Review | Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes by Karin Slaughter (Pretty Girls #0.5)

“The only reason my daughter has not come home is because someone is keeping her.” Keeping her.” 2/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: bars, young girls, and… not much more.

A missing girl in the news reminds Julia Carroll of herself: nineteen, beautiful, blonde hair, blue eyes.

Julia begins to dig deeper and plans an article for her college paper. She becomes gradually more obsessed with the case, never imagining how close she herself is to danger.

Includes an extract from Karin Slaughter’s gripping new novel, Pretty Girls.

What was even the point of this novella? I picked this up right after finishing “Pretty Girls”, and I was expecting to get Julia’s perspective on the night she went missing.

And I guess that’s what you get but… nothing actually happens. There’s a lot of her going to class and thinking about the girls that were missing… and that’s it.

Sure, I understand this is supposed to be a short novella, but I still thought we would get at least something interesting from it. When the story finally got interesting… It ended. So again: what was even the point of this short book?

The only thing I found interesting is how she was a little different from what her sisters described her in the main story. Other than that, it was a waste of time.

Review | Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter (Pretty Girls #1)

“It’s the truth. I’m sorry to be blunt about it, but girls don’t like guys who are doormats. Especially pretty girls, because there’s no novelty in it. Guys are hitting on them all of the time. They can’t walk down the street or order a coffee or stand on a corner without some idiot making a comment about how attractive they are. And the women smile because it’s easier than telling them to go fuck themselves. And less dangerous, because if a man rejects a woman, she goes home and cries for a few days. If a woman rejects a man, he can rape and kill her.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: siblings, diary entries, necklaces, creepy photographs, shocking pasts, a lot of secrets and incredible revelations.

#1 internationally bestselling author Karin Slaughter returns with a sophisticated and chilling psychological thriller of dangerous secrets, cold vengeance, and unexpected absolution, in which two estranged sisters must come together to find truth about two harrowing tragedies, twenty years apart, that devastate their lives.

Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

Powerful, poignant, and utterly gripping, packed with indelible characters and unforgettable twists, Pretty Girls is a masterful thriller from one of the finest suspense writers working today.

I know this book is very popular with thriller fans, so I was excited to pick it up and have my own thoughts on it.

My experience reading this book was very positive! Now I get the hype of this story being so immersive and well written, but I still don’t understand why some people say this is the best book they have ever read. I agree that it is a good, well constructed mystery, but in the end it felt just like another thriller to me.

In this book we follow two sisters, Claire and Lydia, who overcome their differences to investigate their sister’s disappearance together. Julia, the missing sister, disappeared a long time ago but now there is evidence that her disappearance may be connected to the disappearance of another girl the same age in the present. And of course, a lot of dark secrets are revealed by the sisters…

The topics in this are pretty heavy and I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. There were scenes in here that made me really uncomfortable and I had to stop reading a few times just to breathe and gain courage to keep going. So if you’re considering reading this, be aware of the trigger warnings for: rape, sexual assault, suicide, violence, murder and horrible torture.

The plot was really good, though! There are a lot of surprises and twists, so you feel captivated to keep reading and finding out more. Also, the writing was incredible. I just wonder if it was really necessary to have this big of a book for this story in particular? 

I have two more Karin Slaughter books on my shelf waiting for me and I’m very curious to see what they’re all about. Now I have high expectations! If you love shocking and horrific thrillers, you should seriously consider reading this one!

Review | The Kiss Thief by L.J. Shen

“No love is fully requited. No love is equal. No love is fair. There is always one side that loves more. And you better not be that side—because it suffers.” 2/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: new homes, cigarettes, broken pictures, envelopes and stolen kisses.

They say your first kiss should be earned.

Mine was stolen by a devil in a masquerade mask under the black Chicago sky.

They say the vows you take on your wedding day are sacred.

Mine were broken before we left church.

They say your heart only beats for one man.

Mine split and bled for two rivals who fought for it until the bitter end.

I was promised to Angelo Bandini, the heir to one of the most powerful families in the Chicago Outfit.

Then taken by Senator Wolfe Keaton, who held my father’s sins over his head to force me into marriage.

They say that all great love stories have a happy ending.

I, Francesca Rossi, found myself erasing and rewriting mine until the very last chapter.

One kiss.
Two men.
Three lives.
Entwined together.

And somewhere between these two men, I had to find my forever.

This book was a lot.

I personally don’t mind intense books and intense romantic relationships, but in this particular case it didn’t work out well for me. Actually, there were a number of things here that didn’t work out for me. 

For starters, I didn’t really care about the characters or the romance. The guy was an arrogant, douchebag (and not in a cool way) and the girl was the typical, pure girl that melted every time the guy touched her even if he was treating her badly – also, she’s not an actual teenager, but she is constantly referred to as “teenage bride”?

I wasn’t bothered by the age gap between the main characters, but some of the things that bothered me were the crazy amount of sexism, double standards and drama in this book. And don’t even get me started on their communication… “Nemesis”? Cringe.

At the end of the day, this book felt like a pile of nothing. Not only because of the reasons I mentioned before, but there’s a lot of “hating each other” that feels continuous and unnecessary. There’s a lot of negativity in this book constantly, and I didn’t like that.

It’s perfectly fine if a book doesn’t have a deep story behind it, but it should be at least entertaining…. and this definitely wasn’t. With the crazy amount of romance books out there, I think you would find a better one elsewhere in my humble opinion!