Wednesday, July 20, 2016

All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford

Title: All These Perfect Strangers
Author: Aoife Clifford
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Alibi
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
Source: Chatterbox

All These Perfect Strangers is lucky I didn't put it down and stop reading it.  Though I should have.  There are so many books out there that I really shouldn't be wasting my time on books that really don't float my boat whatsoever that I should be spending my time reading books that I actually enjoy.

Sometimes not being able to put down a book is a curse.  I always hold on to hope that the book will get better.  Then, when I am ready to give up all hope, I find that I am so far in that I may as well continue on to the end.

My list of books that get put down is actually very small.

Yes, I have a problem.

All These Perfect Strangers has an excellent premise.  We have Pen who is off to university in a town where no one knows who she is and no one knows her past.  She starts to make friends with some of the people who live on the same floor as her, and she is doing normal college kid stuff.  You know, going to classes, drinking, and all that jazz.  Then things start to happen.  Bad things.  And it is bringing up her past...and she really doesn't want to go there.

The story is actually told from Pen's perspective.  It is supposed to be like we are reading a diary where she is recounting what happened while she was at university at the request of her Psychologist.  She also will write a bit about those meetings with him and about things going on in current time.  She has to meet with the Psychologist because she needs a report from him to get some sort of settlement money from the university for what happened to her there.

He is the same Psychologist that met with her when the dark thing happened in her past.  So, naturally, he keeps trying to get her to revisit it.  She refuses.

Pen is actually kind of a pain in the butt.

I really did want to like this book, but so many things held me back.

First, it took me forever to figure out what exactly was supposed to be going on.  It felt as though nothing was happening for a very good chunk of the book.  Then, I couldn't connect with any of the characters.  None!  They were all flat and just boring.  I no one really felt fleshed out or real.  It was just a bore reading about any single one of them.

Pen, herself, was no exception.  I found it hard to care about whatever it was that was haunting her from her past.  I didn't really care that she had an aloof mother who kept dating all the wrong guys that were just trying to steal money that she didn't have.  Maybe it would have felt different if Pen seemed to care herself, but it never really seemed that she did.  Thus she really didn't make that excellent of a narrator.

Then there is the part where I just couldn't find myself caring.  It kept getting hinted at that something big went down in Pen's past, but it took a really long time to tell us what that something was exactly.  It kept getting built up bit by bit, and in the end I was like "okay thanks for finally telling me."

Oh! And it took me forever to figure out where this book was taking place.  For awhile I thought it was in England based on words and lingo used, but I was very wrong.  Eventually I was able to piece together that they were actually in Australia some where.

Things happened, things didn't happen.  It didn't matter to me.  The writing, overall, wasn't bad.  It was easy to read, it was just the story itself.  The story just didn't do anything for me.  I was rather disappointed to say the least.

My Rating
1.5 Stars

This review is based on an eARC provided by the publisher through the Chatterbox program.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and are in no way influenced by others.


  1. I appreciate your honest reviews. I used to keep reading a book, hoping it would get better, just like you. But once I decided enough was enough when my reading time became so precious and I closed the book. I have done that a few times, and don't like it, but it has become easier.