Manipulated Lives is not a book I’d normally read, however I was approached by the author to read her book, and it sounded interesting enough that I decided to take her up on her offer. Manipulated Lives is comprised of 5 short stories that touch on the nature of unhealthy relationships, particularly relationships with narcissists.
Each of the stories were completely separate from one another and had their own plot, but had similar overarching themes. While I wouldn’t classify any of the stories as traditional thrillers, each of them had some sort of small twist at the end that wrapped up the story.
My favorite of the stories were the 3rd and 4th stories, The Spell and Runaway Girl. I loved reading both of those stories and could have seen both be longer thrillers based on their plots. I actually love psychology, and do a lot of reading articles related to mental illness, human behavior, and personality disorders, so the fact that each of the stories touched on narcissism and manipulative people was really interesting to me.
There were parts in each story where I wanted to shake some of the characters because it was clear to me that they were being taken advantage of or were being naïve, so it definitely had an air of uncomfortable tension in them.
I felt like each story got better and better. I definitely enjoyed the last three stories more than the first two, which felt slower to me. The tension in the last three was higher, so that made them more engaging to me.
Overall, if you’re a fan of psychology, short stories, or quick reads (especially if they have flawed narrators), you’ll enjoy Manipulated Lives, and I definitely recommend picking it up! Thank you so much to H.A Leuschel for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.