ARC REVIEW: Two Sisters – by Kerry Wilkinson @kerrywk @bookouture

Title: Two Sisters
Author: Kerry Wilkinson

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: June 23rd 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: June 6th 2017
Pages: 350

“A magician is only as smart as the audience is stupid – and when someone is as good at not eating as I am, everyone becomes very stupid indeed.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I always have a weak spot for a good psychological thriller and I was drawn to Two Sisters as soon as I saw the cover and blurb. My first impression wasn’t wrong: this story without doubt delivered. Two Sisters isn’t just another well written suspense story with an intriguing plot and a mystery to unravel though. Why? One of the main characters (the older sister, Megan) has an eating disorder and her struggle is present throughout the story. Besides the fact that it was really interesting to see how she deals with this on a daily basis while also being exposed to very stressful situations, her situation was very well described and added a whole different level to this story. I’m not sure I actually liked her character (or most of the others), but the development of the characters in general is very realistic and they feel genuine. The writing style is very engaging and makes it really easy to enjoy this story, and the many many plot twists will keep you guessing about what is really going on until the very end. Trust me, you won’t see the final revelations coming! In short, Two Sisters is a well written psychological thriller with a healthy dose of mystery and suspense that also manages to incorporate a very important topic (eating disorder) realistically while adding an original touch to the story at the same time. There are lots and lots of plot twists as well to keep you busy and all in all it’s a great read!

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Megan was ten and Chloe only six when their older brother Zac went missing in the small seaside town of Whitecliff. The family owns a cottage there and they tend to spend the summer there, although not always together. The summer Zac went missing, he had been spending most of his time there alone, so they didn’t miss him until it had been nearly two days. It was told he probably drowned, but his body was never found… And Megan is not so sure if that was what really happened. When a car crash takes the lives of both their parents, Megan and Chloe return to Whitecliff to get their parents’ affairs in order there. But is that all there is to it? Or is Megan hiding something? And what do the locals really know about what happened to Zac that summer?

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Two Sisters is without doubt a well executed psychological thriller that is both entertaining to read, filled with plot twists and has a little original touch with the incorporation of the ‘eating disorder’ theme. I like how this element plays a role throughout the story and the importance it is given; it not only turns Megan into a very interesting character but also helps spread the word about the topic in the first place. And while the characters weren’t exactly likeable, this story is still very much appealing anyway. You will want to unravel Whitecliff’s secrets for yourself!


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ARC REVIEW: Those Who Lie – by Diane Jeffrey

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Title: Those Who Lie
Author: Diane Jeffrey

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
First published: January 27th 2017
Publisher: HarperCollinsUK
Finished reading: January 17th 2017
Pages: ?
Rating 3,5qqq

“Everything looks the same, but everything has changed, she realises with a jolt. She has the strange impression that she has just stepped into someone else’s life.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and HarperCollinsUK in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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Is it just me or has the whole amnesia angle been quite a popular angle in psychological thrillers lately? I personally don’t mind that much because I find it fascinating to read about, but it does get less original… Luckily in Those Who Lie, amnesia doesn’t actually play as big as a role as I thought initially. Sure, the main character Emily Klein suffers from mild amnesia after the accident and doesn’t remember the details around her husband’s death, but that is only minor compared to her very messed up past and her history with mental illness and eating disorders. Those elements turn her into what is basically the perfect unreliable narrator and an easy victim to anyone who wants to play with her mind. The writing was very enjoyable and the story itself quite intriguing, although I do have to say I kind of already guessed the ending about 60% into the story and it was kind of predictable. The lack of surprise put a minor damper on things, but I still found it enjoyable to find out all the details on both what exactly happened to Emily to made her into the person she is today and what really happened to her husband. If you are looking for an entertaining and fast-paced psychological thriller, Those Who Lie is definitely a great choice.

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When Emily Klein wakes up in the hospital, she doesn’t remember what happened to her or how she ended up in the hospital in the first place. Even worse, she doesn’t even know her husband has died until the day of his funeral… Apparently, the two were in their car and it crashed, but was it really a tragic accident or is there more at play? Emily is trying to piece together the events before his death and get her memory back. But does she really want to remember what is going on? Or are some things better left alone?

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Even though the ending wasn’t exactly a surprise, there were still quite a few plot twists that did manage to do so. And more importantly, the writing style was very enjoyable to read and I was able to finish Those Who Lie in record time due to its fast pace. The main character might not be all that likeable, but she is without doubt intriguing and I liked both her development and learning more about her past. All in all a worthy psychological thriller!


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BOOK REVIEW: Paperweight – by Meg Haston

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Title: Paperweight
Author: Meg Haston
Genre: YA. Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
First published: July 7th 2015
Finished reading: December 7th 2015
Pages: 304
Rating 4qqq

“The thing was, I needed to be owned. I needed someone to say, This girl is mine. That´s what family is for, but mine was almost gone. There was no one to claim me but Eden and my sickness. So I gave myself to both.”

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Paperweight has been recommended to me various times in the past and I think I have seen only positive reviews so far. The story without doubt isn’t a happy one, but I can totally agree that Meg Haston is able to make the main characters’ fight with an eating disorder feel really realistic. I’m still not sure if I actually liked the main character Stevie or some of the other patients at the eating disorder treatment center for that matter, but I wasn’t that bothered by it because they felt real. The plot is interesting with a few plot twists and the character development is really well done. The pace is quite fast and I enjoyed the prose even though it is actually quite a difficult story to read because of the theme. Still, I would not doubt in recommending this book if you enjoy reading realistic contemporary fiction and don’t mind reading about mental ilness/eating disorders. I haven’t read many books about the theme nor do I know anyone with an eating disorder, but I still think Meg Haston did more than a good job describing the emotions and struggle of the patients.

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Stevie has been struggling with her life and body ever since her mother left; she feels both trapped inside her body and in life. After her brother Josh died she made a promise to herself not to live past the first anniversary of his death… Slowly starving herself to end her life. Her father forces Stevie to go to an eating disorder treatment center tucked away in the New Mexico desert. Stevie doesn’t want to cooperate with the nurses and therapists because she feels they are messing up her promise to her dead brother, but someone always seem to be watching her and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid. She is supposed to stay for a minimum of sixty days of treatment, but Stevie isn’t planning on holding on more than the twenty-seven days that separate her from the anniversary of Josh’s death… Will the nurses and therapists be able to change her mind on time?

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Paperweight is full of emotions and very realistic. It’s not the easiest book to read because of the theme, but it is very well written and definitely leaves you thinking about what a horrible disease an eating disorder really is. I will definitely look out for any future Meg Haston YA novels! More that recommended if you like the genre and want to read about how an eating disorder can affect someone’s life.