Tear Me Apart

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Oct 2018

Member Reviews

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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 Thank you NetGalley, Mira, Harlequin and J.T. Ellison for the opportunity to read this book. I requested it on NetGalley and am thrilled they were able to oblige me. This one was gut wrenching. Yup the whole book pretty much. Not a bad thing, I mean it was intense, dark at times with little light. The prologue was not my favorite, but each chapter was better and better and by the time the ending came I was worn out. And wow, Mindy's mom.....well read the book no spoilers. Than you JT for a wild ride, thank you for talking about a dark subject with a twist of mystery and cold thrown in.
Was this review helpful?
Mindy is a teenage superstar skier who breaks her leg during one of her races. During surgery it is discovered that Mindy is suffering from Leukemia and needs a stem cell transplant to survive. When her family is tested, a shocking discovery is made. I loved this book from the very beginning and the many twisted and unexpected turns made it all the more enjoyable! Highly recommend!
Was this review helpful?
When Olympic hopeful, competitive skier, Mindy Wright takes a horrible tumble while on a downhill course, the most devastating news her parents expected to hear was that she would miss weeks of skiing while healing. Imagine their horror when it is discovered that Mindy was suffering from a severe form of leukemia. Before long, the news gets even worse - not only does she need an immediate stem cell transplant - her parents' DNA is not a match - Mindy is not their daughter.

Who is in Mindy's life? Her parents, Lauren and Jasper, and her aunt Juliet. Yet, none of them is a match. What actually happened? Juliet, a DNA specialist, will stop at nothing to get to the truth of the matter. As Juliet works with a federal agency, answers start to come to light, and these answers are not pretty.

There are so many OMG moments in this book! While it may have seemed innocuous enough about finding the birth parents to Mindy Wright, it is far, far more. There have been over 17 years of lies and the truth is coming out in waves. I have read a massive number psychological thrillers and, let me tell you, this is by far one of the very best. It is caked with twists and turns shooting left and right. Every time I thought I had a bead on the situation, the story would shift.

Before long I was constantly asking myself  - admittedly aloud - Lauren, what did you do? What did you DO? As a reader I was exceptionally curious, involved even. Mindy may be very ill, but she is exceptionally bright. She senses things are not right almost from the very beginning. Read the words of this absolutely stunning book and you will wonder too. You will wonder so much that you may find this book impossible to put down, even for a second. Also, how could I not root for Zack, who gets introduced to us later in the story?

Now, beyond the mystery, beyond the intrigue, Tear Me Apart is about much, much more. So many things come up - depression, self-harm and suicide. (Please be sure to read the Author's Note at the end of the book. It is pivotal.) Add in murder, and this all ties in together. So much so that the story flows at such a rapid pace, especially as it pulls two timelines together, that my head was truly spinning.

I was familiar with the author's name, J.T. Ellison, as I read the Brit in the FBI series, which she co-authors with Catherine Coulter. Otherwise, in my ignorance, I have never read Ellison's books until now. This is going to change. I am so thoroughly impressed with her writing. It is beyond spectacular. Ellison had my interest piqued from the very first, and this is a book that makes me want more, much more from her. Indeed, this book and this author comes highly recommended.

Many thanks to Harlequin - Mira and to NetGalley for this ARC to review; this was my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Junior champion skier Mindy Wright is in the first year of her adult alpine skiing career and is about to complete her final run which could mean a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. The weather conditions are terrible and everyone is horrified when Mindy falls and is severely injured before she finishes. While being treated for her injuries, a serious medical problem is discovered and and the the tests that are run brings something even more shocking to light. Now Mindy's life hangs in the balance while one of her loved ones tries to uncover long-held secrets to save Mindy.

"Tear Me Apart" is an exciting standalone thriller by J.T. Ellison. The main story is told in the present, but there are also flashbacks featuring other characters that seem unrelated at first until more of the story unfolds. Sometimes I was able to guess some of the revelations, but there are definitely a few surprises before the book ends. 

My favorite characters are Mindy for her perseverance and her Aunt Juliet, because of her kindness, intelligence, and determination. Unfortunately, one of the other main characters is unlikable from the beginning, even before secrets start coming to light. That drags the book down a bit, but overall, I really enjoyed this book because of its fast pace and high level of suspense. I appreciate the well-written epilogue that wraps things up and lets the reader know how things turn out for the main characters. There are a couple things that remain secret from some of the characters which is sad, but realistic. There is a lot of tragedy in the book, but I'm glad it ends on a positive note.

I received this book from NetGalley through the courtesy of Harlequin-Mira. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Great story full of twists and turns. Who is lying? What really happened? Love the flow of the book, and the writing is phenomenal. This was my first J.T. Ellison book, but I will definitely be reading more!
Was this review helpful?
Just another okay thriller. It really reminded me of a Lifetime movie and I'm not a huge fan of Lifetime. There were twists and turns, but it felt cliche to me. It does read quickly. It would be a perfect book for a plane ride or a beach.
Was this review helpful?
Ok, so this book is REALLY good - but complex. It's not going to be the one you take to the pool for a fun thriller. You're going to want to shut your door and put your phone on silent so you won't be interrupted while you read!  

On the outside, it looks like a typical thriller. Famous skiier needs stem cell transplant; parents discover they're not a match; a search for the truth. Was she switched at birth? Did someone in the family cover up a miscarriage and kidnap the baby? Where are the real parents? There are so many things going on but Ellison doesn't convolute it. She knows how to craft a smart, addicting page-turner without frustrating the reader. There's a little bit of everything in this story. Drama, suspense, murder, romance, forensic science, genetics, mental illness awareness, among other shocking twists. If you are interested, I suggest just diving right in; don't read the reviews at the risk of accidentally stumbling upon spoilers. This book is best read blindly. 

I haven't read her other work but if it is anything like this book, I expect JT Ellison will be a new favorite of mine!
Was this review helpful?
This story tackles the difficult subjects of self harm,depression and suicide. It is very well written and the story moves along at great pace. Complex and interesting, a good read.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 Intensely Engrossing Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫 This book was no bunny slope, it was a black diamond run all the way! This was a  book that left you exhilarated and a little cold... filled with twists and turns with many bumps along the way.... there were many high flying moments as well as some close crashes.... so strap on those skis fasten those goggles, and get ready for an intense ride down the slope with this book....

Mindy Wright is a skiing prodigy on the brink of Olympic glory until.... a major crash, a broken leg,and an  unforeseen diagnosis, changes everything.... while in the hospital with her broken leg Mindy is diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia... in need of a bone marrow transplant both her parents are tested, and when not only are they not a match they are not genetically related to Mindy.... Mindy’s perfect run at Life is now a perfect nightmare, and it isn’t only her bone that is shattered.... how is this possible? Was Mindy switched at birth? Or is the answer more dark and complicated than that? How many secrets run through this family and what have they done to protect them?

Oh what a tangled web we weave.... and the untangling of this web was quite the thrilling ride.... I was probably suspicious of every single character in this book at one time or another with the exception of Mindy.... told from the perspective of multiple characters...  you really saw this scenario unfold from every angle.... I thought this was such an impactful way to tell the story it kept me completely engrossed until I reach the finish line.... secrets leading to lies, lies leading to secrets, nobody ever knowing who to believe.... and in the middle of this crazy storm a girl who is fighting for her life!

An engrossing book that will keep you turning those pages well after the ski lift closes....  with a ending that was both haunting and perfect....

Absolutely recommend to fans of thrillers with complicated characters and a compelling plot.... this was definitely a gold medal read!🥇

*** many thanks to Harlequin-Mira for my copy of this brilliant book ***
Was this review helpful?
I received a complimentary e-book copy of Tear Me Apart from MIRA via NetGalley.

Tear Me Apart by J. T. Ellison is a suspense filled story about that you won't be able to put down. Mindy is 17, during a race that could qualify her for the women's Olympic ski team, she crashes. Her leg is severely broken, while in surgery to repair the break, the doctors realize that she is suffering from an aggressive form of leukemia. Mindy doesn't respond well to the chemo, the doctors say that her only hope for survival is a stem cell transplant.

Mindy's parents, Lauren and Jasper, as well as Mindy's aunt, Juliet, are her only living relatives. Not only are they not a match to donate stem cells but their DNA profiles prove that Lauren and Jasper are not Mindy's biological parents. The hunt is on for a donor. Juliet will stop at nothing to save her niece's life. However someone has deadly secrets and will stop at nothing to keep the past hidden.

This was a great book to get lost in. I loved that the pace never slowed down. This book just came out yesterday, August 28th, pick up a copy now to enjoy this holiday weekend.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you netgally for the advanced copy. 3 days was all it took for me to fly through this book. This is the first J.T Ellison book I've read but will definitely be one of my go to Authors. The book flips between past and present and a handful of characters. It's easy to follow but doesn't leave you bored. I cheered for Zack the whole time and enjoyed the little love story added into the thriller.
Was this review helpful?
Captivating and chilling. Another great psychological thriller by J.T. Ellison. As in previous works by the author I do not want to give anything away in the reviews but I would reccomend this to anyone who enjoys the genre.
Was this review helpful?
“Tear Me Apart” by J. T. Ellison starts with a medical crisis; Mindy Wright has a potentially career-ending crash that threatens her future as an Olympian and a professional skier. However, the trauma does not end there. During surgery to save her life, doctors discover an aggressive form of leukemia, and only a stem cell transplant can save her life. The family immediately prepares for the life-saving procedure, but yet complication emerges; they are not a match. It appears that Mindy is not their biological daughter. How can this be? The past holds deep secrets, and how far will a mother go to protect her child? As far as it takes, Lauren Wright will let nothing stand in the way of saving her daughter.  
The characters are well developed, compelling, and not always truthful. The story is told in sections from different points of view, and each interpretation contributes to the complex story as readers follow the uncovering of years of secrets and lies. 
The gripping story unfolds layer by layer as the family’s world unravels around them. This is a personal drama, full of tension, and one that will keep readers engaged right up to the end. It addresses family devotion and childhood illness, as well as the difficult topics of mental illness and missing children. 
I was given a review copy of “Tear Me Apart” by J. T. Ellison, Harlequin, and NetGalley. It is a convincing story filled with family problems, and not all the twists have obvious resolutions. I found the book riveting and captivating. It was a bit long, but it was well worth the time it took to read. Readers should not skip the author’s note at the end of the book.
Was this review helpful?
I have to say I've loved everything I've read by J.T. Ellison from her very first Taylor Jackson novel, and I was pumped to get an ARC of this one (which I ended up finishing on release day!!). I won't rehash the description because you most likely have read it, and I can't go into any more detail than that, but this might actually be one of my favorite books by her. The first half felt very similar to a Jodi Picoult novel and I was really into the change of direction. The second half turns into thriller mode that we know J.T. for, and it does not disappoint. The characters were unbelievably well written, and I had and extremely difficult time putting the book down because every chapter left me in suspense. Highly recommended to anyone who loves a good, slow burning mystery with plenty of twists. I can't wait for the next one! Thanks to J.T. Ellison, publisher MIRA, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I am utterly wrecked from Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison. You know that expression, “all the feelings”, right? As I finished this book, I cried & my heart ached.

We already know J.T. Ellison is a thriller chick. Although I didn’t give her the name, it makes sense to me. Thriller Chick is J.T.’s social media handle, and once you read one of her books, you’ll get it.  She writes these type of mysteries that are gritty & smart. I’ve read several of her books. I believe her writing style continues to evolve, her characters deepen & the storylines are more irresistible. Honestly, J.T. outdid herself with Tear Me Apart. She may not like this, but I think she needs to change her social media handles. After Tear Me Apart, I think she is more suited for Thriller Queen.

I could not & would not put this book down. We had a kid-free 4-hour block & I couldn’t even enjoy dinner because I needed to get back home & finish this story. Now you’re warned – you too may skirt all responsibilities until you reach the end of this story!

One thing I love about J.T. is she doesn’t take the easy way out. Her storylines are deep & complex. So, when the opportunity arises for things to work out so easy for the characters, she could easily take the bait. BUT SHE DOESN’T! She keeps the story & the mystery moving which adds layer after layer of suspense & the tension continues to build.

Tear Me Apart has a character suffering from a mental illness. The way J.T. writes about this character’s struggles are raw, emotional & so real to me that I felt physically ill after reading one particular part towards the end. I began to cry & my stomach ached. For me, this portrayal is spot on.

Similar to this character, I’ve struggled with depression that at times is so crippling it is near impossible to see outside of the darkness. J.T. explores this issue delicately & in an impactful way. Mental illness plays a small but pivotal role in this novel. I believe it’s impossible to read Tear Me Apart & not think of those around us who struggle with mental health.

I am Really Into This book! Tear Me Apart is a stellar thriller with a gritty & real portrayal of a mental illness. It’s also a tale of family, loss, sacrifice & forgiveness. J.T. Ellison broke my heart into a thousand pieces with this story. But, in the end, my heart soared, my tears dried & there was light.

Check out my review for Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison 

Special thanks to J.T. Ellison,  Harlequin/MIRA Books & NetGalley for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.
Was this review helpful?