Summer at the Cornish Café by Phillipa Ashley #BookReview

SummerAtTheCornishCafe def

whats-it-about-2

Demi doesn’t expect her summer in Cornwall to hold anything out of the ordinary. As a waitress, working all hours to make ends meet, washing dishes and serving ice creams seems to be as exciting as the holiday season is about to get.

That’s until she meets Cal Penwith. An outsider, like herself, Cal is persuaded to let Demi help him renovate his holiday resort, Kilhallon Park. Set above an idyllic Cornish cove, the once popular destination for tourists has now gone to rack and ruin. During the course of the Cornish summer, Demi makes new friends – and foes – as she helps the dashing and often infuriating Cal in his quest. Working side by side, the pair grow close, but Cal has complications in his past which make Demi wonder if he could ever truly be interested in her.

Demi realises that she has finally found a place she can call home. But as the summer draws to a close, and Demi’s own reputation as an up and coming café owner starts to spread, she is faced with a tough decision . . .

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_2_stars_1457015465_81_246_96_25_Star_Rating_System_3_stars_1457015858_81_246_96_2

I hate to say this but after reading a few really great romance novels this one felt a bit meh. Personally I felt that the love story lacked some real romance.

Demi and her dog Mitch are out of a job thanks to the town’s villain Mawghan and they’re sleeping rough until her one and only friend tells her that Cal Penwith is looking for hired help with restoring the holiday cottages at Kilhallon Park. She gets the job and while they’re working hard side by side Demi starts to fall for this moody handsome man. He’s still visiting his ex-girlfriend a lot though, even though she’s engaged now, so Demi comes to the conclusion that she needs to tamp down her feelings for him even if that’s easier said than done.

Summer At The Cornish Café was a nice read about big dreams with a bit of will they/won’t they get together but there was no real tension or attraction building between them. I felt it was mainly a one-sided thing from Demi‘s side. Saying that Cal is an enigma is almost an understatement. There’s really no telling what was going on in his head or what he was feeling (almost like a real dude so points for being realistic but also very frustrating at times). He’s also keeping the past three years he spent abroad under lock and key and it’s clear that something traumatized him but unfortunately I never found out what it was. It was only after I finished the novel that I discovered this was the first one of a trilogy so that will probably play its part in the sequel. Unfortunately Cal didn’t really grow on me and I didn’t see his appeal because I simply never really got to know him. I think I prefer the dog Mitch (I still don’t know what breed he is though) who is a lovely steady presence in the novel too over him.

I enjoyed reading about the restoration and the lovely Cornish setting but as you might already suspect, I won’t be continuing with this series.

I received a free paperback copy of this novel in a giveaway. This is my honest opinion.

We Know You Know (previously Stone Mothers) by Erin Kelly #BookReview

WeKnowYouKnow def

whats-it-about-2

‘I heard the swish of falling paper. I grazed my knuckles retrieving a beige folder, its grubby white ribbon loose. Looping doctor’s handwriting. Addresses. Dates. Names. Photographs! I had found the patients whose notes would bring the past back to life.’

A lifetime ago, a patient escaped Nazareth mental asylum. They covered their tracks carefully. Or so they thought.

Thirty years ago, Marianne Smy committed a crime then fled from her home to leave the past behind. Or so she thought.

Now, Marianne has been forced to return. Nazareth asylum has been converted to luxury flats, but its terrible hold on her is still strong. A successful academic, a loving mother and a loyal wife, she fears her secret being revealed and her world shattering.

She is right to be scared.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

It’s a good year in psychological thriller-land! Believe it or not but this is my first read by Erin Kelly. I do have a Kindle ecopy of He Said She Said but I (still) haven’t read that one yet, probably because of all the hype surrounding it at the time. After reading We Know You Know however I am pretty confident that I will enjoy it very much indeed.

I had no idea that this novel was published before under the title Stone Mothers (it actually refers to this early on in the novel, explaining that the Victorians had such faith in their architecture that they actually thought the design of the building could nurse sick patients back to health) so be aware of that. I don’t really have a preference either way, but I do wonder why they decided to change such a unique book title for something more generic. Maybe it sounded too cold and negative?

Anyway, We Know You Know was a very enjoyable read and a well-written novel that kept the mystery very much in the air. It all starts with Marianne who is not at all pleased when she sees the country getaway her husband bought as a surprise so she could be closer to her sister and her mother who’s suffering dementia. There was a reason for her visceral reaction which is slowly revealed in the part of the story told from the perspective of Helen Greenlaw.

Up until the start of her narrative all I knew was that Marianne and Jesse and MP Helen Greenlaw have a history, that Helen’s the enemy and that they share a secret among the three of them. Unfortunately their bond is compromised and their secret is threatening to come out. I was so ready to hate Helen but the funny thing is, I never did. I was completely on board and felt for her. It’s impossible not to with everything she had to fight for and against. There’s a whole part of the novel about Helen’s history and it sucked me even deeper into the story, showing a different angle in the end of the unfolding events that has bound the three of them for decades. I had an idea what bound them together but even if I had this inkling I really enjoyed how the story gave so much background and was set up leading to it. The last part was told by Marianne’s daughter Honor, which was a surprise on its own since she’s more of a side character, but it gave the story an ending I hadn’t seen coming.

We Know You Know is a solid page turner that I enjoyed reading and had a few interesting and strong female characters.

I bought a paperback copy of this novel online (when it was only 2£ on ‘the ‘zon’). This is my honest opinion.

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas #BookReview

TheSpanishLoveDeception def

whats-it-about-2

A wedding in Spain. The most infuriating man. Three days to convince your family you’re actually in love. .

Catalina Martín desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially when her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiralled out of control. Now everyone she knows – including her ex-boyfriend and his fiancée – will be there.

She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic for her and aid in her deception. NYC to Spain is no short flight and her family won’t be easy to fool. . . But even then, when Aaron Blackford – the 6’4″, blue-eyed pain in the arse – offers to step in, she’s not tempted even for a second. Never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling and insufferable man.

But Catalina is desperate and as the wedding gets closer the more desirable an option Aaron Blackford becomes. . .

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

I couldn’t help myself indulging in one of my guilty pleasures, an enemies-to-lovers, fake-dating romance.

I’m going to beat you to it so yes, it does show similarities to The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, some might even find it too similar but I don’t get why would they be disappointed, I couldn’t be happier. When I had finished reading that first office romance novel I wanted more of it, much more in fact, and my prayers were answered when I discovered The Spanish Love Deception.

This novel had everything I wished for, the slow burn, the attraction and I adore novels with major love declarations. I want to be cocooned in love and feel the emotion dripping from the pages. Elena Armas certainly made the characters say the right things, they would melt the coldest heart.

The only small fault I found in this novel is that hating is rather a strong word to use this time, Lina shows some hostility towards Aaron but I never sensed any retaliation from his side, or anything that made me dislike him. Okay, maybe the fact that Aaron’s tall was also repeated a few times too many but other than that I had a pretty good image how this Greek God with blue eyes looked like. I fell for his gentle and caring character even more than for his features though. I believe Lina was a bit naive when she didn’t know if what they were saying and doing was fake or real but I could only root for her to open her heart and let Aaron in.

This is an existing trope done so many times over so I’m not going to say it’s the most surprising novel but there were a few special touches to it, like Lina being Spanish (I loved the sparse Spanish spoken here and there) and part of the story taking place with her family in Spain as well as the topic of her experience of having a relationship with someone in a position of power. It explained Lina’s fear and struggle in the present and made me more understanding why she was holding back.

Overall a great debut with a HEA (that scene in Seattle!) that was more emotional than I expected. I’ve put the follow-up The American Roommate on my wishlist to read next!

I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher Simon & Schuster via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.

The Other Guest by Heidi Perks #BookReview

TheOtherGuest def

whats-it-about-2

Laila and her husband arrive for a week’s holiday in Greece in desperate need of a reset.

As Laila sits by the pool she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the other family staying in their resort.

Em has no idea who Laila is, or that she has been watching her and her teenage sons and husband so intently.

Five days later their worlds will be blown apart by a horrifying event.

Laila thinks she knows the truth of what happened. But in telling Em what she’s seen, she stands to lose everything she holds dear.

And what if she’s got it wrong?

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars_1457015858_81_246_96_2

I was very excited (maybe a bit too excited) to read The Other Guest so it’s a bit surprising that I found this an okay read, nothing wrong with it really, but there just wasn’t enough in it to get me really excited about it. I did enjoy the holiday setting in a lush 5* resort on a Greek island and Leila’s people watching. It felt oddly relatable although I don’t think – I hope not – I’m that much into it as Leila.

Aside from being absorbed by the dynamics of a family of 4 (mum, dad and two teenage boys) and a couple of newly-weds who don’t seem to act very much in love, Leila also has her own relationship struggles, a relationship that feels strained from the start. It didn’t help of course that James decided to spend their money on this getaway while they need money for another round of IVF. Leila’s desire to get pregnant is something that weighs on them and defines this couple in the story.

One morning she finds out there’s been a tragic accident. When the police start to question everyone she asks herself if she should come forward with some information she gathered. But then they’d probably ask her how she knows this and that could be a problem… Bottomline is that everyone who needs to speak up is keeping their lips sealed. It was quite frustrating at times. On top of that Leila’s husband is acting a bit weird too, he seems to want to check out and get away as fast as possible. I felt there were a few dodgy persons in this limited cast of characters but there was nothing that I could effectively use to make any progress in eliminating them. The author clearly tried to steer me in one direction and I did have a lot of questions but even so if it’s too obvious I’m having none of it so I kind of rejected the suggestion on that basis.

All in all the story stayed a bit too long on the same level for me to be fully gripped and challenged. The last part of the novel was therefore also the most enjoyable part. I actually loved the reveal of another twist more than finding out the whodunit. A big part of the novel is building up to the reveal of course and it just fell a little flat when I found out the truth.

Overall nothing bad can be said about this one, it had all the ingredients that I love but it just didn’t come into its own. I hope I wasn’t too severe, I didn’t mean to be, but I believe her other novels are stronger. This author is capable of writing very twisty and unexpected scenes so I hope to discover all of that and more in her next novel.

I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.

Same book, different cover #21

battle-of-the-books

Happy hump day! I’m here to bring you again 5 new book covers. It’s up to you to pick and choose your favorite one. This is just for fun so there are no wrong answers! OK then, I’ll go first, then it’s up to you:

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

TheNamesTheyGaveUs 01  TheNamesTheyGaveUs 02

I choose cover 2 which looks even better when you hold it in your hands. It sparkles when you hold it in the light and I love the blended colours. The first cover is too dark for me.

The Cactus by Sarah Haywood

TheCactus 05 TheCactus 01 TheCactus 03 TheCactus 02 Thecactus 04

I don’t like the style in general of covers 3 and 4 so I’m attracted to covers 2 and 5. I like both of them but I’ll go with cover 2 because it’s something different than the covers I’m used to seeing and I still like it 🙂

Cross her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

Cross Her Heart 03  Cross Her Heart 02  Cross Her Heart 01

I loved this book and I’m going with the cover that I have which is cover 3. The first one makes me think of a type of Lizzie Borden story 🙂

The Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington

TheRedRibbon 02 TheRedRibbon 03 TheRedRibbon 01 The Red Ribbon 4

I choose cover 1. Maybe the third one states more clearly that it is a story of friendship but the first one makes it clear that it is a war story entwined with sewing and that there’s a special meaning about a red ribbon in the story. (the red ribbon symbolised hope and was a gift from one girl to the other…. when you know that it was forbidden to withold supplies, such a small item – the only thing there of vibrant colour in a sea of grey – was very precious).

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

The IT Girl 02 The IT Girl 01

It’s unlikely for me not to choose a cover that has pink on it but yes I’m choosing cover 1 over the second one. That gold isn’t only much prettier to look at but it also fits the story and who April was, she was the golden girl who drank champagne, had money and was the center of attention.

Line

So that’s it. Tell me your thoughts! If you can’t get enough, check out Battle Of The Books – #20

The Key To My Heart by Lia Louis #BookReview

TheKeyToMyHeart def

whats-it-about-2

Can you ever really find the one after ‘the one’?

Some people spend their whole lives trying to find the one. But Natalie had found him – and married him. And then Russ died.

Two years ago, her whole world was shattered. Still now, she feels like she’s trying to piece her broken heart back together, one day at a time.

But then she finds a sheet of music – one that only Russ would know – in the piano stool in St. Pancras station where she’s secretly been playing for the last few months.

For the first time, Natalie realizes that maybe life does still hold a little magic. And with every note she plays, she feels as if she’s unlocking another fragment of her heart…

But will she ever truly find love again after she’d already found forever?

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2 / 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars_1457015727_81_246_96_2

When you ask me to list a few romance authors I love reading, Lia Louis is definitely on that list. There are not many authors who can give me a book high but that’s how I feel right now. I absolutely fell for Dear Emmie Blue and The Key to my Heart is a very close second. This novel gave me a bad case of emophilia (it’s a real condition!) but it only concerns fictional characters so far.

The Key To My Heart is about Natalie’s life after having lost her husband two years earlier. People feel she should have moved on by now but Natalie is stuck in a space in her head between the past and the future, she’s struggling to cope alone with some things, some of a practical nature and some more emotional. She doesn’t know for instance what to do with the cottage they bought together and were going to renovate, nor how to tell her friends she’s not ready to date anyone.

I loved the mysterious element in the novel of someone leaving sheet music in the piano seat at the train station. It was very clever how the author wrote this novel so it wasn’t obvious who it was, not even to me. I enjoyed how the music was a lifeline and made her open up. She’s on a quest to find out who left it and why (both were quite surprising!) and while she’s sharing her findings with her friend Shauna who works at the coffee shop Goode’s, Tom The Target and her girlfriends, she’s slowly healing as well and getting her appetite for life back. It was such an original approach and if I ever find a piano in a train station it’ll certainly make me smile from now on.

There’s lots of incredibly wonderful banter in this novel that starts almost as soon as I opened it, so the connection between Natalie and one of the male characters was immediate and the possibility where this could lead was already dreamed up in my head. But she’s not interested in a romance and he’s scared of love and crocodiles so instead they become great friends. His support was great and I saw how she begun to change. Of course there’s also another swoonworthy man that crosses Natalie’s path and he understands her grief better than anyone else, having lost a family member himself. Would he be the one who makes her heart full again? I actually had my heart set a little bit on the first guy but they were both adding to the story and supporting Natalie in a beautiful way.

Lia Louis knows how to struck a chord with her writing. A big part of the novel is about Natalie’s friendship with the people around her and her connection with Tom and Joe, and that alone gave me a warm and good feeling but in the end there’s a very touching and epic scene that totally got to me. She definitely found the key to MY heart.

I feel I can’t do this novel justice with my review so forget all I said and just remember I can’t recommend this novel enough!

I bought a paperback copy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

The Trophy Child by Paula Daly #BookReview

TheTrophyChild def

whats-it-about-2

A doting mother or a pushy parent?

Karen Bloom expects perfection. Her son, Ewan, has been something of a disappointment and she won’t be making the same mistake again with her beloved, talented child, Bronte.

Bronte’s every waking hour will be spent at music lessons and dance classes, doing extra schoolwork and whatever it takes to excel.

But as Karen pushes Bronte to the brink, the rest of the family crumbles. Karen’s husband, Noel, is losing himself in work, and his teenage daughter from his first marriage, Verity, is becoming ever more volatile. The family is dangerously near breaking point.

Karen would know when to stop . . . wouldn’t she?

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2 / 5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2

This was my first Paula Daly novel and it won’t be my last. The Trophy Child is a domestic mystery novel about the blended family of Karen Bloom, her husband Noel and their three children. I was surprised when the first chapter of the novel introduced Verity – Noel’s daughter – as the first of the family, taking a drug test at school. She was a model student and daughter but then they found drugs on her and she attacked Karen! I wanted to know all there was to know about the how and why of it all but the author had a few other puzzling events in store first.

Anyway since the attack ‘poor’ Karen put her focus solely on her youngest, her daughter Bronte. The girl has a million and one after school activities and she has to be the best at all of them. Then one day the family’s perfectly organized world shatters and there’s a detective knocking at their door investigating a missing child and an unrelated crime that also involved the family soon after. At first I was expecting only family drama but this was way better than I hoped for!

Karen was also SUCH a character, I loooved to hate her and she was the perfect villain of the novel. I didn’t feel sorry for her one bit. There were other characters who didn’t really like her either but maybe they kept it better hidden than me, well at least one of them did and I wanted to know who. There are a few suspects but I was completely dumbfounded at the end when the different puzzle pieces came together. Not as fast-paced in the beginning as I’m used to perhaps but if you want unpredictable you have it here in spades.

The Trophy Child is a cleverly written novel with fabulous twists and turns. For the life of me I couldn’t figure this one out so for that alone it deserves to be recommended highly.

I bought a second hand copy of this novel. This review is my honest opinion.

The Survivors by Kate Furnivall #BookReview

TheSurvivors def

whats-it-about-2

‘Directly I saw him, I knew he had to die.’

Germany, 1945. Klara Janowska and her daughter Alicja have walked for weeks to get to Graufeld Displaced Persons camp. In the cramped, dirty, dangerous conditions they, along with 3,200 others, are the lucky ones. They have survived and will do anything to find a way back home.

But when Klara recognises a man in the camp from her past, a deadly game of cat and mouse begins. He knows exactly what she did during the war to save her daughter. She knows his real identity. What will be the price of silence? And will either make it out of the camp alive?

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

I have read some books about WWII but this is the first time I read one describing the post-war era. I had not even heard of the Displaced Persons camps in Germany. These were sort of a waiting room where the British tried to find family members in other countries so the survivors could go and live with them. Until then they had to sit and wait and weren’t even allowed to go out of the camp walls. I was astonished about that honestly, after what these survivors went through and while they were already imprisoned for so long.

The novel opened with a gripping scene in a forest where Klara and her daughter were being chased by robbers. It was a powerful scene where I immediately wanted to know how Klara had in fact been able to obtain the special valuables she was carrying.

I also wanted to know what had happened in the past between Klara and this person she recognized in this DP camp. Why didn’t she report this guy to administration, what did he know about her? I had to suspend some disbelief here because I think if she had told Colonel Whitmore about him in reality instead of plotting to kill him, he would have believed her over whatever this man would have told them about her.

There’s a lot of fear but Klara is also a fierce character, as well as her daughter Alicja and the other survivors so she doesn’t shy away from what needs to be done and I really liked Klara’s determination, her protectiveness over her daughter and kindness towards others.

While Klara is busy trying to protect her daughter Alicja from dangers inside and outside the camp and is slowly building a friendship – possibly more – with the camp administrator Davide there are also flashbacks to her past that gave me an idea what happened to her before she came there. I was drawn to these flashbacks that show a very different Klara. Unavertedly she caught the eye of one of the SS Officers playing chess. She didn’t spare him in the game and that’s what he liked so much about her. Soon she would become an every day presence in his life. It’s not that she had much choice in the matter but she played him well.

‘This Oberfüher Axel Fleisher. This Stumbahnfüherer Oskar Scholz. Hadn’t they learned? That when it came to war on a board of black and white squares, the king may be taller. But the queen was more dangerous’

The novel pulled me right in and didn’t let me go. It was certainly fascinating to read about life immediately after the war ended (unfortunately the Russians make a brutal appearance here too) and how hard life was on those in the camps but also outside in the towns. Lots of mystery kept me intrigued till the very end with a great twist where a character I didn’t realise the importance of becomes critical to Klara for finding what she wanted for so long in order to close this chapter of her life.

I bought a second-hand paperback of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid #BookReview

OneTrueLoves def

whats-it-about-2

In her 20s, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure. On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her 30s, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness. That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants while trying to protect the ones she loves. But who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

Another novel from my backlist as One True Loves was published in 2016. I bought an ecopy of it in 2017, long before she became even more of a bestselling writer with the hyped novel of The Seven Husband of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six and I picked it up ‘now’ because I wanted to read it before watching the movie adaptation of this novel. If I’d watch it first then I wouldn’t make it a priority to read it and who knows in what year, if any, I’d get to it then.

There is much to love in this novel and I highlighted so many quotes hitting home, yet I still didn’t fall in love with it. Emotions run all through this novel but I didn’t always feel emotional myself as it was quite clear for me what Emma needed to do and it frustrated me sometimes when she wasn’t thinking along my lines.

The novel had a good structure. The opening chapter sets the scene where Sam and Emma are with her parents enjoying a meal in a restaurant, then she gets the call that her missing – presumed dead – husband is actually alive. The first part shows the encompassing love between Jesse and Emma, the second part defines how she meets Sam again after two years of grief and how they fall in love.

What makes this novel so compelling is the dilemma. Everyone will ask themselves whether she should be with Jesse again or continue with Sam. I did love the dilemma that Emma’s faced with even though it wasn’t so much of a dilemma for me because I was already those two steps ahead of her and had thought exactly what was about to come into her head. You’d probably enjoy this story most if you just let the emotions wash over you.

Both men are great guys and they both love Emma deeply, there’s no denying that. I think I liked them even more than I liked her if I’m honest. I know that Emma struggled but I didn’t always agree with the way she dealt with the situation. The fact that she tells one guy that she chooses the other one but still sleeps with him ‘one last time’ was frankly incomprehensible to me and made me question if she should be with either one of them. No, just no!

That being said, I did enjoy how the novel sets out to explore true love and the resolution is quite valuable, something we all need to be reminded of or simply informed of and a life wisdom I’m happy to carry with me from now on.

One True Loves was a bittersweet, emotional story about one woman searching for the love of her life. I can’t wait to see this movie now!

I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

PS Watch out for my battle of book covers because I found 5 different covers for this one and the latest one (publication 2022) is BE-AU-TI-FUL.

The It Girl by Ruth Ware #BookReview

TheItGirl def

whats-it-about-2

April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2 | 5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2

This was my fourth Ruth Ware novel (I have already reviewed The Lying Game, One by One and The Turn of the Key) and The It Girl is a wonderful addition, one that made me think and rethink about Neville’s involvement and other possible suspects.

I remember being slightly disappointed in one of her novels because the killer was too obvious for me but I promise you that The It girl kept me guessing and guessing some more. I thought I was a super sleuth but this novel certainly knocked me around.

The It Girl was a wonderful mystery to read. It provides an airtight case against Neville, one of the porters at Oxford University. Not only was he a seriously creepy guy, Hannah also saw him coming down the stairs and found April murdered minutes later. He always cried out his innocence though till the day he died in prison and it’s only when Hannah receives a tidbit of new information about April from a reporter that she wonders what was going on with April at the time. Did she know her at all? Why didn’t she tell Hannah, her roommate and best friend? She wants to get to the bottom of it so she visits her old college friends and it helps her to put the pieces together. Oh did I tell you that Will was April’s boyfriend and is now a soon-to-be father of Hannah’s child? I don’t know why I thought that would worth mentioning but I certainly found this an interesting turn of events.

Without divulging too much I can only say that I had a suspect and when this suspect was crossed out I found myself another one and it turned out in the end that I was wrong again. I love it when an author can wrongfoot me and she did so good! She put in several red herrings and the tension ramps up in the final chapters. I think I knew a little sooner than Hannah that she was in some kind of trouble but other than that I was as surprised as she was. There are lots of people who could have a reason to kill her but the real reason and finding out the background story preceding her murder was also an eye-opener for me.

The It Girl is the sort of novel that you just have to know who did it! It kept me turning pages at high speed. If you love playing detective and you enjoy books with multiple suspects then this is definitely worth putting on your readlist!

I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher Simon & Schuster via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.