Genre: Suspense

Early Review – Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

June 19, 2015 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2015 3 Comments

I received this book free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Swerve by Vicki PetterssonSwerve by Vicki Pettersson
Published by Gallery Books on July 7th 2015
Pages: 352
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Suspense
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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four-stars

In the electrifying tradition of Dean Koontz and Gillian Flynn comes the first riveting psychological thriller from the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author!
It’s high summer in the Mojave Desert, and Kristine Rush and her fiancé, Daniel, are en route from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California, for the July Fourth holiday weekend. But when Daniel is abducted from a desolate rest stop, Kristine is forced to choose: return home unharmed, but never to see her fiancé again, or plunge forward into the searing desert to find him…where a killer lies in wait.

One road. One woman. One killer.

Sprinting against the clock, and uncertain if danger lies ahead or behind, Kristine must blaze an epic path through the gaudy flash of roadside casinos, abandoned highway stops, and a landscape rife with horrors never before imagined. Desperate to save her doomed husband-to-be, Kristine must summon long forgotten resources if she’s to go head-to-head against this unpredictable killer. And she’d better hurry. Because she only has twenty-four hours…to make one hell of a trip.

‘The heat haze shimmers atop the road, as if what lies behind me is something I just made up. Like my whole life has been a dream, but now I’ve been jolted awake.

Just in time to watch it all fall away.’

On their way to visit her future mother in law for the Fourth of July weekend, Kristine and her fiancé Daniel stop at a rest stop for her to change her clothes where she gets attacked in a bathroom stall. Never seeing her attacker but being knocked out, she awakens frantic to get to Daniel only to find he’s gone missing. Her mysterious attacker calls her, instructs her to get in the car and leave or else he’s going to hurt Daniel. Furious with her inability to help him, she does get in the car and drive away with the sounds of Daniel’s screams still echoing through the phone. But this mystery person that goes by the name of Malthus is far from done with her and the next 24 hours of her life becomes a nightmare thrill-ride through hell and back again.

I’ve read my fair share of “nail-biters” but very rarely has every. single. page. caused a permanent look of complete and utter panic on my face. I absolutely could not tear myself away from this one. Swerve is the very definition of “edge-of-your-seat”.

Swerve reminded me a lot of Phone Booth, where Kiefer Sutherland Malthus knows all about Kristine and the past that still haunts her and is completely using it against her to make her life a living hell. Since the majority of this novel was spent on the highway on the road trip to hell, it had definite shades of Duel as well to make it extra terrifying. It also helps that the bad guy is completely batshit insane and the things he’s capable of doing with a smile still on his face will horrify you. This one is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Swerve is an explosive horror-thriller that is constant and unrelenting. It was horrifying and sickening and I am never stopping at a fucking rest stop again as long as I live. Or at least not without a bazooka.

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Waiting on Wednesday – Black Iris by Leah Raeder

February 11, 2015 Bonnie New Adult, Waiting on Wednesday 2 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Black Iris by Leah RaederBlack Iris by Leah Raeder
Published by Atria Books on April 28th 2015
Pages: 368
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance, Suspense
Format: Paperback
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Also by this author: Black Iris, Cam Girl

The next dark and sexy romantic suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Unteachable.

It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating’s world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn't worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She's not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses—and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crime who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces—the bully who broke her down completely—she decides it's time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She's going to show them all.

About Leah Raeder

I was born in the 80s, which means I have fantastic taste in music and atrocious taste in hair. I knew at eight years old that I wanted to be a published author when I grew up. Of course, when I was eight, “published author” was a glamorous daydream where I spent all day in bookstores, signing hardcovers and posing for photos with fans. In reality, authordom involves lots of bourbon-scented tears and neurotic self-doubt. At least there are fewer mullets.

As well as being a writer, I’m a voracious and omnivorous reader. Seriously. I read everything from contemporary Young Adult to dense, doorstop literary fiction. Some of my favorite writers are Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita), Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway), F. Scott Fitzgerald (Tender is the Night), and Jeanette Winterson (Written on the Body). I’m a total poetry geek, too—my two absolute favorites are Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath.

All the pretty colors on this website were made by me. In my non-bookish life, I’m a graphic designer.

I’m from Chicago and have lived all over the world, from NYC to LA to Tehran, Iran. I currently live in the Windy City with my partner, Alexander, who’s very understanding about all this girlsmut business.

Basically Unteachable was so utterly fantastic that I didn’t even bother reading the summary before adding this.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Waiting on Wednesday – Day Four: A Novel by Sarah Lotz

October 29, 2014 Bonnie Waiting on Wednesday 2 Comments

Waiting on Wednesday – Day Four: A Novel by Sarah LotzDay Four: A Novel by Sarah Lotz
Published by Little Brown and Company on June 16th 2015
Pages: 336
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Format: Hardcover
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Also by this author: The Three: A Novel

The chilling follow-up to The Three, Sarah Lotz's "hard to put down and vastly entertaining" debut (Stephen King).

Hundreds of pleasure-seekers stream aboard The Beautiful Dreamer cruise ship for five days of cut-price fun in the Caribbean sun. On the fourth day, disaster strikes: smoke roils out of the engine room, and the ship is stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. Soon supplies run low, a virus plagues the ship, and there are whispered rumors that the cabins on the lower decks are haunted by shadowy figures. Irritation escalates to panic, the crew loses control, factions form, and violent chaos erupts among the survivors.

When, at last, the ship is spotted drifting off the coast of Key West, the world's press reports it empty. But the gloomy headlines may be covering up an even more disturbing reality.

About Sarah Lotz

Sarah Lotz is a screenwriter and novelist with a fondness for the macabre and fake names. Among other things, she writes urban horror novels under the name S.L. Grey with author Louis Greenberg; a YA pulp-fiction zombie series, Deadlands, with her daughter, Savannah, under the pseudonym Lily Herne; and quirky erotica novels with authors Helen Moffett and Paige Nick under the name Helena S. Paige.

She lives in Cape Town with her family and other animals.

The Three was thrilling and extremely enjoyable and Day Four sounds absolutely incredible. So very excited for this one!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me a link to your post and I’ll be sure to stop by!

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine

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Book Review – Unravel by Calia Read

October 17, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, New Adult, Read in 2014 1 Comment

I received this book free from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – Unravel by Calia ReadUnravel by Calia Read
Published by Ballantine Books on August 26th 2014
Pages: 324
Genres: Mental Illness, Mystery, Suspense
Format: Paperback
Source: Library Thing
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two-half-stars

Six months ago, I was happy. I was simply Naomi Carradine.

One month ago, I was admitted into a psych ward.

Yesterday, Lachlan visited me. Kissed me. And told me that I’m starting to lose my mind.

Hours later, Max haunted my thoughts, reminding me I’m not crazy and that he needs my help.

A few minutes ago, I drifted further from reality, trying to unravel the past.

And now...everyone thinks I’m insane. But, I know he's real, and I know he needs me.

Do you believe me?

‘Listen closely. Hang on to every word. But most of all, please believe me.’

It’s been a full month since Naomi Carradine was involuntarily admitted to Fairfax Mental Health Institute. She’s adamant that she’s fine, healthy and ready to go home but the doctors are also adamant that it’s going to require more time for her to be ready. Her memories of the past leave her baffled and confused as to why her parents would ever put her in a place like this. As part of her therapy she begins to tell her story, her full story, and slowly the painful pieces of her life begin to piece back together.

Unravel was incredibly captivating from the very start. The story transitions between her present life in the mental health institute and various pieces of her past. I was thoroughly engrossed and eager to find out how Naomi got in the position she was in and with each new bit of information it continued to be intriguing but all conclusions I came to were shrouded in a haze and nothing made sense. I spent the majority of this book in a haze, questioning everything and disliking the character because of her actions.

It wasn’t pleasant, however, it still made for quite the page turner. It feels wrong to complain about the confusion the story causes only to have it all answered in the end, but I can’t help it. There were various instances where I was close to quitting, but as I said, it does make sense when you have the resolution but getting there is half the problem.

My main issue from the very beginning was the semblance of a love triangle that was happening. Naomi has returned home for the summer from college but is staying with her friend Lana’s parents as her parents are traveling Europe. Naomi went off to college, leaving behind Lachlan after the two professed their love for each other. Upon Naomi’s return, however, she meets Max and their tumultuous affair is sudden and instantaneous. It’s incredibly hot and super steamy but it came straight outta left field.

‘…if you listened very carefully, you would hear the sound of a faint tear. That was just the sound of my heart unraveling like a torn ribbon.
All from one touch.’

This is the 2nd time they’ve met.

‘The hunger I had for him was like an addiction. It controlled me. It took away the power I thought I had and controlled every single action I made.’

This is the 3rd time they’ve met.

It was an eye-rolling good time. In addition to their mad infatuation with one another right off the bat, Max was doing things for her that no new boyfriend would ever do, like get crazy angry when something bad happened to Naomi’s friend and subsequently helped her pay rent when she needed to move into her own place. Again, it all becomes justified in the end and makes much more sense in retrospect but there were sections that were so ill-fitting that it made it a tough pill to swallow overall.

Unravel is a New Adult novel that touches on the deep topic of mental illness. Having read books that featured similar storylines, I can’t say Unravel was my favorite or that it was even portrayed accurately. Not being a doctor, I could be completely off the mark but some things just didn’t seem logical. I did enjoy the psychological twists overall though because they were shocking and kept me guessing right up till the very end. Just a heads up, there is one, maybe two incredibly violent scenes of rape that were very hard to read about.

I’ve been very wary about branching out into New Adult because the subject matter never sounds like my cup of tea. Unravel seemed to possess an originality that I would enjoy so I took a leap of faith. While I wasn’t completely disappointed, I did expect more.

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