Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet @RebeccaLFleet @PoppyStimpson @TransworldBooks #TheHouseSwap

Format: Uncorrected proof copy – supplied by publishers
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: ‘No one lives this way unless they want to hide something.’

When Caroline and Francis receive an offer to house swap, they jump at the chance for a week away from home. After the difficulties of the past few years, they’ve worked hard to rebuild their marriage for their son’s sake; now they want to reconnect as a couple.

On arrival, they find a house that is stark and sinister in its emptiness – it’s hard to imagine what kind of person lives here. Then, gradually, Caroline begins to uncover some signs of life – signs of her life. The flowers in the bathroom or the music in the CD player might seem innocent to her husband but to her they are anything but. It seems the person they have swapped with is someone she used to know; someone she’s desperate to leave in her past.

But that person is now in her home – and they want to make sure she’ll never forget


Review: I was over the moon to have received a review copy of this book, all the way back in December (I think). The eerily sinister book cover lured me straight in (as most sinister looking things do – not sure what that says about me!) and all-in-all sounded just like my kinda book. I wasn’t aware, when I started reading this at the beginning of January, that it wasn’t published until May. So this review has been a loooooong time coming and I can’t wait to finally share my thoughts about it with you.

Caroline and her husband Francis take part in a house swap (who’d have thought?) for the week in order for them to have a small getaway for two but not too far from their son, Eddie. It seems like the perfect plan; a week in a different house, with different surroundings and the freedom to go out and do fun stuff together every day. Especially after an extremely difficult few years dealing with Francis’ mental health and drug problem. It was just what they needed.

Until Caroline starts to notice strange stuff dotted around the house, things that bring up old memories of a significant part of her life – her affair. Her lovers aftershave, a photo of the park they went to, a song they liked and all of a sudden, Caroline realizes that this wasn’t just a house swap after all, it was planned and it’s about to get deeper than any of the parties involved had imagined.

I’m reluctant to say anything else about the story-line because I really wouldn’t want to give anything away – the book is written in alternating chapters of “home” and “away” (sorry to whoever now has the Home and Away theme song stuck in their head – whoops). Past and present. The past chapters show the build up in Caroline’s affair with her work colleague, Carl and the destruction of her husband’s mental issues and problems with drugs. Rebecca paints a good “over time” picture of the couple’s history and problems which all ultimately lead up to a devastating breaking point.

There’s also sneaky little “anonymous” chapters thrown in among these main chapters, written by an anonymous person and I bloody love those in Thriller / Mystery based books because it’s never who I think it’s going to be and this book was no expecting. Rebecca firmly makes you think you know who it is – it’s obvious right? Wrong. And that was one of the main things I loved about this book; how everything came together, this very clear cut chain of events which spanned over years, to create the explosion at the end. It’s something I didn’t see coming.

The emotions in this book, that the characters felt, were described absolutely outstandingly. From Francis’ bleak outlook and general numbness during his worst times to Caroline and Carl’s passion during their affair, we really do feel what the characters are feeling. Although it’s a Thriller and it’s eerie and made me anxious and uncomfortable at times, ultimately it is a story about love and loss and emotion and that was really nice to see and read so vividly in a book like this.

I honestly have nothing bad to say about this book. The writing was effortless – it was one of those reads that make you feel like you’re on one of those revolving walkways in an airport, gracefully moving from one page to the next with absolutely no restraint or effort involved. I’m a slow reader, so I bloody love books like that. And for a debut? Well, it’s an exceptionally solid debut. And if this is the first book from this author, I’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on what she produces next.

The House Swap kept me completely and utterly hooked right from the get-go. It was uncomfortable and eerie and roused genuine feelings of anxiety in me. A vivid, clever and emotionally charged debut from a extremely promising new author.

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

46 Comments

  1. Ooooh this sounds so intriguing, I may add it to my list to read! xo
    Sian | http://www.siankathrine.co.uk

    1. It really was xxx

  2. akjmusicblog says:

    A sinister book cover definitely draws readers in! This definitely looks like something I would read, will have to check it out.

    Amy | hookedonthemusic.com

    1. Sinister it is!

  3. This sounds like a really intriguing book. It’s kind of creeped me out already. I’m definitely adding this to my book pile. 😀

    1. Haha it’s definitely creepy!

  4. This sounds like an incredible read. Definitely one to add to the TBR pile. Great review!

    1. It really was!

  5. I skipped reading the review because I have a copy of this one I need to get to and review haha. I did see that you enjoyed it and it gives me hope!

    1. Haha no worries! I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  6. This sounds so good! I have to add this to my TBR.

    1. It really was, would highly recommend!

  7. Honestly this sounds like an excellent read. I don’t read many thriller/horror books but I love watching those kind of films. I may get myself a copy of this now as I’d love to curl up in bed at night and read this. I’m desperate to know what happens!!! Xx

    1. If you love the films you’ll love the books! Hope you enjoy 🙂

  8. Well if a book reviewer has nothing bad to say then I definitely need to read this one – I’m desperate to find out what happens now, I bet this one would become an addictive read! Great review as always 🙂

    Kate | http://www.katelovesx.co.uk/

    1. It really was! Very addictive!

  9. ofbeautyand says:

    I’ve heard great things about this book – I love the cover x

    http://www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk

    1. I love the cover too!

  10. Okay, I actually NEED to pick this book up, sounds completely up my alley and your review has me itching to find out what happens! Sounds so intriguing!

    Beth x

    1. It’s really really good! Hope you enjoy 🙂

  11. Lisa's Notebook says:

    I’ll have to let my thriller lover friend know about this one – the anonymous chapters sound brilliant, as well as the twist you didn’t see coming! Intriguing review 🙂

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

    1. Thanks Lisa 🙂

  12. Bookinggoodread says:

    This sounds like my type of book, I love a good anonymous chapter/character. Great review as always x

    Emma x http://www.bookinggoodread.com

    1. Thanks Emma!

  13. wow, this sounds amazing.

    1. It sure was!

  14. This sounds like an amazing read and something I would really enjoy. Will put it on my ever growing list of books I want to read 📚😃

    Melanie | http://www.frasersfunhouse.com

    1. Enjoy! 🙂 xx

  15. I need more books to add to my thriller list so this one is going on!

    Steph x
    http://www.wanderlustpulse.com

    1. Would highly recommend!

  16. Great review. For some strange reason it says I’m not following your blog but I am! How weird, so am following today again and hope you don’t drop off again. WordPress!

    1. Haha damn WordPress! Don’t fret it 🙂

  17. I really enjoyed it. Stunned by the last few pages, it was so unexpected!

    1. Same! I loved the ending – equally thrilling and tragic.

  18. Oh my gosh I have to read this! Sounds amazing. Thanks for the heads-up!

    1. You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy 🙂

  19. This sounds amazing! I’m the same for sinister and dark books 100% I love the sound of the anonymous chapters too!

    1. Love anything dark and sinister!

  20. Sounds like a great book x

    1. It was indeed.

  21. Ooh I love the sound of this book, definitely my type of thing, will be adding this to my tbr list! Great review!

    1. Thank you 🙂

  22. This book literally sounds right up my street, I absolutely love the sound of it. I don’t need a new book, but I do need this book in my life!
    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Always room for one more book!

  23. That sounds like an interesting book!! Is this out already?

    1. I believe it’s out now, yes! 🙂

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