Review: The Clinic by Cate Quinn

The ClinicThe Clinic by Cate Quinn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In Cate Quinn’s recent Thriller, The Clinic, the Reader is transported to the Pacific Northwest coast, where a remote Addictions Treatment Center caters to the rich and famous.

One of the perspectives we follow is Meg, whose estranged sister, Haley, a famous actress, has been receiving in-patient care there. When Meg hears the news that her sister has overdosed while in treatment, and rumors swirl it was possibly suicide, Meg doesn’t believe it.

As in, she really thinks there is no way in heck her sister would have overdosed, let alone on purpose. Meg suspects foul play and decides to go undercover at the Clinic to try to figure out what really happened to Haley.

We also follow a woman employed at the Clinic, Cara. She’s relatively new and as she begins to settle in and get to know everyone around her, she too suspects something may be off.

As the narrative shifts back and forth, it offers the Reader an inside glimpse into the Clinic from both a worker’s and a patient’s perspective. It’s through that dual view that the truth is able to come to light.

Y’all, this is a very basic way of summing up all that is going on in this story, but I don’t want to risk giving anything else away. It’s best to go into this knowing as little as possible.

I enjoyed the set-up of this one a lot, as well as the setting. It hooked me from the very start. I felt like the opening scene really set the stage for all that was about to play out.

I really loved Meg as a main character. Her perspective just fit my tastes so well. She’s tough, smart and no-nonsense, but also flawed and struggling with a lot of things in her life; including her own addiction to painkillers and alcohol.

I liked learning about her, the events in her past that had propelled her to her current state. I felt like Quinn did an incredible job of bringing Meg to life, breathing humanity into her and making her actions and motivations understandable. Honestly, I became very attached to her.

That’s unsurprising though, as I love flawed characters. If characters are too perfect, I don’t like ’em. No one is perfect, why would I want my fictional characters to be?

I was excited to go undercover with Meg and investigate the Clinic. It seemed shady as all get out from the start and I liked meeting all the various players within that setting.

It also felt very claustrophobic; like once Meg was in there, it felt like there was seriously no turning back. The fact that she was also grappling with her own addictions issues, and that her mind wasn’t in top form through that, added to the sense of being trapped and desperate.

I feel like Quinn really succeeded in that regard.

I wasn’t as sold on the other perspective, Cara, but I do understand and appreciate why it was necessary for the overall story. For things to ultimately play out the way they did, both women were needed.

This definitely went in an unexpected direction for me and I thought it was so much fun. It gets pretty wild and I loved being with Meg as she tried to navigate through all the chaos. Some of her choices, oh baby, were they intense.

I would definitely recommend this to Readers who enjoy tense, suspenseful Thrillers with flawed MCs and questionable organizations. This had a lot of action and a full cast of unlikable side characters as well. It’s engaging and a bit OTT. Overall, a great read!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I cannot wait to read more from Cate Quinn!!!

View all my reviews

Review: Only If You’re Lucky by Stacy Willingham

Only If You're LuckyOnly If You’re Lucky by Stacy Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Only If You’re Lucky is a slow burn and I know it won’t necessarily be for every Reader. For me, though, there is no denying the rich-quality of Willingham’s writing.

She pulled this one off in the end, big time. It took me a minute to settle into the story, not gonna lie, but once I did I was swept up into the drama like a nosy neighbor.

In this story we follow Margot, who is a Freshman at a small Liberal Arts college in South Carolina.

It was Margot’s dream to attend this particular college with her childhood best friend, Eliza. Unfortunately, Eliza’s life was taken in a tragic accident just prior to that dream becoming a reality.

Freshman year, Margot is obviously still coming to grips with the loss of her best friend. She feels like a ship without a port and therefore, plays it very safe. She befriends her new roommate and they barely ever leave the dorm.

At the end of the year though, she gets approached by a girl she’s been watching from afar all year, Lucy Sharpe. Lucy is magnetic, bold and popular and for some reason, she wants Margot as a friend.

Lucy offers Margot the chance to move in with her and two other girls in an off-campus house. Unable to refuse a golden opportunity, the chance for a new life, a fresh start and a position amongst the it-girls, Margot accepts, thus changing her fate forever.

As Margot is folded into this new group of girls, she begins to think that perhaps Lucy isn’t quite who she thinks she is.

The other two girls, Nicole and Sloane, seem a bit hesitant to discuss Lucy behind her back. Are they just loyal friends, or is there more to it than that?

By the end of Sophomore year, these girls are completely embedded in one another’s lives, rarely apart. Then a boy from the fraternity house next door ends up dead and Lucy goes missing without a trace. Circumstances have shifted.

As the police dig into an investigation, it’s clear Margot, Nicole and Sloane know more than they’re letting on. Are they helping Lucy, or do they really not know where she is? You’ll have to hang in until the very end to find out.

As mentioned before, this is a slow burn. You have to be patient as Willingham sets the stage, introduces our characters and fills in some of Margot’s backstory.

As the relationship with Margot and her new friends begins, that’s when things start to pick up. It’s hard to get a read initially on the other girls and you wonder just what exactly Margot is getting herself into.

I did really grow to care for Margot and the other girls over the course of the story. A lot of the things they were doing and going through, I could relate to and through Willingham’s writing, it really took me back to that time in my own life, when I met my best friend, Nichole.

Once I was hooked into the characters, I started to fly through this and I loved how the different aspects of the narrative tied together in the second half.

I think some may be disappointed by this because while it’s pitched as Adult, I would actually classify it as New Adult. Some Readers are going to pick this up and find that the storyline reads a little young for them, and I get that.

I read a ton of YA stories, personally, and love them; particularly YA Mystery/Thrillers. While I was a little surprised initially, I still feel like this is a strong story. In fact, I think this would be a great transitional book for Readers moving from the YA to Adult category.

Also, I know the synopsis states they’re in college, but I rarely read the full synopsis for a Mystery/Thriller, and I think the same can be said for a lot of Readers.

You don’t want to spoil yourself, so if you see a favorite authors’ name on the cover, you just give it a go. These are the people I think are going to be the most surprised.

If you go into this with the right mindset though, knowing this is a story involving young women in the early stages of college, going through all the things young women in college go through, you could really enjoy it.

I did have the pleasure of listening to the audiobook and absolutely recommend that format. It’s narrated by one of the best narrators of all time, Karissa Vacker, and per usual, she brought life to this story.

Overall, I think this was a bit of a change for Stacy Willingham. Her earlier stories have been well and proper in the Adult category. It’s nice to see her stretch her legs a bit and I feel she was successful in this story.

It’s well-constructed and contains a full cast of nicely-fleshed out characters.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me a copy to read and review. Willingham is a must read for me. I will continue to pick up all her work!

Only If You’re Lucky is available now!!!

View all my reviews

Review: First Lie Wins by Ashley Elston

First Lie WinsFirst Lie Wins by Ashley Elston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ashley Elston is a beloved author of YA-Mystery/Thriller and Contemporary stories. She’s one of my favorites actually.

I’ve picked up all of her releases since I first discovered her top-notch writing on full display in This Is Our Story, published in 2016.

That one kept me guessing until the very end. I loved the pace of it and the investigatory elements woven throughout. I was stoked to have a new author to swoon over.

With First Lie Wins, Elston delivers us her first work in the Adult space. I’m happy to report, she’s entering the fairly-saturated Thriller market with a banger.

This story was completely engrossing and intriguing, with well-fleshed out characters. It grabbed a hold of my from the very beginning and never let up.

Normally, I would summarize a bit of the plot, but I don’t want to here. I want you to go in knowing little to nothing about this story. That’s the best way to experience it, IMO.

I’m not sure that I ever read the synopsis. Elston’s name on the cover was enough.

This story does feature action, high-stakes and shady underground networks. I would say it is on trend with such recent releases as Zero Days and Before She Finds Me.

If you enjoyed either of those two books, you should absolutely pick this one up. I would also recommend this to anyone who enjoys a long-game; IYKYK.

Elston’s writing is so fluid and engaging, it’s clear she would be successful in whatever genre she chooses to write in. Personally though, I am hoping for a lot more in this space. This was fascinating and well-structured.

An exciting Adult Thriller.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Pamela Dorman Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

This was a great way to kick off my 2024-reading journey!

View all my reviews

Review: The Guest by B.A. Paris

The GuestThe Guest by B.A. Paris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


B.A. Paris is back and she’s bringing my favorite kind of suspenseful Domestic Drama with her.

I had so much fun reading The Guest. Frustrating in the best ways, I found it to be completely addictive and one heck of a gripping roller coaster ride.

In this story we meet Iris and Gabriel, a married couple living in the British countryside. They have a grown daughter who is currently working abroad in Greece, so all is fairly peaceful on the homefront.

That is until the day a local boy suffered a terrible accident, falling into a nearby quarry. Gabriel was the one to find the boy’s battered body and even though Gabriel’s a skilled doctor, there was nothing he could do.

The boy couldn’t be saved, but Gabriel did get to be with him in his final moments, so he wasn’t alone.

Gabriel hasn’t been the same since that tragic day, and even though Iris is trying to help him cope, it’s definitely put a strain on their relationship.

As they are grappling with this, an unexpected house guest arrives. Their old friend, Laure, has shown up from Paris. She says that she and her husband, Pierre, have had a terrible fight and she needs a place to stay.

Iris and Gabriel have been best friends with Laure and Pierre for many, many years, so they tell Laure that she is welcome and that she can stay for as long as she needs.

Laure moves herself in and makes herself as comfortable as possible, wearing Iris’s clothes and shadowing her every move. As the days and even weeks pass, the couple begins to question Laure’s story and her motives.

What is she really doing there and when the heck is she going to leave?

As tension mounts, more people get drawn into the twisted drama; the new couple in town, their handsome gardener and even Iris and Gabriel’s daughter.

As mentioned above, I really enjoyed this one and found the narrative to be compulsively readable. From the Prologue, Paris had absolutely hooked me. She definitely has a gift for drawing the Reader in.

From the initial set-up, with Laure arriving at the house, you can just tell it is going to get freaking wild. There’s a vibe under the surface of constant tension and intrigue.

No matter how crazy things get though, I always find Paris’s main characters to be relatable. I never have a problem putting myself in their shoes and imagining what I would do in any given situation.

This one had me biting my nails with tension, yelling at Laure, yelling at Iris. I would have done some major clean-out of my house, that’s for sure.

I really got sucked into all of the interpersonal drama in this story, but also loved the mystery running throughout. It was hard to tell who you could trust and some of the connections were also shady.

There were some real strong reveals and I was happy with the way it ultimately concluded. This did feel more reminiscent to some of Paris’s earlier works as well, which were a little stronger for me than her more recent releases.

I would definitely recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a taut, twisted Domestic Drama, particularly if you have enjoyed B.A. Paris’s earlier stories.

I would also recommend reading this one with a friend, or Book Club. I actually Buddy Read it and thought it was exciting to discuss it with someone else as we discovered the twists and turns together.

Overall, I thought this was such a great read. I’m so happy Paris continues to write these types of stories. As long as she is writing them, I’ll be reading them.

Thank you so much to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio, for providing me copies to read and review. The Guest is releasing on February 20, 2024, and IMO, this one should not be missed!!

View all my reviews

Review: After the Sleepover (Sleepover #2) by Kerry Wilkinson

After the Sleepover (Sleepover #2)After the Sleepover by Kerry Wilkinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


After the Sleepover is the sequel in Kerry Wilkinson’s Sleepover series. I finished the first book, I think it was yesterday, it’s all been a bit of a blur, and immediately started this one, flying through and finishing it tonight.

I’m slightly obsessed with this series right now and have spent the entire afternoon wondering if we are going to be getting more. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

This story follows Leah Pearce, who is a bit infamous in her small hometown. Twenty-five years ago, she attended a sleepover with three of her best friends. They did the stuff teen girls typically do at a sleepover, went to sleep, all was well, but in the morning only Leah remained.

The other three girls had disappeared. As the survivor, the town had mixed reactions to Leah. Some believed she had to have information that she wasn’t sharing. How could she have slept through three girls disappearing?!

Others felt she was an unfortunate girl, who just got lucky that night. Certainly she was deserving of sympathy.

All these years later a documentary has been made about the incident, bringing Leah back into the limelight. She never wanted any of that and will be happy when people move on to someone else’s tragedy.

Then three boys go missing during a sleepover where they were tenting out in a field by one of their homes. The mother of one of the missing boys, Jennifer, asks the police to get Leah for her, to stay with her during the subsequent search. She tells them that she and Leah are friends.

Leah is surprised. She knows Jennifer, it’s a small town, and they’re the same age, but she wouldn’t say they were friends. Nor have they ever been. Nevertheless, she feels compelled to go and be with Jennifer in her time of need.

She figures Jennifer reached out to her because who else knows more about missing teenagers than her?

The subsequent investigation makes Leah question a lot of things, even her own past. As she is tied together now with Jennifer, Leah finds herself smack in the middle of it all over again. Will the truth be revealed and is there a connection to Leah’s own troubled past?

I found these two books so incredibly addictive. Wilkinson’s writing is fluid and engaging. I felt like I’ve really gotten to know Leah over the course of this series. As mentioned before, I am seriously hoping this isn’t the end of her story.

I ended up enjoying this even more than the first book. It had a different level of intensity to it. I think mainly because in The Night of the Sleepover the missing girls are in the past perspective. What has happened to them is already done, there’s no changing it.

Yet in this story, the boys that have gone missing, it’s a race against the clock to try to figure out what happened. They can still be saved. I felt like all of the different elements of the story were blended perfectly together.

You still get aspects of Leah’s life outside of the latest case of missing teens. She has stuff going on in her personal life, a hidden relationship, her Dad getting released from prison and getting married, that are equally compelling and I liked going through that with her.

I also found her relationship with Jennifer gripping. Jennifer was an great character. I was hesitant with her from the start. She seemed so, I don’t know, almost in awe of Leah. Like she wanted to be close to her for the wrong reasons, or like she was trying to manipulate something.

It built up a very interesting dynamic and I love how Wilkinson wrote that budding friendship. It was enthralling and had me flying through the pages.

This had a great conclusion. It could go either way. I could be satisfied with this being the end, or I can also see many avenues where Wilkinson could continue to take this story. If there are more books coming in the Sleepover series, you better believe I will be first in line to get a copy.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Bookouture and Bookouture Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. I’m so happy that I’ve found a new Thriller author to add to my auto-buy list!!

View all my reviews

Review: The Night of the Sleepover (Sleepover #1) by Kerry Wilkinson

The Night of the Sleepover (Sleepover #1)The Night of the Sleepover by Kerry Wilkinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Night of the Sleepover is the first book in Kerry Wilkinson’s Sleepover series. Having never read from this author before, I had no real expectations going in.

I found Wilkinson’s writing to be quite engaging. She was able to hook me from the start. I was intrigued and couldn’t stop thinking about this when I wasn’t reading it.

In this story we are following single-mom, Leah, who 20-years ago had a her three best friends disappear during a weekend sleepover.

Four girls started out the night, comfy in their pajamas, eating pizza and even sneaking some vodka, but only one remained in the morning. Leah.

As you can imagine, the years since haven’t been easy. She’s had a difficult time getting close to people. It’s a small town, everyone knows her troubled past. Some even cast suspicion on her, how could she have slept through that? Those who don’t, tip-toe around her with pity in their eyes.

As the 20th-anniversary approaches, Leah receives word that, Owen, the little brother of one of her missing friends is going to be making a documentary on the disappearance. He reaches out for her help.

Soon after the news of the upcoming documentary spreads, Leah receives a mystery email from a dummy account stating two words, ‘stop them’.

Leah is scared. Is this message from a friend, or a foe? What could their motivations be? Why would someone want to stop the truth from coming out? After all these years, is the truth better off staying buried?

As mentioned above, I was hooked into this story very quickly. I liked Leah’s perspective and we do get her both in the present, as well as flashbacks to the time of the infamous sleepover.

I thought both timelines were equally intriguing and liked following along as they perfectly-pieced together the truth of what happened that night. This is the kind of story where you need to know and there’s no stopping until you find out.

I enjoyed the level of intensity that Wilkinson was able to conjure here as well. I felt for Leah, to have that night always looming over her like a dark shadow, and then with the anniversary approaching! Honestly, it was like cutting open your own old wounds.

I wasn’t sure who to trust either. We meet a few different side characters throughout Leah’s story and many of them seemed suspicious as heck to me.

The narrator for the audiobook had me feeling like I was literally listening to Leah recount what was happening to her. It brought it to life and in my opinion, made the narrative even more thrilling.

Full disclosure, this was a 3.5-star book for me, which I would have rounded up, pretty much the whole way through, but that ending…

Yeah baby, that’s what I like!!!

I’m so excited for the next book, After the Sleepover. I haven’t read too much about it, so I am not sure in what direction it is going, but regardless, the anticipation is real. I’m starting it tonight!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Bookouture and Bookouture Audio, for providing me copies to read and review. I can’t wait to pick up more from Kerry Wilkinson!!

View all my reviews

Review: 15 Secrets to Survival by Natalie D. Richards

15 Secrets to Survival15 Secrets to Survival by Natalie D. Richards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


15 Secrets to Survival is a Middle Grade Survival Thriller and is a Middle Grade debut for beloved author, Natalie D. Richards.

I have enjoyed quite a few YA-stories from Richards, including Five Total Strangers and Four Found Dead, so I was very excited when I learned she was going to be branching into the Middle Grade genre.

I always enjoying seeing what an author I have enjoyed can do in a new space. It can be hit or miss, but this one was definitely a hit for me.

As expected, Richards brought some serious thrills and intensity to this, while also bringing the humor and softer moments you would expect from a Middle Grade story.

We follow a group of four kids, Baxter, Abigail, Turner and Emerson, who have sort of been forced together their whole lives due to their parents all being friends. Truth be told though, they sort of drive each other nuts.

After they get in trouble at a school for fighting with one another, they’re forced to participate in an extracurricular project that will push them outside of their comfort zones, and will hopefully get them past their differences.

The goal is to get them to work together. At least that is what their parents and teachers want. We’ll see…

The four get taken to a remote wilderness location and dropped off with Baxter’s elderly Uncle Hornsby, who used to run a wilderness camp for kids. The parents seem to think he is just the person to get these kids in line.

The kids are shocked. It’s cold, it’s rustic, it’s in the freaking middle of nowhere. Are they seriously getting left here with this eccentric old man?

Just like that though, it happens. Their parents leave and their true adventure weekend begins. Using pages from a survival notebook, the kids begin a sort of scavenger hunt through a series of challenges that wins them more pages to the notebook as they go.

The notebook truly clues them in on how to survive on their own in the rough terrain. After Uncle Hornsby appears to go missing though, it’s a race against the clock as inclement weather closes in. They need to try to survive themselves, as well as find Uncle Hornsby before it’s too late.

Will the kids be able to work together to get everyone safely through the weekend, or will their past disagreements and hurts get in the way?

I did really enjoy this story. I found Baxter’s perspective fun to follow, although there were some repetitive jibes towards Uncle Hornsby, particularly in the beginning, that I didn’t find as funny as I think they were meant to be. Other than that though, I did enjoy getting the entire story through Baxter’s narration.

The kids each excel in different areas and that fact initially is sort of seen as a reason why they don’t get along. I liked watching each of the kids be able to bring their strengths into the weekend and I think it helped them to all gain a new respect for one another.

You definitely go on a journey with these kids and it seriously does get intense. There were moments, I wasn’t sure how they were going to get past certain things. I loved watching the evolution of their relationships through it all.

I loved the survival aspects as well. Richards included pages from the notebook the kids were following through their challenges. I liked the way those pages were displayed and the level of information they presented.

I also liked the use of a storm approaching to up the intensity of the plot. I thought Richards did a great job building-out the setting, creating a dangerous atmosphere and adding a bit of suspense. This one definitely got my pulse-racing in multiple scenes.

I also grew attached to these characters. I loved the growth they each displayed and I ended up feeling proud of them for everything they overcame by the end.

I would definitely recommend this to any Middle Grade Readers, particularly if you like Survival stories, or Thrillers that feature inclement, winter weather.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Delacorte Press, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was a blast and I hope Richards continues to write in the MG-space. If she does, I will absolutely be reading it!

View all my reviews

Review: The Quiet Tenant by ClΓ©mence Michallon

The Quiet TenantThe Quiet Tenant by ClΓ©mence Michallon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Quiet Tenant surprised me by turning into a much more powerful read than I anticipated. Initially, I was stumped on how to rate it, ultimately deciding on 4-stars.

I really enjoyed the way Michallon chose to tell this story. It truly transported me into the mind of our narrators and left me with a lot to think about.

This is the kind of story that I don’t want to say anything about really, as far as content goes. I only picked this one up because I saw a lot of high-rated reviews floating around from my book friends, and other reviewers I trust.

I never even read the full synopsis before I picked it up. I absolutely, 100%, definitely, totally recommend that as the way to go with this story. Go in as blind as possible.

Tense, pulse-pounding, sleep with the lights on, slower-paced, Psychological Thriller. That’s all you need to know.

I was hooked into this very early and after a few disappointing reads in row, it was exactly what I needed to kick me out of an impending slump. Listening to the audio, I was completely immersed with what was going on with these characters. I definitely recommend that format.

Small trigger warning: there is some content involving a dog in Chapter 44. I skipped the majority of that chapter, just preferring not to discover what was happening there. If you are sensitive to that type of thing, just bee-bop right over it. If you pick up at Chapter 45, you’ll be fine.

Overall though, I had a great time with The Quiet Tenant. I haven’t read many books like this as far as the narrative choices, so it will be a stand-out for me in 2023.

This is the first novel that I have read from this author, but I am looking forward to reading more!!

View all my reviews

Review: The Only One Left by Riley Sager

The Only One LeftThe Only One Left by Riley Sager
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars rounded up**

After a client overdoses while under care, home-health aide, Kit McDeere, finds herself suspended from her job for 6-months. That’s a long time to be out of work, stewing on her past mistakes. Kit doesn’t like the feeling.

When her suspension is up, her boss tells her about her new assignment. Oh baby, it’s a doozy!

Unfortunately, she’s lucky to even still have her job, so Kit doesn’t put up much of a fight though. Beggars can’t be choosers. At least it will get her out of her Dad’s house.

Kit is headed to Hope’s End, a once lavish estate on the rocky coast of Maine. Set high on a cliff, the home has slowly begun to decay over the decades, leaning ever closer to the sea below.

Even so, it’s not the mansion itself that disturbs Kit the most. It’s who lives inside it. Lenora Hope, Kit’s latest client, is the sole survivor of the Hope Family Massacre of 1929. As the survivor, Lenora was the main suspect and was accused of killing her father, mother and sister.

The crimes are so infamous in the local area, there’s even a creepy little song about it:

At seventeen, Lenora Hope
Hung her sister with a rope
Stabbed her father with a knife
Took her mother’s happy life
β€œIt wasn’t me,” Lenora said
But she’s the only one not dead

Kit knows what it’s like to be accused of something however, so she tries to stick all she thinks she knows about Lenora Hope into the back of her mind. Regardless of her past, Lenora is now a woman in her 70s, who has been left mute and incapacitated by a series of strokes.

Confined to a wheelchair, Lenora is completely dependent on Kit for her daily care. Her only means of communication is pecking out her thoughts on an old typewriter.

One night, through her typing, Lenora makes Kit and offer. She wants to tell her everything that happened back in 1929. Is Kit ready to hear the truth?

There was something about the synopsis of this story that told me that I should read it via audio. I was interested to see how the perspectives would be done and how the audio could possibly elevate the overall storytelling.

In spite of the fact that I bought a hard copy on the day of release, I did actually hold out until I was able to get the audiobook from my local library. I’m so glad I made that decision. I loved this audio. It’s actually the first Riley Sager novel I have listened too.

I may have to go back and reread some of the others that way, if they are all done this well!

The narrators’ voices were perfect for the different perspectives they were portraying. It really helped to bring this story to life for me.

The setting of Hope Manor was also fantastic. With Lenora confined to her room, it’s really just the workers that keep the property afloat, flitting about interacting with one another. Kit, as the new girl, just tries to go about her work, soaking it all in.

There’s so much history in the house, and each individual there offers their own perspective on the past, as well as the present. Trust, there’s drama.

I loved the use of the typewriter as a way for Lenora to communicate and tell Kit her story. There was something so ominous about that act. Lenora watching each letter appear as the past unfolded before her.

There’s also some unsettling things going on around the house that provided a nice, is it supernatural, is it not supernatural-feel, that I tend to enjoy so much. Oh, and bonus, this is set in 1983 and I love the 80s!!

There were a lot of well done red herrings in this, as your mind works to try to figure out the truth. I suspected a lot of people; pretty much everyone, honestly. There were also a ton of twists and I enjoyed how Sager built the intensity as the story progressed.

It felt dangerous and definitely got my pulse racing. Right after I finished though, I did struggle a bit on how to rate it. Part of me thought, it was one twist too many, but then the other part of me thought, shut the f*ck up.

As you can tell, the good side won. I loved this. Another engrossing, memorable story from Sager. I cannot wait to see what he delivers next!

View all my reviews

Review: The Lodge by Sue Watson

The LodgeThe Lodge by Sue Watson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Deep, dark secrets and non-stop drama are certainly a family affair in Sue Watson’s The Lodge!!!

In this story we follow the Wilson family, who all get called to a weekend getaway at a remote lodge by the matriarch of the family, Angela. It’s a complicated dynamic, but Angela is ready to celebrate her 75th-birthday and she wants her whole family there.

Thus, she rents the Lodge and invites her son, Scott, his ex-wife, Fiona, his new wife, Danni, who once played the role of the other woman, and their baby, as well as Scott and Fiona’s two teenagers.

Thrown in just for fun is a young woman named Jenna, who claims to be a professional chef. As Danni and Scott react to Jenna’s presence though, it’s clear she may not be exactly who she’s selling herself as.

The story is told mainly through Fiona and Danni’s perspectives, but we do get some others in different sections. I found both women’s thoughts fascinating from the start and wanted to know more about their lives.

They’re both feeling self-conscious going into the weekend and they’re also bringing a lot of preconceived notions in with them. Both are mothers and also have a natural instinct to do whatever they can to protect their children.

When a terrible storm hits and the Wilson family is trapped at the Lodge, with no end in sight, tensions rise to an unbearable level. People begin to break and cracks are revealed amongst the many relationships.

Will anyone make it out of the Lodge unscathed?!

The Lodge was highly addictive and entertaining as all heck. It was actually my first Watson novel, but certainly won’t be my last. I look forward to many, many more in the future.

I listened to the audiobook and found the narration to be a perfect fit for the story. It drew me in right away and I felt like I was actually getting to know these characters; hearing their stories told their own way.

I vibed with Fiona immediately, and she continue to be my fave throughout. Although not perfect, I could see where she was coming from and definitely related to some of her feelings and motivations.

This story starts off rather quickly, throwing the Reader right into the enticing set-up, with all of the family coming together at the Lodge. You can tell right away that everyone is keeping secrets, but what are they and how big of a blowout are they going to make when they’re revealed?

In addition to the secrets, not a lot of great choices are made either and this definitely adds to the fun of the story. I just love characters making bad decisions.

The drama level just got deeper and deeper too as the story went on and more and more secrets came to light. It was freaking fascinating. I couldn’t get enough.

Towards the end, a couple details didn’t quite work for me, or felt a little too convenient, but overall, I think this was really well done. A great Winter Weather Thriller!

I definitely recommend this one to anyone who enjoys a dramatic story, particularly with an extended family involved who have a lot of secrets from one another. Also, I recommend this to Readers who enjoy closed-circle mystery/thrillers that feature inclement weather.

Thank you to the publisher, Bookouture Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was a ton of fun!

View all my reviews