Member Reviews

Not So Perfect Strangers was a wild ride that started with a lady giving a lady a ride when she appeared to be in distress. That started a crazy phase for Tasha.

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Not So Perfect Strangers is a retelling of Strangers on a Train. Two women have a chance meeting one night. Both women are looking to escape their spouses, and one of them suggests they kill each other’s husbands.

Told using dual points of view, the reader gets both women’s perspectives on their lives and what they think of each other. Not So Perfect Strangers is a fun, dark, and twisty thriller.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Yes, it's yet another take on Strangers on a Train. But you know what? It's a good one!

Tasha is a character to root for. I loved her. She's so earnest and so willing to do anything to protect her son.

Madison is the most Becky of the Beckys and I hated her so much lol. She's definitely a fun character to read, though.

Suspenseful and very fast moving. This is one entertaining read!

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Engaging and entertaining. A recommended purchase for collections where crime and thrillers are popular.

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This is an okay thriller. Definitely a modern day version of Strangers On a Train, in a good way. My only issue is that I was never very invested in either character. They’re well written, that’s not the issue at all. There’s some interesting commentary on race & social status. Overall a good but not great book. I read another recent book that had similar vibes & kind of preferred that one more.

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This was so good! It is just the sort of book I look for. I couldn’t put it down and couldn’t predict where it was going which made reading it more fun.

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This is thriller digs deep into domestic violence with our two main characters.. Initially strangers that unit in their abuse the story is powerful. I did struggle at times with the pacing, it seemed to run, then walk, then run, then walk again 0 which made it difficult to stay engaged at times. Overall it is a good thriller.

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Despite being a fan of Alfred Hitchcock's films, I only watched Strangers on a Train a few years ago. I instantly fell in love with this tale of strangers who meet on a train and make a plan to commit murder for the other. L.S. Stratton's Not So Perfect Strangers dangerously walks a similar tightrope with a story of a chance meeting that turns deadly.

Tasha Jenkins is an abused woman and she has had enough. When she finally decides to escape her husband (for good this time), she comes across a sharply-dressed woman running from an angry man and begging for a ride on the streets of Atlanta. Tasha is not one to turn away another woman in distress, so she lets this fugitive find refuge in her vehicle. Little does Tasha know that this is the moment her life changes forever because the woman in question is Madison Gingell, and she is harboring secrets of her own.

Madison has had enough of her husband's not-even-discreet infidelity and wants to make him pay. She thinks she has found the perfect partner-in-crime in Tasha, a woman down on her luck and in desperate need of her own escape. That is why Madison hatches a plan with Tasha to do the unthinkable ... but when things don't go as either of them expected, Madison becomes hellbent on getting her revenge at any cost.

I really appreciated Not So Perfect Strangers for its fresh take on the suspense genre. Although the plot may sound like something you have read before, Stratton writes with her own style and idiosyncrasies, keeping this seasoned suspense reader invested throughout. Stratton gives a unique voice to her characters as she explores how power and privilege play a role in how woman approach, process, and leave toxic relationships. And of course, this wouldn't be a compelling suspense without some over-the-top dramatics, which are most definitely deliciously included here!

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I didn’t have a chance to read this one before it expired! I tried the first few chapters and couldn’t get into it enough to prioritize.

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Not So Perfect Strangers is an intriguing domestic thriller about two strangers who met by chance that changed their lives. Maddison and Tasha both wanted to end their marriages but differently.

Tasha was stuck in an abusive relationship. She was literally a prisoner in her house and she couldn’t leave her 17 yr old son behind with her abusive husband. She often thinks life would be better without her husband. Maddison suspects her husband is cheating on her. She didn’t want to settle down with prenup money by divorce, she wanted him dead but not by her hand. When fates bring them together, Maddison thinks they can solve each other’s problems and get away with it. But it goes down the hole, making it a huge complicated mess.

I absolutely enjoyed the plot. Writing is gripping and steady-paced with alternative perspectives and intermittent ‘before’ and ‘now’ chapters. ‘Now’ chapters made the ‘before’ chapters even more intriguing.

There are many layers in the book- racism, abusive relationships, abandonment issues, the impact of abusive childhood on the person, religious and spiritual abuse by parents, drug addiction, manipulation, stalking, trauma, and mother’s unconditional love.

Both women are developed. They came from different backgrounds. Tasha was a middle-class black woman while Maddison was a rich white woman. Their differences were shown throughout the book not just by financial and social status but also by race.

Tension is palpable throughout the book. Twists and turns are interesting. At some points, it looks predictable but the author had big surprises in the last 20% of the book. The end was perfect, clever, and out of the box. It made me change my mind about a particular character.

Why 3.5/4 stars-

I was frustrated with Tasha at many points. I’m not a fan of the indecisive characters who would take ages to finally act on something they should have long ago.

What I didn’t exactly get is Ghalen. I couldn’t figure out how he can love his father and look up to him when he could see he beat and abuses his mother! How he couldn’t see wrong in him! I can’t believe it takes Tasha to word it and see a therapist to make him see how wrong his father was.

Overall, Not So Perfect Strangers is an intriguing, tense, and relatable domestic thriller with heavy themes and layers.

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Let me say this first I am not a thriller or mystery girl but when I saw this book was written by L.S. Stratton, I knew I had to read it she is an amazing writer. The way she weaves a story grabs your attention and keeps it on every page is amazing also. I like how she introduces us to characters and how it flows from there. To me the story is cohesive and it held my attention considering I am not a thriller/mystery girl. I have read a few other title buy this author and have not been disappointed. If you have a chance to read this one please pick it up.

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We have domestic violence and revenge, love and power, and enough surprises to keep you constantly changing what you thought you knew. There are a lot of differences between the characters, from religious beliefs and social class to the color of their skin. Both have been well-developed and have the same desire, they just go about getting what they want differently. This page is called One More Exclamation so I get the exclamated writing but it was unusual to see so many in a novel. This debut author’s physiological thriller will keep you up reading way too late. Well done.

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Not So Perfect Strangers is an effective domestic thriller . Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers On A Train, this mystery follows two very different women that everything separate, but sadly united in abusive marriages. The background story is well elaborate, digging into subjects such as sexism, racism, and domestic abuse.

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This book had me HOOKED from start to finish with its intense storyline and complex characters. The concept of two women with different backgrounds teaming up to take down their abusive husbands was so intriguing. I love how the story introduces us to the characters and storyline. Although both ladies had their own motives; Tasha and Madison were complex and flawed characters that I was rooting for even though I probably shouldn't have. This psychological thriller had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I can't wait to read more by this author.

Thank you Netgalley and Union Square & Co. for providing me this ARC.

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Thank you to Union Square & Co for this ARC copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was gripping, exciting and full of twists and turns.

I found this book very easy to get to and found myself looking forward to reading it, it didn’t take long for me to finish this book, when I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it and what was going to happen.

I loved the multiple POV’s and the different timelines throughout. Despite several different POV’s and two different time settings, I did not find it confusing and found it very easy to know who’s chapter it was and when it was happening.

I thought the hard topic of abuse was handled in a way that did not romanticise it and really made you feel what the character was feeling during these moments.

I gave this book 4 ⭐️ and would 100% recommend it.

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4.5 Stars

Read: 03/27-03/28
Pub date: 03/28

Thank you Netgalley and Union Square for this digital ARC!

As Tasha is reluctantly driving home after a failed attempt to leave her abusive husband, a woman suddenly pounds on her car window. She is begging to be let inside as she is seeking refuge from her own husband, and Tasha decides to let her in. This event sparks a number of events that will change Tasha’s life as she knows it.

Not So Perfect Strangers is an exciting thriller told in multiple POV and dual timelines. This book grabbed my attention right from the start, is fast-paced, and tackles some tough issues of racism and abuse. This book is very reminiscent of Strangers on a Train, but has some updated social elements, as well as some twists and turns along the way. If you’re a fan of domestic thrillers, this one was released on 03/28, and I’d definitely recommend giving it a read.

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This was an interesting read! It deals with issues of racism, sexism, && domestic abuse. The fact that Tasha is an African American women and Madison is a white women dealing with similar issues was interesting because we get to see both sides. The author does a good job showing their differences without it being too obvious! Tasha struggles with the proposal of killing each others husbands though. I didn’t like Madison too much. I loved Tasha and the fact that she’s a good mom and it’s her top priority! It was easy to root for Tasha. I enjoyed the book and do recommend it!

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. Book comes out March 28th!

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Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of Not So Perfect Strangers. I really liked the opening of this book, I was hooked for the first 50 pages or so. Sadly I felt the story kind of fell flat about one third of the way in and I did not continue reading it. I was not very invested in the story.

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This is my second read of this novel… it was just as good as the first time. When i tell you I found every available moment to pop open my kindle and read another paragraph— could not put it down.

This book has everything I love about a crime fiction thriller/ suspense— a hero/heroine I want to root for, a character (or two) that I love to hate, a timeline that snaps, and high HIGH stakes. If Tasha doesn’t keep up her end of the bargain, more people will die and it’ll be her fault. It’s DELICIOUS.

Add in a character I want to sympathize with but also drives me up a wall, a few surprise twists and you have a highly enjoyable thrill ride.

I love everything Stratton has published as Shelly Ellis and Shelly Stratton, so it’s no surprise that I really enjoyed this novel, but I’m MOST enjoying her renaissance as a domestic suspense author. We saw shades of it in the BRANCH AVENUE BOYS, then she gave it to us straight in THE THREE MRS GREYS and TRUTH LIES AND MR. GREY. NOT SO PERFECT STRANGERS is a cut above- using all of her finely honed talents to bring hours of entertainment to our faces.

Stratton is driving the train directly where I want to go and I’m hanging on for the ride. If this book doesn’t have an audio release, I will RIOT. I would love to hear this book brought to life by stellar voices.

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