Tear Me Apart

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

J,T. Ellison’s latest novel, Tear Me Apart is the fourth in a line of recently read psychological suspense works, my go-to genre despite encountering mostly disappointing examples lately. Having never read this author I was grateful for an ARC from NetGalley to review.  Alas. what began as a promising mystery fell apart for me again,
Mindy Wright is the adored adopted teenage daughter of Lauren and Jasper and a worldwide ski champion. When she breaks her leg during an important competition, doctors find she has leukemia and what ensues is a frantic search for a bone marrow match. It doesn’t take long to find her real father and discover that she was kidnapped as a newborn after her real mother was found murdered. That mothet Vivian, turns out to be Lauren’s old best friends from the time they were roommates as teenagers in a mental institution some 20 years ago.
The basic plot is a tried and true premise but with some interesting twists and surprises , and many secrets and lies.   Nevertheless, what starts out believable descends into preposterous, with a keystone cops finish and characters that fail to engage or leave any impression. TearMeApart@NetGalley.
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Mindy, a successful downhill skier, has Olympic potential.  However, after being injured during a run, a deadly form of leukemia is discovered within her!   In order to survive, they must find Mindy a match to perform a stem cell transplant.  However, when the tests are ran to find a donor, no one in her family is a match.  In fact, something even bigger is discovered... her parents are not a DNA biological match to her.  How could that be?  Was there an accidental switch at birth or are there even bigger secrets that have been hidden from her? 

I really enjoyed this one!   I wasn’t sure where the plot was headed at first, as I went into reading it blind.  However, even though it began as a slow burn, once the plot really took off, it kept moving quickly!  I love the pacing of J.T. Ellison’s novels and would highly recommend this one! If you enjoyed Lie to Me, this one did not disappoint!  Thank you to @netgalley and @harlequinbooks for providing me with a copy of this novel for an honest review! 
@thrillerchick #augustreleases #suspense #bookstagram #books #unreliablenarrator #tearmeapart #readandreview #authorsilove #jtellison
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What a heck of a thrilling ride!! This book threw out for a loop, lassoed me back, and then kept me stuck to it till I reached The End and the Acknowledgements. 

My first book by Author J. T. Ellison, and the author has surpassed my wildest dreams. Reading the blurb, I thought it might be a good book, but reading the prose I realized it was a great thriller which had just pummeled me to submission to sit with it and finish in one go!! What more did one need from a thriller!!

Starting with Mindy, a professional skier wanting to make it to US Olympic team, who crashed while skiing and broke her leg and incidentally discovered to suffer from aggravating form of leukemia. The next step had to be a stem cell transplant!! And there-in lay the plot - no DNA match, she is not their daughter!! 

Can opened, worms squirming all over, each worm ickier than the previous, carrying a big fat secret. The book had the CBI aunt Juliet discovering truths, the mother Lauren showing her version of truths, and the father Jasper believing his truths!! Add to this rigmarole, an 18 year old murder, a mental health facility, a 20+ year old death, a weird mother, a soldier whose file has been redacted.. Wow, what was not to love about this book?!! 

The fast pace, the plot fit, the reasoning, the secrets all made this book an exciting read, in spite of my niggles, I had guessed the plot because the clues were that obvious. But what an adrenaline rush!!
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Such a good thriller! The pages flew by even though it was a long book. I couldn’t put it down most of the night I just had to know what happened. She has a way of gripping you and making you think about her stories over and over again. I loved the characters and the way each of their stories twined together. I loved the way the mystery slowly built up then came together it was great from start to finish and rally explored some important topics such as depression and chronic illness I am now a huge fan and can’t wait till her next work comes out!
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Wow! This book had me reading well into the night to try to put the pieces of this plot together.
  Was Mindy going to survive this awful illness and injury and resume her amazing career as a young skier?
The pain in each of the characters in this novel was heartbreaking and yet they were strong. 
The instinct to care, protect and fight for Mindy was shining through each word written. 
Not all done right or legal, but nevertheless done in the name of love. 
The threads all were tied up neatly by the last few pages of this incredibly written psychological thriller, but the slopes were slick at times.  I was definitely holding on to the edge of my seat while turning the pages.
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I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Lauren Wright has devoted her life to providing her daughter Mindy with everything she needs, physically, emotionally, and otherwise. Now that her daughter has suffered a traumatic leg injury that has revealed a catastrophic disease process, she wants to do anything possible to prolong her daughter's life...or does she? One little lie cascades into another and another and before anyone knows it, Lauren becomes someone no one really knows anymore. Mindy knows her mother is hiding secrets from her past and now that she knows she's adopted, she's wondering just what those secrets truly are. Juliet Ryder, Lauren's sister, knows that Lauren's story doesn't quite add up, but she's truly willing to do anything, even skirting the law, to find the truth and Mindy's birth parents if it means prolonging her life. Jasper, Lauren's husband doesn't really know what to believe. He's astonished to learn that Lauren isn't Mindy's birth mother and begins to wonder what other secrets she might be keeping from him. The more Mindy, Juliet, and Jasper uncover, the more they realize they may have never really known Lauren at all. Just how far is Lauren willing to go to protect her secrets and ostensibly Mindy's life?

Tear Me Apart is one of those reads that you think you've figured out, but the twists just keep coming. This story is filled with psychological chills and thrills, along with tons of family drama, angst, and a few murders (yes, that's a few murders...read the book to find out who dies!). Of course, there's a lot more going on in the story than just one person trying to protect their secrets, a mother protecting her child, a child trying to recuperate from a potentially life-threatening disease, or a family recovering from a series of mind-blowing revelations. Ms. Ellison has also thrown mental illness, severe depression, and suicide into the mix for a story that left this reader on tenterhooks from beginning to end. In many ways, this year has been a banner year for me as a reader as I've had the fortune to read a number of wonderful books and Tear Me Apart is definitely being added to this list. I enjoyed the characters, the action, the settings, the drama, and the suspense. So, for all of you suspense-thriller readers, go out and grab a copy of Tear Me Apart to read. For fans of family drama, yes you guessed, I'm recommending you grab a copy of Tear Me Apart to read as well. Seriously, this is one story that I think every reader can enjoy reading. 

This review originally published on 09/06/2018 at https://www.thebookdivasreads.com/2018/09/2018-book-330-tear-me-apart-by-jt.html.
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J. T. Ellison really kept me guessing with this one.  I came up with three different and plausible theories regarding the birth and parentage of Mindy.  None of my theories was correct, although one was close.  Unfortunately, the ultimate story behind what happened and whodunnit was unsatisfying and seem to fly in the face of much of what the reader knew about the character at fault (sorry to be obscure, but i hate spoilers).  In the end, i just didn't buy it - it didn't ring true.  Nonetheless, I stayed up very, very late reading this book and the story really pulled me along.
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I liked this book a lot. It was set in Colorado which always for me ups the interest level. I thought it was a suspense novel and in the end it is more of that, but to start it is about a girl who is on the cusp of making the USA Olympic team in skiing. She crashes and while operating on her badly broken leg it is discovered that she has cancer. In an effort to save her life, her family must be tested to see if they can donate for her. There is a lot going on but the author's note that talks about suicide and mental illness is very profound and important! I would definitely suggest this one!
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Mindy Wright is an accomplished teen skier.  Her doting parents have devoted their whole lives to making sure that Mindy is successful in her every endeavor.  However, all of that changes suddenly when Mindy is diagnosed with leukemia.  As her frantic parents commit to saving Mindy's life, a terrifying truth emerges......Mindy is not their biological daughter.

As the family races toward finding a cure for their daughter, dark secrets from the past begin to haunt the family.  An unsolved murder from years ago is unearthed, and a possible connection is made to Mindy.   What secrets are being hidden underneath a perfect facade?  And more importantly, can they be solved in time to save Mindy?

Jt Ellison's latest novel had a much different feel than her others.  It tackled the theme of a mother's loyalty, and made us question what we would keep hidden in order to protect our children,  In addition, it brought up the idea of mental illness vs. true evil.  I don't know that this was my favorite of Ellison's books.  It lacked the pace and suspense of many of her other books.  However, that could just be because Ellison is typically a strong and consistent writer.  Overall, I found this book to be enjoyable, while a little predictable.
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ACB3B414-7193-498D-8F04-F6F191710061Thank you to Mira books for providing me with a free e-copy of Tear Me Apart, all opinions are my own. 

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Competitive skier Mindy Wright is a superstar in the making until a spectacular downhill crash threatens not just her racing career but her life. During surgery, doctors discover she’s suffering from a severe form of leukemia, and a stem cell transplant is her only hope. But when her parents are tested, a frightening truth emerges. Mindy is not their daughter.

Who knows the answers?

The race to save Mindy’s life means unraveling years of lies. Was she accidentally switched at birth or is there something more sinister at play? The search for the truth will tear a family apart…and someone is going to deadly extremes to protect the family’s deepest secrets.

With vivid movement through time, Tear Me Apart examines the impact layer after layer of lies and betrayal has on two families, the secrets they guard, and the desperate fight to hide the darkness within.

My review:

I really enjoyed this thriller and feel like Tear Me Apart could stand in several other subgenres.  First: dramatic fiction. The relationship between Mindy and her parents was so well done, which made her health scare so heart wrenching.  If the story had only been about her struggle through illness, I would have still liked the book. The second subgenre could be mystery: Ellison mixed so many clues and backstory into the plot that it gave the reader the chance to try and piece it together. The thrilling components didn't really start to come out until the later portion of the book.

Mindy is a competitive athlete and her family's focus revolves around what she will need for her health and training and career path. I found this to be very unique, I can't think of any other thrillers out there with this type of character set-up so that also made this such an enjoyable read. It's nice to have fresh new perspectives and not the same broken damsel in distress that the genre is saturated with.

I found the pacing in this book to be near perfection.  I talk about pacing in many of my reviews because it is something that is very important to me.  Sometimes thrillers can take off fast with something shocking to pull you in, but then drag through all the details and clues in the middle. Tear Me Apart is one of the easiest page turners I have read in a long time, something was happening on every page: never too fast, never too slow.

I have two little issues that did not take away from my overall enjoyment, the first being that this book is on the long side.  The other issue is that I was able to guess the ending, and rather early on at that. It's a great ending, albeit slightly predictable. But overall, I really liked this one and would recommend it to thriller lovers and non-thriller lovers alike.  A very well done novel, I rate this one 4 out of 5 stars.
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|#partner| Thanks to @harlequinbooks #MIRAbooks for the free review copy via @netgalley
Mindy is a world class skier and Olympic hopeful. When a ski accident lands her in the hospital, they discover that she has leukemia. When her parents aren’t a match for her, she finds out they aren’t her biological parents. Someone is hiding some very big secrets, and will do anything to keep those secrets hidden.
This was a slow building suspense that had me totally engaged to the end. I really enjoyed the writing and @thrillerchick did an excellent job of bringing her characters to life. This was such a nice break from the twisty thrillers that are out there right now. This was my first read of hers, but it definitely won’t be my last.
Slow suspense, great characters, and a page turner!
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I enjoyed Tear Me Apart by JT Ellison, it had a great speed although it did feel a little long at times. The story was interesting, especially the mental health aspect. It felt like a cross between a Jodi Picault and Sue Grafton, and neither author is really on my bookshelves so I don't think I appreciated this novel as much as someone else would. It took me 5 hours to read, and I give it 3.5 stars. This title was released on August 28th, 2018.
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I don’t know how she does it, but J.T. Ellison manages to write completely engrossing, enigmatic, complex and unique mysteries with an equal dose of family and relationship drama mixed in. Her stories are always easy to read, fast-paced, and offer up the best of nail-biting suspense with the depth of relatable stories of people and their struggles. In my book she can do no wrong. May she never stop writing!
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Favorite Quotes: 

There is a nurse named Eleanor Snow who runs the ward, but we all call her Ratchet because she is a bitch. No one said we had to be original.

She doesn’t want to die. She feels the cancer moving through her, like a shadow in her blood. It has grown in the past few days, is becoming harder and harder to fight... Its snapping jaws are just there, out of reach, but for how long? 

The words are absurd. This is one of those bizarre nightmares where you’re dreaming inside of a dream, and you know you’re dreaming, so you tell yourself to go ahead and wake up because this isn’t fun at all.

“Show me the Milky Way, Mommy. I want to see the candy bars in the sky"… She was so mad when she found out that the sky didn’t have chocolate in it.

Everything here is dirty; though it’s been cleaned, again and again, the stink of raw bleach hangs on every corner like a blanket. Bleach and fear, the prison olfactory. Plus the dirt of a thousand people, grimed into the history of the place.

 My Review: 

There was much beneath the surface of this slowly developing and captivating story; it was maddeningly paced yet in the end, I appreciated the cunning and craftiness of the plot.  J.T. Ellison is an evil genius.  I had initially devised a theory of a terrorist plot but quickly abandoned that when I easily identified the culprit although I had no idea of all the complex twists and turns and nuances there were to this tale.  There were lots of clues as well as misdirections, yet the mounting incidents and the number of deceased in various cities and occupations were cleverly situated and although the deaths seemed incidental and easy to explain their occurrence was far too often to not be foul play.  The writing was top quality, engrossing, and flowed smoothly in an alluringly addictive and enticing manner and while I wouldn’t call it a thriller, it certainly held my attention and kept me well entertained and glued to my Kindle.  I also greatly treasured the recognition of Project Semicolon in the author’s ending notes.
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Teenager phenom Mindy Wright is a competitive skier star but a serious downhill crash not only results in a broken leg but also reveals a more serious health crisis.  Mindy has a severe form of leukemia and needs a stem cell transplant to save her life.  But when her parents are tested the family learns that Mindy is not their biological daughter.  Was Mindy accidentally switched at birth?  It becomes a frantic race against time to find Mindy's birth parents.  

But mother Lauren Wright has plenty of long-held secrets that she is determined to keep from her family.  This secrecy may end up tearing the family apart in order to save Mindy's life.  

I received an eARC via Netgalley and Harlequin - MIRA with no requirements for a review.  I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
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Another very good read by J. T. Ellison!! This author consistently produces intriguing material. 

Tear Me Apart starts out with Mindy Wright, a young downhill phenom skier making her bid for an Olympic spot. Conditions are bad at the top of the mountain, but clear as she wings her way downhill until a sudden squall blinds her and sends her flying into the air totally out of control. When she lands, her leg is badly broken, and her season is over. Little did she know that would be the least of her problems!!

When doing routine bloodwork in preparation for surgery, it is discovered that Mindy has a very aggressive form of leukemia that needs addressed immediately. When her condition deteriorates further, her family (mother Lauren, father Jasper and aunt Juliette) is told she needs a stem cell transplant. They are all tested and none of them prove to be a match. Not unexpected for Jasper, who adopted the girl when he married Lauren when Mindy was an infant, and seemingly not a surprise to Lauren, but a very unexpected surprise for Juliette. So who are Mindy's parents, and where are they now? Can they be found in time to save the girl's life?

Tear Me Apart is full of complex, relatable characters even when some aren't likeable. Layer by layer, devastating secrets are revealed, relationships are broken and new ones formed. I was so pulled into the book that I found myself feeling as if I was part of it. That's what I love about reading - those books or moments that just carry you away!

I highly recommend this read and look forward to J. T. Ellison's next book!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin/Mira books for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Book

Mindy Wright is a young star in the competitive skiing world, with a real shot at making the national team. Mindy has two parents who adore her, Lauren and Jasper Wright. They live in a gorgeous mountainside home, close to her training facility. They homeschool her so she can compete and train to make the team. And they love and support Mindy in every way.

When Mindy takes a fall on her last qualifying run, her parent’s are devastated. Rushing Mindy to the hospital to have her broken leg fixed, they discover something shocking: Mindy has cancer and needs a stem cell transfusion. Desperate to help any way they can, Lauren and Jasper offer to be tested, only to discover something even more shocking: Mindy is not biologically related to them.

With Mindy’s life on the line, Lauren and Jasper will do anything they can to protect their daughter. But what if their lies are the barrier to finding the match for Mindy? Is it possible her parents know more than they let on? Or is this a terrible mix-up with devastating consequences?


I’ve mentioned that J. T. Ellison is one of my favorite authors, and there is a reason for that. Ellison does not ever take the easy road through her novels. There is never a quick and easy twist, never a moment where a character gets off the hook, and she doesn’t baby her characters. We see her characters with all of their flaws, their lies, and their regrettable moments. And they are ALL liars to an extent. They lie to us, they lie to themselves, and sometimes they lie to eachother. 

I think many authors struggle with falling in love with their characters. And when that happens, it can be very difficult to show them with all of their good and bad traits. Ellison takes the reverse approach. Most of her characters seem awful at first, and then the more you know them the more human they become, and the more rootable. Her characters impression manage to an extreme degree—hiding themselves from the reader, the other characters, and sometimes even from themselves.

Lauren and Jasper are such fascinating characters. You’ll go in finding them boring a bit entitled and overbearing of Mindy. But they love her so much, that its hard not to cheer them on. And as each other them become more real, I was drawn into the story. Then we have a mysterious third narrator with a seriously dark story. I was dying to know who this third narrator was and how she fits into the story! She has her own cast of characters way back in time, and each one fascinated me. Ellison uses this parallel story so effectively, laying out all of the pieces at just the right times.

There are a lot of other great characters, but I don’t want to spoil the ride so I’ll keep them to myself. Except to say that there is a pretty great dog in the book named Kat (lol) and she is so cute and loveable, even over text!

This is truly a story about the immense love of a mother and father for their daughter, and the horrifying secret that threatens to tear the family apart. Those lies we tell for the greater good come back to haunt us. And because we are all human, the lies tend to build. Instead of living in our truths, we bury ourselves in the lies we’ve created. To save Mindy’s life, a lot of lies need to be exposed. What a twisted tale!!!

Many thanks to Harlequin MIRA and to J. T. Ellison for a copy of this book to review.
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I do not know what the description of this book is but mystery psychological thriller does not cover it all. There is so much in this book and though overwhelming at times, it does not detract from the main story at all. In a lot of stories when you get lots of elements, there does not seem to be a clear line to the story and we have bits and pieces, all interesting, but never getting to the point. This book does not do that.

Lauren and Jasper and Mindy have the ultimate beautiful life. Lauren a successful artist, Jasper a lawyer and Mindy an outstanding Olympic hopeful who is on top of it all a very nice teenager. Juliet who is Lauren's sister is on the sidelines to this family - herself a scientist of repute.

When Mindy meets with an accident on the slopes it seems her chances of getting into the US team is skewered, but what is even more tragic is that blood tests taken during surgery show that she is suffering f I'm a very fast developing  leukemia of a virulent type. Medical tests prove that neither parent or Juliet is a match even in a very small way and the whole story opens at this point.

Very descriptive of the medical procedures of DNA and genetic testing  which was a fascinating facet of the story in itself,the macabre maneuvering of Lauren to protect Mindy at all costs takes us into the twists of the human mind here.

A must read for everyone. It is not necessary that you like psychological thrillers or mysteries. This is seriously good writing.
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4 stars

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

Another great book from this author! It is a quick and easy read with plenty of suspense and twists and turns to keep you turning the pages until the very end. The story is compelling and the characters are interesting. Even when you think you've figured the mystery out, you're not quite sure you know the truth. 

Mindy is a 17 year old skiing champion on her way to the Olympics. On her final run of a competition she suffers a terrible crash. While undergoing emergency surgery it's discovered she has a rare form of cancer. The only way to cure her is with a stem cell treatment from a relative. Her parents and aunt are tested, but aren't matches. So who are Mindy's parents?

Buried pasts will be revealed. The truth will rip more than one family apart and someone will go to any length to protect their secrets. What would you do to protect your family?

This is a very good book and I recommend you read it.
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Tear Me Apart by JT Ellison is a thrill ride! Mindy is a 17-year-old champion skier. Her parents Lauren and Jasper have focus all their efforts on making sure she succeeds. During a skiing competition she crashes and breaks her leg. While in the hospital it is discovered she has leukemia and will need a stem cell transplant. Her parents and aunt Juliet are all tested. Juliet works for the Colorado Bureau of investigations and is an expert in DNA. Juliet checks the stem cell/DNA results in the hospital’s computer and notices that there is no DNA match between the family and Mindy. Is this a mistake? Is Mindy not the biological child of Lauren and Jasper? I don’t want to give too many more details about the plot. This book was fascinating. It went places I never expected and there were many twists.  In my opinion this is JT Ellison’s finest work.  The characters were fully realized and the story was very interesting.  If you enjoyed her previous works, you will definitely enjoy this book. Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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