Book Review: Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison


Apart 1

Publish Date: September 1, 2018

The best way of keeping a secret is to pretend there isn’t one.” – Margaret Atwood

Competitive skier Mindy Wright is a superstar in the making until a spectacular downhill crash threatens not just her racing career but her life. During surgery, doctors discover she’s suffering from a severe form of leukemia, and a stem cell transplant is her only hope. But when her parents are tested, a frightening truth emerges. Mindy is not their daughter.

The race to save Mindy’s life means unraveling years of lies. Was she accidentally switched at birth or is there something more sinister at play? The search for the truth will tear a family apart…and someone is going to deadly extremes to protect the family’s deepest secrets.

If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” – George Orwell

I loved J.T. Ellison’s previous book, Lie To Me, and I gave it a 5 star rating(!!) here. I was so excited to read this book!

The perfect family and the perfect life is wrecked in a split second during a horrific skiing accident. To add insult to injury, seventeen year old Mindy’s life is ripped apart even further when she discovers that she has an aggressive form of leukemia and that her parents are not really her parents. She needs stem cells from a biological family member STAT or she will die.

The story alternates between present day in Colorado and the past which is mostly told from letters between a mysterious girl named Liesel, her friend “V”, and within the walls of a psychiatric hospital.

J.T. Ellison paints a pretty picture of the Colorado scenery and ski environment. And with this beautiful backdrop she spins an engaging tale of secrets, lies, deceit, and murders with random details that at first don’t seem related but are eventually all tied together as the story unfolds. Many questions are answered through DNA analysis, and this book was an interesting peek into the science of DNA.

Blood doesn’t lie.” — Tear Me Apart

The story is a fascinating look into psychiatric wards and psychopaths. The psychopath ends up being someone that I didn’t suspect. A psychopath is defined as “a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.” This person exhibited symptoms including shallow emotions, irresponsibility, overconfidence, selfishness, and violence – which were not present in the beginning but were revealed by the end of the story.

Each book affects readers in different ways, depending on the subject, plot, characters or writing. For reasons that I can’t explain, this one didn’t resonate with me as much as Lie to Me did. I liked the story, but it slowed down in the middle. Even then, J.T. Ellison makes up for it with her engaging writing and storytelling. This is one you don’t want to miss.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars 3 Stars

This book is a slow, steady burn with a satisfying ending. I recommend that you give it a try. You might think differently than I did.

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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