This story kicks off in high gear, with the protagonist, Janelle Tenner, being struck by an out-of-control pick-up truck. Miraculously, she does not dThis story kicks off in high gear, with the protagonist, Janelle Tenner, being struck by an out-of-control pick-up truck. Miraculously, she does not die, but it is somehow resuscitated by Ben Michaels, a boy she’s never looked twice at in school due to his loner (and “stoner”) status. But why and how he saved her is the least of Janelle’s concerns once she stumbles across some of her FBI father’s files–mysterious murders where victims seem to suffer radiation, plus a countdown mechanism alluding that the world may end in mere days.
There were a lot of Veronica Mars meets X-Files vibes to this–action, mystery, detective work, etc. I’ve also heard comparisons to Fringe, but I haven’t watched that show, so I can’t speak to it. Regardless, this is a fast-paced mystery, where readers will continually wonder who is telling the truth and who is lying. The countdown headings on each chapter contributes to an addictive read, and the nearly 500 page novel seemed to fly by. Another nice touch, for me personally, was the ending. Major conflicts are resolved, but things do not end in a perfect bow. The characters are left to make difficult choices, battling between what their hearts want and what is right. Thriller and sci-fi fans should check this one out.
I heard so many good things about Rick Yancey’s THE 5th WAVE that I finally caved, ran to the library in the middle of my book three drafting, and cheI heard so many good things about Rick Yancey’s THE 5th WAVE that I finally caved, ran to the library in the middle of my book three drafting, and checked it out. In this post apocalyptic thriller, the alien invasion has already happened and we meet the characters in the aftermath. Cassie has survived the first few waves that have killed off millions, and is hoping to find some sort of haven at which to survive the fifth. Things are complicated when she is separated from her younger brother and embarks on a mission to rescue him.
Everyone talked up the twists and turns in this book, saying they never knew who to trust and/or were constantly surprised. I will admit that I saw every twist coming, and predicted them well before each reveal. However, this didn’t make me enjoy the book any less. (There’s something immensely satisfying about learning your gut reaction is right.) While the underlying premise of this novel is familiar ((view spoiler)[The Host, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (hide spoiler)]), it is still a compelling, unputdownable read. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Through various POVs, we get not only Cassie’s tale, but that of a few other characters, which helps flesh out the ruined world. I still have a few questions regarding the aliens’s end goals, and am anxiously awaiting the next installment in this new series.
Originally posted here.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Guys, I love this book. I loved it more than the first. I probably shouldn’t even be reviewing it as it will undergo rounds of revisions before publicGuys, I love this book. I loved it more than the first. I probably shouldn’t even be reviewing it as it will undergo rounds of revisions before publication, but what I read still knocked my socks off.
All the characters I loved are back and things are as creepy as ever. I truly cannot say much without spoiling both this book or its predecessor, so I’ll say just this: You want to read this two-book series. April’s prose is haunting and gorgeous and visceral and it gives me extreme writer’s envy. Extreme. I want to curl up in these pages and live there forever. Stunning writing. Captivating plot. Unique, morally ambiguous characters. This book has it all, and I can’t wait to read whatever April publishes next.
I read Gillian Flynn’s debut, SHARP OBJECTS, several years ago and instantly fell in love with her prose (lush but not overwritten) and the dark, twisI read Gillian Flynn’s debut, SHARP OBJECTS, several years ago and instantly fell in love with her prose (lush but not overwritten) and the dark, twisted nature of her story-telling. I’ve been a fan for awhile and when I started seeing fabulous reviews of GONE GIRL, I knew I was bound to love it. And I did.
Nick and Amy Dunne are a happy, married couple of five years–at least on the surface. But on the day of their fifth anniversary, Amy goes missing. All signs point to a kidnapping/murder, with Nick as a very probable suspect. Told in alternating POVs, (Nick in the present, Amy via diary entries), the true nature of their rocky marriage is revealed, as well as the instability of their character. This is one of those novels that has to be read to be appreciated, not to mention that saying too much will ruin the very things that make the story fabulous. I will say only that I was sucked in from the very first line and that Flynn is a master of suspense and characterization. Nick and Amy feel so real they could be your neighbors–the same is true for the secondary characters as well. I saw a few twists coming, but it didn’t diminish how much I enjoyed the book. This is a twisted, thrilling, and entirely entertaining read. And the ending! Perhaps the best final lines of a novel I have read in a long time. Chills. Chills, everywhere. Highly recommend.
Parker Chipp is suffering a bizarre form of insomnia: he enters the dreams of the last person he made eye contact with each night, and the sleep depriParker Chipp is suffering a bizarre form of insomnia: he enters the dreams of the last person he made eye contact with each night, and the sleep deprivation is beginning to catch up with him. Then Mia moves to town and her dreams are so calm Parker remembers what it’s like to feel rested. He becomes obsessed with making eye contact, and when a stalker begins to terrorize Mia, Parker’s the prime suspect. Worse part? His memory blackouts leave him questioning his own innocence.
This book is twisted, dark, and gruesome. For a good while, I wasn’t sure who to trust. Parker’s voice is authentic and urgent, but he’s also an unreliable narrator. He doesn’t trust himself, so how can we as the reader? He is a gray character, with understandable goals, but sometimes questionable means of achieving them. Plot threads are mostly tied up by the end, and a sequel (in the works) is sure to address the few remaining questions. Fans of dark thrillers will be on edge reading this.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early ARC of MIND GAMES, which is Kiersten’s first novel releasing after the PARANORMALCY trilogy. This novelI was lucky enough to get my hands on an early ARC of MIND GAMES, which is Kiersten’s first novel releasing after the PARANORMALCY trilogy. This novel couldn’t be more different from PARA, but I think I love it even more. (I’m afraid Evie will hear me saying this.) Told in alternating POVs, MIND GAMES follows sisters Annie and Fia, both in present and pass timelines. The two both have unique supernatural powers and attend a “school” that is capitalizing on those powers in questionable manners–many of which include threatening one sister’s life to make the other bend to their will. Fia, the younger of the two, is maybe the angriest character I have read in a long time (Lani Taylor mentions something similar in her blurb) but I loved her nonetheless. As she tries to break free of the school without risking her sister’s safety, things get ugly.
The novel is short (only ~250p) and near impossible to put down, which makes for a thrilling read. The girl’s voices are distinct and clear, and the ending left me satisfied, but desperate for the sequel, which I believe comes out next fall. If it, too, is only around ~250p, I’m going to be cursing the publishing gods for not letting me read this all in one 500p mega-book. Darn, do I hate waiting. ;) But if you liked PARANORMALCY, pick this up come February. And if you didn’t like PARANORMALCY, you should still pick this up, seeing how different it is! Kiersten does not disappoint.
After the killer cliffhanger at the end of Robison Well’s VARIANT, I’ve been super anxious for the sequel, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to geAfter the killer cliffhanger at the end of Robison Well’s VARIANT, I’ve been super anxious for the sequel, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to get my hands on an ARC. FEEDBACK doesn’t come out until later this year though (October, I think), so this review is going to be pretty vague.
FEEDBACK starts off exactly where VARIANT left off. Benson may have escaped Maxfield Academy, but he’s just beginning to uncover the secrets of the school. Still highly sought after by school officials, he’s forced to lay low in the small town he stumbles into at the end of book one. We learn a lot more about Jane, the history of the school itself, and the full scope of what is happening to those that enter the school (and even worse, end up in detention). Like I said, this is vague because I don’t want to ruin things. But rest assured that questions are answered, friendships are tested, and the tagline from the first book remains as true as ever: Trust no one.
Originally reviewed here. NOTE: This review based on an ARC....more
This book has a killer premise: In the city of Kersh, every citizen has a genetic double–an Alt–who they will be tasked with killing in order to claimThis book has a killer premise: In the city of Kersh, every citizen has a genetic double–an Alt–who they will be tasked with killing in order to claim (and secure) their place within the safe haven. The assignment is initiated some time between the age of ten and twenty, after which the citizen has a thirty day window to find and eliminate their Alt.
West Granger is fifteen when she receives her assignment. She’s already lost most of her family, and is one tough cookie as a result. As she works to track down her Alt, she begins to wonder if she is the version worthy of living, all while pushing away the one good relationship left in her life–Chord, a friend of her brother’s–in an attempt to keep him safe. This is an intense and brutal world that West lives in. Chapman’s writing is detailed and nuanced, and she is not afraid to put her character’s in dark corners or let them make morally ambiguous choices. A few strings are left open at the end of the novel, making room for what is sure to be another gritty, dangerous sequel.
Originally posted here. NOTE: This review is based on a ARC...more
I’ve been looking forward to ALTERED for a good long while. (Probably ever since Rush did some photo posts of each Altered boy on her blog!) This storI’ve been looking forward to ALTERED for a good long while. (Probably ever since Rush did some photo posts of each Altered boy on her blog!) This story follows Anna, who helps her father conduct research on the four genetically altered boys living in the lab below their farmhouse. When the boys stage an escape to avoid being taken by the Branch, the company funding the project, Anna ends up on the run with them.
This is an action-packed thriller, layered with secrets and lies. Sam, the leader of the boys, suffers amnesia and the steady revelation of clues that will help guide the group to safety is addictive. While this is an engrossing page-turner, my favorite aspect was the boys themselves. Each has a distinct personality, and their dynamic as a group is so much fun to read. Anna, too, stumbles upon some game-changing discoveries throughout the course of the novel. I’m looking forward to see where things go in the sequel
I love this book. Love, love, love. I've been fortunate enough to read it several times over and I somehow manage to fall a bit further in love with eI love this book. Love, love, love. I've been fortunate enough to read it several times over and I somehow manage to fall a bit further in love with each read.
Violet is such a captivating protagonist, and the cast of characters that populate this novel are just as charming. I fell in love with each of them and saying goodbye to them at the close of the story hurt. Violet is a bookworm, and spunky, and says it like it is. Her brother is bit of a jerk, but I love him anyway. And River, the mysterious stranger that Violet lets board at her family's crumbling estate? He is deliciously mysterious and dark and up to no good. I love him even when I know I shouldn't.
Characters aside, though, this novel is haunting. The setting is rich and the writing is gorgeous. The happenings in Violet's town are disturbing, and in many cases, downright creepy. Look-over-your-shoulder creepy. Read-with-the-lights-on creepy. Jump-at-odd-noises creepy.
This book is so unique. I'd say more, but it's far too early and I don't want to spoil things. I highly recommend picking up a copy come 2013. (And keeping the light on while you read.)
Note: I read an early version of this manuscript, hence the review long before publication....more
I wanted to FALSE MEMORY since I first heard the pitch: A girl (Miranda North) wakes up on a park bench without her memory, only later to discover sheI wanted to FALSE MEMORY since I first heard the pitch: A girl (Miranda North) wakes up on a park bench without her memory, only later to discover she is a weapon, skilled in combat and part of a team of genetically-altered teens. Very Jason Bourne with a sci-fi twist, I thought. And speaking of Jason Bourne–you know how those movies open with a bang and don’t seem to let up until the credits roll? This novel was the same: packed with action and twists so intense you’re white-knuckling it through the entire story. I was sucked into from the very first page.
Discovering the truth of Miranda’s world (as well as her personal past) alongside her was addicting. Her relationship with the other three teens like her is complicated, in part due to their predicament, but mostly because Miranda can not remember them. Not even Noah, her boyfriend. And while the action and suspense kept me turning the pages, it was the underlying question in this novel that had me most invested: What truly defines us as an individual? Is it our memories? Our past? Our present? I’m looking forward to the sequel!
I’ve heard this book described as a “Lord of the Flies” set at boarding school. Um, yeah. That sounds awesome. And it is. From the second Benson setsI’ve heard this book described as a “Lord of the Flies” set at boarding school. Um, yeah. That sounds awesome. And it is. From the second Benson sets foot within the grounds of Maxfield Academy – which happens within the first several pages, mind you – things are intense. Examples: there are no teachers, students have split into gangs, cameras watch everything, everywhere, and no one ever leaves the campus. This book is fast paced and near impossible to put down. Benson is not a perfect person, but he has a good heart. He tries to do the right thing in the upside-down world into which he is thrown. He is on a constant lookout for answers and while that narrow vision sometimes had me pulling at my hair, he is a fabulous reluctant hero.
And then of course, there’s the twists. This book is FULL of them. Every time I thought I’d figured something out, Wells threw another curve ball at me. And the ending. Oh boy, the ending. I can’t say much else without spoiling things. Just get your hands on this.
Originally reviewed here NOTE: This review is based on an ARC...more
I wanted to read this book since I a) saw the cover and b) read the blurb on the book’s back. This book is full of the creepy. Mara survives a terriblI wanted to read this book since I a) saw the cover and b) read the blurb on the book’s back. This book is full of the creepy. Mara survives a terrible accident and suddenly she’s seeing things that aren’t there. Like her dead friends. In mirrors. *shudders* And then things she wishes would happen actually happen. Sometimes these things involve not so pretty outcomes, but they’re just coincidences. Mara didn’t actually make them happen, right?
I loved this dark, eerie side of the book. But half-way through, the romance sort of overwhelmed all the quiet creepiness that I was crazy about. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I’m just not a huge paranormal romance kind of gal, and so for me, this became what isn’t really my cup of tea.* Even still, this book is an enjoyable read. The writing is lovely. I kept turning the pages and I had to know what would happen. If you do pick it up, just know there is a sequel. I hadn’t known going in and the ending surprised me so much I turned to Twitter asking if there was another installment. I didn’t see the twist coming, so it blew my mind in the best way possible, but at the same time, it was one heck of a cliffhanger and I didn’t get the kind of closure I was hoping for. (Luckily, there’s a sequel for that!)
* Just because paranormal romance isn’t my thing, doesn’t mean the book isn’t good or it won’t be your thing. Maybe you’ll love it. Maybe I also haven’t read the right story for my tastes yet. If anyone has suggestions, I’m eager to read the book that will turn me into a lover of this genre!
Originally reviewed here. NOTE: This review is based on an ARC...more