Member Reviews

Solid 3.5 star thriller.

Fun plot love me a revenge story where women get back at the men who’ve wronged and hurt them.

I also love a morally grey character, a thriller that encompasses race, politics and gender roles.

There were some twists I was really shocked by and a tad predictable ending.

All and all a great psychological thrill.

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I read this book in one evening. It was such an easy and fun read. I loved all the characters and how Tasha had to overcome so many obstacles and she came out on top. Tasha experienced a lot of loss but also hopefully her son will change his behavior. This was a great thriller and kept you wanting to know what was next. Maddie had killed so many people in her life I think she was really ready to get caught. This book would make a great book club discusssion.

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Inspired by Hitchcock’s ‘Strangers on a Train,’ L.S. Stratton’s novel follows two women who need to escape their marriage and the murderous consequences of their accidental meeting. I sat back gobsmacked at how a chance encounter set off a domino effect of events.

Stratton uses her characters’ predicaments to explore feminism, race relations and fate.

While I didn’t approve of (1) some of the behaviour nor the unnecessary inclusion of it and (2) the manner in which racism was presented, I did appreciate the tension, the ominous cover, and the twisty, propulsive thriller. It drove home the danger of making choices while we are upset and ‘going off half cocked.’ It also had me thinking about the dangers of offering help to a stranger. I may forget their names, but I won’t forget the encounter between Madison Gingell and Tasha Jenkins for quite some time.

I was gifted this copy by Union Square & Co and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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Thank you NetGalley and Union Square & Co for an ARC of Not So Perfect Strangers in exchange for an honest review

3.5/5 stars rounding up to 4 stars ☆

A psychological thriller with a spin off of Strangers on a Train. This book definitely delivered the thriller and had you second guessing and thinking of all the possible outcomes of how the book was going to end. It tackles modern day race elements - Tasha (a black woman) and Madison (a rich white woman) and the different treatment by police forces. Also delves into abusive relationships and and the thought process behind Tasha’s actions into staying with Kordell (her husband) and showing the audience it isn’t always as easing as just upping and leaving like everyone thinks. Religion also plays a factor in the characters - Tasha being a believer in right and wrong and God whereas Madison was abused by the Christian church and lost her faith. The plot was articulated very well and I definitely didn’t expect the ending. However, I was uncomfortable with the fact that Ghalen (Tasha’s son) excused Kordell’s behaviour and abuse against Tasha considering the relationship portrayed throughout the book.

Overall, if you are looking for a good modern day thriller this is a perfect read for you!

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*Thank you @netgalley & @unionsqandco for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review!*

First, the writing is so great. Almost beautiful? I really enjoyed it.

And what an interesting premise and interesting discussions on race and even religion. Trauma and impossible decisions... and a mother's love.

And if you like character's with such a strongly built story each, this is a perfect book for you. I felt like I knew these women so well after reading this. Amazing character building! I'd absolutely read more of this author and recommend this!

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This story delves into issues of sexism, racism, and domestic abuse. But it also asks an age-old question: What are the consequences of helping a stranger? A good deed is twisted into something sinister . . . Or something well deserved?

This was a pretty good thriller. So many great twists.

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I liked the plot but I was just so weirded out by the entire book to be fair. I appreciate the race issue was a main element of the plot but I just found it really weird that Tasha was always refered to as "the black woman:.Madison was never the "white woman", she was the lady!..... and it was mainly the characters who were non white that had their race mentioned.... for example when Madison friend gets caught in a compromising situation with a gardener.... who was latino! Shock horror!! Apparently black women say "girl" constantly when chatting to friends and have bad grammar... but when they're thinking or talking to anyone else then they speak in perfect English and have perfect grammar. And white women are refered to as the "lady".... but at no point in the book is the black woman ever refered to as the "lady" or even the black lady. The black teenage son doesn't see anything wrong with his dad abusing his mother..... I also wouldn't have thought "popping off" was black vernacular? And black vernacular isn't a thing, it's african American vernacular English (aave) because not all black people use the same terms that a number of African Americans do but yes, aave is a language in its own right. I'm honestly thought this book was written by a white person and went to the extent of googling because it was so biased and full of micro aggressions but lo and beyond, its actually written by a black woman. Just do better. Its stereotypical, it's lazy, it's not delivering the message you hoped it'd deliver

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What a fantastic and unique spin on the Hitchcock classic, Strangers on a Train. This thriller focuses on Madison, a wealthy DC socialite who would love nothing more than to rid herself of her husband, and Tasha, a woman who desperately wants to escape her abusive husband. When fate intervenes and Madison jumps into Tasha’s car, in an attempt to escape her husband, you realize Madison is much more than she appears to be … and her backstory is something else! Sometimes triggering, this book does deal with abuse, so those who find that difficult may want to stay clear. However, there is a sense of empowerment and strength once the story unfolds and Tasha is certainly the more likable character among the two. There was a nice twist at the end which I didn’t see coming and overall I found this book entertaining and something I couldn’t wait to pick up. A huge thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this compelling thriller … a really great read!
.

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I started this book, then soon realized that I read a similar book last year…then soon realized I was wrong! I won’t name the book lest it spoil this one, but that book was very dramatic, and very slow. I liked it, but it didn’t stick with me. THIS book is dramatic, but also darkly humorous, thrilling, thoughtful and completely different once you get past the premiere premise.

Tasha is a Black mother, wife and punching bag. She works hard - not only at her job, but at raising her son, Ghalen, to turn out to be the opposite of his father. The book starts with her leaving her abusive husband…but when Ghalen went back to his father, Tasha decided to follow him back to her silent prison.

As she’s getting ready to drive back home and get the beating of a lifetime, Madison enters her life. Tasha’s just trying to turn out of a parking lot when Madison - rich, white, beautiful - comes banging on her car window, begging for help. Tasha can see Madison’s angry husband behind her, so she unlocks her car to let Madison in, changing her life forever.

These two women now have a bond, and the book goes through their relationship from the past to the present, as a criminal mystery is revealed. There was the thoughtful subject of domestic violence, but this book was a heart-racing psychological thriller that ended with me in complete shock. I had a couple of ideas of how this would end, but I was dead (haha) wrong.

This whole book was a 4+ star read, but the ending and this being a debut has me bumping that up to five stars. This had thoughtfully-written characters, a bit of dark humor, and a lot of big surprises. It had just about everything, and I completely enjoyed it.

(Thank you to Union Square & Co., L.S. Stratton, and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my review. This book is slated to be released on March 28, 2023.)

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As an avid reader, it's easy for me to quickly forget about the previous book I read. If it's not a completely unique story, it has to have something in it that sticks out.
I can't pinpoint what this one had, but I can say that almost one week and three books later, I still remember it. I not only remember it, but I remember the characters, settings and storyline. I'm surprising myself here by remembering the main thing that gets lost in the fold and that's one of the main character's names, Tasha. She was so highly likeable, relatable, and downright fierce. This is definitely one to remember and highly entertaining for those that enjoy a cat and mouse type story. Four Stars.

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

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Thank you so much to Union Square & Co and NetGalley for an advanced read in exchange for this review!

Tasha has decided to leave her abusive husband and has a plan in place. However, leaving him isn't easy as she has a 17 year old son. As she is leaving a hotel, a woman runs out, knocks on her car window, and begs her to take her with her. The woman is Madison, a rich white woman. They have nothing in common except that their husbands are awful people. Madison wants to make a deal that they will kill each other's husbands, but Tasha struggles with the proposal.

This book discusses class and race, and that adds to the plot as the police become involved later on. The author does a good job of showing how different Madison and Tasha are without being too obvious about it. Madison is rich, rich, rich, and uses her money to get her way. I found Madison to be extremely unlikeable, although I was quite curious to see what terrible things she was going to do and if she would ever face consequences for those terrible things. In fact, there are a lot of terrible people in this book. Tasha shows a lot of empathy and is a good mom, so it was easy to root for her. Some of the story felt predictable, but I still very much wanted to keep reading and find out what happened.

4.5 stars

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Heart pounding thriller that left me on the edge of my seat. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. Definitely one of the best books this year.

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This was such a fun twisty read.

When Tasha and Madison meet one fateful night, things will never be the same. Both are in marriages that are centered in some type of abuse, when Madison puts it out there that they should kill each others husbands, what will happen?

I found myself rooting for Tasha but also as equally invested in Madison’s very twisted mind.

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Two women, both at the mercy of abusive men, must rely on each other in a world that asks “Why does she stay?”, when the question should be “Why is he allowed to behave as he does?”. Tasha has finally summoned up the courage to leave her husband with her teenage son in tow when a woman pounds on the window of her car, begging for help. She is being pursued by a violent looking man so Tasha lets the woman in and they speed away. But things are not always as they appear and the consequences for helping a stranger will end in murder.

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