Although I have NO idea what was happening, this book sure did deliver on the scares!
Plot: When I picked up White Space, I had no idea what it was ab...moreAlthough I have NO idea what was happening, this book sure did deliver on the scares!
Plot: When I picked up White Space, I had no idea what it was about. I still don't but we won't talk about that right now. The book opens up with Emma who has a head full of metal from a terrible accident involving her druggie father and her body bouncing off a wall. She thinks that all of the metal is responsible for her "blinks" - periods of time where she mentally blacks out and hallucinates. On a snowy road in Wisconsin, she meets a cast of characters who are all connected to her in some way, the fun starts when people start dying though. :) White Spaces is an extremely complex novel, I don't even know where I would start explaining - without spoiling it! Just when I started to understand something, I questioned if I actually understood what was happening and then just get a headache trying to wrap my head around it. I had to go to bed after I read the cliffhanger, I just...couldn't think anymore. While I know it sounds like I'm being really negative about this book, I don't mean to be. One of the strongest points of this novel is that Bick doesn't hold any punches in her horror scenes. They were spooky and creepy, just the way I liked it! I probably would have loved this novel if it were a simple "seven-kids-in-a-spooky-haunted-house" story but...it's not.
Characters: Each chapter is told through the eyes of other characters which can be a little confusing at times. There were times where I had to go back to the beginning of the chapter to figure out whose narration I was following. Even though the book follows many characters, I think it's safe to say that Emma is our main character. I don't really know much about Emma, I found some of the other characters a bit more interesting. Rima particularly held my interest only because she had also powers. One of my biggest issues with the novel is the lack of emotion. Early on in the book, a character dies and everyone's reaction is basically "WELP." ...no. That's not the proper response to seeing someone die before you! Scream or cry or SOMETHING.
World Building: Bick writes horror very well, and I this is why I was able to picture myself in any scene. She did an amazing job depicting the landscape and making it feel so...isolated and wonder what was behind every door.
Short N Sweet: Confusing as all hell but the horror element was spot on! (less)
For a while I was stuck between a 2.5 rating and a 3 rating. Unfortunately, even though Maria Fredericks talks about series topics for the YA crowd, t...moreFor a while I was stuck between a 2.5 rating and a 3 rating. Unfortunately, even though Maria Fredericks talks about series topics for the YA crowd, the formulaic plot couldn't raise this book to a 3.
Plot: A young girl goes missing after a house party one night and she is found strangled and sexually assaulted the next day. I chose this book because it's the classic YA murder mystery, especially when it involves a strained relationship. The novel starts right in the action; our MC, Rain, receives a call early one morning from her ex-best friend's mother wondering if she knew Wendy's whereabouts. The novel progresses as Rain finds clues that leads her to believe that the culprit was a fellow classmate and she does whatever she can to bring justice to Wendy Greller. I really liked that Rain was a fragile creature with insecurities. This novel is as much about Rain's attempt to find herself as it is to find Wendy's killer. I also liked that Fredricks brings addresses the issue of victim-blaming and slut-shaming. These are very serious issues in the media and it was good to see it addressed for the high school crowd. Unfortunately, the mystery was too easy to solve and I felt like I was reading just to confirm my theory (it was confirmed). There were no new developments, just waiting for Rain to realize what you, the reader, had already realized.
Characters: Rain is a very interesting main character. She was born with a cleft palate which made her the target for most of her young life. As the book is fairly short (just 224 pages) and was not enough to get to know the characters. We meet Rain who has the most development, Taylor who is Rain's best friend, and Nico who is the prime suspect. I didn't make a connection with any of the characters, I barely made one with Rain. There are hints about Rain's personal life situation, but not enough to form a full picture.
Setting: The Girl in the Park takes place at an upper class New York high school. There isn't much to say about it. Rain moves mostly between her house and school, and I couldn't really make a clear image of what everyday life was for the residents. Many of characters allude to the socioeconomic status of the neighborhood and how there are outsiders, but I didn't get that. From anyone.
Short n Sweet: Maria Fredericks' The Girl in the Park is a stereotypical "party-girl-found-dead whodunnit with no surprises or loops. The characters are mostly one dimensional but Fredericks does make the issue of slut shaming a focus and how people are eager to blame the victim rather than the true culprit. (less)
Review based on ARC! Merci beaucoup Andrews McMeel Publishing et Netgalley
Alexis was always told that she shared a lot of characteristics with Nan, he...moreReview based on ARC! Merci beaucoup Andrews McMeel Publishing et Netgalley
Alexis was always told that she shared a lot of characteristics with Nan, her aunt who disappeared when she was a teenager. It isn't until she starts having strange dreams about dying that she believes that her aunt was murdered, not living it up on a sunny tropical island. Who doesn't like a good mystery? Who doesn't like a story about reincarnation? And now you know why I requested this book! While the mystery was solid, I felt like this book tried to do too many things at the same time. We have Alexis dealing with her fear of water and uncovering a murder she witnessed when she was a wee' lass, the disappearance of her aunt, the disappearance of a current classmate, and then we have the love story. Yeah, it was a lot to focus on. While it was busy at first, Leslie Rule got a hold of her plot towards the end when it all started to come together.
I mentioned that there this was a very busy book and if could get rid of one of those elements, it would definitely be the love story. Alexis fixates on him, like any YA heroine would, and he comes off too perfect. There are some really interesting secondary characters though, like Josh's mom, Alexis' grandfather and the school faculty.
The writing is solid, it DOES sound like an older book but that adds to it's charm. I would recommend this to any mystery fan, especially fans of older mysteries.(less)
Emily Webb likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lord of the Rings and reading. She does not go clubbing, she does not believing in wearing clothes tha...more3 1/2
Emily Webb likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Lord of the Rings and reading. She does not go clubbing, she does not believing in wearing clothes that will show off her assets, and she definitely does not have an interest in boys. That all suddenly changes when a girl, whose name is also Emily, turns up dead and Emily Webb finds her self flirting with guys and sneaking out of her window for a night on the town. Samson creates an interesting tale about a girl desperate for answers with a paranormal twist.
To be quite honest when I first read this synopsis and decided to buy it, I did not think that there would be any paranormal element in this novel, but there most definitely was. Although it was not what I was expecting, I did enjoy the novel. It was always a surprise to see what "Nighttime/Bad" Emily would do next, and each night Nighttime Emily got more and more ballsy! The plot was paced very well, the action occurs over a week in which the author hints that Emily may not be as human as she assumed she was. Chapter by chapter the audience is given clues as to what is causing this sudden change in Emily until all is revealed and explained. I felt that everything was wrapped up in a neat little package, setting the novel up for its sequel, Havoc.
The characters did what they were supposed to do. Daytime Emily was good, nighttime Emily was bad, and her best friend Megan was just....a pain in the ass to put it bluntly. Megan is one of the girls who tried to be popular back in elementary school, was shunned by a popular girl and has hated the world ever since. I felt that the characters, especially Daytime Emily, could use some more depth. Daytime Emily was able to pick out the flaws and logic behind Megan's actions, but she was never able to sew within herself. I truly believe that there is something more to her than a geeky girl who is content to stay home every weekend to watch bad 80s films. She must have some hidden thoughts that she can share about herself, but we don't get a glimpse into her inner workings. Nighttime Emily was just the opposite, she did rather than thought and was quick to squash out of the voice of Daytime Emily. I understand that the author had a Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing going on, but I wanted characters who were more than just "bad" and "good" even if they were two sides to the same person. The other secondary characters kind of just hang out in the background even though quite a few of them play a very big role in the plot. This book does hint at a love story which is so bare right now that I don't know if I can even come up with the words to comment on it. Basically the love interest is being set up for the second novel.
The writing was spot on. There was never a lull and I was completely captured in the story for the entirety of the novel. The author also throws in a lot of nerdy pop culture references which were entertaining and made me happy that my nerdiness came in handy (by the way, ten points to you Mr. Jeff Samson for the Cowboy Bebop reference). I liked that the perspective switched throughout the novel. The story mainly focused on Emily but every five chapters or so, the writing style would change to a transcription between two people: FS and V1 discussing "vespers" and "deviants."
Vespers was a really fun read and I enjoyed it a lot. The writing was littered with nerd culture references, the characters could have used a little more work, but the plot was enticing regardless of if it was not what I was expecting.
I recommend this for those who love a good paranormal novel, probably those who are fans of the X-Men as well.(less)
Kelley York's dark story of a young boy who is willing to do anything for a childhood friend will surprise you and root for our troubled protaganist....moreKelley York's dark story of a young boy who is willing to do anything for a childhood friend will surprise you and root for our troubled protaganist.
York doesn't waste any time with setting up the tone for this book. The first chapter deals with Archer finishing up yet another kill. He is efficient, quick and dedicated to his task and you can tell that he's like that in all aspects of life. Hushed is a thriller novel that moves at the perfect pace, it doesn't bore nor does it give anything away too quickly.
The characters are what makes this novel so great. York spends a lot of time showcasing Archer's relationship with Vivian and his relationship with Evan. Although the first is obviously toxic, it's interesting to see how Archer treasures their relationship and how defensive he is around Evan, the one who is trying to nurture him. The contrast in relationships is amazing to see and seeing Archer try to find his place in the world kept me reading. There are a lot of similarities between Archer and Dexter Morgan because they both view the world in the same cynical detached lenses, like most serial killers probably would.
York's writing style is absolutely beautiful. She managed to break my heart when I saw how dedicated Archer was to both Viv and and his mother and the two of them just continued to abuse him. I really can't wait to read more by Kelley York and i high recommend this book to anyone who wants a some originality.(less)
This book is so charming and so original. Stevens does an amazing job with her characters and their environment (as make me want sweet iced tea with e...moreThis book is so charming and so original. Stevens does an amazing job with her characters and their environment (as make me want sweet iced tea with every page I turned). The story was well developed and moved at just the right pace, and all of the characters were so memorable and the best part of all, no cliff hanger at the end! Amelia Gray sees ghosts, which makes her job as a graveyard restorer a bit difficult. Luckily for her, her father gave her a set of rules to abide by in order to live a ghost-free life. Don't make contact, ignore those who are haunted by ghosts, and stay on hallowed grounds. These are all very easy rules to follow until she meets the mysterious John Devlin whose personal haunts are desperate to make contact with her. This paired with the finding of two (new deceased) bodies in the graveyard that she is working on, makes for a very case. Amanda Stevens treated this novel like it was her baby. Everything was so well thought out, the subtle hints of what's to come were in the right spots, and the characters were engaging. Every character brought something special to the plate which made the read so enjoyable. Amelia is also a remarkable character. She is strong, independent and appears to be very in control regardless of her environment. While this novel hints at romance, the book isn't about their love story. It's about Amelia first and foremost which is refreshing. The plot is also exceptional. I was kept guessing about the mystery murders until the last chapter and I was still blown away. The entire plot is original with great side stories that are sure to be revealed later on in the story. I also loved that Stevens mentioned the voodoo culture because I am fascinated with it. In short this is a lovely book that I recommend to anyone. Well, unless you're looking for a love story centered novel then maybe this wouldn't be your first pick. Steven's writing and storytelling is flawless and the plot keeps you guessing. (less)
This is a stunning novel that interlaces a serious topic such a cyber bullying with great character background and a good amount of paranormal element...moreThis is a stunning novel that interlaces a serious topic such a cyber bullying with great character background and a good amount of paranormal elements. Even the layout of the book was noteworthy!
Katelyn Berkley is found dead in her bathtub Christmas night. An espresso machine was found next to her in the tub. Everyone has written this off as accidental and some are whispering that it is a suicide because Katelyn was "kind of messed up." Taylor and Hayley, two twin girls with a unique gift don't believe that it was suicide, they're sure that Katelyn was murdered. They rely on their special gift to piece together moments in Katelyn's past and try to stop a family secret from going public.
Gregg Olsen is a wonderful storyteller. I've read books that are written from the first person perspective, there is sometimes the occasional alternating point of view between two people, but Olsen explores all of the key characters. Not only was it engaging, the writing style made sure that every character had his or her own proper voice. While it seems that the focus of this novel is the two twins, it's obvious that Katelyn Berkly is the true main character. Every action, every memory is somehow related to Katelyn or her grieving family. The paranormal elements of the novel really kept the story interesting, especially in the end when some information is revealed. The backbone of this story deals with the very serious topic of cyberbullying. This novel was actually based on the terrible tragedy that happened a few years back to a Missouri teen.
Also, Olsen uses different fonts and symbols throughout the book. There was a scene where the twins were decoding a message with scrabble cubes, the author actually used a font that resembled scrabbled blocks. Everything about the book format was just fun!
This was a great and intriguing novel. The constant change of perspective and the constant flipping back and forth between the past and present made this novel a very enjoyable novel with a very mature theme. Although I really appreciate that Olsen brought this real-life tragedy to surface with his novel, I can't wait to read to read something that is 100% Olsen's story.
I recommend this novel for mystery lovers and those interested in social issuse!(less)
Jill Hathaway's debut novel Slide does not disappoint. It is thrilling, emotional, action-packed, and original; readers will find it hard to put this...moreJill Hathaway's debut novel Slide does not disappoint. It is thrilling, emotional, action-packed, and original; readers will find it hard to put this one down.
Teenager Sylvia Bell has a lot on her plate. Her mother has passed away so her clueless father has decided that she could play the mother role for their small family. As if that isn't bad enough she has to deal with a flaky best friend, a new hot boy who is interested in her, and her little sister's annoying group of cheerleading friends. Oh and her sister's best friend was murdered. To make matters worse she is the only person who can prove it. Why? Because she was in the killer's body when it happened.
Sylvia "Vee" Bell acts as the narrator in this mystery-driven novel. She's has a rebellious high schooler with bright pink hair but behind her flashy personality is her pain. This is what makes Sylvia such an interesting character and narrator. With the first person point of view, it is hard not to get sucked into Hathaway's world and fall in love with Vee. She describes the world as she sees it, there is no sugar coating any of her actions, Vee is real. Along with an excellent narrator and character, Hathaway holds the reader's attention with this heart-thumping tale of murder.
The overall story is exciting and a thrilling page-turner. I found myself racking my brain to try to figure out the identity of the killer before the great reveal. The actions between the characters seemed genuine and nothing felt awkward. Vee does not try too hard to be a "junior sleuth" in order to solve this mystery. She handles the entire situation with maturity and weighs her options very carefully. Whether or not you like characters, they are fleshed out. While they may seem caricatures of stereotypical groups, they have their own motives and their own voices, especially Vee's little sister Mattie who grew on me.
I also really enjoyed the love "triangle," because it didn't really exist. Yes there were two guys vying after Vee's affections, but they weren't actively trying to oust the other while getting into Sylvia's good graces. I think that is one thing I liked about this book, nothing is over the top. Everything is done subtly, whether it's the crime fighting heroine or the love story, nothing is over the top. It all feels very realistic, besides the whole sliding into another person's body aspect.
I can't think of anything that I disliked regarding this novel, the relationships were honest and sweet and the action was exciting. I want to thank Jill Hathaway and Harper Collins for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. This was an amazing debut novel and I cannot wait to read more works from you in the future.
I recommend this novel for everyone who loves mystery with a slight paranormal twist and a strong female character. (less)
Life's a bitch when your boyfriend cheats on you with the president of the Chasity Club, then said Chasity Club harlot is found dead and your boyfrien...moreLife's a bitch when your boyfriend cheats on you with the president of the Chasity Club, then said Chasity Club harlot is found dead and your boyfriend is the main suspect. Life's a bitch when you have to prove his innocence.
This book was HI-LARIOUS. Honestly, when I picked this up I didn't expect it to be a comedy, I just thought it would be your run of the mill Young Adult mystery. But with a relunctant heroine and a hilarious mystery, this book made me addicted!
The plot was very enticing, teenage girl finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her with a "virgin" cheerleader, the cheerleader is found dead and the boyfriend is on the run. I loved every minute of the investigation and the leads that Hartley received from her classmates. Halliday wrote a FUN murder-mystery, which seems like an odd combination but..it isn't. I kept guessing and guessing until the final reveal.
The characters were GREAT. They were all hilarious and I thoroughly enjoyed Halliday's version of "Deep Throat." Hartley is a great conflicted character and Chase is just the sweetest Goth boy I ever did know! Al of the characters fit this story brilliantly and added to the carefree mood of the book.
I think the writing is what made this novel. Hartley's tone of voice is so sarcastic and so teenagery that it made this book easy to devour within a day. Halliday writes with amazing wit and I can't wait to start the sequel! (less)
Kaylee Cauvanaugh is just a regular high school Junior. She has a best friend that she loves, she has a crush on the hottest boy at school and she kno...moreKaylee Cauvanaugh is just a regular high school Junior. She has a best friend that she loves, she has a crush on the hottest boy at school and she knows when someone will die. Kaylee's life is turned upside down when a bunch of girls from her high school starting dropping dead and she may be the only one who can save the next intended victim.
I was not expecting this book to go down the urban fantasy road. I expected something along the lines of The Body Finder where an everyday girl learns that she has a special talent and has to solve a bunch of murders while keeping others in the dark to her involvement. Not with this novel; it's full of rich mythology and paranormal characters.
And I loved it! I enjoyed Kaylee's perspective and her narrative. She's a typical high school girl with typical high school actions. All of her actions and emotions felt real and I enjoyed hearing the story from her perspective, especially when it involved Nash.
I was taken aback by how much I enjoyed their relationship; I usually enjoy relationships that take time to build, but I was rooting for Nash and Kaylee to hook up from page 1 and I loved every interaction they had throughout the novel.
Lastly the plot was enticing. I wanted to know more about each character that popped up and I was dying to know who was behind the mystery deaths. The novel kept my full attention and I was surprised by how short it was (another hundred pages please Rachel!) but I am ecstatic to read the rest of this series and learn more about the new creatures that are sure to pop up in Rachel's world!(less)
This review was made possible thanks to Wendy Darling and Shirley Marr putting together a US Book Tour. Want more information click here
After months...more This review was made possible thanks to Wendy Darling and Shirley Marr putting together a US Book Tour. Want more information click here
After months of trying to read this book, I finally have in in my possession and I must say, I REALLY wish that there was more!
Eliza Boans is the definition of a "poor little rich girl." She struggling with the power balance of her tight knit group of friends, trying to ignore the feeling that she has for a certain childhood friend, and she is currently in a holding cell while being interviewed for a murder that she committed.
One word that comes to me when I think about the overall plot is building. The plot is a continuous and slow build up of event that lead to Eliza's current situation. While this book is not action packed with sudden epiphanies, its slow plot does keep your attention until the very last page. One thing I will say is that I wish that there was more of a wrap-up for this novel. This books focus is not the actual crime being committed, instead it hi-lights the key characters and explores their relationships.
Eliza Boans is extremely unlikeable in the beginning. She complains about everything, treats everything and everyone outside of her sheltered community as trash and is oblivious to how good she has it. For a good majority of the book I did not like her, but as the story progressed cracks began to show and I even began to feel sorry for her. Besides Eliza as a person, I loved how she interacted with others, especially newcomer Ella Dashwood. Even Eliza's maybe-budding relationship with Neil made me smile.
Shirley Marr's writing style is what makes this novel so engaging and a fast paced read. It is littered with foreshadows and witty dialogue that will make you think. While there isn't a lot a action in Fury, it is Marr's writing that keeps you turning pages hungrily awaiting bits of information that will lead to the murder.
Shirley Marr's debut novel is rich in its characters and superb writing style. I loved the characters and the plot enticed me until the very end where I begged and pleaded for more.
I recommend this book for fans of Pretty Little Liars and anyone who likes a novel about a troubled high school teenager. (less)