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April 18, 2016

Review: Still Mine by Amy Stuart

 

Review:  Still Mine by Amy Stuart

The Girl on the Train meets The Silent Wife in this taut psychological thriller.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU VANISH FROM YOUR LIFE AND LEAVE NO STORY BEHIND?

SOMEONE WILL MAKE ONE UP FOR YOU.

Clare is on the run.

From her past, from her ex, and from her own secrets. When she turns up alone in the remote mining town of Blackmore asking about Shayna Fowles, the local girl who disappeared, everyone wants to know who Clare really is and what she's hiding. As it turns out, she's hiding a lot, including what ties her to Shayna in the first place. But everyone in this place is hiding something from Jared, Shayna's golden-haired ex-husband, to Charlie, the charming small-town drug pusher, to Derek, Shayna's overly involved family doctor, to Louise and Wilfred, her distraught parents.

Did Shayna flee? Was she killed? Is it possible she's still alive?

As Clare uncovers the mysteries around Shayna's disappearance, she must confront her own demons, moving us deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of lies and making us question what it is she's really running from. Twisting and electrifying, this is a get-under-your-skin thriller that will make you question what it means to lose yourself and find yourself in the most unlikely places.


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Still Mine by Amy Stuart
Published by: Simon & Schuster  on March 1, 2016

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This title was provided to us by the Publisher/Author. We were in no way compensated for our review(s).

 

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!

 

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Review

 

GabbyNewInitially, it was the title of author Amy Stuart’s Still Mine that caught my interest. Add in the mysterious cover, and I knew that I was in for a novel that was oozing with thrills and chills. This is a novel whose premise absolutely drew me in and had me beyond excited to get reading. A woman trying to escape a violent past while trying to search for another woman who is similar to her in more ways than one? It sounded like the makings of an awesome story! And, luckily enough, Still Mine was the kind of book that I couldn’t put down.

              Having finally managed to leave and escape from her abusive husband, Clare ends up on the run. Working with a mysterious man whose job is to find people that the world has deemed lost, Clare finds herself in the small town of Blackmore. Shayna Fowles, one of the locals, has been missing for days and the town’s citizens have begun pointing fingers as to who might have wanted Shayna gone for good. Clare sets her sights on the people closest to Shayna in a desperate attempt to become accepted as one of their own and get closer to finding out Shayna’s whereabouts. As Clare delves deep into Blackmore’s dark secrets, she will have to face the lies crafted by the people around her, and the ones she has been telling herself in order to hide the truth.

              I think that Still Mine tackled themes like drug addiction, PTSD, and domestic abuse masterfully. There was no victim blaming or biased presentation to the themes. Stuart manages to weave a story where you don’t pity the characters for the tragedies that they have experienced, but instead understand that these things are simply a part of who they are.

              Most of the characters in Still Mine are unforgettable. From Clare’s abusive husband—Jason– to Charlie, to characters like Louise and Malcom, the majority of the novel’s cast are immensely well-written. There were certain characters who terrified me, and others who made me feel intense swells of emotion. But, there were also some characters who felt contrived and made up a small percentage of the novel’s cast who weren’t as fleshed out and, as such, felt unmotivated and unrealistic.

              Still Mine was a novel that, upon going into the novel, I hadn’t thought I would like. I thought that the novel would be one that I would flip through and find myself disappointed with. It’s very difficult (for me, at least) to become invested in novels that deal with disappearances, as most authors suffer from poor execution. Amy Stuart is not one of these authors. Still Mine is a novel that had me on the edge of my seat and caught up in the novel’s intricacies. I needed to know what would happen to Clare and the people around her, I needed to find out what secrets Blackmore was hiding, I needed to know what had happened to Shayna Fowles—the town’s golden girl. Still Mine is the definition of a compelling read.

              I would recommend Still Mine to readers who are fans of mysteries and thrillers. Readers who are looking for a novel that will hold their interest until the very end should also give it a read. Any readers who want a novel that deals with hard-hitting themes and has beautiful prose should also give Still Mine a shot.

 

About Amy Stuart

amy stuart

Amy Stuart’s first novel, Still Mine, was recently released with Simon & Schuster Canada and is forthcoming with Touchstone Books in the US.

Currently at work on the sequel to Still Mine, Amy's writing has previously appeared in Exile Quarterly, the Vanderbilt CVC Anthology, Freefall Magazine and the Globe and Mail. She won the 2011 Writers’ Union of Canada Short Fiction Competition and was a finalist for the 2012 Vanderbilt/Exile Award. In 2012, Amy completed her MFA in Creative Writing through UBC under the mentorship of writer Lisa Moore. When not writing, she is a guidance counsellor at an alternative high school.

Amy was born in Toronto where she still lives with her husband and their three sons. Aside from writing, she loves hockey. Ice hockey.

 

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