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!

Book Review: The Accident Season – Moïra Fowley-Doyle

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‘It’s the accident season,

the same time every year.

Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.’

The Accident Season has been hailed by many, as an incredible book, my local Waterstone’s had a particular fondness for it, so I thought I might as well pick it up. The novel focuses on the ‘Accident Season’ a time of cuts, bruises and at times even deaths. Moïra Fowley-Doyle takes suspicion and fear and sets it right in the middle of modern day Ireland. Our protagonist, 17 year old Cara, is an ok narrator, at times I got frustrated with her simplicity and would much rather have followed her older sister Alice, who seems a lot more interesting to me. Added to this is Cara’s ‘ex stepbrother’ Sam and her best friend the witchy Bea’ The Accident Season is a tale of secrets and makes you, at times, question what is real.

I think my biggest gripe with this is that for about ¾ of the novel it moves very slowly. There are twists in the book but the problem is that some of the biggest ones I managed to work out fairly early on, which was a shame. It sits in this strange thriller, horror world but at the same time tries to follow the normal lives of four teenagers. I really struggled to believe in the season itself and all the terrible things that are meant to have happened. To me it just seemed like they all had a bit of a terrified mother (which later makes much more sense than for most of the book) who wanted to wrap her kids up in cotton wool.

As well as the kids dealing with their mother’s fears, there is also a mystery to be solved, in the form of Cara’s classmate, Elsie. While looking through photos Cara soon realises that Elsie is in each and every one of her photos, even though it’s impossible. While Cara enlists the help of Bea and Sam to work out if Elsie is following her they make a starting discovery, Elsie has disappeared and no one seems to know who she is. I can say with absolute certainty that the Elsie part of the plot is definitely the most interesting and I wish there had been even more of it in the book. At times it feels a little like there are other issues that are just there to pad out the novel rather than to add to it.

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There is a big element of fantasy and folk tales throughout, which is something I really liked. I wish it had been bought into the plot earlier as the first few chapters just seem a bit strange without it, you don’t really understand why a sane person could come up with the idea of an ‘accident season’. There are a lot of accidents, but I think I sided more with Alice’s rational thinking too much to really enjoy the novel. It is not in any way that this novel is badly written, Fowley-Doyle does have a knack for story telling, but I couldn’t help but feel throughout that this would be better suited to a film script. I’m saying it now before it happens, this would make a kick ass film and I expect it to be picked up sooner rather than later.

I’m giving The Accident Season three stars ***, like I said before it wasn’t badly written, I just lost the excitement at quite a few points throughout. I need a book that is impossible to put down and for most of The Accident Season, it was easy to walk away from. That said I think if you are into a bit of mystery and horror this is worth a read.

Review by Chloe Metzger