Book Review

Book Review: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Mystery + Thriller
Length: 384 pages
Author: Ruth Ware
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Expected Release Date: August 6th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is. 

HAD SOME GOOD MOMENTS.

This starts out super chill. We have a nanny who’s going to work at a very creepy smart-house. It can automatically be assumed something will go down because when does a smart-house in a thriller novel ever work correctly? I was intrigued and ready to get things rolling. What slowed me down (time and time again) was the excessive paragraphs dedicated to describing every nook and cranny of the house. I’m not someone who needs to know minute details so for me, I breezed past those to get to the more interesting bits.

I like the way everything was set up. The age of the girls, the parents, the other staff members. I felt they all kind of played their parts well and had rolls that you loved or hated. I liked Rowan and thought she was an odd character. It seemed like she was trying her best to help out and take care of the kids. The style set-up with Rowan writing to a lawyer was interesting. I thought it might get in the way, but she only really addressed him a handful of times so it’s not as bothersome as it could have been.

Something I didn’t love was the awful husband, when his full story came to light I was already angry at him and this just fueled that rage. I kinda wish he had gotten his karma in this book because he deserved it. Another piece was the “romance” thrown into this. WHY. Why does every thriller with a female lead NEED a randevu with the handsome new guy/stranger. It added nothing to the story.

The ending plot twists…I did NOT see coming. And was totally floored when they happened. I absolutely loved them and thought it was a great way to turn everything on its head before the story ended. I wish we did get more of an end because I closed the book feeling unsatisfied that I didn’t get the last little pieces I was hoping *sigh*.

Overall audience notes:

  • Thriller/Mystery
  • Language: some strong language throughout
  • Romance: one love scene, took one paragraph and pretty vague
  • Violence: murder
  • Trigger warnings: death of a child, unwanted sexual advancements, cheating spouse

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Book Talk

Happy Halloween!: Some Favorite Spooky Reads from 2019

Happy Halloween Y’all! I hope everyone has the plans to look forward to tonight. Whether that’s getting dressed up and going out or shutting your porch light off to watch a spooky movie.

We’re going to a Halloween party tonight and my family is dressing up as pirates this year!

I wanted to write a special little post about what spooky reads I’ve enjoyed this year, and a few from some of my Bookstagram friends. Spooky is a very broad term for this post. Anything that has fall vibes, freaked someone out, had a creepy moment or two, maybe some witches? It all goes! I wanted to give some options for all to add to your TBR! My only rule was that you had to read it in 2019, whether or not it came out then doesn’t matter!

These responses were from my friends on Instagram. I’ve included a link to their Insta’s and a little blurb about why the enjoyed this read. I’ll include my thoughts if I’ve read them!


littlelindsreadsThe Whisper Man by Alex North

“If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken. If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home. If you window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass. If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.”

Lindsay says: Just this quote alone from The Whisper Man gives me the chills! This book has just the right amount of spookiness to have you on edge while you are reading it. The alternating points of view keep the story interesting as you try to solve the case of the disappearing children. Fans of Law and Order will love this book!


bookish_tayThe Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Taylor says: I loved The Wicked Deep because it was so creepy and enjoyable. Even though parts were predictable, I was sucked into the story. Rooting for the boys, rooting for the witches at times, rooting for Penny. It was a perfect read for this time of year!

Cait says: I’ve read this one too! I definitely loved the creepy vibes it gave off. The story of the Swan sisters and the witchy vibes. Perfect for October. Find my full review here.


caro.libraryHouse of Salt & Sorrows by Erin A. Craig, Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin, and The Whisper Man by Alex North

Caroline says:

House of Salt & Sorrows: Is there anything better than a spooky fairy tale retelling? This atmospheric retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses is equal parts dark fantasy, mystery, and Gothic horror. It’s creepy and magical, and it kept me guessing until the end.

Serpent & Dove: This book has the best cast of characters! It’s a great witchy story, but also hilarious and heartfelt.

The Whisper Man: One of the best thrillers I’ve read this year! It was so well done with great pacing, a ghost story feel, and some downright chilling moments!

Cait says: I’ve read the first two of her suggestions. House of Salt & Sorrows was a buddy I read I actually did with Caroline! It was great and this book is DEFINITELY creepy. It’s a dark take on the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Full review here!

Serpent & Dove. ONE OF MY FAVS OF 2019. I usually don’t love books with witches. THIS IS THE BEST EXCEPTION. Seriously. Read it. Full review here!

This second section will include books I’ve enjoyed from this year (some might overlap).

Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Probably the best thriller I read this year. It had the creepy factor and a lot of unknowns. Some twists were easy to see, but others left me shocked.


Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

OH MY GOODNESS. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Really. Top 10 from this year. Without a doubt. I’m going to link my review again because you must get this on your TBR ASAP.


The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

This one is all about Dracula! No actual vampires, but a lot of spooky vibes as the MCs run across Romania. See my full review here!


Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalco

I’m waiting on a library hold for the very last book, but this are perfect for a good spooky time. There’s murder, romance, mystery, a great mix of YA historical fiction goodness. And of course, there’s Thomas Cresswell.

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe found a new book or two to consider for your TBR. Have you read any of these? What was one of your favorite spooky reads this year? Lets talk in the comments!

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