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Half a starAbsolute Worst Read of 2019 Award This review may come across as harsh Usually my low star reviews are infused with a bit of humor and mock outrage in order to make the processpalatable I cannot with this read My experience of this book was very poor and most unpleasant In fact, it is one of the worst experiences of reading that I have ever had There are four whiny, horrid, unlikable and duplicitous women We are given very outlandish and mostly unbelievable reasons why Half a starAbsolute Worst Read of 2019 Award This review may come across as harsh Usually my low star reviews are infused with a bit of humor and mock outrage in order to make the processpalatable I cannot with this read My experience of this book was very poor and most unpleasant In fact, it is one of the worst experiences of reading that I have ever had There are four whiny, horrid, unlikable and duplicitous women We are given very outlandish and mostly unbelievable reasons why they are this way These four women do whiny, horrid and horrible things to each other and other women We are given very outlandish and mostly unbelievable reasons why they do these acts They go to a retreat There, they do whiny, horrid, unlikable and duplicitous acts towards each other But wait, one woman is also a psychopath and murderer.The twists are ridiculous, the psychological explanations flimsy and or superficial and when people start to die Oh well The last third of the book has some of the most gratuitous violence that I have read Made no sense and for some readers may be triggering Very important concerns such as substance misuse, personality disorders and dissociation are treated superficially and are there to either push the plot along or as accusations and judgements that these characters hurled at each other Please remember that a psychological thriller must have the following for this reader psychological congruence , psychological depth, believable twists and turns and plausible motivations for intrapersonal desicions and interpersonal actions.This book had none of the above To make matters worse, this book lacked artistry, authenticity and any entertainment value.Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to post my honest opinion of this ebook that they provided to me Thanks to Chelsea for recommending this book to me Special thanks also to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me this novel in exchange for an honest reviewThe Retreat is yet another holistic health retreat bookthink Liane Moriarty s Nine Perfect Strangers , with a dark and suspenseful twist Katie is a former child star, surviving on her dwindling childhood earnings and trying to find herself after the fame of her youth At the insistence of her brother, she decides to get to knThanks to Chelsea for recommending this book to me Special thanks also to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me this novel in exchange for an honest reviewThe Retreat is yet another holistic health retreat bookthink Liane Moriarty s Nine Perfect Strangers , with a dark and suspenseful twist Katie is a former child star, surviving on her dwindling childhood earnings and trying to find herself after the fame of her youth At the insistence of her brother, she decides to get to know her brother s fianc e by inviting her on a health and wellness retreat and getting a little rejuvenation herself while she s at it , along with her two long time friends Although the retre at is a little out there, with ayahuasca tea and group meditations, each woman is hoping to gain something from their time away Soon things turn from good to very, very bad when a fellow participant turns up dead Quickly, everyone is pointing fingers at each other and soon enough, they are all just trying to make it out alive Sherri Smith is a new author to me, although evidently she has published two previous novels, and even lives in the same country as I do All that aside, I am grateful for this introduction I did not know what to expect going in, and I was not exactly excited about yet another, tired, wellness retreat novel This one, however, was far different than I expected Full of dark, twisty characters and even darker and twistier plots, The Retreat is something delightfully unexpected A true whodunit, the mystery is not revealed until the very end, but each character has the potential to be our culprit Each character has a likable part of them, but an equally unlikable part too, which adds a nice realistic element and has you both hoping for their success, and hoping for their failures, in equal parts Well told and taut, The Retreat builds well, and keeps you entertained and engaged from page one Although the ending is definitely unpredictable, it also teeters on the edge of unbelievable There are several components that seem just a bit far fetched and unrealistic, but not too far off from reality that it is not enjoyable The ending serves to tie up the novel in a satisfying way, and there are no unanswered questions, which is always a plus in my book A thoroughly entertaining novel I am grateful to Chelsea for introducing this to me I don t think I would have tried it on my own and now I have a new author to enjoy An interesting and simple premise which centres around four women attending a wellbeing retreat, in hoping for a relaxing tranquil experience only for hidden secrets and death to arise.I wanted something quick and easy to read and this certainly delivered that, whilst the narrative is told through the four POV s it was the main protagonist Katie Manning s storyline that really held my attention.Quite simply her name was too similar to former Doctor Who companion Katy Manning that I inevitably ke An interesting and simple premise which centres around four women attending a wellbeing retreat, in hoping for a relaxing tranquil experience only for hidden secrets and death to arise.I wanted something quick and easy to read and this certainly delivered that, whilst the narrative is told through the four POV s it was the main protagonist Katie Manning s storyline that really held my attention.Quite simply her name was too similar to former Doctor Who companion Katy Manning that I inevitably kept picturing the British actress in this story, I wondered if this was deliberate as surly authors check to see if character names match real life celebrities The Katie in this book was a former child star in the hit detective show Shelby Space, now in her mid twenties and washed up jumps at the chance to spend the weekend away with her brothers fianc e Ellie.Especially as a twitter storm has surfaced after an ill judged tweet, with friends Ariel and Carmen also being invited along.The setting was great and seeing each member of the group adjusting to the rules of the camp help set the tone of the place.I found both the Ariel and Carmen sections to be a little dull and was quite keen to get back to the Katie chapters.Whilst it s pretty obvious what s happening throughout the story it s fun to see all the clues fall into place during a strong conclusion The Retreat, a mystery thriller, was a solid 4 stars The Retreat centers around four women Katie, Carmen, Ellie, and Ariel, that attend a weekend wellness retreat Each of these women live vastly different lives and each have secrets that they don t want to get out I found The Retreat to be one of the most interesting books I ve read this year I found the characters were well developed though not particularly likable and the ending was phenomenal, never saw it coming Highly recommended to The Retreat, a mystery thriller, was a solid 4 stars The Retreat centers around four women Katie, Carmen, Ellie, and Ariel, that attend a weekend wellness retreat Each of these women live vastly different lives and each have secrets that they don t want to get out I found The Retreat to be one of the most interesting books I ve read this year I found the characters were well developed though not particularly likable and the ending was phenomenal, never saw it coming Highly recommended to fans of mystery thriller books Thank you NetGalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review Holy cow This book was dark In a similar fashion to Nine Perfect Strangers, our characters, Katie Manning, former child star, her three besties, and her future sister in law, gather for a life changing weekend with a promise that Ayahuasca tea will change their lives forever None of the characters are particularly likable If that s a deal breaker for you, then this story may not be your favorite This book is not here to please you with characters who you may empathize with They re real Holy cow This book was dark In a similar fashion to Nine Perfect Strangers, our characters, Katie Manning, former child star, her three besties, and her future sister in law, gather for a life changing weekend with a promise that Ayahuasca tea will change their lives forever None of the characters are particularly likable If that s a deal breaker for you, then this story may not be your favorite This book is not here to please you with characters who you may empathize with They re really a bunch of nasty wenches, to be honest The book is split into three different parts one per each day at the retreat , and the chapters are shared under the different POV of the four women Katie, Ellie, April, and Carmen They all seem a bit shallow, a bit cartoonish, cliched Some of them will remain that way through the book, but Katie doesn t As the chapters go by, her story unfolds and her character takes shape Things begin to take a dark side It s hard to process the seriousness of the story due to Sherri Smith s witty and humorous writing Like Moriarty, she is good at throwing humor even in the darkest places There is a whodunit theme in the book that may distract you from the real issues each of the characters is going through I felt that was the biggest red herring in the book One spends so much time focusing on confirming who the killer is, that all the deep dark stuff suddenly sneaks on you.I am super late in providing my honest review I kindly received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher and failed to post it on time Howeverif you are just now coming across to this book and unlikable characters don t bother youI say, give it a shot Warning There are plenty of disturbing themes in the book Rape, child, and drug abuse to mention a few Proceed with caution It is difficult to write this review without giving spoilers away, but I shall try I give this one 4 out of 5 Actually 4.5 First of all we have got Katie She is an ex child actress, whose career ended when she was young, due to a tragic incident causing facial disfigurement She riding on the somewhat waning fame of that early success, but finds herself a bit lost in the world She s currently living with her brother, or should I say, he is living with her He looks out for her and k It is difficult to write this review without giving spoilers away, but I shall try I give this one 4 out of 5 Actually 4.5 First of all we have got Katie She is an ex child actress, whose career ended when she was young, due to a tragic incident causing facial disfigurement She riding on the somewhat waning fame of that early success, but finds herself a bit lost in the world She s currently living with her brother, or should I say, he is living with her He looks out for her and keeps her safe, deals with all her problems etc Unfortunately for Katie, her bro has a fiance called Ellie who Katie is not so fond of She s the typical English rose all sweet, and annoying, and floaty and happy Katie instantly dislikes her Well, what better way to bond than to go away to a holistic retreat together that s what I d do Off Katie and Ellie go, with a couple of Katie s college friends along for the ride too What happens next is where it gets interesting There s a bloody knife There s a body There s a hallucinogenic tea There s a weird group of Retreat members And there s, of course, Katie s number fan stalker thrown into the mix I enjoyed reading this so much The characters are ALL flawed I don t think I liked any one of them especially But I was intrigued by most of them and needed to know what was going to happen to them There are a lot of twists and turns and the story kept me hooked from start to finish Although I read this in chunks, rather than in one go, I didn t want to put it down Very well done on that front I read the end 40% or so in one go and it was EXHAUSTING It all happens, it s unexpected, twisted and oh so fun I hear you asking, why would you not have given this book a full 5 are you mad Well let me tell you I love this book, it was tense, angsty, it made me anxious and wanting to read further BUT, I have read Sherri s previous book and I unfairly compared it to that the whole way through I LOVED Follow me down , I read it twice in a year I think And I love Sherri, she s great funny, endearing So, 4.5 is a fair reflection of my views on this one Thank you NetGalley and Sherri for an early copy of this one Www.thebeautifulbookbreak.com |READ KINDLE ♍ The Retreat ⚐ Sherri Smith illuminates the dark side of the self care and wellness industry in a thrilling ride of revenge perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty s Nine Perfect Strangers The Retreat is a twisting, bone chilling suspense that asks how well do you really know your friends Four womenFour secretsA weekend that will change them foreverif they surviveKatie Manning was a beloved child star until her mid teens when her manager attacked and permanently scarred her face, effectively ending her career and sending her on a path of all too familiar post Hollywood self destructionNow twenty seven, Katie wants a better answer to those clickbait Where Are They Now articles that float around online An answer she hopes to find when her brother s too good to be true fianc e invites her to a wellness retreat upstate Together with Katie s two best friends one struggling with crippling debt and family obligations, one running away from a failed job and relationship Katie will try to find the inner peace promised at the tranquil retreat But finding oneself just might drudge up memories than Katie is prepared to deal withEach woman has come to the retreat for different reasons Each has her secrets to hide And at the end of this weekend, only one will be left standing Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com I had absolutely no idea what to expect from The Retreat, but I found myself completely absorbed in this tense and gripping tale of secrets and betrayal.Sherri Smith has created some great characters in Katie, Ariel, Carmen and Ellie and the rest of the cast of people who have gathered at the retreat each character has their own flaws but also various likable characteristics too Katie, a has been once a child television star , heads to an elusive retreat Book reviews on www.snazzybooks.com I had absolutely no idea what to expect from The Retreat, but I found myself completely absorbed in this tense and gripping tale of secrets and betrayal.Sherri Smith has created some great characters in Katie, Ariel, Carmen and Ellie and the rest of the cast of people who have gathered at the retreat each character has their own flaws but also various likable characteristics too Katie, a has been once a child television star , heads to an elusive retreat with her sister in law to be, Ellie, and invites along a few of her friends, Carmen and Ariel What follows is complete craziness I don t want to give too much away here but the key is just to completely suspend your disbelief and enjoy I certainly did I loved the chaos that ensured, with dark secrets and plenty of confusion for both the characters and the reader You re left wondering exactly who the she is who is mentioned in the very impactful opening pages, and as the novel goes on I thought I had it not quite I loved the whodunnit elements to this story and the shady backstories to some of the characters which only made them theintriguing There were also real touches of subtle humour in this novel, with the observations that some of the characters make about themselves and other people proving to be really entertaining Katie and Ariel particularly Is anyone exactly who they appear to be at this retreat I had a lot of fun finding out Although the premise was intriguing, this thriller just didn twell, thrill Characters I couldn t connect with, plot that seemed to drag, interspersed with bits of rather trashy sex and other risky behavior on a 3 day weekend retreat Quite a suspenseful ending rescued it from 2 star range and tied it back to the horror of the first chapter but with some nice twists I received an arc of this new novel from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review Recommend for a quick beach read. It was one of the best books I ve read, the story was gripping, the ending was unpredictable and the whole plot was original.