A perfectly twisty thriller from Sophie Hannah | Book Review: Perfect Little Children

Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

Publication date: February 4th, 2020 
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 336
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.

Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today, or ever again.

But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora and her children Thomas and Emily step out of the car. Except… There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. As Beth would have expected. It’s the children. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then.

They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Hilary hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all.

They are no taller, no older… Why haven’t they grown?

Trigger Warnings: Miscarriage, Infant Death, Abortion, Child Abuse⁣

– My Thoughts –

Perfect Little Children is a standalone thriller/psychological suspense, also known as “Haven’t They Grown”, from the author of The New Hercule Poirot Mysteries and other mystery novels. Even though this book had an interesting premise, I found it a bit too far-fetched in some places.

Beth, our protagonist, takes a detour while dropping off her son at his football match. My confusion, my “head-scratching” starts from here. I wondered why would she suddenly park her car in front of her ex-best friends’ old house. Flora and Lewis Braid who were once close friends of Beth and her husband’s, have now moved to Florida with their three children. After dropping off her son at his match, Beth drives back to her friends’ old house and notices Flora Braid entering her home. However, that’s not THE surprise. The surprise is that Flora’s two children Thomas and Emily looked exactly like they would’ve 12 years ago.

The story gets crazier from here on and I had to constantly remind myself that this is fictional.

After Beth drives back home, she confides in her husband and daughter Zannah and both of them are dubious about the whole incident but Beth has unwavering faith in what she saw. So, she starts investigating and her daughter starts helping her too; soon, they realize that indeed something sinister is going on. Beth’s husband was also supportive of her need to uncover the secrets despite being aggravated by her obsession at times. There are several twists which with the pace demand your attention to the book; however, all the build-up gave way to a very dissatisfying ending.

What I didn’t like was every time Beth reminded Zannah to revise for her GCSEs, she was the one who quickly forgot about it. I would’ve liked to see Beth’s son solving these mysteries alongside his parents and sister too but we see very little of him. I have already mentioned how disappointed I was with the conclusion.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you loved Sophie Hannah’s previous books or if you’re looking for a mind-bending thriller with a unique premise.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author –

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, Sophie won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her suspense story The Octopus Nest, which is now published in her first collection of short stories, The Fantastic Book of Everybody’s Secrets.

Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is forty-one and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She is currently working on a new challenge for the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective.

Thank you for reading! Will you add Perfect Little Children / Haven’t You Grown to your tbr? Have you read any of the author’s previous books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Blog Tour: The Tiger Catcher (The End of Forever #1) by Paullina Simons | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Tiger Catcher (The End of Forever #1) by Paullina Simons | Review + Giveaway
Blog Tour: The Tiger Catcher (The End of Forever #1) by Paullina Simons | Review + Giveaway

The Tiger Catcher by Paullina Simons Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

The first novel in a beautiful, heartbreaking new trilogy from Paullina Simons, the international bestselling author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman.

Can true love ever die? Julian lives a charmed life in Los Angeles. Surrounded by friends, he is young, handsome, and runs a successful business. Everything changes after he has a fateful encounter with a mysterious young woman named Josephine. Julian’s world is turned upside down by a love affair that takes him—and everyone else in his life—by storm. For the two new lovers, the City of Angels is transformed into a magical playground. But Josephine is not what she seems and carries secrets that threaten to tear them apart—seemingly forever.

Should You read The Tiger Catcher by Paullina Simons?

“I should have kissed you.”

The Tiger Catcher is one of my most anticipated books of 2019 because of The Bronze Horseman series. If you’ve read and loved the series, you KNOW what I’m talking about. Did The Tiger Catcher live up to my expectations? Let me explain…

“Listen to me very carefully,” Devi said. “Take your assumptions about what you know and throw them all out the window. All of them. You need to learn a new language. The language of the meridian, of universal time, of hope, and of faith.”

The story is a mix of both time-travel and historical romance where Julian and Ashton are our protagonists. Julian is a part-time blogger and during the rest of the day he manages an antique shop with his best friend Ashton. While visiting an audition, he glimpses Josephine and is enamoured by her. After a few months, he meets her again and soon they fall in love with each other. His friends are astonished and nervous at Julian’s behaviour when he proposes marriage to Josephine after only a few months of dating. Joesphine says yes and while everything seems alright for the couple, it’s not. For Josephine harbours many secrets of her won and before Julian could discover most of them, she dies in a tragic shoot-out.

Flash forward a year

Julian is still grieving and has been on drugs because he kept seeing Josephine everywhere. At his birthday party, he meets an old woman who asks him to doubt about his hallicunations of Josephine. What is the truth? Who is Josephine? Is she alive, somehow?..somewhere?

“Are you prepared to risk everything to gain nothing…but there was another outcome…couldn’t he risk everything, and gain everything?”

I liked Ashton and even Devi-a shaman who advices Julian- but I didn’t like Josephine. There’s adventure and tragedy in this book. I did NOT expect that twist after Part 1. This is not your run-off-the-mill romance but this is unique because of its fantasy elements.

Overall, I recommend you read this book(the first in a trilogy) if you loved Paullina’s previous books, if you love books with genre crossovers, time travel, adventure, and hollywood setting along with other beautiful places.

P.S.: There’s a grand US-only Giveaway you can participate on here and on Instagram

Thanks to Paullina Simons, William & Morrow and Jennifer at Over the River Public Relations for including me on the blog tour.

VERDICT: 

About the Author:

Paullina Simons was born and raised in Leningrad, USSR. In 1968, her father was arrested for protesting the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia and spent the next five years of his life in the Gulag prison camps and in exile. In the mid-seventies, Paullina and her family managed to leave the U.S.S.R. and immigrate to the United States. While growing up in Russia Paullina dreamed of someday becoming a writer. Her dreams were put on hold as she learned English and overcame the shock of a new culture.

After graduating from the University of Kansas and various jobs including working as a financial journalist and as a translator, Paullina wrote her first novel Tully. Through word of mouth, the book was welcomed by readers all over the world. She has since written twelve novels, a memoir, a cookbook, and two children’s books. Her books have been published in over 23 countries, sold millions of copies, and have been on many bestseller lists around the world. Paullina has lived in Rome, London, and Dallas, and now lives in New York with her husband and half of her children.

Mini Review: The DNA of You & Me & The Confessions of Frannie Langton

Hi everyone! I’ve been lax with writing up reviews and this is me trying to make up for it. This is my mini- review post featuring The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins and The DNA Of You and Me by Andrea Rothman. They are both debuts but belong to completely different genres.

1. The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins(3.5/5 stars)

         BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY

  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Publication Date: 4th April , 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 384 Pages

Review: The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins is a wonderful debut and I have officially put Sara Collins on my debut authors to watch list. The premise is intriguing: Frannie, a mulatto is brought by her master to England and ‘given’ to another master; later she falls in love with her new master’s wife. The Confessions is told entirely from Frannie’s point-of-view which she wrote while she’s in Newgate Prison awaiting trial in Old Bailey for the murder of her new master’s and mistress.

The Confessions is described as a black woman’s love story inspired by the popular gothic romance Jane Eyre. The author loved reading Austen but never saw a woman of color as a protagonist in those stories instead she read stories a woman of color was the victim. With Frannie Langton, author Sara Collins wanted to write a black woman’s love story and not of her suffering. However, through Frannie’s words we come face-to-face with her love and her suffering as well.

The writing is flawless but the plot is unforgivingly slow. The ending kind of smacks you in the face but in a good way because my boredom turned to interest: interest in finding out if Frannie is guilty of double murder or not? Overall, I would recommend it if you love reading historical fiction set during the Victorian era and if this mini review intrigues you so.


2. The DNA of You & Me by Andrea Rothman (3/5 stars)

            BOOK DEPOSITORY ADD ON GOODREADS WORDERY

  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Publication Date: 12 March , 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 242 Pages

Review:  I loved the unique story of The DNA of You and Me but it’s not for everyone’s taste. Emily was raised by her father and due to a childhood allergy, she was accustomed to spending most of her childhood indoors. This would’ve put a damper on her socializing with other kids but as she grew up, Emily realized that she preferred the company of herself rather than others. Her personal experience eventually left her to research new genes responsible for guiding olfactory neurons to their targets. (Olfactory: the sense of smell) During this research, she meets another academic Aeden and after a series of long arguments, their relationship goes to another level. However, there’ll come a time when Emily has to make a choice: Her career or a life with Aiden?

I loved it but as I said before that this book isn’t for everyone. Most of the book is filled with genomic sciences jargon that took the story a little to much to the non-fictional side. There’s romance if you skim the scientific stuff but it’s an easy read. The sex is almost clinical in the beginning and that may be because it’s told from the POV of the narrator. However, there’s a scene when Emily says ‘no’ but Aeden still goes ahead and that left a bitter note in the entire story. I’m ashamed to say that I even forgot about this scene until I read another Goodreads review. The ending left me emotional but happy and hopeful for Emily. It did give me Eleanor Oliphant vibes but this one has way too many scientific jargon for a reader to enjoy.

However, considering this is a debut and the fact that I liked the writing, I’d definitely look forward to reading her upcoming books.

Thanks to the publishers for providing me ARCs in exchange for an honest review.

Do you think you’ll read The DNA of You and Me or The Confessions of Frannie Langton? Do you prefer reading mini-reviews or full reviews? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne | ARC Review

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne | ARC Review

Synopsis:Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.


Buy on Amazon | Book Depository||Add it on Goodreads

REVIEW | WHY SHOULD YOU READ 99 PERCENT MINE?

“Everything. If you were mine, I’d do everything.” Our gold bubble locks shut, and a little universe fills it. The possibilities are infinite.
“I have a big imagination. Could you be more specific?” I put my hand on the side of his neck and stroke down to the hard bar of his collarbone. His skin is hot satin. His pulse nudges me.
Mine, mine, mine. One thousand percent mine until the end of time. He looks like he agrees.

I have decided to write this review differently because the blurb basically sums up what I would have told you. Read on for a bullet-pointed review of one my favourite romance books of 2019 :

  • If you loved reading The Hating Game, then you should totally read it!
  • It was funny, romantic and so very Sally Thorne.
  • Friends-to-lovers and second chance romance. If you’re a hopeless romantic, then I’ll guarantee that you’ll fall in love this book.
  • Love feisty characters? Then I give you Darcy. She has short hair(not the pixie haircut), nipple piercing, wears leather pants…need I go on? Darcy is unapologetic, wild and impulsive.
  • Tall men especially 6ft tall soft boys are my kryptonite…and Tom Valeska is every inch of that .
  • The chemistry between Tom and Darcy was scorchingly hot!

Overall, this is a perfectly written romantic comedy. It was sweet, sexy and passionate as hell. Darcy can be seen as an unlikeable character at first but once you go further into the book, you’ll start to fall in love with her. I read this book in the 24 in 48 readathon and it was a poor choice because I wanted to savour this Darcy savours a candy or anything with sugar in it.

What are you waiting for ? Go and buy it from BD or Amazon, your local store or borrow it from your friend or your local library !

Thanks to the publisher for an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars

Author: Connect with Author Sally Thorne on Goodreads.

  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Publication Date(US): 29 January 2019
  • Paperback(ARC): 368 Pages
Thank you from BookRambler

Let me know if you’re planning to read 99 Percent Mine or if you’ve already read it. If you loved reading my review, let me know !