Friday, March 13, 2020

Review: What It Seems by Emily Bleeker

Title: What It Seems
Author: Emily Bleeker
Published: March 2020, Lake Union Publishing
Format: ARC Paperback, 284 pages
Source: Publisher via BooksForward PR

A page-turning novel of suspense about the perfect family, and the perfect lies, by the bestselling author of When I’m Gone and The Waiting Room.
Adopted by her controlling foster mother at the age of eight, twenty-year-old Tara has seen little of the outside world. Lonely, punished for the slightest offense, her only distraction comes from watching the Feely family’s online videos. They’re an affectionate vlogging quintet and an internet sensation. Most important, they are Tara’s mental refuge. Then the opportunity arises for them to be something more. When Tara accepts an internship with the close-knit clan, they’re her escape.

Daring to run away, and defying Mother’s rules, Tara is welcomed into the loving fold. But the more Tara gets to know them, the more she realizes that not everything is as it seems. As secrets slowly surface, the image of the perfect family begins to crack. For Tara, it’s another trap.

To claim a life of her own, she’ll need a new escape plan. Because as the show’s popularity explodes, reaching even more fascinated viewers, Tara can’t shake the feeling that Mother is among their ranks. She’s watching. She’s waiting. She’ll never let her go.

My thoughts: This is the third book I've read by Emily Bleeker and I was so ecstatic to get my hands on this book. After reading two of her other books - Working Fire and The Waiting Room - I knew I would be reading her again. This latest book once again kept me glued to the pages...she can definitely tell a story like no other!

Right from the start, I was intrigued by this story and found myself completely consumed with it. Once I started it, I had a hard time putting it down and ended up reading this book in two sittings - I just needed to know what was going on and how things would ultimately play out. And let me just say this - this is definitely one of those books where you think you know what is going on but you couldn't be further from the truth. This is one of those books where there are little twists here and there that sneak up on you and to me, that just hooks you even more.

This is definitely a book where things are absolutely not what they seem. And I love that play on words that Emily Bleeker uses here. What it seems is not always what it is. This book gets under your skin and doesn't let up. Tara has an awful life...she is trapped with an abusive "Mother" and the scenes with her are just heartbreaking. When Tara finally figures out a way to escape, you cannot help but root for her and at the same time, you find yourself completely sucked in even further for fear of her being caught by "Mother." But did Tara find herself something better? Was this vlogging family exactly what she thought them to be, based on what she saw online?

This is the type of book that stays with you long after you finish that last page. Between the rollercoaster of emotions it evokes and the complex characters, it really is quite an exciting read. I love Emily Bleeker's books and cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. In the meantime, I'll be reading the two books I haven't yet!

*Stay tuned - I'll be posting a short Q&A a little later with Emily Bleeker!



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