The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

The Invited: A Novel by [McMahon, Jennifer]

3.5 Stars

Publisher: Doubleday Books, Doubleday

Date of publication: April 30th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Where you can find The Invited: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book synopsis:

A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Times best-selling author of THE WINTER PEOPLE, returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don’t simply move into a haunted house, they start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it’s too late…

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home – wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks — she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie’s descendants, three generations of “Breckenridge women,” each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day.

My review:

Helen and Neal are living the dream. After inheriting money from Helen’s father, they decided to build their own house in Vermont. Shortly after they start building, Helen hears about the legend of Hattie Breckenridge. Her obsession begins when Hattie manifests in the new home. While she is out collection materials that were involved with each descendants death, Nate is obsessing over a white deer. What is the connection? Will the secrets that the town has long suppressed come back to haunt the people? Who is willing to kill to keep them that way? And how does Helen figure into all of this? Who is she supposed to save and why?

I was intrigued by a thriller set in Vermont. I can count on one hand how many books I have read that took place there. Out of all of those books, zero were thrillers. Which was the main reason I decided to request the book. I am happy to say that the author did pull it off.

The main plot line of The Invited was an interesting one. I haven’t read a book where the haunted house was built. Every other thriller that involves ghosts, the house were already built. It was a refreshing change.

The plot line with Helen and her obsession with finding Hattie’s descendants was written beautifully. I agreed with Nate at one point in the book. I thought that it was morbid that Helen was bringing in items that were present during a violent death to put in their new house. But at the same time, I got why Helen was doing it.

I thought I figured out Olive’s story line reasonably early in the book. Yeah, word to the wise, don’t do that because it came back to bite me in the butt. I was thrown for a loop not once but twice. I will say that I thought Olive would have made a great detective. I am not going to say much more than that.

I liked that I got to see what Hattie, Jane, Ann, and Gloria went through before their deaths.Out of all of the story lines, I was surprised by Jane’s. I was surprised at what she revealed.

I thought that the characters in The Invited were well written and well rounded out. The author did a great job of giving them depth. Their stories pulled at my heart: Olive’s, the most. Even the characters I didn’t like were well written.

The Invited fit well with the thriller genre. There were times in the book where I didn’t know what was going to happen or who it was going to happen too.

I loved how the paranormal angle of the book was written. It wasn’t overpowering. There was just the right amount of ghosts in the book. Which is something I never thought I would say. Plus, Hattie never harmed anyone. She manifested only to Helen.

If I liked the book so much, why the 3.5-star rating. I didn’t like how Riley’s story line turned out. I don’t like it when a character does a sudden 180, which Riley did. It baffled me.

The ending bothered me. Why reveal what it revealed then? Why to the person it was shown to? I don’t get bothered by endings, but this one got to me. There were too many whys, what ifs and a wth on my end.

I would give The Invited an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Invited. I would recommend this book to family and friends.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Invited.

All opinions stated in this review of The Invited are mine.

Have you read The Invited?

What are your thoughts?

Do you believe in the paranormal?

Let me know!!

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

The Flight Attendant

3 Stars 

Publisher: Doubleday Books, Doubleday

Date of publication: March 13th, 2018

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Number of pages: 368

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find The Flight Attendant: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room, a powerful story about the ways an entire life can change in one night: a flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man—and no idea what happened.

Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure; and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, already counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man with whom she spent the night. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And the blood, a slick, still, wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police—she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home—Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first-class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did? 

Set amid the captivating world of those whose lives unfold at forty thousand feet, those who spend their nights in far-flung cities, rolling suitcases trailing their every step, The Flight Attendant unveils a spellbinding story of memory, regret, and murder far from home.

Trigger Warning: Self-harming behavior, excessive drinking, talk of verbal abuse, talk of uncontested sex while drunk

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