Mundie Moms

Thursday, November 3, 2016

WITH MALICE by Eileen Cook / SHUTTER by Laurie Faria Stolarz / Book Reviews

By: Eileen Cook
Published by: HMH Books 
Released on: June 7th, 2016
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 3 stars- It's A Good Read
A copy of this book was provided from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review

It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

A thrilling, suspenseful read. This is a well paced story that slowly unravels the truth. For much of this story Cook leaves readers in the dark on what exactly happened. Instead, she allows readers to discover the truth at a similar pace that Jill does. For much of this story our main character is lying in a hospital room, trying to remember what happened, and the events that landing her there. 

Cook uses a lot of elements to create a thrilling read. Told using present day, flashbacks, police interviews, media reports, medical records and emails, it's hard to decipher what the truth is, the motive, and piece together exactly what happened. Cook does a great at using media and social media prejudices when it comes to judging whether or not someone is guilty prior to their trial taking place, and before all the evidence is shared. She shows how that effects the person who's behind the name being slandered across the various media outlets.

This story definitely has it's darker tones. It doesn't shy away from how easily someone can snap when the pressure is too much. Part of what makes this story  suspenseful happens as the events are pieced together, or attempted to be pieced together, and true motives are uncovered. It makes you realize that sometimes friends aren't always who you think they are. I'm not a huge physiological thriller fan, but this was a good read.

*There is some mild language.

By: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: October 18th, 2016
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 2.5 stars
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Sixteen-year-old Day Connor views life through the lens of her camera, where perspective is everything. But photographs never tell the whole story. After Day crosses paths with Julian, the world she observes and the truths she believes—neatly captured in black and white—begin to blur.

Julian does not look like a murderer, but his story is full of holes, and his alibis don’t quite add up, either. This time, Day is determined to see the entire picture…whatever it reveals.

Did he kill his parents? Or didn’t he?

While Julian remains on the run, Day digs deeper into his case. But the more facts she uncovers, the longer her list of questions becomes. It’s also getting harder to deny the chemistry she feels with Julian.

Is it real? Or is she being manipulated?

Day is close to finding the crack in the case that will prove Julian’s innocence. She just needs time to focus before the shutter snaps shut.

One again I find myself reviewing a book for a genre that normally isn't my cup of tea. This is another book that as soon as it arrived I found myself thumbing through the pages, and instead of putting the book down, I ended up reading it. There was something about Julian's story that I wanted to know more about. I couldn't help but be intrigued about this boy, his troubled story, and how his path crossed with Day's. I liked that this story is told from both Day's point of view, and Julian's journal entries. 

This book definitely has all the makings to be a dark, thrilling read. It's a well paced story that is complex and dark, but too predictable. Though the predictably isn't always a bad thing, with this book I was looking for more suspense than predictability. I was also looking for more thrill and mystery, vs this being more of a coming of age story. The romance in this book did not work at all for me.... I'll just leave it at that. 

At times it felt there was an edge to the story, but sadly I felt like it fell flat as the story went on. It's not that this was a bad read. It just wasn't what I was excepting. Over all this is a fast paced read, but it just missed it's mark with me. 


  1. Ooh nice set of reviews!! These are two I really want to read! I enjoy a good YA thriller! Glad that With Malice was an interesting read but sad to hear Shutter fell a little flat for you. I read Laurie's early book series and loved it! I keep meaning to read past that one with her second older series and her duology that ended last year (from my gathering).

    Nice reviews overall!

  2. Thanks so much for reading my work! I really appreciate it!

  3. Awesome reviews Katie :) Thank you for sharing about both books. <3 Not heard of them before now, and not really books for me, but sounds sort of interesting :) I'm glad you liked them, but sorry they weren't all that awesome :\