I Found You by Lisa Jewell – Review

Welcome back friends. It’s Monday, and today I bring to you my review of I Found You by Lisa Jewell. I finished this last week Wednesday and though I guessed how the stories were woven together, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. There was one aspect that wasn’t fully resolved, but it wasn’t something that detracted from the story.

Book: I Found You

Author: Lisa Jewell

Rating: ★★★★★

Summary: ‘How long have you been sitting out here?’
‘I got here yesterday.’
‘Where did you come from?’
‘I have no idea.’

East Yorkshire: Single mum Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home.

Surrey: Twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Two women, twenty years of secrets and a man who can’t remember lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s brilliant new novel.

Quote: “Because deep down inside, she was scared. Scared of being alone, scared of being an outsider. Scared that she had all of her chances of happiness; and blown each and every one of them.”

*Story-lines. I really loved the three story-lines. It was interesting to read about the history of the characters and how it tied to the current mystery. I was also curious to see how Lily’s story fit in with Alice’s and the backstory.

*Characters. I really liked Alice. Her far-from-perfect life and the constant mistakes that she makes made her more down-to-earth and a loving person. I originally liked Lily, but as the story continued, I began to dislike her bossy and somewhat entitled attitude. ‘Frank’ was okay, and at the end, I felt so much for him.

*Plot. A man who has lost his memory, a woman whose husband has gone missing, and a tragic backstory that is uncovered slowly makes for a great plot. Though I guessed how everything fit together before the big reveal, I still thoroughly enjoyed it. The suspense was great, and the end was okay.

*Slow. It was a little slow, but I liked the tension.

Quote: “But when it is just me. Alone. With myself—there is no sunshine.”

*Legal Aspect. A person gets kidnapped/attempted murder in this book, and the kidnapper/failed murderer isn’t arrested or prosecuted. There’s no mention of a possible trial, or any charges and I find it very hard to believe that it was ignored. It irked me but it didn’t detract anything from the story.

Quote: “Do you see now why I know something bad has happened?”

In the end, I really enjoyed this, I would recommend it, and I hope you like it if you read it. The mystery was a little slow, and I guessed the big twist before it happened, but the slow revelation of what was really going on was amazing. This is one of my favorite reads of the year.

One sentence summary: An intriguing mystery with a slow build-up and a great, yet predictable, ending.

Overall, 5 stars!


Have you read I Found You? What did you think? Have you read any other books by Lisa Jewell? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins – Review

It’s Monday guys! I hope you are having a fantastic start to your week. Today, I’m reviewing Into The Water by Paula Hawkins. This was a confusing, twisted, and messed up book. I thought there were too many characters and that the plot was messy, but the ending was great and explained a lot of things.

Book: Into The Water

Author: Paula Hawkins

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Summary: In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool . . .

Quote: “Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.”

*Jules. Usually, the first character that is introduced in any book is the character that I grow to trust, support, and feel the most for, even if they are bad (minus those in which we read from the killer’s perspective first!). Jules was that character in this book and even though she wasn’t a great character, I was her biggest champion and felt defensive of her whenever people judged her without knowing what she was really like. She also provided a lot of insight into the other side of Nel when they were both kids and what happened for their relationship to deteriorate so badly. She, unfortunately, was the only character that I liked in this book.

*Dark. For some reason, I like really dark themed books, but not anything too heavy. I like books with messed up characters, terrible secrets coming to light, pasts coming back to haunt characters, morally grey characters, etc. This book was very full of secrets, terrible pasts, and messed up characters. It was one of the reasons why I still enjoyed the book.

*Ending. The ending made so much sense and I understood everything that was going on. It explained the twisted up plot and characters and was not very shocking (except for one part) but it was still good.

Quote: “The things I want to remember I can’t, and the things I try so hard to forget just keep coming.”

*What is going on here? I was confused throughout this story until the end, and even then there were times when I was utterly lost. The plot was so complex and it would have really helped to know whether Nel had committed suicide or had been murdered. Just when I’d decided that maybe she’d committed suicide, somebody would pop up and tell us something new which would make me erase my theory. The same happened when I thought that she might have been murdered.

*Too many characters. Someone else mentioned that they felt very sorry for anyone who happened to listen to an audio-book of this, and I agree. There were waaayyy too many POVs going on. It was hard to keep track of how each person fits into the story. Every time I started a new chapter, I had to go back to check who and when this person was narrating. It was frustrating and added to my confusion.

*Slow. The first around 50 to 60% was slow. Nothing was happening, we were getting background information, getting introduced to the many characters, and I just wasn’t feeling it. I put it down for a day, and then picked it up and forced myself to finish it. The last third was thankfully a lot more quick paced and was more of a thriller than the rest of the book.

Quote: “Anything was possible. When you hear hooves you look for horses, but you can’t discount zebras.”

In the end, I was kind of relieved to finish this, and to find out what exactly was going on and who was responsible. It was a confusing, yet interesting read, and I would recommend it, but with the warnings mentioned above. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it!

One sentence summary: A confusing, yet interesting book with a satisfying ending.

Overall, 3 stars.


Have you read Into The Water? What did you think? I’ve been contemplating giving The Girl On The Train a second chance. Do you think it’s worth it? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco – Review

Welcome bookworms! Today’s review is of Stalking Jack The Ripper. I really enjoyed this, and I think for a debut novel, it was great. However, there were some aspects that annoyed me, or that I would have loved for it to be explored some more.

Book: Stalking Jack The Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

Quote: “Fear is a hungry beast. The more you feed it, the more it grows.”

*Audrey Rose. Audrey was a great character. She was a very bold girl who was determined to excel at a job that was deemed a ‘man’s job’. She believed in equality and didn’t let social norms confine her. However, some issue are mentioned below.

*Mystery. First of all, I loved the idea of solving Jack The Ripper’s murderous reign in England. Many of the clues that the police did use back in 1888 or received were used through-out the story. The final plot-twist was shocking and the motive very twisted. However, the person who did it was partly predictable.

*Historical Aspect. I love historical fiction, and historical mystery fiction is my second most favorite genre ever. I’m especially very very fond of the Victorian Era and I loved that the story was set during it. I think it was pretty accurate in portraying 1888 London but I am no expert. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed this part of the story.

*Thomas Cresswell and Audrey Rose. Thomas was amazing. His flippant impropriety was amazing, and though he is sometimes very rude and arrogant, he was an amazing character. He and Audrey Rose were great together, both seeming to hate each other, or at least Audrey, and trying to out-smart and out-do the other. I wouldn’t say they were the best Sherlock and Watson duo, but they were great together outside the mystery.

*Clues. There were a lot of clues sprinkled around the story, and the cast of potential murderers was small enough to raise your suspicion of every person.

*Forensic investigation. It was fascinating to learn about how autopsies were carried out during Audrey Rose’s time. It was a bit disgusting, and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever want to perform one or even see a cadaver, but it was fascinating and very informative.

*The Ending. The ending was disgusting, twisted, creepy, and horrifying. I had an inkling about who it was, but actually reading the full reason why the person did the crime was revolting. And for that reason, I really liked it.

Quote: “There’s nothing better than a little danger dashed with some romance.”

*Audrey Rose. She is a great character, however, her mystery solving skills were not that great in my opinion. She was very stubborn and determined to prove that her father was the murderer. It annoyed me that she wasn’t very open to the possibility that it could be someone else.

*Indian Heritage? Through-out the story, we get several hints that Audrey Rose’s is part Indian, and she talks about saris and Indian food etc… but it’s almost like an after-thought. Something to say, “I’m not entirely white, I’m part Indian too”. I would have loved for this to be explored a lot more.

*Too many men. This has been pointed out by a lot of reviewers already: Audrey Rose is literally the only female character besides her aunt and cousin. I would have loved more time to meet Audrey Rose’s cousin because she sounds like a great character who was unfortunately cut-out to make more room to showcase Audrey Rose’s ‘feminism’. (I also personally think that her cousin might have been a great partner for Audrey Rose in solving the mystery.) It would have been nice to see some other female characters who are also bold and who fight in their own special ways against the social norms of the society.

Quote: “Wield your assets like a blade, Cousin. No man has invented a corset for our brains. Let them think they rule the world. It’s a queen who sits on that throne. Never forget that.”

In the end, I really liked this, even though there were some issues. I would recommend it, and I really hope you enjoy it if you read it.

One sentence summary: An engaging historical mystery with great characters, and an intriguing, yet predictable plot.

Overall, 4 shining stars.


Have you read Stalking Jack The Ripper? What did you think? Did you find any of the things that I mentioned problematic as well? Let’s chat in the comments!

Watching You by Lisa Jewell – Review

It’s Monday! Time for another book review my friends! Today, I’ll be reviewing Watching You by Lisa Jewell. This was a slow but exciting read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the last 40 percent. Let’s get right into the review!

Book: Watching You

Author: Lisa Scottoline

Rating: ★★★★★

Summary: Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.

As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.

One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…

Quote: “Because that’s the thing with getting what you want: all that yearning and dreaming and fantasizing leaves a great big hole that can only be filled with more yearning and dreaming and fantasizing.”

*Mystery. At the beginning of the book, we were introduced to the crime scene and we weren’t told who was killed. As the story progressed, I created my own theories and tried to find out who the person was and why they were killed. I was proven wrong at the end, but I still enjoyed the mystery.

*Jenna. I liked Jenna’s POV a lot more than I did Freddie’s or Joey’s. I was more interested to see what was happening to her and her friend Beth and to really understand Mr. Fitzwilliam’s true behavior. It was through her POV that I grew to distrust him and realize that he may have worse motives than I originally thought.

*Mrs. Tripp. Even though she seemed to have some mental issues, I liked her very much and wished that people would listen to her. I felt very protective of her like Jenna and understood Jenna’s plight in wanting to stay with her mom even though she needed help.

*Secrets. There were a lot of secrets that kept exploding through-out the story. It was also disgusting but enthralling to read about all the twisted stuff some of the characters did.

*Ending. I liked the ending and how everything was wrapped up. It wasn’t spectacular, but I understood the motive and I actually sympathized with the murderer.

*Cozy. This isn’t necessarily a cozy mystery, but it wasn’t a blood-pounding thriller and it was something nice to read. I really liked it because it wasn’t too heavily gory or overall nasty.

Quote: “We’re all different.”

*Men. Honestly, all the men/boys in this book are repulsive, except for Alfie and Jack. Tom was awful. And so is his son. They were both the only two main male characters, and they were both really disgusting creepy guys. Freddie, I felt somewhat sorry for, but every-time I remember what he did and does, I hated him all over again. They were both very revolting.

*Joey. At first I liked Joey and I felt sorry that she was in such a rough patch. And then she grew infatuated with Tom and it took all I had to not scream at her to use some of her senses. At the end, I also felt bad for her, but not very much.

*Word of warning. There are a lot of characters in the book, so it might take a while for you to get everything straight! I was also confused by the time-line at the beginning.

Quote: “Like I might be about to do something really, really stupid. And knowing I’m going to do it isn’t going to stop it from happening.”

I really enjoyed this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! I’ve been waiting for this book for a while and it was one of my most anticipated releases for December of last year and it didn’t disappoint.

One sentence summary: A great mystery with twisted characters and a satisfying end.

Overall, 4.5 stars rounded to 5


Have you read Watching You by Lisa Jewell? What did you think? Let’s chat in the comments!

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – Review

Welcome back to the review of the sequel to Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. The Vanishing Stair was an amazing sequel and a definite four star read for me. The mystery was explored some more, new secrets were revealed and the cliffhanger ending was amazing.

This review may contain minor spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Book: The Vanishing Stair

Author: Maureen Johnson

Series: Truly Devious

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.

For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.

The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.

Quote: “All the money, all the power—none of it compares to a good book.”

The Good:

*Mystery. In this book, the Ellingham mystery takes center stage and I really like that because that’s the main reason why I picked up the first book to start with. I was also eager to find out what happened to Ellie and what her secret was. Solving two mysteries at the same time was a little mind-exhausting, but still so much fun.

*Characters. I liked Stevie much more in this book. She didn’t sound so whiny, and she seemed much more mature. Nate was always my favorite, but I loved him even more in this book. His reluctant but fierce loyalty to Stevie and always helping her when it is against his better instincts is very touching. My favorite quote by him: “Why. Do. People. Do. Stupid. Things.” (Stevie answers: “Because we’re stupid.”)

*Ending. Chaima’s review of The Vanishing Year conveyed my thoughts on that ending so well. That cliffhanger is probably the best I’ve ever read and it’s making me crave the third book so much! So many questions were answered, but at the same time, they opened doors for even more theories. I’m pretty sure I’ve solved it, but there are still several unanswered questions and it ended on such a tense note and I really really need the third book.

(As you can see, there is a reason why I usually read series when all the books in it are out, instead of waiting a WHOLE YEAR for the next one.)

Quote: “The real magic rocks are the friends we make along the way.”

The Bad:

*David. What. Is. His. Deal. He totally went off in this book and seems to have no regard for his or anyone else’s future. I understand that Stevie might have broken his heart, but he shouldn’t just throw his life away just for the fun of it.

*Riddle. There’s a crucial riddle in this book and it’s solution wasn’t what I expected at all. I thought that the answer was something no ordinary person would think to do. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not good at solving riddles/thinking outside the box?

Quote: “Detection has many methods, many pathways, narrow and subtle.”

The Wrap:

All in all, I REALLY liked this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it.

One sentence summary: A great sequel with an intriguing mystery, amazing cliffhanger, and lovable characters.

Overall, 4 shinning stars

Have you read The Vanishing Stair? What did you think? Did that ending make you crave more of the Truly Devious series? Do you think you’ve solved it? Let’s chat in the comments!