#BuddyReadsToDieFor – #ATBR2020 – Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Seems like I’m always catching up with reviews. Finally getting the November #BuddyReadsToDieFor review up! Chandra and I love Lisa Jewell, so I was anxious to see what she had in store for us this time.

INVISIBLE GIRL – Lisa Jewell (Released October 13th, 2020)

Book Description:

The author of the “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs returns with another taut and white-knuckled thriller following a group of people whose lives shockingly intersect when a young woman disappears.

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

With evocative, vivid, and unputdownable prose and plenty of disturbing twists and turns, Jewell’s latest thriller is another “haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author). 

Chandra’s Thoughts: 3.5/5 stars

“There’re no such things as happy endings; we all know that.”

I started this read a couple days ago and was instantly hooked and zoomed through the first 23% like it was NOTHING.  I was intrigued and tingled with anticipation to see what Jewell had for us this time.  One of the things I love best about her writing is how intricate she is with her characters and know to expect a slow build up of layers that culminate into a full circle of thrillery goodness… predictable or not.  She does the same thing here and we get introduced to several different POVs which we eventually learn how they intersect.

Here’s the thing.  After that first 23%, I needed it to just get somewhere.  I understood there was a foundation being built but I started to get a little weary eyed.  If you’re looking for a super twisty thriller that’s going to POW, BANG, WTF you, then this isn’t it.  However, if you’re looking for a soft build of a thriller that DOES still surprise you, come on in – the water is warm and waiting for you.

I did think a couple plot points got a little bit muddled but it’s the characters that shine and make this book brilliant.  The different character arcs… the vulnerability in the flawed humanity that we can all relate to.  This is where this author shines in all her work.  And I appreciated the ending that gratified an inkling I had tapping at the back of my brain. 

It’s no secret that Lisa Jewell is one of my all time favorite authors.  This is my 6th book by her and only 1 of 2 that I’ve rated less than 4 stars.  The *problem* with reading more than a few books by an author is that they’ll probably run the spectrum of AMAZING to GREAT and so while the great books are still amazing, they might not live up to other books you’ve read.  Am I making sense? Babble much? 🤣 Then She Was Gone and Watching You still rank in my top but really, all of her books are intricate and brilliant in their own right.

My Thoughts: 3/5 stars

This is my fourth book from Lisa Jewell and she continues to be an auto-buy author for me. While I’ve loved all of her books, this one wasn’t my favorite of what I’ve read so far. INVISIBLE GIRL still pulled me in and had me intrigued from the start. Just something about the way she creates these characters and how the stories is woven together that I absolutely love.

The beginning felt a little slow for me and I was waiting for something more to happen, but then of course Jewell ropes you in. I wouldn’t categorize this as a crazy thriller, more of a domestic suspense novel. The part that truly stands out in all of her novels are her characters. You almost instantly connect with them and they’re always so well-developed, relatable, flawed, and they feel genuine.

I feel like I wanted just a little something more from this, but I can’t exactly pinpoint what. While it wasn’t my favorite from Jewell, I will absolutely continue to pick up anything she releases (and I still have a couple backlist books to read as well).

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