Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

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I can't believe I fell for it.

It was still dark when I woke up this morning.

As soon as my eyes opened I knew where I was.

A low-ceilinged rectangular building made entirely of whitewashed concrete.

There are six little rooms along the main corridor.

There are no windows. No doors. The elevator is the only way in or out.

What's he going to do to me?

What am I going to do?

People are really quite simple, and they have simple needs. Food, water, light, space, privacy. Maybe a small measure of dignity. A bit of freedom. What happens when someone simply takes all that away?

This book was just ok for me. The only character that we know enough about is Linus because we are in his head for the whole book. He was the only character that I was able to connect with because of this. I couldn't connect to the story. It felt like I was reading it instead of becoming a pat of it if that makes sense. It seemed like the author had plenty of good ideas going into writing this book but it didn't cohesively come together. I was left feeling unsatisfied with the book. No answers are ever given as to why these particular people were kidnapped or why. I ended up having more questions regarding the book than answers which made me frustrated. I also have to agree with the other reviews of this book when people are saying that the ending is not satisfying or that they hated it. I was left feeling very disturbed, with a bad taste in my mouth.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

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Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.
It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy—her paw-print birthmark.

I thought that the title of this book was eluding to a gathering of supernatural creatures but apparently that is not the case.  I don't see what the title has to do with the story. There was no gathering in the book. I thought that the synopsis of the book was interesting but some of the things that are mentioned in it are not exactly accurate. Daniel gets feelings about people but I wouldn't call it premonitions and Maya doesn't have bad reactions to the mountain lions around her home. In the book, it is explained that wildlife is seen around her home frequently enough that it is not a huge deal.

I feel like this book had a lot of build up that went nowhere. There were things that happened in the book that were never explained and I felt like the author included events just to include them. They didn't really matter to the story. Supernatural ideals were excepted way too easily...I don't understand how a person can just immediately begin believing that they are a part of a legend that was told to them.

We never meet these supposed scientists and are never told why they keep such a tight leash on the residents of the town. Also, we are never given a definitive answer as to what made Serena drown in the beginning of the book. There are a bunch of ideas or suggestions that are thrown out and people just accept whichever one they prefer.

I didn't like many of the characters. I found many of them annoying and with Sam I felt that the author was trying too hard to establish her as tough and then makes her vulnerable which doesn't make any sense.

Friday, August 25, 2017

If by Nina G. Jones

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Someone hadn't scarred my face.
I hadn’t followed my dreams to LA.
That tweaker hadn't attacked that homeless guy.
I hadn't invited a stranger over for Thanksgiving.
I hadn’t fallen in love.

If I hadn’t lost him.
I hadn’t gone for that drive.
I saw the world like everyone else.
My “genius” wasn’t slowly destroying me.
I had just walked away before I could ever know her.
She hadn’t ignited the spark.

If the spark didn’t ignite the madness.

I thought that this book was very well done! This is my second book that I have read written by Nina and I have to say that I am quickly becoming a fan of her work. While this book was very different from Take Me With You, I enjoyed it just as much! In the beginning of the book, the author speaks about how she did a lot of research pertaining to this book particularly mental illness. She also stated that she wanted to promote awareness and decrease the stigma surrounding mental illness and getting help for it. I believe that she was successful on all accounts! 

This book wasn't a "pretty love story". It was what real love/relationships that involve mental illness can look like. There are ups and downs in the relationship that require work on the part of both people.  In this book, one of the characters is dealing with more than one disorder and the author beautifully captured how it affected not only him but his loved ones as well. I appreciated how the author included characters in the story that didn't see symptoms that one of the main characters exhibited as being a part of a disorder and that while in the midst of the symptoms that the main character seemed to be out of control. It made the book very realistic in my opinion and I hope that by reading it that people with these disorders will know that it is okay to seek help and that it doesn't make them weak or less than others. 

I think that it is clear that I loved this book but I will share a few more things that I loved about this book. The characters each had issues that they had to deal with and I liked that the author did not write the story in the typical fashion where the characters fix each other. They realize that they need to work on their issues but can support each other through it. I thought that each of the main characters were beautifully crafted and each had depth to them. They each made me cry at different points because they became so real to me and I felt for them. 

I do think that the author tortured the characters a bit in the last 20% or so in the book. I almost felt like telling the author to leave them alone because didn't they each have enough to deal with already. It still seemed believable to me and I think that they each needed to go through it in order to understand each other even better.  

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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There is need. And then there is Fate... Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn’t exactly awesome—especially when Alexandria’s "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth’s in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom—so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do—and sacrifice—for her. When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies—lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn’t blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her. When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone 

I would put this book on the same level as the first book. It wasn't better than the first one because I don't feel like the tension or the war between daimons and other races ramps up at all. It wasn't worse either but once again I feel that the love triangle between Alex, Seth, and Aiden takes precedence over everything else in the story. I want the books to focus more on the prejudice between the halfs and the pures as well as the danger that the daimons presents. 
I did appreciate that Alex changed and grew more in this book but it felt at times like the author did not devote enough time to her trials. We get a glimpse of Alex's reaction to having lost someone close to her in this book but then she goes right back to obsessing over her feelings for Aiden. I like Aiden but I wish that Alex would just get over him already because I'm sick of her pining over him. The amount of action in this book was the same although the plot needed work. I understand that this is a sequel but I feel like nothing was added to the story and everything just carried on from the first book. The only thing that happens is more halfs being changed and meeting more people that hate Alex.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Six by Mark Alpert

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Exchanging their bodies for machines, these teens will defy expectations, brave danger, and defend civilization. They are The Six.
Adam's muscular dystrophy has stolen his mobility, his friends, and in less than a year it will take his life. Virtual reality games are Adam's only escape from his wheelchair. In his alternate world, he can defeat anyone. Running, jumping, scoring touchdowns: Adam is always the hero.
Then an artificial intelligence program hacks into Adam's game. Created by Adam's computer-genius father, Sigma has gone rogue, threatening to kill Adam—and the entire human race. Their one chance to stop Sigma is using the technology Adam's dad developed to digitally preserve the mind of his dying son.
Along with a select group of other terminally ill teens, Adam becomes one of the Six who have forfeited their failing bodies to inhabit weaponized robots. But with time running short, the Six must learn to manipulate their new mechanical forms and work together to train for epic combat...before Sigma destroys humanity.

I thought that Adam was an interesting main character. He has muscular dystrophy which limits him in many ways but he tries to put on a brave front for those around him. He uses humor as a way to cope with his situation and is extremely smart.  I wasn't able to connect with the other characters in this book like I could with Adam. The other characters didn't seem to have as much depth to them which made me want to ignore them for the most part. 
The story itself was fast-paced and tense. I found it to be both thrilling and intellectually stimulating. It was difficult to guess what Sigma would do next and how the Six would be able to counter the AI's attacks. I thought that it was interesting to see Adam's reaction to becoming one of the Six. He was unsure if he was still himself or just a copy of himself. I don't know very much about technology but thought that it was an intriguing thought. 
I thought that it was a nice touch for the author to include Sigma's communications as well as the general's communications with the higher ups regarding Sigma's movements. It added another element to the story providing it with another level of tension and background information. It also provided readers with the "big picture" not just the teens emotions and their training. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Blackout by Robison Wells

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Laura and Alec are highly trained teenage terrorists. Jack and Aubrey are small-town high school students. There was no reason for their paths ever to cross. But now a mysterious virus is spreading throughout America, infecting teenagers with impossible superpowers—and all teens are being rounded up, dragged to government testing facilities, and drafted into the army to fight terrorism. Suddenly, Jack, Laura, Aubrey, and Alec find their lives intertwined in a complex web of deception, loyalty, and catastrophic danger—where one wrong choice could trigger an explosion that ends it all.

I had a hard time with this book. The world building was not done as well as I would have liked. It's like the author wanted everything in the book to be taken at face value without anyone wanting any answers or for the author to delve deeper into the subject matter.  I didn't understand the exact goal of the terrorists or the purpose of infecting other people with superpowers.  I guess that could have been an accident that they did not account for.
The author never gives a definitive answer about any of anything. 
I liked the book but I wanted more depth. I wanted more from the characters other than saying that Laura wants to be in a position of power even though her comrades think that she is a pretty, dumb, and blond. That is literally all we find out about her over the course of the book.  I thought that the idea of terrorists that are super powered was an interesting one. It makes it more difficult to defeat an enemy that have an clear advantage over soldiers. It evens the odds to have other teenagers have powers as well but not know if there are terrorists among them. The whole concept was intriguing.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Jackaby by William Ritter

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Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain the foul deeds are the work of the kind of creature whose very existence the local authorities--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--seem adamant to deny.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book! Although the story was historical, it read as if it was happening in present day. The language, clothing, and setting were true to the time period but I didn't find these elements bothersome like I have with other books. 
I found the pacing to be well done with enough tension and breadcrumbs of information to keep the story going and me wanting more. The author's writing style was interesting and incredibly detailed. It felt as if I was watching a movie play out in front of me. 
I thought that the killer was easy to predict when a certain clue was given in the story but I still found the story itself to be enjoyable. I loved how the author introduced Jackaby as well as the character himself. He was quite a bit like Sherlock Holmes but more lovable and quirky and less of a sociopath. I think that one of my favorite elements of the book was the paranormal. It made the book different from other variations of Sherlock Holmes type of stories. I think that it also added excitement and a quirkiness that I loved!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Touch by Jus Accardo

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When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home. Except there's something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she'll turn to dust if he touches her.
It's not until Dez's father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there's more to this boy—and her father's "law firm"—than she realized.Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting "special" kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life.
And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they're caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe. A secret Kale will kill to protect.

I was mostly disappointed with this book. I have read other books by Jus Accardo and I loved them. I know that this book was written before those because it was her first but it seemed like a completely different author. This book needed more work because the idea behind it was a good one but it wasn't executed as well as it could have been. 
I had a hard time connecting to the main characters because I didn't feel like they were very likeable or relatable. Deznee is an immature teen who does everything in her power to anger and annoy her father. She doesn't really change much over the course of the book. She seems to only have her goals in mind no matter the cost to those around her. Kale was a bit of a blank slate who seemed to be in the book so that there was more man candy. I wanted to like him but he was so naive and ignorant that I found him annoying. It seemed as if he didn't know anything at all no matter how simple the concept.  
The majority of the book didn't seem very believable to me. People just automatically believe the things that they are told and girls go off with guys that threaten to kill them. There were a few tense chase scenes that were fair and an fight scene towards the end of the book that was well done. I really enjoyed the last 20% of the book so I may read the next one if that portion of the book is any indication of what the sequel will be like.
If you want to see this author at her best then you should read The Eternal Balance trilogy. It is awesome!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Oblivion (Broken City #3) by Jessica Sorenson

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Every day my life becomes more in danger. The only way to survive might be to enter the Oblivion and relive my forgotten memories. But my mind may be even more dangerous than reality. 

This is the third book in the Broken City series and things are continuing to amp up in this book. There is no lack of action in this one though there is less hand to hand fighting than in the previous books. It still has the same flavor as the others although now another type of villain has been introduced to us (though I think of him as the main villain as far as Allura is concerned). There were glimpses of him in the previous books but the author didn't give away who exactly he was. I have my suspicions about the so called time traveler. We never see his face in this book so I wonder if he is someone that is known and loved by Allura. It always seems like when an author hides the face of a villain that the reveal is going to be devastating and/or shocking to readers. 

I'm ready to read the next book so hopefully it will be coming out soon. I know that Jessica Sorenson always has so many books up in the air at once so we'll see.  I feel like I need to read the next book in order to understand what was happening in this one. I guess that always happens when the time manipulation element is added into a book.

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry

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She doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know where she is, or why. All she knows when she comes to in a ransacked cabin is that there are two men arguing over whether or not to kill her.
And that she must run.

In her riveting style, April Henry crafts a nail-biting thriller involving murder, identity theft, and biological warfare. Follow Cady and Ty (her accidental savior turned companion), as they race against the clock to stay alive, in The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die.

I was not a big fan of this book. It started off really well with the main character waking up to men speaking about finishing her off. She has no memory of who she is or what is happening. The only thing that she knows for sure is that these men want to kill her so she has to come up with a way to escape. The book continues to be tense and interesting until about 50 pages in. That's the point where events in the book are not realistic any longer. In the synopsis, Ty is mentioned as the main character's accidental savior but it makes no sense for her to meet him and then to have him continue helping her throughout the book. He doesn't know her. She could be crazy for all he knows. I thought that that the book felt like a bad action movie because  everything is so over the top. It would make more sense if it were realistic. I also thought that Cady made so many mistakes that any person would know were missteps due to common sense when you are running and/or hiding from people who are trying to kill you.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

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She's a soldier -- Noemi Vidal is willing to risk anything to protect her planet, Genesis, including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she's a rebel.

He's a machine -- Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel's advanced programming has begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he's an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they're not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they're forced to question everything they'd been taught was true.

After I finished Claudia's Firebird trilogy and fell in love with her writing, I knew that I had to read whatever book she came out with next. She did not disappoint me with Defy the Stars! Claudia Gray is a genius when it comes to writing sci-fi! 
I loved this book! From the very first pages the book starts off right in the middle of the action. What was meant to be a routine mission to scout for issues that could be solved before the real mission was to take place takes a turn. The enemy begins shooting at the pilots from Genesis. I loved being thrown right into the action because it started off the book with a bang. I know that the length of the book might be a problem for some readers but I found that the pacing and story were so well thought out and interesting that I didn't mind the length. 
I loved both of the main characters so much! They were alike in a lot of ways even though physically they were extremely different. They each found that they were lonely which I think was because those around them couldn't completely understand them. Abel and Noemi each had very strong personalities and were afraid to show their weaknesses to the other. They are each soldiers in their own right but appear to almost be fighting different wars. 
I found it interesting to ponder the question of what makes someone human. Is it the ability to feel and express emotions? Having organs? Agency? There were many other questions that this book posed but humanity seemed to be the main one. 
Claudia Gray wrote a captivating world that I got lost in. I found it so interesting but scary at the same time. I could see the world potentially going in a direction that this book does. I think that is another reason why I liked the book so much. It was realistic and believable.
My only wish is that there would have been more of a conclusion at the end rather than what felt a bit like a cliff hanger. it felt a bit anti-climatic but I suppose the author needed another sequel to be able to wrap the story up the way that she wanted to. I know now that this is going to be a duology so the ending of the book makes more sense to me. I have to admit that even though this book was 500 pages I wanted more so I'm so glad that there will be another book.

The Safest Lies by Megan Miranda

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Kelsey has lived most of her life in a shadow of suspicion, raised to see danger everywhere. Her mother hasn’t set foot outside their front door in seventeen years, since she escaped from her kidnappers with nothing but her attacker’s baby growing inside her—Kelsey.

Kelsey knows she’s supposed to keep a low profile and stay off the grid for their protection, but that plan is shattered when her dramatic car accident and rescue by volunteer firefighter and classmate Ryan Baker sparks media coverage.

A few days later, she arrives home to find her mother missing. Now, to have a chance at a future, Kelsey will have to face her darkest fears. Because someone is coming for her. And the truth about the past may end up being the most dangerous thing of all. 

I think that my biggest problem with this book was that it felt anticlimatic at many points throughout the story. It was not a bad book by any means but at one point the main character appears to be trapped and then magically escapes. I was hoping for more during that portion of the book. I wanted the author to spend more time on that portion of the story instead of it only being a few pages. I thought that she missed an opportunity to deliver an even more tense scene and to share more information about the villains. It is right before this moment when we figure out who one of the bad guys is and then we don't learn anything more about it until the book has almost concluded. 
I'm not sure that I liked the reveal at the end relating to the mother. I would have went in a different direction with it but it wasn't terrible. I would have liked to have it make sense in relation to how the mother acts during the majority of the book. I really liked Kelsey! It was made clear that living the way that she did with her mother changed her but she still had an incredible amount of strength even though she didn't see it. I also liked how determined she was to figure everything out and her loyalty to her mother.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald

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Seventeen-year-old Sadie is in love: epic, heartfelt, and utterly one sided. The object of her obsession — ahem, affection — is her best friend, Garrett Delaney, who has been oblivious to Sadie’s
feelings ever since he sauntered into her life and wowed her with his passion for Proust (not to mention his deep-blue eyes). For two long, painful years, Sadie has been Garrett’s constant companion, sharing his taste in everything from tragic Russian literature to art films to ‘80s indie rock
— all to no avail. But when Garrett leaves for a summer literary retreat, Sadie is sure that the absence will make his heart grow fonder — until he calls to say he’s fallen in love. With some other girl! A
heartbroken Sadie realizes that she’s finally had enough. It’s time for total Garrett detox! Aided by a barista job, an eclectic crew of new friends (including the hunky chef, Josh), and a customized self help
guide, Sadie embarks on a summer of personal reinvention full of laughter, mortifying meltdowns, and a double shot of love. 

I could not get into this book. It was fun enough for me to read the whole thing but the main character Sadie is so immature. She is supposed to be seventeen in this but I swear she acts more like a 13 year old. She annoyed me! I liked Josh way more than her and he wasn't even in a large portion of the book. I was hoping thus book would be like The Avery Shaw Experiment with the girl trying to get over her love interest inc a unique way which causes hilarity to ensue. Sadly, this was not the case. I think that if I was in middle school I would have liked it a lot more. It was also pretty predictable so I wasn't surprised by anything that happened in the book.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

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No one knows what happened that morning at River Point. Five boys went hunting. Four came back. The boys won't say who fired the shot that killed their friend, Grant; the evidence shows it could have been any one of them. Kate Marino's senior year internship at the District Attorney's Office isn't exactly glamorous—more like an excuse to leave school early that looks good on college applications. Then the DA hands her boss, Mr. Stone, the biggest case her small town of Belle Terre has ever seen. The River Point Boys are all anyone can talk about. Despite their damning toxicology reports the morning of the accident, the DA wants the boys' case swept under the rug. He owes his political office to their powerful families. Kate won't let that happen. Digging up secrets without revealing her own is a dangerous line to walk; Kate has personal reasons for seeking justice for Grant. As she investigates with Stone—the aging prosecutor relying on Kate to see and hear what he cannot—she realizes that nothing about the case—or the boys—is what it seems. Grant wasn't who she thought he was, and neither is Stone's prime suspect. As Kate gets dangerously close to the truth, it becomes clear that the early morning accident might not have been an accident at all—and if Kate doesn't uncover the true killer, more than one life could be on the line…including her own.

Brilliant! I loved this book so much!I was on the edge of my seat from the beginning until the end!
In the beginning of the book, the author introduces us to the killer even though we don't know who he is. I say this because we get the killer's point of view in the book but no names are given. Fir example, during the first couple of pages it is from the killer's point of view but he narrating what each person is saying by stating that "one of the boys said" and gives no descriptions of any physical features of any of the boys. It's only later in the book that he mentions the name of one of the boys so we know definitively that that person didn't kill Grant. 
I thought that I knew who the killer was but the author surprised me. I really didn't see it coming. Now that that I look back at the hints and evidence throughout the book, the boy that turned out to be the killer makes sense.
Kate was a fantastic character! She was so determined to get the truth and was not gullible when it came to any of the boys. I loved the scenes between her and Stone when they were going over case details. I thought that the interrogation videos featured throughout the book were a nice touch. They added so much to the story especially Kate's part in them! It made sense to add them in to the story given Stone's physical weaknesses. Every element was explained and the flow of the story was so precise. I felt like I was watching a movie because I could picture every moment from this book so well!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Follow Me Back by A. V. Geiger

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Tessa Hart's world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it's like his speaking directly to her...
Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn't help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.
When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric's plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world's best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn...
Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts, this thriller for the online generation will keep you guessing right up to the shocking end.

This book was pretty good although the end threw me for a loop. I don't understand why the author would end the book that way. It didn't even make any sense to me. It didn't fit with what we knew about each of the characters. If that last chapter would have been cut from the book, I think that it would have been amazing. As far as the thriller aspect of the book, I feel like the author could have pushed the envelope more. It felt as if I was just reading a romance where the characters didn't know who each other were with thriller elements thrown in there to increase the tension in the story.

Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

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Morgan didn't mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive-first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself. But Morgan can't move on. She can't even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she's underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school. When it seems Morgan can't hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside. Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

I thought that the progression of the book was good. The main character's journey seemed realistic to me albeit optimistic in the time frame. I liked how the author displayed different characters briefly that were present for the shooting. It provided differences in how each of them coped with the trauma.
I thought that Evan was a good character. He didn't act like everything was okay when Morgan had set backs. He tried to help her in his own way but was not a crutch. He also provided a different perpective on the school shooting.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

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Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family.

Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas.

But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.


I was really disappointed with this book. I loved the cover so much and thought that it sounded like an amazing story but it did not live up to it. My biggest problem with this book was the writing style. It felt disjointed to me like the pieces of a puzzle that just did not want to fit together. I also didn't like that she was telling the story to Lucas but hardly ever said his name. Instead, she referred to him as you and it made me feel like she was talking to me rather than to him. I also don't feel like the reader is really given much background information in order to understand what is going on in the story. The author just dumps you in at the point where she has been home for a few years and expects you to understand. I also had no idea that this was going to be a historical in nature. I have to admit that I rarely like books in that genre so I am biased for that reason. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

                                             🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.
He's spent his life doing his best not to live up to his potential.
He's obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn't want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he's written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.
Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don't demand or expect the empathy he's unable to offer. Perhaps that's what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there's something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat---and to appreciate what that difference means.
Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can't control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.

I was in love with this book for about the first 100 pages or so but then things took a turn. It felt as if the author switched genres on me which threw me for a loop. Let's just say that it remains a thriller but there is an element of the book that is unrealistic and more on the paranormal side of things. I had to make myself get used to that element and then I was still able to enjoy the book. This was made easier because of the writing style. It remained amazing making me want to know what John would do next. I really enjoyed being inside of his head. It was such an interesting place to be. John reminded me of Jazz from I Hunt Killers even though this book was written first. I feel like John was even darker than Jazz though which made me like him more. I loved the tone of the book. I enjoy dark, gritty thrillers where even the narrator has a darker side. For me, it makes the story edgier and more intense to have an anti-hero narrate the book than an actual hero. I will definitely be reading the next book because I just cannot get enough of John Cleaver!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

                                                🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

How far would you go for revenge if someone killed your father?
   If someone destroyed your city?
   If everything you ever loved was taken from you?
   David Charleston will go to any lengths to stop Steelheart. But to exact revenge in Steelheart’s world, David will need the Reckoners—a shadowy group of rebels bent on maintaining justice.
   And it turns out that the Reckoners might just need David too.
   Look for book two in the Reckoners series, Firefight, available now. 

First of all, I thought that this book sounded amazing! I have read books wherein a government agency experimented to make super-powered humans and/ or super hero are fighting super villains. However, I haven't read anything where the people with super powers are the ones killing and essentially enslaving humanity. The premise sounded fascinating and seemed as if it would be an action packed story. 

The author hooked me from the first page with sentences like "I've seen Steelheart bleed.". Sadly, this did not continue throughout the book. I began to get bored at about the halfway point of the book. The whole book was essentially the main character along with the Reckoners planning the demise of Steelheart. I wanted to see more action and suspence! I felt like this book was one big tease. It hinted at action but then the big confrontation wasn't until the last 40 pages or so and this book was 394 pages. 

I hated the romance in this book if you can even call it that. Why did the author have to put it in the book? Why? The main character sounded like such a girl at times!? I read my husband one of the lines from the book and he said that a guy that age would never say something like that! The juvenile dialogue aside...if David wasn't thinking or talking about destroying Steelheart he was obsessed with the girl. I don't see why it was needed for David to love the one girl in the book that was his age.

This story had good bones to it and I loved the reveals at the end of the book. A few of them were hinted at but weren't totally given away which I loved. I think that leading into the second book the author is working with some good material both from the world building in this and the ideas towards the end of the book. I think that I might attempt to read the next book but I'm afraid that it will be just like this one where nothing happens until the end.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dreamfall by Amy Plum

                                          🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Nightmare on Elm Street meets Inception in this gripping psychological thriller from international bestselling author Amy Plum. Seven teenagers who suffer from debilitating insomnia agree to take part in an experimental new procedure to cure it because they think it can’t get any worse. But they couldn’t be more wrong.
When the lab equipment malfunctions, the patients are plunged into a terrifying dreamworld where their worst nightmares have come to life—and they have no memory of how they got there. Hunted by monsters from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, these seven strangers will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

This book was amazing! I loved everything about it! It is easily my favorite book of 2017 thus far!
Dreamfall reminded me a lot of Inception without the whole trying to implant thoughts into someone's head and having to go through dream layers. I loved all of the characters and enjoyed getting to know each of them better as the story progressed. They were all so different which made sense because they were a part of a experiment of sorts. Amy Plum had an interesting way of delving deeper into the backstories and personalities of each of the characters. She did this through the nightmares that are introduced as the book progresses. I  felt like the nightmares were able to show a deeper hidden side to each character as well as how they react to the fear that they experience. It also showed how their life experiences shaped their dream world because it was how they perceived the things that happened to them. 
I thought that the author's use of Jaime (the medical intern) as one of the points of view was brilliant! Through his point of view we are able to know what is going on in reality and how events in the dream world effect the seven teenagers enduring the treatment. It was also a great way to give a more thorough background on each of the characters as well as the science behind the experiment. Jaime reads each of the files and then Cata and the others experience how the person's background shapes the dream world. 
The nightmares in this book were horrendously creepy! I loved how dark and twisted they were because there had to be a reason why Cata, Fergus, and the others weren't sleeping.  It would only make sense if the nightmares were something so awful that they would make these characters not be able to sleep. Some of the nightmares actually reminded me of ones that I have had which automatically made the book more relatable to me. 
The book does end on a bit of a cliffhanger which I normally hate but I loved this book so much that I don't even care. I want to read the sequel so bad now and it's not even coming out until next year. 

Trust Me by Romily Bernard

                                              🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Trust Me is the thrilling conclusion to the Find Me trilogy, in which loose ends come together and chilling plot twists complicate Wick Tate’s life more than ever.
With all of Wick Tate’s secrets—who can she really trust? Wick is used to relying on only herself, but when she has nowhere left to turn, she’s going to have to learn to trust someone if she’s going to finally escape her demons. . . .

This is by far the best book of the Find Me trilogy! The connections between the books are shown and everything comes together to make sense. This book felt like it was more mystery than thriller to me but I still really enjoyed it!
I worried about how I would feel about Wick in this book considering she took such a dark turn in the second book. I have to say that she really redeemed herself in my eyes in this book. She didn't make a huge change in her personality or anything but she made the ultimate sacrifice in her eyes for the people that she loved. I was also a huge Griff fan in this book. He really showed what he was made of and was brave despite the fear that he felt for himself and Wick. It was interesting for me to see the character growth in this book. There were a few characters that I found to be weak that surprised me with their strength in Trust Me. I did not see one of the main villains coming in this one but thankfully it all made sense. It felt good to know that the majority of my predictions were correct but the author did manage to fool me on the one villain. I loved that I wasn't able to predict everything.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

                                                🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.

What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved—who she once loved—she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.

Told in four parts—freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year—this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendships broken and rebuilt, all while learning to embrace the power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart

I thought that this book was good but not great. I felt like the book was drawn out. It would have been easier to get through if I didn't feel like the author was spending so much time on events or choices the main character made that could have been summed up in a few pages. I didn't really like many of the characters in the story and felt that they were not very supportive of Eden. I mean how do so many people not realize that someone is struggling the way that she was. Her actions seemed to make it clear as day. Don't even get me started on her parents, especially her mother. How did these people not see the bruises on her body after the rape takes place!?! Eden was the only character that had any amount of depth. I know that the book was about her but I feel like the other characters should have been a bit more fleshed out.

False Memory by Dan Krokos

                                                    🌟🌟🌗 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn''t at all surprised by Miranda''s shocking ability. Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn''t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can''t remember loving. Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn''t seem to matter...when there may not be a future.

I think that this book had a good idea behind it but I don't think that it was executed as well as it could have been. I thought that the powers that Miranda and the others had were unique. I have never read a book where the main character releases energy that incites a fight or flight response in "normal" people. Although the whole genetically engineered people who a team of scientists want to create to do their bidding is not a new idea I was not opposed to it because it made sense in this context. However, I don't think that certain elements needed to be added to the story. 
The only thing that I keep thinking is that the book was so convoluted. Why did the author choose to reveal things that made no sense? I know that I am probably making no sense but I can't really explain what I mean without spoiling the book. Let's just say that the title is appropriate because I have no idea who is who and my head starts to hurt when I attempt to figure it out.

Remember Me by Romily Bernard

                                            🌟🌟🌟🌗 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

In this edge-of-your-seat thrilling sequel to Find Me, Wick Tate, sarcastic teen hacker, is back. Wick had thought her troubles were over. But she should’ve known better.
Now, Wick is once again dealing with criminals and corrupt cops . . . and a brooding new love interest.
The pressure might be too much, as secrets—including Wick’s own—climb to the surface. Will Wick persevere like she has before?

This book was different from the first one in the sense that it was much darker. Over the course of the book the author shows what lengths Wick is willing to go to to protect the people that she loves and also to find the truth.  I can understand why the next book is called Trust Me because at the end of this book I'm not sure who she should trust either.I do have a few observations though. 
I know that I question Milo's motives. Frankly, I don't trust what he says about 80% of the time. I'm not sure that he really likes Wick. I think he likes the power that she represents. We don't really see much of Griff in this book but I like his actions in this because it's easy to tell he is a good person who cares about Wick. Carson is still Carson which means that I hate him like usual but I'm left wondering about what information he hasn't told Wick by the end of the book. I wish Bren would get a clue and stop trying to act like a Disney character. She really angered me in this one. Who tells someone that was beat up to try harder to get along with them and do what they want!?!
I'm not sure how I feel about Wick in this one. I think I'm starting to dislike her. I understood why she did the things that she did in this book but it made me feel like I didn't know her anymore. Her actions have me questioning if she is really hacking in order to protect people or if she wants to hurt people. I feels like she spends so much time protecting everyone around her that she forgets to protect herself not just from outside forces but from the darker side of herself. 
I thought that the plot of the book was good but it was hard to follow at times. I wasn't sure where the author was going with it and I'm honestly still not sure that it makes sense to me. The killer and the killer's motives made partial sense to me. I'm not sure if Romily Bernard was trying to make the killer less obvious in this book in order to improve on the first book but I'm not sure that it worked out for her. Plus, the most important points about it didn't come to light until the end.