Cover Image: The School Reunion

The School Reunion

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Recently divorced, Chloe is not doing so well in life. She hates her job, things with her mom are not the best, and she is feeling low. She is invited to her 15 year class reunion, and feels that something like this may be the pick-me-up that she needs. Old friends, past loves, and even enemies, will be attending this reunion, so anything could happen!

The book leads up to the crescendo of the night of the reunion. Chloe has been getting strange messages, warning her not to go to the reunion. As the nights go on, secrets of the past emerge and it becomes clear to Chloe that she may not be safe.

I love a good Shalini Boland page-turner, and while this one wasn't my favorite, I am still a big fan. I think the problem is that this book lacked character development for most characters and the ones she did define, like Chloe, I didn't care too much for.

Special thank you to Netgalley, the author, and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I thought this story started slow…I was skimming a lot of the descriptions, and the thoughts. About half way through it picked up, and the mystery became more complex, with surprise changes in how characters were being portrayed to the reader, and an interesting twist ending.

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Simply WOW!! I loved the ending! The author brought out so many emotions in me. First I sympathised with Chloe. By the end of the book I was despising her! I wasn't expecting that ending. It totally blew me off! The book is well written. It alternates between past and present.

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Secrets May Out..
Secrets may out when a reunion at an elite private school scratches underneath the surface of lives. Relayed by two main protagonists, the reader is privy to two sides of a story whilst numerous others play their part - each has their own personal reasons for attending the reunion. With a rather predictable premise, the tale unfolds exposing the unlikeable characters within and a somewhat weak and wishy washy plot. Nicely penned but ultimately disappointing.

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Well I've been to a high school reunion, and while it was crazy, it wasn't THIS crazy! I enjoyed this book. The chapters were short, and there were lots of twists and turns. I did not see that ending coming. I had so many thoughts about what was going on, but I was SO wrong.

The writing had me gripped. The plot was delivered in such a tense way. I was wondering the entire book what was going to happen. I enjoyed following the dual POVs. Overall a good read.

I also think I'm skipping the next reunion!

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for this ARC in exchange for my honest and voluntary review.

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I hate it when thrillers underestimate my intelligence. This book had one weak, underdeveloped plot, that I truly don't know what made me finish it.
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The characters were all unlikeable, the fact that the narrative switched for one of the characters to unreliable suddenly in the middle was really irritating.
It was like... Oh, you thought this? It was actually that all along.
The link between both Chloe and Dean was super flimsy, the way the author connected them was extremely unrealistic and unexplainable, even in book logic.
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Also, the first third of the book could have been literally few pages. At some point I was like, ok, I get it. Chloe is a wreck after the divorce, and Dean is lonely and has money problems because of Chris. Let's move on, for God's sake! How long should I read the same thing?
We didn't reach the actual reunion until the middle point, which would've made sense if there was a backstory we need to understand before the event. This wasn't the case, it was mostly narrating the day-to-day life of Chloe and Dean.
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There were some parts that the book could have done without, like, the relationship between Chloe and her mother. It didn't add anything to the storyline, and didn't give any insight on Chloe as a person.
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The flash back scenes were underwhelming, they kept hinting on secrets and the struggle the character was going through.
The reunion scenes were over the top, basically a group of people in their thirties acting like middle schoolers. Their mannerisms and actions gave me second hand embarrassment.
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The ending was super abrupt, but I wasn't expecting much at that point, so it was fine.
*I received an ARC of this book through netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

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The School Reunion is a story about people with unresolved issues returning to their school reunion to tie up loose ends - whether they know it or not. 


It's rare for me to DNF a book once I've hit 50%. When I hit the halfway mark, I'm usually in until the end. But once I hit 71% and this book took an odd, incredibly unbelievable turn, I tapped out. Told from a few points of view, Chloe's and Dean's lives are seemingly unrelated until we find out halfway through how they converge. Here's the thing about this book - the beginning is pretty interesting, particularly Dean's circumstances. I did find Chloe's complicated relationship with her mother relatable as well, but once she made it to the reunion, things got odd. Her whole preoccupation with a former male classmate that she rarely crossed paths with was something I found weird, and once she made it to the reunion, I felt like she became a different person. I know when I get together with my high school friends we have a good time and reminisce, but we don't revert to who we were back then. It felt like Chloe did, and the whole storyline turned so immature and unbelievable, I couldn't go on. 

I wish I had been more intrigued, because as I mentioned before, Chloe's and Dean's lives pre-reunion were interesting. The changes once the reunion started were too much for me. I would not recommend The School Reunion without checking out some reviews first.

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'The School Reunion' focuses on, you guessed it, a school reunion. Boland writes this by alternating chapters between Chloe and Dean. These seemingly unrelated characters have different reasons for attending the school reunion and as the book progresses, we see how their story begins to link together.
I liked the concept of this book and for the most part I enjoyed it. Boland throws in a few surprises along the way. however I did think they were fairly obvious. I just needed something a little extra injected into this book in order to improve my time reading it.
Boland's characters are okay although not particularly likeable or relatable. As the book progresses I only found them increasingly unlikeable which did not help with enjoyment.
Overall this was okay and there are some surprises and drama along the way.
Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for an advance copy.

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An honest review of this is that it felt rushed. 80% of the book built the story and then it felt like the author said - Crap, I need to end the book. Let's throw in this and this. Done. It was a very disjointed ending.

I am a fan of Boland's works and was excited to read this. I was also leery because I was seeing mixed reviews. I will continue to seek out the author's works maybe with not as much excitement.

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Chloe Flynn receives an invitation to a school reunion, newly divorced and with an overbearing mother, Chloe decides that she will attend. Maybe she'll even bump into Nathan and wind the clock back 15 years.... But of course nothing will be as it seems, in the excellent Shalini Boland way.

The story builds quite slowly while the scene is set. We gather information from the point of view of three different characters, Chloe Flynn, Dean Tamber, and a third unknown person, who tells the story from the past.

The story picks up pace in the second half, and we get plenty of twists and turns. Whose motivations for attending the party are genuine? Who hasn't forgotten the past? Who is the secret third voice? It all unravels beautifully and excitingly. And the obligatory the school reunion"mean girls "also add to the drama!

Shalini is an excellent writer, I never hesitate to choose her books. Drama, mystery and a dramatic conclusion. What's not to love!

Thank you to Netgalley, Amazon Publishing UK and Shalini Boland for an advance copy in return for an honest review.

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The School Reunion
Shalini Boland

Publication Date: 16th Jan 2024

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The blurb on this one was fairly vague but I adore Shalini as a thriller author and have read all of her past books (and loved them) so shes firmly earned her place on my 'must read list' regardless of what the blurb says or what the book is called or about.

I requested this one and was absolutely chuffed to be approved an early copy prior to its publication in exchange for my honest review. Thanks so much Shalini Boland and Netgalley.

I dropped all my plans for that evening and got stuck right in...

Chloe Flynn - recently divorced, skint and fed up with her life and her job receives an invitation to her old High Schools' upcoming School reunion. Hesitant at first about going, she soon makes up her mind and decides she will go and its then the story kicks off. The plot is told from Chloes point of view, aswell as from the point of view of another character, Dean Bradley, a building contracter - without me saying too much here, his part in the reunion storyline becomes clearer as the story unravels 🫢🤣 (but thats as much as I'm saying in this review!)

I thought this one had a slightly 'youngish' vibe to it - but I guess taking adult characters back to their high school days will do that ... bringing back some of that high school drama and tension LOL, but young'ish feel or not, there was soooo much going on - it left my head spinning ... in the best way possible. I was glued to the pages and couldn't turn them quick enough. I flew through it in one sitting. The ending was fantastic and it all came together perfectly.

'The School Reunion' was everything I look for in a good thriller read -
It was well written with great characters, short grippy chapters, fast paced throughout and with an explosive twist at the end that I just never saw coming.

A very well deserving 4 stars from me!

Defo one to read Folks!

Thanks again Ms. Boland for my ARC! Already looking forward to your next book!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Secrets are tricky. Reminds me of a quote that says "A secret remains a secret until you make someone promise never to reveal it."

It has been fifteen years since high school and Chloe Lynn is seriously considering attending a class reunion. However, there is something from her past that she has kept secret and would never want it revealed.

Then there is Nathan/Dean. For Chloe, Nathan is the one that got away, especially since they missed going to prom together and he left the school in year ten. But "Dean" is going through some trials in his professional life. Father of a young son, and the owner of a business that just might go under, he is stressed to his gills.

I will leave it up to the reader to discover the connection between Nathan and Dean, and how Chloe plays into it. Also, that secret of Chloe's? Secrets can only lay dormant for so long, with the potential to ruin more than one life. This intriguing book led to a shocking conclusion, something Shalini Boland does marvelously well.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

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This story was so interesting! I read it in only a few days. It made me think about my own high school reunion. I liked a lot of the twists. I didn't know what was going to happen next! In a few moments i did feel bad for the Chloe character and how her life is. i will definitely re read it again.I would like to annotate it.I loved how the author build tension through out the book. I could not stop reading it. I recommend it. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.

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Shalini Boland is a must read Author for me and it’s because of books like this! The suspense is palpable throughout and every time I thought I had it all figured out, another twist would come and shock me again. I have never been to my school reunion and now I know that I never will!😀
I thank Netgalley and Thomas and Mercer for the opportunity to read and review this book!

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4.5 stars

Some of my favorite reads are fast-paced thriller with a totally unexpected ending ... and that's what I got with Boland's latest release!

The story is told in multiple POVs. Not all of the characters are likeable, but then again, it's likely everyone felt that way about some of their former classmates. Boland addresses the impacts that bullying can have on someone, even years later. Multiple twists keep the reader guessing (and likely discovering they were wrong in their assumption of what was going to happen). The pace is a bit slow at the beginning as the stage is being set up, but once it gets going, this book becomes difficult to set aside! I look forward to reading other books by this author.

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This is so weird! I love the author and I expected weird but this was maybe a little twistier and weird than her usual stuff. I am a huge fan!

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The thought of school reunions is not for everyone and so it would seem initially for our protagonist, Chloe. After leaving the prestigious private school she had attended after gaining a swimming scholarship she moved away and didn’t look back.

As well as Chloe’s story there is a dark tale of bullying and abuse to and by persons unknown which became quite dark.

As the night of the reunion arrives many skeletons are out of the closet and nobody is who anyone else believes them to be.

A great psychological thriller by this author who has written some of the best I have read. Highly recommended.

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I received an arc copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for my honest opinion of it. Chloe received an invitation to her 15 year school reunion and finally decided to attend. She then starts receiving anonymous and threatening emails warning her not to attend. The book is told in parts by Chloe and Dean (who you have no idea how he relates to the story until much later). I really was enjoying it until about 80 percent and did not care for how the storyline went or the twists.

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In my opinion, you're best going into this book practically blind in order to experience all the twists. I for one am glad that the blurb is so vague. Chloe Flynn, divorced, broke and bored with her job, receives an invitation to her school reunion. Chloe eventually decides that turning the clock back fifteen years might be just what she needs.

Nobody is more surprised than me by how much I enjoyed this book with its short chapters and so many twists and turns. The story is told from Chloe's pov as well as from the pov of Dean Bradley, a building contractor who has a beef with Chris Tamber, Chloe's ex-boyfriend from the days they both attended an elite private school. We wonder why Dean's a part of this story but it all becomes clear close to the end. The narratives from these characters are interspersed with reflections from the past in the form of someone's journal. It seems that some mean girls never outgrow their meanness. Best not to say too much and be careful if you read any reviews ahead of time. Highly recommended!

My thanks to Thomas & Mercer via Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
Published: January 16, 2024

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Secrets can only stay buried for so long...

Have you ever attended a high school reunion? Not me. No thanks. Not ever. And if this tale is any indication of such events then I'm lucky to be missing out.

After her divorce, Chloe is living a somewhat bland life in a job she hates but in a flat she loves on Bath's royal terrace, thanks to her divorce settlement. And currently she is on the receiving end of her mother's endless criticism of everything that has ever gone wrong in her life.

And then an email arrives to distract her from her mother's tirade. An invitation to her school reunion back in Bournemouth. Oh no. Not touching that one, she thinks. But before she can hit delete her mother spies the email and its contents, and reiterates all the good things to come out West Cliff high school and she would do well to reconnect with her old friends...maybe hook up with her ex-boyfriend Chris Tamber who is now stinking rich and she could do a lot worse. Chloe just rolls her eyes. She is not touching that one. No way is she getting involved with her ex again. She has all but decided NOT to go...until she catches up with her old bestie, Harriet Walsh, and decides...why not?!

Of course she does have an ulterior motive for attending. And that is to hopefully hook up with Nathan Blake, the object of her secret crush fifteen years ago. If he's as hot now as he was then...

But then the night of the reunion dawns and Chloe finds herself face to face with the group of girls she'd gladly never set eyes on again. Abigail Matthews and her band of mean girls. And it seems age has not improved Abigail and she is as bitchy and as catty as ever.

And let's not forget the boyfriend she'd rather forget, Chris Tamber. But is he ready to let her go? It seems not as where ever Chloe goes, Chris never seems to be far away.

But there is something else bubbling beneath the surface at this reunion. Something out of all of their control...but will they be too late?

Shalini Boland has gone a touch darker with this psychological thriller about bullying, its effects and the revenge plot at its core. It makes for some uncomfortable reading at times, particularly for those familiar with the cruelty of bullies, despite them now being in their 30s.

As with all of Boland's thrillers, nothing is quite as it seems as the twists start to unravel a plot so tightly wound the reader will get whiplash at the change in the story unfolding before their eyes.

It's not the author's fastest plot but it is just as twisty as her others but a whole lot darker than her run of the m‎ill domestic thrillers. We are given a handful of characters, some of whom we'll love to hate, and through them we will sift through the clues laid out before us to see where it is all headed. You probably won't see it coming but if you do, be sure to enjoy the ride.

Once again, Shalini delivers a powerful punch in the form of revisiting teenage angst and the horrors of those school years. And remember...nothing is at all as it seems.

I would like to thank #ShaliniBoland, #Netgalley and #AmazonPublishing for an ARC of #TheSchoolReunion in exchange for an honest review.

This review appears on my blog at https://stinathebookaholic.blogspot.com/.

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