Cover Image: The Leaving Party

The Leaving Party

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Member Reviews

I love the premise of this - a leaving party where the leaver is being tormented by an unknown person - who is it? And as things escalate, what is their endgame? The tension builds, we meet more characters, learn snippets of history and our minds are filled with theories as to who is behind it all. I whizzed through the book, each chapter making me want to read the next and the next to discover more of what was going on. With short snappy chapters and plenty of cliff-hangers, this was a compelling read with red herrings aplenty to misdirect and tease. Everything you want in a psychological thriller, with characters love and ones you love to hate, complicated histories and conflicting desires for the future. Phew! It's a cracking read.
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I really wanted to enjoy this more than I did. The premise was great but the execution, not so much.  Neither of the main characters were likable, but even worse, not particularly unlikable.  Told from the two different POV’s I had to keep checking which woman’s story I was reading,  hard to distinguish which one was talking.  The beginning was good, the middle repetitive and the ending was expected.
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It was a very insightful novel, with a strong cast of characters. I enjoyed the storyline very much and would definitely reccomend this book.
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Wow...just wow. The Leaving Party is a gripping,chilling tale of secrets,manipulation,obsession,lies and revenge. The numerous twists and turns kept you guessing and trusting no one and the ending leaves you feeling chilled to the bone.

Thirteen years ago,best friends Ava and Lena went to a party at the home of a boy who Lena fancied. A tragic incident happened on the road outside the house and Lena ended up saving Ava's life.

Every year,on the anniversary of that tragic night, Ava has received a black rose,dredging up memories that she has worked so hard to forget.

Now they are having their own party,one that Lena has organised for Ava, a celebration to say goodbye because Ava is moving to New York to live with her boyfriend Ben.

But not long after the guests arrive,strange things start happening, black roses appear in the house and Ava's passport and phone mysteriously disappear.

It becomes obvious that Ava's tormentor is at the party and that they have escalated their campaign against her. The party and move were supposed to be a fresh start, a chance to escape her past but it is beginning to increasingly look like the past is destined to catch up with her and she might not live to see tomorrow.

The chapters of this gripping thriller are short and snappy,alternate between Ava and Lena and flip back and forth between the present day and 2005. I did  feel a lot of sympathy for poor Ava but I also thought she was very naive and needed to lighten up a bit at times especially when she was younger. The secondary characters who attended the party were a mixed bag of diverse personalities,any one of whom could have been Ava's tormentor. But who was it and could there possibly have been more than one?. Was it my favourite character Martha who was Ava's feisty sister or Ava's obsessive ex boyfriend Gareth or her bully of an ex boss Pete? And what about Lena, could she possibly know more than she is letting on? One of the characters in this book was very obsessive,deluded and suffered from some major mental health issues.

The Leaving Party is a chilling,extremely well written page turner that had me hooked in from the shocking prologue. Both time frames are equally intriguing, the changing of the time frames at no point impedes with the flow of the story which holds the readers attention throughout the whole book.The short snappy chapters give you a very bad case of just one more chapter syndrome. I love Lesley Sanderson's brilliant thrillers,she is a very talented author who's books are always unputdownable and this one was no exception. Worth far more than five stars and definitely one of my favourite reads of this year. Very very highly recommended
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I am afraid I found this book hard to get into.The style of telling the story didn't work for me this time ,and I found it off putting. Hopefully others will like it more.
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The story of two friends Lena and Ava who have been friends from their schooldays.
Ava is having a leaving party and spooky things start to happen that she believes is a result of an incident that happened in 2005.
Told in two different timelines and by two different narrators I found this book hard to follow.
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Wow! What a stunning read! Twists and turns in abundance, I absolutely loved this book! I recommend to all!
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Entertaining but too long and way too much emphasis on the drinking habits of the characters. Pointless descriptions of extreme alcohol consumption.  Could be shortened
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A pleasant undemanding psychological thriller.

Ava is preparing to leave and put all past secrets behind her for good.
Her best friend Lena throws her a party, nice right? Wrong

First, all the guests are the ones Ava was trying to escape from at the first place.
Then a single black flower arrives at the door step, an act that has been happening steadily each year to remind Ava of a terrible accident from her past. Will she survive and move on with her future plane?

Told from different POVs and alternating between past and present, buried secrets resurface and we start to know what Ava is escaping from and who is determined not to give her an easy way.

At the beginning the pace was a little slow with different main and secondary characters along with the time shifts, but the pace picks up when all  is sorted out. The ending is satisfactory albeit predictable.

3.5***** rounded up to 4
Thanks Netgalley, Bookouture, and the author for an ARC in exchange for a fair review.
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The story is told from the  perspectives of Lena and Ava who have been best friends since secondary school. In 2005 as teenagers, they attend a party where an incident occurred which overshadows their lives. In the present day, Ava is leaving her job to go and live with her boyfriend Ben. Lena organises a big party so all her f fiends can say farewell. The storyline goes backwards and forwards from 2005 to the night of the party. 

I’m sorry to say I’m underwhelmed by the book. The pace remains the same throughout and I feel it needs to accelerate as the truth emerges. There is not much suspense or tension which in a story like this where we have deception, revenge, lies, jealousy and taunting threats there should have been considerably more. I think any sense of threat becomes lost in the frequent repetition between the different accounts and the bland conversations between guests at the party. We needed to get more of a sense of the personality of the  two main characters, of the two of them Lena  is more interesting and I want to understand more of what makes her tick and then we may have got something more juicy! 

Overall, I like the premise of the book but it doesn't flow as well as it should, I’d like more chills and suspense and so my overriding feeling is a bit deflated and disappointed. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC.
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I initially found this book a little bit hard to get into – the multiple narrator viewpoints, moving back and forth between 2005 and the present, the large number of small characters, plus all of the unknowns at the beginning of the story made it a little bit hard to follow. However, once I got ~30% through the book it really picked up and I finished it quickly! 

I overall enjoyed this book, although I would say that I was not too surprised by the twists or the ending. Neither of the main characters were particularly likeable and at times I found the characters a bit two-dimensional, but I did feel that their friendship had an interesting dynamic that I enjoyed delving deeper into.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy of this book!
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The Leaving Party is fantastic! A dark tale of obsession, friendship and who we trust around us.

Going back and forth between present and 2005 the story quickly unfolds. It’s a little slow to find the antagonist and reasons why but I throughly enjoyed this book and found it a delight to read. I wasn’t a fan of either character but I thought the strong friendship was told perfectly.
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This book was okay. The going back between 2005 and present day is usually something that attracts me with books but im not sure it had any effect in this book. The characters other than Lena and Martha and Ava were not fully fleshed and therefore not memorable.
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Overall, a good read. The story of intense friendships, secrets and lies. It may just because I have read so many of these books but I did think the ending was a bit obvious and without a real twist but overall, I still enjoyed the way the book was written and how the mystery gradually unfolded throughout.
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Single black roses are the key to this book. Arriving every year on the same day, the anniversary of what? She has to get out of here and away from this. This is the goodbye party to escape the roses and hopefully the past. But it won't go as planned and she will have to answer for the things that she did.
This gripping thriller was quite addictive as you struggle to figure out what she did or didn't do and what the people she is closest too and the ones she is running from are really all about.
I enjoyed this book and recommend it if you are looking for something along the lines of " The Wife Between Us" as the blurb suggested, I absolutely saw some similarities.
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Took me two times to pick this one up and continue to read. Was good, predictable, and a few things had me questioning it. No spoilers though. Was just an ok book for me. Hope others enjoy it. 

Thanks to net galley and the publisher for an early release of this book.
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Just imagine your best friend having a going away / leaving party for you and all the people you are trying to escape from beenn there, someone knows your secret and they just might kill you .....
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Ava and Lena have been best friends and roommates since they were teenagers. Now they've grown up, and Ava has made the decision to move to New York with her fiance, Ben. Lena throws Ava a surprise party to celebrate, but when a black rose arrives on their doorstep, Ava is shaken. She has received one rose each year since she was involved in a terrible accident. She lives with guilt and fear from it everyday, so when a cake arrives commemorating 13 years since the accident as well, Ava is shaken. She tries to enjoy her party, but when her fiance does not show up, her phone and passport go missing, and her estranged sister attends, things are all but pleasant. 

There's something suspenseful about a story that takes place in just one evening. You know something is coming, and you can't stop reading until you know. That's how this book was to me. I needed to finish it. The plot was fresh and exciting, and the twists were pretty unexpected. I do think the main twist was a little predictable, but did not tarnish the story for me.
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A woman with a big secret gets a black rose every year on the same day. It’s a reminder of what she’s done and the fact that someone else will never let her forget it. On the cusp of a new life with a new love, her passport disappears and her past comes knocking on her front door.  So, who’s the “bad guy” in this book? Sanderson will keep you guessing in this intelligent thriller
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The Leaving Party by Lesley Sanderson proves once again why this author has very quickly established herself as a favourite of mine.  I devoured this book in a single afternoon, and was virtually propelled from one page to the next in breathless anticipation.  Ms Sanderson's writing is deliciously compulsive, and I cannot get enough of it.

Told from the alternating perspectives of Ava and Lena, and shifting between the timelines of 2005 and 2018, the story of two friends unfolds as Ava, in the present, prepares to leave for a new life in New York with her partner, Ben.    Left behind is Lena, who will do anything for her adored best friend, and is desperate to keep her close.  A shared secret from the past binds the two women, and it is one that continues to haunt Ava, and one from which she is anxious to escape.  But someone is not willing to let Ava go quite so easily, and will go to great lengths to ensure that her leaving party is one she will not soon forget.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for this ARC.
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