Wells and Wong are back in their third detective adventure. They are an unstoppable double act and one of my favourite sleuthing duos. What could be bWells and Wong are back in their third detective adventure. They are an unstoppable double act and one of my favourite sleuthing duos. What could be better then than setting their latest mystery on-board the famous Orient Express. When a murder is committed on the train, you know that Daisy and Hazel will be hot on the case, uncovering clues and hunting a killer, as they determine to crack the locked room mystery.
I love, love, love this series so much! I am a massive fan of the detective genre (particularly when like here, it is brilliantly done) and really like the fact that these books are set in the 1930s. They have a classic period feel, but also a freshness and immediacy about them. Hazel and Daisy are quite an intrepid pair and leave no stones unturned when they start to investigate.
I like the fact that it pays homage to Agatha Christie's original Murder on the Orient Express, and the setting is just fantastic. I would love to go on this train and it reminded me a little bit of Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes. The guilty party is on the train but the girls do not yet know which one of the passengers can not be trusted. The fact that no one can get off without raising suspicion, lends an air of claustrophobia and danger to proceedings.
I had no idea who the murderer was but I enjoyed seeing Daisy and Hazel untangle all the clues, along with some red herrings. I read this book in a flash and it was my favourite of the series so far. Bring on more of the detective society immediately! Five stars. ...more
I have not read Colleen Houck's Tiger series, so she is a brand new author to me. I really liked the sound of 'Reawakened' because I can't think of anI have not read Colleen Houck's Tiger series, so she is a brand new author to me. I really liked the sound of 'Reawakened' because I can't think of another YA series that I have read which is set in Egypt and leans heavily on Egyptian mythology. It is always nice to discover something fresh and original and the plot sounded fantastic.
There was a lot to like about 'Reawakened'. The story was quite unique and I enjoyed the way in which Colleen Houck interwove the elements of Egypt and the Gods but with a modern setting. At times, I thought that there was a lot of dense information given to the reader all in one go, which did help to build the mythology but was a lot to get your head around all at once. I did love the myths and legends part of the book though.
The idea of a mummy coming to life and just happening to be a handsome guy who sweeps the main character off her feet, sounds pretty fantastical, but that is pretty much what happens. I really liked the Egyptian Prince Amon and his quest to find his two brothers, although I was not as keen on his female counter-part Lily. She comes across as spoilt and selfish at the start of the book but she grew on me a lot throughout the story and had matured a lot by the end. I would have liked to have seen more romance between the two leads but this often takes a backseat to everything else that is going on.
The second half of the book was absolutely packed full of adventure and excitement, with one obstacle after another lying in the path of Amon and Lily's quest. There was hardly time to catch my breath as they are thrown into one dangerous situation after another.
I originally thought that this title was going to be a stand-alone, but judging by the ending I think that this could be the first in a series. There is a lot still to sort out and it would be good to see more of Amon's two brothers in the future. This is definitely a series that I will be following. ...more
The third and final part of this series definitely reached the heady heights of the first book. It was a spell-binding conclusion to the trilogy and hThe third and final part of this series definitely reached the heady heights of the first book. It was a spell-binding conclusion to the trilogy and had me utterly gripped. There is something so refreshingly different and original about these books which I can't quite put my finger on but which makes them impossible to put down.
Lumikki is such a fantastic protagonist - one of my all-time favourites. She does not conform to the usual traits of female characters but that does not make her any less of a heroine. In fact quite the opposite is true. She is somewhat of a loner, she lets few people into her life and she is introverted but she is also incredibly brave, determined and will never back down from a fight.
I thought that the series had a little dip with book two but 'As Black As Ebony' reeled it back in and was totally entrancing. Lumikki is back on home soil with a new boyfriend, but is still convinced that her parents are hiding a big family secret from her. She also has a new threat to face from someone who seemed to know about all of her own secrets but she has no idea who is behind the threatening letters she starts to receive. The elusive Blaze, her ex-boyfriend, is also back on the scene, causing her romantic complications.
This story was brilliant. So many questions were finally answered and threads that had been planted earlier in the trilogy were unravelled, spilling secrets left, right and centre. It's a little bit of a shame however that everything was wrapped up so quickly at the end, because I think that after a big build-up, more could have been made of the final end scene. That aside, this was a compulsive and thrilling read which was a real nail-biter. I wish everyone would read these books. They are terrific! ...more
This book blew me away! I started it on a two hour train journey and became so engrossed that all I wanted to do wasThe BEST! Everyone needs to read.
This book blew me away! I started it on a two hour train journey and became so engrossed that all I wanted to do was stay on the train, travel home for another two hours and finish it. Like it's aptly named title, it crept up on my slowly, enveloping me in a cloud of intrigue and suspense. I felt like my heart was stuttering along with the frayed nerves of the main characters, as foreboding wrapped itself around me. After the first few chapters, I thought that this was going to be a pretty good book and then suddenly it turned into dynamite in my hands. No one could have shaken me from the spell I was under.
Now I'm telling myself that I must be mad not to have read anything by C.J. Skuse before. Have I been living under a rock?! I have a burning need now to go and buy all of her other books and have a mini-marathon.
I should have known from the tagline 'Malory Towers meets I Know What You Did Last Summer' that I was going to fall hook, line and sinker for this story. The book suggests that there is a monster living inside all of us - although with some it is let out by choice and with others by necessity. I am also a sucker for stories set in boarding schools and Skuse presents such an appealing view of this one (monsters aside). Bathory School for Girls is set in a picturesque location. There are wonderfully long summer days with trips outside, games and swimming. There are Hogwarts style houses and secret hidey holes. It also has it's very own legend stalking the grounds - the Beast of Bathory.
The main character Natasha, or Nash as she is known, hopes to become Head Girl. She and a small group of others are left behind at the school for Christmas. Nash's parents are unable to come for her because her older brother is missing abroad. A blizzard means that they are trapped at the school, but although they can't leave, something or someone wants to get in.
Tense, nail-biting and with one hell of a twist, 'Monster' was my kind of book. It had an ending that left me wide-eyed and open-mouthed and was deliciously dark and scary. The suspense kept being ramped up and up until I almost couldn't bear to find out what was going to happen next. A book hasn't left me on the edge of my seat like that for a long, long, time. Sheer brilliance and one of the best YA thrillers I've ever read. Don't hesitate to grab yourself a copy of 'Monster'. You won't regret it. ...more
After a stellar start to the series, I'm still feeling a little lukewarm about these books. I'm enjoying them enough to keep on reading as I really waAfter a stellar start to the series, I'm still feeling a little lukewarm about these books. I'm enjoying them enough to keep on reading as I really want to know what will happen between Rose and Dimitri, but I don't think the series is going to be a keeper.
I enjoyed the unexpected revelation at the end of this story which adds a nice twist to the tale! ...more
I had high hopes for this book but found the story very cliched and I didn't like the writing style at all. I don't think I'll be continuing with theI had high hopes for this book but found the story very cliched and I didn't like the writing style at all. I don't think I'll be continuing with the rest of the series. ...more
Emmy and Oliver’ is a wonderful contemporary YA novel from an author who is fast becoming a firm favourite of mine. I thought from looking at the coveEmmy and Oliver’ is a wonderful contemporary YA novel from an author who is fast becoming a firm favourite of mine. I thought from looking at the cover art and reading the blurb, that this book was going to be a romance. It was in part but it was largely a book about friendship and family. It is about learning to understand and accept each other for who you are, not what someone wants you to be. It is about learning when to let go and when to hold on. There are a lot of poignant messages and themes in the story which struck a chord with me.
The characters were brilliant, particularly Emmy who I loved from the start, as well as her two best friends Caro and Drew. Their friendship was epic! I would have loved a close-knit group like that when I was growing up. It took me a little longer to warm up to Oliver but that was okay because a bit like Emmy and co, I needed some time to learn more about who he was and to understand the different sides of his personality. He had definitely won me over by the end of the book.
I adored the small town setting, close to the beach and the sea. I would love to live in a seaside town like this. I think the setting helped to illustrate how hard it is for Emmy to follow her own dreams. She is more than ready to leave behind the protection of her parents but doesn’t want to hurt them in the process.
I enjoyed the story immensely. It’s quiet and moving and creeps up on you. It teaches the importance of having good friends and how a good friend can be in your life forever, even if you are not physically together. I would highly recommend this book. ...more
Kody Keplinger is the Queen of High School YA fiction. She always seems to be able to perfectly capture the authenticity of teenagers learning life leKody Keplinger is the Queen of High School YA fiction. She always seems to be able to perfectly capture the authenticity of teenagers learning life lessons about love, family and friendship, while surviving the rigours of the school environment. I will read anything that she writes!
‘Lying Out Loud’ is about Sonny Ardmore and Amy Rush (sister of Wesley from The Duff). Sonny is having problems at home and goes to live with Amy and her family but can’t bring herself to tell them the truth about what is going on. Fact: Sonny is an excellent liar but her lies are about to get her into a whole heap of trouble.
When Ryder Cross starts at Hamilton High, boy troubles are most definitely on the horizon. Will he be the reason that Amy and Sonny’s friendship falls apart?
Although the story is told from Sonny’s point of view, at times I actually identified more with Amy. I didn’t like the way that she let herself be pushed around by Sonny, so it was good to see her standing up for herself more by the end and developing a new sense of confidence. It just goes to show that you can have a privileged lifestyle with a bright future in front of you but you can still struggle with self-confidence issues.
As this is a kind of companion novel to 'The Duff', it was great seeing Wesley and Bianca in the story. They are still together and although they seem like complete opposites at times, they just work.
I loved this book. I sped through it so quickly because it was an amazing read. Kody Keplinger is on my auto-buy list. I’ve loved all of her books so far and I’m excited to see what she will write next. ...more
I couldn't get on with this one. Tried picking it up a couple of times but I didn't like any of the characters or the subject matter of the story. NotI couldn't get on with this one. Tried picking it up a couple of times but I didn't like any of the characters or the subject matter of the story. Not for me I'm afraid. ...more
I raced through this book in a couple of hours. The story is so gripping that I felt myself pulled along by my intrigue behinEdge of your seat stuff!
I raced through this book in a couple of hours. The story is so gripping that I felt myself pulled along by my intrigue behind the disappearance of Hannah's older sister Jenny. I have read all of Laura Jarratt's previous books and I think this one might be my favourite so far.
Hannah and her father arrive in England to help with the investigation into Jenny's disappearance. Hannah is determined to find out what really happened to her beloved sister and begins to try to piece together Jenny's movements with the help of her employers and friends. As she begins to get to know the people that saw her sister last, she finds herself falling for local boy Harry who she finds herself unwittingly drawn towards.
This was a fantastic thriller. I am usually really good at guessing all the twists and turns and I will often pick out the guilty party after the first few chapters, but I was totally wrong-footed this time. I did have my suspicions and I thought I'd worked out what Laura Jarratt was up to with the plot but I was headed down a blind alley. She brilliantly surprised me with a shocking and frankly quite chilling plot twist that turned everything on it's head.
The story combined drama, deception and romance and will keep readers on their toes as they try to discover not only the truth about Jenny but also the threat that hangs over Hannah's head. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to fans of this genre. ...more