Monday, March 29, 2021

Book Review: SHIVER (and Once Upon a Book Club box review)

I can't even remember if I mentioned that I have been looking for a new book subscription box, but that's been a thing. I saw Once Upon a Book Club on an Instagram post so I just did it. 

I have no self-control and this time it really paid off because I loved this box SO STINKING MUCH. 

SHIVER - Allie Reynolds

They don't know what I did. And I intend to keep it that way.

How far would you go to win? Hyper-competitive people, mind games and a dangerous natural environment combine to make the must-read thriller of the year. Fans of Lucy Foley and Lisa Jewell will be gripped by spectacular debut novel Shiver.

When Milla is invited to a reunion in the French Alps resort that saw the peak of her snowboarding career, she drops everything to go. While she would rather forget the events of that winter, the invitation comes from Curtis, the one person she can't seem to let go.

The five friends haven't seen each other for ten years, since the disappearance of the beautiful and enigmatic Saskia. But when an icebreaker game turns menacing, they realize they don't know who has really gathered them there and how far they will go to find the truth.

In a deserted lodge high up a mountain, the secrets of the past are about to come to light.
**I'm going to tell you that this review contains spoilers for the goodies in the box, so just know that going ahead, and stop if you're slow and haven't dug into the box yet. **

OK, so in this book we are seeing this through Milla's point of view, and it starts with present day, all of the remaining members of the group from ten years ago, seemingly meeting for a reunion. They all have something they are hiding from everyone else and the whole book goes through the events leading up to the day Saskia died. Or did she? 

It becomes clear that someone has played a trick on them and has set them up fairly soon and now everyone suspects the others are potentially being a murderer, and wondering who could possibly be next... and why? 

I have to tell you, I completely loved this book. I figured out the mystery of it but there were a few details I didn't totally pick up on and the little twist towards the last pages made it all click into place. I have to tell you, reading this book along with the surprises in the box kind of put this over the top for me and made it that much more fun. 
As you go through the box, it tells you when to open the gift associated with the page number in your box. I found myself racing through to the next one so I finished this book rather quickly. 
As we led up to this page, one of the characters discovers Saskia's ski pass, which would have been impossible for her to get around on the mountain without. So.... if she died on the mountain, how is her pass here? 
Let me tell you what- opening it up and realizing I'm holding the pass felt incredibly creepy, like I'm not an accomplice to this. 
The next one is related to something that sabotaged another competitor and could possibly implicate one of the original crew. 
I guessed this one right away just by the size/feel of the package so this wasn't such a surprise. Again, though- kind of creepy to hold it in your hand. 
The next one, I knew was going to appear in the box at some point because it gets referenced quite a few times in the book, but especially around this page. 
The perfume Saskia is known for wearing. It really is a distinctive scent, so of course I totally sprayed some in my room as I'm reading it and I'd get a whiff every few minutes. Creepy, but kind of perfect. This is the kind of box that is really perfect for a thriller read, that's for sure. 
The last gift I really had no idea what it would be by the time I got there, by then the story was really getting bananas and things were wrapping up and loose ends were tying up. 
It is a vacuum sealed thermos/coffee cup, which makes sense with the story and what was happening. Very cool because it also has a temperature setting on it, which is crazy. 
In case you wanted to see all of my goodies all at once. 
Also in the box we get a little book related art work, a book club kit with information about this month's selection and when you can tune in to the online forum to participate in a book chat, and also a signed book plate from the author. 

Overall? I really liked the book, a perfect winter thriller with some interesting twists, characters who are all greatly flawed, a victim who is equally awful and you think if one of them killed her you really can't blame them. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I get to the very last line of the book and I changed my mind completely about one specific character, who I wasn't really sure what to think about through the whole book as it was. 

I highly recommend the book, I'd love to know if you've read it and what you thought. I also very much recommend this book box if you're looking to start one. I've already signed up for a continuing subscription because this was such a fun experience and it encourages you to actually read the books that you get instead of just sticking it on the shelf.... which I am 100% guilty of. 

If you are considering this book box, even if for just a month, sign up using my referral link and I'll get a couple of bucks off of a future box! 

This post contains affiliate links.

1 comment:

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I have been curious about this book so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. I love a good mystery!! I haven't gotten this box before, but I see it around a lot and I LOVE the idea behind it. I actually "stole" the idea for a past gift for my sister. I often annotate books for her (write my thoughts in the margins so she seems them when she reads it) but one time, I annotated the book AND I put sticky notes telling her when to open certain gifts and it was so much fun to think up and put together. And she really loved it too!