Book Review: What It Seems

WHAT IT SEEMS | Emily Bleeker
03.17.2020 | Lake Union Publishing
Rating: 4/5 stars


Tara was adopted by her foster mother at the age of eight when her parents decided that they could no longer take care of three children. Now twenty-years-old, she hasn’t managed to see much of the world. Mother is extremely controlling. Tara is forced to work for Mother shoplifting and reselling the items they acquire. Tara yearns for something more. She wants a life and a family like those popular accounts on YouTube. What would happen if she ran away from Mother? Could she find her own happiness or would Mother find her first?


WHAT IT SEEMS drops the reader into Tara’s life with Mother. We see an unhappy life of shoplifting and imprisonment. Tara isn’t free to leave Mother, her house, or even her room without the possibility of severe consequences. Being front and center watching Tara’s life immediately allows the reader to bond with her and cheer for her escaping this life. This start also adds an immediate sense of tension and dread with thoughts of what Mother is capable of and what could happen to Tara if she did escape.

I want to keep the bulk of the plot to this story vague, so I won’t be digging deeper than that. I really think this is one of those stories you need to go into blindly to avoid any spoilers. What I will say about the progression of the story is that Bleeker does a fantastic job of holding a sense of suspense throughout the book. There are moments when you feel extremely worried for Tara, but you can’t look away because you need to know what will happen next.


I thought the basis for the story was really original and not what seems to be rather run of the mill these days in the thriller world. There are a lot of great modern touches, which make the story relatable and believable for the current generation. I loved how everything came together at the end! I absolutely flew through the last fifty pages simply glued to my seat needing to know more! 

If you’re looking for an entertaining and heart pounding read, you’re going to want WHAT IT SEEMS on your TBR!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

A huge thank you Books Forward PR for my gifted copy!

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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