m a heck of a lot older than she is.  Also, I’m not alone in that I have lots of family around me.  But that thought of but what if  can really haunt you.  I know losing her will wreck me but I also have no idea what it’s like to be so horribly alone.  Jessie’s mother, Eden, is a whole other story.  She had everything and lost it all due to her insatiable quest for one singular thing.  And while I understand her feelings on the subject, I’m not sure I would have gone to the lengths she did.

I loved the alternating points of view between Jessie in the present and Eden in the past and the twisty route they took to meet in the end.  The two combined voices really keep you off balance as Jessie searches for her true identity.  Did her mother do the unthinkable or is there simply some mistake at Social Security?  What is the truth and how does she find it?  Add into this Jessie’s long-held desire to know her father and the days and days she’s gone without sleep and you’re on a slippery slope of craziness.

The thing you may be hearing a lot about, however, is the twist at the end.  At first, I was angry.  But now that I’ve let it sit for a week or so, I’m finding myself of two minds about this.  On one hand, it’s brilliant.  It resolves everything and nothing at the same time.  Suddenly, every insane bit of the story makes sense.  And yet, it’s a bit of a cop out in the sense that everything that happened was pointless.  I may never really know how I feel about this book.  What I can tell you is that, even if you hate that last ten percent, the other ninety is definitley worth the read.

When the Lights go Out  is an intense roller coaster ride of epic proportions.  It starts a little slowly but, once Jessie gets the call from the financial aid office at school, it really takes off in a rush of events and chaos.   You never know what Jessie is going to say, do, or discover next.  I found myself unable to stop reading simply becuase I needed to know what is the truth?

4/5

*This was part of my personal collection although I won an ARC from Goodreads, so thanks to them, the author, and the publisher for the giveaway.

Review: Saddle Up by A M Arthur

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I should apologize becuase I totally dropped the ball on this.  I thought the book didn’t release until next week.

Reyes Caldero keeps his past buried deep and his emotions buried deeper. But what he doesn’t say he always makes up for with his actions. When the hot chef he once saved from an abusive ex turns up at Clean Slate Ranch, the quiet cowboy is happy to act on their sizzling chemistry, even if he’s not ready to share his secrets—or his heart.

Miles Arlington needs to get the hell out of San Francisco, and heading north for a job near Clean Slate Ranch seems like just the thing. It doesn’t hurt that his secret crush slash onetime rescuer happens to work at the ranch. Miles has never been one for the outdoors, but the superhot Reyes has him ready to saddle up. Continue reading “Review: Saddle Up by A M Arthur”