Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Review: With Malice by Eileen Cook

With MaliceTitle: With Malice 
Author: Eileen Cook 
Publisher: HMH for Young Readers
Publishing Date: June 7th 2016
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Mystery/Psychological suspense/Thriller
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: ARC 

It was the perfect trip…until it wasn’t.

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.
This book didn't stand out for me at first but it came highly recommended by Michelle from pink polka dot books. I trust  her judgement... our likes are really similar... so I read it. I loved it and I am so glad I was told to read this book. It was so good. It was full of suspense and mystery and drama. I needed to figure things out and it kept the pages turning. For sure was worth the read. 

Jill wakes up in a hospital. The last six weeks missing from her memory. She doesn't remember her trip to Italy, she doesn't remember a boy she met and fell for, she doesn't remember her best friend dying. She doesn't just wake up with a hole in her memory but she wakes up to a murder investigation. She is the main suspect. Her school trip to Italy is blank but what eye witnesses, classmates from the trip and the Italian police think she did it. She killed her best friend... She can't believe this but is the past, the missing memories, the death of her best friend... worth remembering and can she deal with the truth. When it all comes crashing down or put together will it be something she can live with or something that will tear her life apart.?

I went into this book with high standards after hearing such raving words from my good friend Michelle. I didn't think it would hit the mark. It did though actually, it passed the mark and hit a perfect bullseye. Thinking back on the read. I just don't have anything but good things to say about this book. 

The plot building was so good with this story. The actual story and details were the main points that drove this home for. I think that when I go through so many good and mediocre reads, it's hard to find one that stands out and this one did for me. I know that memory loss and murder investigations are nothing new in books but its been a long time since I read one that felt so original and kept the suspense part and the mystery part on target. I find the combination just not so satisfying in many other books. This one was very satisfying. The drama of the story kept me invested. I wanted to figure it all out, make it all make sense. The story from Jill's point of view was so fragmented. I was able to unravel all the nonsense with her in the same way as she did. Through interviews, therapy, memory restoration, and the actual investigation. I was turning the pages as fast as I could. 

The characters were pretty well thought out. The book mainly focused on getting to know Jill, feeling what she felt...confused and lost while dealing with loss. Not jus feeling what she felt but also figuring it all out when everything was lost. It was a journey and it was hard. It was hard because Jill knew the kind of person she was and didn't think she could ever do the thing she was accused of doing. I believed her.. but what kind of story would this be if there wasn't doubt. Doubt from Jill and doubt from me as the reader. I didn't attach really to her but I did connect with the confusion, the emptiness, and the loss. 

The ending was quite an ending. It was resolved in a way.... maybe not to what I wanted or thought but it ended the way it should have to make for a very good read. It didn't disappoint and that is what I had hoped for. A great read to put up there with all my favorite psychological thrillers/dramas/mysteries/suspense etc. 

Loved it.... great addition to my stash... recommend to everyone. 

Eileen CookEileen Cook spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny atwww.eileencook.com. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.


  1. OOoh nice! Been seeing so many good reviews for this one that I couldn't help but add it to my list! It sounds phenomenal! I love a good thriller/mystery! Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much! Great review!

  2. I wasn't a big fan of the ending, but I did loke the book overall. I love a good mystery and I think this one qualifies.


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