February 24, 2012

Book Review: Never Smile at Strangers

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Title: Never Smile at Strangers
Author: Jennifer Minar-Jaynes
Published: November 15, 2011
Pages: 328 (Paperback)
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Average Rating:  4.36
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars 5.00
Read from February 12 to 19, 2012

Goodreads Summary: WHEN TEENAGE GIRLS VANISH in what was once considered a safe, Louisiana bayou town, the lives of four desperate young locals take unexpected turns, begging the crucial question: Do you every truly know those closest to you?

My Review:

I won my copy of this book from the one of the giveaways here on Goodreads. I'm definitely happy I entered to win--I was rewarded with a well written, captivating story!

Both engaging and chilling, this novel pulled me in right away and never let go. I couldn't put it down, but if I absolutely had to, I wanted to get back to it right away! I absolutely had to find out what would happen next, and there were many times where the end of certain chapters had mini cliff-hangers. These uncertainties about what exactly would happen next added to the suspense building throughout the novel. Sometimes, I found myself starting to read a few pages ahead but stopped myself before I actually gave in to that temptation.

I vacillated between feeling empathy for the antagonist since she/he had obviously been abused as a child and feeling anger and disgust for what she/he had done to others. To me, that is the sign of an excellent mystery/suspense novel--when the reader is torn between contradictory emotions for the "bad guy/girl." There are just so many shades of gray when it comes to the decisions and actions people make and why they make them. People are not necessarily all "good" or all "bad" but rather exist on a continuum between the two and have the capacity for both good deeds and evil actions.

This novel will make you think about human behavior and entertain you at the same time. For someone like me who is interested in and studied psychology, what more could I have asked for?         

For more information, don't forget the link above! 


  1. Hi Jennifer!

    I wanna let you know that I got something on my blog for you :D

    Have a nice sunday


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