Her Perfect Life

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Member Reviews

A great book with a complicated plot but it's worth persevering as it definitely pays off in the end. I did not expect that twist at the end and it definitely kept me hooked.
A great psychological thriller that I just had to keep reading to find out what would happen next.
Give it a go you won't be disappointed.
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Gracie Dwyer has a successful career as a celebrity chef, a handsome husband, nice house and a perfect daughter. Juliet is a single mum, living in squalor, self employed but not doing well, broke and with a dodgy ex. Poles apart, unlikely friends but that's what happens when they "meet" at their daughters' dance school. We follow both Gracie and Juliet as they meander through life, as their lives collide and start to merge, as Juliet appears to worm her way into Gracie's life, her family, her home, all the time knowing that there is way more to the story than what appears at face value. As the story goes on, interspersed by someone's diary entries, things stop adding up, certain things start to take on new meaning... what really is going on behind closed doors?

On the whole, this was a good solid read, albeit a bit busy at times. It really did end up having a bit of everything in it. Secrets lies, jealousy, deception and hidden pasts were just the starting platter of what the author served up. Some of which was predictable, some notsomuch. The pace of the book was quite slow initially as there is a lot of scene setting and plot set up but it wasn't too slow a read overall and did manage to keep my attention mostly throughout as there were little tidbits thrown in every so often that kept me no my toes. But you know what, lull me into the security that this book was lulling me into and I will start to question every little thing, and question I did, and I did manage to guess quite successfully where we were going. Not so easily the why though so there was still all to play for to finish the book.
Characters... where do I start. I didn't really like any of them. Now I know that in itself isn't the be all and end all and I don't have to like the characters in a book to connect to them but, I'm sorry to say, I didn't really connect with either Juliet or Gracie fully enough to care about either of them. I guess that means that the story line was good enough to keep me reading on its own. My desire to know what happens to these people despite not really caring! Kudos for that anyway...

All in all it was a mostly satisfying, if a little predictable, read. Would I read this author again? Possibly, but I'd probably try the sample first before committing!

My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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Gracie has it all n life. Great husband, great family.
But there is something that messes this all up.

The friendship part within the story was pleasant to read, the emotional pull and loyalties even when tragedy strikes.

I've recently read a book very similar based around this subject matter.

The thriller side of things I personally found predictable. 

I think the author wrote a deserving story, and I'm aware there's nothing new under the sun, but it lacked in places as it wasn't unique from others in this field .

Thank you Harper Collins for my copy
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Twisty psychological thriller ,Gracie seems to have it all successful career the husband the house the lifestyle, Juliet looks on longingly but is everything as it seems? Of course not, there was a lot going on here and quite a few characters, you need to keep your wits about you when reading , its a clever book and I couldn't work out the direction it was going in it kept me guessing and that's what I want from a well written thriller and I got it.I am thankful to the Publishers and Netgalley for an ARC in return for an honest review.
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Julie is a single mother struggling to provide for herself and her daughter.  Gracie is a successful much loved TV chef adored by all she meets.  Their lives cross and you are treated to a story that has so many twists your brain feels like it's in a whirl.  
Juliet is needy and sure that Gracie "owes her" for not returning a call six years before.  She starts to obsess over how different her life would be now if Gracie had just made that call.  She manages to embed herself into Gracie's family and then her home becoming more and more obsessed with the life she and her daughter could lead.  Sneaking into their home, cutting keys digging through their drawers to find something she can use against the squeaky clean Gracie. 
This book is not fast paced by any means but the story builds solidly as you move thorough the book making it one of those books you just can't put down because you know that you're not seeing the full picture.  It's not until the last few pages of the book that it all becomes clear and you're sitting there thinking "I did not see this coming".
This is a tremendous book, well written and very well thought and laid out.  No loose ends but do I see a sequel in the distance?!!
Fantasticly well written and what an ending.  Would highly reccomend this book!
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This was a well written, intriguing book that took the idea of two highly contrasting characters coming together and turned it completely around. The twists at the end were very unexpected and once i'd finished the book i went back and reread certain parts with a different perspective.
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Her Perfect Life was an intriguing read, following the “friendship” of two very different women, one who seemingly has everything, one who seemingly has nothing. As such it was a clever, involving character drama with a psychological thriller twist as motivations and truths start to emerge.

To be honest it was the friendship angle that interested me most – as a reader of many psychological thrillers there are not many surprises – but Sam Hepburn has written a multi-layered and compelling portrait of two different women who come together, a toxic manipulative friendship develops, seeing it as we do from both points of view makes it endlessly fascinating.

Well written, you get sucked into the tale very easily, Sam Hepburn throws plenty of intrigue and twists into the tale, as it unfolds it gets ever more addictive – towards the end of the book I could barely put it down even though it was a slow burner it was highly involving.

Overall a really good addition to this popular genre and one that as a reader you can take many different things from and a well constructed plot that manages not to be utterly obvious – as such I would recommend it.
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Gracie Dwyer has a successful career, a handsome husband and a beautiful little girl. She has her own business and a cooking programme on tv. Gracie is recognised everywhere she goes. Then single mum Juliet and her daughter, Freya, enters Gracie's life. Jukiet is the exact opposite from Gracie. Yet the bond is there.

This is a very well written debut novel. There is plenty of twists  to keep you turning the pages. I really enjoyed this book full of jealousy and deception. Another new author to add to my growing list.

I would like to thank NetGalley, HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction and the author Sam Hepburn for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I had never heard of this author but liked the description of the book. I loved the story, read it in 2 days as i could not put it down. I will be looking to read more from sam hepburn.
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Such an amazing book- I was literally grabbed in from the first few pages, and I couldn't put it down.  I managed to guess most of the twists and turns, but it didn't draw away from what a great read this was, and some of it was still a bit of a surprise right up until the end!

Would definitely recommend this to those that love the psychological twisty thrillers- smashing!  Thanks Sam Hepburn and thanks NetGalley- without doubt a five star read!!
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for supplying me with an ARC copy of this book in return for an honest review.

I was suckered in by the synopsis of this book and having never read anything by Sam Hepburn before, I wasn't sure what to expect.

I was riveted to this book and was quickly drawn into the contrasting lives of our main characters, both equally as unlikable as each other for differing reasons. I guessed the plot twist quite early on but was still compelled to read on with as much interest as I would have done. The story was woven seamlessly despite being an intricate and complicated plot. 

I am looking forward to reading more from Sam Hepburn in the future.
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I was really intrigued by Her Perfect Life straight away,  the description was fascinating and I instantly wanted to know more.
I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline, it captured my attention all the way through and I liked that I didn’t know what way the story would go, so I was quickly turning the pages to find out what would happen.
Sam Hepburn has written a brilliant psychological suspense novel, I will be certainly be on the look out for future releases from this author. 

Thank you!
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A twisty-turny psychological thriller - I defy anyone to predict the ending! Really enjoyable read about two women, one of whom seeks to right a perceived wrong from years previously. As she ingratiates her way into Gracie Dwyer's seemingly magazine-perfect lifestyle, will Juliet find ANY skeletons in this woman's closet? Or is she exactly as she appears to be - cheerful, optimistic, generous, rich, successful, married to an adoring husband - in fact, everything Juliet isn't. And will Gracie realise just what kind of person she has invited into her life and her home? The latest must-read for fans of domestic noir/psychological thrillers.
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Her Perfect Life was an intriguing read, following the “friendship” of two very different women, one who seemingly has everything, one who seemingly has nothing. As such it was a clever, involving character drama with a psychological thriller twist as motivations and truths start to emerge.

To be honest it was the friendship angle that interested me most – as a reader of many psychological thrillers there are not many surprises – but Sam Hepburn has written a multi-layered and compelling portrait of two different women who come together, a toxic manipulative friendship develops, seeing it as we do from both points of view makes it endlessly fascinating.

Well written, you get sucked into the tale very easily, Sam Hepburn throws plenty of intrigue and twists into the tale, as it unfolds it gets ever more addictive – towards the end of the book I could barely put it down even though it was a  slow burner it was highly involving.

Overall a really good addition to this popular genre and one that as a reader you can take many different things from and a well constructed plot that manages not to be utterly obvious – as such I would definitely recommend it.
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Her Perfect Life

How far would you go to create the perfect life?  Gracie Dwyer has it all; the handsome husband, gorgeous daughter, beautiful home and glittering career as a domestic goddess. 

Anyone who has read a psychological thriller knows that this won't last! Twists and turns come at a steady pace in this book and the storyline is engrossing. Great read!

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book, with thanks to Netgalley and the publisher. 4*
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Her Perfect Life by Sam Hepburn is essentially a mystery/thriller, centring around two women leading very different lives. Gracie Dwyer appears to have it all on the surface; on top of being a generous and loving person she has a wonderful husband and family as well as an amazingly successful career.

Juliet, on the other hand, has none of those things. Down on her luck with border-line alcohol dependency and a nasty ex-husband threatening to take away her daughter, she desperately wants re-ignite her foundering PR career. She cannot help but trace the source of her troubles to the time when Gracie Dwyer turned down her offer  to help market her new catering business.

Told from both Gracie and Juliet's perspective, the scene is set for a thrilling novel that culminates in a plot twist of unexpected proportions, a-la Girl on the Train or Gone Girl.

Unfortunately, Her Perfect Life falls a little flat. The writing, although engrossing and descriptive is just not up to the standard set by Gillian Flynn or  Paula Hawkins. The story itself is very clever and the twist at the end definitely unexpected but it also felt very rushed and there wasn't the usual build up. The suspense was lacking, as was the impact. It is a shame as I expected so much more but Her Perfect Life just didn't deliver.

My thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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How far would you go to create the perfect life? Gracie Dwyer has it all: the handsome husband, the adorable child, the beautiful home and the glittering career. The perfect life. Her new friend Juliet doesn't exactly fit in. She's a down-on-her-luck single parent with no money and not much hope. So just what is it that draws Gracie and Juliet together? And when the cracks start to appear in Gracie's perfect life, can both of them survive?

The plot of this book sounded really interesting to me, as I love a good psychological thriller but it just kind of fell flat. The book alternates between Gracie and Juliet's perspectives, although there are more chapters from Gracie's perspective. At the beginning of the book I was very interested and eager to learn more about Gracie behind her "perfect" exterior, but I gradually started to lose interest. I did like the author's writing and found that she wrote about each character very well, as the farther along in the book we get, the more Juliet's behavior isn't the greatest. And the author did a good job at describing and writing about what starts to become an awkward relationship between these two women. As we get farther into the book, we also start to see that Gracie's life really isn't perfect, with her lack of trust towards her husband and the other events that start to cause her a significant amount of stress. It was a good psychological thriller, but I just never became that invested in the characters or the story. 

Thanks to the publishers for sending me an advanced review copy of this book.
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racie Dwyer is pretty, polished and perky, and the angelic face of her own cookbook and TV show. She has the perfect life: a beautiful house in Greenwich, a husband and a daughter to match, and adding a new bistro to her collection of café's is in the works. She's adored by millions, except Juliet. Juliet, the single mother of shy, skinny, malnourished Freya, Juliet who can't get a proper job, Juliet who lives in the small, grimy flat, Juliet who can't divorce her abusive husband because she's afraid to lose her daughter, Juliet who drowns her loneliness with drinks, and smokes so much that it would make Gracie Dwyer's jaw drop. 

But Gracie isn't as perfect as she seems. It's just not possible, thinks Juliet. Not possible at all. Especially with the press leak about Gracie's stalker. Juliet is determined to find the skeletons in her closet, to get back at her for not inviting her along to become part of her life as she took the highroad. And so to keep her enemy close, she becomes her friend. 

Her Perfect Life was a weird read for me. It put me into a reading slump, and I just couldn't get past the first 20% of the book. Time-frames would change rapidly and without any warning, and I found myself having to go back and read the last two paragraphs to see how it happened. Perhaps my confusion was, inherently, because of my reading slump, but nevertheless it put me off from reading anything for a while. Only yesterday did I pick my kindle back up again and forced myself to read, and when I got to 50% I couldn't put the book down. The dynamic of personas, the realism of their thoughts and feelings, their ability to remind you of someone you know in real life was what made this book so intriguing and enthralling. As you seep into their minds and lives, and as you read thoughts so crazy they make sense, it's hard not to make the hairs on the nape of your neck stand tall with fright and suspicion, and even harder not to shout down your book, telling people who don't really exist to open their eyes and see what we're reading, to save their skin, to not be so naïve. 

I would highly recommend this book to frequent readers of mystery or psychological thriller genres - Sam Hepburn's latest novel is a must read for people who can't resist figuring the plot out. 

Spoiler: Honestly, I'm confused about the last sentence, and I wish we had a more definitive answer. It's irritating to not know for sure, but I suppose it's good for the author to keep readers on their toes, to leave an impression, and to keep us guessing days after the book it over.
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Gracie Dwyer has the perfect life - a celebrity chef, a beautiful home, a successful husband and a gorgeous daughter. At least that's what Juliet thinks. She's a single mother, struggling to make ends meet, bitterly separated from her husband and rather jealous of Gracie's life. Juliet becomes friends with Gracie, inveigling her way into Gracie's home and life, bitter about Gracie's success, she's determined to uncover any deep, dark secrets that she may be harbouring. Ultimately, this is Juliet's downfall as the book concludes with a dramatic revelation. A compelling read.
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Brilliantly plotted. This book kept me guessing until the end.
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