Monday, 2 January 2017

I'm participating in Bout of Books 18!

Hi all! This is super last-minute as I've been doing lots of holiday stuff this year, but this is just to say I'm participating in Bout of Books 18. If you've been around here for a bit, you probably know I love Bout of Books - and this round falls the week before school starts up again for me, so it's perfect timing to get some much-needed reading done! Here's the official blurb:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week-long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure ti visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books team

Let me know in the comments if you'll be participating! :)

Bout of Books 18

Sunday, 11 December 2016

"Sweetness" by Christy Jordan | Cookbook Review

Publishing Date: November 8, 2016
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Pages: 304
Links: Goodreads | Indigo | Book Depository | Amazon | Kobo

"A celebration of sweetness in all forms - sweet foods, sweet memories, sweet blessings, and a sweet life - in recipes by Christy Jordan of Southern Plate."

Whether you have a natural sweet tooth or just occasionally need something sweet to satisfy a craving, we all have a place in our homes - well, in our stomachs - for a little sweetness.

Christy Jordan's new cookbook Sweetness has plenty of recipes that would help fill that place in an instant.

From cakes to cookies to milkshakes and beyond, you're bound to find something you're itching to make. As I was going through the recipes, I found myself so excited at all the possibilities of what I could make! Everything looks and sounds so delicious.

But when I came to one particular recipe, I knew I couldn't pass it up: Funnel Cake. You know, that delicious doughey concoction they serve at amusement parks and special events? How could I pass up an opportunity - or, excuse? - to make this in my very own home.

Funnel Cake (p.208)
To my pleasant surprise, Funnel Cake is incredibly easy to make. It involves a few ingredients, all of which are common and can easily be found at your local grocery store or, if you bake with any regularity, probably just in your pantry.

It took a bit of trial and error to get the cooking time just right - neither under- nor over-cooked - but by the end I was pretty darn good if I say so myself.

You can put whatever you want on top, but I used whipped cream and fresh strawberries, which made for an absolutely scrumptious treat, let me tell you. When I posted the above picture on my Facebook, there were calls for me to host a Funnel Cake party.

While I was very happy with how that recipe turned out, I should also mention that I tried another recipe that didn't go quite so well. I made S'Mores Muffins, which sounded great - chocolate and marshmallows, what could go wrong? But unfortunately, I found them very bland and won't be making them again.

All in all, this is a really cool cookbook. There's a huge variety of desserts and tasty treats to choose from, and most seem to be pretty straightforward. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you're looking for some sweet Southern recipes.

*I received a NetGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 7 November 2016

"From Junk Food to Joy Food" by Joy Bauer | Cookbook Review

From Junk Food to Joy Food by Joy Bauer
Publishing Date: February 23, 2016
Publisher: Hay House, Inc.
Pages: 276
Links: Goodreads | Indigo | Book Depository | Amazon | Kobo

What if you could eat all the food you love - burgers, pasta, desserts - without the bloating and negative effects? In From Junk Food to Joy Food, Joy Bauer shows us how, with a few tweaks, we can turn our favourite comfort foods into healthy meals.

I'm always looking for healthier foods to make and eat, so when I read about this cookbook, I was so excited! Who doesn't want their favourite food to be healthier?

This book is full of a wide range of recipes, so there's sure to be something in it for everyone. It varies from starters and main courses to desserts and drinks. All the way through, we're met with helpful tips as well!

Now, let's see which recipes I made!

I was still having issues with my phone during the time when I made these recipes, so you'll once again have to endure my not-so-pretty Snapchat pictures - pictures should be back to normal for the next post!

There were so many recipes that I wanted to try, and I had a really hard time narrowing it down to I did four. The first things I made were Chocolate Crunch Bars (p.196). These are basically chocolate-covered Rice Krispies and oh. my. god. I loved these. I like my chocolate to have a little texture and crunch to it, and this is the perfect treat for someone like me. Plus, they're incredibly easy to make!

Next up was a good ole classic - General Joy's Chicken (p.144), which is a variation of the more well-known General Tso's Chicken. This was a really tasty meal and it went quickly in my house. I had a hard time thickening the sauce so it was a bit runny, but throw it over some rice and problem solved.

After that, I ventured into hot territory - I made Jalapeno Poppers (p.36). These are well-loved at my house on special occasions - let's be real, if we were allowed to have these on any other occasions, they'd be well-loved then, too - so when I saw these in the cookbook, I knew I needed to try them. They were delicious and disappeared very quickly.

For my final recipe, I tried the Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups (p.202). These were an interesting and heavenly alternative to regular peanut butter cups. Banana fans will surely agree with me on this one!

All in all, this cookbook is chock full of recipes of the foods you already love, tweaked so that they're healthier. There's a wide range of foods that are sure to appeal to even the pickiest of eaters. You can't go wrong with this one!

*I received a NetGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

"The London Cookbook" by Aleksandra Crapanzano | Cookbook Review

The London Cookbook
by Aleksandra Crapanzano
Publishing Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Pages: 304
Links: Goodreads | Indigo | Book Depository | Amazon | Kobo

This cookbook promises you all the best of London's cuisine...but does it deliver?

If you've ever wanted to take a trip to London, you might know that it has a great culinary culture - a drastic change from the bland way we thought of England's food not too long ago.

The London Cookbook contains recipes from all over London, but it seems to be mostly posh recipes. I had a really hard time finding any recipes that I either had the ingredients for, or could afford the ingredients for.

In fact, in keeping with my rule of three when I review cookbooks, I managed to make the only three recipes that I found to be affordable in this entire book.

Because my phone is currently malfunctioning, I've lost the pictures I took of the food I made (with the exception of one from my Snapchat), but I'll do my best to briefly tell you about each dish anyhow.

The first things I made were the Chocolate Squares (p.218). These were pretty simple to make, and they're basically delicious brownies. They're really rich in flavour, and are great with a dollop of ice cream on top. They were a hit with my family and I'd definitely make them again!

Next up, I made the Summer Pasta with Crème Fraîche, Arugula, and Lemon (p.52). As the title suggests, this is a great dish for summer. It was fairly straightforward to make this, with the exception of the cème faîche. I couldn't find any at the store, so I attempted to make some at home, which didn't work out exactly as I'd hoped, though that part of the sauce did taste great. Not being a big arugula fan, this wasn't my favourite meal, but I think anyone who likes arugula would love this.

Finally, I made the Shrimp Aguachili Ceviche with Jalapeño and Citrus (p.11). I was so excited to make this because I don't generally make many fancy things and this one sounded like an interesting concept. You marinade raw shrimp in a brine of citrus juices, and the citrus is supposed to essentially cook the shrimp. I had a lot of problems cooking the shrimp. When I realized the shrimp was still mostly raw after the allotted sitting time, I left it for longer. Eventually, I gave up on the citrus process and boiled the shrimp. This dish is absolutely delicious - it's a great appetizer (it would be so refreshing during summer!) and I'd definitely make it again, minus the whole citrus-cooking process.

This book gives you a feeling for the upper-class, stylish vibe in London, but to the average people like me - good luck affording any of the recipes. This cookbook would be best suited to someone with deep pockets who's interested in great-sounding dishes!

*I received a NetGalley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

"101 One-Dish Dinners" by Andrea Chesman | Cookbook Review

101 One-Dish Dinners by Andrea Chesman
Publishing Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Storey Publishing
Pages: 192
Links: Goodreads | Indigo | Book Depository | Amazon | Kobo

We all love comfort food. Whether, to you, that means soup or mac and cheese or ice cream, there's always a place for comfort food at the table. 101 One-Dish Dinners aims to put these recipes into our hands - and stomachs - by showing us that they can be pretty simple to make.

The book starts with a brief history of one-dish dinners, as well as some tips and advice for cooking and cookware.

Full of recipes both familiar and new to me, I would definitely say this cookbook is accessible to a wide range of people. Whether you want to learn recipes from other cultures or you just want to make a simple meal, or whether you're skilled in the kitchen or...just want to make a simple meal, there's something in here for you.

When I was looking through the recipes, I noticed that most of the ingredients are pretty standard and easy to find at a local grocery store. To me, that's important in a cookbook because it's nice to be able to make delicious food without breaking the bank or going on a trek to find obscure ingredients.

My one criticism of the book is that 2 of the 3 recipes I tried were not one-dish dinners. The soup used a couple of pans (which I'm not complaining about, just, it's not one dish) and the casserole required several pots and pans. I wouldn't quite call them one-dish dinners, even though they were fairly straightforward to make - I was expecting something simpler based on the title of the book.

Clockwise from left: Stovetop Mac 'n' Cheese with Ham
 & Peas (p.116); Caldo Verde (p.50); Pastitsio (p.145)
On to the food!

The first thing I made from this book was the Stovetop Mac 'n' Cheese with Ham & Peas (p.116). It was super simple and easy to make, and it's a good way of getting some greens and protein into you. I didn't have any ham at home, so it ended up being a vegetarian version of the recipe, but ham could only make it tastier. I also tossed in some leftover broccoli, which was delish. The mac 'n' cheese is a little dry, so I'd suggest using a little more milk and cheese.

The second recipe I made was Caldo Verde (p.50), which is literally "green soup" in Portuguese. Being a half-Portuguese family, everyone in my house was super excited about this one, given that we love my grandma's version. There were a couple of things I did wrong, so I endured some light ribbing (all in good fun) from my Portuguese mother and the rest of my family ("What happened?"), but overall, I'd say it's a great recipe. It ain't pretty, but it's so incredibly tasty. Everyone who tried it absolutely loves it, and I'd say it's a big success in my house!

The last thing I made was Pastitsio (p.145), which is described as a Greek mac and cheese. This was probably the most popular thing I made from the book, as I made it late last night and it's nearly 2/3 of the way gone already. It was also the most complicated - this is the recipe that used multiple pots and pans, and it was also time-consuming. I won't be making it for a while because it was a lot of work, but I do think it's worth the effort!

All in all, this is a great cookbook if you're looking for some fairly easy, very delicious recipes.

*I received a NetGalley copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Blog Tour: "Darktown" by Thomas Mullen | Book Review

Hi everyone! Welcome to this stop on the Darktown blog tour! This is my first ever blog tour, so I'm super excited to be writing to you about a book I really loved. At the end of this post there'll be a 1940s playlist, put together by the lovely people over at Simon & Schuster Canada, which I highly recommend you give a listen while reading the book (I've been listening to it on loop - I love 40s music!). Also, be sure to check out the other stops on this tour - which are shown below - for some cool extras!

Darktown by Thomas Mullen
Publishing Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 384
Links: Goodreads | Indigo | Book Depository | Amazon | Kobo

From Goodreads:

"Responding from pressure on high, the Atlanta police department is forced to hire its first black officers in 1948. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers and their authority is limited: They can’t arrest white suspects; they can’t drive a squad car; they can’t even use the police headquarters and must instead operate out of the basement of a gym.

When a black woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up fatally beaten, no one seems to care except for Boggs and Smith, two black cops from vastly different backgrounds. Pressured from all sides, they will risk their jobs, the trust the community has put in them, and even their own safety to investigate her death. Their efforts bring them up against an old-school cop, Dunlow, who has long run the neighborhood like his own, and Dunlow’s young partner, Rakestraw, a young progressive who may or may not be willing to make allies across color lines."

This is a fantastic read. It's a compelling story about a murder and the racial tensions surrounding it in 1940s Atlanta. It's about what happens when the black officers try to do the job they were hired to do, without the constraints the white officers have put on them. It's incredible and eye-opening to read a story about cops who aren't publicly allowed to do their jobs - all because of the colour of their skin. They have the title of "Police Officer", but when they try to flag down a white officer to help them make an arrest, instead of help they nearly get run over as the white officers yell racial slurs and laugh. Not even the Records lady wants to help them when they request information.

The characters were fascinating. The main characters felt so well-rounded and full of life to me, and it was interesting to read their different perspectives. Boggs and Smith, both of whom have pride in their jobs and want to actually be able to help, go through and deal with so much over the course of this story. They're faced with the choice of obeying the rules black cops were bound by and not doing anything about the murder, or doing the right thing, the job they as human beings should be allowed to do. As I mentioned earlier, it was eye-opening to read about the horrible racism and injustice they faced every single day.

Rakestraw was also an interesting perspective because you can tell that he's uncomfortable with the way his partner, Dunlow, treats the African American people they encounter, and yet for a long time he cowers, not wanting to mess with his comfortable position among his fellow white officers. On one hand, seeing the awful ways in which the white cops treat black people, you can sort of understand being afraid to disrupt the status quo - but nonetheless, it was frustrating to read about Rake wanting to step in and stop the racism and brutality, and then doing nothing. It was a real relief when he decided to help Boggs and Smith with their investigation.

The city of Atlanta itself seems like a character - the way Mullen creates the atmosphere of 1940s Atlanta really brings the place to life, and the whole time, I felt like I was there. I could feel the thick, muggy heat - it, like the tension, was palpable.

This book is incredibly uncomfortable at times. It can be jarring to read or even think about how cruel humans can be to each other and how terribly prejudiced someone can be toward another simply because of the colour of their skin. The depth of injustice and of corruption in the police force back then is almost unimaginable, and Mullen does a great job of interweaving these tensions with a compelling murder mystery.

Now, while you go read this awesome book, be sure to check out this Darktown-inspired playlist:

*This book was kindly sent to me by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

"Clean Soups" by Rebecca Katz | Cookbook Review

Clean Soups by Rebecca Katz
Publishing Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Pages: 160
Links: Goodreads | Indigo | Book Depository | Amazon | Kobo

Rebecca Katz grew up watching in wonder as her mother and grandmother conjured up delicious soups. While working at the Commonweal Retreat Center in Bolinas, California, she realized just how healing nutritious soups could be; people who previously were barely able to eat would return again and again for a taste of her soup.

The recipes within this book can be made for a variety of purposes. If you want to start incorporating soup into your regular diet because of its nutrient-rich, easily-digestible properties, this is your book. On the other hand, you might be interested in trying a brief soup cleanse because of its detoxifying effects on the organs; in that case, this is also your book.

I love that at the beginning of the recipes, there's background information and a short history of the dish, including where it originated from, as well as what it's been said to treat and heal. I love that as you're cooking up a delicious meal, you can learn a bit of history so that you're knowledgeable on what exactly you're eating. Another thing I really appreciate about this book is the fact that it has such useful "Cook's Notes" - if you're ever in doubt about anything, your questions are usually answered within these notes.

My one criticism of the book is that there's too much back and forth for me. For many of the recipes, they require you to also make a recipe (usually some type of stock or garnish) from elsewhere in the book. Generally, I'm not a fan of making multiple things for one dish - when I'm making a recipe, I usually want to be making one recipe, not multiple. That said, none of the recipes I tried were particularly difficult.
Clockwise from left: Simplest Chicken Pho (p.108); 
Greek Cucumber Yogurt Soup (p.52); Mulligatawny (p.95)

Now, let's get into what I made!

The first thing I made from this cookbook is something I don't have much experience with: Pho. I'd tried Pho exactly one time before I made this and I knew I liked it, so I thought it'd be a good idea to try and find myself a good recipe for this tasty Vietnamese soup. And let me tell you, the Simplest Chicken Pho recipe (p.108) is so. freaking. flavourful. I don't have much to compare it to, but I'd definitely say this is the best Pho I've had. I made it for a get-together and everyone flocked to it and complimented me for it, so it's not just me who liked it - I highly recommend this one!

For that same get-together, I made Mulligatawny (p.95), which is an Indian soup. It didn't get as much love because everyone wanted Pho, but those who tried this liked it. I thought it was really tasty and if you're in the mood for Indian food but you're maybe not feeling the best, hey, soup is great for that kind of a day, so Mulligatawny's got you covered.

The Greek Cucumber Yogurt Soup (p.52) & Avocado and Cucumber Salsa (p.132) is a cold soup that reminds me of Tzatziki sauce, which I'm obsessed with. Out of the soups I made, this was definitely the easiest because you stick all the ingredients in a blender and simply whirl away.

Clean Soups is all about the healing power of soup. The recipes are super healthy, nutritious, and let's not forget - absolutely delicious.

*I received a NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"Easy. Whole. Vegan." by Melissa King | Cookbook Review

Easy. Whole. Vegan. by Melissa King
Publishing Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: The Experiment
Pages: 224
Links: Goodreads | Indigo | Book Depository | Amazon | Kobo

Melissa King was vegetarian for a long time before she became vegan and gluten-free, and the lifestyle permeates much of her life. The writer, photographer, and recipe developer for the blog My Whole Food Life, who is also a wife and mother, decided to switch to a plant-based, whole-food diet when a nutritionist suggested it could help her daughter, who had a host of serious medical issues. The new diet transformed her daughter and her family and now they swear by whole foods.

I've heard so many stories like Melissa's, about how embracing a vegan or plant-based diet has cured people of their ailments. It seems that natural foods, sans added chemicals and hormones, are best for us! Who would've guessed. Although I'm not vegan myself, I like to eat mostly vegetarian and vegan foods, and I find that I feel best when I eat plant-based foods. So I'm always excited to try new vegan recipes and cookbooks!

After we learn Melissa's family's story, she walks us through some common ingredients in a vegan pantry. I always find these sections useful because a vegan kitchen by nature has different staples than a "regular" kitchen does. One important distinction is that vegans need egg substitutes when baking! And did you know there are several ways to substitute an egg, including with chia and flax seeds?

I made a few recipes from the cookbook and the first one I want to mention is the Blueberry Muffin Smoothie (p.198), because it is SO GOOD. *Ahem* So. Good. I'm definitely a smoothie lover, but this is by far one of the best smoothies I've ever had. It feels like a hearty breakfast smoothie with just the right amount of sweetness. And I can't get over the shade of purple it was - the picture doesn't even do it justice. This is going to be a staple in my diet from now on.

Clockwise from top left: Maple Vanilla Bakes Oatmeal
Squares (p.33); Avocado and Chickpea-Stuffed Cucumbers
 (p.66); Caramelized Onion Soup (p.89); Blueberry Muffin
Smoothie (p.198)
The Maple Vanilla Baked Oatmeal Squares (p.33) were up next. I was excited to try these because based on their appearance, I thought they'd be granola bars, but they actually weren't. That would've been fine, but I found the texture really strange - I'm not really sure how to describe it, but I guess I'd say it was kind of soft and kind of like hard foam. That said, I know some vegan recipes take some adjusting to because they don't always use common ingredients. And these squares do taste good and would be great for on-the-go snacking!

I made the Avocado and Chickpea-Stuffed Cucumbers (p.66) as an appetizer for a get-together, and let me tell you, they went fast! These little bites pack a refreshing punch and are perfect for the summer weather we've been having.

The final recipe I made was the Caramelized Onion Soup (p.89). It was incredibly easy to make, as you just chop up your onions and gather a few other ingredients and then stick everything in a crock pot for a few hours. I found it nice though a bit bland, however, so I recommend using some pepper if you feel the same way. Since I'm not vegan, my quick fix was to eat it the traditional way, with some bread and melted cheese on top, and I found that it was great that way.

Overall, this is a useful cookbook if you're interested in going vegan. It provides good information how to adjust your pantry's staples and you'll learn vegan alternatives to common animal products. I have mixed feelings about the recipes I tried, but there are plenty more delicious-sounding recipes in the book, and the recipes I did enjoy were ones I loved.

*I received a NetGalley copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

"The Jungle Book" Movie Review & Giveaway!

The Jungle Book (2016)
DVD Release Date: August 30, 2016
Run Time: 1h 46min.
Rating: PG
Genre: Adventure/Drama/Family
Links: Amazon | iTunes | Google Play | Best Buy

"For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack." -Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

Raised by wolves in the jungle, man-cub Mowgli must flee the place he calls home when a tiger, Shere Khan, threatens to kill him. With the help of his friends - panther Bagheera and bear Baloo - Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery to find where he belongs.

Based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling, this story tells of the bond between humans and animals. It takes that very real bond and gives it more of a fantastical twist because although human-wild animal bonds are not unheard of, they're not something we often see. And plus, the animals talk. I'd say that adds to the fantasy a little too.

This story has always been one that can appeal to a wide range of ages. Kids will love the story because here we have talking animals protecting a child they love from an "evil" villain, Shere Khan. Some adults will love it for that alone, but others may pick up on the underlying themes of the story as well. Shere Khan hates Mowgli and all humans not just because of the one man who left him disfigured, but because humankind is so destructive.

The acting and voice acting were great. Neel Sethi as Mowgli is a great match as he portrays the carefree, determined, resourceful character so well. Honestly, at the beginning I wasn't sure how I felt about the voice-to-CGI animal situation - I think because the 1967 animated feature is one of my favourite Disney movies, I was kind of stuck on THOSE being the voices of the characters. But once I got into the story, which didn't take long, I was able to appreciate how good the acting was. The standout voice actor in my opinion was Idris Elba as Shere Khan. He's able to be so menacing and as much as I love his accent, it's perfect for a villain like this tiger.

One of my favourite things about The Jungle Book is the soundtrack. The music is so beautiful. Going into this movie, I wasn't sure I'd be hearing the songs I love so much from the 1967 classic - but I was so glad when the iconic lyrics of "Bare Necessities" started up that I immediately broke into song with Baloo. And much to my brother's chagrin, I haven't stopped humming or singing the songs since. Fun fact: according to IMDB, Richard M. Sherman, who wrote songs for the 1967 Disney feature, wrote an extra verse for "Wanna Be Like You", which is here sung by Christopher Walken, who plays King Louie.

The visuals in this film are stunning. Being a story with a lot of talking animals, most of the film is CGI - but it's so much more than just that. The entire jungle comes alive in this movie and in any given scene, you can look around in wonder at the beauty and detail. It looks awesome. And watch through the credits because there's a really cool sequence that you won't want to miss.

Another thing I want to mention is that the action scenes are so well done. While our characters run through the jungle facing different adversaries, I found myself practically on the edge of my seat, heart racing.

All in all, The Jungle Book is a great movie that's fun for the whole family.

The Jungle Book is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD. Check out the trailer here:


And now for the giveaway! ThinkJam is very kindly providing a Blu-ray & Digital HD copy of The Jungle Book to give away.

Rules for this giveaway:

1. You must be following this blog - this is for you, my reader!

2. It is open to residents of Canada and the US.

3. If selected as the winner, you must be willing to provide me with your address, which I will then send to ThinkJam so that they can send you your prize.

4. I will email you if you're selected as the winner, and you must respond within 48 hours, or I'll have to choose another winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Review and giveaway copies were kindly provided by ThinkJam in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

"The Couple Next Door" by Shari Lapena | Book Review

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Publishing Date: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 320
Links: Goodreads | Indigo | Book Depository | Amazon | Kobo

Anne and Marco Conti's seemingly perfect lives are turned upside down one night when their 6-month-old daughter, Cora, is abducted from their home while they're at a dinner party next door. They're immediately pegged as the prime suspects, but it's much more complicated than that.

What follows is a story of lies, deception, and breakneck twists. As it starts off, we as the readers have mixed feelings about the parents. Even though they checked on Cora frequently, Anne and Marco left their 6-month-old home alone while they were next door, which is really not advisable. That said, the onus is of course on the kidnapper.

What may at first seem like a cut and dry situation is actually a dark and twisted tale. Once the action of the story gets going, which is pretty much immediately, the suspicion begins. Can we really trust these people? Is everyone really telling the truth?

We get several different perspectives in this story, from the parents to the neighbours to the lead detective. It's hard to trust some of the characters because you get this deep sense that they're "off", or that they're not letting us (or the police!) in on everything they know. At first, with all the secrets that were being revealed, I was left wondering which couple the ominous title alludes to, but it's actually relatively obvious.

The sheer amount of twists and secrets that are revealed are nearly whiplash-inducing, and that makes for a pretty entertaining story. I really liked the way those things were revealed as well, because it was done in such a way that I couldn't guess what was happening or what people were hiding until I was specifically told.

Whether or not you see the ending coming, this is a great thriller and I definitely recommend it if you want a quick read that packs a punch.

*This book was kindly sent to me by Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.