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The Hive

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SHOULD HE LIVE OR DIE? YOU DECIDE. Charlotte Goodwin looks directly at the camera and reveals a chilling truth to the thousands watching her Instagram live broadcast. She has killed her ex-boyfriend's new partner in cold blood. But she is not finished yet. With bloodied hands she takes a calm sip of tea before continuing. Lincoln Jackson will now make his confession, then t SHOULD HE LIVE OR DIE? YOU DECIDE. Charlotte Goodwin looks directly at the camera and reveals a chilling truth to the thousands watching her Instagram live broadcast. She has killed her ex-boyfriend's new partner in cold blood. But she is not finished yet. With bloodied hands she takes a calm sip of tea before continuing. Lincoln Jackson will now make his confession, then the viewers must vote to decide whether he should live or die. The public display sends shockwaves rippling through the online community and the numbers of viewers skyrockets. But as Lincoln's past is revealed, how will he be judged? Bonded by mutual tragedy, Charlotte's three best friends have supported each other through the soaring highs and devastating lows of their lives. Now, in Charlotte's hour of need, her friends also face a choice, whether to help her get away with murder. The Hive explores our darkest fears of the relationship between social media and mental health, but, most importantly, the strength of sisterhood against all the odds.


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SHOULD HE LIVE OR DIE? YOU DECIDE. Charlotte Goodwin looks directly at the camera and reveals a chilling truth to the thousands watching her Instagram live broadcast. She has killed her ex-boyfriend's new partner in cold blood. But she is not finished yet. With bloodied hands she takes a calm sip of tea before continuing. Lincoln Jackson will now make his confession, then t SHOULD HE LIVE OR DIE? YOU DECIDE. Charlotte Goodwin looks directly at the camera and reveals a chilling truth to the thousands watching her Instagram live broadcast. She has killed her ex-boyfriend's new partner in cold blood. But she is not finished yet. With bloodied hands she takes a calm sip of tea before continuing. Lincoln Jackson will now make his confession, then the viewers must vote to decide whether he should live or die. The public display sends shockwaves rippling through the online community and the numbers of viewers skyrockets. But as Lincoln's past is revealed, how will he be judged? Bonded by mutual tragedy, Charlotte's three best friends have supported each other through the soaring highs and devastating lows of their lives. Now, in Charlotte's hour of need, her friends also face a choice, whether to help her get away with murder. The Hive explores our darkest fears of the relationship between social media and mental health, but, most importantly, the strength of sisterhood against all the odds.

30 review for The Hive

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mellisa

    Lincoln Jackson brightened Charlotte's life - and then destroyed it. Now she has nothing, and is struggling. Her close friends are trying to support her, but Charlotte falls deeper in despair. Then she comes up with a plan for revenge. She'll let the insta community decide Lincoln's fate, once they've heard the full story. Live or die... they'll decide. This is a new author to me, and what a fantastic first read from them it was! The importance of sisterhood and friendship, lies and secrets - and Lincoln Jackson brightened Charlotte's life - and then destroyed it. Now she has nothing, and is struggling. Her close friends are trying to support her, but Charlotte falls deeper in despair. Then she comes up with a plan for revenge. She'll let the insta community decide Lincoln's fate, once they've heard the full story. Live or die... they'll decide. This is a new author to me, and what a fantastic first read from them it was! The importance of sisterhood and friendship, lies and secrets - and revenge. This is all compact amazingly in this book. It's an emotional book - I had various emotions the full way through. The author showed Charlotte's pain and hurt so vividly, it almost felt like it was radiating from the words. Brilliant book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    A read in one sitting revenge thriller would be my tagline for this novel - as in theme that's what it is and I did indeed read it in one sitting. This morning in fact. Couldn't put it down. The Hive is more than that though. It's also a novel of friendship that has no boundaries, of traumatic loss sparking a devastating obsession and of the power of social media to have a cumulative, negative affect on metal well being. I loved the characters even as I despaired of their behaviour, there are a lo A read in one sitting revenge thriller would be my tagline for this novel - as in theme that's what it is and I did indeed read it in one sitting. This morning in fact. Couldn't put it down. The Hive is more than that though. It's also a novel of friendship that has no boundaries, of traumatic loss sparking a devastating obsession and of the power of social media to have a cumulative, negative affect on metal well being. I loved the characters even as I despaired of their behaviour, there are a lot of emotional layers in The Hive, it is also written in an addictive no holds barred style that I related to. Really good. Recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Brade doesn’t pull any punches in this fresh take on the revenge thriller. The Hive takes some dark turns, and is certainly not for every reader. Unfortunately, I’m one of them. The turns this book takes are among my least favourite and the hardest for me to read. Excited to see what this author does next. Will certainly read from her again. A huge thank you to @zaffrebooks for an proof copy in exchange for a review. The Hive is out now! (cw: baby loss, pregnancy loss, abortion, infertility, self Brade doesn’t pull any punches in this fresh take on the revenge thriller. The Hive takes some dark turns, and is certainly not for every reader. Unfortunately, I’m one of them. The turns this book takes are among my least favourite and the hardest for me to read. Excited to see what this author does next. Will certainly read from her again. A huge thank you to @zaffrebooks for an proof copy in exchange for a review. The Hive is out now! (cw: baby loss, pregnancy loss, abortion, infertility, self harm and attempted s**cide)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thank you to NetGalley and Bonnier Books/Zaffre for the eARC copy of this book; all views and opinions discussed here are my own. I'm including some trigger warnings at the bottom of my review because they are all very spoilery but they need to be in there. I am really going to try and keep this review short because otherwise it will just turn into a rant and I really do not want to do that but honestly just thinking about this book gets me so angry. I really wanted to love this book because the Thank you to NetGalley and Bonnier Books/Zaffre for the eARC copy of this book; all views and opinions discussed here are my own. I'm including some trigger warnings at the bottom of my review because they are all very spoilery but they need to be in there. I am really going to try and keep this review short because otherwise it will just turn into a rant and I really do not want to do that but honestly just thinking about this book gets me so angry. I really wanted to love this book because the premise sounds absolutely brilliant and even the start of the book was really engaging but we soon jump back to 1 year before and everything that happens afterwards just unravels for me. There is so much packed into this story that I actually can't even keep it all straight in my mind. We have four main female characters - all with some sort of disturbing back-story, all with some sort of current issue going on - cheating boyfriend, custody problems, many many crimes - and they all get so convoluted and twisted around each other as the story goes on that it's just hard to keep them straight in your head. Our main character Charlotte is just unlikeable - there are all these references to things she's done in the past to defend her friends - including blackmailing a paedophile and rapist into giving them fake ID's - but I never really got the sense of true friendship between these women because they constantly slate each other and do not believe in one another. Charlotte is just quite tragic as she falls in love with Lincoln after like a week of knowing him. I felt no emotion for her or any of these characters - I mean whichever one was going through the custody issues with her mother was just absolutely awful because she'd make the wise decision to get high and drunk before a court hearing where she's going to be drug tested - but it's fine because one of the other friends will just fake your drug tests.... tell me why i'm rooting for her again? The end plot reveal was just ridiculous because I did not get any sense that any of these characters could pull it off. And then we find out they're all living happily ever afters with no real explanation as to how that happened. I wanted to love this book I really did but it just made it too damn hard. TRIGGER WARNINGS BELOW TW: off-screen child sexual abuse, substance use, alcohol use, vomiting, abortion, stillborn twin babies, fake burglary, cheating, domestic violence, domestic abuse, gaslighting, custody issues, poison, murder, guns, fake death,

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paradise

    Hard pass. The premise of this was good… the first chapter enticing - I really expected this book to be a top read for the month. Sadly, it was terrible and may be the worst book I’ve ever read. Poorly written, awful characters who were self-obsessed and boring, plus a really weak story. It just wasn’t believable at all. They all deserved to die. I’m still agog at the unnecessary adjectives and the immature writing style. It was full of incorrect metaphors and idioms and read like a piece of GCSE Hard pass. The premise of this was good… the first chapter enticing - I really expected this book to be a top read for the month. Sadly, it was terrible and may be the worst book I’ve ever read. Poorly written, awful characters who were self-obsessed and boring, plus a really weak story. It just wasn’t believable at all. They all deserved to die. I’m still agog at the unnecessary adjectives and the immature writing style. It was full of incorrect metaphors and idioms and read like a piece of GCSE creative writing. The author feels the need to describe everything in minute detail - particularly to show how sophisticated and rich everyone is. Not many 20-somethings drink beautifully garnished cocktails out of crystal glasses at home whilst wearing Gucci trousers… The idea was there but it was not well-executed at all. The ending was utterly ridiculous… and then the ending after that even worse! The girls did not come across as smart enough to orchestrate any of it, and while they were supposedly BFFs, most of the time they seemed to hate each other. They didn’t deserve their perverted happily ever after at all! Disappointingly dire.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emandherbooks

    Nope. This wasn’t the one for me…I’ve gone with a 1 because I did indeed finish it but it was a push. Read for bookclub. It was unbelievable and the characters were unlikeable. Will post a group roundup of this on my blog at the end of the month!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Gayle Noble

    TWs: premature birth/infant death, infertility, abortion, drug use, drinking, infidelity, murder. Charlotte Goodwin thinks her life will now be complete when she meets & falls in love with famous boxer, Lincoln Jackson. Things get even better when she finds out she is pregnant with twins, but Lincoln doesn't seem to be as happy as Charlotte. In fact he is distracted & actively spending time away from her, & Charlotte is sure he is cheating with his 'nutritionist' Heidi. A horrific incident during TWs: premature birth/infant death, infertility, abortion, drug use, drinking, infidelity, murder. Charlotte Goodwin thinks her life will now be complete when she meets & falls in love with famous boxer, Lincoln Jackson. Things get even better when she finds out she is pregnant with twins, but Lincoln doesn't seem to be as happy as Charlotte. In fact he is distracted & actively spending time away from her, & Charlotte is sure he is cheating with his 'nutritionist' Heidi. A horrific incident during a break-in at Lincoln's home whilst Charlotte is there alone results in the premature birth & subsequent loss of her twins, leaving her unable to have further children. Lincoln distances himself even more, not even wanting to talk to Charlotte about their loss, & moves on quickly with Heidi. It takes a while but Charlotte finally realises he never wanted her or their twins & may even have been involved in what happened. She turns to her close-knit group of friends, but not even they know that Charlotte has decided on a very public kind of revenge where his social media followers will decide if Lincoln lives or dies. The main character & her three friends all have major issues in their lives which have bonded them together since childhood. The reader gets to see that Charlotte was badass when it came to helping with their problems, but falls to pieces when her own life is the one in tatters. Lincoln is an obvious narcissist who acted by the narcissist playbook by 'love-bombing' Charlotte at the start & then distancing himself & being a cheating git, whilst Heidi has apparently never heard of sisterhood. Throw in a possibly corrupt cop investigating the break-in & things become complicated. The first chapter is great, it sets the scene & hooks the reader in straight away, but things falter from there. I like the plot line of having an actual trial by social media & I think the comments on social site The Hive were pretty realistic. (If you go on MSM at all, you'll recognise the types). When I read that it was billed as a 'feminist thriller' I was intrigued but I struggled to see what was feminist about it. Until the final part of the book, main character Charlotte was enthralled by Lincoln, completely unable to see what he was really like, embarrassing herself chasing after him for answers he was never going to give. The finale is thrilling to read but completely unrealistic. Gripping enough for me to finish reading it, but I probably wouldn't go back for a re-read. I would, however, give future books by the author a go. 3.5 stars (rounded down to 3 on sites without half star ratings). My thanks to NetGalley & publishers, Bonnier Books / Zaffre, for the opportunity to read an ARC.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Dooley

    Unfortunately this is a DNF for me. I got 35% through the book before finally giving up. I really appreciate the opportunity to read books that authors have obviously put a lot of work into but I don’t think I’ve ever been as annoyed reading a book as I was with this one. A decent premise, a good first chapter that sets it off at a pace, then we have the dreaded “one year earlier” and the whole thing falls apart. Supposedly about a group of women in their late 20s, they are like a bunch of young Unfortunately this is a DNF for me. I got 35% through the book before finally giving up. I really appreciate the opportunity to read books that authors have obviously put a lot of work into but I don’t think I’ve ever been as annoyed reading a book as I was with this one. A decent premise, a good first chapter that sets it off at a pace, then we have the dreaded “one year earlier” and the whole thing falls apart. Supposedly about a group of women in their late 20s, they are like a bunch of young teenagers rather than adults. No likeable or remotely well written characters. Our main character goes from “I love him” to “I hate him” within a couple of sentences. Rinse and repeat. Clunky, awful dialogue, totally unrealistic, we have possibly the most stupid cast of characters I have ever had the displeasure of reading. Like honestly, it feels like a teenager or a child wrote this. Awful awful stuff. Again I apologise for being so damning but really it’s an insult to peoples intelligence to pass this off as any way credible, believable or any way entertaining. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC through Netgalley.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zelda FeatzReviews

    After reading this book I might never open a social media app again! The author tells a moving story about friendship, love and the power of social media. Add to that, loss, heartbreak and a spectacular murder, and you will find yourself unable to put this book down. We live in a world dominated by social media; we are eager for the latest gossip and quickly share our comments without giving a second thought to the effect our words might have. It is easy to be swept up in the latest trend and even After reading this book I might never open a social media app again! The author tells a moving story about friendship, love and the power of social media. Add to that, loss, heartbreak and a spectacular murder, and you will find yourself unable to put this book down. We live in a world dominated by social media; we are eager for the latest gossip and quickly share our comments without giving a second thought to the effect our words might have. It is easy to be swept up in the latest trend and even easier to forget that we are never truly privy to the full truth. Scarlett Brade explored just that with this book – the half-truths shared on social media and the public’s ability to judge based on appearance. This is a modern tale of love, loss and the perfect revenge. The author brings this story to life with everyday characters meeting celebrities and social media posts judging every action along the way. I was left with an urge to cancel all my social media accounts after reading this book. Scarlett Brade did a marvellous job with her characters, sharing their emotions and allowing the reader to share Charlotte's pain. When Lincoln Jackson, a famous boxing champion follows Charlotte on Instagram she is sure it must be a mistake. Yet soon they are chatting, and Lincoln asked to meet her. She never would have believed her luck. But what follows is not what Charlotte or her friend would ever have imagined. Charlotte will have her revenge, but until she has shown the world who Lincoln Jackson is. Brace yourself for a story like no other. The Hive is a thriller like no other. This book grabs hold of you and draws you deep into a world of loss, pain and revenge. The author keeps you glued to the pages as she reveals what led Charlotte to a hotel room where she is about to kill Lincoln Jackson while steaming live. Brace yourself, the story that follows will break your heart and leave you amazed at the power social media has on other people’s lives. The four women in this book show sisterhood, love and support – they share a deep bond and the author brought this to life beautifully. How far would you go to protect and support your sister? These are true friends, there is no question. Charlotte Goodwin appears to have everything she could want. Yet as the story unfolds and the truth is revealed your heart breaks for this naïve woman. She was lied to, betrayed, embarrassed and left to suffer in the worst possible way. Her loss is heartbreaking. You watch this woman fall apart, and with the turn of a page, there is suddenly fire in her. She finds the strength and determination to seek justice and oh boy, does she get it. I found myself rooting for her, and supporting her choice to kill Lincoln Jackson – the man was a dog! There is no other word for him. This book is full of emotion and while it is a little different to my usual reads I could not drag myself away. It is beautifully written and reminds you not to believe everything you see on social media, or at the very least, to keep in mind there is more than one side to every story. Yep, I loved this one. Ladies, this thriller is for you. You will find yourself quickly engrossed in this heartbreaking story and rooting for a chattered woman to get the revenge she desperately needs. You will not be left disappointed when reaching go this stunning book. You might want to steer clear of social media for a while after reading this. https://featzreviews.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Well, where to begin? I could talk for hours about this book, my review could go on for pages and pages, but it won't. As much as I'd love to sit and debate this book for ever, I will just let you know some of my thoughts and then you read it, and you can decide. First and foremost. I don't think I'm the target audience for this novel. I don't relate to the character's way of life, their morals, their behaviours or their age. However, our lead group of characters are women, so am I. They have al Well, where to begin? I could talk for hours about this book, my review could go on for pages and pages, but it won't. As much as I'd love to sit and debate this book for ever, I will just let you know some of my thoughts and then you read it, and you can decide. First and foremost. I don't think I'm the target audience for this novel. I don't relate to the character's way of life, their morals, their behaviours or their age. However, our lead group of characters are women, so am I. They have also endured hardships and tragedy throughout their lives and those problems are as old as the human race; abuse, addiction, violence, so despite their age, and their lifestyle, I certainly can empathise with their issues. The story begins with a shocking prologue that grips the reader and will ensure that they carry on reading. Using social media for the basis of the story makes it modern up-to-date and totally refreshing. Our world has changed in terms of reporting. No longer do we have to wait for the evening news bulletin, or the morning newspaper to find out what is happening in the world. Today it is there, in our face, immediately and occasionally, as in the case of The Hive, live from the actual scene. Charlotte Goodwin is famous for being famous, she's the ex of a well known boxer and their relationship; it's growth and it's grimy and difficult break down has been talk of The Hive for weeks. The Hive is an Instagram account devoted to celebrity news. Regularly posting gossip and hearsay and the perfect place for Charlotte to carry out her plan. Charlotte has murdered her ex boyfriend's new girlfriend and has Linc (he ex) held hostage in a hotel suite. She's asked The Hive's viewers to #VoteLive or to #VoteDie - they will decide Linc's fate. Scarlett Brade takes her readers back to the beginning of Charlotte and Linc's relationship and also introduces Charl's three best friends. These are a bunch of mixed-up women who between them, have enough issues to keep the chat show agony aunts going for years. It's really difficult to like any of the women, with the exception of Poppy, but oh my goodness, they are engrossing and compelling. It's like a car crash, you just want to look away, but you just can't help yourself. Made up almost entirely of dialogue and nipping between characters, this is a quick and frenzied read at time, with extracts from the comments section on The Hive to ensure that the reader knows exactly what the world is thinking about Charl, and about Linc. I can't say that it is great literature, but I can say that it's original and extremely addictive, I read it it just two sittings, totally enthralled and at times, a little bit disgusted by the extraordinary lives of these women and just what they'd do to protect each other. The ending is a bit bonkers, it's totally mad but it is also satisfying and I gave a little fist pump in the air when I turned the final page. Obsession, social media, the pull of the celebrity lifestyle and the strength of the female friendship takes centre stage in this novel. Try it and see what you think!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melanie’s reads

    Firstly how the infernal regions is this a debut, it is original, smart and had me shackled to the pages like Satan’s personal chattel. I have often joked that I am the type of friend who if you call up with boy trouble my response will be “I will bring the spade” but these friends actually mean it. Charlotte was a tough character for me as were a couple of her friends. They aren’t particularly likeable at the start and I must admit to being a bit judgy but then as the story went on and I learnt m Firstly how the infernal regions is this a debut, it is original, smart and had me shackled to the pages like Satan’s personal chattel. I have often joked that I am the type of friend who if you call up with boy trouble my response will be “I will bring the spade” but these friends actually mean it. Charlotte was a tough character for me as were a couple of her friends. They aren’t particularly likeable at the start and I must admit to being a bit judgy but then as the story went on and I learnt more about them my feelings changed. That’s the thing about judging before you know the whole story and it is shown here with the use of social media opinions from people who don’t know the facts. I loved how as a reader you are learning along with people on “the hive” what really happened to make her become unhinged. Then there is Lincoln Jackson, charismatic, wealthy and all round classic narcissist. What would I have voted? Does he deserve to die? Do we have the right to decide? What should have been a private matter has become public due to people assuming they have the right to know everything. This book delves into the fallout behind salacious gossip, social media commentary and the effect it can play on a person’s mental health. It will make you look at celebrity ‘news’ in a whole new way. But for me this twisted tale of revenge was about the bonds that tie female friends together. How we become ‘ride or die’ for the ones that mean everything. I will leave this review with some words from Charlotte “they say there are three sides to every story. Yours, mine and the truth.” #votelive #votedie

  12. 5 out of 5

    Nadja

    Based off on the description I was expecting some action in an Instagram live feed. However the live feed only makes about 2% before we jump back a year in time to get explained over the majority of the book on how we ended up in said live feed. Completely different from what I expected from the books description I was left with a more or less domestic thriller with even though well developed but absolutely unlikeable and unrelateable characters. The writing itself is enjoyable the story itself Based off on the description I was expecting some action in an Instagram live feed. However the live feed only makes about 2% before we jump back a year in time to get explained over the majority of the book on how we ended up in said live feed. Completely different from what I expected from the books description I was left with a more or less domestic thriller with even though well developed but absolutely unlikeable and unrelateable characters. The writing itself is enjoyable the story itself however was just not for me and it all just felt superficial and at times the main characters just left me stunned about how stupid someone can be. In addition everything just felt very predictable. As much as I liked the idea of this book and it could have been easily a 5star read I sadly can't give it more than 3stars.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Abi Featherstone

    After reading the blurb for The Hive I was looking forward to reading such a fresh and unique premise that had great potential. The book began strong with an intense opening having me immediately hooked on the storyline. I found I was unable to connect with the protagonist after their negativity became repetitive and slightly boring. I found myself willing the story to move along. I think being unable to relate to their story and experiences affected this. I found that the epilogue was slightly fa After reading the blurb for The Hive I was looking forward to reading such a fresh and unique premise that had great potential. The book began strong with an intense opening having me immediately hooked on the storyline. I found I was unable to connect with the protagonist after their negativity became repetitive and slightly boring. I found myself willing the story to move along. I think being unable to relate to their story and experiences affected this. I found that the epilogue was slightly farfetched which left me disappointed but overall a great storyline that could have been executed better. I've definitely not been put off reading anything from Scarlett again. Thank you Bonnier Books UK and NetGalley for access to this book for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    mrsbookburnee Niamh Burnett

    And the best start to a book goes to…… 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 I was instantly gripped and needed to know what on earth had set Charlotte off!! I loved her interactions with her friends and the bond they had, though she is a bit of a nutter, I found her really endearing and felt for her completely. This book also has some annoying as hell characters Lincoln 🤮 and Poppy annoyed me for some reason. Grab a copy of this and decide if you are #teamlive #teamdie… I was definitely Team Die 😂😂

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Law

    A revenge thriller. Gripping. Charlotte, an overnight online sensation/influencer told her story how she ended up on an Instagram livestream asking the viewers to decide whether she should let her ex live or die. It made me want to find out how Charlotte coped with the dramatic event that happened to her. Also, I admired the strong bond of the sisterhood that she shared with her three other friends. The love interest, Lincoln was horrible though. Quite interesting to see the luxury lifestyle tha A revenge thriller. Gripping. Charlotte, an overnight online sensation/influencer told her story how she ended up on an Instagram livestream asking the viewers to decide whether she should let her ex live or die. It made me want to find out how Charlotte coped with the dramatic event that happened to her. Also, I admired the strong bond of the sisterhood that she shared with her three other friends. The love interest, Lincoln was horrible though. Quite interesting to see the luxury lifestyle that the influencers live or attempt to achieve. The ending made me laugh though. Kind of bizarre and not quite realistic. The Hive is the book for this month's CA Book Club. I agreed with the rest of the group that the book was a bit meh.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Fantastic concept. Appalling execution. Most of the reviews have already said everything I thought, but the writing was terrible and the characters weren't believable. As for the ending, it was ridiculous. It was traumatic in places, but each element felt out of place with the characters and the overall story. Fantastic concept. Appalling execution. Most of the reviews have already said everything I thought, but the writing was terrible and the characters weren't believable. As for the ending, it was ridiculous. It was traumatic in places, but each element felt out of place with the characters and the overall story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Pellett

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Thank you to Bonnier Books and Netgalley for the ARC. I struggled with this book on a few levels. Possible slight spoilers - Charlotte is treated horribly but morphs from a slightly naive new girlfriend you can relate to into someone with no grasp on reality at all, even within the context of her trauma. There are a lot of misused words. And the story is mostly linear but we have a character realising someone is responsible for her pain but then speaking to a therapist as if she's no idea a few Thank you to Bonnier Books and Netgalley for the ARC. I struggled with this book on a few levels. Possible slight spoilers - Charlotte is treated horribly but morphs from a slightly naive new girlfriend you can relate to into someone with no grasp on reality at all, even within the context of her trauma. There are a lot of misused words. And the story is mostly linear but we have a character realising someone is responsible for her pain but then speaking to a therapist as if she's no idea a few pages later. A great premise and I did finish but fell flat for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dayna

    The Hive gripped me from the beginning. Embracing today's society's usage of social media and incorporating it in the character's plot to murder someone was bloody genius! This revenge thriller had me hooked until the very end! The twists had my jaw dropping to the floor in shock! Although I thought it was brilliant, there was a point in the story where it lost me a little when talking about things that happened in the past. Later on, there were scenes that were vagued up, glossed over, but I re The Hive gripped me from the beginning. Embracing today's society's usage of social media and incorporating it in the character's plot to murder someone was bloody genius! This revenge thriller had me hooked until the very end! The twists had my jaw dropping to the floor in shock! Although I thought it was brilliant, there was a point in the story where it lost me a little when talking about things that happened in the past. Later on, there were scenes that were vagued up, glossed over, but I really wish they had been elaborated on. I struggled a little with liking the characters (I didn't agree with some of the things they did), but you can't like everyone. Charlotte, the main character, was very unhinged and I really pitied her in regards to her feelings towards her ex, Lincoln, but Lord did I sympathise with the events that unfolded. #votedie Although there was a couple of negatives, I still thought it was an absolutely brilliant debut novel from Scarlett Brade and I'm excited to read more from her.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Clair Harding

    I really really wanted to enjoy this more than I actually did.. the whole write up looked and sounded like it should have been an absolute blockbuster, but to me it fell short. It was quite chaotic with so much going on in each of the characters lives that I struggled to keep up at points, it got a bit unbelievable towards the end and the twist wasn’t such a surprise.. I’m sorry it’s not a more positive review but unfortunately not one for me

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen Cole

    Love them or hate them, it's impossible to deny the impact influencers have on social media. The right endorsement from a prominent figure can be priceless to a brand. What if somebody tries to influence something that really matters, however? What if, instead of asking their followers to choose what they should wear or what they should eat that day, they are tasked with deciding if a person is going to live or die? This is exactly what happens at the start of The Hive and it's a stunning opening Love them or hate them, it's impossible to deny the impact influencers have on social media. The right endorsement from a prominent figure can be priceless to a brand. What if somebody tries to influence something that really matters, however? What if, instead of asking their followers to choose what they should wear or what they should eat that day, they are tasked with deciding if a person is going to live or die? This is exactly what happens at the start of The Hive and it's a stunning opening. Charlotte is on Instagram, streaming live from The Hive, a popular gossip channel. She has already announced that she is responsible for the death of Heidi Dolak but Lincoln Jackson is still alive – for now. Comments and replies on Instagram feature throughout the novel and here the response varies between shock, disbelief and amusement. While some immediately state #VoteLive, others think it's a laugh to choose #VoteDie – but before we discover the result of this grim poll, the narrative takes us back to the events that brought Charlotte to this point. It would be easy to deride Charlotte as a naïve, immature young woman who is bedazzled by fame and falls instantly in love with celebrity heavyweight boxer, Lincoln Jackson and ignores the numerous red flags. However, as the book progresses, what becomes clear is that she has been shaped by her past, and despite her apparent confidence, is vulnerable and desperate for love and a sense of family. It's ironic then that she has actually found that, only not in the arms of her narcissistic boyfriend. The Hive is a gratifyingly dark revenge thriller but it's also a fascinating examination of the power of friendship and the love that's shared by the four women who have supported one another through their respective traumas. It's worth saying here that although much of what is discussed occurred years in the past, there are still references to some distressing subjects, including abuse, loss and poverty. Understanding the depth of friendship between Charlotte, Trix, Poppy and Zaheen really adds to the emotional weight of The Hive. The first-person narrative ensures it's especially harrowing watching Charlotte unravel following an unbearably tragic event and I thought the reaction from her friends, from their patient support through to their distraught pleas to her later in the book, was pitch-perfect. I believed totally in their relationship even though the situation they find themselves in is obviously a dramatic one. Lincoln Jackson is a brilliant character; he is patently awful and just what you imagine somebody constantly feted and criticised would become. As an exploration of the dark side of social media, The Hive is chilling; in spite of the #BeKind movement, people are consistently encouraged to judge the appearance and actions of others, and as Scarlett Brade imagines what those suffering mental turmoil could be driven to, it's impossible not to consider what the future holds. The Hive is an unsettling, thought-provoking contemporary thriller; written with an immersive immediacy that meant I couldn't put it down, I thoroughly enjoyed this assured debut and look forward to reading whatever Scarlett Brade writes next.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Denis Wheller

    Heidi has been shot dead, Linc is on his knees manacled, Char has the gun; she is also live streaming this to The Hive, asking “Linc: #live or #die?” The Hive community has been following champion boxer Linc for years, and over the last few months they delighted in and applauded his relationship with his new girlfriend, Charlotte; jeered when he dumped her unexpectedly; delighted in and applauded his relationship with his new girlfriend, Heidi. Some of the more thoughtful watchers wondered at th Heidi has been shot dead, Linc is on his knees manacled, Char has the gun; she is also live streaming this to The Hive, asking “Linc: #live or #die?” The Hive community has been following champion boxer Linc for years, and over the last few months they delighted in and applauded his relationship with his new girlfriend, Charlotte; jeered when he dumped her unexpectedly; delighted in and applauded his relationship with his new girlfriend, Heidi. Some of the more thoughtful watchers wondered at the speed and the reasons, but mostly they just watched. The most obvious scenario is that Char is deranged and flipped into madness when he left her for another. However, the real story is much more complex and much, much, darker. Char is one of a group of four, late twenties, friends, inseparable since meeting at school. When the traumatic events surrounding the split happen, they all gather round to support her, but she is in a very dark place, dwelling on the past, on what might have been. At first, just hating Heidi, she slowly comes to realise that the traumatic split must have been engineered by Heidi. Sure that Linc will understand if she can only talk to him (an NDA and a threatened restraining order notwithstanding), she eventually realises that he must have been part of Heidi’s plot and so equally culpable. Close to suicidal, she conceives a scheme that will lead to the live-streaming event that started the book, confessions will out and she will have her revenge. In many ways this is a brilliant, disquieting, debut novel; certainly the events are unusual and the characters are well drawn – if a little caricaturish. It is billed as a revenge thriller, although the reveal at the beginning dilutes that aspect – we might wonder what will happen after the killing, but we won’t really worry until we catch up. There is a fair attempt to get inside Char’s head, so something of a psychological thriller – certainly her descent into the deranged mass she becomes is quite well handled. It has also been billed as a feminist-sisterhood story, but I think that is going too far, although the friendship of the four girls is certainly a strong feature of the plot. The writing is a bit erratic, prolix, over descriptive, repetitive, and could do with tightening up. I find repeating metaphors annoying, e.g. copper/penny for the taste of blood, bile rising – but maybe that’s just me. As for a rating, I’m a bit conflicted. Thinking of it holistically, it’s clever and I found it a good read; thinking of it as a piece of writing I’m not happy. That gives me a 4 and a 3, average 3.5 which has to be shown as 4. A bit over generous, but I think the author is on a learning curve so maybe an extra 0.5 for promise. I would like to thank NetGalley, the publishers and the author for providing me with a draft proof copy for the purpose of this review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Paterson Loarn

    Hell has no fury like a woman dumped on Twitter. The pain suffered by Charlotte Goodwin after her celebrity boyfriend leaves her is intense. Not only does she have to cope with being abandoned by her lover, but she is jeered at by a Twitter group called the Hive. Meanwhile her rival is praised and envied. In her debut novel Scarlett Brade takes the reader inside the head of a woman at the centre of a perfect storm of resentment and humiliation. The resulting despair and anguish finds its outlet Hell has no fury like a woman dumped on Twitter. The pain suffered by Charlotte Goodwin after her celebrity boyfriend leaves her is intense. Not only does she have to cope with being abandoned by her lover, but she is jeered at by a Twitter group called the Hive. Meanwhile her rival is praised and envied. In her debut novel Scarlett Brade takes the reader inside the head of a woman at the centre of a perfect storm of resentment and humiliation. The resulting despair and anguish finds its outlet in premeditated murder. Charlotte Goodwin looks directly at the camera and reveals a chilling truth to the thousands watching her Instagram live broadcast. She has killed her ex-boyfriend’s new partner in cold blood. But she is not finished yet. Charlotte is supported by three girlfriends who have stuck together through thick and thin since school. Their strong bond was forged by tragedy. In spite of their difficulties, these young women have a taste for luxury. One of them is wealthy, but she is the most sorrowful of all, because she faces having her children taken away from her. The fury Charlotte and her friends feel against the world is palpable from the first page of The Hive to the last. Lincoln Jackson will now make his confession, then the viewers must vote to decide whether he should live or die. After she suffers a miscarriage in violent circumstances, Charlotte sinks to the depths of despair. She holds Lincoln and his new fiancée responsible for her bereavement. As a result she tries to take her own life. Then she has a revelation. Instead of destroying herself, she resolves to kill her ex-boyfriend’s new lover. The nest step is to slaughter Lincoln himself. In the depth of her madness, it seems only natural to Charlotte to share the whole bloody business live on Instagram. Bonded by mutual tragedy, Charlotte’s three best friends have supported each other through the soaring highs and devastating lows of their lives. Now, in Charlotte’s hour of need, her friends also face a choice – whether to help her get away with murder. The loyalty of Charlotte’s close friends is tested beyond the limit. They have supported her without question all their lives, and she has done the same for them. Now the close bond they share threatens to take them to a dark place – perhaps a prison cell. The Hive explores our darkest fears of the relationship between social media and mental health, and the strength of sisterhood against all the odds. I like the way voices from Twitter chime into the story. They give a commentary on what is going on in Charlotte’s life. Some are kind and some are cruel, but they are all detached from the reality of her situation. The Hive shows how social media can damage mental health, and how destructive a peer group can be when loyalty becomes an obsession. It is a compulsive read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cathryn Northfield

    Gripping, pacy and totally unique! A fantastic revenge thriller! As soon as I read the blurb for his book, I knew that it was a story I wanted to read. This is a debut for Scarlett Brade and what a brilliant debut it is! Original, modern and cleverly written, I thoroughly enjoyed this page-turner! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! This book starts with Charlotte having killed her ex-boyfriend’s fiancé and now she is holding a gun to his head whilst asking the world live on ‘The Hive’ to eith Gripping, pacy and totally unique! A fantastic revenge thriller! As soon as I read the blurb for his book, I knew that it was a story I wanted to read. This is a debut for Scarlett Brade and what a brilliant debut it is! Original, modern and cleverly written, I thoroughly enjoyed this page-turner! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! This book starts with Charlotte having killed her ex-boyfriend’s fiancé and now she is holding a gun to his head whilst asking the world live on ‘The Hive’ to either #votelive or #votedie. What a phenomenal opening chapter! This certainly had me hooked, but my first thoughts were, how is the author going to make me hate a character so much that I would even consider voting for them to die! Well, she did a bloody good job as I despised Charlotte’s ex Linc and whilst I am in no way condoning murder, for the purpose of fiction, I was totally on her side! After the amazing opening in this book, we then go back to 12 months earlier when Charlotte first met Linc. Dating a famous boxer, her life changed in an instant, she couldn’t believe her luck and after not being together for long she could really see a future together. Clearly, I don’t need to tell you things go drastically wrong, but I’m not one for spoilers, so you’ll have to read yourself to find out what happens! I loved the female characters in this book. The sisterhood – Charlotte, Trix, Zaheen and Poppy. Best friends since childhood, there is nothing these girls won’t do for each other. The story also touches on the backstory of each girl, helping us relate to them and understand why they are such a tight-knit group of friends. I think we all have at least one friend who you could trust with your life, Charlotte is very lucky to have three. I feel Scarlett has been very brave with how dark she goes in this book, I think a lot of debut authors would’ve held back a bit, but Scarlett definitely hasn’t! I see this as a good thing as I feel it makes for a more surprising read! There were plenty of unexpected moments in this book, some shocking, some sad and some totally bonkers! The story certainly takes you on one helluva rollercoaster ride, with many sharp twists and turns and sudden changes of speed right the way up to the hair-raising end! Vengeance is much more satisfying when it is not exacted immediately, or as they say Revenge is a dish best served cold. This saying sums up this book perfectly! Thank you to Scarlett Brade, Zaffre Books and NetGalley for my copy of this book, I look forward to seeing what Scarlett writes next.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kath

    We start at the end with Charlotte having killed her ex-boyfriend, boxer Lincoln Jackson's fiance, he himself being tied up alongside. She is broadcasting this live to the world. Explaining that Lincoln will now make a confession and then the audience will decide his fate - live or die... We then go back to where it all began. When Charlotte met Linc and how their relationship began, continued, and ended. How her best friends helped her throughout, how it all played out in social media, and the m We start at the end with Charlotte having killed her ex-boyfriend, boxer Lincoln Jackson's fiance, he himself being tied up alongside. She is broadcasting this live to the world. Explaining that Lincoln will now make a confession and then the audience will decide his fate - live or die... We then go back to where it all began. When Charlotte met Linc and how their relationship began, continued, and ended. How her best friends helped her throughout, how it all played out in social media, and the months, days and weeks leading up to the final showdown... And that's all I am saying as to say much more could possibly inject spoilers into the mix and, nope, not going there. Suffice to say that it's all a bit bonkers. But then again, isn't most things these days, Especially when played out on social media, in front of an eclectic mix of people, bots and keyboard warriors. Doubly especially when one of the couple is equally as bonkers and I will let you come to your own conclusions as to which one of them I am referring to here! Truth be told, I'm probably not sure myself! Maybe six of one... It was a delight to read something so fresh and different. The secrets and lies contained herein are cracking, as is the more than adequate slice of dysfunctional behaviour. Honestly, phew, what a ride the author took me on. Yes there were a few things I guessed a bit ahead of the MC Charlotte, but she wasn't the sharpest tool, and I don't necessarily think the author intended to obfuscate them. The other characters were equally larger than life and all played their parts very well indeed. But again, I'll leave you to meet and get to know them as the author intends. Suffice to say I'd want each and every one in my corner in a fight, warts and all! It seems that, from reading other reviews, this book has split the readership. I can only go by what I think and the reasons I read books. I like to be distracted from life, to be entertained, to spend some time outside what is happening to me in the real world. To be emotionally connected in some way and leave the book satisfied. And all the while not to be too much hard work. Well, this book ticked all those boxes for me. It might not for others and that's OK too... Me, I can't wait to see where the author goes next. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Monika Armet

    What would you do if you were on the precipice of having something you’ve always wanted, but at the last minute it’s been taken away from you? This is what happened to Charlotte Goodwin. The book begins with a shocking start: Charlotte is live streaming on social media asking people whether her ex-boyfriend, Lincoln Jackson, should live or die. Then, the story rewinds to a year before when Charlotte, or Char, met Lincoln, a famous British boxer, on Instagram. They liked each other’s posts, got chat What would you do if you were on the precipice of having something you’ve always wanted, but at the last minute it’s been taken away from you? This is what happened to Charlotte Goodwin. The book begins with a shocking start: Charlotte is live streaming on social media asking people whether her ex-boyfriend, Lincoln Jackson, should live or die. Then, the story rewinds to a year before when Charlotte, or Char, met Lincoln, a famous British boxer, on Instagram. They liked each other’s posts, got chatting, and finally started dating. It is fair to say that Lincoln, or Linc, swept Char off her feet. She introduces Lincoln to her circle of friends: Poppy, Trix, and Zaheen. The women have known each other since school days and have stayed together through thick and thin. During one of the dates, Char and Linc end up being photographed and the images are shown on The Hive, biggest gossip profile across every social media channel. Charlotte becomes ‘famous’ with her social media following soaring. Char is that smitten with the man that after a week (!) of going out with him, she imagines the two of them getting married and having children (yes, I know, that’s a bit much). On the outside, Lincoln seems perfect. But what about on the inside? He sends some nasty comments to one boxer who ended up in hospital after a fight and all hell breaks loose. One day, he gets angry and physically attacks Charlotte. However, she doesn’t know that the worst is yet to come… Ooh, I loved this twisty and gripping psychological thriller. It’s a dark tale of revenge and sisterhood. I loved the friendship between Charlotte and the other women. They have been for each other in the hardest of times, and they always supported each other. We all need friends like Trix, Poppy, and Zaheen! Lincoln was truly despicable – a man who only cared about himself and his image. I understand why Charlotte did what she did, I truly believe that his actions drove her to commit murder. In my opinion, Charlotte’s fragile mental health and her unravelling was portrayed realistically by the author and has been handled well. I have no idea how I would have reacted if the same had happened to me. Overall, it is a compelling and utterly captivating thriller. I look forward to reading more books by this author. I definitely recommend it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    The Hive begins with Charlotte holding a gun, live-streaming on social media from a hotel room. Her ex, Linc (a famous boxer) is with her facing a public vote which could cost him his life - after he cheated on Charlotte and ruined her life in more ways than one, she has asked the public watching online to choose his fate - #VoteLive or #VoteDie. Leaving his future uncertain, Charlotte then goes back to the beginning of their story. recounting how they met and how her life then fell apart. The co The Hive begins with Charlotte holding a gun, live-streaming on social media from a hotel room. Her ex, Linc (a famous boxer) is with her facing a public vote which could cost him his life - after he cheated on Charlotte and ruined her life in more ways than one, she has asked the public watching online to choose his fate - #VoteLive or #VoteDie. Leaving his future uncertain, Charlotte then goes back to the beginning of their story. recounting how they met and how her life then fell apart. The consequences of both of their actions are explained and how it looked from the perspectives of her three best friends, Poppy, Trix and Zaheen, but also from the perspectives of complete strangers who felt the need to comment on whatever news about their relationship was reported on social media. Ultimately The Hive is a commentary on two things - the power and/or toxicity of female friendships and the negative power of social media. To do this, Charlotte's story which gradually unfolds throughout the book is a very extreme version of a situation which could happen. As I was reading, I was doubting whether the plot was particularly believable, but by the end of the story I realised that it had to be told in such an exaggerated manner for the points being made to have the full impact needed. It did feel wrong as I read through the story to be contemplating which way I would vote, but at the same time I have never hated a character more than Linc, and the crushing impact of what he did to Charlotte certainly came across very strongly in the story! The opening chapter was perfect - knowing where things end up between Charlotte and Linc made me want to race through the flashbacks to find out how and where things went so wrong between the couple. The Hive is a dark revenge thriller with the ultimate 'woman scorned' storyline. Charlotte's obsession with making Linc pay for what he did to her is probably going to divide opinions, but it was a unique idea and overall it was very effective in making me think about the way social media has transformed people's lives and the negative outcomes that could result from these platforms.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Veight

    Charlotte confesses live on Instagram that she killed her ex-boyfriend's new love interest and wants people to vote if she should kill her ex Lincoln too. Luckily she has 3 great allies, her best friends, in her life, but should friends do anything for each other? After an intense prologue, we journey to the past and follow the events that led to the broadcast. We learn about Charlotte and her 3 best friends Poppy, Zaheen & Trix. This is a friendship you will love. An unbreakable sisterhood. We ' Charlotte confesses live on Instagram that she killed her ex-boyfriend's new love interest and wants people to vote if she should kill her ex Lincoln too. Luckily she has 3 great allies, her best friends, in her life, but should friends do anything for each other? After an intense prologue, we journey to the past and follow the events that led to the broadcast. We learn about Charlotte and her 3 best friends Poppy, Zaheen & Trix. This is a friendship you will love. An unbreakable sisterhood. We 'live' through her story with Linc and the public scrutiny. The anatomy of a relationship, witnessing the spark and the burnout. How love can turn to hate. The 1st person POV is intimate and brutal, sort of like a diary peppered with rapid-fire dialogue, a confession among friends. The protagonist is grounded and flawed making her relatable, but boy do you want to scream at her for situations she lets herself get into. She acts stupidly, even though I think she is trying not to be hurt by deluding herself. Other times in the unfairness of it all, you just want to hug her. Linc you want to punch. A lot. There is a bit of an infodump at the beginning, throwing off the continuity till it finds its rhythm. Also the sometimes repetitiveness of the protagonist's denial and seeing things as she wishes them to be, does grate on the nerves. This is a commentary on social media and how it affects our lives. The pages with 'social media comments' really help to emphasize that point. The point that social media has reached the danger zone of 'dictating' lives. The book also reminds us of the rarity of true friendships and how we should hold them dear. Another theme is mental health and how important it is to take care of it. Evocative in its elegant simplicity and unpredictable, it hits you in the gut, but is still easy to read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The Hive is one of those novels where I wasn’t certain what to expect. I do use social media but I am a bit clueless about the so called influencers who many people are fascinated with. So when followers and fans had to decide between #letlive or #letdie I was a little unsettled. And I had quite a while to wait before I would find which way the online vote would go. It’s only in the latter stages of the novel that you see that sees the culmination of the prologue. But this is no great hardship, w The Hive is one of those novels where I wasn’t certain what to expect. I do use social media but I am a bit clueless about the so called influencers who many people are fascinated with. So when followers and fans had to decide between #letlive or #letdie I was a little unsettled. And I had quite a while to wait before I would find which way the online vote would go. It’s only in the latter stages of the novel that you see that sees the culmination of the prologue. But this is no great hardship, what happens in between is gripping. When Charlotte gets involved with Linc, a famous boxer, she falls in love quickly and has dreams of their future together. She is overwhelmed by the social media following that comes because of their relationship, especially when things go badly wrong and everyone has an opinion. Most of it involving hatred of her and all of it with only no idea of the true situation. She is bewildered, grieving over what she has lost and isn’t coping. With this part of the novel the author shows how fickle social media can be and how easy it is to manipulate the truth. But, she is part of a strong group of women who have been friends for many years and who have overcome a lot since childhood. All of these women are a huge support to her and are trying to help her get over her relationship with Linc and the events that happened. This part of the novel forms most of the novel and I had as much sympathy for them as I did for her. Strangely, it isn’t really a depressing novel, the author shows her characters coping with their own trauma but she also manages to show how the friends can laugh together. They have a lot of respect for each other’s situation and cope in the way they know best. Whether the reader likes or loathes these characters doesn’t really matter. Many will judge, just like the followers. Others will judge because most of these characters are in some way criminals. What I got from reading this was that it was a thoroughly original novel that had me cheering on those who suffered the most and a lot of entertainment.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lynsey

    ‘The Hive’ opens with a punchy strong chapter in which Charlotte admits to murdering her ex-boyfriend’s new partner Heidi, whilst streaming live on The Hive! She then announces that her ex, celebrity and professional boxer Lincoln, is on trial for his life and it's up to the viewers on the website to decide whether he lives or dies. As Charlotte states ‘this is my confession’ but what caused her to get to this state… Charlotte has been dating professional boxer Lincoln now for a few months. She h ‘The Hive’ opens with a punchy strong chapter in which Charlotte admits to murdering her ex-boyfriend’s new partner Heidi, whilst streaming live on The Hive! She then announces that her ex, celebrity and professional boxer Lincoln, is on trial for his life and it's up to the viewers on the website to decide whether he lives or dies. As Charlotte states ‘this is my confession’ but what caused her to get to this state… Charlotte has been dating professional boxer Lincoln now for a few months. She has a perfect relationship with him but its under constant observation by the world and commented on all over social media. But she soon begins to question their relationship, who is Heidi and why is he secretive of his phone? Things get more pressured when Charlotte finds out she is pregnant and Lincoln doesn't seem that keen. I liked the premise of this book with the emphasis on trial by social media and the tag of a ‘feminist thriller’. However, I didn't see too much of feminism showing in Charlotte’s decisions - she was infatuated by a man and their destructive relationship I felt could have been portrayed slightly more realistically. I did find that the friendship aspect of the four girls rang true in their strength of feelings for each other. I wasn't able to really connect with Charlotte which was a shame but I did like Poppy! The setup with the opening chapter being present day and then going back a year to see how things played out was a great way to build up the tension. The resolution we know but do we… Once you disband your disbelief at the resolution you will connect with the story much more! This is entertainment not reality. Let me know if you read this one.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Norma

    ( Format : Audiobook ) "# Charlotte unhinged." Preferring to come to a book with as few preconceptions as possible, I rarely read the given synopsis until after the story is finished but, for this book I did read it first, liked the concept and purchased the audio version with great anticipation. It was slightly unusual in that, alongside the narrator, Shvorne Marks, there was a full cast of actors sandwiched between the first person monologue chapters, making contributory comments to events on ( Format : Audiobook ) "# Charlotte unhinged." Preferring to come to a book with as few preconceptions as possible, I rarely read the given synopsis until after the story is finished but, for this book I did read it first, liked the concept and purchased the audio version with great anticipation. It was slightly unusual in that, alongside the narrator, Shvorne Marks, there was a full cast of actors sandwiched between the first person monologue chapters, making contributory comments to events on the Hive, social media channel. And the introduction was good, or at least curiously exciting. Then came the dreaded words, One Year Earlier, and it was downhill all the way from there: a mundane, poorly written story about one woman in her late twenties - the voice telling the story - and her three equally pathetic and unlikable friends, all with enormous emotional baggage (could be because, despite being almost thirty, they still acted like silly adolescents, making memories of 'best night's' drinking alcoholic drinks they couldn't afford, eating food they couldn't pronounce and waking up next to men they couldn't remember f***ing). Unedifying, tedious and repetitive whingeing on about their predictably unsatisfactory relationships and the need of a woman for children, together with a seemingly miraculous physical growth rate of unborn embryos, makes this story even more untrustworthy and unrealistic. Childish, but not good enough for for YAs - they deserve much better. But I did read to the end: I guess inertia set in, so one star for that.

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