All The Missing Girls – Megan Miranda

I would like to thank Net Galley, Simon & Schuster and Megan Miranda for this advanced copy of All The Missing Girls to read and review.

OH MY WOW!! Normally I start my reviews with a bit of a blurb and explain the story and characters, but that can wait. Because I have to RAVE about this book. I couldn’t sleep because of this book. And not because I was up reading it, but because I couldn’t stop thinking about it all night after I had finished. This is a haunting story that will stick with you long after you put it down. It will make you think about your own secrets, your own past and how one moment can alter everything. This book is full of emotions, regrets, what ifs, and whys. I normally do no re read books, but this one merits a definite second reading. Once you finish it, you must go back and see all the clues, the hints and see the answer to all the questions staring you in the face. This book is going to do amazingly well and I see it being one of the best of 2016!

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Now, to the story! All The Missing Girls is a psychological thriller that is uniquely told in reverse. Starting on day 15, the story weaves its way back to day 1. It centers around Nicolette Farrell, or Nic as she is so called in her hometown of Cooley Ridge. She is returning home after 10 years to help prepare her dad’s home to sell, as he is in a nursing home facility and can no longer take care of himself, let alone the house. During clear moments of his dementia, he is adamant that he house is not sold. Which is one of the reasons Nic is back; to help her brother Daniel get the paperwork started to take possession of the home to sell.

Nic has been back home a few times, but left 10 years ago after her best friend Corinne goes missing and is never found. Nic and Corinne’s relationship is hauntingly beautiful. Nic loves Corinne, but never fully trusts her and feels obligated in their friendship. When an investigation starts on her disappearance, everyone involved holds something back. Nobody can fully tell the truth and it leaves everyone wondering what else is no being told and what secrets everyone is hiding. Nic left Cooley Ridge and thought she had left her secrets in the past.

Fast forward 10 years later, another girl goes missing. Annaleise seemingly has no ties to Corinne. However Nic is drawn into this investigation as time goes along. Her ex happens to be Annaleise’s new beau. Nic feels like she has to find her and once she does she will find all the answers to Corinne’s disappearance.

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Cooley Ridge is akin to any small town in America. Everyone seems to know everything about everybody and rumors flourish. However, nobody really knows what is below the surface. What is being left unsaid, what is being said in whispers, what is being said in secret. The town’s overcast personality adds to the darkness of these missing girls. And then there are the woods. The woods behind Nic’s home that borders with Annaleise’s property. Those woods hold secrets and monsters. They house memories and emotions. They are as much a part of the people as they are the town.

As the story goes on, the true story is exposed in all its darkness. As answers come, the reader finds themselves with more questions. Theories overflow as you try to piece it all together and it’s safe to say the ending is not one you expect or see coming.

You have to get this on your TBR list pronto, you will not regret it!

Preorder it NOW: right now!

Follow the author: here

 

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The Sister – Louise Jensen

I would like thank Net Galley, Bookouture and Louise Jensen for this Advanced Copy of The Sister in return for an honest review.

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The Sister is a debut novel by Louise Jensen that follows the story of Grace and her best friend Charlotte, otherwise known as Charlie. Grace is haunted by the death of her best friend and the last words she told her, “I did something terrible Grace. “I hope you can forgive me …” Grace spends her days and sleepless night trying to uncover what Grace has done while also trying to come to grips with all the trauma she has been dealt throughout her life. Told in alternating tenses of ‘past’ and ‘now’, the reader is taken back to a time when Grace and Charlie meet and become best friends as children as they bond over not having father’s. As they get older, Grace encourages Charlie to find her father, to find out who she is. When they turn 18 Charlies mom, Lexie, becomes more of an alcoholic and disengages as a mother. After a New Year’s Eve party, Charlie vanishes, leaving Grace with the words that will haunt her.

                                                                   “I hope you can forgive me …”

Six years later, Charlie shows back up. Unfortunately, before Grace can begin to understand why Charlie left, Charlie unexpectedly dies. This dredges up moments from the past for Grace, from when her father died, saving her from a car and when childhood friend/enemy Siobhan dies from an overdose. Grace attempts to cope with Charlie’s leaving and subsequent death while dealing with the idea that she herself is always to blame when disaster strikes. She continues life with her long-time boyfriend, Dan. They had moved into a cottage and began a life together. Grace is un-nerved that she feels someone is always following her. She depends on sleep medication even during the day. She finally decides to find Charlie’s father, thinking that may be the link to uncovering where Charlie went and what her words may have met. Dan helps Grace set up social media in an attempt to find Grace’s dad and isn’t long before someone contacts them. Grace comes face to face with Anna, who claims to be Charlie’s half-sister. Anna moves in so she can learn about Charlie and become close to Grace. Events start to spiral out of control and Grace finds herself at the center of a smear campaign involving her work at a pre-school. Important items, such as her much loved necklace that she and Charlie shared, goes missing. She is poisoned at a local coffee shop when someone accidently adds hazelnut (which she is allergic to) in her hot chocolate. Her cat, Mittens, goes missing and is later found in a less than alive state. As the story quickly progresses, we find out who has been following Grace. We discover who Anna truly is. Lexie’s secrets are finally unveiled. And we learn what Charlie really meant by her words.

In an attempt to not spoil this story, I will stop there.

There is absolutely no way you can put this book down once you have started reading it. Grace’s life seems to be barely hanging on by a thread when Charlie sweeps in to save her. Their childhood friendship is one so easily identifiable. They lean on each other and accept each other’s pasts and expect to always be in each other’s futures. I can say that is how all my childhood best friendships were. As a reader, we want so badly for the broken Grace to be healed. Her anxiety becomes your anxiety. You begin to rely on Charlie as she did. Charlie was her protector against hate mail and bullying words. When Charlie disappeared on Grace, it was like she disappeared on you as well. You are saddened and hurt, just as Grace is. When Anna walks in, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Maybe she can be the Charlie that you and Grace need. But when things start to go wrong, I can’t help but detach from Grace. I wanted to yell at her to see the signs!! Anna is easily detested. The way she speaks to Grace, it’s like she is back in grade school, but this time there is no Charlie to save her.

By the end of the book, once all the secrets were exposed, I was left gaping. There were so many twists and turns in this book and once you thought you really had it figured out, the rug was ripped out from underneath you. You cannot help but speed read through this novel. You have to know what happens and with each page a new idea or theory springs to mind. Nothing compares to the way it turns out. The way the characters intermingle in the web of lies and truths and deceit is really unimaginable until it unfolds before your eyes on each page. It’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel. It is woven so perfectly, the reader is satisfied, yet craving more. I cannot wait for more work from this author! I would definitely add this to the top of any reading pile!!

If you would like to pre-order: UK: here US: here

Follow Louise Jensen at her website here

Last to Die – Arlene Hunt

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to read and review this Advanced Reader’s Copy.

Last To Die by Arlene Hunt is a fast paced, edge of your seat thriller that follows Jessie and Mike Conway, and Caleb Switch.

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Jessie is a hero in her own right as she single handedly brings down a school shooter and minimizes the deaths and damages down at the hand of these disturbed children. While Jessie has a hard time coming to terms with her actions, little does she know that she has much tougher days ahead at the hands of hunter, Caleb.

Told in alternating perspectives, Jessie learns that the world is a very dark place and heroes like her are few and far between. She has dealt with death in the past and continues to deal with it as the story progresses. In a rare, twist, Jessie’s heroism is what puts her in the sights of human hunter, Caleb as he attempts to find someone worthy of the hunt. Jessie is not one to fall easily and must do what she can to escape the clutches of the game she thrown into while her husband Mike tries to convince the community his wife is in danger.

This book is one that could easily be read in a day. It’s one of those stories that is so good that you put it down so that you can savor the story and lengthen the time you are reading it. This is a thriller that deals with the adverse effects of being a hero and being in the spotlight. Explosive themes and taboo ideas keep you reading well into the morning. Jessie is a classic heroine who you easily identify as a character that will not go down without a fight. She has skeletons in her closet that help push her to being this type of character. Caleb is a well written psychopath that you very early on begin to despise. He is flawed in every way, making him the perfect killer.

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Not only is this an amazing thriller, but the author has spotlessly developed accents and scenery so real that you will truly feel you are there. The dialog between the characters is real and you feel the true emotion (and lack of emotion in Caleb’s case) that these characters are going through.

The only thing I wish this story had more of was backstory. We get a glimpse of Jessie’s past, but it would be interesting to have more and to really see where she came from in order to develop her into this fearless hero that won’t give up. Also, Ace is a very interesting character that I would have loved to get to know more of. His backstory would have helped to progress the story in a way that didn’t seem so coincidental in finding Jessie.

I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of thrillers! There is a uniqueness to this story that I haven’t found in other books of this genre and would love to see more of these themes in the future.

If you would like to pre-order this book click here.

Hidden Bodies – Caroline Kepnes

Hidden Bodies is the follow up novel to You by Caroline Kepnes. We are reunited with the serial killer mind of Joe Goldberg as he continues to try to find happiness. In You, we learn that Joe is quite capable of making people disappear and he is determined that ‘next time’ he is going to fall in love right. He won’t mess up again! In walks Amy, who Joe quickly becomes seriously infatuated with. But poor Joe is left in the dirt once again as Amy steals his most valuable books from his vault and high-tails it to LA. Joe won’t let a bad deed go unpunished so he packs up and goes on pursuit of Amy.

LA is a whole new world for Joe and we are introduced to several new characters. Some of which meet their end with Joe. But most importantly he meets Love. Both figuratively and literally. Along with Love we also get her brother Forty. They are quite wealthy and thru them Joe gets to know the Hollywood elite. Joe is finally happy. So, happy, in fact, he decides to quit chasing Amy and focus on Love.

But, and there is always a but, there is that ‘mugofpiss’ that he left back in Little Compton. Peach’s family decides to have the case reopened and Joe knows he has to get the evidence out of the house some how or his fairy tale with Love will be over. While trying to find Forty in Vegas, who is on a bender, Joe flies back to LC to try to gain access to the Salinger’s home. While he is here, Love shows up at his doorstep unexpectedly. He wants so badly to be with just Love that he confesses all his crimes of passion. And surprisingly she doesn’t leave. She understands and stays with him. She even secretly is able to get the ‘mugofpiss’.
So now things seem to be going okay, except for that pesky brother, Forty. Who has pretty much stolen Joe’s work and passed it off as his own and gotten producers to accept it. So Joe has to some how get rid of this guy. He had all but sealed the deal while he was in Vegas searching for him by drowning him in some hot springs. But lo and behold, Forty shows back up and pretty much makes Joe his ‘dog’ for more material to pass off as his own.
And then we find out that Love is carrying a little serial killer offspring. Joe is so happy that he doesn’t even care if he has to work for Forty because he is just over the moon with Love and their child. Luckily for Joe, Forty gets killed while jay walking. So now that he is out of the way, it seems like smooth sailing.

However, Joe has met a lot of people and told a lot of lies that are starting to catch up with him. His aliases are not adding up and he just happens to be around too many people who have shown up dead or are missing. Joe ends up getting arrested and ends up sitting in jail trying to stay confident that there are no more ‘mugsofpiss’ laying around.

 

I really enjoyed this book. Seriously, I have never read anything like it. Not only do we get a 1st person point of view, but it’s of the psychopathic serial killer. We get to be inside his mind and hear his thoughts. And dare I say, we begin to root for him! #TeamJoe all the way! I love how he thinks that what he is doing is okay. At one point he even says. ‘I’ve never harmed an animal; I can’t imagine being that kind of monster.’ The irony is not lost on me! As he quests for true love and happiness, we, the readers, start to empathize with everyone getting in the way. That Delilah chick, who was she to go snooping around in his closet?? Fincher? He should have stuck to writing jay-walking tickets. Can’t Joe just catch a break and be with Love?!

There are just a couple of things that I didn’t love about the book. One, was that I still haven’t really fallen in love with Love. I am not quite sure what Joe sees in her, which is odd since we are in his head the entire time. To me, she is just another girl that he has become obsessive over and happens to truly love him back. Also, the ending was a bit anti-climactic for me. I am hoping that means we will have more of Joe in the future. Loved the book, love this series and can’t wait for another one to come out!

If you want to get inside the mind of a serial killer go here.

If you want to see the mastermind behind Joe visit here.

Damaged

Author C.K. Green’s debut novel, Damaged has been out for about 6 months now. Damaged is the story of Kiera, who is mysteriously attacked, and Ethan, who is dedicating his life to finding the answers. Their stories are told in alternating points of view, yet they intertwine and flow flawlessly. The story continuously builds to the climax, leaving you turning pages quicker and quicker.

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These are the type of books I really enjoy. There is enough suspense to keep you hooked and the characters are well developed with interesting back stories. I would not categorize this as a suspense/mystery, but there are definitely elements that do fit into that genre. Instead of sitting on the edge of your seat through the entire book, the reader is drawn into the character’s stories and the mystery of the attack. There is romance, but it does not overwhelm the story. It draws the reader in and they begin to root for Ethan as he tries to break down Kiera’s walls. The developing love story does not seemed rushed, which is a wonderful change of pace. The characters feel real and the reader can empathize with the feelings that are revealed.

This is an excellent debut book. Many times, authors need time to smooth out the roughness or to fall into their groove. That is not the case with Damaged. Author C.K. Green’s writing is impeccable. As a reader, I can not wait for her follow up story about Anna and the many other books she will undoubtedly release as she becomes a more dominant author in her field.

If you would like to read Damaged, check it out here.

And if you would like to know more about Author C.K. Green, find her website here. Or you can follow her on facebook or twitter.

 

First blog post

Aloha Readers!! Welcome to Aloha Reviews. This is, as it states, my first blog post! I am going to use this blog to review the books that I read. And along the way, I am sure you will get to know me and my family. I don’t really have a plan and I am sort of winging it as I go. So stick with me and I am sure we are all going to have loads of fun. I hope to be able to feature authors in the future as well as have some awesome giveaways.

So I guess to start, I am going to let you in on a little bit of who I am. I am a mother to 4 girls who drive to the brink of insanity and right before I fall off the edge, they reel me back in with how amazing they can be. The world is truly a more remarkable place with them in it. They all are so unique in their personalities and I am always trying to keep up with each of them on a daily basis. I am also a wife to a soldier. I have been married for 12 years and this lifestyle has taken us all over the world. Most currently we are residing in Tennessee.

Which brings me to where I am now. I am a displaced beach bum!! Hawaii is calling my soul every day. Living there for 3 years was the best experience of my life and I can’t wait to get back there. The salt water feeds my spirit! So until then, I read and imagine that I am sitting in the sand somewhere. I turn the pages while imagining the sound of the waves. I get lost in a story while I pretend the sun is baking my skin.

I hope you enjoy my reviews and the insights to my life! Don’t forget to Live Aloha and remember ~A Book Worth Starting Is A Book Worth Enjoying~