Thursday, 30 March 2017

Review | How I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst

 photo 514w3CElQOL._SX323_BO1204203200__zps8hwnfqcy.jpgHow I Lost You by Jenny Blackhurst
Published On: October 9, 2014
Published By: Headline
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★

Amazon | Goodreads

They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied? 
I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don't you? 
My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago I was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve-week-old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my tattered life. This morning, I received an envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. 
Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I truly believe he's dead? If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back?

I seem to have been stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to mystery/thriller novels recently. Everything I read just seems to be average and I'm waiting for something to blow me away. I was so hoping this would be the one to do that, especially as the synopsis was so intriguing, but sadly not. This was another decent, average mystery/thriller novel. It wasn't bad but it wasn't amazing, it didn't blow me away as I had hoped.

It started off well, I was completely sucked in from the first few pages and just had to know what was happening. However, as the book went on I started to lose interest. I'm not sure if this is because I was didn't have much time to read so ended up having to read this over the course of a month, which could easily make me lost interest. I think it could be a combination of that and the book itself, I did find it a bit slower towards the middle.

A stand-out difference with this book, for me, was the main character. More often than not in these kinds of books, the main character is not a likeable character at all, that's what I've come to expect when I pick up a book like this. That wasn't the case with this book though, I actually found myself liking our main character Susan/Emma. While she isn't a typically likeable character, considering she was convicted for killing her child, and I got the impression the author was trying to make her an untrustworthy, suspicious character, I was rooting for her through everything.

I really didn't like the flashback chapters. Although I can completely see why they were there and the purpose of them, I just didn't like them. I found them a distraction from the main story and it would often result in me putting the book down because I didn't care about what was happening then. Maybe if they had been incorporated differently I would have liked them more.

The main reason this book was just average for me and not anything special was because it was quite predictable at times. There were a lot of little twists and reveals that I could definitely see coming and wasn't shocked or surprised in any way by them. For a lot of the book I found that I was sure I could see something coming and was hoping to be proven wrong, but it didn't happen. There were some things that I didn't see coming at all, but even then I wasn't so much shocked as confused.

While a lot of aspects of this book were predictable, the ending definitely wasn't. I did not predict the main reveal at all. I obviously don't want to say too much because of spoilers but I seem to always work out what happened or who done it, not this time. However, again it didn't shock me. When everything was revealed there was no gasp of surprise, I had more of a 'yeah, that makes sense' reaction.

I also had some issues with the epilogue. I obviously can't go into details but there were some things that I don't think were dealt with very well. I understand why the author did what she did with the epilogue, but considering how certain things were done I think it would have been better not to have included it.

Overall, this was a decent book. It didn't blow me away and I'm finding now that it is a bit forgettable. I only finished it a few days ago and was struggling to remember details of the book as I was writing this review. The premise of the book was great and it initially really drew me in so I do think this author has potential. I definitely wouldn't rule out reading more from her.

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