Mar 16, 2018

Review: The Heiresses by Sara Shepard


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Title: The Heiresses
Author: Sara Shepard
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Paperback, 320 Pages
Published March 2015


Summary: The only thing more flawless than a Saybrook’s solitaire is the family behind the diamond empire. Beauties, entrepreneurs, debutantes, and mavens, the Saybrooks are the epitome of high society. Anyone would kill to be one of them. But be careful what you wish for, because if you were a Saybrook, you’d be haunted by secrets and plagued by a dark streak of luck. Tragedy strikes the prominent family yet again on a beautiful morning in May when thirty-four-year-old Poppy, the most remarkable Saybrook of them all, flings herself from the window of her office. Everyone is shocked that someone so perfect would end her own life—until her cousins receive an ominous warning: One heiress down, four to go. Was it suicide . . . or murder? And who will be next: Aster, the beautiful but reckless girl who’s never worked a day in her life—and who’s covering up her father’s darkest secret? Her older sister, Corrine, whose meticulously planned future is about to come crashing down around her? Perhaps it will be Natasha, the black sheep of the family who suddenly disinherited herself five years ago. Or maybe the perpetually single Rowan, who had the most to gain from her cousin’s death. A gripping, edge-of-your-seat thriller about heiresses who must uncover a dark truth about their family before they lose the only thing money can’t buy: their lives.

I've always been a fan of Sara Shepard's books -- although I feel like the Pretty Little Liars series was certainly drawn out waaaay too long, it was still a gripping series that I tore through nonetheless. So when I was browsing through Barnes & Noble one say and saw The Heiresses, I didn't even realize that she was the one that wrote it -- the book was flipped over. So I looked at the summary, made a passing comment to my mom about how it sounded like a Sara Shepard book, and then I flipped it over -- and I laughed out loud once I realized that it really was a Sara Shepard book. And it was only $5. So I knew I had to get it and check it out.

Well, a few months later, I finally got around to reading it -- and I'm so glad I did! This book takes you on a total emotional rollercoaster. I flipped through it so fast that I finished it in the span of one day because I just wanted to keep reading -- neglecting my homework and my other responsibilities in the process, but that's totally okay, because this book completely captured me. I thought I wouldn't be a big fan of it since I've read so many Sara Shepard books before and I thought it would feel old and tired out, but wow, was I wrong!

But before I get more into what I loved about it, let's talk about what this book is actually about. The best way I can describe this book is a blend between Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. It's the story of five beautiful, wealthy girls, and the one they all envied and respected, Poppy, suddenly commits suicide -- but they aren't quite sure that's what really happened. (Sound familiar?) But rather than being a typical YA novel, these women are all older, married, and in the "adult" world -- but the same amount of drama, secrets, and horrors remain. So this book takes you on the journey of the remaining heiresses as they struggle to come to terms with the horrific death of Poppy while also trying to protect themselves if it was possible that this was a murder and not a suicide. In addition to all of that, they have to navigate the press, which wants to know everything about their lives at all times.

What I loved most about this book is how the force behind all of the horrors is something you totally weren't expecting. In typical Sara Shepard fashion, she leads the reader on and points a lot of different clues to a lot of different people, until you're almost certain that a certain person was behind all of the horrors, and then you're certain it's someone else...and then, by the end, you are totally shocked and baffled. I certainly didn't realize that the ending could've been what it was, but after looking back, it was totally there the whole time. In total Sara Shepard fashion, this book knocks you off your feet and leaves your mind reeling.

I was only a little bit disappointed in this book because there were some plot twists that I saw coming miles away. Maybe it's because they were too obvious, or maybe it's just because I've read so many Sara Shepard books by this point that I know almost all of her tricks. Either way, I was a little bit disappointed when some of the things that were supposed to totally wow the reader were things that I saw coming. But I still wasn't expecting a lot of this book, especially how everything turns out in the end, so I don't think that seeing those other twists coming ruined my view of the book at all!

I am so glad to give this book a five-star review. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm not huge on slapping five-star reviews on every book I read -- not because I want to be strict and make a book "earn" it, but because I rarely find a book that sucks me in and doesn't let me go the way that this book did. I finished this entire 300-page book in one day because I didn't want to put it down. The chapters were short enough that I tore through them quickly and immediately felt compelled to flip to the next one. And this book is told in multiple perspectives of all of the women, which was a bit confusing at first because there was so much going on and a lot of name-dropping happening, but it didn't take long for me to catch on and sink into the story. And each girl had her own drama, her own secrets, and her own horrors awaiting her -- so it was interesting (and shocking) to get to peek into all of their thoughts simultaneously.

Overall, I absolutely loved The Heiresses, possibly more than I ever loved Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game. While the story itself was really similar to the types of stories Sara Shepard has written in the past, I was pleased to find out that I really wasn't tired of the mystery, thrills, and plot twists that her stories contain. Rather than feeling tired out and cheated out of a similar story, I closed this book with a pounding heart and a reeling mind. (And I immediately fired off many, many texts to Amber and Emily to discuss!) I slept before I wrote this review and I'm still shocked and reeling in the best way. I haven't felt this invigorated by a book in the longest time!

If this book isn't on your TBR yet, it absolutely needs to be. If you're looking for a mysterious, shocking, thrilling book, pick this one up immediately -- if you're anything like me, it will certainly have you hooked!





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