Stephen just moved to the tiny town of Spencer with his out-of-work dad, to live with his estranged grandmother until things look better. Luckily, SteStephen just moved to the tiny town of Spencer with his out-of-work dad, to live with his estranged grandmother until things look better. Luckily, Stephen makes some new friends rather quickly: brother and sister Devon and Cara. Stephen thinks goth Cara is hot, and Devon's crew of "Cemetery Boys" like to live on the wild side, breaking into movie theaters and the like. It isn't until Stephen starts reading the journal Devon dropped outside his house, and learns about the "Winged Ones" that he begins to notice that there's something more than a little weird about Spencer and about Devon. A little weird, and a lot dangerous...
I'm putting this on my "thriller" shelf because it just wasn't that scary to me. The ending was more chilling than anything - basically, how psychopaths can walk among us. I have a pretty high tolerance for horror so this might be scary for a lot of people. I found the characters to be a little flat, in the way of something by R.L. Stine: a sort of cheap thrill (although this was a little more in-depth than R.L. Stine). The mystery of the Winged Ones was pretty cool and I like how it was worked in without being unrealistic.
The one major thing that I felt was unrealistic was (view spoiler)[how Stephen felt at the end, thinking that he wanted to see Cara and that maybe he loved her, when she had MURDERED HIS FATHER (hide spoiler)]. Also, how (view spoiler)[Devon and Cara got off scot-free just because one of their crew confessed to it (hide spoiler)]. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Eight years ago, Natasha Romanoff rescued a young girl from the clutches of one of her Red Room handlers. Now, Ava Orlova is alone in the world and diEight years ago, Natasha Romanoff rescued a young girl from the clutches of one of her Red Room handlers. Now, Ava Orlova is alone in the world and distrusting of the redhead who saved her then abandoned her. She's on her way to a fencing competition, where she meets a boy she's dreamed about, Alexei. But it seems someone else has been looking for these two Russian orphans as well...
I was so excited for a Black Widow novel! My main problem here was that I wanted more of Natasha instead of these new characters, although the very end of this preview brought Natasha back and showed that Ava and Alex had plenty of ninja moves themselves. I also discovered that Ava is going to be introduced in an upcoming comic book series as "Red Widow." I am still looking forward to reading the whole novel, but it's fair warning that this is not all about Black Widow as I had originally assumed (I was kinda hoping for teenage Natasha). Hopefully some of the other Avengers will make cameos (fingers crossed for Hawkeye and Winter Soldier)....more
Sam Wilson's a hacker, and in an attempt to hack into the premier convention of hackers, he hacks into the White House and lands himself a job. Top seSam Wilson's a hacker, and in an attempt to hack into the premier convention of hackers, he hacks into the White House and lands himself a job. Top secret, although he likes his new hacker buddies. He's got a sweet pad, more money than he knows what to do with, and all he has to do is keep hackers out of the government systems. The easy life comes to an end when the government is hacked, and it seems to be an inside job. Now he doesn't know who to trust... or if he can stop them.
There was a lot of jargon in here, which was made a little more accessible by the hacker-speak that made computer code sound like action. The foreshadowing was pretty thick, so I wasn't especially surprised when it was revealed who the hacker was, but it was quite a thrill ride. I didn't especially feel much connection with the characters - also, was I the only one who associates the name "Sam Wilson" with Marvel's Falcon? ...more
Libby Day has spent most of her life avoiding thinking about the murders. And she's also spent most of her life living off those murders - accepting dLibby Day has spent most of her life avoiding thinking about the murders. And she's also spent most of her life living off those murders - accepting donations from kind strangers, royalties from a ghost-written book about her ordeal, etc. - so when the money runs out, anti-social Libby is willing to contact a man named Lyle who will pay Libby to come as a special guest to their "Kill Club" - a group who likes to investigate murders. The Kill Club believes Ben, Libby's older brother, is innocent, and Libby comes to question her own testimony. As she gets involved in the Kill Club's investigation, everything she believed she knew about the murders will change.
I loved Gone Girl and while I was interested in reading her other books, I didn't really feel a drive to do so until I saw a preview for Dark Places. This was a great thriller/mystery with enough blood & gore to satisfy my horror-loving needs. At first I thought, surely Ben didn't do it, followed by a series of revelations thinking Ben did do it, with each twist I had to change my mind! Libby wasn't meant to be very likeable (I don't think) but I found myself liking her anyway, in all her rudeness and dislike of other people and habit of stealing things. I can't wait to see how the movie is, since "Gone Girl" was really great. I just can't see Charlize Theron as this character, mostly for physical reasons, and it sounds like the Kill Club is portrayed quite differently. We shall see......more
Angry, alcoholic Nick has been having some flashbacks, about a girl he tried to kill then tried to save. Anna helps him track down his memories to a sAngry, alcoholic Nick has been having some flashbacks, about a girl he tried to kill then tried to save. Anna helps him track down his memories to a small town, and Nick takes off to try to figure out his past. A girl named Elizabeth is also having flashbacks - she's been living with a foster parent and trying to hold herself together. All she remembers is how she was kidnapped and held captive. But the Branch always has their secret agents...
Every time I read one of these books I remember how much I love this series, even if I can barely remember the events of the previous books. Nick was one of my least favorite of the boys, so I was glad to get a taste of his perspective, and happy that it was tempered by Elizabeth's point of view throughout. It was a little strange not to get much of Sam and Anna, but there were some new developments that drove this story along and made it a thrill-ride. Can't wait for the next one! (I hope it's about Cas!)....more
Lane wants to be a serial killer. She even has her first victim picked out - a serial rapist - but when she goes in for the attack things don't go asLane wants to be a serial killer. She even has her first victim picked out - a serial rapist - but when she goes in for the attack things don't go as planned and now she's known as the Masked Savior, a sort of vigilante. As she attempts to be "normal" and date Zack, she tracks down criminals... and now she's on the case of the Decapitator, a serial killer her FBI agent mother and stepfather are hunting down. When the Decapitator contacts her, she isn't sure if she'll be his next victim, or if the killer knows about her dark desires.
I was excited about this book, which sounded like a "female Dexter." But Dexter hunted other killers, and Lane is going after criminals like rapists and dog abusers. There seemed to be a lot going on: Lane would hear about some terrible event in the news and then she'd be off trying to stop it. And yet she never used lethal force. I had a hard time connecting with Lane until the last quarter of the book. She was so closed off, but she didn't have that Dexter-like quality where she acted normal to fool everyone. She was pretty happy about not acting normal. Most of the time she would do something completely atypical then wonder why people thought she was weird/creepy.
Her relationship with her siblings was where it was the most weird. She's very connected to her developmentally disabled brother Justin, but is downright nasty with her sister Daisy. Even though Lane herself (view spoiler)[tries to give Zack a handjob in the school library and ends up having an orgasm (hide spoiler)], she calls Daisy a slut. Frankly, Daisy is extremely promiscuous and doesn't seem to mind everyone watching her go down on a guy, but I didn't like the slut-shaming. There was never a real explanation as to why Lane and Daisy were so nasty to each other.
So, from the above, you might have gathered that this book is a little sexually explicit. There was very little swearing in the book (Lane often uses the word "effing"), but then there's a lot of detailed talk of oral sex. In the first couple of chapters, as she's hunting the rapist, there are descriptions of his methods and personal habits.
While I liked the twist at the end and liked guessing who the Decapitator was, and the book read very quickly, I had a hard time with the inconsistency of Lane's character, and also had a hard time really connecting to any of the characters.
Parental advisory: School Library Journal listed this one as being for grades 12 & up, and I rather agree. Some language, sexually explicit, and sex and violence without real consequence.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Several months ago, Sophie's best friend Mina was murdered. Sophie was right there, but when the cops fouI received this advanced copy from Netgalley.
Several months ago, Sophie's best friend Mina was murdered. Sophie was right there, but when the cops found drugs on her, she got sent to rehab and Mina's murder investigation got derailed. Now that Sophie is back, and still clean, she's out to find who killed her friend and framed Sophie with the drugs.
There was a lot going on in this story, sub-plot-wise. Sophie became addicted to painkillers after a car accident injured her leg when she was 14, so she's dealing with pain, a disability, and recovering from addiction on top of grieving for Mina, who was more than just the friend that helped her kick the addiction. Sophie and Mina's relationship is complicated and not really labelled, which I thought was cool. Sophie identifies as bisexual, and this complicates things because Mina's brother Trev has always had a crush on Sophie, and toward the end Mina attempted to make Sophie choose Trev when Mina started dating Kyle. And all this really has very little to do with the actual mystery, which involves Mina's investigation into a girl who disappeared three years earlier, aside from giving Sophie the motivation to doggedly pursue Mina's murderer.
This was a unique mystery/thriller, a bit of noir, lots of tension and interesting twists and turns....more
While this wasn't really what I'd normally call a 4-star read, it was so much better than Project Cain that I had to give it at least 1 more star. ProWhile this wasn't really what I'd normally call a 4-star read, it was so much better than Project Cain that I had to give it at least 1 more star. Project Cain read like a summary of another book - this book. This is the fully fleshed out story of ex-soldier Castillo and his assignment to hunt down a group of clones created from serial killer DNA, and his unlikely sidekick Jeff - a clone of Jeffrey Dahmer.
I feel like Project Cain is redundant. With the exception of the (view spoiler)[cavalry charge (hide spoiler)] during the climactic scene, there was very little in that book that was not also present in this book. In fact, many of the scenes that I felt were missing from Project Cain were fleshed out here, even written in Jeff's third-person POV. For example, he was tortured by a group of the clones, which in the book written from his perspective was largely done as "time passed in a blur of torture" - here I actually found out what they did to him. Yes, Project Cain does use Jeff's first person POV to show how he made the phone calls, his struggle trying to figure out his he is a natural-born killer, but the info dumps and summarized conversations and distance from the action weakened the whole novel.
Cain's Blood has the full conversations missing from its YA counterpart. While there was quite a bit of swearing, I didn't really see why that would prohibit the conversations from being used in the other novel, especially when gory details like a serial killer who sticks pins in his genitals WERE used.
I would recommend skipping Project Cain and just reading this novel if you are intrigued by the idea of serial killer clones and the nature of evil. You will get just as much of Jeffrey's story here, and you will also be able to engage with the story because it's WAY better written.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Anna, Sam, Nick, and Cas have been on the run ever since they escaped from her father's Branch lab. After learnI received this ARC from the publisher.
Anna, Sam, Nick, and Cas have been on the run ever since they escaped from her father's Branch lab. After learning that her sister Dani is alive, Anna wants to find her - especially since her memories are returning in intense flashbacks. It seems her entire past has been a lie, and she is so confused by the memories that she isn't sure who to trust. Can she trust her own sister? Or the uncle she learns is alive? What about Trev, who was once her best friend but who now works for the Branch? Or the man she thinks of as her father? Her relationship with Nick is becoming more volatile as both of them experience flashbacks that make her question what her relationship with Nick used to be.
This book moves at a lightning pace. Anna's confusion was well-done and made her actions understandable instead of annoying, although just because someone said they were my sister doesn't mean I would trust her! I personally felt that Anna and Nick have a lot more going on than Anna and Sam. I still didn't truly feel the chemistry between Anna and Sam and I wish Sam would be more fleshed out or explained so he doesn't feel like such an unknown. Cas also felt like a bit of a throwaway character in this book, but the story was more about Anna, Dani, and Nick and understanding the past. There is still a lot left to be explained, though. I want to know more about why the Altered program was started and how all of these kids got involved. Hopefully the third book will explain more! Unlike most second books in a series, this one definitely didn't drag or get bogged down in backstory. At all. ...more
Olivia has only just expressed her feelings for her childhood friend Stern when Stern turns up dead and Olivia's schizophrenic mother confesses to theOlivia has only just expressed her feelings for her childhood friend Stern when Stern turns up dead and Olivia's schizophrenic mother confesses to the crime. Now, months later, Olivia is trying to pick up the pieces of her life as her father prepares to remarry. When Olivia gets involved with the son of a real estate mogul (and her father's boss) Austin, she begins seeing things... things like the ghost of Stern. Now Olivia must race against time to prevent her mother being locked away for a crime Olivia believes she didn't commit.
Liv's struggle with wondering if she is schizophrenic like her mother added to the unwillingness to believe what she was seeing. Liv's artist's eye, and her sudden colorblindness, made the visual descriptions in the book very vivid and moody. As she found more clues, the pace of the story picked up and raced toward the end - although the beginning of the story was just as interesting. Although there weren't a lot of options for who the killer was, I still thought the mystery was well-done.
Parental advisory: language, underage drinking and drug use....more
When Sawyer's boyfriend Kevin is killed in a drunk driving accident, she is relieved - Kevin was an abusive boyfriend, and Sawyer had been trying to bWhen Sawyer's boyfriend Kevin is killed in a drunk driving accident, she is relieved - Kevin was an abusive boyfriend, and Sawyer had been trying to break up with him. Then Sawyer receives a note that says simply, "You're welcome." She's shaken, but it isn't until the teacher who made a pass at her is killed that Sawyer begins to get scared.
Let's look at the list of suspects: Cooper - the hot new kid who is interested in Sawyer Logan - the kid who's always had a crush on Sawyer, and who always seems to be hanging around Maggie - Kevin's ex-girlfriend and Sawyer's former best friend Detective Haas - Logan's older brother on the police force who happens to be the first responder to all of these situations.
Of course it's always the one you don't suspect (view spoiler)[(Chloe, Sawyer's best friend, who just wants to protect her) (hide spoiler)]. This reminded me a lot of books I used to read in high school, like Lois Duncan, R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike. While there was an element of formula to this murder mystery, I thought the emphasis on Sawyer's broken emotional state made for an interesting story that kept me guessing, because she was an extremely unreliable narrator. At one point I was seriously suspecting her of doing all of it.
Side note: Does this title remind anyone else of that Savage Garden song?["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Jeff thought he was a pretty normal, if not geeky, teenage boy until the day his father told him he was the genetic clone of serial killer Jeffrey DahJeff thought he was a pretty normal, if not geeky, teenage boy until the day his father told him he was the genetic clone of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmner, created by the government as an experiment. That was the night his father disappeared. The night "they" came for him.
Jeff escapes with the help of Castillo, an ex-army guy who isn't working with the government or the shady group called DSTI. There are other clones, who are now on a killing spree. As the pair follow the trail of blood, Jeff starts having weird visions that are genetic memories... and something else...
The idea behind this story was very gripping and interesting. Who isn't fascinated by serial killers? Who doesn't wonder if it's nature or nurture that creates these monsters? I kept waiting for the story to really begin, since it all felt like a really long summary of some other book (perhaps Cain's Blood?). It never went from "summary mode" into storytelling mode. I always felt like I was outside the action, and I also felt like Jeff himself was outside the action. I wanted him to feel it when he was being tortured, but instead it was just "they cut up my feet, and then I passed out for a while."
There was a lot of interesting information here. I'm hoping the adult companion to this book is more in the action (it's from the POV of Castillo). From the reviews I've read, this is a very watered down version of the gore/torture porn of Cain's Blood.
Parental advisory: There was some swearing, and violence, but it wasn't very in depth. Although some details of the real serial killers' lives were somewhat graphic and disturbing....more
With Gretchen Lowell now in a high security mental hospital, Archie Sheridan is on the case with a new serial killer. So far only two have been killedWith Gretchen Lowell now in a high security mental hospital, Archie Sheridan is on the case with a new serial killer. So far only two have been killed, both with lilies left near the bodies. One witness is familiar to Archie: Pearl, a runaway teen who Archie encountered in Evil at Heart. Of course Susan Ward, intrepid reporter, gets involved. Archie is distracted by his nubile new neighbor Rachel, but not so distracted that he doesn't pay attention when Gretchen says she has information about the killer...
This was a vast improvement over The Night Season - one of the aspects of this series that I love is the mental game between Archie and Gretchen, and that was back. I get more and more annoyed by Susan stumbling into the damsel-in-distress role. I was extremely suspicious of Rachel. Toward the end the pace picked up and got very intense, and ended with a bit of a cliffhanger... Guess I'll have to continue reading......more
After several bodies turn up as the city is flooding, Archie Sheridan begins to suspect that this is murder. The only clue is a small mark on the victAfter several bodies turn up as the city is flooding, Archie Sheridan begins to suspect that this is murder. The only clue is a small mark on the victims' hands. As Susan investigates an old skeleton that has been unearthed, she finds links to the Van Port flood of 50 years ago.
I hate to say it, but this one fell flat for me. Gretchen Lowell is barely in this story. The mystery about the flood and the unique murder weapon struck me as totally implausible. In the first three books of this series, the best part of the story was the tension between Archie and Gretchen Lowell. Here, we get more of Susan's Nancy Drew act stumbling right into danger, and very little of Archie's struggles to get over Gretchen. Gretchen appears in the last few pages, almost like an afterthought. It looks like Gretchen is featured more prominently in the next book, so I will continue with this series.
Also, I didn't like the narrator of this audiobook as much as the reader in the first three. Susan came off sounding much younger and even more ditsy, and Archie didn't sound nearly as grizzled....more
Archie Sheridan is living in a rehab facility when the police discover a murder scene that indicates Gretchen Lowell's involvement. Instead of leadingArchie Sheridan is living in a rehab facility when the police discover a murder scene that indicates Gretchen Lowell's involvement. Instead of leading them to Gretchen, the clues point to Jeremy, whose sister was killed by Gretchen. Soon Archie and reporter Susan Ward are up to their eyeballs in, well, eyeballs - and piercings. Is Jeremy the psychopath, or is Gretchen behind the whole thing?
Gretchen doesn't show up very much in this installment - but we still get plenty of backstory, especially in the case of Jeremy and his sister, as well as Archie's affair with Gretchen. Half the time I wasn't sure why Susan Ward was even involved. I was torn between finding her "dumb blonde" act annoying and rooting for Archie and Susan to hook up. There was plenty of gore and perilous situations to keep me on the edge of my seat....more
After her close call with the Schoolyard Killer, reporter Susan Ward is back on the case with her Molly Palmer/Senator Castle story... only Molly isn'After her close call with the Schoolyard Killer, reporter Susan Ward is back on the case with her Molly Palmer/Senator Castle story... only Molly isn't answering the phone. Archie Sheridan is looking into another case involving bodies found in a park when he and Susan both get the news that Senator Castle has died in a car accident. Worse, one of the bodies in the park is Molly... Since Susan was about to go public with the story, they suspect foul play. Then Beauty Killer Gretchen Lowell escapes from prison, and everyone is in danger.
The story, while not exactly "fast-paced," had many twists and turns that kept interest even as I wasn't sure what the endgame would be. There are new revelations about Archie's relationship with Gretchen that were quite interesting... I'm not sure why Susan seemed almost as flaky as her hippie mother Bliss in this installment - while I liked her never-ceasing investigative attitude, she made a few too many bad decisions and got herself in trouble. ...more
Rory and her family are packed off as part of the Witness Protection Program after Rory is attacked by her math teacher,I read this ARC via Netgalley.
Rory and her family are packed off as part of the Witness Protection Program after Rory is attacked by her math teacher, who it turns out is a serial killer. Even before they arrive on the island of Juniper Landing, things are weird. Rory's having nightmares and flashes, and once they arrive, everything is surreal. The island is beautiful, but the people are strange. For once, the kids are more interested in Rory than in her older sister Darcy. Then people start disappearing, and Rory begins to find clues that indicate her attacker is on the island... somewhere in the fog...
Okay. So the first part of this book moved very quickly. There was a lot of action and I liked the glimpses into the mind of the killer. The behavior of the islanders was very curious, and I could tell that something paranormal was going on, but during the middle I waited for some clue about what it was. Only no one was revealing anything. People kept disappearing and no one remembered them. I thought for sure Rory had some special powers or something... then the ending came along and picked up the pace, and even then I had no clue. Then in the LAST LINE it was revealed... totally took me by surprise, and I'm glad to see that this is a series because even though that last line explained a lot, it did not explain everything. Not at all....more
Daisy has died 5 times. When she was 4 years old she became part of a government drug trial after she died in a bus accident with 21 other kids. AfterDaisy has died 5 times. When she was 4 years old she became part of a government drug trial after she died in a bus accident with 21 other kids. After Revive worked on her, she was relocated with agents posing as her parents. After each death she's had to move and change her name, but Omaha is different from other places. Daisy makes a quick friend in Audrey and falls for Audrey's brother Matt. Then Daisy is seen by a girl she knew in her last location, Nora. When Nora disappears, Daisy begins to suspect that the Revive program isn't as altruistic as it appears.
I read over 100 pages of this book in the first sitting. Daisy's situation was so interesting and I wanted to find out more about her deaths and experiences, and more about the other bus kids, but that was not totally fulfilled. It seemed like Daisy was going to get some fall out from trying to help Audrey with the Revive drug but the events that led to Daisy's discoveries about Revive had nothing to do with that. I felt there could have been more tension and fear at the end, and that Matt could have been more threatened - the climax was not as gripping as it could have been. However, this was an interesting idea and a decent thriller with some romance thrown in....more
I was so psyched when I visited the Nashua Public Library and found that they had a sizable collection of vintage Christopher Pike books. I couldn't rI was so psyched when I visited the Nashua Public Library and found that they had a sizable collection of vintage Christopher Pike books. I couldn't remember the ending of this one, and it was really skinny, so I checked it out.
The short plot: Jane vows revenge when she finds that the last page of her diary has been photocopied and passed around the school. What was Jane's secret? Why would she feel the need to go so far as murder? I couldn't remember. So.... SPOILERS!
(view spoiler)[Jane's big bad secret was that she lost her virginity to her boyfriend. The bigger secret was that this was a lie; Jane used her diary to create a fantasy life for herself. She reimagines her first meeting with her boyfriend Kirk (her best friend Alice's ex, and her other best friend Sharon's crush), and two months later reimagines a date with Kirk as her first time, in graphic detail (details not shared with the impressionable teen reader). Because she keeps some real details, such as when she tells Kirk, "Gimme a kiss," Kirk confirms the lie and says he did sleep with Jane.
Jane believes it was Patty, a slutty cheerleader still angry about something Jane wrote in the school newspaper, who photocopied her diary page. Her revenge strategy is to make Patty and Kirk sweat by faking her own death (which involves getting one of them to push her overboard, then donning scuba equipment and swimming away). All that goes off without a hitch; there was just one detail Jane didn't consider: how had Patty gotten ahold of Jane's diary to begin with?
That would be Alice, who is pissed at Kirk for giving her herpes - her father told her that her cold sores were herpes from kissing Kirk. So when Jane pulls her stunt with help from Sharon, and a number of teens on board the party boat dive into the water looking for her, Alice goes diving with scuba equipment, and offers Kirk some air from her second tank - filled with laughing gas from her father's dentist office, and he drowns.
The second part of Jane's plan is to swim to shore, hike up to Sharon's family's cabin, and hang out until everyone is sufficiently mourning her death and accusing Kirk and Patty. But then someone is shooting at the cabin, and Jane knocks Sharon unconscious with a fireplace poker thinking it's the shooter. The shooter (Alice, or maybe her father?) sets the cabin on fire, but Jane survives by using her scuba equipment to give herself enough air to last until the shooter is satisfied and leaves, then Jane escapes - unfortunately, Sharon is not so lucky. Jane then heads down to the dentist's office to pick up some pain meds for her burns, and switch some records so that when the police check, they'll think it was Jane's body in the cabin. By now Jane knows it was Alice, and she heads to Alice's house to force the truth out of her.
But after Alice delivers her villain monologue while Jane has her hostage in Alice's poolhouse, Jane realizes that Alice has leaked the laughing gas sets the place on fire. Jane is rescued by the nice cute detective that had been interrogating Alice earlier. (hide spoiler)]
The girls over at Forever Young Adult did a hilarious post about Christopher Pike's common themes, and this book was one of the ones they reviewed. It was rather funny to realize that surprising as it was to find 8 of his commonly used themes in this book, arson and revenge were used twice, and the whole story reminded me that another of Christopher Pike's books used scuba diving (Bury Me Deep).
Also, in our modern times of cyber-bullying, Jane's embarrassment over a rumor that she had sex seems a bit overblown. Kids today would have made her life a living hell. She would have to deal with more than just a few stray looks and a talk from her guidance counselor that today would have landed him in prison. Aside from this, the story has held up pretty well over time.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I was eager to start this after finishing The Girl Who Played With Fire, which ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. Lisbeth has been shot in the head andI was eager to start this after finishing The Girl Who Played With Fire, which ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. Lisbeth has been shot in the head and is transported to the hospital, where she is held under arrest for three murders. Blomkvist is on the trail of a secret government organization that appears to have been responsible for Lisbeth's incarceration in a mental hospital as a teenager, all surrounding the mysterious Zalachenko. Lisbeth's life is in danger from many angles, but what can she do from a guarded hospital room?
The beginning and middle of this book dragged quite a bit for me. There were so many details and very little action. The characters were gearing up for something but none of their actions were explained (or even mentioned) until the end. The subplot of Erica Berger's workplace harassment was the only interesting thing for quite a while. Once Lisbeth went on trial, the story began moving much more quickly.
It's unfortunate that this is the last published book in the series, because there were several loose ends that might have been interesting to explore, like Blomkvist's relationship with Figeroela, Salander's twin sister, and just what Lisbeth was going to do now that her life was out of danger. But overall, considering that the author passed away before writing any of the other books, this novel wraps up the major storylines and I don't feel like this was a cliffhanger ending. The second book was probably my favorite of all three, but you will definitely need to read this one after finishing that one....more
After the way The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ended, and after watching the movie (both versions), I really wanted to continue getting to know LisbethAfter the way The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ended, and after watching the movie (both versions), I really wanted to continue getting to know Lisbeth Salander, and I couldn't wait for a library copy (it only cost, like, $5 at Target).
Lisbeth has been touring the world after making off with millions of kroner from Wennerstrom's illegal bank accounts. While Lisbeth is having a brief affair in the Caribbean and dishing out justice as only she can, Mikhael has been working with Millenium toward producing another book, this one about illegal sex trafficking that involves police officers and government officials. When Lisbeth returns and checks up on what Mikhael's been doing, she gets herself and those close to her involved in a murder mystery in which she is the number one subject.
I was relieved that this book was not as graphic as its predecessor, and I also enjoyed learning more about Lisbeth and her past. The story moved along fairly quickly, although again it was only when it was halfway through that I found myself barely able to put it down. This book also didn't have the problem of its predecessor in the ending. I am still curious about Lisbeth's sister and hope in the third book that we will get to meet her.
I wasn't a fan of how in the beginning Lisbeth had changed her appearance (through breast enhancements). I didn't think it followed her personality, and it did not become a major plot point, so it felt very unnecessary to me. I also thought the mathematics she was studying was going to come into play in the climax, but it really did not. The book concludes on a bit of a cliffhanger, so be warned!...more
Blomqvist, a finance journalist, after being indicted for libel against the powerful Wennerstrom company, is hired by the head of the widespread VangeBlomqvist, a finance journalist, after being indicted for libel against the powerful Wennerstrom company, is hired by the head of the widespread Vanger Corporation to investigate the disappearance of his niece Harriet, which occurred over 30 years ago. Along the way Blomqvist hires a top-notch private investigator, Lisbeth Salander, to help him with the case.
This was a book I wanted to read before watching any of the movies, and though the Swedish version has been out for a while, I never really found the time until my book club made plans to see the American version. At first this book really dragged. There was a short, interesting hook, but then for fifty pages it was all background material about Wennerstrom and finances that was really boring... then you meet Lisbeth. She is such an interesting character, but even so, the first half of the book moved very slowly with all the details of Harriet's disappearance and the Vanger family tree. Once Blomqvist and Lisbeth finally meet, things begin moving very quickly. I raced through the last 200 or so pages. Lisbeth was so interesting that I definitely want to read the next books.
There were a couple of very disturbing scenes that definitely explains this books original Swedish title ("Men Who Hate Women"). I read a lot of horror but even I was disturbed by the rape scenes, and I was just very thankful that revenge was gotten. I'm not sure how I'm going to watch these scenes in the movie... but I am excited to see it - tomorrow night!...more
Kit has stopped off at her father's second home to pick up a shirt when her ex-stepmother, a flaky woman named Dusty, arrives with a baby in tow. SheKit has stopped off at her father's second home to pick up a shirt when her ex-stepmother, a flaky woman named Dusty, arrives with a baby in tow. She hands the baby over to Kit and says she'll be right back, but instead drives off.
Kit isn't sure what to do. The baby is so cute. Then a rough-looking man, Dusty's brother, comes around for the baby, and suddenly Kit - and her friend Rowan and his little sister Muffin - are involved in a baby-swapping plot that puts all of them in jeopardy!
The characters were a bit one-dimensional, in strange ways: Rowan likes to dress as if he stepped out of the pages of a catalog, and he "likes" Kit because she seems to be the same way. Kit has practiced being emotionless since her parents' divorce. My impression of the characters being simple might have been due to the writing style, which sometimes fell into the same kind of fairytale-like rhythm as Freeze Tag.
I also quickly got annoyed with how the teens and girl thought the baby was so cute - they might as well have started baby-talking to it - while the adults in the story were SO careless and uncaring. Yes, the adults were criminals, but I think most adults know how to treat a baby.
The action moved right along, though, and it was an interesting thriller. Clean in content despite the criminal activity, a bit heavy-handed with the morality, though....more
Dexter, in the midst of wedding preparations, takes some time out to pacify his Dark Passenger. A short time later, he is called into a strange crimeDexter, in the midst of wedding preparations, takes some time out to pacify his Dark Passenger. A short time later, he is called into a strange crime scene: two young female bodies beheaded, their bodies arranged and topped with ceramic bull heads. At the same time, Dexter's Dark Passenger disappears. Somehow, they are connected, and Dexter needs to figure out how without the inner guidance he's used to. To make matters more complicated, Rita's kids, Astor and Cody, are eager for Dexter to help them with their own dark passengers.
Through the story, the narration jumps from Dexter's first person (and his own sometimes third-person) to the story of IT, a strange god-like being, and the narration of the Watcher, who observes Dexter. This all made sense in the end. I didn't mind so much about the Watcher, but IT was sort of unnecessary. The use of the ancient religion and using sacrifices to pacify this dark spirit was an interesting explanation for Dexter's condition, although it was a bit "out there" for me... I prefer a more psychological explanation rather than this borderline supernatural one.
Obviously, there is a huge deviation from the television series with the idea of Astor and Cody being like Dexter, and how he plans to teach them as Harry taught him. I also wanted a bit more to be resolved involving Sargeant Doakes. If you haven't read the other two Dexter novels, you'd be a little lost in understanding what happened to Doakes and Deborah's boyfriend Kyle. Overall, the story was fast-paced and interesting, and enjoyable for any Dexter fan....more
Dexter, America's favorite serial killer, is on the trail of another serial killer when one of his coworkers, Sargeant Doakes, decides to follow DexteDexter, America's favorite serial killer, is on the trail of another serial killer when one of his coworkers, Sargeant Doakes, decides to follow Dexter around, waiting for him to screw up. While Dexter pretends to be the perfect boyfriend, hanging out at Rita's and drinking beer and putting on a show for Doakes, he really wants to be hunting down the other half of a pedophile duo. Then a bizarre murder rocks the Miami homocide department, and Doakes especially. Doakes has some connections to the twisted killer from back in his military days. Dexter now has to attempt to save his sister Deborah's new boyfriend from the killer, but maybe he can use Doakes as bait and solve that problem too...
Dexter's psychology was on display here more than in the first book, as he can't do much about his "Dark Passenger" with Doakes watching him. His interactions with Rita and the children seem so fake, compared to the television show where you see his happy face but don't hear his dark thoughts. Cody's behavior was quite interesting too... This case was not covered by the television series, and because of Dexter's lack of emotions we don't get to see any of the after effects of what Doakes endures. Will he continue to be a character in the series? I also really liked the hangman imagery and theme throughout....more
In Gone, everyone over the age of 15 in Perdido Beach, CA disappeared as a giant dome encapsulated the town. Some kids discovered they had special powIn Gone, everyone over the age of 15 in Perdido Beach, CA disappeared as a giant dome encapsulated the town. Some kids discovered they had special powers, and a showdown between long-lost brothers Sam and Caine created chaos. In Hunger, the food shortage took hold of the survivors, and the kids are forced to learn how to work together even as a strange force called the gaiaphage tried to tear them apart.
In Lies, kids are still hungry, but the more pressing concern is a group of kids called the Human Crew, led by Zil, who think all the "freaks" need to die. Sam, Astrid, and the other kids on the council are struggling with the need to control - Sam wants to use his powers, while Astrid thinks everyone needs to work together, and Albert is more concerned with creating an economy. When Orsay begins having prophetic dreams and teams up with newcomer Nerezza, the council fears that her lies will lead kids to essentially kill themselves by allowing themselves to be "taken" when they turn 15. And what about the kids who are literally rising from the dead... including Drake?
The cast of characters here is large and could be unwieldy, but the storylines come together and everyone is important. I love the new characters living out on a private island - think if Brangelina's kids were caught up in the FAYZ. I also like that Astrid came to some realizations about herself and how she is perceived, although I don't feel like Sam had as big of a revelation as he needed. The crazy mutated animals were missing a little here, and the focus was not on the strange powers some kids had as much as group dynamics (although I like that). I'm definitely looking forward to Plague!...more
Sutton has just awoken to find herself in a strange room, with a girl who looks just like her. Unfortunately, SuttonI read this ARC via Netgalley.com.
Sutton has just awoken to find herself in a strange room, with a girl who looks just like her. Unfortunately, Sutton finds that she cannot touch anything or make anyone hear or see her, and she can only see and hear things that her twin - a foster kid named Emma - can see. And she somehow knows what Emma is thinking.
Sutton can't remember much about her life, but she's pretty sure she's dead, and she even has video evidence, when Emma's foster brother shows her what appears to be a snuff video. Emma sees a girl who looks exactly like her being choked to death, although her foster family certainly doesn't believe that Emma could have a long-lost twin out there. With a little detective work, Emma discovers that this girl named Sutton lives in Arizona, and receives a text message from Sutton herself inviting her to come out. Emma boards the next bus right away.
Unfortunately for Emma, Sutton knows she didn't send that text, and her limited sight means she doesn't know who did. Immediately after arriving in Arizona, Emma is kidnapped by Sutton's friends, who don't seem to realize the difference, and then she receives a threatening message saying that Sutton was dead, and Emma had better play along if she didn't want to end up the same way. But pretending to be Sutton is trickier than Emma or the ghostly Sutton could have imagined. Sutton and her friends were fond of playing "The Lying Game," a game full of nasty and scary pranks that may have earned Sutton a number of murderous enemies. It seems her killer may have been one of her closest friends: her sister Laurel, her boyfriend's ex Charlotte, her tennis rival Nisha, or maybe the dark brooding lurker Ethan? And what about Thayer, Laurel's crush who also went missing about the same time as Sutton? And where is Sutton's body?
That's a long summary, but it barely even begins to cover the intrigue in this new series. I hadn't read the Pretty Little Liars series, but I may have to now! The story raced along. The point of view was so unique - the first-person voice of Sutton, seeing things through Emma's eyes, while the real Sutton remains a mystery (and the "real Sutton" seems like a mean bitch, yet I was sympathetic to "ghost Sutton"). While spoiled rich characters in books (a la Gossip Girl) irritate me, this felt different because Emma herself hadn't grown up spoiled. There were a lot of characters here to follow, but they are all potential suspects that I can expect to see more of in later books. I can't wait to see where the flirtation with Ethan goes (since "Sutton" is actually dating Garrett). The short chapters and thrill-a-minute plot made this a very quick read. I thought the use of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and texting was very realistic and it'd certainly be the way most people today would try to find information! I'd recommend this for high school students and up. Although there isn't a ton by way of swearing or sex, there is a lot of casual underage drinking and the subject matter is fairly dark. ...more
I read this back before I really knew who Chris Crutcher was (possibly before reading any of his YA novels), and I'm pretty sure I found a hardcover oI read this back before I really knew who Chris Crutcher was (possibly before reading any of his YA novels), and I'm pretty sure I found a hardcover of this title in a library book sale. This was back when I read a lot of thrillers and really enjoyed stories about people with mental illness. The main character was a child therapist and I remember reading this and thinking that being at therapist might be an interesting job. Of course, then I went on to major in psychology and work with disturbed children and it wasn't quite so glamorous. ...more
The first time I tried to read this book I was in fifth grade. I loved dinosaurs. I was a good reader. But ten years old was a bit too young for thisThe first time I tried to read this book I was in fifth grade. I loved dinosaurs. I was a good reader. But ten years old was a bit too young for this one.
I tried again closer to when the movie was released - although I am sure it was before the movie - so it was probably around 8th grade or so. I think I had to skip over a bit of the technical stuff, but I loved dinosaurs and really enjoyed the story. Then I saw the movie. And LOVED the movie, despite the changes to the characters and plot. A few years later I read it again and was surprised by how much more I understood, and how different it was from the movie. ...more
I picked this up at my library because it sounded interesting. A girl goes up to use her father's vacation house and finds someone already living therI picked this up at my library because it sounded interesting. A girl goes up to use her father's vacation house and finds someone already living there... someone who then accuses her of leaving weird items around the house for him to find.
First off, I wasn't sure why this book was in the YA area. It felt to me more like an adult book - all of the characters are in college or older, and the point of views switches between three of them - Mimi (the girl), Jay (the boy living at her father's house), and Cramer, who spends his days watching Mimi and Jay from afar. However, there wasn't anything too adult about the book either, not much swearing, no sex although the characters' past relationships figure heavily in the story.
This was more of a mystery than a horror story (I had hoped for a good horror story, but this wasn't it). I had expected to be kept in the dark about who was leaving these weird items in the house, but you find out almost immediately. But more weird things happen, and I was left guessing until the end about who had actually committed the crimes.
The focus of the story, for me, was the weird incestuous longing between the three characters above. It was just a little strange....more