How do you honor one of the best crime series of the decade? I had my doubts about Lagercrantz, especially once I heard that much of the sto3.5 Stars.
How do you honor one of the best crime series of the decade? I had my doubts about Lagercrantz, especially once I heard that much of the story would involve the US and the NSA, but he's proved me wrong. I think this works because Lagercrantz doesn't try to be Larsson -- he pays respect to him while still making this book his own. It's not a easy task to breathe new life into such beloved characters like Salander and Blomkvist, but I think readers will happy with the results.
Like the previous novels in the series, a series of seemingly unrelated characters and events are tied together intricately. The plot is complex, well-thought out and has the impressive touch of an expert, even if gets a bit over the top at times. All of the business with the NSA intertwines with all of the Swedish conspiracies and politics quite nicely, it also adds another layer of relevancy considering how often the security organization makes headlines.
Yes, readers read these books for the twisty mysteries and enticing Blomkvist, but we're all really just here for Salander. Lisbeth is just as fucking amazing as one would expect, there's a reason why she's the "girl" who's featured in the titles. Salander has always been somewhat of a mystery and Lagercrantz gives readers a peek into her childhood with Zala, illuminating little details that paint a better picture of our favorite heroine. Though it does destroy partially some of that air of mystery she carries around her, it also makes readers want to cheer her on even more.
Mikael Blomkvist is just as stubborn, obsessive and horny as readers remember and reading about him for the first time in ages felt like getting reacquainted with an old friend. It was interesting to see how Blomkvist and Millennium try to adjust to the more digital age and attempt to stay relevant. It's clear that our journalist hasn't lost his touch and still is just as engaging as readers remember.
I was worried that this book would be just glorified fan-fiction, but it's clear that Lagercrantz really cares about Salander, Millennium and Larsson's novels. I'm eagerly awaiting the inevitable sequel and all I really want is just more Lisbeth kicking ass. I don't think that's too much to ask for....more
Scarlett Underground is an awesome diverse book that takes on the classic sleuth mystery and adds in the intrigue of mystical cults and genies. I've yScarlett Underground is an awesome diverse book that takes on the classic sleuth mystery and adds in the intrigue of mystical cults and genies. I've yet to see a book with such an original heroine and it's not too often that you read a book with a Muslim American protagonist (the only other one I've read is the graphic novel Miss Marvel). This is a book that readers will be speeding through and that will leave them eager for another installment. I definitely would like to read another book featuring Scarlett because there just feels like there's so much Latham can tackle next.
Scarlett lives with her sister because her mother died from cancer and her father was mysteriously murdered. When she takes on a case that involves a suicide, things turn out to be much crazier than she expected and soon Scarlett is pursued by an enigmatic cult. This cult is trying to harness an ancient power that will allow them to use jinns to destroy the world.
Lately I've been trying to read more and more diverse books in an attempt to broaden my horizons and my myopic view of the world. What Jennifer Latham does best is show Islamic culture and how Scarlet's family tries to maintain their heritage in America. I learned a bit of Arabic, as well as several things about Islam that I never knew about before. It's interesting how Islam is the world's fastest growing religion and I didn't know much about it at all until I began reading this book. I felt inspired to do a bit of online research because of Latham and ended up reading up on random cultural and religious aspects of Islam.
Scarlett is truly an incredibly kick-ass character who's got guts and I admired her endless determination that kept her going even when the case became dangerous. She has an intense fiery passion within her and won't stop until she emerges victorious. I loved how independent she was and I couldn't help but grin when she ended something along the lines that she's used to saving guys at this point. It's refreshing to read about a heroine who doesn't get saved and ends up rescuing their male counterparts.
Though Scarlett is an extremely developed, complicated character, so many of the other characters felt a bit like husks. I wasn't exactly satisfied with feeling like a bunch of the secondary characters were strangers even when they played significant roles in the plot.
The mystery in Scarlett Undercover is wonderfully plotted with twists that readers won't see coming. I had to keep reading to find out how it would all go down and I was pretty pleased with the progression of the story. I did really want to see more paranormal aspects interspersed throughout the novel because it felt like a tease having the supernatural merely being mentioned. How can you have a novel about jinn without actual jinn?!
Scarlett Undercover wraps up nicely and could definitely work as a stand-alone, but my hopes is that Little Brown publishes a sequel. This can't be the end of our adventures with Scarlett and this book has so much potential as a series. I hope we get at least one more book so we can see Scarlett have a face off against the jinn!
Despite a few problems with character development, Scarlett Undercover is really a great debut with an awesome heroine. This book perfectly displays a Muslim American family in a positive light and will allow so many readers to see themselves in a book for the first time. This may not be the greatest mystery I've ever read, but it's certainly an important book.This review was originally posted on Bookish Antics...more
Check out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! The Retribution Of Mara Dyer concludes the story of Mara, Noah, Jamie and the rest of tCheck out Bookish Antics for reviews, giveaways and interviews! The Retribution Of Mara Dyer concludes the story of Mara, Noah, Jamie and the rest of the gang. Michelle Hodkin really knows how to write an engaging story and to keep readers captivated with suspense and romance. I really enjoyed this novel, but I really wish we received more answers about Mara’s special abilities. Just as we were getting substantial answers, Hodkin shifted the focus of the story to give us an ending, one that I wasn’t totally satisfied with.
Mara Dyer has been through an ordeal and things are getting tougher than she ever expected. Mara is stuck at a mental hospital where doctors and scientists prod her like she’s an animal. She’s being to doubt her own sanity and is losing herself in the medication she’s being forced to take.
This is definitely the darkest novel in the series and I applaud Hodkin for taking this series into new territory. The sections in the mental hospital are absolutely chilling and I found myself feeling extremely afraid for Mara. Some of the scenes in which Mara grapples with herself are extremely creepy and allowed for some excellent inner reflection. These scenes allowed the readers to see Mara bare and honest with herself, showing her as a brave and compassionate individual.
The romance in this series is always excellent and Retribution is no different, bringing Noah and Mara’s relationship to new heights. Noah and Mara are such a perfect couple and I practically wanted to scream every time Hodkin threw an obstacle in the way of their relationship. I ship this couple oh so much and I was completely invested in their relationship for the entirety of this book. When I met Noah in book one, I didn’t really like him but over the course of this series I slowly became a fan of him and fell for his humor. Romances are usually my least favorite aspects in most books I read, but in this series it’s easily one of the best aspects.
Jamie is easily one of the best characters in this series injecting some of the darker moments of this novel with some humor. He’s hilarious and is easily my favorite secondary character in this series because he always just knows what to say. If I had to pinpoint the best dialogue in this book, my bets are that the majority of the lines would belong to Jamie because his one-liners are the best.
I wanted answers from Retribution and after 2 books I think we deserved to finally get some explanations in this one. I was happy with the few answers that we do get, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy me. The backstory behind their powers was extremely clever and well thought out, but it wasn’t fleshed out completely. I feel that Hodkin never properly ended the back-story on the powers because she wanted to end this story on a happy note. I know many readers want a happily ever after, but I needed something more than vague answers.
I’ve always been a fan of Christy Carlson Romano ever since I was little, devouring Even Stevens and Kim Possible like it was cake. It was a pleasant surprise to find out that Romano narrated this one and I found her narration to be nearly flawless. All of the voices that Romano does were so on point regardless of whether it was a male or female character. Romano’s narration really added life to the characters and she was a perfect fit for this text. I would definitely listen to another audiobook narrated by Romano for sure and it was a delight to hear her read Retribution.
The Retribution Of Mara Dyer is an intelligent, well-written conclusion to a fabulous series, even if it doesn’t provide enough answers. Christy Romano is a terrific narrator and I’d definitely recommend the audios for this series....more
Seen at Bookish Antics! Every Breath is easily one of the most buzzed about books in the book blogging community. It seemed that everyone was talking aSeen at Bookish Antics! Every Breath is easily one of the most buzzed about books in the book blogging community. It seemed that everyone was talking about Mycroft and Watts, so I just had to see what all the hype was about. Ellie Marney’s debut novel is extremely addicting and entertaining, it’s also a well-plotted mystery and romance. This may not be the most original retelling out there, but it is one that I’d highly recommend.
I’m glad I didn’t read the description for this one before starting this book because it reveals way too much. Do yourself a favor and skip it, you’ll thank me later. All you need to know is that this book takes place in Melbourne, Australia and that the duo is investigating the murder of a homeless man. It’s best for you to just discover everything else alongside the characters and it’ll make the big reveal that much better.
I was initially turned off by this book because of Mycroft who is a bit of an antihero. Mycroft is essentially a juvenile delinquent: he smokes, is constantly in trouble at school, resists authority at any given opportunity and doesn’t understand what rules are. After reading about so many bad boys in YA, I was tired of reading about this archetype, but I soon realized that Mycroft is more than a label. Marney manages to make his character complex and troubled without sacrificing emotion and realism for a split-second. Readers will want to understand this enigmatic character and get a peek into his back story to see why he’s like this.
It’s interesting how Watts was the character I liked more at the beginning of this novel, but by the end I was utterly obsessed with Mycroft. Watts is brave, loyal and compassionate; she lets herself be dragged into Mycroft’s investigation not because she has to do it, but because it’s the right thing to do. I have a feeling that readers will love Watts and she’s certainly an interesting take on the classic Sherlock character.
The mystery in this novel is expertly crafted and Marney really channels her inner Arthur Conan Doyle in the writing of this novel. All of the classic mystery elements that are present in Doyle’s novels (and the countless adaptations) are in Every Breath: the red-herrings, the suspense, the deductive reasoning, etc. I do wish that there was a bit more of a connection to the Sherlock Holmes novels aside from the characters’ names and a few references. Though this novel’s plot revolves around the mystery, it’s not really the focus of this novel and it’s overshadowed by the romance, which is both troubling and a plus in my mind.
This is a romance oriented novel and everything takes the backseat to Mycroft and Watt’s relationship. I loved both the friendship and romantic dynamic the two characters have together, but a part of me wanted the mystery to be more prominent. The romance is excellent and the tension between our couple is electrifying, but I love a good mystery and that’s what one expects from a Sherlock-based retelling.
Every Breath wasn’t quite what I expected from a Sherlock retelling, but it was what I needed to read at that given moment in time. EB is a bit on the lighter side, but that doesn’t lessen how much I enjoyed this novel and how ready I am to read the next two books in this series. Those who love BBC’s Sherlock should definitely check out Every Breath while they wait for the next season to arrive!...more
Seen at Bookish Antics! How do you end one of the best YA series out there? Barry Lyga has written a perfect conclusion to the I Hunt Killer series, onSeen at Bookish Antics! How do you end one of the best YA series out there? Barry Lyga has written a perfect conclusion to the I Hunt Killer series, one that made me want to reread the series from the beginning after finishing and just sob because it was that amazing. I didn’t want to say goodbye to Jazz, Howie or Connie, but Lyga made parting with these characters a lot easier by giving me complete closure. Blood Of My Blood lives up to its ominous title with a plot that is as gory and action-packed as possible; I’m in awe of this book and I wouldn’t have wanted this series to end any other way.
I’ll refrain from summarizing this book in fear of accidentally spoiling even a minuscule plot point. Jazz is trying to stop Billy Dent’s reign of terror and that means he has to kill the King Crow. This book taps into a lot of the recurring messages of this series: Does nature win over nurture? Are children doomed to turn into their parents? Can you ever right something so wrong and evil? This is my favorite novel in the series and it managed to give me everything I loved about the first two books, while still introducing exciting new elements.
Lyga is an excellent writer that much is obvious after reading Blood Of My Blood; this novel is deliciously creepy and is filled with such dark, intense imagery. Even though Lyga writes for a YA audience, he never holds back from making this book as bloody and twisted as humanly possible. It’s scary how genuine Billy Dent and the other serial killers feel in this novel and Lyga never skims over the horrifying details that occupy the lives of serial killers. To say this novel is well-researched would feel like an understatement, Lyga truly captures the unhinged insanity of serial killers.
Our trio: Jazz, Connie, and Howie have grown leaps and bounds since they were introduced in book one. It’s a world of difference looking at these characters at the Blood Of Blood and where they were originally in I Hunt Killers; sure, the gang is as witty and lovable as ever, but they aren’t the same characters they once were. The character development in this series is absolutely incredible and is unrivaled by the majority of YA series that I’ve read. The best way to describe the characters in this series is that they’re Whedon-esque, few storytellers have managed to create such complex characters like the ones Lyga wrote for the I Hunt Killers series.
Blood Of My Blood was the ultimate ending to one of my favorite series and I absolutely loved everything moment of this book. This is the best book in the I Hunt Killer series by a long shot and everything about the plot is perfectly calculated and executed. I’m ready for anything Lyga throws at readers next and I just know that it will be engrossing and unforgettable. The I Hunt Killer series are the perfect books for viewers waiting for the next season of NBC’s Hannibal to roll-around; once you start Lyga’s series, there’s no stopping!...more
I didn't know what I was getting into when I first started We Were Liars. I had no idea that this book would emotionally wreck me, it wasn't even a possibility in my mind. The John Green blurb and the description caught my interest, but other than that I had no idea what this book was about. Who would have thought that We Were Liars would easily escalate to the top of my favorite books shelf ?
Days after finishing We Were Liars, I still feel like I'm going to cry just from thinking about this book. I cried so much to the point where my head ached and I felt as if I would never be so touched by a book ever again. We Were Liars starts off innocently enough with a tale about a group of friends and it quickly turned into one of the most intense, shocking books I've ever read. Honestly, I'm speechless.
We Were Liars is one of the most beautifully written books I've read in years. E. Lockhart's writing style is simple, yet extremely power; Lockhart's prose will haunt readers long after they're finished. We Were Liars is an absolutely unforgettable thriller that deserves much acclaim; I really hope this wins the Printz Award and/or The National Book Award. This is one of the best YA books I've ever read period.
We Were Liars is the type of book that demands to be read, it's extremely addicting and once you start, there's no stopping. This is the type of book that many readers will be able to finish in one reading because it's that compelling. Seriously, don't plan on just reading one chapter because you will be so hooked that you will probably end up reading the entire book. There is no such thing as reading just one chapter of We Were Liars, it's just like eating only one piece of chocolate -- it's nearly impossible to just stop at one.
Moving, unforgettable, shocking, heartbreaking, poignant, groundbreaking are just a few of the words I would use to describe We Were Liar's ending. I did not see this coming even slightly, my heart was shattered into a million pieces and I'm still emotionally recovering. You cannot prepare yourself for the ending of We Were Liars, no matter how hard you try. Charm & Strange is only other book that I can think of that had an ending that was this astonishing and was so emotionally overwhelming. E. Lockhart is an expert at manipulating readers' emotions with ethos and I was way too overcome by a multitude of feelings to function properly.
We Were Liars deserves all of the hype it's been receiving and then some more. Don't overlook We Were Liars because it's an extremely intelligent psychological thriller and it's one of the best novels that I've read in years. Few novels have touched me like We Were Liars did and I really look forward to seeing how others react to this novel. The bottom line is We Were Liars is an absolute must-read and it will remain with readers longer after they read the final sentence. ...more
Check out Scott Reads It! I feel extremely bad because I had been putting off reading my advance copy of this one for so long. I really wanted to r Check out Scott Reads It! I feel extremely bad because I had been putting off reading my advance copy of this one for so long. I really wanted to read this, but the timing never felt right and so I kept putting it off. Finally last month, I decided I was going to read this one and see what all the buzz is about. I really think this book is undervalued, because it is absolutely brilliant and terrifying in each and every way. Into The Darkest Corner is so wonderfully written and genius that I was shocked that this was the book I had kept putting off reading.
Into The Darkest Corner isn't my usual sort of book, I usually read paranormal and dystopian fiction. I have never read such a gritty, intense thriller ever in my life, not even Gone Girl terrified me this much. In fact, I believe that Elizabeth Haynes' debut is even better than Gone Girl and that is a huge compliment in my book. I may have been scared out of my wits, but I had this impeccable urge to keep reading. Haynes has all the trademarks of an extremely talented writer: her writing style is addictive, her plot and characters are meticulous and genuine, and every page is as thrilling as the previous one.
Haynes uses some really interesting tactics in Into The Darkest Corner, the entire novel is split between the present and the past. Catherine falls in love with the extremely handsome Lee, but he is extremely violent and abusive. The scary thing is that no one believes that Lee would ever strike Catherine and she is alone in the world against Lee. Catherine manages to escape from Lee and she is a completely, unrecognizable person. Out is the affable, wild Catherine and in comes, the frightened and disturbed Cath. Cath now suffers from OCD and her fears seem to control her entire life.
I loved the way Haynes decided to portray Cath's OCD because it's very true and honest. A lot of people claim that they have OCD, but most people really don't understand what it means to have OCD--that is until they meet someone who has it. Cath needs to lock her door, check her windows, and survey her house several times a day because she is afraid that Lee will come back. Haynes doesn't sugarcoat her OCD at all and manages to recreate in such a horrifyingly accurate way. OCD is a mental disorder and it is so clear, early on that this disorder has taken over Cath and her life.
I was scared--I mean terrified the entire time while reading Into The Darkest Corner. I was afraid that Lee would return and that he would wreck Cath's life and muck up what little sense of normalcy she had in her life. Domestic violence and rape are two subjects that really seem to be so taboo and I really think light needs to be shed on these subjects even further. The dangers of domestic violence and their effects really need to be more widely publicized and this subject is really treated with the utmost respect.
Into The Darkest Corner is dark, thrilling and is absolutely a must read for mature readers. Please note that this book contains a rape scene, profanities, and other things that may be deemed inappropriate. This book certainly isn't for everyone, but I really think it's an important book for readers to understand the effects of domestic violence on one's mental health. ...more
This novel is wonderfully despicable and twisty and it's definitely a worthy return to the YA world for Carrie Ryan. I found it hard to put this bookThis novel is wonderfully despicable and twisty and it's definitely a worthy return to the YA world for Carrie Ryan. I found it hard to put this book to the side and I loved how calculating the main character was. Review to come soon!...more
Check out Scott Reads It! for reviews, giveaways, & more! Harlan Coben is an internationally bestselling author and he has written so many accl Check out Scott Reads It! for reviews, giveaways, & more! Harlan Coben is an internationally bestselling author and he has written so many acclaimed mystery novels. Shelter is Coben's first book that is targeted towards the middle grade and young adult audiences. Shelter is a decent stab at providing younger readers with an intriguing mystery with twists and turns. Shelter is definitely not of the best mysteries out there for teens, there is too much reliance on high school and mystery cliches. Despite it's faults, I did enjoy Shelter, though not as much as I would have liked.
Since it's Coben's first YA novel, I'll cut him a bit of slack. I don't know how familiar he was with YA before writing Shelter, but my guess is that he's kind of new to the genre. Shelter feels very condescending and I really felt like Coben was talking down to teens in this book. I really didn't understand why Coben felt the need to define random words to readers, the words he defined were simplistic enough that I think most teens would already be familiar with them. I felt insulted personally as both a teen and an avid reader. I really think Coben wasn't knowledgeable enough about YA audiences to write Shelter.
There are just so many cliches in Shelter that the opening to this novel almost made me want to quit. There are the idiot jocks, the popular girls, and of course the stereotypical outsiders in Shelter. Since Mickey is a new kid at the school, he quickly gets on the bad side of the jocks and he fits in immediately with the odd outsiders. I can't tell you how many times I have seen this in pop culture and media, this trope is so overused and just really stale.
Something that bothered me even more than the cliches was the badly written dialogue. I can't even describe how lame and cheap the way the dialogue in Shelter sounds. I'm sorry but this is NOT how teens talk at all, the characters sounded so immature for their ages. I think as the novel progressed the dialogue slightly improved and it didn't bother me as much later on.
The mystery and plot twists saved Shelter and completely redeemed it for me. The mystery develops a bit slowly because the author spends a decent portion of this book on character development. Once the mystery fully kicks in, I was just amazed by the shocking developments and plot twists. The way Coben managed to connect small intricacies and details and weave them into a shocking mystery totally made up for the lackluster beginning. I can definitely understand why Coben has become such a popular mystery writer after reading Shelter's mystery.
I'm convinced that Coben's YA books aren't for me, but I'm definitely going to check out his adult books. If I do read Seconds Away, it will be in the distant future when I have more of an open mind towards Mickey Bolitar. Shelter may not be the magnificent book I was hoping, but it has tempted me to read more mystery. I guess reading Shelter was a win-win situation for me, despite my ambivalent feelings toward the book. ...more
When it was revealed that J.K. Rowling had written a novel under the pseudonym, Robert Galbraith; I knew I had to read it. Rowling filled my childhood with magic, intrigue, and beauty with her Harry Potter series so I was eager to read her sophomore adult novel. It angers me how Rowling was betrayed by a friend who had revealed that she was the genius behind The Cuckoo's Calling. Every cloud does have it's silver lining and now, millions of people will be introduced to a clever mystery noir. Another silver lining is that Rowling will be donating her royalties from The Cuckoo's Calling to charity for the next 3 years. I'm still angered how someone could have betrayed Rowling in such a cruel manner.
The Cuckoo's Calling is a much stronger novel than The Casual Vacancy and will definitely appeal to a wider audience than her adult debut. The Cuckoo's Calling is filled with all of Rowling's signature wit and charm that readers love. It's extremely evident from the writing style that Rowling still has the ability to create a tour de force, a novel that will definitely be looked on fondly 50 years in the future. This novel is a triumphant return for the Queen of Literature and it proves that J.K's domain and prowess doesn't just extend to children's literature.
This is an impressive piece of literature that is filled with immense intrigue and mystery. Albeit the beginning does have it's faults and is a tad slow-paced, this novel was extremely riveting. From start to finish, The Cuckoo's Calling does have it's share of dull moments, but they are overshadowed by the brilliance of Cormoran Strike. This is the mystery novel that I've been waiting for!
This novel has all of the star qualities of Stieg Larsson's novel and BBC's Sherlock. Cormoran actually really reminded me of Dr. Watson from BBC's Sherlock (Martin Freeman). Maybe it's because of their military past or that they both are a bit troubled? I really liked Cormoran, but I thought that he should confront his girlfriend and move on. I wasn't a huge fan of Robin, Cormoran's secretary because I never learned too much about her. I really didn't like how Robin put up with her boyfriend, Matthew (I think) who kept on bossing her around and Robin didn't really act like anything was wrong with that. The whole plotline with Robin was extremely predictable right from when she was interested and was too simplistic.
The mystery in The Cuckoo's Calling is well-throughout with just enough intrigue to keep me peeled to the page. I actually had no idea who the killer was throughout the novel; I had my incorrect suspicions though. I really liked how Rowling explored the world of the media and celebrities in such an unique and unusual way. You never really see celebrities as actual people in novels, they are usually portrayed as these untouchable gods that ordinary people have to gloat over. The fact that Rowling to decide to add a layer of vulnerability to Landry, added an interesting touch to this book.
The Cuckoo's Calling is a novel worthy of immense praise. I'll admit that the only reason I read this book was because it was written by Rowling. I'm definitely eagerly awaiting the next installment in the Comoran Strike series and I can't wait to see what antics Strike and Robin get into next. Color me surprised, but I really enjoyed The Cuckoo's Calling! ...more
"When you couldn't trust your own instincts, what could you trust at all?"
The thing that allured me into reading Maid Of Secrets was how this book's description reminded me of Grave Mercy! Another thing that tempted me into requesting an ARC of this book was the cover which I love because it's unlike most YA covers. Maid Of Secrets is definitely a promising start to a new series that fans of Robin LaFevers and historical fiction will love!
Maid Of Secrets is a mystery set in the court of Queen Elizabeth during a visit from members of the Spanish court. There were a bunch of unpredictable plot-twists and turns that kept me reading. Maid Of Secrets pulls off an intriguing mystery filled with suspense and surprises. Even though there have been countless books about Elizabeth and the English, Maid Of Secrets is still an extremely original novel. The author blends historical and romance plot points to make this book an entertaining read.
The author definitely created distinct and interesting characters in this book. All of the maids were very different from each other and I could easily distinguish them. I have only one complaint about one of the maids is how McGowan didn't really take advantage at all of Sophia being a seer and I expected there to be a bit of paranormal aspects because of her ability. Her ability didn't really contribute to the plot unlike the other girls' abilities. It kind of felt like Sophia was kind of useless because her lack of activity in this book. I definitely would like to see more of the other girls in the next books and see their abilities challenged further by political obstacles.
The romance in this book doesn't take up a big portion of this book. The romance helps contribute to the plot and I liked how the author intertwined the romance in a subtle way. I would have liked to see a bit more chemistry between the love interests but I liked how the author progressed Meg and Rafe's relationship. I definitely liked how the author progressed at a realistic pace but at times I felt like I wanted them to fall in love a bit faster. I also would have liked to see the other maids interact more with their beaus.
My favorite character in this novel is Queen Elizabeth by far and I loved the way McGowan painted a picture of Elizabeth in my mind. The author created this dignified aura around Elizabeth that made me really respect her character. She helped illustrate how powerful and influential Elizabeth was in her court despite all of the threats to her position. I know that Queen Elizabeth was a real person but the way McGowan brought her to life in a way that was truly remarkable. I admired her strength and courage even when it fell like catastrophe was going to strike in the English court. I definitely could see why she was so admired, loved, and feared at the same time by members of the court.This quote perfectly describes just how fantastic Queen Elizabeth is in this book: "With every movement the Queen commanded the eye; each word from her lips pricked the ears and sent a shiver down the skin; each glance could send a heart aflutter or a stomach plunging in fear." I felt all those feelings surging through me while reading about Queen Elizabeth and the way McGowan developed her character was just spectacular.
Maid Of Secrets is definitely one entertaining, intense historical fiction novel. I could easily see the Maids Of Honor series becoming one of my all-time favorite series. Jennifer McGowan definitely exceeded all expectations that I had for this novel. McGowan is definitely an author to watch out for because I can tell she's capable of writing the next big historical fiction novel. I'd definitely recommend Maid Of Secrets and I think it definitely deserves more hype. ...more
Seen at my blog, Scott Reads It Emily's Dress And Other Missing Things is unlike any book I've read recently. I don't read alot of contemporary booksSeen at my blog, Scott Reads It Emily's Dress And Other Missing Things is unlike any book I've read recently. I don't read alot of contemporary books so the fact that I enjoyed this book was a pleasant surprise. For the most part, Emily's Dress is a well-done novel but it's weak in a few aspects. Emily's Dress definitely caught me off guard and I didn't expect this book turn out like this!
The beginning of this book was spectacular and I loved the book in the first couple of chapters. The way Burak described Claire's depression was absolutely chilling and emotional. Claire's emotional state was explored in an exceptional but realistic way. I have yet to see an author explore depression and dark emotions better than Burak. I would have loved to read more about Emily's mental state instead of the mediocre mystery.
Emily's Dress quickly turned from extremely realistic and haunting to absolutely ridiculous! If Emily Dickinson's dress went missing, don't you think the Police or FBI would be frantically searching for it? This is Emily-freaking-Dickson! It felt like nobody really cared that Dickinson's dress went missing, it was extremely unrealistic. Dickinson is one of the most well-known poets of all time and the characters act like it's no big deal. No big deal, a priceless dress from an extremely famous deceased poet is missing. Whatever, I'll just go back to my life. I definitely believe that there would be some sort of national search for Dickinson's dress if it went missing. In the book, the search for the dress is very unrealistic because the police believe it's some kind of college prank. What?!?!?!
For a book that is supposed to be a mystery, most of this book felt like a contemporary romance. The mystery is jammed in towards the end of the book and I felt like the mystery was solved way too quickly. I feel like there should have been subtle clues as to who the culprit was, that would have been way more effective. Instead the way the mystery is solved feels kind of illogical and ridiculous.
I felt pretty indifferent towards Claire and Tate's relationship. Sure, I would have prefered more action, more mystery but surprisingly the romance was done well and didn't bother me at all. There was no insta-love and their relationship moved at a realistic pace. I definitely would have liked to see a little bit more of chemistry between Tate and Claire, but otherwise their relationship was one of the novel's strong points.
Emily's Dress is a decent, entertaining book that has it's faults. I definitely enjoyed it but I wish there was more of a mystery and a realistic feel to it. I would most likely read books by Burak in the future. I wish Emily's Dress was more fleshed out and developed but overall it was still an interesting read. Thank you to Macmillan for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a honest review! ...more
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer is a book that I was looking forward to ever since I first heard of it. I absolutely loved the cover and I was convinced that MA,SK was going to become one of my favorite books of 2013. Once I start MA,SK I realized this is not the book I was looking forward to at all, this book was nothing like I imagined. I expected a mix of historical fiction and mystery, but instead I read a mediocre contemporary romance set in Paris. I believe if I had picked this one up on a whim, instead of longing for it for months; I probably would have enjoyed it more.
Katie Alender never really takes advantage of everything Paris has to offer. Paris is a beautiful, magical city filled with so many hidden secrets and mysteries. Based on the description, I felt that I would get a sample of what Paris has to offer. I never read about the intrigue of Paris that the description seems to describe and I desperately felt like the story was missing out on it. I never really felt like I was reading about Paris, I felt like reading a Sparknotes about Paris because MA,SK was missing the essence and spirit of the city. Sure, Alender described beignets, stores, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower, but it never really felt like Paris at all.
The plot of MA, SK is weak and lacks any tension that a murder mystery should possess. People are being murdered and the author decides to have the protagonists to go on a date.Why does it seem like no one is concerned with the murders? The police aren't mentioned regarding the murders and it seems as if the murders are accepted by everyone. Colette and her classmates never seem to be perturbed by the fact that innocent people are being murdered. "Who cares there's a hot guy who is obsessed with me" was Collete's attitude throughout the entire book. It wasn't really until the murders started to concern her, then Colette start doing some sleuthing. Anyway it takes Colette way too long to figure out MA is behind all of the murders because all of the clues would lead even the most oblivious person to the correct conclusion. Also, for god's sakes it's in the title, I personally don't like reading a mystery when I already know the murderer from the get-go. There are exceptions to that rule, but MA, SK is definitely not one of them.
I love historical fiction, but the backstory on Marie Antoinette was feeble at best and poorly thought out. It felt extremely transparent and fake to me, as if the author rushed through this segment of the book. The historical fiction aspects of this book were subpar at best and lacked proper execution.
The characters in MA,SK are merely cardboard reincarnations of stereotypical YA characters. Colette is extremely naïve and is extremely selfish and obnoxious. Her mother isn't in the best financial conditions and had to work hard for her to go to Paris. Colette never really seems to appreciate her mother and irked me so much. The woman is busting her back so you can go to Paris and you don't even have the decency to appreciate it. Instead Colette practically ignores her mother at the airport; this girl really needs to learn some manners and the value of $. Another thing that annoyed me immensely was Colette's supposed "transformation". MA,SK is one of those morality tales where the heroine becomes a better person because of her adventure. The transformation is almost instantaneously done near the end of the book and I really wanted to see Colette developed more throughout the book.
The only noteworthy segment of the book is the first couple of scenes done where Marie Antoinette is murdering people. These scenes were something to look forward to at first, but eventually I got tired of reading the same story slightly altered. I really think the author should have mixed up these scenes by introducing some different elements.
MA, SK is one of the biggest let-downs this year because this book had so much potential. I really wanted something much more than Alender delivered. I can't really fathom recommending this book because of how bitterly disappointed I am. I really wanted to love Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer, and it breaks my heart to say that I loathed it. ...more
Check out my blog! I had extremely high expectations for Dead Girl Moon. I loved the description and decided to read it even though none of my friendCheck out my blog! I had extremely high expectations for Dead Girl Moon. I loved the description and decided to read it even though none of my friends had read it. What I expected to be an intense mystery turned out to be pretty mediocre.
The problem with Dead Girl Moon is not with the concept but with the way it's executed. There's little to no tension in Dead Girl Moon, everything should be alot more intense. When a girl just dies in a book, the reader should be on the edge of his/her seat. Truthfully I didn't care that this girl died or about any of the characters because Dead Girl Moon lacked emotion! I may sound like a heartless jerk but an author has to form an emotional connection with the reader and I didn't feel any emotion.
The characters in Dead Girl Moon are pretty one-dimensional and flat. They didn't surprise me in any way and they all just were so predictable. They weren't really realistically done and I just didn't care for them in any way. There really wasn't anything noteworthy or special about any of the characters and I never really established a connection with any of them.
Plotwise, Dead Girl Moon moves at a sluggish pace and I quickly lost interest in the story. There was nothing special about the mystery in this book, it was a pretty generic mystery. I wanted to enjoy Dead Girl Moon but I couldn't bear to keep reading. I struggled to keep on reading and personally cleaning my room would have been more tempting at times. I have read so many mystery novels and this book didn't add anything special to the genre. This book pretty much followed the basic mystery storyline and there were no plot twists. I kept on reading because I thought maybe Charlie Price would surprise me with an insane plot twist. Even if there was a shocking plot twist, I doubt I would have cared because I was so bored with Dead Girl Moon.
Dead Girl Moon was a very disappointing book, I was extremely let down. There was nothing remotely unique or special about this book that would differentiate it from all other mysteries. The best way to describe Dead Girl Moon is a bland and unoriginal book. Don't get me wrong, Dead Girl Moon isn't a bad book. It's a decent read if you're in the mood for a simple mystery. If you're in the mood for an intense thriller, I'm afraid this isn't the book for you. ...more