Watching Edie by Camilla Way

29243709Beautiful, creative, a little wild… Edie was the kind of girl who immediately caused a stir when she walked into your life. And she had dreams back then—but it didn’t take long for her to learn that things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.

Now, at thirty-three, Edie is working as a waitress, pregnant and alone. And when she becomes overwhelmed by the needs of her new baby and sinks into a bleak despair, she thinks that there’s no one to turn to…

But someone’s been watching Edie, waiting for the chance to prove once again what a perfect friend she can be. It’s no coincidence that Heather shows up on Edie’s doorstep, just when Edie needs her the most. So much has passed between them—so much envy, longing, and betrayal. And Edie’s about to learn a new lesson: those who have hurt us deeply—or who we have hurt—never let us go, not entirely…

I feel like I have read a lot of books like Watching Edie recently, where long buried secrets come back to haunt a young woman who has done her best to escape her past and rebuild her future…until what happened back then comes back to bite her.  With each one I pick up, I wonder if this will be the last, if I’ll get tired of them.  If they are all as good as Watching Edie, I don’t think that will be happening anytime soon.

This is an excellent example of the genre/style and how to do it right, building the tension with each page along with sympathy for Edie and enmity for Heather.  It’s a perfect set-up.    Then there are the twists in the tale.  As the story unfolds, with alternative “before” and “after” chapters told by Heather (before) and Edie (after), it becomes clear that not everything is as it seems and that some people are not as innocent as they first appeared.

I kept having those “ahh” moments as things were revealed and found myself changing my opinion on who I trusted and what I thought would happen next. I didn’t get it right once, the sign of a good book (especially when you have read as many as I have and think you have a feel for what to expect).  And when it did get to the “big reveal” I felt completely satisfied as everything fell into place.

It helps that the book was well written, with a good pace and character development and that, sadly, it felt based in reality given just how cruel and selfish teenagers can be. I did struggle to put it down and found it stayed with me when I wasn’t reading it – meaning I really liked this one a lot and it is a recommended read!

Emma

Note: I received this book from NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.

 

Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

There are very few authors in recent years whose books I have looked forward to reading as much as Mary Kubica’s. I really liked her debut, Good Girl, and loved her follow up, Pretty Baby…meaning I had high hopes for Don’t You Cry. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.

The story opens with Quinn being woken by her flat mate Esther’s alarm clock. Slightly worse for wear after a boozy night out, she turns off the alarm and goes back to bed, barely registering that Esther isn’t in bed and her bedroom window – which is next to a fire escape – is wide open, not something you would expect for winter in Chicago. When she wakes for the second time later in the day, Esther still isn’t home and Quinn still isn’t concerned; her roommate must be at church, she thinks, or shopping or with other friends.

Gradually, though, it dawns on her that this doesn’t make sense. It just isn’t like Esther, or at least the Esther she knows, to go off without letting her know and so – at last – she begins to get worried.  Unfortunately the police aren’t as concerned so Quinn starts to try and figure out what has happened to Esther on her own. The more she searches for answers, though, the more she starts to have questions about just who Esther is…and the more her concern turns into fear for her own life.

Eighty-odd miles away, Alex wonders if he has met the girl of his dreams in Pearl who has appeared seemingly out of nowhere and spends her days sitting in the diner he works in staring out of the window. He is fascinated by her and, as they spend time together, the snippets of her life she shares with him seem to mirror his own.  At 18, Alex is lost, taking care of his drunken father and yearning for the love of a mother who left him when he was a young boy. In Pearl, he sees an answer to his loneliness but also behaviours that scare him. The reader sees someone who looks exactly like Esther.

Told through the eyes of Alex and Quinn in alternating sections and across a series of days, all I could do was wonder what was going on. What was Esther – if it was Esther – up to? I really had no idea till the final chapters when it all came together and started to make sense – at which point most of what I thought I knew had been turned on its head. Kubica is brilliant at doing this and it’s one of the things I’ve liked best about her books.

I also like how she creates characters that are flawed but likeable. The trick is, I think that the flaws aren’t big and scary but make the people who inhabit her pages human. Here, I especially liked Alex. He hit a note with me and I hoped everything would work out for him in the end. He was a decent person and deserved a happy ending. With Quinn, I just hoped would come to her senses and stop thinking the worse; she is quite a selfish character in places. Yet, I didn’t dislike her, just found her frustrating at times and I wanted her to maybe grow up just a little bit.

Other than that, though, I really can’t fault this book. It was well written, a real page turner, and I loved reading it. Highly recommended!

Emma

Note: Don’t You Cry will be published 17th May, 2016. I received a copy of this book via Net Galley / Harlequin in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.