Monday, January 26, 2015

Review & Giveaway: Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm (GIVEAWAY CLOSED)

Title: Unbecoming   
Author: Rebecca Scherm      
Published: January 2015, Viking Adult  
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages   
Source: Publicist  

A major debut novel of psychological suspense about a daring art heist, a cat-and-mouse waiting game, and a small-town girl's mesmerizing transformation

On the grubby outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she’s from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. Regularly, furtively, she checks the hometown paper on the Internet. Home is Garland, Tennessee, and there, two young men have just been paroled. One, she married; the other, she’s in love with. Both were jailed for a crime that Grace herself planned in exacting detail. The heist went bad—but not before she was on a plane to Prague with a stolen canvas rolled in her bag. And so, in Paris, begins a cat-and-mouse waiting game as Grace’s web of deception and lies unravels—and she becomes another young woman entirely.

Unbecoming is an intricately plotted and psychologically nuanced heist novel that turns on suspense and slippery identity. With echoes of Alfred Hitchcock and Patricia Highsmith, Rebecca Scherm’s mesmerizing debut is sure to entrance fans of Gillian Flynn, Marisha Pessl, and Donna Tartt.

My thoughts: This is Rebecca Scherm's debut novel and I was quite intrigued by the description of it when I was approached to read and review it. I love reading psychological suspense tales and this definitely fits into that category.

What I loved most about this book is the slow build of suspense that this book takes. The book moves back and forth in time with Grace telling her story. While Grace is the narrator of the entire book, at times, she is "Julie" and at times she is Grace. As it moved back and forth, I was quite eager to find out exactly why Grace needed to become "Julie" and it became frustrating that it took so long to get there.

This is definitely a complex story. There is a lot going on and many layers that need to be peeled back to fully appreciate the full picture. Grace is a compelling character and is what kept me hooked to this story. She's not a likeable character by any means and does some pretty despicable things throughout the book, but she gets under your skin and you just have to keep reading to see what she's going to do next. There's the whole first love issue, the love-hate relationship between her and her mother and the strangely close relationship she has with her boyfriend's mother. And then there's the whole heist in her hometown that she had a part in, but what part that is unclear at first.

I found myself glued to the pages of this book, wanting to know what would happen, afraid for Grace and yet filled with anxiety about what Grace would do next. To me, that's good psychological suspense right there...I just didn't know what to expect and it definitely kept me on my toes. I will definitely be keeping my eyes out for what comes next from Rebecca Scherm as this debut novel was a hit with me!


GIVEAWAY DETAILS - (US/Canada only)    
Thanks to Annie at Viking/Penguin Publicity, one reader can win a copy of Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm. To enter the giveaway, please fill out the form by February 2nd. 


This giveaway is open to US and Canada residents only and ends February 2nd. 

Good luck!


  1. This sounds intriguing despite the impatience for the secrets getting revealed. I'm not sure I've come across a book anything like this one. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kristin, thanks for hosting this great giveaway. I'll add it to my giveaway list. The book sounds complex and thrilling.

  3. Nice review--the heist and art world sound like a truly different kind of thriller. Thanks!

  4. Great review and a real page turner.


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