Book Review: Cross Her Heart

CROSS HER HEART | Sarah Pinborough
09.04.2018 | William Morrow
Rating: 2.5/5 stars


Lisa is living an ordinary life with her daughter Ava. She has a steady job where she has worked for a long time with Marilyn, who over the years has become her best friend. Lisa is what you would refer to as a helicopter parent. She keeps a tight account of where Ava is at all times and seems to be constantly looking over her shoulder. Lisa recently has taken an interest in a handsome client of hers, which has her imagining a different kind of life. A more relaxed life.

Lisa’s past is ever present in her mind and even with this new man around she’s uncertain who to trust. When Ava rescues a young boy from drowning a series of events begin unfolding around Lisa that answer her worries. She can trust no one. Suddenly her past is on full display. Her life is turned upside down. What will happen to the world Lisa has built?

Some days, when the winter sun is shining and the sky is bright and clear, days like today, she can almost believe the past doesn’t belong to her at all.

I don’t know where to begin with my thoughts on this one. Just coming off of reading BEHIND HER EYES by Sarah Pinborough I had high expectations that my love for that book would translate into CROSS HER HEART. I had several blogger/bookstagram friends tell me they didn’t love this one, but I needed to try it out for myself. I should have listened to them. So, what went wrong?

CROSS HER HEART starts off incredibly slow, at least compared to what I’m used to reading, as Pinborough begins to reveal what is happening in Lisa, Ava, and Marilyn’s lives. Typically slow burns don’t bother me as they eventually give hints for the reader to guess what may be happening. Pinborough didn’t follow this standard script and chose to go the twisty path with her story. I love twists and I think when used right they can be incredibly effective. Unfortunately, I felt like the twists in this story were predictable, overly frequent, and way too far on the spectrum of over-the-top. The use of multiple POVs is always a writing style I enjoy, as it allows me to gather different sides of the story being told. In some cases there are times when I don’t like a narrator, but their viewpoint is important so I learn to deal. With this book I hated two out of the three, which made it hard to care for the characters. In fact, my favorite character was Marilyn who starts off in a more minor capacity.

There was a deal you see. Cross my heart and hope to die. You can’t break a deal like that. You can’t. I should have known.

Despite not enjoying my experience with this book, I would be willing to give another Pinborough novel a shot. I really do enjoy this author’s writing style when the twists are saved for the end. I think Pinborough does a great job of building characters and giving them multiple dimensions and not simply a one sided personality. Additionally, I chose to listen to this book as an audiobook, which I would easily suggest the narrator of this book to anyone. I thought she really brought the pages of the book alive and while I might not have enjoyed the direction the story took I still wanted to stick around and find out more. I really think my interest was owed to the narrator bringing the characters and story to life so well. I have seen quite a few positive reviews for this book around the blogging world, so I would say if you’re interested, you should give it a try, but maybe borrow this one from the library before you commit to purchasing a copy.

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