Review: I Invited Her In by Adele Parks

cover153268-medium‘I invited her in… and she took everything.’

When Mel hears from a long-lost friend in need of help, she doesn’t hesitate to invite her to stay. Mel and Abi were best friends back in the day, sharing the highs and lows of student life, until Mel’s unplanned pregnancy made her drop out of her studies.

Now, seventeen years later, Mel and Abi’s lives couldn’t be more different. Mel is happily married, having raised her son on her own before meeting her husband, Ben. Now they share gorgeous girls and have a chaotic but happy family home, with three children.

Abi, meanwhile, followed her lover to LA for a glamorous life of parties, celebrity and indulgence. Everything was perfect, until she discovered her partner had been cheating on her. Seventeen years wasted, and nothing to show for it. So what Abi needs now is a true friend to lean on, to share her grief over a glass of wine, and to have some time to heal. And what better place than Mel’s house, with her lovely kids, and supportive husband…

What could be better than reconnecting with an old friend, the best friend you’d ever had?  That was exactly how Mel thought when she opened Abi’s email.  They’d have a chance to erase all the years between them and make things good again.  For a while, they were.  But then, everything went to hell in a handbasket.

I Invited Her In is exactly the kind of thriller I enjoy.  Best friends coming together after years apart only to uncover secrets piled on top of secrets.  And let me tell you, both Abi and Mel have boatloads full of secrets between them.

Melanie was easy for me to relate to.  While I wasn’t a teenage, single mother, I am the mother of two girls, one of which is the same age as Liam.  That put me in a place where I could easily understand her rage, her fear, her desperation.  Even when she overreacted and was over the top, I still got it.  That drive to protect your kids at all costs is a strong one.

Abigail, on the other hand, I did not understand at all.  Mostly because I wasn’t ever the popular, glamorous type.  But she’s also very self-absorbed and you see this from the very beginning. In the way she never offers to help, constantly monopolizes Mel’s time, and other things.  I thought I’d give her the benefit of the doubt but, instead of growing to like her, I wound up despising her.  Which was probably the point, but that’s something else entirely.  I did feel some pity for Abi, however, but her actions were way above and beyond the hurt she was feeling.

I’m a very gullible reader, I’ll admit to that.  When everyone else sees the ending coming, I’m taken by surprise.  That’s okay though, I can live with being gullible in a fictional world.  However, I knew this book would have some kind of twist at the end and I was not expecting either that we got.  The first, I had some inkling that something would happen, I just hadn’t expected it to be that.  The other though?  I was definitely shocked, although I probably shouldn’t have been.

I Invited Her In was slow to start but, once you get to the meat of the story, it takes off from there.  As soon as I found out what was really going on, I was hooked.  And that’s when the wheels come off and all the secrets start to pour out.  I wish that the author had given some of these tidbits earlier on.  Even hinting at some of them might have made the first part of the book move a little faster.  However, I stuck it out and am not sorry that I did.  What a wild ride this novel was!

4/5

*Thank you to Netgalley, the authors, and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge Jan 9, 2019

wednesdaybloggingchallenge

The Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge is hosted by Long and Short Reviews.  This week’s topic is: Books that Need a Prequel.

Okay, so I’ve been thinking about this and have pretty much come up dry.  I think that, because I read so many series, that most of my questions and curiosities are answered by the time a few books have been published.  However, there are a few that I’m still wondering about.

The Hunger Games and Divergent.

I’m lumping these two together for the same reason.  While later books in the series go into some detail about how Tris and Katniss wound up in these dysfunctional, dystopian societies, it wasn’t enough for me. I love history and I would have given my big toe for a historical sort of prequel that told me exactly how all this happened, and not in just one info dump either.

Harry Potter

I know that J. K. Rowling is attempting to give us some kind of prequel, but what I want is a Marauders prequel.  Give me James and Lilly and Sirius and even Snape.  I think it’d be interesting to see what Hogwarts was like before Voldemort.

The Hollows series by Kim Harrison

How did Cincinnati wind up like this?  What exactly was The Turn?  I haven’t completely finished the series yet, I think I have one or two books left, but I’m really interested in how this all came to be.  This is similar to my first comment, however the world that Rachel Morgan lives in isn’t dystopian just… different.  And hey, if I could have a sidekick like Jenks, I’d be all over it.

Those are all I can come up with today, but I’m sure there are more.  What about you?  What books do you wish there was a prequel for?