(Spoiler) Review: Follow Me by Sara Shepard

*Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
This review will spoil the contents of The Amateurs so be warned if you are yet to read the first book! 

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I read The Amateurs. It was such a well paced and excitingly driven story with a plot twist that I really didn’t expect. Of course, I was pumped to read the sequel, but in comparison to the first book, it fell flat.

The main reason for this, I think, is because we knew from the very beginning who Seneca and the gang were hunting down. Brett, the guy from The Amateurs who helpfully joined their team, pointing them in all the right directions, only to be the killer himself. Since then, Brett’s changed his identity but not his MO, so we follow the group as they try and rescue Chelsea Dawson, a beautiful Instagram-obsessed teen from his dangerous clutches. Part of what made the first book so great was not knowing and so this felt like an entirely different genre: a mystery turned thriller, as we knew what Brett was capable of. But, because the book is so short, we never got to linger in the more menacing moments and so everything was a little…underwhelming.

There’s also the half-baked romance subplot between Seneca and Maddox that’s very much banking on their relationship and way they interact with one another being set up in the first book so the scenes between them lacked emotion. And romance in the middle of a thriller is just the biggest case of ‘now is not the time’ ever.

Also, whereas everyone in the group had a part to play in the first book, Aerin and Madison felt like they were just along for the ride. It was difficult to pinpoint what they were contributing to the situation. It seemed like social media was doing most of the work for them.

But then, I really did enjoy how reasonably everything was figured out, though. You could actually imagine that this is the way a bunch of teenagers would solve a crime by doing a little internet stalking and cross referencing comments on Instagram posts. The access to details the group had in the first book was a bit far fetched, but this had genuine logic to it.

I was also really interested in the way the police responded to Chelsea’s kidnapping and how they read it all as a bid for more followers on social media. I think there was some thought-provoking critique on how adults perceive teenagers’ behaviour nowadays.

The very last page about Brett kidnapping Aerin…well, it didn’t feel like there was enough groundwork to that for me to believe it would happen. And even then, because Aerin didn’t play a huge part in the narrative – being replaced by Chelsea – I don’t know if I care enough to know what happens next?

Overall, I’m giving it 3 stars. I definitely enjoyed Follow Me less than the first book, but if you’re in the mood for a quick kind of thriller read, I’d recommend it.

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Review: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

31328386The Amateurs by Sara Shepard
Genre: 
Mystery, Crime Solving
Published by: Hot Key Books
Pages: 336
Format: ARC e-book
Rating: ★★.5

I was really excited by the first couple of chapters of The Amateurs, because the concept was just so cool for a girl that wishes she was Nancy Drew. The main characters, Seneca and Maddy are both part of this online forum, Case Not Closed, that gives people access to information about unsolved, cold cases the police have given up on. Using contacts, members of the website are able to solve the unsolvable and play the detective.  Another of the characters, Aerin, whose sister Helena goes missing in the flashback that opens the book, posts a plea for help on Helena’s case. Seneca and Maddy, previously only friends online, meet IRL to answer the plea. It sounds super great, right? Well, after I kept reading, I grew slowly more incredulous and…dissatisfied? Here’s why: Continue reading “Review: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard”

Duology Recommendations!

This year has definitely been the year that we discovered duologies. They’re perfect! The trilogy has been done to death, and usually they follow the same pattern: the first one is the best, the second one takes a dip and depending, the third is either a nose dive to disappointment or a jump to satisfaction. With a duology, there’s less chance of what we like to call ‘Second Book Syndrome’.

So, which ones are well worth reading?

Fearsome Dreamer and The Illusionists by Laure Eve

Not only do you get a beautiful set of covers, these two books are absolutely phenomenal. For only two books, it feels like you’re reading seven because of the different point of view and locations explored throughout. The world is extremely well built, the characters are so varied, your bound to love at least one of them, (Rue and White, forever ♡) and the story…boy, I can’t even describe it. Imagine Under the Never Sky mixed with The Chronicles of Prydain and you’re pretty much there.

Pivot Point and Split Second by Kasie West

These books are perfect if you love the paranormal and contemporary genres. Addie has the power to see outcomes of a choice. Should she live with her Mum or her Dad, and what consequences will that have on her love life, her best friend, and the secret mind-power society she lives in? You get to read the two outcomes, both action packed and loveable, and be shocked and thrilled by what Addie chooses. The second book adds her best friend, Laila’s perspective to the mix, and deals with the aftermath of Addie’s choice. Seriously, could not recommend enough!

The Perfectionists and The Good Girls by Sara Shepard

Love Pretty Little Liars? This is practically the same thing, but in two books instead of sixteen! Perfect! These are about how six girls are affected by the murder of the high school’s most popular guy, Nolan Hotchkiss. Each girl is suspected in a slightly different way, and deals with a lot of personal drama amongst a murder inquiry. Are the girls really as perfect and good as they appear? And who’s going down for a murder they may or may not have committed?
Packed with the same drama and plot twists as PLL, this is a fast paced duology bound to leave you with an open jaw on the final page.

Vivian Versus the Apocalypse and Vivian Versus America by Katie Coyle

This duology takes a completely different turn to the other recommendations. About a girl called Vivian and her best friend Harp, trying to survive the aftermath of a religious cult takeover, stealing family members and bringing about the second coming. If it sounds intense, that’s because it is! But, despite the manic plot, the relationship between the girls

Breathe and Resist by Sarah Crossan

If you hate to see trilogies suffer from second book syndrome then the Breathe duology is perfect for you! It’s a fast-paced dystopian where the amount of oxygen you’re allowed is controlled by the Pod Leaders. The books are told from four different PoVs throughout the series so you get to see every part of the world, both Inside and Out, rebel and victim! If you liked the Under The Never Sky trilogy then this should definitely make your TBR!

Reboot and Rebel by Amy Tintera

After death humans can reboot, but the longer it takes the less human they are when they return. It took Wren Connolly 178 minutes to reboot, making her one of the toughest girls around. In the facility where the reboots live, Wren trains the newbies where she meets 22 Callum. This duology has something for everyone, romance, conspiracy, and a ton of action that will have you on the edge of your seat!

Review: Flawless by Sara Shepard

162089Flawless by Sara Shepard
Genre: 
Mystery, Contemporary
Published by: Harper Collins
Pages: 330
Format: E-Book
Rating: ★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon

As I said in my review of the first book, this series is super addicting. I can’t believe how quickly I managed to read ‘Flawless’, every chapter seemed to take two minutes to digest. Is that a good thing? Hmm…
Continue reading “Review: Flawless by Sara Shepard”

Review: The Good Girls by Sara Shepard

25326225The Good Girls by Sara Shepard
Genre: 
Mystery, Contemporary
Published by: Hot Key Books
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Series: The Perfectionists (#1)
Rating: ★★★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon

A short review today because I can’t give a lot away without spoiling the book. But, I still feel the need to let you know that The Perfectionists is definitely a series worth reading. On Goodreads the caption is: ‘The shocking sequel to The Perfectionists—with an ending you’ll have to read to believe!’ and I couldn’t agree more. My jaw was on the floor. Here’s why.
Continue reading “Review: The Good Girls by Sara Shepard”

Review: The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard

23005588The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard
Genre: 
Mystery, Contemporary
Published by: Hot Key Books
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Rating: ★★★.5
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon

I read ‘Pretty Little Liars’ in order to prepare myself for ‘The Perfectionists’ and get a little taste for Sara Shepard’s writing. For me, this was another hit, a book I enjoyed more than PLL…but that’s probably because I loved a good murder mystery. Bring out the body, girls, let’s see what you’ve got.  Continue reading “Review: The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard”

Review: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

162085Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary
Published by: Harper Collins
Pages: 286
Format: E-Book
Rating: ★★★
Where to Find: Goodreads | Author | Amazon
I really wanted to dive into a new series. If I’d have known PLL was about 16 books long, then maybe I’d have reconsidered my decision. Knowing nothing about the TV show and therefore the plot, I was pleasantly surprised by my reaction to ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and it’s ability to draw you in  and wrap you up in the lies, just as much as the characters. Continue reading “Review: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard”