The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes

The Liar’s Wife by Samantha Hayes

Published by Bookouture on November 22, 2018. Classified as Mystery & Thriller. Received via NetGalley as an eARC.

When Ella wakes up in a hospital following a hit-and-run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon… But Ella has never been married.

In fact, she has lived alone her whole adult life; working hard, rarely socialising, quietly harbouring a terrible secret from her past. Fear sweeps through Ella when she instantly recognises the man who enters the ward. He is not her husband, but she knows that she must do as he says and play the part of dutiful wife.

What choice does she have? He was there the night of the fire, he knows her secret too…

[su_spoiler title=”→ Trigger Warnings!” style=”simple”]Abduction, blood, death, rapes, violence.[/su_spoiler]

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★★★★★

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]REVIEW[/su_heading]

I haven’t read an utterly satisfying thriller in years (well, except And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, but she’s a legend already so you know what I meant), so I’m really glad to found this one. I’m not going to lie, my first impression when I saw the title, cover and summary is… ‘Okay. Shari Lapena’s major vibes here’. Well, guess what? It’s not Shari Lapena. It’s better. And let me explain why.

Work, home, sleep.

We started with our main character, Ella, who’s very close about her life. She doesn’t have friends in her office, even after working there for couple of years. A nice guy from the office, Liam, seems to always want to be her friend. However, even after getting approached multiple times and got ask to hangout (non-romantically), Ella still ignored him, politely of course. There are hints here and there that showed us Ella actually wants to make friends and socialize, but something always stopped her. She has a secret, a dark one, that stop her from being her old, happy self. So, Ella continued her life. Work, home, sleep. A bit of embroidery as a hobby. Her life is a repeating pattern, even her flat’s neighbor noticed her cores without needing to talk to her. Until one day, when she was on her way back from the office, she got hit by a van and woke up in a hospital… with someone from her past. And he knows her secret too.

Earlier chapters showed us a quick throwback scenes to Ella & Maggie’s life in university. Maggie is Ella’s only best friend and these throwback chapters are actually my favorites, since I got to learn a little bit more about Ella, something that I can’t do from her present self. In these throwback chapters, we also got hints about people from Ella’s past, like Zach, the guy Ella used to date, Zach’s friends, a random creep that also went to the same college, and also Harry, Ella’s twin brother. These throwback chapters was also acts as clues that guided us to Ella’s secret. It was very comforting to read these chapters since you’ll witness that Ella used to be cheerful and carefree. But it was also intense at the same time, because in these chapters, there are probably important details that will point to Ella’s secret, but you’ll never know which one it is until you got the end of the story.

She’d had enough of feeling different, of always being the girl who didn’t join in. 

I’m usually a fan of dynamic pace when it comes to mystery/thriller. Something slow and stable is usually not working for me. I either got lazy because I feel there’s nothing ever going to be happened and continued to read half-heartedly, or I carelessly decided, so early, that I don’t enjoy the book. And I know, this is a bad habit but I’m working on it. However, The Liar’s Wife was a bit stagnant in its first few chapters. And weirdly, I’m okay with it. Sure, Ella got hit by a van and someone from her past appeared out of nowhere, is far from dull. It’s exciting and intense. But other than that, we still have no idea who’s this person is or what’s his intention, up until the half of the book. And no, I’m not saying everything’s going to be reveal at this point, but I’m talking about the first actual clue that I think will be matter in this story. Can you believe that?! I read up until half of the book just to think I found the first clue! However, I enjoyed the slow and painful build up, knowing that whatever twists this book is going to have, it will be worth the wait. And it does worth the wait. 

The last thing that I want to mention is the amazingly-written characters and plot by Hayes. Every characters was described so vividly. Ella’s fear was captivating and make me wondered, what’s her secret, really?! Is it so bad that staying with Jacob, her kidnapper, is better than getting consequences for whatever it is she’s trying to keep as a secret?! And Jacob’s in control movements, how dangerous he sounds both when he’s loving and when he’s raging, was described so perfectly. One third of the book and I’m already so sick everytime Jacob said “Ella-bella”. I can practically listened his singing voice at this point. And lastly, Liam’s kindness and forbearance was hitting me right in the heart. He just wants to get to know Ella and that’s it. His presence was an actual portrayal of how the readers must be feel when reading this book and I think it’s very clever of Hayes for bringing his character to make us sink deeper into the story.

I have nothing else to say, because I’m afraid I’ll spoil the plot for others that haven’t read this book yet. But most importantly, I love the twists in this book, I love getting manipulated by suspecting a lot of people and making up theories of my own, I just love this book. 

If you’re looking forward to purchase this book (and support my blog!), you can purchase it through my affiliate links below!
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Still not sure about this book? Read what others said about it:

  • “Absolutely recommend this dark and twisted story with an ending that I definitely did not see coming.” – Berit @ Audio Killed the Bookmark
  • “The reveals are fantastic—readers will not be disappointed with this one!” – Mackenzie @ PhDiva
  • “Without doubt an excellent psychological thriller and a very satisfying read despite some difficult themes.” – Yvonne @ It’s All About Books

Image credits: Ryan Riggings & A. L..

Child of the Moon by Jessica Semaan

This week has been pretty slow and I want to apologize for lack of contents on my blog. But today, I’m here with a review of Child of the Moon by Jessica Semaan. I received an ARC via NetGalley from Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for a honest review. Not gonna lie, I initially hooked because of its cover (duh), but after reading many great reviews from others, I know that I have to read it too.

Child of the Moon by Jessica Semaan

Published by Andrews McMeel Publishing on January 8, 2019. Classified as Poetry. Received via NetGalley as an eARC.

In her debut collection, Semaan offers an upfront & moving glimpse into the true nature of healing: an imperfect, nonlinear journey”-Amanda Lovlace, bestselling author of the princess saves herself in this one. An illustrated poetry collection about finding light in the darkness. Set against the backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War and the author’s turbulent family life, Child of the Moon is a powerful reflection on her journey through fear, shame and despair, and the unconditional love that helped her begin to heal from childhood trauma.

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★★★★

[su_heading size=”14″ margin=”5″]REVIEW[/su_heading]

Jessica Semaan’s Child of the Moon is nothing like any poetry book I’ve ever read before. Each page is full of surprises and I love the freestyle writing of it. It’s dynamic. Some only consist of one single sentence, some feels like a short essay but I’m all in for it. This book is one wild ride. Aside from Semaan’s childhood experiences, traumas and pains, she also complemented it with sweet verses of self-love and recoveries.

[su_quote cite=”Jessica Semaan in Pain #1, Child of the Moon pg. 45″]”You want me to describe the pain. It is one year old, it can’t speak. You want me to stop the pain. It is generations old, it’s too much for me.”[/su_quote]

One thing I discovered from reading this book is a free-verse poetry can works well. I used to be a fan of properly written poetry with rhymes and highly used of metaphors. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t read as much free-verses before but now that I did, I feel so close-minded but also motivated to explore my readings.

[su_quote cite=”Jessica Semaan in Forgiveness #1, Child of the Moon pg. 94″]”And then I saw the child in you and you. Mama, Papa, you are hurting, too.”[/su_quote]

Also, the using of illustrations in this book are amazing. They’re beautiful and I found the metaphor itself transformed in each of the drawings. I like how it looks as if someone actually hand-drawn them and not doing it digitally. Maybe it is! But despite of the drawing technicality, it looks gorgeous no matter what. Final thought? 4 out of 5 stars.

This book will be published on January 8, 2019. If you’re looking forward to purchase this book (and support my blog!), you can purchase it through my affiliate links below!

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Friction in Motion by Sy Kadella

Another book review is here! Phew! This book has been sitting on my TBR list for around a month or so, but that’s completely my fault! College got the best of me, especially around this time of the year. Anyway, Friction in Motion by Sy Kadella is the very first ARC copy that I received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That alone, is already one of the reason that makes me excited to read this book! So, let’s get into the review, shall we?

This dysfunctional family road trip is on the spectrum and off the beaten path…Ride along on a bumpy cross-country road trip with a highly dysfunctional family. On this trip an emotionally detached child prodigy with a history of therapist visits encounters a cast of quirky characters who validate his wishes to live his life independently. But none of the characters found on the road end up being as path-altering for him as his own immediate family. There are many lessons along the way. The most important being that wherever there is motion, there is bound to be friction, and within this lies the secret to wisdom and the strength to break free.

I’m always excited when it comes to a debut, whether it’s books or movies. Friction in Motion is Sy Kadella’s first novel and I have to say, it was an enjoyable read! The story started with our boy, Jeremy, who get woken up out of sudden by his father to go for a road trip (along with Jeremy’s very old grandpa). It’s summer holiday, apparently. Later on, we got informed that Jeremy’s dad and mom are fighting (not divorce, just yet), but his mom decided to leave the house for a while, and she also bring Jeremy’s sister, Beth. The three of them (Jeremy, his dad, and his grandpa) picked up Beth before they went for the road trip and this is where the actual story began.

When I first read the summary, it immediately made me think, “C’mon. How dysfunctional a family can be that made our main character wants to break free?”. Boy, oh boy, I did not expect that! Even with its slow and steady pace, Sy Kadella successfully delivered a family drama that you won’t forget so quickly. I’ve never really think before about a family drama except of my own. The thought was there, obviously, but to think that your relatives and friends got their own problems with their family, is not something that comes to my mind very often. Of course we all got our own family drama, but we all tend to sugar-coated it in front of everyone else, right? So, to be able to witnessed every single details of Jeremy’s family drama from his perspective (at least), is truly an experience. Also, it felt like I was actually there, sitting in the back of the car, having a road trip with Jeremy and his family.

Friction is Motion is not the type of book that you want to read if you expected a roller coaster drama along with some physical fights or action packs. It’s not. It’s rather casual, coming of age journey of our main character, Jeremy. We got to explore around and see things from his point of view, and when I said explore around, I meant it literally (it’s a book about road trip, what did you expected?) This is a type of book that you want to pick up on a calm Sunday morning and just read it, forget your surrounding and enjoy the flow. What I truly liked about this book, is I can immediately imagine everything without trying hard. The writing style is easy to follow, yet very rich and informative at the same time. I found myself to be surprised at little fun science facts that scattered here and there throughout this book. What a fun way to educate yourself while also being entertained! Final thought? 4 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★

[su_heading size=”12″ margin=”10″]Title: Friction in Motion | Author: Sy Kadella | Publisher: Razor’s Edge Publishing Inc. | Genre: Adult FictionContemporaryLiterary | Publication Date: September 15, 2018 | Format: eBook | Source: NetGalley | LINKS: GoodreadsAmazon[/su_heading]

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