I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – Thanks to Harlequin for sending me a copy!
Title: I Invited Her In
Author: Adele Parks
Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Women’s Fiction
Publication Date: 5th February 2019
‘I invited her in… and she took everything.’
When Mel hears from a long-lost friend in need of help, she doesn’t hesitate to invite her to stay. Mel and Abi were best friends back in the day, sharing the highs and lows of student life, until Mel’s unplanned pregnancy made her drop out of her studies.
Now, seventeen years later, Mel and Abi’s lives couldn’t be more different. Mel is happily married, having raised her son on her own before meeting her husband, Ben. Now they share gorgeous girls and have a chaotic but happy family home, with three children.
Abi, meanwhile, followed her lover to LA for a glamorous life of parties, celebrity and indulgence. Everything was perfect, until she discovered her partner had been cheating on her. Seventeen years wasted, and nothing to show for it. So what Abi needs now is a true friend to lean on, to share her grief over a glass of wine, and to have some time to heal. And what better place than Mel’s house, with her lovely kids, and supportive husband…
This dark, unsettling tale of the reunion of long-lost friends is thoroughly gripping exploration of wanting what you can’t have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.
I’m going to start off by saying that I have such mixed opinions about this book. While the plot sounds super interesting and is definitely disturbing but also compelling, the first half of the story gripped me way more than the latter half did. It got more and more predictable and felt more and more like a plot to a bad made for TV movie
The first half built all the tension and suspense as well as introducing the characters and establishing their back stories. We learn about the past friendship between Mel and Abi and how they drifted apart over the years, until present day where they reconnect and thus begins the story!
I couldn’t relate nor connect to any of the characters unfortunately, I felt like Mel was quite pathetic and way too easily manipulated. It just didn’t make sense to me as to how she could possibly be that enthralled by Abi that she ignores all the warning signs and her partners feelings on the situation. Like her so called friend is scantily clad and walking about her house, ignoring all boundaries and making her feel uncomfortable yet Mel is still simpering and panders to Abi?? What!?? Both Mel, her husband Ben as well as most of the characters in the novel act SO BIZARRELY, I was utterly confused. Like I don’t know how this is remotely realistic characterisation???
Abi is a real piece of work, and that’s putting it lightly – from her distorted view of the world, to her manipulative personality, there’s just nothing positive or likeable about her. While I get that Abi isn’t meant to be likeable – and characters don’t always have to be likeable in order to be interesting, Abi was just unbearable to be honest. Besides all her behaviour, there’s a major plot point which happens in the second half of the novel which I was honestly disgusted by. This was most likely intentional – but it was just too much for me.
The one thing which kept me reading was Adele Parks writing style, despite my problems with the characters, the way the story was written was what kept me reading till the end. Perhaps I’ll try a different book from Parks as this one clearly wasn’t for me.
Overall, while I really expected to enjoy this book, unfortunately I just couldn’t get into the story. I really don’t like leaving negative reviews but I have to be honest and up front. I will say that if you enjoy psychological thrillers in a domestic setting with many twists and turns, then this may be the read for you. Give it a chance and see what you think.
★★ – 2 Star Rating
Does I Invited Her In sound like a book you’d read? Have you read a book recently which was disappointing? Would love to chat in the comments!
Until next time,