Books

Top Reads of 2018

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I read 114 books in 2018, more than doubling my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 52. This marks the best year I’ve had since I first started participating in the challenge back in 2015, and I was very pleased to do so well. I chose a lot of great books, and my rating average for the year was 4.3 stars. I read a variety of fictional genres, including historical fiction, dystopia, fantasy, and crime/psychological thrillers. My nonfiction reading focused heavily on history, current events, social issues, and memoirs. I was entertained by the stories, and I gained a great deal of knowledge on various topics, as well. 2018 was definitely a great year for reading!

But which books were the best?

Continue reading “Top Reads of 2018”

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Book Reviews

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen #Review @fab_fiction @bookouture

Kat and Nick are on the verge of giving up on their dream to become parents. Unable to have a child of their own, they decided to adopt a baby instead—only to be crushed after the adoptions failed to go through not once, but twice. Then Kat unexpectedly sees her old friend, Lisa—whom she hasn’t spoken to in years, for reasons readers aren’t privy to until later in the book. Rather than the upset she expected, the two women fall back into their friendship as though their estrangement never happened. The despair Kat feels over not having a child changes to hope when Lisa offers to be a surrogate for Kat and her husband. Her dream is about to come true… or is it? Lisa begins to do things that make Kat suspicious, and she wonders if her past is coming back to haunt her, but she could never have foreseen the horror that awaited her.

Continue reading “The Surrogate by Louise Jensen #Review @fab_fiction @bookouture”

Book Reviews

The Gift by Louise Jensen #Review @fab_fiction @bookouture

The Gift by Louise Jensen

Have you ever read a book that so incredibly good, you wanted to tell everyone you meet that they MUST read it? Well, allow me to introduce you to The Gift, because this is an experience you don’t want to miss! Gripping, riveting, spellbinding, engrossing—whip out your thesaurus and pick any synonym you like—this fascinating psychological thriller will have you staying up way past your bedtime. But don’t worry… it’s well worth the book hangover.

Jenna is nearing six months of recovery from a heart transplant. She’s been having dreams and flashbacks of memories that are not her own, not to mention behaving in ways that are not like herself. In her quest to understand, she researches cellular memory—the theory that the cells in your body can store memories which can then be transferred to another person after receiving an organ transplant—and becomes convinced this is the cause of it all.

Breaking the rules and going against the advice of everyone she knows, she contacts the family of the young woman whose heart now beats in her chest. The more she learns about Callie, and what happened the night of the accident that took her life, the more convinced she is that there is more to it than anyone knows. Determined to find out what really happened, she insinuates herself into the lives of the people who knew Callie best, and uncovers unsettling information that makes her believe Callie’s “accident” was, in fact, murder.

Risking her fragile health and, indeed, her own life, Jenna is willing to do whatever it takes to learn what really happened to Callie that night. But when the answer comes, it’s far more insidious (and heartbreaking) than Jenna could ever have imagined.

Jensen’s writing throughout is superb. The attention to detail regarding Jenna’s recovery, and the sensitivity in showing the emotions of Callie’s family was excellent. The ominous sense of eminent danger had me on the edge of my seat from page one. Simply put, it’s everything you could hope for in a psychological thriller, and then some.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Bookouture via Netgalley.

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Author: Louise Jensen

Title: The Gift

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Published: December 16th, 2016 by Bookouture

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

book worth reading


About the Book

The perfect daughter. The perfect girlfriend. The perfect murder?

Jenna is seriously ill. She’s lost all hope of getting the heart transplant she needs to live. But just as her life is ebbing away, she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie.

Who was Callie and how did she die? Jenna is determined to find out.

The closer Jenna gets to those who loved Callie, the more questions arise about her untimely death. Someone knows what happened to Callie. Why won’t they talk?

Jenna is about to uncover the truth, but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist from the author of the Number One bestseller The Sister.


About the Author

Louise Jensen
Louise Jensen

Louise Jensen always wanted to be Enid Blyton when she grew up, and when that didn’t happen she got a ‘proper’ job instead.

Several years ago an accident left Louise with a disability and she began writing once again, to distract her from her pain and compromised mobility. But writing turned out to be more than just a good distraction. Louise loves creating exciting worlds, dark characters, and twisted plots.

Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, sons, a madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat, and also teaches mindfulness.

Author photo and bio via Bookouture.

Book Reviews

The Sister by Louise Jensen

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Best friends Grace and Charlie were inseparable throughout their childhood, but shortly after Grace’s 18th birthday, Charlie left without warning, leaving a note for Grace asking for her forgiveness. But forgiveness for what?

Years pass before Grace sees Charlie again, but before she has a chance to talk to her about why she left so abruptly, Charlie dies, leaving Grace devastated and feeling as if she were somehow the cause of it all. Desperate for answers, Grace unearths the memory box she and Charlie buried ten years earlier, and finds a letter inside. In it, Charlie confesses her wish to find her father, whose name she never know. Grace decides to find Charlie’s father; after getting his name from Charlie’s mother, she begins an online search for him with the help of her boyfriend, Dan. She is contacted by Anna, the half-sister Charlie never knew.

Grace immediately bonds with Anna, who is eager to learn more about her lost sister, and she allows Anna to move into the home she shares with Dan. He’s not happy about the situation and wants Anna to leave, but Grace is comforted by Anna’s presence, and not just because of the link to Charlie; someone is stalking Grace. Phone calls from someone who never speaks, and a red car that always seems to be lurking nearby have Grace on edge. Her relationship with Dan is strained, and she’s afraid to be alone. Fallout after an incident at work have her convinced someone wants to hurt her, but who… and why?

Jensen’s debut novel, The Sister, is psychological thriller at its finest. Flashbacks to the past serve to deepen the mystery of Charlie’s disappearance, giving just enough insight to tantalize without revealing anything too soon, and hinting at Grace’s own mysterious past. Each discovery of the past (and present) leads to more questions in this skillfully written thriller. It will have you questioning the motives of all the main characters, leading to a stunning revelation that will blow you away. Treat yourself to a delicious summer read with The Sister, and put Louise Jensen on your author radar. Trust me… you’ll be glad you did.

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Bookouture via Netgalley.

Add to Goodreads

Author: Louise Jensen
Title: The Sister
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publication Date: July 7, 2016 by Bookouture
Rating: 5 stars

About the Book

Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s words, the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.

But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?

There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there?

About the Author

Louise Jensen always wanted to be Enid Blyton when she grew up, and when that didn’t happen she got a ‘proper’ job instead.

Several years ago an accident left Louise with a disability and she began writing once again, to distract her from her pain and compromised mobility. But writing turned out to be more than just a good distraction. Louise loves creating exciting worlds, dark characters, and twisted plots.

Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, sons, a madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat, and also teaches mindfulness.

Author photo and bio via Bookouture.