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What It Seems

– tekijä: Emily Bleeker

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
205843,464 (3.5)-

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näyttää 5/5
Big thanks to Lake Union Publishing for the ARC I received via NetGalley.

What It Seems is a fast-paced page-turner that launches us into the troubled head of a twenty-year-old girl who has been living with Mother for twelve years, convinced that her biological family had given her up when she was eight.
Mother puts a roof over her head and food on the table. Mother is there to protect her against the cruel, unforgiving world. Mother can be kind when she feels like it, but that comes at a price.
Physical and mental locked doors keep Tara tucked away in her room, and Mother's countless rules are like the bars of a cage against which she stopped throwing herself a long time ago.
All she has are her few friends and her computer, her window to the world. It's behind this screen that the Feely family lives. If she could only be normal and happy like them, surrounded by loved ones, taking part in tickle wars, mixing slime, always having someone to hug! Is this what real, caring families are like? Because it's all she's been craving during the twelve years in her prison.
Then, an unusual video posted by the Feelys changes her life forever. Tara was used to have everything decided for her, but now she is going to have to make decisions of her own, and they're not going to be easy...for how could she leave her Mother?
Written in the gripping, immediate first person, this book will have you begging to know what happens next in no time at all. Ms. Bleeker is capable of writing about serious, traumatising things in a steady, relatable way.
I would have rather seen Angela getting to know the Feelys with all their virtues and flaws more gradually and subtly, and it would have been nice to give the kids more screen time. But I guess I'll just leave that in the YouTube comments.
This book is a highly entertaining and emotional read, and it won't let you go easily. ( )
  ViktorijaB93 | Apr 10, 2020 |
Review of eBook

Tara, now twenty, has spent twelve years with her controlling adoptive mother, frightened into obeying her demands to shoplift in order to escape cruel punishment. Locked in and drugged to sleep each night, she finds her only freedom in the hours Mother sleeps and she’s alone in her bedroom, free to talk to her dolls, to feed Sampson the sparrow, and to watch the Feely family’s online vlog.

A series of fortuitous events allows Tara, who’s often dreamed of freedom but never actually tried to leave, to see her way clear to escaping from Mother’s home and accepting an internship with the Feely family. Although the Feely family warmly welcomes Tara/Angela, it isn’t long before she discovers they aren’t quite as they’ve portrayed themselves on the vlog.

Has Tara/Angela moved from her imprisonment in Mother’s home to a new trap with the Feely family? Is Mother relentlessly tracking her down? Will she ever be able to claim her own life?

Life has taught us that, in certain circumstances, kidnappers are able to keep their victims for many years and, although readers want to think it’s improbable, real-life kidnapping victims have been held for more than eighteen years before being freed and returned to their families.

Traumatized Tara/Angela tells her own heart-wrenching story, slowly revealing the important backstory that helps readers understand her thoughts and actions. Tension builds throughout the narrative and, although there are a couple of unexpected twists, the grim, creepy, trauma-filled story generally unfolds as readers expect. While Angela’s apparent ease at adapting to life outside Mother’s control, especially near the end of the story, tends to perplex readers, they are sure to be cheering for her to succeed.

Recommended. ( )
  jfe16 | Mar 28, 2020 |
This book gives you a knot in the pit of your stomach from Chapter 1, and gives new meaning to “a wolf in sheep’s clothing”. You see evil and unthinkable acts, but you see resilience and the will to live. But, things are not always what they look like. Sometimes you just never know what you are capable of, until you have no choice.

Little Angela is running away from home, mad at her mom for yelling and not paying attention to her. An accident happens and she comes to live with her foster ‘Mother’. Here, she learns a whole different life. Now, at age 20, she gets the courage to take control of her life, by applying for an internship with her favorite you tube family. But, are things as perfect as they seem?

The storyline is fast paced, coming together well. Great characters that make your emotions go from 0 to 360 in a few paragraphs. First book I’ve read by this author, I look forward to reading more.

Thanks to Ms. Bleeker, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone.

( )
  LoriKBoyd | Mar 24, 2020 |
Thanks to #NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for a copy of this book - the opinion expressed is entirely my own.

I found this book to be a solid read (a 3.5 stars). Tara (Angela) is a 20 year old young woman who is totally dominated by a creepy and truly awful 'foster' mom. She has been abused physically and mentally since she was 12, so if that's a trigger for you, you might want to avoid this book. At 20 circumstances occur that allow her to try to escape. That escape is successful, but as she tries to find her way as an intern with a you-tube vblog family, circumstances are equally stressful, just in a different way. This is a story of how a young woman finds her way out of a hellish life and begins to figure out who she is and if she's strong enough to survive.

Overall I thought the story arc was strong. The blurb about the book makes it seem as if the vblog family is something scary or sinister. While their reality is different than portrayed on you tube, there's nothing particularly sinister about them. But, there is enough evil in the mother for anyone.

I have an aversion to protagonists that are hand-wringers. When half the book is full of "oh poor me, whatever should I do" internal dialog, I usually stop reading. This one straddled that edge for me.....but when I did find myself thinking, oh just stop whining and DO something, I remembered her upbringing and the PTSD she was undoubtedly dealing with, and kept reading. I'm glad I did. ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
Tara was adopted by her controlling mother when she was a little girl and sees very little of the outside world. One of her only joys is watching videos of families on YouTube, especially the Feely’s. The Feely’s are the perfect family and when they post a video seeking an intern, Tara jumps at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The only problem, how is Tara supposed to get away from Mother?

Although relatively entertaining, it didn’t feel as suspenseful as I was expecting and the plot was pretty predicable.

I received a reviewer copy of What It Seems by Emily Bleeker from the publisher, Lake Union Publishing, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Lauranthalas | Jan 21, 2020 |
näyttää 5/5
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