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Freefall by Jessica Barry

Freefall by Jessica BarryFreefall by Jessica Barry
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 8th January 2019
Publisher: Harper
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

When your life is a lie, the truth can kill you

When her fiancé’s private plane crashes in the Colorado Rockies, Allison Carpenter miraculously survives. But the fight for her life is just beginning. For years, Allison has been living with a terrible secret, a shocking truth that powerful men will kill to keep buried. If they know she’s alive, they will come for her. She must make it home.

In the small community of Owl Creek, Maine, Maggie Carpenter learns that her only child is presumed dead. But authorities have not recovered her body—giving Maggie a shred of hope. She, too, harbors a shameful secret: she hasn’t communicated with her daughter in two years, since a family tragedy drove Allison away. Maggie doesn’t know anything about her daughter’s life now—not even that she was engaged to wealthy pharmaceutical CEO Ben Gardner, or why she was on a private plane.

As Allison struggles across the treacherous mountain wilderness, Maggie embarks on a desperate search for answers. Immersing herself in Allison’s life, she discovers a sleek socialite hiding dark secrets. What was Allison running from—and can Maggie uncover the truth in time to save her?

Told from the perspectives of a mother and daughter separated by distance but united by an unbreakable bond, Freefall is a riveting debut novel about two tenacious women overcoming unimaginable obstacles to protect themselves and those they love.

Freefall was nothing standout as far as thrillers go, but I enjoyed reading it and it’s one that I could definitely see as a movie. There was quite a bit of action, but barely any character development or in-depth plot, so it’s one of those books that are probably best read on an aeroplane or by the beach.

I was expecting a lot more survival stuff, since the main character Ally was stranded in the wilderness after her plane crashed. Unfortunately, there wasn’t too much of that, because the book is filled with flashbacks and it also focuses on her mother.

Ally was very underdeveloped, and it took me a long time to care about her at all. I feel like the book would have been much better if there had been more about Ally’s background, especially her job and the time before she met her fiance. I would have liked to have seen what led her up to that point in her emotional state, and why she was so desperate for love and approval. Her actions after getting engaged didn’t make much sense or have much impact, since I didn’t know too much about her character. I was just told that she was a good person.

I did like what Jessica Barry did with the mother/daughter relationship. It was a really good balance in terms of the relationship side of things and the thriller plot.

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManusTwo Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 8th January 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

Two Can Keep a Secret is such a meaty thriller. There was so much going on, and there were so many characters and relationships to wrap my head around. Because there was so much going on, I felt like there had to have been a lot of pressure on the author (and her editor!) to do a good job of it. And I think they did great! Two Can Keep a Secret flows incredibly well, and the suspense is real.

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All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth

All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth KlehfothAll These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 12th July 2018
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Charlie Calloway has a life most people would kill for - a tight-knit family, a loyal set of friends, and top grades a privileged boarding school. But Charlie's never been interested in what most people want. Like all Calloways, she's been taught that she's different, special - better. So when her school's super-exclusive secret society extends a mysterious invitation, Charlie's determination to get in is matched only by her conviction that she belongs there.

But their secrets go deeper than she knows.

Charlie finds herself thrust into the centre of a decades-old mystery - one that implicates her family in not one terrible crime, but two. Uncovering their past may destroy everything she knows - or give her the answer she's always craved: Who or what was behind her mother's disappearance ten years ago? 

All These Beautiful Strangers was a lot more thrilling than I was expecting! For a YA thriller, it reads fairly mature, and I would say that there’s a good amount of crossover for the target audience. The story alternates between the present day (told from the teenage Charlie’s point of view) and the past (told from her parents’ points of view). This was a really good move from the author, because it gave us a lot of backstory which added to the mystery, rather than having Charlie discover everything and tell us about it herself.

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Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

Hidden Pieces by Paula StokesHidden Pieces by Paula Stokes
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 28th August 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last move...is murder.

I always enjoy Paula Stokes’ thrillers, and Hidden Pieces is no exception. Stokes is very talented when it comes to drawing you in and keeping you guessing, especially as she throws little hints into the story every now and then that you may or may not pick up on.

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The Lies They Tell by Gillian French

The Lies They Tell by Gillian FrenchThe Lies They Tell by Gillian French
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 1st May 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: two-stars

Everyone in Tenney’s Harbor, Maine, has heard of the Garrison tragedy. A mysterious fire. A family of five reduced to one. For people like Pearl Haskins—whose dad was the caretaker of the Garrison property when the house went up in flames—the whispers about that night are more than upsetting. They hurt. With her disgraced father now trying to find steady work in between booze benders, Pearl is stuck waiting tables at the town’s country club where the rich townspeople come in the summer to flaunt their money and gossip about one another.

This year, a group of privileged boys has made a point of sitting in Pearl’s section—throwing careless insults her way while also attempting to flirt. Though she’s repulsed by everything they stand for, she’s drawn to the quiet leader of the pack, Tristan—the last surviving Garrison. He wasn’t home the night a blaze took his entire family, and the sadness coming off him in waves is hard to ignore. Befriending the summer boys might irk her to her core, but inside their fold of elite parties and reckless whims could be answers to what happened the night of the fire. And that’s just what she finds.

Hidden beneath the glittering façade of wealth and luxury, Pearl discovers a dark and twisted web of lies and betrayals that, once untangled, will leave no life in Tenney’s Harbor unchanged. That is…if it doesn’t take Pearl’s first.

The Lies They Tell was boring. There’s no other way to put it. The beginning does nothing to grip you, aside from the initial prologue where the family dies, and the book really doesn’t improve from there.

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