Book Review: The One – John Marrs

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If you could meet your perfect DNA match, why wouldn’t you do it?

A new relationship revolution is happening. After a gene is discovered to match you to ‘the one’ thousands find unimaginable happiness with the person they’re meant to be with, but the path of true love never runs smooth.

Now, personally, I just found the idea of this super creepy, which instantly makes it a novel I want to read. The idea that there is one person who shares a DNA match, in my head it made you sound like you were related. Nevertheless, it is a great idea for a novel. This is what made me originally request a copy for review. I’m always hopeful for a good thriller.

I really wanted to enjoy this novel, and I did to a point. There are a lot of twists and turns, quite a few I didn’t see coming and that made the novel move faster. It also did a great job of making you want to read on, for the last quarter I needed to finish it and find out what happened. I did care more about what happened to some characters more than others.

The main gripe I had with this is that there were just too many characters and it wasn’t until I was more than halfway through that I could remember who was with who and what their backstory was. There was so much going on it almost felt like a collection of short stories, which maybe it should have been. It seemed like because there were so many characters, by the end, the endings became a little disappointing and some big holes appeared.

Marrs clearly has a talent for suspense and writing violence, that was one of the most well crafted parts of the novel I believe. Each character had been given their own flair, however, it was slightly disappointing that I did see some stereotypes playing out which was quite frustrating because it didn’t really fit with the rest of the novel.

I gave The One 3 stars. Overall this was a good read but ultimately the ending just really let it down for me. That said I would still recommend it but make sure you have time to concentrate because it does get confusing and can be hard to remember exactly that is going on. I would still like to read some of Marr’s other work as he clearly has a talent for writing.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to give an honest review.

Book Review: Without a Doubt – Marcia Clarke

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Overnight Los Angeles prosecutor Marcia Clark went from a hard working single mum dealing with a divorce and the cases that came through for her to one of the most recognised women in the world. In June 1994 O.J Simpson was accused of the brutal murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman. As a result of the celebrity nature and an infamous car chase, Marcia was a central player in the media circus that became ‘the trial of the century’, this is her story.

I had never heard of Marcia Clark until last year when I watched the American Crime Story series on the Simpson case. I was instantly drawn to this woman, played by the magnificent Sarah Paulson, and wanted to know more. I watched interview upon interview. I liked that she spoke her mind, she was quick, intelligent and most of all, human.

Clark’s account isn’t a glamorised version of the case, nor is it an autobiography. She goes into detail that is relevant to her reactions to the case and that is that. I was exactly the straight talking, honest opinion I expected from Marcia. There are no ‘woe is me’ moments, she knows that there were things that should have been done differently and things that impacted the case.

Reading about the trial from Marcia’s perspective made the case more real to me than ever. I wasn’t even born at the time of the murders, but Marcia’s detail made me feel like I was. She talks without hesitation about her frustration and anger at the ‘dream team’, Simpson’s defence lawyers, at Judge Ito and his quest for fame and the seeming uninterest of the Jury.

The book goes through evidence and, basically, breaks down evidence and why the team did exactly what they did at each point in time. She doesn’t shy away from the problems, the Fuhrman tapes, the infamous glove, she tackles them head on.

There is also a spotlight on the mistreatment of Marcia by not only the public but those in the courtroom. It’s easy to see now that she was the victim of rampant sexism and badgering. Every inch of Marcia was judged and discussed in any type of media, from many accounts she was mistreated by Judge Ito and Simpson’s lawyers, to the point that her personal life was brought up in court. This wasn’t a woman hungry for fame or with media savvy, she just wanted to do her job.

I devoured this book via Audible (I like listening to memoirs in the author’s voice if possible). Of course, I gave it a five-star rating. This book is more than just a tell-all about a celebrity trial. You can feel through the pages the responsibility that Clark felt to get justice for Ron and Nicole, her anger and frustration at the verdict. This is an extraordinary read and I would highly recommend it to all.

 

Book Review: Far From You – Tess Sharpe

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“Bad ideas are sometimes necessary.” It sounds so much like an excuse, it’s such an addict thing to say, that it makes my skin crawl.”

Sophie counts the days, the weeks, the months that she’s been drug-free. Not your average image of a drug addict Sophie is a young woman who fell into an addiction for painkillers. Four months ago her best friend Mina was murdered, people say it was adrug deal gone wrong. Sophie knows the truth. There was no drug deal and there was no accident, Mina was murdered and she has to get people to believe her before the killer comes for her next.

All hail Tess Sharpe. I have to say that after reading this novel I was absolutely hooked, I wanted to read it about five times over because it had just been so magnificently written. Who can be believed, who can be trusted? No one knows in this gritty thriller novel if you loved Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls then you’ll adore Far From You. I’ve been thrusting copies into my friends hands since I read it because each chapter takes you somewhere you didn’t think it would.

Sophie and Mina are really interesting characters and the meaning of best friends. When Mina is murdered and Sophie wakes up next to her body, only knowing this is where Mina needed to be she knows that she’s in trouble. After she passes out again the police find drugs in her pocket. No one will listen to her not her parents, not the police, not anyone and if no one is going to help she’s going to have to follow Mina’s clues herself and hopefully Mina’s killer.

I love a thriller with decent twists and turns that no one can see coming, I cannot ruin it but the ending is something else that, out of everyone I’ve spoken to, no one can see coming. I did have some small worries about getting stuck into this book and the character of Sophie mainly because I didn’t want her portrayed badly because in the first few pages I really did fall in love with her and completely understand what she was going through.

There are also some very interesting relationships as you go through the novel, there are very little clues that I can give without unraveling the plot but just as you think, ok I know what’s going on here Sharpe throws another curveball and you’re back where you started and eager for more. I stayed up a lot later than I should have reading this book and can 100% say that I didn’t regret it.

It’s no surprise that I’m giving Far From You 5 stars *****. Tess Sharpe is a fantastic writer and after finding out that this is also a debut I was even more excited to see what she has coming next. A breathtaking and fast paced read that any thriller fan will love, although one word of advice don’t start reading it when you have something important to do the next day because staying up all night reading is highly likely.

Review by Chloe Metzger

Book Review: Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls – Lynn Weingarten

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‘It was like being in love, but more…And now, one year later , Delia is dead. 

I love a good suspense novel, after glancing at this I had to get it, because it just sounded too damn good. June and Delia were best friends, closer than sisters, until they grew apart, one night Delia dies but June knows that things don’t quite add up. They say it was suicide, but June is convinced it’s murder and will go to any lengths to find out the truth about her best friend.

This is the best kind of thriller, once you think you know what’s going to happen a twist comes out of nowhere and you’re floored and devouring the book to find out what happened. I give you fair warning Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls will keep you up all hours of the night not only reading it but also trying to work out what really happened, was it suicide? Did someone have a grudge against her to the point of murder? It helps that Delia is a character who is very unpredictable and June knows it.

I thought the character of June was well written, there is really hurt, pain and confusion that you can feel as you read the book. I felt that she was very real to the reader, with her own feelings and problems outside her search for Delia. I found the book similar to Far From You but in a good way because both have completely different characters and endings. If you like this novel that is another one to check out later.

There are a lot of suspects in this novel, people who could have murdered her and it drove me half crazy as I came up with theories for each and every one of them, not once did I get to the truth. The fact that I never got it but the ending was so well planned really made me amazed at Weingarten’s talent as an author, I think she is definitely one to watch in YA literature and I wouldn’t be surprised if this made a great film later on. I saw that because this would make a much better film plot than Gone Girl ever did.

Of course I’m going to give this review 5 stars *****!!! This really is a brilliant book and I’m so pleased my book club chose this as the novel to read for this month, it’s brilliant. I’m now planning to read the rest of Weingarten’s novels and hope they are just as addictive and satisfying as Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls. I hope you all enjoy and please let me know your thoughts. Have you read any other Weingarten novels? Or have you read Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls already? As always let me know in the comments!