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 abAlthough 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! ...more
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, tFor 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. ...more
Review based on ARC! Merci beaucoup Andrews McMeel Publishing et Netgalley
Alexis was always told that she shared a lot of characteristics with Nan, heReview 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....more
The Prophet by Amanda Stevens picks up right where The Kingdom left off. Amelia leaves Asher Falls behind to dBased on ARC. Thanks MIRA and Netgalley!
The Prophet by Amanda Stevens picks up right where The Kingdom left off. Amelia leaves Asher Falls behind to deal with some unfinished business in Charleston. The third installments answers some much needed questions and gives the reader more insight to our complex Amelia Gray.
Resident ghost seer Amelia Gray returns to her hometown in Charleston to get some answers from her family and to determine if a future with Devlin is a possibility. We meet old friends and are introduced to new ones. While questioning her relationship with the haunted Devlin, Amelia promises to find the murderer of a ghost who has been haunting her.
I really enjoyed this book, maybe more than The Kingdom. Amelia is back on familiar ground after she receives a mysterious text. In this book, we are reunited with characters from the first novel who are key players in the plot. Like I've stated in my reviews for the preceding novels, Amanda Stevens knows how to make a book spooky. While the plot is not complex nor is it driven by action, it is interesting enough to keep you coming back for more. And the plot is simple enough that you don't have try to remember what happened to who and how. I really enjoyed the pacing of the novel, I felt that it lent itself to the overall creepiness of the novel.
The characters are exceptional as always. Amelia is a great complex heroine who does not let her emotions dictate how she reacts to certain situations. She is extremely logical but not logical to a fault. I feel like I am repeating myself because the same praise I am giving The Prophet can be found in my last two reviews of the Graveyard Queen series. Everyone is so real and believable, they react as you would expect a person in a situation to react and mirror real life every closely.
I can't even talk about the writing without copying and pasting everything I have said in previous reviews! The writing lends itself to the creepiness of the novel and the writing style keeps the reader coming back for more even though this is not an action book. Stevens' command with words is such that you can easily digest the book within a day or two.
I really enjoyed this novel and I hope that it isn't the last in the series! I can never have enough of Amelia and Devlin! ...more
April Henry's young adult thriller is exciting and will have you sitting at the edge of your seat until the very last page!
Gabie, Drew and Ka4.5 stars
April Henry's young adult thriller is exciting and will have you sitting at the edge of your seat until the very last page!
Gabie, Drew and Kayla all work together at a pizzeria. When Kayla goes missing one night, Drew tells Gabie that the kidnapper let it slip that Gabie was his first choice and her world is turned upside down. While the rest of the town thinks that Kayla is dead, Drew and Gabie fight to find clues to prove that she is still alive.
This book had me hooked from the opening line. The plot was rather straight forward but it moved at a rapid pace with clues and revelations happening in almost every chapter. Nothing ever dragged, it seems that April Henry has perfected the art of giving the readers just enough information to have them begging for more.
All of the characters were central to the plot. The book follows the perspective of a different character each chapter so it's easy to get into his or her head and follow how this character can aid in Kayla's recovery. Drew, the last person to see Kayla before her disappearance, was an admirable character and Gabie's loyalty to Kayla was touching. I loved all of the characters, their interactions, and how they played a role in the plot. Henry also adds tidbits of information to make the characters more interesting, like the scuba diver explains his process and his history as a diver, and Drew explains how pizzas are made and what the ingredients are like. Little things like that made the novel seem more real and inviting.
The writing style is what made me give this book such a high rating, not only is writing absolutely flawless, the style captures the reader's attention. Like I stated earlier, each chapter follows the actions or thoughts of another central character which makes the novel more interesting than just following one character throughout the novel. Also, Henry includes fun tidbits like Kayla's latest fortune cookie, transcripts between the police and suspects, and evidence lists. Henry's ability to play with the format of the book and how she revealed some information made the book more fun to read!
The Night She Disappeared is extremely fun novel that will keep you on your toes until the mystery is solved. I dare you to NOT devour this book in one sitting!
Recommended: I recommend this book for fans of thriller mystery novels told from various perspectives. ...more
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 eThis 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. ...more
I finished this book in a day. 25 hours. So a day in a half. Regardless my point is that I could not put it down until I read every last word. Paige HI finished this book in a day. 25 hours. So a day in a half. Regardless my point is that I could not put it down until I read every last word. Paige Harbison's writing style demands your attention, her characters crave to be analyzed and the mystery of Becca Normandy will keep you glued to the pages. This is definitely one of my favorite reads of this year.
New Girl seems to play tribute to the novel Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and even though I have never read Rebecca, I did go over the summary and New Girl seems like a very clever idea.
Our main character is in her senior year of high school, living it up in her hometown in Florida. Going to the beach, chilling with her best friend, and hanging out with her family until her parents deliver some great news: she's going to boarding school. Crossing a time zone, she is welcomed to Manderly with rumors. The reason why she got into Manderly was because a student, Becca Normandy, has been missing for months now, and no one knows if she is dead or alive. Even though Becca is gone, she seems to be more present with each day that passes.
The story follows 'the new girl,' whose name you do not learn until the very last page of the book. She has been accepted to Manderly Academy after Becca disappears but the entire student body only sees her as someone who wishes to replace the Mandery sweetheart. The reader will struggle with the new girl as she tries to establish an identity at a school that doesn't want to accept her. The plot is fast paced with twists and turns that kept me glued to the pages. I had to know what happened to Becca and how she became Manderly's sweetheart!
All of the characters were wonderfully in depth, especially the mysterious Becca who probably need two novels just to analyze her inner workings. I also loved how strong our new girl was. Even when life handed her lemons, she made lemonade and added a shot of vodka for the hell of it. She stood up for herself, she went after what she wanted, and that gets major kudos from me. The rest of the characters played out like the average CW show with the guy she shouldn't have, the girls who maybe weren't really her friends, the psycho roommate and the boy that wants her. Although it was formulaic it worked. All of the characters complemented each other and each character held onto a piece of Rebecca that the new girl would need to unravel the mystery around her.
The writing style was very current and very true to how today's youth both speaks and thinks. Riddled with pop culture references like Jersey Shore (one I'm ashamed to have recognized), Harbison has no problem tapping into the mind of the average 17 year old who is wrought with issues like boys, schools, and missing pretty girls. I especially loved that Paige Harbison included chapters from the previous year of Manderly so that we could get to know Becca as we witness how others in present day Manderly students are affected by her disappearance. We also see how some scenes are not painted as prettily as others remember them to be.
I adored this book. I did not know what to expect until the very last chapters. Was Becca dead? Was she haunting the school? Was she alive? Was she stalking the new girl who has taken her place? So many questions and for the most part, we are given the answers that we crave. There are only one or two questions that are left unanswered which bothered me a little, but it did not take away from my overall experience.
One thing that did make me raise an eyebrow was how the author dealt with sex. Yes some of the characters have sex, and seeing how I read quite a few adult novels as well, I'm used to flowery and detailed language to describe the act. I guess that doesn't happen to often in the Young Adult genre. Instead of the poetry and obscure terminology that I used to with the adult romance genre, Harbison write one simple phrase to indicate that the deed was being done: "they did it." Perhaps it's just me but it made me feel a bit awkward to have sexual acts described as "she/they/he did it" and to be done with it. But hey that's just me.
I recommend this for any one of loves teen drama like Gossip Girls. And I especially recommend this novel for those who are fans of either Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game. ...more
I read Wake by Lisa McMann and knew that I had to read more by this author. Dead To You was everything I expected plus a little more.
Plot: Dead To YoI read Wake by Lisa McMann and knew that I had to read more by this author. Dead To You was everything I expected plus a little more.
Plot: Dead To You has been on my TBR list for the longest time and I FINALLY got a chance to read it! This fast-paced mystery is told from the POV of Ethan, a boy who was abducted from his front lawn ten years ago. What starts off as a beautiful tale of reunion, expands to what happens AFTER a child has been returned home. The awkwardness of trying to find your place in a family that has tried to go on, returning to school and seeing old school friends. The novel also has a mystery regarding WHO took Ethan and for what purpose. I was engaged and managed to eat this one up in a day (it's a short read). The "conclusion" was very open-ended which was very unsettling, in a good way.
Characters: The mystery is told through Ethan's POV which brings the reader even closer to the mystery. Ethan seems so broken and vulnerable given his past experience and I sympathized with him until the very end. Since Ethan is a teenage boy with hormone, he pretty much falls victim to insta-lust with the first female character he meets and they go on to have a fast-paced relationship. Normally, this would bother me, but since everything else in this novel was fast-paced, it was only natural that the "lust story" be fast paced as well.
World Building: There isn't much to the world building in Dead To You. The story goes from home, to school, to the park, to home again. The feeling was your average small-town USA with Ethan being the resident outsider.
Short N Sweet: Dead To You is a book-clutching romance that will tug at your heart and keep you guessing until the very end. I recommend it for all fans of the mystery genre! ...more
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 boyfrienLife'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! ...more
Wish You Were Dead tells about the strange coincidence of a mysterious bloggers wish for all the mean popular kids and the sudden disappearan2.5 Stars
Wish You Were Dead tells about the strange coincidence of a mysterious bloggers wish for all the mean popular kids and the sudden disappearance of well...mean popular kids.
This book...this book. I wanted to like it so bad but I just did not care about anything. The premise was something right up my alley. A mysterious bloggers wish comes true and a bunch of nasty kids get killed? Yes please! Sadly the execution fell flat.
My main issue with the novel is that all of the characters are stereotypes except for the main character who is popular and as sweet as they come. She's perfect. Which is annoying when she is the only one who defies a stereotype. We have the rich bitch, the typical jock, the goth/punk/whatever and the angry lesbian. NONE OF THEM HAD PERSONALITIES. Which I partially blame on the use of the first person.
The novel opens during a course of actions. Madison the main character and her goth crush are dropping off "rich bitch" Lucy when she is kidnapped. And from there the story develops. The main character does not give adequate background on characters, all we know is that "Character A" and "Character B" are friends but no longer. Why? What was the explosion that ended the relationship. My brain needs more information!
Also there are so many gaping plot holes. It's like the author had an idea, got bored with it, and expected us to forget as well.
The plot itself was decent. Although a bit predictable, it didn't keep me from guessing. The ending is what rose my final rating from a 2 start to a 2 and a half star. It was clever and entertaining, but that doesn't make up for the other 200 pages I struggled through. ...more
There are many things being said about Michelle Hodkin's debut novel, some praise, some disappointment and some general confusion. I think my reactionThere are many things being said about Michelle Hodkin's debut novel, some praise, some disappointment and some general confusion. I think my reaction was praise sprinkled with a bit of confusion.
Mara Dyer and her family pack up and leave Rhode Island for sunny Florida after three of her friends are crushed to death in an asylum. Yep, crushed to death. Mara was there with them when she building collapsed and somehow is the only survival which brings about a lot of raised eyebrows. But even hot boys, mean girls, and new friends can't distract her from the consequences of surviving that fateful accident.
This novel is mostly a mystery with hints of the paranormal which, hopefully, will be explained in depth in the sequel. Mara sees things, she also sees dead people which was a bit creepy even reading about so this book definitely has the "do not read right before bed time" feel. I found myself getting frustrated along Mara Dyer as she tried to differentiate between reality and hallucination, and honestly, some of them are tricky because the story is told from Mara's point of view so there is always a good amount of doubt with the narrative. The story was a quick read which kept me entertained at almost all sections of the novel. I say almost because I felt that the story began to drag towards the end, I was almost tempted to flip to the last page just to see what not it would end on. Although the ending is definitely an eyebrow raising cliffhanger, I was expecting more given the novel's strong start and middle.
The characters were all interesting. Mara, I found, was very interesting. I did not relate to her, but I understood her confusion and anger at times. Noah was something else. That boy is perfect and usually I hate perfect characters (especially the romantic interest) but I couldn't help but love him. He was loyal, sarcastic and for a fictional character, he was hot. I think I found Noah so attractive because Mara's voice makes Noah sound so appealing.
Michelle Hodkin writing style is the closest I've seen to that of a teenage girls. It's angry, mopey at times, confused, and has a general desire to punch things and people in the face every 5 seconds or so. I also enjoyed the amount of doubt that Mara puts into the readers head, there were some realities that Mara almost had me believe was a hallucination because of the doubt that she tackled with. I thought Mara was a great narrative, she gave us all of the information that he had, and the writing style was very fun, quirky at times.
Mara Dyer is a roller coaster ride of mystery as she comes to terms that she may just be responsible for her best friend's death. The characters are appealing and the writing style is enough to keep the audience engaged long enough to add the sequel to the To Be Read list.
I recommend Mara Dyer for those who love a paranormal mystery with a high school love story. ...more
I can never get into hyped up books. Seriously. I don't know if it is because my expectations are too damn high or I just have different tast3.5 stars
I can never get into hyped up books. Seriously. I don't know if it is because my expectations are too damn high or I just have different tastes in books, but this book was just an "interesting" read for me.
The book opens with Cas hunting a murderous ghost. Immediately Blake sets the tone for the book, and draws the attention to every paranormal/ Supernatural fan on the internet. I must give Kendra Blake kudos for her constantly-moving plot and her gruesome scenes, I love an author who isn't afraid to scare the bejebus out of her readers. I mean people being split in half? That is AWESOME!
What I wasn't impressed by were the characters. I liked them individually but I did not like them as a functioning group, I don't know I just wasn't impressed. Now here is the reason I couldn't give Anna Dressed in Blood more than 3 1/2 stars: I didn't like Anna. I know know, she was such a badass. But she didn't feel real. I didn't sympathize with her monsrous nature, nor did I sympathize with her when I learned the cause of her death. I just didn't feel a connection. And although I am the biggest sucker of forbidden romances, I didn't believe in Anna and Cas's love. To me, it was extremely superficial with not foundation.
The writing was excellent. Like I stated earlier, Blake does not hold back when it comes to death scenes (although there is one furry death that I could have lived without...) and that's what kept my attention. ...more