Saturday, 14 February 2015

{Blog Tour} Conspiracy Girl by Sarah Alderson

22449950Posted by Donna
Release Date: February 12th, 2015
Finished Date: February 10th, 2015
Publishers: Simon & Schuster UK
Genre: YA, Thriller, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Everybody knows about the Cooper Killings – the Bel Air home invasion that rocked the nation.
There was only one survivor - a sixteen year-old girl.
And though the killers were caught they walked free.

Now eighteen, Nic Preston - the girl who survived - is trying hard to rebuild her life. She’s security conscious to the point of paranoia and her only friend is a French Mastiff bulldog, but she’s making progress. She’s started college in New York and has even begun dating.

But then one night her apartment is broken into and the life Nic’s worked so hard to create is shattered in an instant. 

Finn Carter - hacker, rule breaker, player – is the last person Nic ever wants to see again. He’s the reason her mother’s killers walked free from court. But as the people hunting her close in, Nic has to accept that her best and possibly only chance of staying alive is by keeping close to Finn and learning to trust the person she’s sworn to hate.

Fleeing across a snowbound New England, frantically trying to uncover the motive behind the murders, Nic and Finn come to realize the conspiracy is bigger than they could ever have suspected. But the closer they get to the truth and the closer they get to each other, the greater the danger becomes.

To survive she has to stay close to him.
To keep her safe he has to keep his distance.

The Review: Another book from Sarah Alderson? Well that alone sold me the moment I heard she had another book coming out. You guys know how much I adore her work thus making this one of the books I was most looking forward to this year. And true to all her previous work, Sarah Alderson never fails to disappoint! 

The Cooper killings was such a high profile case that people are still talking about. Nic Preston, the sole survivor is trying to leave it all behind her but no matter what she can’t get rid of her OCD tendencies such as living in a highly secure apartment with every high tech security system. But when someone breaks through Nic’s fortress, she knows one thing….. The killers are back and they’ve come to finish the job. Teaming up with super computer hacker Finn Carter might be Nic’s only chance – if only she didn’t hate him. But with no other choice soon they embark on a mission to try and uncover the killers as well as running for their lives. 

I don’t read many young adult thriller stories but like I said before, anything Sarah Alderson writes I’m going to read it. And I really enjoyed Conspiracy Girl and probably more than Out of Control because I felt like it ticked all the right boxes for me. Hot romance – check! Awesome characters – check! A fast paced plot – check! And the most important one DUAL NARRATIVE – CHECK! You know I love dual narrative. Love it!

Nic and Finn are purely awesome characters. I liked them both from the start and I thought they complimented either other very well even at the start when they hate either other. It was interesting to watch their relationship grow and turn from hate to love. And they had so many special moments during the story that made me feel a number of different emotions. 

I can’t help think what’s next for Sarah Alderson? I would personally LOVE for her to try some YA contemporary romance – just romance. No thriller. No paranormal. I know she’s writing more under her pen name, Mila Gray which is New Adult. But you can’t beat a good YA contemporary story and I think Sarah would do an amazing, amazing job! 

In all, Conspiracy Girl is such a whirlwind ride that it’s impossible to not get swept up with the characters along the way. Read it, I guarantee you’ll love it

Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Extract from Conspiracy Girl 


I find myself bent over the sink, sucking in air, gripping the edge of the basin, trying to ride the wave of pain in my shoulder. I can’t do this any more I think to myself. I’m so tired of running and hiding. I just want to stop.

A bang on the door makes me jump. ‘Nic?’ Finn calls. ‘Can I come in?’

He doesn’t wait for me to answer. He opens the door a crack and then seeing me standing up he lets it fall open and walks over to me. In his hand he has a first aid kit.

‘Here, let’s get this off,’ he says, laying the first aid kit down beside the sink and reaching for the scissors. He snips through the makeshift bandage and nausea rolls up my throat as he pulls it away from the wound. My eyes water.

Finn sets the scissors down and starts tugging at the bottom of my blanket poncho. Gently he eases it over my head then starts pulling up my sweater. When I have to lift my arm I let out a hiss through my teeth.

‘This isn’t going to work,’ he says, reaching for the scissors again. He eases his hand up under my T-shirt and sweater, his fingers grazing my skin. I jolt at his touch as licks of fire start tracing a new path across my stomach.

‘Sorry,’ he whispers.

I shake my head and he pulls the T-shirt away and starts slicing through both the T-shirt and the sweater. When he’s done, he peels the torn strips over my shoulders and tosses them to the floor. His focus goes straight to my shoulder. I glance sideways in the mirror. The back of my white bra is stained ghoulishly red.

I close my eyes and grind my teeth as his fingers start probing the skin around my shoulder blade. It feels like a scorpion has buried its tail in my flesh and is wriggling it around. Finn slides the strap of my bra down my arm and I grip the edge of the basin for support.

‘I’m going to undo your bra. Is that OK?’ he asks.

I nod, my eyes still closed. It’s soaked in blood anyway. Carefully he undoes the clasp and I shiver even through the pain as he slides the other strap off my arm and peels my blood-crusted bra away from the skin.

‘Here,’ he says.

I open my eyes and see he is handing me a towel. I take it and hold it against my chest. In the mirror I watch Finn. He hasn’t taken his eyes off my back but as soon as I’m covered up he glances at me in the mirror.

‘This is going to hurt,’ he says.

I nod at him. He gives me a weak smile in return.

I grip the basin with one hand and watch as Finn unsnaps his Swiss Army knife. He douses it in alcohol and then without any warning he sticks the tip of the blade into the flesh above my shoulder blade.

I let out a cry and then bite down on my lip, feeling tears burn like acid behind my eyelids. Pain flares through me obliterating all thought. All I see is blinding white light.

‘I got it,’ I hear Finn say.

I hear the clatter of something hitting the basin and look down. A small dull grey piece of metal sits there. That’s it? I think. It’s only the size of a dime. How can something so small hurt so much? Ribbons of watery blood splatter the enamel around it and snake down the drain. My vision starts to swim and Finn guides me to the toilet and makes me sit down.

‘I’m going to try butterfly stitching this,’ Finn says, ‘hopefully it will hold.’

I can’t talk. I can’t even nod.

His fingers move deftly. He swipes the wound with alcohol, again without warning, making me cry out as fireworks of light burst and pop on the back of my eyelids.

‘Sorry,’ Finn whispers under his breath, his voice strained.

It burns. The pain sears through skin and muscle all the way to the bone and a scream rises up in me that I have to fight down, but after a few seconds it dulls to a tight throb.

‘You want some help getting cleaned up?’ Finn asks when he is done applying the butterfly stitches and a bandage.

I think about raising an eyebrow at him. I can manage, but then I try to lift my arm and can’t.

‘Yes,’ I say, trying to fight back tears.

‘OK.’ He takes a towel from the rack and runs the hot tap as I sit down on the edge of the bath. Soaking the towel Finn gets down on his haunches and starts wiping the blood from my back. When he’s done he’s leaves the bathroom for a few minutes. When he comes back he hands me something.

 ‘Here.’

I glance upwards. He’s holding a clean shirt that he must have found in one of the closets. He helps me stand and holding the shirt he turns his head while I drop the towel and slide one arm into the shirt and then the other, grimacing with pain the whole time. Finn comes around and buttons it up, keeping his gaze fixed the whole time at my collarbone, as I stand there feeling like a small, useless child.

I stare at him, standing so close, taking in the day old stubble flecking his jaw, the dark sweep of his lashes, as well as the stubborn set of his mouth, and have to resist the urge I have to stroke a hand through his hair and press my lips to his.

I swallow and focus on the burning sensation in my shoulder hoping it will distract me from his closeness. But it doesn’t. I’m not sure at this stage if anything short of losing a limb could. Certainly the thought that at any moment people could come bursting through the door firing guns isn’t enough.

When Finn finishes buttoning up the shirt, his hands stay there, holding the shirt bunched at my hips. He doesn’t make a move and for a moment neither of us speaks. I’ve stopped breathing.

My stomach flips. The atmosphere in the bathroom is electric, flammable. I swallow again, loud enough to be heard. I don’t want to move in case he drops his hands and I don’t want him to do that. In fact, I want him to undo the very buttons he just did up and run his hands over my body, as gently as he did just now with the towel.

My breathing speeds up and my eyes fly to his face. Finn is staring down at his hands which are still gripping the shirt together at hip level. His jaw is pulsing as though he’s fighting some inner voice or instinct. But then he looks up and our eyes meet and in that split second he stops listening to whatever warning the voice is giving him. He pulls me against his chest, his hands sliding around my back, and I reach up on tip toe and in the next second we’re kissing.

The pain in my shoulder evaporates and there’s just the heat of his lips instead. Though his hands are gentle, holding me, there’s nothing gentle in this kiss. It’s desperate, hungry, unguarded, and I respond in the same way.


I can’t lift my arms so I make do instead with sliding my hands under his T-shirt, laying my fingers over the hard ridges of his stomach. I’m unable to focus on anything other than his mouth on mine, the feel of his lips, and the pressure of his fingers as they skim the skin of my lower back, lighting trails of fire. It’s like there isn’t enough oxygen in the world. My head spins and whirls, lights dancing behind my eyes, and from a very long way away I hear Finn whispering my name.


AUTHOR BIO
Sarah is the author of Hunting Lila (winner of the Kingston Book Award), Losing Lila, Fated, The Sound, Out of Control and Conspiracy Girl (all Simon & Schuster).

Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home (a journey that was documented on this blog and which is shortly to be turned into a book).

After almost a year spent travelling the world, they settled in Bali where they lived for five beautiful years before the vagabonding urge became too great and they decided to embark on Can We Live Here part two. They are currently located somewhere between India, London, Canada and the US.

As well as writing young adult novels and screenplays, Sarah also writes adult fiction for Pan Macmillan (Simon & Schuster in the US) under the name Mila Gray.

Her first adult novel, Come Back To Me, was published in June 2014. The second, This One Moment, will be out in August 2015.

Sarah has co-written the Hunting Lila screenplay, which is currently in the early stages of production, and continues to blog about her life and travels.


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