book review // With Malice by Eileen Cook

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

photo property of a chic bookworm

Hello, people! 

I was planning to do this review next week to give myself some time to finish the book at my leisure, but I actually ended up finishing With Malice by Eileen Cook a couple of days ago. I was really excited to read this book because it is a thriller, and I am known to enjoy a good thriller on occasion. So let's just get into my review!

by Eileen Cook

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

I really enjoyed We were Liars by E. Lockhart, so I was hoping I would enjoy this one. I am such a sucker for drama, so this seemed right up my alley!
Before I start, I'll just say that this is one of those books. You know, the ones I can't really tell you much about without giving it away. So I'll try to refrain from giving away anything, if you haven't read it.

I'll start with the good then. 

I really enjoyed the format in which the story was told. Every other chapter or so was told from Jill's point of view, but there were also chapters mixed in that were full of witness interviews, blog posts, media reports, etc. I liked the fact that we the readers were learning what happened to Jill just as she was remembering herself. If the whole book had been in Jill's perspective, I definitely would not have enjoyed it half as much. 

The whole multimedia concept kind of reminded me of Gossip Girl, especially the blog posts (I started reading it in the gossip girl voice. love me some gossip girl.). You may be wondering what I mean by this, but gossip girl fans, I think you'll understand when you read it. The media reports were very interesting in the fact that they showed how far the press can twist things.

This book was definitely a page turner. It was fast paced and exciting, and it kept me wanting more. Like I'd just zone out because I was so interested in what was happening, and then I would be hours later. I don't think it was a piece of great literature that will be remembered a hundred years from now, but it sure was interesting. 

This book was a pretty quick read at about 300 pages. I think it would be perfect for a day on the beach, especially since I feel that it has a summery vibe to it. It was the perfect length; if it had been any longer it would have just felt monotonous.

Although this book was overall pretty good, I still have some bad things to say about it. 

Most of my disappointment in this book came from the ending. The last few chapters leading up to it were very interesting and intense, but it was like the author just wanted the book to end already and abruptly stopped it in a very random, vague spot. 

When I think of an ending of a book, I classify them into two categories: 1) satisfying/happy ending and 2) thought-provoking/everybody dies/shocking. I enjoy both types of endings, and I was hoping for a type two shocking ending for this book, but disappointingly, it ended up being in between type one and two in an annoying gray area, otherwise known as the 3) unsatisfying/vague ending. A few chapters from the end, I could tell that I wasn't going to like the ending of the book, but I held out hope for as long as I could. and was very disappointed. I can think of several things I would have changed in the book to make the ending better (but don't worry, I won't say them and spoil the book for you).

Another thing I disliked was the characters. Well, I didn't really strongly "dislike" the characters, I just felt pretty meh about them. Jill wasn't particularly likable, and at times, she was even annoying. She was a know-it-all and sometimes whiny. Simone seemed very distant, and I didn't get enough information about her to form a clear opinion of her. I think Anna was the only character that I liked because she told it like it was and didn't sugarcoat  it.
Also, anyone who's read the book, did it seem convenient to you that Anna just happened to know a computer guy? let me know in the comments.


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had some flaws, but they didn't completely overshadow the good parts of the book. I'd say it leans more to a 3.5 star rating than a 4, but a four-star rating is accurate enough. This book was definitely a page-turning thriller, so I'd recommend it if you're into that :)

Hope you enjoyed my review! Have you read With Malice by Eileen Cook? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments! 
Contact me here if you have any book review requests!

xoxo, madeline


  1. With Malice is on my Santa list so I hope he's paying attention. Addicted to thrillers I have had this on my list since it first appeared on GR but for some reason every bookshop I have tried haven't had it.

    1. I love thrillers too! Amazon definitely has it, so I would maybe try getting it from there! (at least, that's where I got it!)


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