Book Reviews

Book Review: Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

Eeeny Meeny is a page-turning thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat and often made me cringe with disgust and disbelief.

The story starts out with a man and a woman trapped in an empty, abandoned swimming pool. They have no recollection of how they got there. The last thing they remember is accepting a ride and hot coffee from a stranger on a cold, rainy night. Soon after realizing they are trapped, they find out that the only way to survive is to kill. One lives. One dies. That’s the game. Eeny Meeny. I was hooked!

Enter Detective Helen Grace, who is tasked with finding the person responsible for the “eeny meeny” kidnappings. She’s tough, intelligent and independent and has a closet full of skeletons (a few that might even have something to do with the case). Oftentimes, detectives in crime/thriller novels do things that make you think: “Hmm. That was kinda dumb.” Not the case with Detective Grace. She’s no-nonsense and now one of my favorite female protagonists.

The only problem I had with this book is that it did not contain section breaks, which hindered the flow of the story. I had to reread several parts where breaks should have been in order to figure out whose thoughts I was reading or where the scene change occurred. Regardless, the premise is so intriguing and the plot points fit so snuggly together like the pieces of a puzzle that the lack of breaks did not affect my overall enjoyment of the story. Since I received my copy from NetGalley, I assume there must be section breaks in purchased copies. If not, then keep reading even if the lack of breaks bothers you. This book is worth finishing!

If you like suspense thrillers with multiple twists and turns, I highly recommend Eeny Meeny. It is simply brilliant, and I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series.



Book Reviews

Book Review: Wire (Pierce Securities #2) by Anne Conley

After reading and loving Anne Conley’s The Fixer Upper, I jumped at the chance to receive an ARC of Wire.

What surprised me most about Wire is how different it is from The Fixer Upper, which I would label as a dramatic romance with touches of humor (basically chick lit). Wire, on the other hand, is a unique blend of various genres including romance, humor, mystery and suspense, as well as insight in to the world of online gaming. In fact, there were times when I was so caught up in the mystery and suspense that I completely forgot about the romance. What a cool book!

Not only is the storyline in this book unique and engaging, but so are the characters. I’m amazed by all the details Conley provides about her MCs, making them both complex and memorable. She also has a knack for creating smart, free-flowing dialogue with punches of wit.

As for the romance aspect of the book, let’s just say lovers of the genre will not be disappointed. From chapter one, Conley never lets us forget how hot the MCs (Evan and Paige) are for each other, especially during the blush-worthy intimate scenes. Wow.

Anne Conley is a must-read author. I will definitely be reading Craze (Pierce Securities Book 1) along with any other books she adds to the series.

I usually provide a brief summary in lieu of a book’s description, but there was just so much going on in this one (albeit in an easy-to-follow manner), that I think the official description would be better:

Evan Rocco has been a hero to Paige Lawson for as long as she could remember. So when she runs into him in a bar after a major professional coup, she’s feeling celebratory and reckless. But it can’t go anywhere, because after all, he’s Evan Rocco. When she finds her gaming company in trouble, there’s only one man she can turn to.

Evan can’t get the woman who disappeared after their one-night-stand six months ago out of his head. He’d honestly thought there was more between them besides just sex—a connection he’d never felt before. When PSL, his favorite game software company is the victim of sabotage, he jumps at the chance to help them solve the mystery behind The Crimson Lady, the fan-made character who’s taking credit for murder. Maybe it will get his mind off the woman of his dreams.

When he realizes who the CEO of PSL actually is, he has to get over his own issues or else he’ll put the one woman in danger he never wanted to hurt.

This is book two in the Pierce Securities series, a stand-alone story. The first book, while not necessary to read, is Craze.



Book Reviews

Book Review: You by Caroline Kepnes

YOU is a dark, twisted story that I couldn’t put down.

Joe Goldberg becomes fixated on Guinevere Beck the moment he sees her. They engage in small talk, flirt with each other a bit, and then she’s gone. This is the point when a “normal” man would either follow a woman and ask her out or simply move on with his day. However, Joe happens to be a sociopath who takes a much different approach. He decides to stalk Beck in person and online, and he eliminates “obstacles” until they become an item. Even when he finds out that Beck isn’t exactly who he thought she was (she’s a real piece of work, too!), his obsession with her continues.

The story is told from Joe’s point of view as if he’s talking to Beck. For example:

“You miss me. And I miss you. It hurts seeing you at that fire, giving your hands to the heat, the way I gave my hand to fire, only different. I imagine pushing you into the red abyss and jumping in after you, with you, so we can burn together, forever, a tree of life, light, sex.”

This type of narration creates an extra creepy vibe because it sucks readers into Joe’s deranged world. I loved it!

Even though Joe is nuts, Kepnes did a stellar job of making me sympathize with him at times. Why on Earth would I feel bad for a psychopath? First of all, as I mentioned earlier, Beck has some major issues, too. In fact, I found myself kind of liking Joe simply because I couldn’t stand Beck. Second, Joe just wants to be loved. He obviously goes about finding love in a totally unacceptable way, but Kepnes really made me feel his deep desire to find it (with Beck). Third, I was quite entertained by Joe’s pop culture references and many of his thoughts. For example:

“Mystic is a bad place for me. I went there once, with my fourth-grade class, on a field trip. At the time, I had a crush on a gruff, odd misfit named Maureen Grady, “Mo” for short. Most kids are assholes, just like most adults, so yes, a lot of people called her “Ho Mo.””


“Elton John hisses low everywhere because of the state of the art sound system and I can picture Peach pleading with him in a court of fandom. She begs to be his number one fan but Sir Elton slams the gavel and sends a collections officer to seize all his music from that prissy cunt and she has to go work as a greeter at Walmart.”

Favorite quotes:

“What a shame to be so angered by what you don’t have that you treat what you do have like it’s nothing.”

“You grow through love. You don’t postpone love until you stop growing.”

“If you don’t start with crazy, crazy love, the kind of love that Van Morrison sings about, then you don’t have a shot to go the distance. Love’s a marathon, Danny, not a sprint.”

If you like thrillers with seriously messed up characters, you might want to check out this book. I definitely plan to read the sequel.



Book Reviews

Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


The Girl on the Train is a page-turning thriller told from the alternating perspectives of three female characters. The intrigue begins when Rachel (the alcoholic main character) realizes that something she witnessed could be related to the disappearance of a young woman she feels connected to, even though they have never met. You see, Rachel observes people and things closely during frequent train commutes and becomes captivated by one couple (Megan and Scott), in particular. She goes so far as to assign them names, professions, hobbies and even behavioral characteristics. This might sound weird, but doesn’t everyone do this? Make assumptions about others based on outward appearances? Then, we often find out our assumptions were wrong; either people do not deserve the bad rap we’ve assigned them, or people are hiding much darker secrets and personality traits than we imagined. The latter becomes increasingly obvious to Rachel with each new revelation she learns about the real Megan and Scott—individually and as a couple.

I was immediately drawn in by Rachel. She’s lonely, depressed and self-deprecating, and she makes terrible decisions due to her alcoholism and obsessive desire to be involved in Megan’s case. The funny thing is I liked her anyway and felt a lot of sympathy for her. Megan was harder for me to like, but by the end, my heart broke for her. And then there’s Anna, who I disliked from the moment she was introduced to end. As annoying and infuriating as Anna is throughout the story, she’s also very crucial; you just have to wait until the end to find out why.

Hawkins did an excellent job of building suspense. The way she gradually reveals tidbits about the characters while switching from perspective to perspective held my interest throughout the novel and kept me guessing.

One thing I had a hard time with was the way Rachel’s and Anna’s parts were happening in the present, but Megan’s parts were from the past. I found myself constantly flipping back and forth to check dates throughout the first half of the book, and even a few times later on. Overall, it did not detract from my enjoyment of the story, but it might annoy readers who don’t like having to create a mental timeline of events. Another thing that bothered me was who ended up being responsible for Megan’s disappearance, not because I liked this particular character but because it just seemed too convenient.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys suspense.