Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... With Malice by Eileen Cook

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Just Finished Reading ... With Malice by Eileen Cook

With Malice
by Eileen Cook
Published on June 7, 2016
by HMH

Source: bought

Synopsis from Goodreads: Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident. As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened?

My take: I wasn't planning on reading this. I'd tried another book by this author and it wasn't a good fit for me. But I love thrillers and when I saw a bunch of positive reviews for this, I decided to give it a try.

I'm glad I did. With Malice was a page-turning read that used one of my least favorite YA plot devices (amnesia) to good effect. Jill wakes up in the hospital with only hazy memories of how she ended up there. The story slowly fills in the facts on two different fronts, which I thought worked really well. First, Jill has therapy at a rehab center, and second, the book incorporates epistolary elements (blog posts, police interviews, etc.) that offer various viewpoints. Like Dangerous Girls, this seemed loosely inspired by the Amanda Knox case.

Two minor quibbles. This cover is lovely and I kind of wish that some of the book was set there, instead of in a hospital. Also, I had an idea of where the book was headed, and I was (pretty much) right. But those things didn't diminish my enjoyment of this story!

Two things for those who've already read this book. First, did you see that a real-life version of this story recently played out in the tabloids? How weird is that? And second, there's Guilt,  new TV show that also seems to be inspired by the Amanda Knox case?  

Have you read the book or watched Guilt? Let me know in comments!


16 comments:

  1. I read this one recently too. I liked the style and liked the gradual revelation of what happened on that fateful car ride.

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    1. Yes - I often get annoyed by amnesia books but this one worked well for me!

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  2. aaahhh, I've been considering this book and now I'd really want to have it right now. I'm a big fan of thrillers (ya or not) and it's so nice to know that even though yo were able to see where things are heading, you still enjoyed it! Great review, Jen!

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

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    1. If you read a lot of thrillers I think you will see where things are headed too, but hope you like this!

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  3. Woahh to that real-life version O.O I'm really glad you gave this one a try! It definitely kept me on my toes while I was reading :)

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    1. Is that crazy or what? I remember reading about it right around the time this book came out...

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  4. I really enjoyed this one but agree with you on that I wish there was more from Italy. I didn't super love the ending either. Thanks for the links to the article and TV Show!

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    1. Yeah, I guess it would have been a different story. But looking at that photo made me wish I was on the Amalfi coast...

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  5. Hmm, I've read and enjoyed some of Eileen Cook's other work, and this novel seems vastly different than her other stuff, but it sounds really intriguing. I didn't know there was mixed media in this book and now I'm adding it to my TBR. That seems like a really interesting way (and surprisingly not done a whole lot) to get insight on the lost memories. Great review!

    - Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

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  6. I really really loved this book (and am always looking for awesome YA Mysteries/Thrillers), so I'm super happy you liked it!! I just read that Hawaii story and HOLY CRAP it's like identical!!! That is crazy. Also can't wait to watch Guilt!! I love shows like that!

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  7. Yeah, you're not alone. I totally thought that more of the book should have taken place where the book cover is and it's super disappointing that it wasn't! :( I'm glad this book played the part of amnesia well enough for you! I know it made things a lot more interesting! <3

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  8. I should be more forgiving like you, Jen. I do this often. I tend to not try again once I get burned.

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  9. So, I'm tempted to read this because I love the cover! This isn't usually my type of genre, but I'm definitely intrigued by it! I'm usually not a fan of the amnesia trope either, so I'm glad to hear that it worked out for you! Great review, Jen.

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  10. I'm with you any type of memory loss is not one of my favorite things in a book. I just feel as lost and not connected to the book as the person. Incorporating the different blog posts and interviews helps involve us and draws us in.

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  11. Seems like this one was a pretty decent read that you could enjoy! Good on you for giving the author a second chance and I'm glad you could like this thriller more. The cover is a bit misleading in this case if the whole thing is actually set in the hospital.

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  12. Great review! I have seen amazing reviews for this one so I really want to read it. I haven't had good luck with YA thrillers but glad this one worked!!

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