Cover Image: Dark Things I Adore

Dark Things I Adore

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Member Reviews

Tense chilling an amazing debut,so well written.Tense chilling unputdownable a book that grabs you in and keeps you turning the pages.Highly recommend #netgalley#sourcebooks
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A dark twisty psychological thriller. Set in dual timelines, one in the late 80’s,  in an artists retreat in New England, and the other in the present day, as esteemed art professor Max Durant travels to view the thesis of his most elusive and talented protégée, Audra. 

The story is told in an interesting way, snippets of information are revealed to us within descriptions of visual art displays, and also hear the story through three narrators, each morally ambiguous in their own way. 

The book is a fascinating insight into the art world, and its sometimes unsavoury underside. I would add a trigger warning for mention of suicide and self-harming. 

I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I also posted a review on the Rick O’Shea book club Facebook group (36.9k members)
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The unreliable narrator trope that fueled <i>Gone Girl</i> is alive and well here, this time set in remote Maine.  We also travel between two timelines, one of the 1980s and life at an arts retreat, and today, when the events of that earlier timeline come to a head.  There are a few twists here, mostly in how the earlier timeline is presented and the assumptions you start to make about what is happening to whom.  As a result, that world is more realistic and carefully built than the world of the present day, which is too bad.

eARC provided by publisher via Netgalley.
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I'm a huge fan of dark academia themes so I knew I had to read this asap. I wasn't disappointed! The writing was descriptive and beautiful and the plot was twisty and unpredictable. I'm usually good at figuring out the twist but not this time. 

The reason for 3 stars, however, is more on me than the author. Since I'm not well versed in art, much of the book was hard to follow at times. The artistic descriptions and comparisons will be perfect for anyone who likes both thrillers and art. 

This book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Wow, what an intense, riveting read!  Very suspenseful, well written, and fast paced!  Absolutely unputdownable, with flawless developed characters, which keeps you gripped in the story!  So tense, you’ll be at the edge of your seat when reading!  Full of twisty turns, chilling chills, thrilling thrills, and gasp worthy shocks!  Highly, highly recommend this intense, gripping thriller to my fellow thrill seekers!  

Will buzz around and use top Amazon reviewer on release date!
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I was excited to have been granted a "wish" in receiving this book. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.

I have to say that this is probably one of the most descriptive books I have ever read. I felt like I could literally touch, smell and be present with everything that happened in both the current and past (back to the late 80's) story lines. The only quarm I have about the books is that for someone that is not into art or really doesn't have any interest in it, I got bored with that in the story so much, and it just didn't interest me. I would definitely read more by this author, just hoping for a different theme next time.
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The whole ‘I know what you did and now you must pay’ trope is not new to the mystery/thriller genre. It's not my personal favourite as it tends to make the story super predictable. But the allure of dark academia made this book catch my attention. 

So surprisingly, it's not the plot that failed to keep me interested, but the characters. Right from the beginning, there was a failure to connect to any of them, and thus a lack of desire to know what they did and how they are punished. 

However, the overall concept of the story is interesting and the writing is good for a debut, but my personal indifference to the characters made me not love this as much as I wanted to, unfortunately.
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Thank you to both NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing me an advance copy of Katie Lattari’s debut novel, Dark Things I Adore, in exchange for an honest review.

Dark Things I Adore is a hauntingly, slow-burn of a novel whose story will stick with you long after you have finished reading. TW: Readers who are sensitive to characters or scenes that involve psychological trauma should proceed with caution.

At first, it is not quite clear what is happening. There are some clues that foreshadow the events to come and that keep the reader in frustrated suspense. Despite the initially confusing opening, the book is well-written and contains passages of evocative imagery. If you dabble in the arts, you will be more than pleased with the accurate descriptions of colors (at least I think, but I am not an artist). 

The novel is told from the perspective of three characters: Audra, Max, and Juniper. The chapters for Max and Audra are set closer to the present, spanning from March of 2018 to July of 2019. The chapters for Juniper are primarily set in the past, starting from January of 1988. There are also snippets of notes peppered throughout the text that are referred to as, “scrawlslips.” The notes read like obscure poetry, which is the most I can say about them without spoiling anything. 

The book blurb is as advertised: the novel is split between the past where a group of misfits band together at an art camp deep in the woods of Maine, and the near-present which is set in a remote estate and focuses on an art professor and his star student. As with most novels arranged in this format, the events of the past become the catalyst for what happens in the near-present plotline. The author does a wonderful job of keeping both the storylines and the characters separate.

While the author certainly needed time to build the story, my one gripe is that I wish it could have happened sooner. I can easily understand why some readers would give-up halfway through, but I am here to urge you to push past the strange and glacially paced start because the payoff is worth it in the end. Once you reach section four, the plot becomes intriguing. Do not get me wrong, the author is great at unraveling a story, it just takes some time. 

The last half of the novel is of course where all the action is, but even after the climax, this genuinely haunting or disturbing feeling carries the reader effortlessly through the epilogue. In retrospect, this book could be classified as horror.
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it was amazing
Wow, this book was amazing. I typically don’t read thriller books, but I could not put this down. You never knew what was going to happen next and just had to keep reading to find out what was going on. And the twist at the end?! Totally unexpected. I figured everything out...right when the cops did. That’s how good this book keeps you guessing! A brilliant read!
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the Kindle - I wished for it and I received it. This was such a gripping, cringe-y story. For me, it was more of a slow burn than a fast-paced thriller. Audra is a young woman in her 20's - in a a prestigious art program with a well-known artist, Max Durant, as her professor. He earned fame for one painting early on and has had marginal success since. While the story of Audra and Max is being told, another story is told from the 80's about a communal living art camp. Everyone there goes by nicknames - Moss, Juniper, Coral, etc. Things become dark both in the present and the past and there is a connection. Max is manipulative. He's a handsome 40-something artist and he is able to put younger women in his sights and hold them in his sway. Max may thing he's doing that to Audra but she has plans of her own for him.  This book really did build to an explosive conclusion. I would describe it as a psychological suspense story with lots of psychological abuse between the characters. When I got to the last few chapters, I couldn't put it down. Katie Lattari's writing was so descriptive and wonderful. I felt like I was there in every scene and dreaded being in a lot of them.
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A fantastic thriller that takes place over multiple timelines, the plot will be of particular interest to anyone interested in art! This book is full of suspence and manages to keep you hooked from the first page. The ending will definitely leave you thinking.
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Wow wtf was this? It evoked such emotion and the rollercoaster ride was by far the most stomach dropping I’ve ever experienced.  I loved every page. Coral was so so haunted and max so so ..well I won’t ruin it. One of the best suspenseful thrillers I’ve read in awhile., and I’ve read a lot.  The ending was like a gut punch. I will keep thinking about this one..

Thank you NetGalley for this arc
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I was browsing NetGalley one day and this title caught my eye. I mean, how could I not click on a book entitled Dark Things I Adore? So I did, and it wasn't available for request, but I wished for it, and my wish actually got granted! For the very first time!

I've been reading a lot of thrillers recently, specifically female-driven ones, so I was excited about this. It was very well-written and twisty, and to top it all off, art was intrinsic to the plot! It's rare to read about art in fiction in an authentic, accessible way, but the author carried it off so well. The setting, an artists' retreat in New England, was fresh and unique. Some parts were genuinely chilling, which is so important in a thriller.

Once things started falling into place, I felt this story required just a little suspension of disbelief. But at that point I was eager to get to the conclusion, so I didn't even mind. I was pretty much hooked from start to finish, and I'll definitely be reading more of the author's work in the future.

4-4.5 stars.
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Book Review for Dark Things I Adore 
Full review for this title will be posted at: @cattleboobooks on Instagram!
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

First off, I want to talk about how excited I was when I got approved to review this ARC.  I had missed the initial request period for this ARC, so when I got the "Wishes do come true!" email, I was ecstatic.  The synopsis compares this book to Lucey Foley and Gone Girl, so I knew that I had to read it as soon as I could.  Thank you again to the publisher for this opportunity!

Dark Things I Adore by Katie Lattari is an intense thriller about a group of artists and the power and destruction that comes with the territory.  The book alternates perspectives between Max, a well-known artist and professor, Audra, his student, an artistic genius, and Juniper, a woman with a circle of friends in 1988.  The story switches between the past, when something dark is happening within the group of friends, and the present, when Audra has invited Max to an out-of-the-way cabin to show him her thesis work.  

Here is a quote from Part One, from Max's perspective:

"When Audra first proposed this one-on-one visit, I’d been pleasantly surprised, even a little triumphant. But things couldn’t help but flicker back into memory like sunlight breaking through clouds. Images. Emotions. Colors: cadmium yellow, alizarin crimson, prism violet, cerulean blue. Just snippets, catches of history."

Here is a quote from Part One, from Audra's perspective, describing Max:

"His dark-wash jeans, easily a couple hundred dollars, are bespoke. He’s crisp. Deep-brown leather Chelsea boots on his feet. Designer. Everything about him is designer. Designed. His clothing, his home, his reputation, his life. He has crafted it all with an almost religious egotism with himself at its center, his own god, his own theology. He is that pretentious a figure in a sea of large, thick men wearing slouched, faded jeans and layered workman’s flannels stained with the proof of real labor. Motor oil, tree sap, soil."

The excerpts above show the artistic writing style that the author uses, which is perfect considering the subject matter.  The writing style of the author is a highlight of the book, and I enjoyed it a lot.  The effect is even clearer and stunning when the author describes bloody exhibitions and mysterious notes in the book.  The climax of the book was so scary and thrilling, and the author's writing style made it even more so.  I greatly enjoyed this book, especially the ending.  If I had to complain about one thing, I would say that there was no twist a la Gone Girl.  In fact, the whole story is pretty much revealed in the description, so I would urge any potential readers to skip the description and go in blind.  

Overall, Dark Things I Adore is a moody, artistic thriller that will appeal to readers of Chevy Stevens or Ruth Ware, among others.  If you enjoy exciting thrillers and you don't care that there isn't a massive twist, I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in September!
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Between the past and the present, a story unfolds of love and loss, secrets and lies.  In the present day, a gifted painter, Audra, is traveling back to her remote home in Maine.  She takes her art professor from Boston with her, a man by the name of Max Durant.  A successful artist, but one who peaked decades ago, and everyone knows it.  He is enchanted by Audra and has taken her under his wing to aid her career and serve as his unknowing muse.  He believes he is coming to see her thesis collection, but Audra has so much more to show him.

Thirty years in the past, we see through the eyes of Juniper, one of the young instructors at Lupine Valley, an art retreat where students and teachers of all ages and talents come to learn and create.  They are endowed with 'camp names' by the grizzly owner, Gus, so that they can all but be someone else completely when they are here.  Even Coral, the nineteen year old who works as a cleaner has her own aspirations as an artist.  But her fragile mental health continues to plague her, even amongst the circle of her supportive friends.  But these friends have secrets and one night they are regretfully spilled.  Suddenly, the friendships are strained and the secrets threaten to come out.  But someone won't let that happen.

The story unfolds slowly between the two narratives, and it doesn't take long to make the connections of who was who, then and now.  It's a long journey if you're not a fan of art, as there are many long passages filled with creative meanderings, mostly through the narrative of Max in the present day.  The inclusion of brief dated notes by one of the characters is intriguing at first, but became exhausting.  Themes of manipulative abuse are rampant, yet the retribution for those who were wronged felt excessive.  It's hard to justify behavior that is precisely as immoral as those you vilify, if not more so.  Perhaps that is the message, after all.  Just wait until you read that epilogue...
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Amazing thriller.  I couldn’t wait to find out what happened.  The characters are believable and the plot ingenious.
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Max Durrant has been invited to his protege, Audra’s home to view the art she has prepared for her graduate thesis. A well known art professor, Max is looking forward to the time with the talented and lovely young woman. Little does he know that Audra has ulterior motives. Audra know the secret Max has been hiding since a summer night in the Maine woods in 1988, a night that left someone dead. Now Audra intends to make sure Max pays for what he did. Lattari’s debut may have a familiar plotline, but her dialogue, characters and the story behind the story make this book a unique and exciting read
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