Book Review: No Exit by Taylor Adams

No Exit by Taylor Adams

336 pages

Published: 1/15/19 by William Morrow

ISBN: 9780062875655

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 4 out of 5.

B&N | Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis:

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.

Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?

Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.

But who can she trust?

Review:

This was actually one of my Book of the Month picks. I don’t remember when I got it though. I believe it’s from December 2018, but that’s certainly not when I ordered it.

“Inhale. Count to five. Exhale.”

Characters |

The characters in this novel are all very distinctive. The descriptions of them made me feel like I knew each one. I could picture them in my head, and I don’t have a big imagination.

Darby is my favorite heroine in the novel. She really comes through for Jay, even though she doesn’t really think about who she confronts about the whole situation. I’m probably all talk, but I would assume something weird is going on between everyone. I guess if you’re the one it’s happening to, then you can’t really see the big picture in a panic. I don’t blame her for taking some type of action though. There’s no way she would just let the villain drive off with the poor girl.

I enjoyed the small pieces of background about her and her mother. It just shows how much of a struggle she is having. It proves her to be even more heroic than what she already is.

Sandi was a very odd character. I didn’t like how she treated Ed while they were playing card games. She annoyed me all the way through the book.

Lars is definitely the outcast in this situation. He just stands by the door while he breaths through his mouth. Apparently, he also needs to relieve a lot of gas during the time frame of the novel.

Ashley is just arrogant. I hated him from the moment our main character meets him. I hate how he speaks to Lars. I thought it was funny that the people made fun of him for having a “woman’s” name. I’m not saying it is, but I just though it was funny since he’s a jerk.

Story |

Darby Throne, college-student, finds out via text message from her sister that her mother is dying of late-stage pancreatic cancer. She is going to school in Boulder, Colorado but her mother lives in Utah. She doesn’t want to drive anywhere during Christmas break, but now she’s pretty much obligated. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been getting along with her mother.

While on State Route Six (Backbone Pass) she hits a blizzard that is unrelenting and impassable. She has to pull over at a rest stop before she can go any further. Terrifyingly enough, she stops at Wanashono—Big Devil. But, for a good chunk of the novel, she believes she’s at the Wanasho—Little Devil—rest stop. This mistake comes back to haunt her.

While inside the rest stop she runs into four other people, three people initially—Ed, Sandi, Ashley, and Lars.
Ed, Ashley, and Lars sit around and play card games. They joke about Ashley being able to do magic, and whether or not Ashley is a woman’s or a man’s name. Lars, the mouth-breather, stands by the door where the brochures are, creepily.

Darby is told that there was an ounce of cell reception in a certain area outside by some odd children statues. While she goes out there she glances inside a van, owned by one of the people inside, and notices a small hand and a cage. Come to find out, there’s a little girl named Jay Nissen in the back of the van, and Darby needs to figure out who’s responsible. Let’s just say she fights like hell to save that little girl’s life.

“The difference between a hero and a victim? Timing.”

I’ve never read a thriller like this before. I thought that it was well done. The anticipation during certain parts killed me, so I ended up reading almost 200 pages of this is one sitting. Some parts toward the end were quite unbelievable, and I didn’t like the choices that were made, but it didn’t deter me enough to lower the rating.

Writing |

This was the main reason I dropped the rating to four stars. It was super cheesy and a little repetitive. It’s mainly Darby’s thoughts that were repetitive. Honestly, I almost wasn’t going to finish it after the first chapter. I pushed through, thankfully, but it was very hard to get to that point.

Overall |

I would definitely recommend it. It’s one of the more unique thrillers I’ve ever read. It had all of the right vibes, and if you can get past the very blunt, repetitive, and cheesy writing, then you’re golden!


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ARC Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Thank you Gallery/Scout Press and Netgalley for allowing me to read the digital ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Published – August 6th, 2019 by Gallery/Scout Press

352 pages

ISBN: 9781501188770

Genre: Suspense Thriller

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS:

“Dear Mr. Wrexham, Please help me. I didn’t kill anyone”

– Wanted: Large family seeks experienced live-in nanny –

It all started with the advert. Rowan Caine responds to the Elincourt’s cry for help with their four children, and their smart home, the Heatherbrae house. Location – the Highlands. It almost seems too good to be true with the offer of £55,000 annually, accessibility to a car, and eight weeks of holiday a year. All applications are given to Sandra and Bill Elincourt in Carn Bridge.

Lets just say that she struggled a lot more than she expected to. There were cameras all around the house, the technology in the house didn’t run smoothly, she heard creaking of footsteps at night, the children didn’t listen to her, and she was left for weeks at a time without Sandra and Bill being there. She was stuck with the handyman, Jack Grant, and Jean McKenzie. The end result is a dead child and the lies she told to get this job.

Current day – Rowan has since been incarcerated at the the Scottish women’s prison HMP Charnworth. She is writing letters to a lawyer, Mr. Wrexham, to prove that she didn’t kill the kid.

REVIEW:

Disclaimer: Death and cheating

I was very hesitant to pick this one up because I picked up a previous novel years ago, and I never finished it. My reading taste has changed since then, so I may go back and try again. I enjoy a good psychological thriller. I tend to enjoy those more when they’re done right. Most of the time the endings are too far-fetched.

  Characters | Everyone in this novel has a secret, and it was hard for me to tell what they were. I also can’t say much because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. If you have read it and want a few spoilers, then go check out my Goodreads review.

I was unsure if I wanted to believe Rowan because she seemed a little psycho to begin with. You catch a lot of glimpses of the violent side of her. It’s so hard to talk about the characters in this book because it is such a character heavy story.

I can tell you that I hated Jack from the beginning. He was always conveniently there when things went wrong. He also annoyed me, but he managed to not piss me off as much as Bill did. Bill is scum. Scum of the Earth.

The younger children knew how to creep me out, except for Petra, and the oldest daughter annoyed me. I guess that’s what you tend to get from parents like Sandra and Bill. Parents who leave their kids with nannies they barely even know.

Story | I have never read The Turn of the Screw, so I can’t tell you if it’s similar. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that the story is going to blow your mind, but I will tell you that it was well executed. The story doesn’t have to blow my mind as long as it’s executed correctly.

The death of the child was a bit sad, and terrifying. I have been watching Breaking Bad, and every time a child is killed, I almost cry. It was the same with this book. I’m just very emotional right now, I guess. This is just one of many perks of being a very hormonal 22-year old female. *Makes peace sign with fingers.*

Writing | I think that Ware is a good writer. The story had a flow to it that I always look for in any novel I’m reading. She just has a way with words, I guess. I would be interested in picking up her other works just for that reason. It’s not too complicated, but not too simple either. Very atmospheric.

Overall | I could probably read this again, even though I know the twists. It gave me the level of creepiness that I went into it looking for. It had good twists that I never even imagined. I’d say that it is a successful thriller! If that is what you are looking for, then pick it up!


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Library Book Haul!

Hello, friends! I’m back with another library book haul. These are some of my favorite blog posts to write. I do have quite a few books so I can’t describe them all on here. I included the link to their Goodreads and their genre. I am very excited about all of these, but I don’t have enough time in the world to read all of them.

From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke – Nonfiction | Memoir

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms – Contemporary Romance

A Woman is no Man by Etaf Rum – Contemporary | Historical Fiction

Transcription by Kate Atkinson – Historical Fiction

Recursion by Blake Crouch – Science Fiction

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish – Historical Fiction

Henry, Himself by Stewart O’nan – Contemporary Fiction | Literary Fiction

Inspection by Josh Malerman – Thriller | Horror

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas – Horror

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – Contemporary Romance

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simison – Contemporary Romance

The Dead Girl in 2A by Carter Wilson – Psychological Thriller

Trophy Life by Lea Geller – Women’s Fiction

The Wife Between Us by Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks – Thriller

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan – Contemporary Romance

Honestly, We Meant Well by Grant Ginder – Contemporary Fiction

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer – Historical Fiction

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim – Contemporary | Mystery

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey – Contemporary Romance

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren – Contemporary Romance

In Another Time by Jillian Cantor – Historical Fiction

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo – Historical Fiction | Magical Realism

The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman – Historical Fiction

Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake #2) by Rachel Caine – Mystery | Thriller

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong – Literary Fiction

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay – Contemporary | Christian Fiction

The Red Daughter by John Burnham Schwartz – Historical Fiction

Stillhouse Lake (Stillhouse Lake #1) by Rachel Caine – Mystery | Thriller

Wolfhunter River (Stillhouse Lake #3) by Rachel Caine – Mystery | Thriller

Woman 99 by Greer Macallister – Historical Fiction

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting – Contemporary Romance

My Life as a Rat by Joyce Carol Oates – Contemporary | Literary Fiction

We went to the Woods by Caite Dolan-Leach – Contemporary Fiction

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing – Thriller | Mystery

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover – New Adult | Contemporary Romance

Paper Girls (Vol. 2) by Brian K. Vaughan – Science Fiction (graphic novel)

Roomies by Christina Lauren – New Adult | Contemporary Romance


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ARC Review: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Thank you to Dutton Books & Netgalley for allowing me to read a digital copy of this in exchange for an honest review. 

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

384 pages

ISBN: 9781524745141

Publication date: July 2nd, 2019 by Dutton Books

Genre: Thriller

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads 

Synopsis: 

Jules no longer has a job or a boyfriend. Her life consists of feeling like a burden while she stays on her friends’ couch. She finds an ad for an apartment sitter, and she goes for it. When she gets to the apartment it wasn’t what she expected. It was the Bartholomew, a very Gothic but high-class building that most people know about. She meets up with a woman who shows her around, and just when Jules thinks it’s a done deal, there are rules. Rules that don’t seem practical, but Jules takes the job anyway. Soon she finds out that this place isn’t what it seems. It has history that dates back a long time, and it’s not pretty.

Review: 

Characters | Surprisingly, Jules is my favorite character in this story. I don’t tend to like the main character of a book. She is quick on her feet, she is strong physically and emotionally, and she has a heart of gold. Her family’s past is very sad and depressing, but she doesn’t really learn that until later in the story. All I wanted to do was give her a hug. She was a well thought out character that I wanted to be friends with. The events and the people she dealt with in this novel are crazy. You can’t trust anyone, but you’re not sure why. You are following Jules on her terrifying journey in the Bartholomew.

Ingrid is another favorite of mine. I will admit that she was sketchy to me at first. I had an odd feeling that she was in on everything. It’s just because you don’t get to know her very well in the beginning, but she ends up being very helpful. She is also quick on her feet and strong. She goes through hell, but she makes it to the other side with Jules.

I hated Nick from the beginning. Don’t even get me started with him. He gave me bad vibes from the start. I’m not going to say anything else about him.

Story | I will admit that the story isn’t perfect. I did give it five stars, but it did drag a tiny bit in the middle. Nothing that made me want to stop reading. I couldn’t put it down. The story will get to you. You will get upset because you can’t figure out what the hell is going on. I did that in all three of his novels, but this one was intense for me. It gave you just enough information so that you couldn’t piece anything together. You were basically Jules the entire time. You learned information when she did.

I loved learning the history of the Bartholomew. It’s so interesting and I wish it were real. It has such a dark past, and it was used for things that it should not have been used for. It blew my mind when I figured out why this building was notorious. I never even thought the twist at the end could be a twist. It never crossed my mind once. It is so good! One of the best story lines for a thriller. I’ve never read anything like it. I’m very impressed.

Writing | It is a very similar style to the rest of his novels. It flops back and forth between present day and days prior. The present-day bits made me feel so uneasy. I hate anything horror or thriller that takes place in a hospital. You know it’s not going to pan out. I think his writing style worked the best for this novel. It gave it more of an ominous vibe. This is my favorite book from him. Sager developed the story well. The characters were some of the best, and odd characters I have ever read about. I loved everything about it.

Overall | Please, please, please go read this when it comes out. I want this book to become very well known. If you have never read Sager before you should probably read Final Girls first, and then jump to this one. If you have read this and loved it, you should pre-order it! Support the authors that you love.


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