Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blog Tour - Q&A and Review: With Malice by Eileen Cook

With Malice Blog Tour banner

Hi guys! I'm really excited to participate in the blog tour for Eileen Cook's newest thriller, With Malice. Thank you so much Raincoast Books for the invite :D

With Malice by Eileen CookWith Malice
by Eileen Cook
June 7, 2016
320 pages

Goodreads Summary:
A read about a teenage girl who wakes up in a hospital bed and cannot remember the last six weeks of her life, including the accident that killed her best friend--only what if the accident wasn't an accident?

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 6 weeks should be. She comes to discover she was involved in a fatal accident while on a school trip in Italy three days previous but 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. Wondering not just what happened but what she did, Jill tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.

BCP: Hi Eileen! It was so nice to meet you at the Raincoast Teens Read Preview Event, thank you for being on my blog today! At the event, you talked about how your writing ideas come from whatever it is you're currently interested (obsessed?) in. How do you decide which of those ideas are book material?
EC: Ideas are sneaky. The first time you see them they can look AMAZING. So shiny. So wonderful. Then after they have been around for a while you realize they aren’t really that great. In fact, they might not be as funny as they think they are, or they smell bad. It’s a bit like dating. That guy who seems like the best thing you can imagine can turn out to be a real dud once you get to know him.

Ideas, like relationships, are best entered into a bit slowly, so you can figure out if it is true love or infatuation before you’ve given your heart away. This was something I had to learn. I used to get a new idea and run with it. This is why I started several novels that never really came to anything. The ideas that might some day grow into something I kept, but the bad ideas I threw out. (Like a bad boyfriend sometimes it’s best to make a clean break.)

I realize now that I need to give an idea a chance to grow. When I have a new idea I let it sit for a bit. I might make some notes, or try doing some diary entries from different character perspectives, but I don’t let myself start the book. I wait to see if it is an idea I can’t stop thinking about. One that wakes me up in the middle of the night or that I find myself itching to write. If the idea won’t go away then I know it’s a good one.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us and congrats on the release! With Malice is out today so make sure you go and pick up a copy for yourself today!

Eileen CookAbout the Author
Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV.  She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Her newest book, WITH MALICE, will be out in June 2016. She’s an instructor/mentor with the Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program.

You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileencook.com. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

Website    Authors Goodreads


I tend to shy away from reading psychological thrillers because I'm afraid they'd feel predictable to me. I took a chance on With Malice because both the title and the synopsis drew me in. And how awesome is it that I share a name with the author? Pretty cool to me~ :P Anyways, I'm happy to say I enjoyed this book very much!

With Malice was intense. The story didn't blow my mind but the progression in recovering Jill's memories and unraveling the case had me nonstop reading. I loved the way the story was told.
With alternating chapters between Jill in the present and relevant case documents, each chapter shed a bigger light to the relationship between Jill and Simone. We get closer and closer to finding out exactly what happened in Italy.

To elaborate on the case documents, there were an assortment of interview transcripts, news articles, online postings and public opinions. I thought they were very detailed and well-done. The social media aspect particularly felt relevant. It was convincing to see arguments from both sides- people that called Jill guilty or believed in her innocence. Using the given evidence and eye witness accounts I tried to piece together the case but I could never pin down a solid theory as to what happened with/between the girls.

The suspense lies in how unreliable Jill is. She survives a horrible car crash but the pain of losing her best friend coupled with the shock that she might have done it on purpose made her doubt her every memory. She was unsure of everything, even her own feelings. But her very supportive therapist helped her to make sense of them. "Feelings aren't wrong. They just are." (ARC, p.78).  It was also extra difficult and tricky for Jill to decipher which of her memories were real because she was exposed to details of the accident before she could regain any of her summer. I didn't like the treatment she was getting from the Italian police but thankfully she had an excellent lawyer on her side.
One part in the story totally resonated with me. Jill talked about how it was awkward for her to interact with other people because she'd say the wrong things or make a nerdy reference people didn't understand. I get that. That's me too. I kind of didn't think she would be capable of killing but I wasn't so sure she was completely free of any blame either. When that key piece of memory of hers filled in, I was surprised.
With Malice kept me guessing until the very end. Every time I came close to thinking I'm right, something would pop up and make me think otherwise. My heart was pounding as the pages wound down. That ending. Those last lines. I shivered. I very highly recommend With Malice to anyone who enjoys a thriller that keeps you on your toes. I absolutely couldn't stop theorizing!

4.5 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way. All quotes were taken from the Advance Review Copy I received.
For more Q&As and reviews, make sure you check out all the other tour stops!
With Malice Blog Tour postcard


  1. Ahhh!! This is so fun. I'm dying to read this one!!! I actually think I'll read it next! :)

  2. I feel you! The entire time I was reading it, I was like "what's going on?? What is the truth here?" I really super enjoyed that I didn't know what was going on especially since all the evidence was pointing to Jill, but reading through Jill's pov, made you really doubt whether she could have done it.

    1. Yes! Her thoughts are so innocent I'm always believing her but it was hard to ignore how the evidence point to her :S It kept me in my seat!

  3. I really want to read this. I hear it's one of the better YA mystery books, if it's possible. I need proof, and I will be reading this!

    1. Definitely give it a try Jazmen! I really think it's worth the time. Hopefully you'll enjoy it :)


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