On YouTube today – Read React Decide and REVIEW!

Hi Everyone,

A couple months ago I posted a video where I pulled five random books from the library and read a couple sentences, reacted and decided whether I would read them. I picked two out of the five and today I’m reviewing them. (Also – I got a new shirt!)

You can watch my original video here.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Review: Something She’s Not Telling Us by Darcey Bell

Something She’s Not Telling Us
by
Darcey Bell

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Here’s a domestic thriller about a woman who kidnaps her boyfriend’s niece and the family’s mad race to rescue the girl before something bad happens.

Charlotte, her husband, Eli and their six-year-old daughter, Daisy have just returned from a trip to Mexico. The family, including Charlotte’s younger brother, Rocco and his new girlfriend, Ruth, had flown from New York to celebrate Charlotte and Rocco’s mother’s sixtieth birthday.

The next morning, Charlotte, Eli and Daisy scramble to get ready for work and school. At the end of the day, Charlotte rushes from an important meeting to pick up Daisy at school. When she arrives, the teachers tell her that Daisy’s Aunt Ruth has already picked her up.

The story then flashes back six months earlier when Ruth first meets the family.

To Ruth and the reader, Charlotte and Eli seem to have it all. A swank co-op in the East Village, great careers, plenty of money and an adorable daughter. They’re the balanced ones, but Rocco, a recovering alcoholic, can’t find the right partner. Now, Charlotte and Eli are hopeful, but cautious when he introduces them to Ruth. She’s young, hip and friendly, but something seems off, especially the way she latches on to Daisy. While Eli is laid-back, Charlotte, a helicopter mom with anxiety, thinks Ruth is just a little too aggressive.

In alternating chapters between past and present, the author provides readers with a closer look at Charlotte, her marriage, her anxiety and a strained relationship with her mother. Other chapters are about Ruth and her point of view. Later chapters include Rocco’s take on the situation.

It’s clear that there’s something up with Ruth, but readers soon learn that Charlotte also has a secret. The question then becomes who is the “she” in Something She’s Not Telling Us? I thought that was a clever twist of the title.

I enjoyed this very fast read which kept me wondering what was up with Ruth and what was Charlotte’s secret. I prefer not to guess too much about what’s happening when I read, and several late big reveals make it the kind of story that allows you to do that.

That said, the finish was pretty flat, with many unresolved questions. Without revealing details, I was left wondering how Ruth managed many of the details of her life. In addition, although Charlotte’s secret is a game-changer, it seemed that when she would have to reveal it, that everything would be okay.

This one falls into the category of books that are fast, entertaining and somewhat mindless reads, a nice distraction from everyday life, great for the beach or for traveling, but nothing that will stay with you too long. I picked it as part of the first segment of my Read, React, Decide videos on YouTube in which I read random sentences from books I’ve grabbed at the library and decide which to read. You can watch it here.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Behind Her Eyes
by
Sarah Pinborough

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Here’s a fast, twisty domestic thriller about David and Adele Martin, a dysfunctional young married couple with a secret. They’ve moved to London for a fresh start where David will begin a new partnership in a psychiatry practice. But this new beginning takes an immediate left turn when David meets Louise Barnsley in a bar. She’s a single mom and things get hot, but before they go too far, David stops her. “I can’t,” he says, “I’m married.” Phew for David, crisis averted, but the next day, Louise discovers that David is her new boss.

At home, tension is thick between David and Adele. They have unlimited money from Adele’s inheritance. But David drinks too much and Adele suffers from a painful past. David seems to want to protect his wife but he’s borderline controlling and Adele seems to love him, but she’s a little too obsessive. Who’s the manipulator?

Things get weird when Adele and Louise become friends and David and Louise begin an affair. Louise is stuck in the middle and she keeps her relationships secret from each. With Adele, she finally has a good female friend who understands her. With David, she’s reignited a long-cold love life. As the back story emerges, told in a then, later and now format, from both women’s point of view and from an additional third-person POV, readers begin to assemble the pieces to what seems like one thing but becomes something entirely different.

Without giving too much away, the past involves a fire at Adele’s family mansion when Adele was seventeen. David, in his twenties and already her boyfriend, was able to rescue Adele, but her parents died. In the aftermath, she suffered psychological trauma and spent time in a psychological hospital where she met another teenager, Rob a heroin addict.

As with all thrillers, characters make reckless decisions and the reader watches, wondering how it will all end. I felt fully engaged in the story, unsure of just what would happen to David, Louise, Adele and Rob. I did not expect the finish, which, if you’ve read it, you can tell me whether you found it exciting or just plain crazy. I guess I’d call it original and satisfying in the sense that all the details were explained. Whether it was realistic, this book requires a lot of suspension of disbelief.

I enjoyed reading Behind Her Eyes. I think of thrillers as entertainment reading. They are often forgettable but a fun way to relax.

Have you read Behind Her Eyes? What did you think? Leave a comment!

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