Thursday, June 1, 2017

What She Saw

What She Saw

What She Saw is a fun thrill ride through the streets of Paris, taking place over a span of about thirty-two hours, as an American woman on the run tries to escape from people who want something she has. Lana is bipolar and has come to Paris on a whim- she's in a manic phase- and while staying at the ritzy Hotel Chevalier she sees something she's not supposed to. Taking a ride up a private elevator, she becomes a witness to something and soon finds herself on the run in Paris with no friends to turn to.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this at first, I wasn't crazy about Lana and the writing style didn't work for me at first. However I soon got caught up in the story- this is a book where I needed to stick with it for a few chapters- and I soon came to like Lana and admire her determination and resourcefulness. Hampered as she is by her reckless behavior, she is canny and at times quite fearless, and I admired her snarkiness even when faced with overwhelming odds. This felt like a movie at times, with the Parisian locations and even a car chase. Lana is soon befriended by people who say they want to help her- but can she trust them, or are they just after the same information she has?

There are a few twists and a betrayal or two, and I loved how Paris was such an integral part of the story. Lana has been there before- and to make matters worse, she had an affair in the city. We are left to wonder (and Lana wonders herself) if her affair with Nathan, and the way it ended, had something to do with her decision to visit Paris again. And sure enough Nathan becomes part of the story- but can he help her? And will he, after the way she broke off the affair?

Another thing I liked was the way Lana grew throughout the story. She came to Paris without telling Brian, skips her meds, and basically acts very irresponsibly- recklessly- which is largely why I didn't like her at first. She grew on me though, and that's a testament to the writing. And she's tough, surprising not only herself but her pursuers. I loved a scene about halfway through where she's in a crowded market and realizes she's cornered- what she does to escape was a lot of fun.

Lana surprised me a few times with how ballsy she was given the forces arrayed against her. The story is told from her POV and also that of Ferdinand, a chauffeur who works for the people who are after her, and while his POV didn't wow me at first it soon became an excellent counterpoint to what Lana was seeing- the two storylines were intertwined very well. Once this story got going it took off and I had lots of fun speeding through the streets of Paris with Lana. I'm glad I stuck with it, this is a good one.

37 comments:

  1. I would so not be ballsy. Good for her

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    1. I know, I think it was a little unrealistic- fun though. :)

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  2. Lana sounds complicated but I guess that works in this book! I am glad that you ended up enjoying this one. Great review!

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    1. She is complicated! And while she was a little off-putting at first, by the end I liked her!

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  3. It's great when trying out something you're sure you won't like actually surprises you! Glad this one pays off.

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    1. This one really did turn around.

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  4. I'm definitely intrigued! I love the sounds of a crazy adventure through Paris with twists and turns! Glad you enjoyed this, Greg! Awesome review!

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    1. Thanks Cyn! I think if it sounds good you should give it a try! I liked it!!

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  5. It is nice that you grew to like the character. Often in thrillers, you feel the other way as the story goes. I love the sound of the Paris setting.

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    1. Paris was so important to the story, in terms of locations. And I really did like Lana by the end.

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  6. Sounds exciting! I've read a few YA like this but this sounds adult - is it?

    For What It's Worth

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  7. This sounds great. I'm glad it worked out for you after the iffy start!

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  8. Okay when I first started reading your review I really thought that this wasn't my sort of book at all, but I think by the end of your review, you've completely won me over Greg. I do like my books which feature character growth, so I definitely will be giving this book a go, thanks for putting it on my radar!

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    1. I'm glad! I hope you like it. and to be honest, I wasn't sure if it was going to work for me either. If the beginning seems iffy I would recommend giving it a few chapters to get going, that's what I did.

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  9. I am glad that you stuck with this one since it sounds like it really turned around for you. This does sound like a book worth picking up. Great review!

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    1. I am too, I almost gave up but I kept going- and it was rewarding!

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  10. A thriller with a bipolar protagonist sounds like an interesting twist. Last summer I read The Woman in Cabin 10, which had a female protagonist with anxiety/panic disorder, which I thought was a great thing to explore. This sounds like a good one too!

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    1. Her bipolar really reflected on the story, and the decisions she made. And I remember The Woman in Cabin 10- I liked that one a lot!

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  11. Ahhh Paris, such a wonderful setting for a book! I want to go to Paris. I mean, I probably don't want to be hunted while I am there though. Lana sounds like a good character- I am fine with starting off iffy about a character as long as I can expect some growth, and this sounds like that is very much the case. I also like that there's a component of mental illness here- and that it sounds realistic, with the skipping of meds and such. Great review, this sounds quite interesting!!

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    1. Yes, Paris without the hunting! And while there was clearly something off, it wasn't confirmed she was bipolar until later in the book- but with her skipping meds it was pretty clear.

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  12. This sounds good! I think Lana's behavior would really irritate me - especially at the beginning. However, it definitely sounds like it's worth sticking with it. I love when the setting is almost a character!

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    1. It turned out really good! At first I wasn't sure but I stuck with it and it got quite good. And Lana did irritate me at first, but she grew on me

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  13. I know I'd probably have issues with Lana too, she sounds like kind of a mess, but the story sounds pretty exciting! Plus I LOVE Paris! I hope there was a second chance at romance with Nathan that actually worked out. Wonderful review, Greg! I'll go see if there's an audio version. :)

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    1. Lana was kind of a mess, especially in the beginning. And frankly I wondered a few times how she didn't get herself killed, because she would NOT back down. But I admired that about her too.

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  14. This sounds like it could be quite a good read; I'll have to keep my eye out for this title. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Gad it got better from the beginning. I love Paris and books set there s I will have to check this out. Great review!!

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  16. Glad you loved it! The plot seems really intriguing but I can see why you didn't like Lana at first. I wouldn't have either. When characters make stupid reckless decisions knowingly it annoys me a lot! Great review Greg :)

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  17. I love that you grew to like the character! I like the sound of her snark, and I believe I'd really enjoy the setting. This is a book that is on my list; and now that I know your thoughts on it, I'll definitely be bumping it up. Awesome review!

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  18. It's great that you ended up liking this one. I've had the thing happen too many times where I soldier through the book because I WANT to like it so badly but I just can't. And then I don't want to read. And then everything is a mess :P

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  19. Ooh Paris! That's awesome it was such a big part of the story too. And you always know it's good writing when you dislike a character at first yet you like them by the end!

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  20. You had me at Paris, but more importantly, this sounds AMAZING and quite the slow burn! Lovely review!

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  21. I love the Paris setting and the snarky main character! Good to know it's a slow burn though, I like to be prepared for this before I start reading. On the TBR!

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  22. I am glad you ended up liking this one. It does sound good, even if it took a little bit to get into.

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  23. This sounds like a good read and I know I would love the Paris setting. Great review!

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