Book Review – The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

Book Review – The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
Book Review – The Girl Before by J.P. DelaneyThe Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
Published by Ballantine
Publication date: January 24, 2017
Genres: Suspense, Thriller
352 pages
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

A psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception—and the hottest title at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair.

A damaged young woman gets the unique opportunity to rent a one-of-a-kind house. When she falls in love with the sexy, enigmatic architect who designed it, she has no idea she is following in the footsteps of the girl who came before: the house’s former tenant.

The eerie parallels in the two girls’ lives lay bare an enthralling story…and make this novel the must-read thriller of the season.

Story Locale:London, UK


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Please make a list of every possession you consider essential in your life.”

J.P. Delaney’s THE GIRL BEFORE has such an alluring premise and there moments where I couldn’t put it down. But the far-fetched plot points, pseudo-sexual dominant storyline, and over-abundance of twists and turns left me feeling less than enthused about the novel overall.

The story follows Emma and Jane, two women separated by time. In the past, Emma, who is still suffering the effects of a recent home invasion, moves into One Folgate Street with her adoring boyfriend. In the present, Jane is recovering from the loss of her child and hoping to start anew in the house. Designed by renowned minimalist architect, Edward Monkford, One Folgate Street is well-known in the London renter’s market. But its occupants—the ones who get through vigorous application process—must abide by an exhaustive list of terms and conditions. Jane becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Emma, the girl before her. But the closer she gets to the truth, trouble follows her putting her life in danger. Is Edward a psychopath desperate for control? Or is there something else going on?

On one hand, I reached a point in THE GIRL BEFORE (albeit late in the novel) and I absolutely couldn’t put it down. Like Jane, I was desperate to find out Emma’s truth. What exactly happened to her? Why was Jane’s experiences in the house almost identical to Emma’s?

But what I wasn’t expecting was to be given a dark sexual storyline (just FYI—it’s not a romance), that came out of nowhere. It was bizarre. That aspect of the book really threw me for a loop and it wasn’t something I enjoyed at all, especially all the “Yes, Daddy” talk.

I liked the duplicitous characterization that played out in the novel. That led to some interesting revelations for the reader. The transitions between the alternating points of view was seamless, but sometimes due to the characters’ almost parallel storylines it was confusing at times to distinguish the two women’s story arcs.

There was a time when One Folgate Street seemed like a calm, serene haven. Now it doesn’t. It feels claustrophobic and mean. Like the house is angry with me.

Emma’s chapters are written without quotation marks, something that was a deliberate choice of style. Though, I’m not sure what it was meant to accomplish. A form of minimalism? To emphasize that she no longer had a voice in the present time? This took some time getting used to and it made it a little more difficult to read. Had I completely understood this writing style choice, maybe I could be more forgiving, but it didn’t really make sense to me. The ending felt really rush and, if I’m honest, contrived where Jane was concerned.. We’re given almost no resolution with Edward’s character, which was disappointing to me.

I can definitely see the commercial appeal of this novel and hence, why there is a movie deal. It’s a blend of a dark sexual thriller and a whodunit with suspects and motives in every direction. But several plot points didn’t work for me and didn’t enjoy the book as a whole.

Thanks to Ballantine Books for the chance to read an early copy. Receiving this book for free did not affect my opinion.

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

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Book Review – Frostbite by Richelle Mead

Book Review – Frostbite by Richelle Mead
Book Review – Frostbite by Richelle MeadFrostbite by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #2
Published by Razorbill
Publication date: April 10, 2008
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult
352 pages
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Rose loves Dimitri, Dimitri might love Tasha, and Mason would die to be with Rose…

It’s winter break at St. Vladimir’s, but Rose is feeling anything but festive. A massive Strigoi attack has put the school on high alert, and now the Academy’s crawling with Guardians—including Rose’s hard-hitting mother, Janine Hathaway. And if hand-to-hand combat with her mom wasn’t bad enough, Rose’s tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason’s got a huge crush on her, and Rose keeps getting stuck in Lissa’s head while she’s making out with her boyfriend, Christian! The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy’s not taking any risks.... This year, St. Vlad’s annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only create the illusion of safety. When three friends run away in an offensive move against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. But heroism rarely comes without a price…


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Richelle Mead ramps up the action, angst, and intense emotions in FROSTBITE. By the end, I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. I guess I should stop wasting time and read the next book.

In FROSTBITE, the threat of the Strigoi increases, forcing Moroi and dhampirs to begin to think outside the box in order to protect everyone. Tensions rise between Rose and Dimitri when Dimitri’s friend and royal Moroi, Tasha, returns to the Academy, leaving Rose with a broken heart. Rose moves on with someone else, but her heart still aches. Most importantly, we meet one of my favorite characters—Adrian Ivashkov—whose charisma and tangible. The scenes with Adrian are so addicting.

Richelle Mead is a master at making you fall in love with her characters. I care so deeply for Rose in this one, even though she’s snarky, a little reckless at times, and more than a little impulsive. Underneath her hard exterior, she’s vulnerable. Rose goes through a lot with her mother, her friends, and the desires of her heart that I just couldn’t help but feel terrible for her.

Packed in with the emotional moments are more than a few funny ones. With the introduction of Adrian, the laughs were plentiful. The scenes with Rose and Adrian are especially entertaining with their verbal sparring matches. I couldn’t help but laugh.

So where does FROSTBITE leave our two lovers, Rose and Dimitri? I’m not going to say. But I will say there is angst, longing, heartbreak, and a little bit of hope. I devoured this book in no time. While I loved all of it, I was transfixed by the Rose and Dimitri scenes. I love the way Mead has built their love story. The scenes are packed with loads of unspoken feelings and meaningful looks.

Does anyone else die a little bit inside when Dimitri calls Rose “Roza” or is that just me? The Russian version of her name is a term of endearment, something he mutters when emotions run high. When Dimitri calls her that, you know that Rose has to know exactly how he feels about her!

I’m so happy I decided to reread this series! I am having an absolute blast experiencing the emotions all over again!

Teaser - Frostbite by Richelle Mead

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