Thursday, March 29, 2018

Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes ARC Book Review: Issa No For Me


Embry Woods has secrets. Small ones about her past. Bigger ones about her relationship with town hero Luke and her feelings for someone new. But the biggest secret she carries with her is about what happened that night at the Sea Cliff Inn. The fire. The homeless guy. Everyone thinks Embry is a hero, too, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Embry thinks she’ll have to take the secret to her grave, until she receives an anonymous note—someone else knows the truth. Next comes a series of threatening messages, asking Embry to make impossible choices, forcing her to put her loved ones at risk. Someone is playing a high stakes game where no one in Embry’s life is safe. And their last murder.

Two Out of Five Stars
If I could describe Hidden Pieces in one word, it'd be trivial.

Awash with petty secrets, horny teenagers--and avoidable mistakes--Hidden Pieces was the last season of Pretty Little Liars--over.

While this story had a lot of potential to solidify itself as a great thriller--it was drowned out by what I felt was petty foolishness.

Embry, is keeping pieces of herself hidden, hence the title--however, her secrets, although potentially hurtful--were superficial at the surface.

*Cheating trigger ahead*

She's keeping secrets from her Mom, her best friend--and maybe even herself. Embry is in this weird space of trying to figure herself out--all the while trying to maintain some small piece of happiness for herself--which is fair, but the way it all happens is kind of wrong.

Amidst this back and forth inner angst, and secrecy--she becomes the target of a stalker--so to speak. This person, who was dubbed "Unknown," like his/her name and phone number--has decided to be the reaper. The reaper of consequences and redemption, no matter the outcome. He/she sends threatening messages, texts, and emails. She'll do as they say--or suffer the consequences.

In a very "A"-esque fashion, this person has her acting out their very whims--even if it means someone might wind up dying.

As a huge fan of this type of scenario--this is what initially pulled me into the book--but it was also the part that let me down.

Despite the fact that Embry's life is in complete shambles both figuratively, and literally--she can't seem to help herself from getting hot under the collar, and away from her clothes with her "love interest," at times I felt like--that should be the farthest thing from her mine. It's possible it was their way of coping, but it made their relationship seem frivolous and not at all worth the risks they were taking.

As for supporting characters--I don't have much to say about them as I felt their roles were superficial as well. Not that they weren't needed, but they only served as reason for Embry to both divulge and keep secrets.

I didn't feel too much of an emotional connection from Embry to them--aside from her tears...and as I am writing this--I think that was the main issue I had with the story itself. Although one is want to believe that all of this is about her protection of her loved ones--but, aside from her Mom, Embry seemed emotionless--as if acting out of survival instead of care. 

Don't get me wrong, the book is absolutely not terrible, it's just pretty meh on the scale of meh-to-great. Many of you who have issues with cheating characters--won't be pleased with this story--and although I typically, am not deterred by cheaters--this one kind of rubbed me the wrong way; because of the underlying feeling of selfishness.

Also, the big reveal--was disappointing--but I've come not to expect much from YA thrillers. BUT, to be honest, I really though the author was going to take this portion of the book, and blow me away--the wind barely moved my hair. *shrugs shoulders* Such is the life of YA mystery/thriller.

I'm not here to trash this book, but it was pretty disappointing--and I have to be honest about that. 

This book is going to work for some of you, but it's a no for me. Slated for a late summer release--it will give you plenty of time to think about, whether or not this book is for you.

I've said my piece--and I said what I said.


  1. Oh bummer to hear that this was a disappointing read for you. I don't like cheating in my books so I don't think I'll pick it up!
    Great review, Jazmen!

  2. Oh man, you've had some stinkers lately. Sorry this was disappointing. I hate cheating as well, so hard to stomach and understand so I totally get it.

  3. Ugh, this is the kind of thing that drives me crazy. When it feels like it’s drama for the sake of drama. Nope, I’m out. Add in a main character that doesn’t elicit any emotion... and it’s like, why bother? Meh sounds about right.

  4. Vindictive, yet expressively elaborate...