Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

The Perfect Wife [review]

The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney
Published by Ballantine Books on August 6, 2019
my rating: ★★★.5
Goodreads avg: 
3.92 (as of 2019-08-20)
disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for review consideration. All of the opinions presented below are my own.

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s an icon of the tech world, the founder of a lucrative robotics company. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago, and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss. She is a miracle of science. 

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives–and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to Abbie half a decade ago? 

This was really nothing like I had expected. At the very start, I thought I had quite a firm grasp on things, but this is definitely one of those novels where literally nothing is what you expect. Even the perspectives shift wildly, moving between the second person while following Abbie and a plural first person (???) when diving into Abbie’s history with her husband. This definitely lends some additional intrigue to the narrative, and by the end I felt that this decision had paid off for Delaney.

While there isn’t much else to say about the plot itself — it’s interesting, it’s timely, and it makes you want to keep reading — there was an additional aspect to the novel that I found interesting. Abbie and her husband have a son named Danny, who was diagnosed with childhood disintegrative disorder. While I know next-to-nothing about this, the book explains it as late-onset autism. The disclaimer here is that I am allistic and have been unable to locate any ownvoices posts by autistic reviewers — so please link me any you have written or seen and I’ll add them here. 

At first, I was really taken aback by the portrayal: there was a lot of the stereotypical “my son has been taken from me” wailing, and talk of “curing” him. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that this perspective changed greatly over the course of the novel and seemed positive by the end — although it’s not up to me to give the final comment on rep that doesn’t apply to me. I mention this for two reasons: first, this could obviously be triggering to some people. And second, if you’re considering putting down the book due to its characters’ problematic stances, they do change.

Overall this was a decent read and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting, creative thriller.

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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Believe Me [review]


Believe Me by JP Delaney
Published by Quercus on July 24, 2018
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
Goodreads avg:
3.69 (as of 2018-11-16)
cw: slut shaming, gore, CSA, self-harm, abuse
disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for review consideration. All of the opinions presented below are my own.

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap? But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

But then, this isn’t lying. This is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances. Which, as you will discover, is very different.

→ What I Liked:

The Twists
While I’m not one of those people who can guess the ending to every mystery, I can sometimes be hard to please with twists. I like them to be somewhat believable, meaning that there needs to have been an indication somewhere that this was a possibility. Not necessarily anything glaring, just something to point back to as a foundation. This was actually one of my biggest issues with Dangerous Girls. While the very last bit of the book is so full of twists it’s messy, JP Delaney masterfully puts together most of the pieces in such a way that the reader can’t help but be impressed. I really thought I knew where this book was going at the beginning, but I was very wrong.

The Characters
Claire, our narrator, is a British actor living in NYC. It’s clear from the start that although she’s down on her luck, she’s just brimming with talent. She’s easy to sympathize with, but far from perfect. Although she has somewhat of a stereotypical background, in my opinion she was quite an original character. Patrick, the man accused of murdering his wife, felt really well-done as well. While at first the reader thinks they have him pinned down, that soon comes undone. Seeing him through Claire’s eyes, we find out just how difficult it is to discern who someone truly is.

→ What I Didn’t Like:

The Ending
I tore through the entirety of this book, loving the build-up, but felt entirely dissatisfied by the ending. The author threw in so many red herrings I could barely see straight. Everything began shifting wildly and rather than astounding me, it caused me to lose any suspension of disbelief I had. It felt cheesy and cheap and I’m positive JP Delaney had the talent to create something better than this.

→ TL;DR:

  • Great twists
  • Page-turner
  • Believable characters
  • A terrible ending
  • Would recommend


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(Blurb and cover courtesy of Goodreads.)