Sunday, 31 July 2016

"The Stepmother" Book Review

My Rating ★★☆☆☆ 2.5 Stars 

Many thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for granting me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Stepmother is the first book I've read by the author - Claire Seeber. The premise was highly intriguing, reviews posted have been in the 4-5 star range and so I went against my better judgement and read this book with high expectations.

Jeanie, newly married to her prince charming Matthew King, feels like she has been given the opportunity to live a fairy-tale life. From his previous marriage, Matthew has two 15-year old teenagers who are fraternal twins while Jeanie has a son. Although it can be hard when families are joined through marriage, Jeanie is determined to make it work even when Matthew's daughter openly resents her and is often times hostile toward her. Matthew's ex-wife - Kaye King - is still very much in the picture which isn't making things easier and to make it worse, someone is trying to shatter Jeanie's new fairy-tale life by letting out a secret that may very well destroy her reputation and marriage.

In a house where the walls whisper, dead animals appear, blood pools on the floor and a grey lady in the mirror terrifies her, Jeanie corresponds with her sister Marlena and tries her hardest to save her marriage while maintaining her sanity.

The set up was so perfect, all it needed was the substance to carry it through yet that's what the story lacked. I couldn't take it seriously because of how "thin" this story was, there was no depth to it. From Matthew and Jeanie's quick marriage to their mounting, unresolved, trivial marital/family problems, it was utterly unbelievable and purely superficial.

The beginning of the book seemed tolerable until I got to the many mysteries which were dealt with so annoyingly. I understand that this is a thriller, it is bound to have its fair share of mysteries embedded in there which will later be explained, but it was written in such a way that all I kept thinking was "spit it out!". Give me something to hold on to, to whet my appetite so I can be gripped. Unfortunately all the twists, and there were many, turned out to be pretty anticlimactic in the end.

Many things were left unexplained, such as Matthew's behaviour/demeanor, Scarlett's reason for treating Jeanie the way she did, Jeanie's ex-boyfriend etc.

I think this would be so much better if each person's story went more in-depth, I'd have felt the full impact of the twists and revelations.

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