Warning!!! This post may include some information containing SPOILERS! Please proceed at your own risk!!
This book was something unlike any book I’ve read recently. The uncertainty of whom to blame and whose team to be on teetered throughout the story. We all know by now that both David and Adele have their issues, but I never could have guessed where this story was leading me. I was kept on my toes and continuously left guessing and I LOVED IT! The mind trickery involved and the paranormal aspect of this was very intriguing: the notebook, the dreams, and the doors were just a whole other dimension of awesome that Sarah created.
The character development was pristine and I could tell each person’s qualities were carefully crafted and well thought out. Adele and David were purposely formed with the intention of placing good versus evil, although the reader battled who was which throughout the majority of the book. Louise was one who gained my trust and I felt most connected with (hopefully because she seemed the most sane, not for her questionable choices).
This book was addicting and utterly consuming with all of its unexpected twists and definitely with that #wtfthatending-> it didn’t disappoint! I didn’t expect what I got slapped in the face with. My jaw dropped and it took time for me to accept what I just read. This was my first book by Sarah Pinborough, but it definitely won’t be my last. I will be on the lookout for her next read!!! Brava!!!
Holly’s thoughts on BHE:
This was my first read by Sarah Pinborough and I have to admit, I was extremely impressed with her writing. Lately when I pick up a suspense/thriller, I’m always slightly nervous that it will be either “run of the mill” or predictable. This book definitely was not. The hashtag #wtfthatending is so fitting… I mean if anyone tells you that they had this book all figured out, they’re either 1. lying or 2. cheated and read the last chapters first.
I thought Sarah’s story and character development was meticulously planned and thought out. I was left wondering who should I trust… how are these characters going to come together… wtf is going on?!! And then I read another chapter. I love that there were scenes that made me cringe a bit and moments that actually made me empathetic toward these characters (trust me I didn’t think empathy was going to be a thing I had for any of these characters).
I am already trying to figure out which Sarah Pinborough book to try next… I know she has some fairytale retellings that sound excellent. A huge thank you to Flatiron Books for giving us the opportunity to read and review this jaw-dropping book and for helping me discover a new must-read author!
I agree with a lot of what Kris and Holly have said: the writing was really smart, the characters were solidly fleshed out, and the plot line was definitely a piece of great/smart/totally effed up work. The ending is very deserving of its hashtag (#wtfthatending), and I have very strong love/hate feelings toward the characters (but you have to read the book to figure out what I mean by that – you’re welcome). And I’ll also gladly read anything else I can find with Pinborough’s name on it.
I do have a recommendation for anyone considering reading BHE: do not continue to read a whole bunch of reviews before you pick up the book, just go grab it and dive in! Personally, I think I was a bit underwhelmed by the time I reached the end, only because I read too many reviews and didn’t allow myself to just sit back and enjoy the ride. This is one of those books where reading it blind is definitely going to make it so much more fun. That’s probably the best way I can describe the experience of reading this book: it’s a ride. And you’d better hold on tight.
I was in suspense during this entire read. Kris finished reading it before any of us, so I was constantly wanting her to tell me the ending, but not really. The conversations usually went something like…
Amy: How did Adele know about that? What is she up to?
Kris: omg – it’s effed up.
What a good friend, right? She was right though. I don’t normally try to predict, but I found myself trying to figure everything out, and I truly only did so when the author intended me to. I think what I liked most about the ending was that it wasn’t just a quick explanation. As an imaginative reader, I was drawn into the story until the very last page.
Like Amber said, it’s worth not getting too hyped up on the #wtfthatending if that sets your expectations way high… but seriously… #wtfthatending.
Until next time—> Happy Reading!!!
Amber, Amy, Holly & Kristen
Thank you again so much to Flatiron books for this aMaZiNg ARC!!!!!