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For the Best

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Suspected of a murder she can’t remember, a troubled woman takes an unusual approach to proving her innocence in this gripping thriller from the bestselling author of Little Voices. When Jules Worthington-Smith’s wallet is found next to a dead man, she becomes the prime suspect in his murder. After struggling for years to build the perfect family and career, she’s dangerous Suspected of a murder she can’t remember, a troubled woman takes an unusual approach to proving her innocence in this gripping thriller from the bestselling author of Little Voices. When Jules Worthington-Smith’s wallet is found next to a dead man, she becomes the prime suspect in his murder. After struggling for years to build the perfect family and career, she’s dangerously close to losing everything. Sure of her innocence, Jules is desperate to clear her name. But there’s one big problem: she was blackout drunk when the murder took place and can’t remember what happened. Unsatisfied with the police’s handling of the case, Jules embarks on her own gin-fueled murder investigation. As she uncovers fresh clues, she starts a true-crime vlog that becomes a viral sensation, pushing her into the public eye. It’s not long before the ordeal forces Jules to confront her demons, including her turbulent childhood and excessive drinking. The deeper Jules digs, the more dirt she uncovers about the murder and herself. Unexpected truths pile up until she’s buried so deep even finding the killer might not be enough to set her free.


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Suspected of a murder she can’t remember, a troubled woman takes an unusual approach to proving her innocence in this gripping thriller from the bestselling author of Little Voices. When Jules Worthington-Smith’s wallet is found next to a dead man, she becomes the prime suspect in his murder. After struggling for years to build the perfect family and career, she’s dangerous Suspected of a murder she can’t remember, a troubled woman takes an unusual approach to proving her innocence in this gripping thriller from the bestselling author of Little Voices. When Jules Worthington-Smith’s wallet is found next to a dead man, she becomes the prime suspect in his murder. After struggling for years to build the perfect family and career, she’s dangerously close to losing everything. Sure of her innocence, Jules is desperate to clear her name. But there’s one big problem: she was blackout drunk when the murder took place and can’t remember what happened. Unsatisfied with the police’s handling of the case, Jules embarks on her own gin-fueled murder investigation. As she uncovers fresh clues, she starts a true-crime vlog that becomes a viral sensation, pushing her into the public eye. It’s not long before the ordeal forces Jules to confront her demons, including her turbulent childhood and excessive drinking. The deeper Jules digs, the more dirt she uncovers about the murder and herself. Unexpected truths pile up until she’s buried so deep even finding the killer might not be enough to set her free.

30 review for For the Best

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dita

    I listened to this yesterday on a long car ride from Minneapolis to Florida. Maybe it was my attitude about having to drive instead of flying, maybe it was COVID, maybe it was the two kitties who were bitching in the backseat the whole way down but this book didn't do it for me at all. Juliet is inexplicably the CEO of a business her dad left in shame 30 years ago and she has big plans for changing things. But she has alcohol problems and on the night of her big launch party she gets black out dr I listened to this yesterday on a long car ride from Minneapolis to Florida. Maybe it was my attitude about having to drive instead of flying, maybe it was COVID, maybe it was the two kitties who were bitching in the backseat the whole way down but this book didn't do it for me at all. Juliet is inexplicably the CEO of a business her dad left in shame 30 years ago and she has big plans for changing things. But she has alcohol problems and on the night of her big launch party she gets black out drunk and the man whom she has partnered with to "do big things" in the area of Restorative Justice in Rhode Island ends up dead with Jules's wallet found next to him. It wasn't fast moving enough, compelling enough or wrapped up well enough for me to strongly recommend but if Restorative Justice is a strong interest of yours, it's a very interesting spin on things.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill

    I loved this book! Can you say #blindsided???? Jules is living the charmed life...until she isn't. Jules had it going on- she had the perfect man, son and job. However, Jules likes to have a drink...or two...or seven. Yes, it is fair to say that Jules has a bit of a drinking problem. She has managed to be a functional drunk....until her life changes. When she gets a knock at the door and finds out the person she was with last night was found dead..in the alley and she was last seen with him..how I loved this book! Can you say #blindsided???? Jules is living the charmed life...until she isn't. Jules had it going on- she had the perfect man, son and job. However, Jules likes to have a drink...or two...or seven. Yes, it is fair to say that Jules has a bit of a drinking problem. She has managed to be a functional drunk....until her life changes. When she gets a knock at the door and finds out the person she was with last night was found dead..in the alley and she was last seen with him..how could it get worse?! Oh wait, this is how...her wallet was found next to the dead guy. Oh boy...Jules you have a problem. So when Jules swears she is innocent, I want to believe her, but girlfriend was black out drunk and can't remember a thing. Except not everyone that night is having trouble remembering. Hmmm...So there is that. I loved, loved, loved that Jules created a vlog! I will just put out a disclaimer that this is a video blog for those of you who are like me and will have to google it. You are welcome, I saved you a google. I really enjoyed reading her vlog transcripts. SO entertaining! I love to pick up a book by an author I have never read before. There is always an ah- ha moment for me when I realize, yeah this author is my style of writing or not. This time, I swear I was on the very first chapter and I said to myself...WOW this is going to be my kind of book. I am telling you it didn't disappoint. I never, ever saw the twists coming...completely blinded me! I just added Little Voices to my list of "must read" books! Thank you so much to Kathleen Carter for sending me this finished copy and to Vanessa Lillie for a great read!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    I recently read Little Voices from the author and I had some second thoughts about the story’s direction and I couldn’t connect with the characters as well. But when I read her new book’s plot, it attracted my attention. I loved the theme: short term memory loss and finding yourself at the murder scene, are you framed or are you involved something shady kind of promising story- line! (I already used the same theme for short movie synopsis and some festival judges decided to give me award! But I I recently read Little Voices from the author and I had some second thoughts about the story’s direction and I couldn’t connect with the characters as well. But when I read her new book’s plot, it attracted my attention. I loved the theme: short term memory loss and finding yourself at the murder scene, are you framed or are you involved something shady kind of promising story- line! (I already used the same theme for short movie synopsis and some festival judges decided to give me award! But I wish they sent me cases of Chardonnay for my highly creative scriptwriting skills! Alas!) Anyways, the book starts at the Jules’ bedroom. She is an ambitious CEO working on a big fundraising company and in her personal life she works as hard as she may endure to build herself a satisfying family life. But her one million dollar project’s celebration resulted with over consumed champagne hangover. Her head is pounding and her legs covered with scars. What the hell just happened last night? She cannot remember anything! How much did she drink? Who’s knocking heaven’s door? Hmm I mean somebody is banging their door nonstop! Who the hell is this? Wow! Is this a police officer request her accompany him to the station? Why? Wait a minute, he holds a red wallet (classy choice Jules, I didn’t like you so far but you have trendy fashion taste!) in an evidence bag! He informs her that the wallet has been found next to a dead body. Jules feels like somebody pulled the rug from under her feet. Could the dead person be Terence Castle? They have been working for restorative justice practice which was going to be initiative project for the prisons’ reforming. After her wallet is found at the crime scene, everybody start to treat Jules as a criminal including us because as we get some glimpses about the night crime occurred, we witness her unbalanced and alcohol fueled delirious actions. She doesn’t give us anything to hold on and believe in her innocence. She has a loyal husband and lovely child but after this incident, she loses her job and her reputation ruins and the people in her inner circle think her own father was also criminal and he was involved with someone’s murder, too. So apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. Jules is so adamant to prove her innocence and she starts her own gin induced investigation but as soon as she learn more about the night Terence died and got more pieces about a tragic incident about her past, she realizes she shouldn’t have dug around if she couldn’t face with rotted and stinking pieces of her past. Overall: I have second thoughts about the ending and I had hard time to connect with the heroine but I enjoyed the writing style and slow burning mystery keeping your attention alert. So another limbo read is going back and forth between 3 and 4 stars. I decided give 3.5 and rounded them up to 4 eventually because I enjoyed the story’s pacing and interesting plot line and of course restorative justice topic always intrigued my attention. It was much better reading than Little Voices for me. Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas&Mercer for sharing this ARC with me in exchange my honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    Have you read either of Vanessa Lillie’s books? For the Best was my first. Imagine if your wallet were found by a deceased man and you became the prime suspect in a murder? And you know you didn’t do it. What would you do when the police refuse to believe you? Jules starts her own investigation, which brings out all the skeletons previously well-hidden in her closet. I kept thinking I’m not so sure Jules is really innocent? Because she blacked out and really doesn’t know what happened... For the Have you read either of Vanessa Lillie’s books? For the Best was my first. Imagine if your wallet were found by a deceased man and you became the prime suspect in a murder? And you know you didn’t do it. What would you do when the police refuse to believe you? Jules starts her own investigation, which brings out all the skeletons previously well-hidden in her closet. I kept thinking I’m not so sure Jules is really innocent? Because she blacked out and really doesn’t know what happened... For the Best kept me guessing, entertained, and doubting myself the whole time, and I loved it! Be prepared for a slow-burning mystery with clever twists! I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Twitter | Goodreads | Blog | Instagram | I’m going to be totally honest. I’ve been veering away from a Police Procedure type books as they’ve been merging one into another, but, I had read this authors first book and I absolutely loved it, so how could I ignore this? I just had to give it a go. I’m glad I did. I love her style of writing, always so easy to follow. If you are looking for a fast paced thriller, this is not for you. But if you are happy to read and get into the mechanics of you’re b Twitter | Goodreads | Blog | Instagram | I’m going to be totally honest. I’ve been veering away from a Police Procedure type books as they’ve been merging one into another, but, I had read this authors first book and I absolutely loved it, so how could I ignore this? I just had to give it a go. I’m glad I did. I love her style of writing, always so easy to follow. If you are looking for a fast paced thriller, this is not for you. But if you are happy to read and get into the mechanics of you’re brain power, I say yes, go for it. Your brains wheels will be turning for sure. Following the main character whose been accused of murder was fascinating. The police mostly only had to go on finding her red purse at the scene. Her replies to questions fascinated me as she couldn’t recall a darn thing. Over indulging in alcohol was a problem for this lady! Buried secrets. I love secrets that come out in the wash don’t you? *3.75 from me as I found it hard going at the start, bit slow. Rounded up to 4 Worth it though.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pat

    Juliet Worthington Smith is the CEO of the Poe Foundation in Rhode Island. After 15 years working her fingers to the bone she has reached the pinnacle of her career. The highlight for her is the gala function being hosted by the foundation to launch the new Genius Program which Juliet developed in conjunction with the renowned Dr Terrence Castle - a staunch advocate of restorative justice. But Juliet has a drinking problem, a quite serious drinking problem and on this night of nights she is quit Juliet Worthington Smith is the CEO of the Poe Foundation in Rhode Island. After 15 years working her fingers to the bone she has reached the pinnacle of her career. The highlight for her is the gala function being hosted by the foundation to launch the new Genius Program which Juliet developed in conjunction with the renowned Dr Terrence Castle - a staunch advocate of restorative justice. But Juliet has a drinking problem, a quite serious drinking problem and on this night of nights she is quite obviously drunk. Terrance is not happy with something and stalks out of the party. He agrees to meet Juliet at a bar later to discuss their differences. In the morning the police are at the door. There is a dead body in an alley behind the bar where Juliet met with Terrance. It is Terrance and he is dead and Juliet’s wallet was found at the scene. Naturally the police have questions but Juliet cannot remember anything after leaving the function as she got fall-down drunk by the end of the night, she can’t even remember getting home. Never mind that though, she is not happy about being the only suspect and doesn’t feel enough is being done to explore other options. So, she starts a vlog (video blog) and calls for witnesses and information declaring that she wants to find the truth. This leads to some interesting revelations. I didn’t like Juliet. Actually I didn’t like any of the characters but Juliet took the cake. She made no attempt to control her drinking. She was entitled and selfish and made everything about her and how this drama was affecting her, and she treated some of the other people in Terrance’s life rather badly. Finally, as the truth started to come out, the story went in an interesting direction and it finished strongly but I can’t say that I loved this book. The theme was about guilt, justice and making amends but it took too long with an unpleasant protagonist to get there. Thanks to Netgalley, Thomas & Mercer and Vanessa Lillie for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White

    This was definately a #bookstagrammademedoit book! After seeing rave reviews everywhere for it I grabbed my copy on Kindle Unlimited on release day and upgraded it to the audio. So glad that I did. I could not stop listening to the train wreck that was Jules! I am now keen to read Little Voices, Vanessa Lillie's first book. Meet Juliet Worthington Smith. Everybody says that she is just like her father and that is not always a good thing. Jules is a drunk, she has a serious alcohol addiction. She This was definately a #bookstagrammademedoit book! After seeing rave reviews everywhere for it I grabbed my copy on Kindle Unlimited on release day and upgraded it to the audio. So glad that I did. I could not stop listening to the train wreck that was Jules! I am now keen to read Little Voices, Vanessa Lillie's first book. Meet Juliet Worthington Smith. Everybody says that she is just like her father and that is not always a good thing. Jules is a drunk, she has a serious alcohol addiction. She thinks she can control it, but when she wakes the morning after a big work function with no memory of how she got home and into bed she knows that it is not right. Even more so when the police coming knocking at her door and start asking questions about why her purse was found next to the dead body of her friend and work colleague Terrance. She soon realises that she is the prime suspect and sets out to prove her innocence, documenting it all on a vlog. But when she starts to put the pieces together does she really want to know the truth? Absolutely loved this book, and thank you to everybody who posted great reviews about this. All the stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christina McDonald

    A fascinating look at the power of restorative justice, For the Best is Vanessa Lillie at her finest. With damaged characters and a dark undercurrent, the plot unravels a myriad of devastating secrets in the wake of an alcohol-soaked night that left a man dead and a woman accused of his murder. Mesmerizing and thought-provoking, For the Best smolders with a brooding, slow-burn tension you simply won't want to miss.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Belle

    Lillie follows up her smashing debut Little Voices with another winner, this time exploring just how far a person will go to keep old secrets buried. For the Best is dark and gritty, starring a host of damaged characters who blur the line between what's true and what’s not. A slow-burn, moody mystery that will keep you on your toes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Downing

    For the Best is a riveting story of a woman who is accused of murder and launches her own investigation. Plotted to perfection, the events of that night unfold in a series of shocking and disturbing twists. A clever, captivating book you need on your list.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    This was my first Vanessa Lillie novel ... a fast paced read I couldn't put down. Now I really need to read Little Voices. Jules is the prime suspect of a murder investigation after her wallet is found next to a dead man in an alley. Frustrated with the lack of progress and zero suspects from the police, Jules decides to take things into her own hands with an investigative vlog. As she makes her way through her list of suspects she discovers secrets that have her questioning everything. Overall This was my first Vanessa Lillie novel ... a fast paced read I couldn't put down. Now I really need to read Little Voices. Jules is the prime suspect of a murder investigation after her wallet is found next to a dead man in an alley. Frustrated with the lack of progress and zero suspects from the police, Jules decides to take things into her own hands with an investigative vlog. As she makes her way through her list of suspects she discovers secrets that have her questioning everything. Overall this was a solid read. Jules made me crazy though and I didn't enjoy her character at all. And that was OK!! It didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story ... I just felt like smacking her upside the head often. But, that's what alcoholism is like and I felt her character was portrayed well. Huge thank you to Thomas & Mercer and Netgalley for my review copy.

  12. 5 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    Rated 3.5 stars. Imagine being so drunk that you wake up the next morning and you’re suspected of murder. Jules is a successful CEO of a non-profit and had just hosted a major company event. When the police show up at her home, she is informed that her wallet was found next to a dead man, that man was the guest of honor at the event. Frustrated that the she is the only suspect, Jules sets out to solve the murder. With some small clues, she starts a true-crime vlog hoping that more clues will emer Rated 3.5 stars. Imagine being so drunk that you wake up the next morning and you’re suspected of murder. Jules is a successful CEO of a non-profit and had just hosted a major company event. When the police show up at her home, she is informed that her wallet was found next to a dead man, that man was the guest of honor at the event. Frustrated that the she is the only suspect, Jules sets out to solve the murder. With some small clues, she starts a true-crime vlog hoping that more clues will emerge. As more information about the night of the murder start to come to the surface, things get very complicated. This was an interesting story with a good amount of suspense and effective red herrings. But the character of Jules was not someone I could fully root for. She was a mother of a young boy and made no attempt at dealing with her demons. This was a good read, just not a great one. Many thanks to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the opportunity to read For The Best in advance of its September 8, 2020 release.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    I AM VERY EXCITED, VANESSA!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    booksnpenguins

    I ended up dnf-ing this when I was halfway through it because it was just too boring and the writing, the dialogues in particular, made me cringe. I'm also incredibly frustrated about how slow the plot is in the beginning. By the time the book apparently and finally started, I just wanted to get over with it. I didn't even skipped to the end to see who-did-what because I just didn't care. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a review

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    Jules Worthington-Smith is surprised when cops show up at her door one morning. It seems her wallet was found next to a dead man lying in an alley. The alley just happened to run beside a local bar ... where she and the dead man had drinks ... many of them. So many that she has no memory of the night at all ... she was blind drunk. She has now become the prime suspect in his murder. Unhappy with the way the police are investigating, Jules takes it upon herself to do something that will prove her Jules Worthington-Smith is surprised when cops show up at her door one morning. It seems her wallet was found next to a dead man lying in an alley. The alley just happened to run beside a local bar ... where she and the dead man had drinks ... many of them. So many that she has no memory of the night at all ... she was blind drunk. She has now become the prime suspect in his murder. Unhappy with the way the police are investigating, Jules takes it upon herself to do something that will prove her innocence, along with the help of a true crime author who just happens to be an ex-boyfriend from many years ago. She starts a true-crime vlog as they start looking into this murder. What is revealed may not be something she wants the world to know. Did the victim have a girlfriend, one who was also at the bar that night? His wife was also there ... did she kill him in a fit of jealousy? And her father, of all people, were also in the bar with a lady friend. He already killed a young man years ago when he was drunk ... did he get drunk and bash the victim in the head? And then there is Jules herself ... police have a copy of a surveillance tape ... she was seen crying and possibly arguing with the victim. Is she actually guilty and just doesn't remember? But why would she even want him dead? The deeper she digs, the more she discovers and she finds more questions than answers. It's highly suspenseful from the very beginning and steadily increases with each twist and turn so cleverly inserted into each of the convoluted circumstances. It's an intricate plot with characters solidly drawn and who will be remembered long after the book reaches its final unexpected ending. Jules, especially, is a polished character. She's .. until now ... been a highly respected woman, has a loving husband and a young son .... yet never stops drinking even after her 'black out' night of drinking. Many thanks to the author / Thomas & Mercer / Netgalley for the digital copy of this crime fiction. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa Menezes

    When Jules Worthington-Smith’s wallet is found next to a dead man, she becomes the prime suspect in his murder. After struggling for years to build the perfect family and career, she’s dangerously close to losing everything. Jules is desperate to prove her innocence and clear her name. But there’s one big problem: she was blackout drunk when the murder took place and can’t remember what happened. She embarks on her own murder investigation. As she uncovers fresh clues, she starts a true-crime vlo When Jules Worthington-Smith’s wallet is found next to a dead man, she becomes the prime suspect in his murder. After struggling for years to build the perfect family and career, she’s dangerously close to losing everything. Jules is desperate to prove her innocence and clear her name. But there’s one big problem: she was blackout drunk when the murder took place and can’t remember what happened. She embarks on her own murder investigation. As she uncovers fresh clues, she starts a true-crime vlog pushing her into the public eye. But, as she digs deeper, the more dirt she uncovers about the murder and herself. This was a complex book that was filled with twists and secrets. While the book itself was well written, I could not sympathize with the main character, Jules, at all. I found her her annoying, she was a drunk and a flirt, as well as disregarded the feelings and privacy of others just to prove her innocence. I kept reading just to find out whether Jules was actually innocent as she claimed despite her many faults.I enjoyed that the story was fast paced and plot line got more interesting as the story progressed. The ending was a bit surprising since it was kind of hard to believe. Thank You to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for this ARC!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Walker

    As a woman tries to clear her name of a murder charge using an investigative vlog, she unearths secrets that hit close to home. The resolution is emotionally complex and devoid of sneaky tricks and tropes. For the Best is intelligent and wholly original. It is that rare book that makes you race to the end but then stop in your tracks and just say WHOA! The perfect follow-up to Lillie’s sensational debut, Little Voices.

  18. 4 out of 5

    menna hafez

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas&Mercer for.providing me with Arc. This is the first novel by Vanessa Lillie but i don't like it. The novel is very very slow in the beginning, i don't feel excited or found any mystery. I returned a lot of pages to reach the final and guess what i know, juliet who killed Dr Castle, but in the end. I loved the cover so much and i chose the novel because of it and maybe this is the reason that i will give this books 3 stars. Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas&Mercer for.providing me with Arc. This is the first novel by Vanessa Lillie but i don't like it. The novel is very very slow in the beginning, i don't feel excited or found any mystery. I returned a lot of pages to reach the final and guess what i know, juliet who killed Dr Castle, but in the end. I loved the cover so much and i chose the novel because of it and maybe this is the reason that i will give this books 3 stars.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sheena

    I thought I was going to love this one but it was just alright. The premise is a good one and the beginning starts off pretty strongly - I was hooked at first. As I progressed on, the story became repetitive and I got a little frustrated with that. I'm all for an unreliable main character but something about Juliet didn't sit well with me. I couldn't bring myself to like her. She is a selfish mother and judges her father for being an alcoholic when she is just as bad. The ending didn't really sh I thought I was going to love this one but it was just alright. The premise is a good one and the beginning starts off pretty strongly - I was hooked at first. As I progressed on, the story became repetitive and I got a little frustrated with that. I'm all for an unreliable main character but something about Juliet didn't sit well with me. I couldn't bring myself to like her. She is a selfish mother and judges her father for being an alcoholic when she is just as bad. The ending didn't really shock me either, I kinda saw it coming but still wasn't sure how I felt about it. This wasn't a bad read or anything I just thought the repetition should've been removed and would've liked Juliet to have been a better character. I would probably check out Vanessa Lillie's future novels as well. Thanks so much to Netgalley and to the publisher for sending me an arc of this book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    blondethrillerbooklover

    . ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 4.5 . Jules wakes up hungover after blacking out drunk the previous night. She can’t remember anything, she looks down and sees her legs are bleeding and dirty. Minutes later, the police are knocking on her door. They tell her that her wallet was found on a man that was murdered lastnight. . She gets fired from her job, she’s on the verge of going broke and the entire town has turned on her. She is the only suspect, the police don’t seem to be even looking at anyone else. . She decides her . ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 4.5 . Jules wakes up hungover after blacking out drunk the previous night. She can’t remember anything, she looks down and sees her legs are bleeding and dirty. Minutes later, the police are knocking on her door. They tell her that her wallet was found on a man that was murdered lastnight. . She gets fired from her job, she’s on the verge of going broke and the entire town has turned on her. She is the only suspect, the police don’t seem to be even looking at anyone else. . She decides her only hope is to save herself and she sets out on a mission to clear her name..... . This story is provocative, exploring complex topics such as childhood trauma and how it relates to us as adults, white privilege, flaws in our system and restorative justice. . ________________________________________ . I really liked this one. I definitely did NOT think it was going to go the way it did! I will be reading this author’s other book, Little Voices, soon.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)

    Vanessa, how dare you play with my emotions!!! Oh my god you guys, gals and them! Remember when I complained about the continuous use of female lead characters having drunken amnesia as a plot point? Well I eat (or maybe actually drink) my words! Turns out - I don't mind if it's done right and Lillie has changed my mind. Or rather, maybe Jules did! What I absolutely loved about this book was the uniqueness in solving the murder of Terrance. As we all know, in this day and age just about everythin Vanessa, how dare you play with my emotions!!! Oh my god you guys, gals and them! Remember when I complained about the continuous use of female lead characters having drunken amnesia as a plot point? Well I eat (or maybe actually drink) my words! Turns out - I don't mind if it's done right and Lillie has changed my mind. Or rather, maybe Jules did! What I absolutely loved about this book was the uniqueness in solving the murder of Terrance. As we all know, in this day and age just about everything plays out through a lens to the public. When Jules becomes the only suspect in the murder investigation, her name smeared on the news along with the loss of her job, she decides to take matters into her own hands and using her skills starts a vlog to start digging into clearing her name. As this escalates, so does her drinking.... and soon truths outside of this murder start to pop up and wouldn't you know it, it would drive anyone to drink. 😉 Around the 200 page mark I said to myself, "Self, what if it's actually THIS?!" Ding. Light bulb! Turns out I was right about one part and honestly it made me so damn giddy. However, I certainly didn't see another part coming and OMG, WTF?! (LOVE!) Lillie had me glued to these pages. My heart went out to Jules so much by the end of it all, even if she was a highly frustrating character at times. I did wish the light therapy was explained a bit more - I stupidly kept thinking it was "light" as in compared to hard therapy and couldn't figure out why that was such a thing. Turns out, it's therapy using lights. DOH! The book explains it a bit better than I am doing here. But outside of my stupidity here, this part did feel a bit glossed over and quickly thrown in. This will be an interesting one I think for thriller lovers. I love the uniqueness of it all and how it hits on some very important issues - child trauma, alcoholism, white privilege, complex relationships, etc. I think some readers will have a hard time with Jules as a character and how while this read is twisty, it's also somber with quite a life lesson brought to the surface. Personally, I loved it a lot for these reasons and I liked that it wasn't your typical thriller read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    2.5 Stars This book gets the dreaded OK from me. The concept is a good one, and the story could have been gripping. Unfortunately, the pacing is dreadfully slow and repetitive— characters go around and around the same topics until they reach a resolution. The climactic ending isn’t terribly climactic — the reader has guessed it long before it’s written. This reader wishes Ms. Lillie had done a better job developing multi dimensional characters and dialogue that went somewhere. It was surprising t 2.5 Stars This book gets the dreaded OK from me. The concept is a good one, and the story could have been gripping. Unfortunately, the pacing is dreadfully slow and repetitive— characters go around and around the same topics until they reach a resolution. The climactic ending isn’t terribly climactic — the reader has guessed it long before it’s written. This reader wishes Ms. Lillie had done a better job developing multi dimensional characters and dialogue that went somewhere. It was surprising to feel such a disconnect from the characters since the subjects at hand were so solemn and emotional. Thank you NetGalley, Vanessa Lillie and Thomas & Mercer for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own. #FortheBest #NetGalley

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alicia Bayer

    It's hard to know how to rate this book. The premise is intriguing (a woman was blackout drunk and her wallet is found next to her murdered colleague, so she sets out to discover/prove her innocence in part by investigating on her own and vlogging the whole thing). But... First off, I didn't relate to the main character or like her, and she didn't seem authentic. She was written as a self-absorbed functional (okay, not really functional) alcoholic, the privileged daughter of a disgraced rich man It's hard to know how to rate this book. The premise is intriguing (a woman was blackout drunk and her wallet is found next to her murdered colleague, so she sets out to discover/prove her innocence in part by investigating on her own and vlogging the whole thing). But... First off, I didn't relate to the main character or like her, and she didn't seem authentic. She was written as a self-absorbed functional (okay, not really functional) alcoholic, the privileged daughter of a disgraced rich man who is overly concerned with herself and her image. She's self absorbed, one dimensional, and destroys everyone around her, but we're supposed to go on this story through her eyes. Secondly, the ending features one really unexpected shocker (hats off for that one) and then one totally depressing and disappointing one. It may have been realistic, but who among us reads thrillers for realism? This is a well written book and I'd happily read another by the author, even if it left me a little unhappy. Three stars for "liked it." I read a digital ARC of this book for the purpose of review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Bailey

    In her sophomore novel, FOR THE BEST, Vanessa Lillie proves once again she is a master of the final twist. With an expert hand, Lillie creates a fascinating, gripping, thought-provoking thriller that weaves past trauma and present-day consequences for a protagonist accused of her beloved colleague's murder. Complex, edgy, and smart, FOR THE BEST reveals secrets page after page, leading to a shocking ending you won’t see coming. I received an ARC.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Vanessa Lillie’s FOR THE BEST is both a riveting page-turner about a woman’s race to prove her own innocence, and a layered, thought-provoking exploration of self-destructive impulses and the crushing weight of old secrets. Well-paced and full of surprises, this is one you definitely don’t want to miss!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Randi (randi_reads)

    Jules Worthington-Smith wakes up one morning to the police at her door telling her that her wallet has been found next a dead man's body. And that he was murdered. And that she was with that man the night before. But, she can't remember any of it. Why? Well, Jules like her friend, Mr. Alcohol, a little too much. Okay, a lot. She was so drunk the night before, that she can't even remember how she got home. Which is pretty typical for Jules. I lost track of how many times she had a drink in this story Jules Worthington-Smith wakes up one morning to the police at her door telling her that her wallet has been found next a dead man's body. And that he was murdered. And that she was with that man the night before. But, she can't remember any of it. Why? Well, Jules like her friend, Mr. Alcohol, a little too much. Okay, a lot. She was so drunk the night before, that she can't even remember how she got home. Which is pretty typical for Jules. I lost track of how many times she had a drink in this story. Jules doesn't believe she did it, so she starts her own investigation with a video blog--and the results may just be shocking. This is a great follow-up read to the author's first book. It was well written with characters you love to hate. I didn't particularly like Jules, but I didn't hate her either. I did think she had an amazing husband, though. It was a fast paced story and I appreciated the twists throughout. Thank you to NetGalley and the author for my digital advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. I will definitely be reading this author's next books.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf

    3.5 STARS. This thriller was so binge-worthy! The writing style was great and made it such an easy + light read. While it was a fun thriller, the mystery itself was pretty anticlimactic + I was expecting more from it. Overall it just wasn’t what I was hoping for, but I would still recommend it if it interests you!

  28. 5 out of 5

    menna hafez

    #ForTheBest #NetGalley #BookReview Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas&Mercer for.providing me with Arc. This is the first novel by Vanessa Lillie but i don't like it. The novel is very very slow in the beginning, i don't feel excited or found any mystery. I returned a lot of pages to reach the final and guess what i know, juliet who killed Dr Castle, but in the end. I loved the cover so much and i chose the novel because of it and maybe this is the reason that i will give this books 3 stars. #ForTheBest #NetGalley #BookReview Special thanks to NetGalley and Thomas&Mercer for.providing me with Arc. This is the first novel by Vanessa Lillie but i don't like it. The novel is very very slow in the beginning, i don't feel excited or found any mystery. I returned a lot of pages to reach the final and guess what i know, juliet who killed Dr Castle, but in the end. I loved the cover so much and i chose the novel because of it and maybe this is the reason that i will give this books 3 stars.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Mary McKinnon

    Vanessa Lillie deftly writes about complex and gritty relationships, and the damage long-term familial secrets can cause. The story had me switching allegiances like it was a tennis match, made me suspect everyone, and the ending…pure perfection. Loved it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    "I have a temper. I drink too much sometimes to deal with emotions I'd rather ignore. Am I some kind of loaded weapon? The trigger springing loose with the sip of one too many?" Juliet Worthington-Smith has it all - the perfect husband, a terrific kid, a big new house, her dream job as CEO of the company her father built... oh, and a bit of a drinking problem. Which wouldn't be the end of the world if her latest blackout hadn't occurred while the person she was last seen with was being murdered. "I have a temper. I drink too much sometimes to deal with emotions I'd rather ignore. Am I some kind of loaded weapon? The trigger springing loose with the sip of one too many?" Juliet Worthington-Smith has it all - the perfect husband, a terrific kid, a big new house, her dream job as CEO of the company her father built... oh, and a bit of a drinking problem. Which wouldn't be the end of the world if her latest blackout hadn't occurred while the person she was last seen with was being murdered. As the only suspect, Jules will do anything to clear her name, including investigating the crime herself. She starts a true-crime vlog where she tracks leads and posts new evidence that soon goes viral. But in searching for the truth, old secrets come out and what Juliet uncovers isn't what she expected. I could not put this book down. I love an amnesia story and Juliet's vlogs were an interesting way to explore the investigation. She's a frustrating character who's selfish and not very self-aware but over the course of the book, the author does a great job of revealing why she's the become the woman she has. A fun aspect of For the Best for me was that it's set in Rhode Island where both Vanessa Lillie and I live. The state and city of Providence are almost characters in the book, and there are lots of familiar locations and references to life in RI, one of my favorites being "Yes, Rhode Island is the smallest state, but that is not just geography; that's a mentality." This is so very true and gives a good sense of the place where this story and investigation unfolds. There are several big twists that I didn't expect and the reveal of the killer also surprised me in a good way. It's not the typical ending to a whodunit like this and looking back, Lillie perfectly laid all of the pieces for it to pay off. If you're looking for a unique, fast-paced thriller, you'll love For the Best. Thanks to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and the author for an advanced ecopy of this book to review.

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