Book Review: The Family Upstairs {Lisa Jewell}

During the first week of the COVID-19 quarantine, one of my best friends texted me that she was dropping Lisa Jewell’s The Family Upstairs on my front porch.  She loved it and thought that I would as well.  I couldn’t wait to start reading and to write my book review, I had heard such great things from so many people about this book!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

4 Stars

Omg I LOVED this book!

There are so many storylines and characters which I usually hate but in this book was completely necessary in order to properly tell this story.  The first half of the book set the scene for the second half of the book which I couldn’t put down!  I read the first half over the course of a week or so and the second half over the course of only 2 days.  Loved it.

Some storylines I figured out while some I did NOT.  This book is creepy, twisted, interesting, fascinating, and AWESOME.

This is the 2nd Lisa Jewell book that I’ve read (you can read my review of another one HERE) and I’m such a huge fan of her writing style.  She tells such detailed, colorful stories with the most fascinating characters!  Also, I love her short chapters as this makes it so easy to FLY through her books (more on my thoughts on this HERE).  As soon as this quarantine is over, I’ll be running to the library to check out her other books!  I’m a BIG fan!

And…apparently she’s a fan of ME too 😉



How cool is that?!  #besties

I should add here that the copy of this book that I read was a “Barnes and Noble exclusive” copy which contained a special author’s note at the end.  This piece was fascinating and added another rich layer to the already complex story.  If you can get your hands on a Barnes and Noble copy, I highly recommend it!  Lisa Jewell discusses the background on how this story came to be and even hints at a possible future project…loved reading this special addition.  It added another whole dimension to this book!

I should also add that I will be returning this book to my friend in the EXACT condition as it was when it was left on my front porch.  It was hard but I did it!  Phew 😉

Bottom Line:

Please, please, please someone make this awesome book into a movie!

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!



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An Unwanted Guest {Shari Lapena}

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Read my thoughts below to see why I took this a photo of this book with my robe, lol:)

About a week and a half ago in my review of A Stranger in the House {Shari Lapena} I mentioned that I was looking forward to reading Shari Lapena’s newest novel.  After I wrote that review, I did read this one…and it was GREAT!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway… but when the storm hits, no one is getting away.

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing – maybe even romantic – weekend away. It boasts spacious old rooms with huge woodburning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a good murder mystery.

So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off all electricity – and all contact with the outside world – the guests settle in and try to make the best of it.

Soon, though, one of the guests turns up dead – it looks like an accident. But when a second guest dies, everyone starts to panic.

Within the snowed-in paradise, something – or someone – is picking off the guests one by one. And there’s nothing they can do but hunker down and hope they can survive the storm – and one another.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers.  Contains affiliate links.)

4 Stars

As I mentioned in my review of A Stranger in the House {Shari Lapena} I was 50/50 on Shari Lapena’s books.  I LOVED The Couple Next Door: A Novel and I did NOT love
A Stranger in the House: A Novel.  I was excited to read her newest book and I am happy to report that it was great!  Not as great as The Couple Next Door: A Novel, but I definitely would recommend this one.

The chapters were short, the characters were developed, and the use of description was amazing.  I had such a clear vision of the hotel as I was reading based on her amazing use of words.  I also actually felt COLD while reading…the winter storm in the book was so well described that it came straight through the pages.  Amazing.

*I actually had to keep putting my robe on each time I read because I was SO COLD.  Hence the picture above, lol.*

I’m giving this 4 stars only because I felt some of the characters and their reactions to what was happening around them were a bit unrealistic.  Also…how is it possible for SO MANY of these characters to have SUCH dramatic backstories?!

Basically, just don’t read too much into this story…and just enjoy the mystery.  It had me guessing right up until the final twist (which I thought was AWESOME and did NOT see coming)!

Bottom Line:

Shari Lapena’s first and third novels are both great…so what happened with that boring one she wrote in between?!

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