Book Reviews, Books

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

34202834

Rating: 4/5


Synopsis: The stunning new standalone, with a chilling edge of psychological suspense, from the No. 1 bestselling author of the Will Trent and Grant County series.

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy smalltown family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – Pikeville’s notorious defence attorney – devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself – the archetypal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again – and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatised – Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case which can’t help triggering the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried for ever…


Review:   

From the very first pages, I knew this was going to be one hell of an emotional rollercoaster. The topics treated in this story put on display the ugly, dark side of humanity and the author does not hold back!

The story is beautifully written and I quite enjoyed how the author peppered the information, of what happened and how it happened, all over the pages, thus giving us just enough substance -at a time- to keep us hooked till the very end of the book.

Lies, guilt, twists and turns, and dark secrets. The story keeps swinging from past to present, painting a canvas and connecting the dots till the image becomes HD-clear and all the complicated questions end up having equally complicated answers; intricate but satisfying.

Some characters were quite charming, funny and just delightful, others were utterly despicable, then there were the mentally-challenged…and those who had to rebuild themselves from scratch and move forward, despite the tragedy of their past; those were the courageous.

In a nutshell, this book is a must-read and I’ll definitely recommend it to anyone who’s into thrillers, mystery, and gorgeous writing!

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Author for sending me an ARC of this book.


Goodreads link: The Good Daughter

Amazon link: The Good Daughter

Book Reviews, Books

Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas

34204310

Rating: 4/5


Synopsis: 

The Hero

Libby Hall never really wanted to be noticed. But after she saves the children in her care from a fire, she finds herself headline news. And horrified by the attention. It all reminds her of what happened nine years ago. The last time she saw her best friend alive.

The Swap

Which is why the house swap is such a godsend. Libby and her husband Jamie exchange their flat in Bath for a beautiful, secluded house in Cornwall. It’s a chance to heal their marriage – to stop its secrets tearing them apart.

The Hideaway

But this stylish Cornish home isn’t the getaway they’d hoped for. They make odd, even disturbing, discoveries in the house. It’s so isolated-yet Libby doesn’t feel entirely alone. As if she’s being watched.

Is Libby being paranoid? What is her husband hiding? And. As the secrets and lies come tumbling out, is the past about to catch up with them?


Review:   

This is a story about jealousy, revenge, and power.

“You know what they say? If it’s too good to be true…”

From the very first page, I knew this story was going to be good and there wasn’t a moment, throughout the whole book, when I had a change of heart.

“How could anything go wrong?”

The reader is launched straight into the mystery. The suspense starts as soon as the story does and then keeps building up quite nicely.

What was an accident and what wasn’t? What everyone’s hiding? What secrets are about to come to light? Is this about Libby and Jamie or is it about Thailand and Karen Fisher? Or both?

“We’ve been married for nine months. That’s all. And together four years before that. Long enough surely? But how well do you ever really know someone?”

Weird things started happening and I had all these theories about who’s doing what and why and when the truth, or should I say truths, came out? I was pleasantly surprised! There was an avalanche of twists and turns that kept me on my toes till the very end of the book.

Some characters were clearly flawed but their actions still made sense, somehow, which made it a tad easier to sympathise with them. The story was beautifully-written and I enjoyed it very much. Therefore, I’ll definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in a good story with a raging storm of twists and turns that will keep them hooked till the very last page.

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Author for sending me an ARC of this book.


Goodreads link: Last Seen Alive

Amazon link: Last Seen Alive

Book Reviews, Books

No B.S. Guide to Powerful Presentations by Dan S. Kennedy, Dustin Matthews

31213568

Rating: 4/5


Synopsis: Millionaire maker Dan S. Kennedy has joined with speaking and presentation expert Dustin Matthews to help business owners, private practice professionals, and professional marketers start making dollars and cents of their speaking and online media presence. Kennedy and Matthews show readers how to harness the power of their personalities to sell their businesses in person, at events, and via online outlets like webinars, video, and online seminars.


Review:   

This book is a collection of practical ideas that will help, mainly beginners and intermediate public speakers, to produce powerful presentations that will have an indubitable impact on their audience.

My favourite bit was the “Seven-Minute Rule” which I personally find to be quite a useful technique when it comes to keeping the audience engaged throughout the whole presentation.

Some of the information presented in this book wasn’t quite relevant to me personally but I’m sure others will find it useful.

I will definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in public speaking and the art of creating powerful presentations.

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Authors for sending me an ARC of this book.


Goodreads link: No B.S. Guide to Powerful Presentations

Amazon link: No B.S. Guide to Powerful Presentations

Book Reviews, Books

The Innovation Mentality by Glenn Llopis, Jim Eber (With)

30316168

Rating: 4/5


Synopsis: Companies and their leaders need a new strategy for success because, without it, change is merely substitution, not evolution. Simply put, business is becoming less about the business defining the individual and more about the individual defining the business. As individuals creating shared cultures that drive change and foster growth, people feel they are making contributions and connecting to leaders and their companies.

As a leader, you need the wisdom and courage to turn the spotlight of accountability on yourself. Problem is, most of us have no idea how to do this. Instead, leaders continue to manage by using old templates and cannot evolve to become the leaders America needs, because those templates stripped them of their identities, leaving them insecure about who they are and how to face change. To change the conversation, we need diversity of thought to stimulate new growth, attract new talent, and generate new marketplace opportunities.

That’s where Glenn Llopis comes in. Featuring six ways to disrupt the status quo and reinvent the way we work, The Innovation Mentality gives entrepreneurial and corporate leaders the tools they need to work with colleagues and employees to harness the power of positive change for the long term.


Review:   

“Are you vulnerable enough to listen?”

When a book starts with such a powerful question, you know what’s coming ahead is about to be thought-provoking and boy that it was!

“Why do so many leaders not get that their employees just want a safe environment where no one is judged? Because they aren’t listening to the people.”

Do leaders listen? Do they know how to listen? Can we genuinely listen and understand one another without mastering the power of vulnerability? Sometimes we, unintentionally, tend to overlook the little things that could make all the difference in our everyday-interactions with others.

The leadership identity part was very enriching as it touched up on the personal brand and its value. I also found it quite interesting how the author paid a close attention to the diverse thinking, recognising it as an important part of the innovation mentality. Six ways, that’s all it takes to disrupt the status quo and reinvent the way we all work!

I found that the assessments and Q/As made the reading experience a lot more interactive and throughout the whole book, it felt like if the author was right there in the room, asking questions, listening, and discussing important leadership matters with the reader.

“How do you take the workplace culture and change it to embrace diversity of thought and the six characteristics of the innovation?”

This book asks the right questions and then skilfully walks you through the answers, showing you the power of positive change and how to sustain it. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for an inspirational read!

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Authors for sending me an ARC of this book.


Goodreads link: The Innovation Mentality

Amazon link: The Innovation Mentality

Book Reviews, Books

The Inspiration Code by Kristi Hedges

33198957

Rating: 4/5


Synopsis: All it takes is the right conversation . . . Great leaders inspire action with their words. They spark enthusiasm and commitment. With a single conversation, they can change the direction of someone’s life. Everyone wants to be the kind of leader who energizes and mobilizes others–yet too few are. Why is it so challenging to crack the code? Executive coach Kristi Hedges spent years studying exactly what inspiring leaders do differently. Informed by quantitative research and thousands of responses from leaders at all levels, she reveals that inspiring communication isn’t about grand gestures. Instead, those who motivate us most do a few things routinely, consistently, and intentionally. Eye-opening and accessible, The Inspiration Code dispels common myths about how leaders communicate–and guides them in cultivating qualities that authentically excite. Inspired companies need inspirational leaders. Learn to unlock motivation, lift peoples’ sights, and lead them into the future.


Review:   

“So we check our phones, send text messages, glance at our email, or scan social media while real people are right in front of us. But at least we acknowledge that there’s a price.”

What is the price of being connected and yet disconnected? This book was an eye-opener on so many levels!

“We all really need to listen to each other, including the boring bits. Because it’s when we stumble or hesitate or lose our words that we reveal ourselves to each other.” -Turkle

Conversations happen within our “human moments” and so taking that away could change everything. The thought of this is rather scary, especially that this is becoming our everyday-reality.

I found it quite helpful the way the author recapitulated each chapter’s main points in the form of takeaways. This book was full of interesting insights and inspirational ideas and I would definitely recommend it to everyone because at the end of the day, we could all use a sprinkle of inspiration to help us be a bit more present in the here and now.

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Author for sending me an ARC of this book.


Goodreads link: The Inspiration Code

Amazon link: The Inspiration Code

Book Reviews, Books

Lies She Told by Cate Holahan

34064624

Rating: 4/5


Synopsis: Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Jones has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing down in both her professional and her personal life, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine.

Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone providing for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, Beth sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the river.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the Hudson and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.


Review:   

When the lines between reality and fiction are blurred, it becomes harder to tell which is which.

“I don’t invent my characters. I steal them from my surroundings. To be a writer is to be a life thief. Every day, I rob myself blind.”

The switching between the story and the story within the story was a tad intriguing and I did enjoy it quite a lot. The built-up was rather slow at the beginning and yet I found it surprisingly pleasing as the author was slowly creating the promise of a good story, which she then skilfully delivered. The characters were superbly developed and the plot was rather gripping, with twists and turns peppered at every corner.

This was definitely a good thriller with the right amount of suspense. The fact it has a story within a story might be confusing for some but it is definitely worth a read and I would still recommend it to anyone looking for a suspenseful ride with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing till the very end.

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Author for sending me an ARC of this book.


Goodreads link: Lies She Told

Amazon link: Lies She Told

Book Reviews, Books

Each Little Lie by Tom Bale

35224842

Rating: 4/5


Synopsis: One split second can destroy your life forever

Single mother Jen Cornish is just trying to hold things together for the sake of her seven-year-old son Charlie. Until the day when she does an impulsive good deed to help a neighbour, setting off a terrifying chain of events that quickly spirals out of control…

When she is arrested for a crime she didn’t commit, Jen quickly starts to wonder if someone is playing a cruel game with her – or is she losing her mind?

Desperate to clear her name with the police, she must first untangle a chilling web of lies. But someone is watching her every move – and it isn’t just Jen who is in danger.

They’re watching her child as well.


Review:   

What might seem as a risky behaviour for some, could appear to be the right thing to do for others. I did not support Jen’s decision to enter that house because that was, in my opinion, completely and utterly inappropriate, in every sense of the word. You do not just walk into a stranger’s house looking for a pen and paper, Jen!

This is a story about lies, deceit, power, and manipulation.

I quite enjoyed the story which was tinted with a rather realistic tone to it. Some of the characters’ traits could be found in real people, which is quite unfortunate and just like in real life, not all bad people face the consequences of their acts and that was brilliantly highlighted in this book.

In a nutshell, this book was a good read and even though the story does not pick up speed right away, it still managed to keep me interested till the very end.

I would like to thank the Publishers, NetGalley, and the Author for sending me an ARC of the book.


Goodreads link: Each Little Lie

Amazon link: Each Little Lie