Cover Image: Just Like The Other Girls

Just Like The Other Girls

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Unfortunately this was a miss for me. There was a lot of potential drama that lead up to a mediocre reveal. I was intrigued by the creepy setting of Elspeth and Kathryn's home, and all the secrets that seemed to lie within the walls. But things just didn't add up for me. There were a lot of plot holes--like Elspeth dancing alone and then pretending to have fallen....? I also felt like the first section of part 2 was simply a retelling of part 1, with different characters. I can see some really liking this creepy domestic drama, but it wasn't for me. 
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Perennial and Paperbacks for an ARC of this title in exchange for my honest feedback.
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Una takes a job as a companion for an elderly (and very wealthy) woman needing help. The pay is incredibly, the house is stunning and Una figures she can save up to do the traveling she and her mother always dreamed of. What once seemed like the picture-perfect job becomes worrisome when Una discovers the two girls hired before her looked startlingly similar to Una and left under shadowy circumstances…. 

Unfortunately, this is another “mixed-feelings” review.
I enjoyed the book and felt it moved at a steady pace, without being too slow but also not what I’d call a page-turner. There’s a lot of unlikeable characters and behavior that is extremely questionable and never rationalized to my satisfaction. On the other hand, I did really enjoy some of the characters and really liked their chapters (the book switches POVs often), and there were quite a few palpable “oh snap” moments in there for me. 

While I’m pleased that the ending I thought I saw coming from a mile away did not end up being the conclusion, I still wasn’t satisfied. The “culprit” wasn’t who I expected but I thought the author could have left this book on a rather haunting note instead of an ending that felt a bit flat to me. 
Overall impression: a lot of missed opportunities. 

Many thanks to Netgalley for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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as always with an arc review, no spoilers!! this book was a quick read! i loved the way the plot flowed and the narration switches were so seamless. every character was fantastic because they all clearly had their motives, even if it was unclear what exactly the motives were. i thought the big reveal was a little lackluster, but all in all a good twist just without pizzazz. if you’re in the mood for a mystery when this book comes out give it a read!!
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Just Like The Other Girls is an evocative and twisty thriller sure to keep you on your toes. Una, a young woman down on her luck, applies to be a lady's companion to the elderly, welcoming, and wealthy Elspeth McKenzie. Kathryn, Elspeth's daughter, resents Una and the idea that her mother needs a companion when she has Kathryn herself. Una soon discovers that two young women who bear a striking resemblance to her worked as Elspeth's companions before she did, and both are now dead. Una decides that she needs to get to the bottom of the demise of her predecessors, before she ends up just like the other girls. 

Overall, this is a solid thriller with a unique mystery. The author did a really good job of creating and maintaining a sense of atmosphere throughout the unfolding of the story. This was divided into two parts, and I have to say that I did NOT expect the twist at the end of part one. I felt that the twist raised the stakes and made the story even better. While I did predict some aspects of the overall mystery, I was surprised for the most part, and my uncertainty heightened the suspense of the novel.

I had a couple of issues with this. One; Una was...not the smartest (to put it delicately) when it came to the decisions she makes at various points in the book. While she is only 22, she isn't a child, and there were moments where I felt like she was unrealistically naïve for an adult woman. Secondly, part two of the story became implausible as it progressed, which I didn't love. However, I am, to a certain extent, willing to suspend my disbelief while reading, and ultimately the implausibility didn't hurt my enjoyment of this all that much.

In short, I recommend giving this a read, especially if you like thrillers that are climactic and deal with the complications of family relationships. This is the first book by Claire Douglas that I've read, and I'm now inclined to check out more of her work! 

Big thank you to NetGalley and Harper Perennial for letting me access this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Get you hands on Just Like The Other Girls on 01/11/22 !
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Thank you to HarperCollins and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Just Like The Other Girls by Claire Douglas is a chilling thriller with a twist that you'll never see coming.  The story revolves around Una, a blonde who applies to be a lady's companion for Mrs. Elspeth McKenzie, a rich old woman who needs companionship.  When Una arrives, Elspeth is lovely and welcoming, but her daughter Kathryn is cold and bitter.  Kathryn resents the lady's companions that her mother has hired.  Then, Una finds out that there have been two other companions before her.  Where did they go?  Did someone murder them?  And will Una be next?

Here is a chilling excerpt from the Prologue:

"The rising fog mingles with the dark night, turning everything opaque. I can barely see, yet I know someone else is on the suspension bridge with me.
I can hear them breathing.
How foolish I’ve been.
Nobody will come to my rescue. It’s too late at night – even vehicles have stopped driving across due to the weather. The rising fog mingles with the dark night, turning everything opaque. I can barely see, yet I know someone else is on the suspension bridge with me.
I can hear them breathing.
How foolish I’ve been."

Overall, Just Like the Other Girls is a gripping thriller that will appeal to fans of Netflix's You.  Instead of searching for the perfect partner, someone has been searching for the perfect lady's companion.  One highlight of this book is the ending to Part One and the beginning of Part Two, which occurs at about the halfway mark.  The first half of this book was pretty typical and followed the book synopsis pretty well, but I was absolutely blown away and shocked by the end of Part One.  I was absolutely not expecting the author to go there with the plot, and it made the second half of the book even better and more gripping.  If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of thrillers in general, you won't regret checking out this book when it comes out in January!
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I really loved this book and honestly would love to add it my collection I couldn’t wait to get through it and to find out what happened . Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for sending me this to read.
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Just Like the Other Girls is an excellent psychological thriller! The action and mystery pulled me in immediately. With so many twists and turns, you will keep changing your mind on who the guilty party is! Such an addicting and engrossing plot, you won't want to stop reading!
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Una takes a job as a live-in companion for Elspeth McKenzie. Elspeth is a very wealthy widow living in a gorgeous estate called The Cuckoo’s Nest. With the amount of money Una earns from this job, she can travel like she promised to her mom who recently passed away from cancer. Elspeth's daughter Katheryn does not care for Una and she wants to be the one taking care of her mother instead. While living there, Una discovers the last two companions Elspeth had have died. One girl was hit by a car the other girl went missing and her body was recently found. Una starts to suspect she may be next. What happened to these other girls, could Una be next?

I really loved this book! The story was very intriguing to me, and I wanted to solve this mystery! I found I had a hard time putting this one down. I have enjoyed all of Claire Douglas' books and I have no doubt you will enjoy JUST LIKE THE OTHER GIRLS. I would highly recommend it.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Perennial and Paperbacks for my ARC in exchange for my honest review

This review will be posted to my Instagram Blog (@coffee.break.book.reviews) in the near future.
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Claire Douglas has such a unique and enjoyable writing style. Claire did an excellent job of building a mystery with suspense. The chapters do alternate between different characters, and the book includes a plot twist (which I always love when a plot twist catches me by surprise). I will say that I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second. The second half seemed to just be an overwhelming amount of information that ended up making the story harder to follow.
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I enjoyed this. It was my first Claire Douglas book. It had a good pace to it and I found myself turning the pages once Una turned up dead herself. I was not expecting that! The twist at the end was also a plus. Well done, Claire!
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My thoughts (spoilers included): I’m giving this 4 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I love the way Claire Douglas writes. This is my third book by her, and I feel confident in saying that she knows how to introduce mystery and build suspense well. This book was no exception. The chapters alternate between different characters, and there’s a big twist near the middle that I did not see coming. Anyone else shocked that a main character was killed off halfway through? After that, I was racing to finish this book and could not put it down. There were several more twists and secrets revealed along the way. I think thriller fans will love this book 💕
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Una responses to an advert for a live-in companion position for an older lady. Arriving for the interview, Una finds the gorgeous stately house is named “The Cuckoo’s Nest,” which sets the tone of this twisty family tale. Una first runs into Kathryn, Elpeth’s daughter, who isn’t pleased her mother is hiring a companion when she can do the job herself. Elspeth insists she needs a “young” companion, completely dismissing her daughter, setting up a ripe tension-filled workplace for Una.  

Una soon realizes she looks very similar to the girls who worked before her and the family within the house are full of secrets. Coming home late one night, Una spies someone standing in her window of her locked bedroom, watching her. Sounds creepy; however, the storytelling gives too much away with the rotating POV, even told from the person watching the companions who met tragic ends to their employment with Elspeth. 

Elpeth’s previous companion Jemima mysteriously disappeared after only lasting three months. The girl before her, Matilda, was killed in a hit-and-run. The police show up, questioning Jemima’s disappearance, informing Elspeth and Kathryn that Jemima has been found, and she’s dead. They were the last people to see her alive. Una’s determined to find out the truth so she doesn’t become just like the other girls.

The first half of the book comes across strong, mostly told from Una’s POV. Resentment, mind games, manipulation, and jealousy between the mother and daughter drives this story rather than suspense and creepy vibes. Yet, continued and odd placement of far-fetched behaviors weakens the story. Elspeth’s actions for one, like her forcing Una to stare at her naked body as she pretends she’s more frail than she is and taking Una’s shirt to sleep with, which gives a false narrative of possible sexual molestation in the past with her daughters. Una’s behavior also becomes unrealistic as the story unfolds and she comes across incriminating evidence. She only makes phones calls, and um, takes no photos to pass on to the police of Jemima’s belonging, which mother and daughter told the police she took the day she left? Mind you, Una’s life is in danger, so this is odd, considering her generation documents everything with photos! And why does she suddenly trust the strangers around her?

After the first part comes to an abrupt end, we jump into the second part and the story really swings into the far-fetched side. Every character is tied to the ending, each a moving part that’s not necessary. A lot of side characters get throw in the path as the possible murderer, but it’s cluttered storytelling after this tale loses the building tension from the abrupt first part ending. Una’s voice was the strongest and a complete story could have been told just from her perspective alone, revealing truly disturbing psychological mother-daughter power plays where everyone in their path loses, which is the “cuckoo” story first promised at the beginning, yet didn’t materialize. 

Thank you NetGalley and HarpersCollins Publishers for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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This synopsis had me saying, “I need to read this!”  

A rich elderly woman needing a carer who stays on the premises. The suspense and thrilling tale was good. The character development was really good and intensity amazing… until we got to part 2. 

I got frustrated with the twist of the part 2. It almost felt like two different stories out into one novel. The character development was minimal in part 2 and the bridge to part 1 and 2 was held together by a single character. 

The ending made up for some of it. Which is why I’m giving it an overall 3.5 star rating
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I’ve been on a roll with really good thrillers and this one disappointed me. It was anticlimactic. There was a little suspense but it fell flat for me. The characters did some silly things that made this predictable. I also felt like this book was unnecessarily long.

Thank you NetGley and Harper Perennial for the copy in exchange for an honest review. Pub date: Jan 11
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My first book by the author, I enjoyed the fast pace and the storyline and found it easy to read. I found the characters kind of annoying with the foolish decisions they made especially when people were actually dying but other than that I quite enjoyed it.
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Una starts a job as a carer for an old woman when she is jolted by the news that the two girls previously in her position are dead. She needs to find out the truth before she ends up like them. I felt like the ending was predictable and I didn't feel connected to any of the characters. However, it was a pretty easy read and still kept my attention.
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Just Like the Other Girls is a gothic psychological thriller from Claire Douglas. 
The story takes place mainly in a beautiful mansion where Una, who is mourning the death of her mother and the betrayal of her boyfriend Vince, has signed on as a live-in caretaker / companion of the elderly  (yet very capable) Elspeth.
Una find the job a bit boring aside from the sniping from Elspeth's daughter Katherine until she discovers that there has been a string of caretakers who have gone missing before her. Add in that Elspeth's oldest daughter Viola is not to be mentioned in her vicinity and Una decides she needs to get to the bottom of what is really going on at the mansion.

A twisty gothic thriller. I love the atmosphere and was drawn in by the mystery. The ending was plausible but perhaps a bit too bright for such a gothic tail. Recommended for those who like a dark and twisty mystery taking place in the gothic house setting. #NetGalley #JustLikeTheOtherGirls
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This premise is great - an elderly woman (who is perfectly capable of getting around when she wants to) has decided she needs a live-in caretaker. Her adopted daughter, Kathryn, can and does help out, but her mother, Elspeth, insists she needs someone unencumbered by a family, and begins a search for a younger girl to assist her.

First, there was Matilde, who was killed in a hit-and-run. Then, Jemima, who just left one day, and was never heard from again. That’s where Una comes in: she desperately needs a job and a place to stay, she has experience in geriatric care, and she’s ecstatic when she actually gets the job.

Una notices that Kathryn and Elspeth seem to have a strained relationship, and she also sees that Kathryn doesn’t seem to want her around at all. But Elspeth loves her, she’s getting paid very well, she likes the other staff in the house, so she doesn’t worry about the cold daughter and the two caretakers who died before her … but she probably should have.

This was an engrossing read, with a great plot and excellent characters. I think my only complaint was that some parts were quite predictable and the ending started to get really dramatic and implausible out of nowhere. There was another twist afterwards that halfway made up for it, but the ending might have had more impact had it been more simple. Still, a very good read and a solid four stars.

(Thank you to Harper Perennial and Paperbacks, Claire Douglas and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my review.)
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I was riveted right away by this thriller and never saw the twists coming! Each time I thought I’d solved the mystery, there was another surprise (and I do mean every time!) that kept me reading well into the night. 

Una is an endearing and optimistic narrator, with just enough naïveté for the reader to pick up on the occasional hint before she does. She genuinely wants to assume the best of those around her even when she’s suspicious or scared, which makes you root for her all the more.
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Just Like The Other Girls follows Una, a young girl, who feels all alone in the world. Una's life is at an all time low after losing her mother and having her boyfriend betray her. Her only solace is with her good friend Courtney. While looking through her local newspaper one day discovers an advertisement that could change her life around; a caretaker position with a good salary and the location of the job is even more alluring. She immediately applies as a live-in caretaker for wealthy 79-year-old Elspeth Mackenzie. But, Espeth’s daughter Kathryn doesn’t like Una and that makes Una’s job as Espeth’s caretaker even harder. The longer she is there she begins to question her safety after she discovers that the two caretakers prior ended up dead in suspicious circumstances. She seeks help from her friend Courtney and together they uncover a series of secrets and lies. Is it too late for Una to get out safely? Who can she really trust?

I am blown away by the author’s ability to trick me. I totally thought I had figured out what was going on but I was wrong … way wrong. 

I read this in one day because it was sooooo good! This book is creepy and addictive from the first page. The plot and storyline were clever, the characters in the book were full of good and bad surprises, and the twists and turns of this book were *chefs kiss*. I haven’t read any of Claire’s other books but am making sure to read more of her work soon! 

For anyone looking for a strong addictive psychological thriller look no further!

Thank you to Netgalley and Claire Douglas for this ARC.
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