Tag Archives: reading

Can you ever really be "Safe with Me" by K.L. Slater? A Propensity to Discuss

Can you ever really be “Safe with Me” by K.L. Slater

If you want more twists than this, you’d better grab a bag of pretzels.

After first reading Liar and now Safe with Me, I really have to wonder about K.L. Slater. Her mind is undoubtedly warped. To be able to conceive of and pen such depraved tales takes more psychological configurations than I’d imagine exists in the minds of half of the patients in mental institutions in Britain.

Anna Clarke is mentally unstable. She seems to be stuck at around the age of 13 or 14, which makes sense because that was her age when a very traumatic event changed her life forever.

When, as an adult, Anna witnesses an accident and stops to help, she realizes that the woman, whom she learns is now going by the name Amanda Danson is the woman who caused her suffering 13 years before. Anna knows she must see justice done and make sure that this time Amanda pays for her crime. In the meantime, Anna becomes obsessed with the accident victim, Liam, his well-being and the relationship she believes is forming between them.

Anna is delusional at best and with the mindset of an illogical 14-year-old believes that she can explain away anything she has done wrong and that everyone else is at fault. Even while forcing herself into the lives of Liam and his grandmother, Ivy, Anna comments “Some people assume a shared situation authorizes them to be immediately familiar.” She is scornful of others who feel this way, yet she is completely blind to the fact that she is the one who is doing just that to Liam and Ivy.

Can you ever really be "Safe with Me" by K.L. Slater? A Propensity to Discuss review.

Also, anyone who pays her any attention, other than Liam, is seen to be obtrusive and untrustworthy and, in Anna’s mind, those people only want to bring ill-will to her. When in reality that is her behavior, not the intentions of others.

When I first began listening to/reading Safe with Me, I really didn’t like Anna at all, but I had to continue because it is sort of like a series of train wrecks – you can’t stop watching (or, in this case, reading) because you want to find out just how bad the situation will become. That is when Slater has you hooked and drawn completely in. There is no way you can stop reading. You have to know just how crazy Anna really is.

This is a really, really well-planned and well-executed story of mental illness wrapped up in a psychological thriller full of twists and turns. I highly recommend this in both print and audio versions. I switched back and forth on this one.

Lucy Price-Lewis does an amazing job with the voices and characterizations of Anna, Amanda, Mrs. Peat (Anna’s neighbor), and the other, unnamed character. So much so that you know without a doubt whose point of view is shared with each chapter. And Slater writes in such a way that you never see the twists before they have thrown you for a loop.

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Book Details

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

 

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Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

A mystery and a bookstore. What more could a thriller-reading bibliophile ask for? Well, according to this book, a lot more. Like 3 mysterious story lines all coming together at the end to explain, very feasibly, why a young man who spent almost all of his time in the Bright Ideas Bookstore decided to hang himself in the one place he felt most at home.

Around Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, Lydia is beginning to lock up for the night when she finds Joey, one of the “BookFrogs” (sad and lonely people who spend all of their free time in the bookshop) hanging from the rafters. Added to the horror, she finds a picture of herself at 10 years old in his pocket.

Having been hiding from the world in plain sight for the last 10 years, she is shocked to see that someone has made a connection between her and “Little Lydia.” Twenty years ago Little Lydia’s picture in Life magazine shocked a nation and since then she has done everything she can to free herself from her past.

But Joey’s death and the items that he left for her in his room at the boarding house send her reeling back to an unsolved case that has haunted her for 20 years. As she works to unravel the clues that Joey left, her own past unexpectedly comes crashing in around her.

Matthew Sullivan’s Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a look into the lives of so many people, including the BookFrogs and will make you take a serious look at the lonely people that we encounter daily, and at the lives that one individual life can touch. Soulful, sometimes heartbreaking, and a bit mesmerizing, this book is a really good read.

An audio version of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is also available.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.  

This post may contain affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I received this book free from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

A while back I purchased The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer, but it sat on a shelf unread. I’m not really sure why, as I read and really liked The Host and to be honest, I loved the Twilight series.

This book, however, is a far cry from Twilight! Where that series has been raked over the coals by many reviewers, critics, feminists and the like for having a weak female character, The Chemist is 180 degrees in the opposite direction!

The Chemist. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Alex/Julianna is quite formidable. Having worked for a government agency of operations so dark, the organization didn’t even have a name, her work was to stop terror attacks from reaching American soil. But when someone in that agency turned the tables, Alex became the hunted.

After being on the run for 3 years, her former handler has found her, assured her she is safe and is asking her to come back and stop what could be the worst terror attack the world has ever seen. Her conscience won’t let her walk away, so she walks back into a world of people who want her dead. But this time she has more to protect than ever before.

All in all, I really liked this book. The characters were believable, likable and realistic, with pretty much non-stop action. This is not a love story with action thrown in, this is an action-thriller with a love interest that does not take over the story, it just enhances it. So if you like thrillers, read this one. If you are hoping for a Twilight type of love story, you’re not getting it here. The Chemist is much more realistic and a story for those who like mysteries, thrillers, and espionage.

The audio version of The Chemist is read by Ellen Archer.

 

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

 

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products!

Summer Rental. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews

What more could you ask for than a month-long Summer Rental at the beach with your three life-long best friends? If you answered not much, I agree with you. And take this book with you if you get the opportunity!

Ellis, Dorie, and Julia have known each other since grade school. Each one knows everything about the other two. Or at least they did through high school. Now on the backside of 30, each of them has a few secrets. Not hair-raising, break-the-bank, here-come-the-police secrets, but each one of them is questioning some part of her life that she hasn’t really been able to own up to, either to herself or to her friends.

Summer Rental. A Propensity to Discuss review.

If you add those issues to an August Summer Rental at the beach in Nag’s Head, NC with these three, a gorgeous landlord, and a woman who is obviously running away from something, you get a pretty darn good beach read. And who doesn’t love a good old romantic, drama-centered beach read in the summer?

If you want a literary classic, this book isn’t for you. But if you want a satisfying, lazy day romance that doesn’t require you to break the brain bank, this is certainly a book you’ll want to choose. Throw in a beach setting and you’ll want to stick your toes in the sand with every chapter.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I whole-heartedly recommend these linked products!

Every Last Lie

I am a fan of Mary Kubica’s work. After I read The Good Girl, I could hardly wait to get my hands on all of her novels, so when I was given a chance to preview Every Last Lie, I jumped on it.

Clara Solberg’s last conversation with her husband, Nick, is about what to bring home for dinner. She wishes she could change that. She wishes she hadn’t sent him out. She wishes she had gone herself. Because Nick never came home after wrapping his car around a tree with their four-year-old daughter in the backseat. Thankfully, Maisie’s car seat saved her, but nothing could be done for Nick.

Every Last Lie. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Left with her four-year-old daughter and four-day-old son, Clara’s life is turned upside down as she tries to piece together the last few weeks of Nick’s life as strange things emerge one after another and make her question everything. Was Nick’s death a suicide with their daughter in the car? Was he having an affair? And then as Maisie begins to awaken screaming about the “bad man” in the middle of the night, Clara begins to wonder: Did someone kill him?

The novel moves back and forth between Clara’s point of view in the present situation and Nick’s point of view in the months leading up to his death. It is a good story, but I didn’t really feel much of a connection to either of the main characters. There is more development of Maisie than of either Clara or Nick, so it is difficult to feel much for either of them. And Clara is so busy with theories that she never grieves for her husband, making it difficult for the reader to grieve him.

That being said, Kubica’s writing style is still, in my opinion, top-notch and I plan to continue reading her novels. I just wish there had been a little more unfolding of the characters. I do recommend Every Last Lie, however, if you want true psychological thrills, read The Good Girl. It is amazing!

3 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

 

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I whole-heartedly recommend these linked products!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I received this book free from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

Into the Water. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

In case you’ve been living in a cave with no access to electricity or social media, you have probably seen all the promotions about Paula Hawkins newest release, Into the Water. But does it live up to the hype? After listening to her first novel The Girl on the Train (read by Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, and India Fisher), which I really liked, I was very excited to read her second novel.

Into the Water is read by Laura Aikman, Rachel Bavidge, Sophie Aldred, Daniel Weyman, and Imogen Church, a rather lengthy cast, as there are quite a few characters who make this book twist and turn and throw you for loop after loop. While it started a bit slowly, it did pick up the pace and there were a couple of turns I truly did not see coming. And then I listened to the ending three times because I just absolutely could not believe what I was hearing!

Into the Water. A Propensity to Discuss review.

For over 300 years the Drowning Pool has claimed many lives of Beckford women, whether they were accused a witchcraft and sorcery, adultery or to leave the world of their own accord, and Nel Abott has researched them all for the book she plans to publish.

When Nel dies falling into the “Drowning Pool” that has fascinated her all of her life, her sister must return to the town she ran from so many years before and swore she would never again set foot. This suicide, only months after a teen girl’s suicide at the same place leaves many in the town worried and many quite satisfied. Nel’s daughter knows it was suicide, but her long-lost sister stands at odds against the 16-year-old niece she has never met and swears that Nel had to have been pushed.

This book has quite a few negative feedbacks online. However, the audio version of this book has more positive responses than negative. I find this very interesting because I also listened to The Girl on the Train and loved it, but the people I knew who read the book didn’t like it. I actually have 2 friends who didn’t like The Girl on the Train book but listened to the audio and really liked it. So my suggestion here would be to start reading them and if you don’t like them, then listen to both of them. I really think it makes all the difference!

I highly recommend this book in audio form.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

 

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I whole-heartedly recommend these linked products!

 

Not a story I would advise you to visit.

Summit Lake (Charlie Donlea) is a very small, close-knit town of full-time and part-time residents and tourists. It’s the sort of place where everyone knows everyone else and no one’s business is safe from the local gossip mongers.

So when a part-time resident, Becca Eckersley is savagely murdered in her family’s cabin, the entire town is up in arms to find out who killed her and why.

Not a story I would advise you to visit. A Propensity to Discuss review.

When Kelsey Castle returns to work as a crime magazine reporter after a month-long recuperation from a brutal attack, her boss and mentor sends her to Summit Lake for more rest and relaxation and to write a story on the murder. Makes sense, right? She’s trying to get over being raped and beaten, so send her to investigate a case where someone was raped, beaten and died.

She arrives to find that Becca’s family is doing everything they can to cover up some secret, including shutting out the local sheriff and calling in the State Police. Kelsey sets up an appointment with the Sheriff who gives her all of the notes that he and his team have on the case. Just like that. She asks; he gives. That happens, right?

In the meantime, Kelsey meets Rae, the pseudo owner of the town coffee shop and they become instant friends and confidants. Kelsey even opens up to her about her own attack, which is something she wouldn’t even do with her therapist.

There is also Dr. Peter Ambrose, a surgeon in town who is ready to do anything at all, including Breaking and Entering to help this reporter he has only just met. Not to mention the fact that having been brutally attacked 6 weeks before she was willing to just go out and commit not one, but 2 B&Es with this man she has only met three times. How does that make sense?

In the end, of course, the reporter is able to break the case that neither the local nor the state police were able to even get any leads on. And it leaves you asking why the family would try to cover up the murder anyway. Wouldn’t they want to see their daughter’s killer brought to justice?

Sorry, this one just didn’t do it for me.

And if I may add another warning: Do NOT purchase the audio of this book! It is really bad. Shannon McManus has recorded quite a few books, but this one is an absolute mess. Her inflection is completely wrong. Her voice goes up at the end of most sentences, the way it should when asking a question. She has no grasp of cadence in moving from one sentence to another. Thank goodness I only paid $2.95 for it! If I had paid more, I would be sick over it.

1 Star. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all.