The Two Lila Bennetts

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

"Maybe all we are is a sum of our choices, each one leading us down a different path, each with its own unique outcome. The notion that each decision holds that much power is overwhelming..."
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The Two Lila Bennets was absolutely fascinating. I read it all in one fell swoop and enjoyed the hell out of it. This book, put simply, was a mindfuck of the highest order. We have a dual timeline going in this book, with two stories, both starring Lila, going at the same time. In one, she is doing her job working as a lawyer, trying to stop her personal life from falling down around her ears. In the other, she is kidnapped and trying to think one move ahead to outwit her captors and get home. In both timelines, she does change - but is it for the better or the worst? And is it too little, too late - or has she changed in time to make a difference? Read to find out!
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 I liked this book a lot. Each day and timeline is labelled at the top, so you know exactly what you're looking at when you read it. The chapters are short, but long enough that you don't feel gypped. And the end is satisfactory, albiet a little confusing. The fact that I had to reread the last chapter or two made me take a half point off in my rating...so this book gets a 4.5 instead of the 5 the writing deserves - but because the writing was so good I'm rounding up to 5. Congrats on anothet great book!
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I loved the premise and the format: we see the difference on how the life of the female lead takes depending on one decision she made. I found it easy to get into the story and follow both lines but sadly none of the two different voices/developments hold my interest. The style was different but I didn't care about that - I cared that none made me feel connected to the character, no matter what happened to her. Due to the lack of feelings I wasn't really sorry when I finally reached the endings. 

I had so much expectations and was so happy when the publisher provided a copy but to me the authors didn't really deliver.
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Read this in one delicious sitting.  A sliding doors inspired novel , this book bounces between two realities as we see a character on the precipice of defining who she will be.  This is an absolute must read and I am so grateful to the authors for sharing this via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Wow, what a ride this book was. I really enjoyed the character of Lila and the realization that every choice we make, good or bad, will lead us on our path through life’s journey. Can one small decision shape the whole outcome of our life, or is it never to late to change ourselves and that outcome? My mind played tricks with me on this one, and I enjoyed reading from two different timelines. As always, Liz and Lisa make an unstoppable writing team.
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Makes you rethink every possible scenario in life which you have missed or crossed unknowingly with each decision !

Right, let's jump into the plot. Lila Bennett is a bad-ass lawyer on a high after her client is acquitted in his wife's murder trial. Lila doesn't feel too happy about the win, since she is not 100%  sure that her client is all that innocent. However, a lawyer has go to do what she has got to do. Or so she convinces herself. The victim's sister is angry and kinda curses Lila that her karma will catch up to her. Now, Lila is also having an affair with her boss, who is also her best friend's husband. Bad, bad girl ! But something within Lila wants to change, she doesn't want to feel so shady, and so she is re-evaluating herself. After this win, her boss cum lover, invites her out for a celebration. And now from this point on, there are two different story lines because someone wants to teach Lila a lesson. And they are waiting for the right time to strike. Like you are standing in a dark passage and there are two doors in front of you, each taking you through a different path to a different outcome. Now, poor Lila does not know this. It's us, the readers, who can read how this one decision, going out with her boss or going to her home to her husband. is going to alter her life's story,  

One path is mild, letting her off on her mistakes with little damage while the other is extremely opposite, making her go through fear, pain, mental torture. The outcomes of both paths are different. Will the smoother path have a better ending ? Will the violent path end badly ? You never know..But one thing is sure, Lila is going to have to face her mistakes one way or the other. Who is this person, who knows so much about her, and wants her to suffer for each life she has altered ? Will Lila make it out unscathed?

Amazing writing ! The story keeps alternating between 'Captured' and 'Free' scenarios and keeps us guessing what's the next thing that would happen. This idea is pretty unique where we can read both possibilities of a decision in parallel. Now, the cynic in me went into overdrive, judging everyone. The plot has a decent pace and does not let the thrill get slow. We get to know Lila, layer after layer, stripping her to her most basic thoughts. With more you know, you want to dislike Lila, but that doesn't happen. She seems to be a good person, just insecure and selfish, which is not all that bad, compared to the other evil in the story. So many things, she took for granted and now she has to pay for all those mistakes. Will she ever recover from this blow?

I enjoyed reading this story and I couldn't wait to reach the end. Now that I have reached the end, I have so many questions. The life as Lila knew it, can never be the same. One path had a sense of closure. The other path left so many things unanswered. I will definitely recommend this book.

PS : I wish the title was a little more alluring, and not literally two Lila Bennetts. But her, I am not complainin !
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This book was interesting and kept my attention throughout reading it. Lila made a lot of mistakes and hurt a lot of people early on in her career, but she redeemed herself to become a better person and someone she could live with in the end. 
I enjoyed reading it and recommend it.
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Twisted. Love these dual authors, but this book was only “ok” for me. The premis/back and forth was interesting attempt at an otherwise abduction/revenge story! Additionally, I ultimately did not find the main character to be likeable which never makes for a fun read! Twisted enough however, to hold your attention and get through fast!
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The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Lake Union Publishing, 2019.

In this parallel universe story, Lila Bennett is a top criminal lawyer crushed by guilt and torn between loyalty and betrayal.  Her author husband is all but housebound, perhaps suffering from depression brought on by writer’’ block.  Her mother has tainted Lila’s memories of her father with stories of his philandering.  The two worst decisions she made in her life indirectly betrayed her best friend at the time.   Her boss expects more from Lila than he should;  it seems her assistant is the only one she does not disappoint.  When her life splits in two, the kidnapped Lila is forced to address face her mistakes; the free Lila decides to do the same.

The authors do a great job of character development in this page turner.  I liked Lila despite some of the things she did.  Supporting characters were consistent, the writing is smooth, the story is well organized and believable. We learn more about Lila’s motivation as her story unfolds and perhaps understand why she drinks so much.

I enjoyed this book and recommend it.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of  The Two Lila Bennetts via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke-- the wonderful authors who sent me a physical copy and Netgalley and Lake Union for a ecopy of this book!
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Lila Bennett is a defense attorney who has stepped on a lot of toes to get where she is now. Hurting numerous people over the years, Lila will do anything it takes. But in what becomes two different timelines, Lila's world blows up. In one she is captures in another she is free, but constantly fronted with her life issues.
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What I loved: The two storylines! I have never seen Sliding Doors, which I totally need to, so this was even more fascinating to me. The way they weaved the timelines was seamless. The pace was quick. So though we had two timelines happening, it changed so quickly you never have time to get bored in one version of Lila's life. I was totally ok with the reasoning why Lila was kidnapped because it made sense. I also loved reading about the different relationships in Lila's life. Seeing what destruction was happening in each facet of her life gave more insight into Lila as a person. 
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What I did not love: Lila at points. She was extremely weak. Her mother told one her fact about her father and she let that affect her whole life. A decision that though hurts and can affect people affected her 100%. I could understand it ruining her intimate relationships, but she took this one fact and let it run everything. Also, I think Lila got off TOO easy in the one timeline. I won't say more- -spoilers-- but feel free to hit me up! lol
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As always, Fenton and Steinke are top notch. They write page turners that keep me reading at a furious pace. I was in a reading slump of five days and this took me right out!

**Review on Goodreads 4/3
** Review on Instagram 4/4
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Thank you so very much NetGalley for the ARC.  Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke never EVER disappoint. The Two Lila Bennetts sucked me in from the first page and kept me hooked.  We meet Lila Bennett who is a defense attorney and a pretty good one.  I thought she was almost too good since she managed to win every case.  Her latest case though, leaves a mark on her.  Her client is accused of killing his wife.  The book starts out the day of verdict and the family of the victim is devasted by the verdict.  Lila's firm celebrates another win, but Lila can't shake the feeling that she let a guilty man go free. 
Turns out Lila has a lot of skeltons in her closest.  This book take her down two paths, both where she is seeking a redemption of some sort (although both paths force her to confront her demons,  One does so more cold heartedly) 
I honestly thought I had the mystery of who was behind everything figured out, but I was wrong.  It's not often that a thriller surprises me anymore, but this one did. 
Well done Liz and Lisa,  I can't wait for your next one.
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What an original storyline. I loved the Sliding Doors feel with the 2 separate stories based on Lila’s choices. It was fresh and flowed so well. My only wish is that Lila was a tad more likable. I wasn’t a huge fan of Lila which made the outcome a little less exciting for me. I did love the fact that the character made a major change but she wasn’t relatable enough for me. I would recommend this book to friends.
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If you love a crazy premise, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have got one for ya.
In THE TWO LILA BENNETTS, Lila's life is split in two, all because of a bad decision that she's made, and at that shocking moment of change, we're already acquainted with all the people in her life, most of whom she has wronged. Which only means that any one of them could be the culprit. From then on, the plot gets thicker and chilling with every page.

In one life, Lila is captured in a cell and has to investigate the identity of her kidnapper while attempting to survive. But how does her captor know so much about her?
In her other life, Lila believes she's being stalked. Is she, or is she just being paranoid? 

What I loved about The Two Lila Bennetts is that it succeeded to deliver razor-sharp suspense through an engrossingly unusual concept, all while being thought-provoking and compelling us readers to change into a better version of ourselves.

Lila had done very bad things in the past and she'd wronged people that she cares about. So now all of those decisions will catch up with her in the most sinister way, and I'm so impressed at how our protagonist changes as the story progresses, most importantly the way her mind works as she attempts to survive while being captured by a mysterious kidnapper. 

A brilliant twist. Two explosive endings. A dark portrayal of regret, guilt and retribution. 
Make sure to mark this one on your calendars, fellow readers!!
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This book was SO. GOOD. 

It was so different than anything I've read lately, which was such a relief! Its unique concept was just what I needed after a mini book slump.

I've always been a longtime fan of Lisa & Liz. They have consistently put amazing stories like Girls Night Out and The Good Widow. But The Two Lila Bennetts is by far my favorite. How can they create such masterpieces and split the work? How do you gals do it?! I agreed that I would be impartial when reading this story. Lisa and Liz are amazing, even outside the book universe, so I wanted to be fair when reviewing them. But it didn’t even matter because this book deserves all the stars.

Lila Bennett is a defense attorney that doesn't have the best track record when it comes to defending the nicest (or most innocent) clients. Most people would say she's heartless, selfish, and a bit ruthless. At work she’s known for being a killer attorney. She’s rising up the ranks with win after win. And because of this, her merciless nature has bled into her personal life. Her thoughtless choices have brought her to a point in her life where she has wronged some of the closest people she loves. And all because of one night, a decision has split her life into two realities. We follow her through the fateful choice and see her life play out so differently… all because of one moment. [Love that idea. How many times have we altered the course of our lives because of one simple decision?] We see Lila through two different lenses, one where she is captured and the other when she is free. Each story was captivating, immersive, and so unique.

I loved everything about this book. The characters, the pacing, the dual story lines, the ending! I kept thinking it would go in one direction and I was completely wrong. I love being surprised, especially when I'm dead set thinking I have it all figured out. A creative idea like this deserves all the praise! Its mix of suspense and intrigue was perfect. No dull moments. I felt equal measures of compassion and judgment towards Lila. But in the end, she is human, just like all of us. No one is perfect and sometimes we don’t make the best choices. But for Lila, her choices could be a matter of life and death.

Do not skip this one. When it releases, pick it up! Spread it around to your friends. I hope to see this publicly celebrated by everyone because it deserves every bit of success. 

And thank you again to Netgalley and Lisa & Liz for providing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I was so excited to read this book and I was not disappointed.I was drawn right into the story to the wonderfully written characters another hit for these authors highly recommend. # netgalley #lakeunionpublishing
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Thank you to @netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for this ARC of ‘The Two Lila Bennetts’ by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steiner out July 23. 

I inhaled this in one day. This dark, clever, quick-paced story follows Lila Bennett through two parallel timelines much like the movie Sliding Doors.

In one timeline Lila is kidnapped and the other she is free. But both timelines have similar thread of lies, regrets and consequences. Lila is certainly flawed and isn’t always easy to root for. But that’s what made her so great. I had to wonder- did the authors name her Lila because she excels at lying? Lie-la? 

The twists kept me guessing and turning pages at breakneck speed to see how it would end. If you’re looking for a compulsively thought provoking thriller- add this to your summer TBR.
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Reality is a sliding door…

RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Sliding Doors is easily one of the most underrated movies of all time. Gwyneth Paltrow made the film during her long and excruciating breakup from Brad Pitt (cue teenagers like, “they dated??”) and it shows in every glimmer of tears in her eyes, every set of her chin, every time hope alights on her face. It’s a movie about breakups and makeups, about the choices we make, about how doors take us in different directions, about the two roads diverging in the wood.

It never, ever fails to make me cry at the end.

Suffice to say, I loved the idea of a psychological thriller along the same lines as the movie. Unlike Gwyneth Paltrow’s picture-perfect Helen, Lila Bennett is a complicated soul. A criminal defense attorney, Lila lives for the chase, the hunt, the win. It’s ceased to matter to her whether or not her clients are guilty or innocent – it only matters that she secures her victory, so she can move on to the next. She’s married, but she’s cheating. She’s betraying almost everyone close to her, and she may have just helped a vicious killer escape prosecution.

Is Lila the devil incarnate? I would argue no. Although a lot of her decisions paint her out to be a stereotypical ‘bad person’, in reality I think that Lila is at the mercy of the undertow of her life. Driven to succeed, she’s swept along by what people expect from her. After all, who would prop up her depressed husband if she crumbled? Who would support her mother if she left her job?

One evening, Lila makes a crucial choice (that seems quite small in the moment), and her life splits in two. One in which she’s “free”, still struggling to navigate the complex legal system and atone for past wrongs, and one in which she’s “captured”, kept in a cement-lined cell with a viciously cold man who seems to want revenge, at any cost.

Immensely readable and compelling, this book also has a very good twist when it comes to “whodunit”. I guessed, because I make it my business to guess, but it wasn’t obvious, and I commend the authors – super hard these days to make that a surprise.

One caveat: there’s a fair amount of slut-shaming that goes on in this book, which made me cringe. Lila frequently thinks “I deserve this”, as she’s being mentally and physically tortured in her cell. Worse, I didn’t get the feeling that at any point, that self-loathing changes into an attitude of “no one deserves this”, which I would have seen as welcome character growth.

Because certainly, I don’t believe even the most cold-hearted reader would think Lila “deserves” to be locked up, slashed and starved, because she had an extra-marital affair and made some questionable choices at work? Surely not? SOMEONE PLEASE. Because, ugh. It’s 2019 and we don’t ascribe to the notion that women need to be “punished” for their transgressions, right? Right.

Mental gymnastics aside, I really enjoyed this. It’s the perfect summer beach read, and will have you madly flipping pages (or pressing next on your Kindle) until you get to the whirlwind of an ending.
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This book is just sensational. It captivated me from the first to the very last page. 
Well written and also contained some surprises along the way. 
Can’t wait to read more from this author
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3.5 stars.  I am a huge fan of this team of authors.  Every time a book is published or I am approved for a preview (thank you Netgalley!) it jumps to the top of my list.

The bulk of these stars comes from the extremely readable writing style.  It moves swiftly and is not dense, revealing some of the mystery in each chapter but giving the reader enough interesting backstory to really get to know the characters.

Unfortunately, this is one character I did not want to know.  **spoilers ahead**  Lila Bennett is a ruthless criminal defense attorney, taking no prisoners (pun intended) and callously mowing people down along the way. And not just her opponents - her husband, her best friend - no one is safe.  She has an affair with her boss - who also happens to be her best friend's husband - while moving from one (probably) guilty client to the next. But she's just doing her job and she has to stay in this high-powered position at this top firm - doesn't she?
 
Two versions of events unfold for Lila, one where she is captured, one where she is not - but is slowly tortured as her transgressions come to light.  I very quickly guessed whodunit, which is always a little disappointing in a thriller, but the writing style kept me flipping the pages. 

Both Lilas learn from their mistakes, but only one Lila is free to start to right all her wrongs.  I did find myself starting to cheer her along - although she still had a LOT of work to do to redeem herself.  Which is why the end for 'free' Lila straight-up befuddled me.  Unexpected endings are good...unexpected and deflating endings, not so much.

I will still automatically read any novel this writing duo puts out, but I find myself missing the magical realism of some of their earlier works.  This one just did not spark for me in the same way.
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This book has a very interesting premise, which the authors mostly pull off. Alternating chapters tell the story of Lila Bennett's life in two different ways, resulting from different choices she's made. While it's hard to describe the two different paths Lila takes throughout the story without spoilers, the book is an interesting look at how choices both small and large can have a lasting impact on our lives (and those of our loved ones).

While the format took some getting used to and required a lot of concentration to keep the two alternate stories straight, I was intrigued throughout.
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Lila Bennett’s bad choices have finally caught up with her. And one of those decisions has split her life in two. Literally
In one life, she’s taken hostage by someone who appears to be a stranger but knows too much. As she’s trapped in a concrete cell, her kidnapper forces her to face what she’s done or be killed. In an alternate life, she eludes her captor but is hunted by someone who is dismantling her happiness, exposing one secret at a time.

Lila’s decorated career as a criminal defense attorney, her marriage, and her life are on the line. She must make a list of those she’s wronged—both in and out of the courtroom—to determine who is out to get her before it’s too late. But even if she can pinpoint her assailant, will she survive? And if she does, which parts of her life are worth saving, and which parts must die? Because one thing’s for certain—life as Lila Bennett knew it is over.

Thank you, NetGalley and the Publisher for the advance copy of the ebook. Well, I was definitely on the fence with this one. I found this book so difficult to really get into. It was the different tellings. By the end, I was just ready for it to be over. It was not bad, just not great.
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