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Posts Tagged ‘mystery’

Fall Mini Reviews: Adult Books Edition

Posted by Caitie F on December 22, 2015

Title: In the Woods woods
Author: Tana French
Pub Date: May 17, 2007
Hardcover: 429 pages
Publisher: Viking
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children. He is gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox (his partner and closest friend) find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

Review:

I am always looking for great mysteries and this book really works! It has been on my shelf forever and I am so glad I finally read it. What makes a great mystery for me is the characters and these characters were fantastic. From the leads to the suspects to the side characters, every single on was defined and I had to know what happened next. Absolutely brilliant.

Title: A Discovery of WitchesdiscoverAuthor: Deborah Harkness
Pub Date: February 8, 2011
Paperback: 579 pages
Publisher: Viking
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.

Review:

I was not expecting to like this as much as I did. Vampires don’t interest me very much, and neither does paranormal. But I still picked this one up finally because so many people I tend to agree with said it was fantastic and it was. The writing in this is just stunning and that is what makes it stand out so much.

Title: Modern Romancemodern
Author: Aziz Ansari
Pub Date: June 16, 2015
Hardcover: 277 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?

Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?”

But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.

Review:

This book was so fascinating – and I think if you are dating is even more so. I still loved it and loved what it said about my generation as whole – and it isn’t all bad things! Reading this really gives some insight into the world now…and it is also really funny. I would love to see more like this from Aziz.

Title: DauntlessDauntless
Author: Jack Campbell
Pub Date: July 2006
Mass Market: 304 pages
Publisher: Ace
Rating: +++

Summary from goodreads:

The Alliance has been fighting the Syndics for a century–and losing badly. Now its fleet is crippled and stranded in enemy territory. Their only hope is a man who’s emerged from a century-long hibernation to find he has been heroically idealized, beyond belief…

Captain John “Black Jack” Geary’s legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic “last stand” in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance’s one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic “Black Jack” legend…

Review:

This was such a fun book – it was fast, entertaining, and made me feel like I was watching a great episode of Star Trek. Is it the best book ever? No. But it is a fun way to spend a couple hours.

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Summer Reading Reviews: Young Adult Fiction

Posted by Caitie F on September 2, 2015

I am doing a series where I review ALL the books I read this summer that weren’t graphic novels, since I already did those. It will be broken up into four posts, that will hopefully all be posted in the next two weeks. Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Fantasy.  The reviews and descriptions will be short.

Title: More Happy Than Notmore happy
Author: Adam Silvera
Hardcover: 304 pages
Pub Date: June 2015
Publisher: Soho Teen
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Review:

Wow. This book is incredible. I read it WAY back in June, right after it came out and I still think back to this book in September. Everything about this book is great: the characters, the plot, the setting, what it says about the world. Everything. If you somehow missed it when it came out, do yourself a favor and pick it up.

Title: Where I Belongwhere I
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Paperback: 289 pages
Pub Date: Feb 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: +++

Summary from goodreads:

Meet Corrinne. She’s living every girl’s dream in New York City—shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. . . . When Corrinne’s father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she’s stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she’s supposed to be living. She doesn’t care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R.—before the recession—was as perfect as it seemed.

Review:

This book was a fast summer read. The main character was so annoying at the beginning, but she was supposed to be. I didn’t love the romance in it, but I liked having a main character that felt more realistic. She didn’t change all at once. There were some very big cliches of both city and country life, but all in all it was a fast and fun book.

Title: Bass Ackwards and Belly Upbass
Author: Elizabeth Craft
Hardcover: 386 pages
Pub Date: 2007
Publisher: Poppy
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

Harper, Sophie, and Kate are about to commit the ultimate suburban sin–bailing on college to each pursue their dreams. Middlebury-bound Becca is convinced her friends have gone insane.

Harper is going to be the next Jane Austen. Or Sylvia Plath. Or Plum Sykes. Figuring out which should be easy. It’s living with the lie she told her three best friends that’s going to be hard. Kate doesn’t know exactly what she wants. But whatever it is, she won’t find it at Harvard. Maybe the answer is in Paris, or Athens or anywhere Kate can be someone besides the girl with perfect grades, perfect hair, and the perfect boyfriend. Sophie is a star. She’s already got the looks, the talent, and a list of demands for her dressing room. Now that she’s wrangled a furnished guesthouse in Beverly Hills, it’s only a matter of time before she’s discovered. Becca is dysfunctional. At least, her family is. Which is why she can’t wait to flee the drama and get to college. But Becca’s friends know she needs more than a spot on the Middlebury ski team and a cozy dorm room. They know she needs to fall in love.

Review:

I love books that center around groups of friends like this or The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. None of the characters were perfect, but they were all intriguing andI really loved following their stories, especially since they were all after high school, trying to figure out what they are doing next. Looking forward to reading the second book!

Title: Don’t Even Think About Itdon't even
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Hardcover: 336 pages
Pub Date: Mar 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

We weren’t always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn’t expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes.

Since we’ve kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what’s coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.

Review:

This was such a fun book to read. I don’t think most authors could pull of a book from different perspectives like this, but Sarah Mlynowski did. It was so creatively written and is a smart, fun YA book. It was the perfect book for summer, but would also work in the back to school season if you are reminiscing about those days. You will be instantly glad you never suddenly could read everyone’s mind.

Title: The Westing Gamewesting
Author: Ellen Raskin
Paperback: 182 pages
Pub Date: 1978
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

A bizarre chain of events begins when sixteen unlikely people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. And though no one knows why the eccentric, game-loving millionaire has chosen a virtual stranger – and a possible murderer – to inherit his vast fortune, one thing’s for sure: Sam Westing may be dead… but that won’t stop him from playing one last game!

Review:

How did I never read this mystery before? It was SO good. I loved everything about it. If you, like me, missed this classic, go get it and read it now.

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Summer Reading Reviews: Adult Fiction

Posted by Caitie F on September 1, 2015

I am doing a series where I review ALL the books I read this summer that weren’t graphic novels, since I already did those. It will be broken up into four posts, that will hopefully all be posted in the next two weeks. Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Fantasy.  The reviews and descriptions will be short.

I am starting with Adult Fiction, which actually has the most books.

Title: The FirebirdFirebird
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Paperback: 539 pages
Pub Date: Jun 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Rating: +++++

Summary from goodreads:

Nicola Marter was born with a gift. When she touches an object, she sometimes glimpses those who have owned it before. When a woman arrives with a small wooden carving at the gallery Nicola works at, she can see the object’s history and knows that it was named after the Firebird—the mythical creature from an old Russian fable.

Compelled to know more, Nicola follows a young girl named Anna into the past who leads her on a quest through the glittering backdrops of the Jacobites and Russian courts, unearthing a tale of love, courage, and redemption.

Review:

I LOVED the first book I read by Susanna Kearsley, THE WINTER SEA, and this book was just as good. This book goes with the first and is kind of a sequel, though it could stand alone. Why would you want it to? These are two of my favorite books. I have never been much of a Russian history fan, but this made the history fascinating. The blending of historical and contemporary with the magical realism element woks perfectly. Both have intrigue and great romance.

Title: In the Unlikely Eventunlikely
Author: Judy Blume
Hardcover: 397 pages
Pub Date: June 2015
Publisher: Knopf
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, she paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place—Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.

Review:

When I saw the Judy Blume had a book for adults, I knew I had to read it. It was really good! Not surprisingly, the voice that I thought was the best was the teenager, yet the voices were all distinctive. I can’t believe I had never heard about this story before, but am glad that I got to read this fictionalized version. It was a very fast read, and was often suspenseful (like every time someone got on the plane. Was this the next one???). Overall, a very enjoyable read.

Title: LeadLead
Author: Kylie Scott
Paperback: 320 pages
Pub Date: Nov 2014
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Rating: +++

Summary from goodreads:

As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.

Lena’s not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.

Review:

If you like rock star romances, this is a series you should look at. This is my least favorite of the three, but it was still enjoyable. I didn’t like Jimmy as much as the other guys, but loved seeing everyone come back and Lena was fine. It was an enjoyable and very fast read.

Title: Pride and Prejudice pride
Author: Jane Austen
eBook: 427 pages
Pub Date: 1813
Rating: ++++

Summary:

It’s Pride and Prejudice. You know what it is about.

Review:

I have finally read it. And it was unsurprisingly good. I have watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries a couple times and have read a retelling or two, but now i have finally read the source. Much better if you picture all the characters as the people in LBD, which I did the entire time. I see why it is a classic and look forward to reading my next Austen.

Title: Glazed Murder
Author: Jessica Beck
Paperback: 291 pages
Pub Date:  Mar 2010
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Rating: +++

Summary from goodreads:

Meet Suzanne Hart, owner and operator of Donut Hearts coffee shop in April Springs, North Carolina. After her divorce from Max, an out-of-work actor she’s dubbed “The Great Impersonator,” Suzanne decided to pursue her one true passion in life: donuts. So she cashed in her settlement and opened up shop in the heart of her beloved hometown.

But when a dead body is dumped on her doorstep like a sack of flour, Suzanne’s cozy little shop becomes an all-out crime scene. Now, everyone in town is dropping by for glazed donuts and gruesome details. The retired sheriff warns her to be careful—and they’re all suspects. Soon Suzanne—who finds snooping as irresistible as donuts—is poking holes in everyone’s alibis…

Review:

A cute cozy complete with recipes, what more can you ask for? Though you will want to eat donuts while you read it. Solid mystery, fast read. Not the best cozy I have read, but I still recommend.

Title: Go Set a Watchmango set
Author: Harper Lee
Hardcover: 278 pages
Pub Date: July 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: ++

Summary:

The original manuscript Harper Lee submitted. Somehow, it became To Kill a Mockingbird

Review:

I have no idea how an editor saw this and said “this story of Scout in the courtroom, this is what you should write”. That editor is a genius.

This book has one great scene (and it isn’t that one) and that was about it. And of COURSE it has one great scene, it is a first draft! I could rant on this for a while, but am not going to. Glad we could all have some real conversations about Atticus, but this never should have been published.

Posted in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, Review | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The Cuckoo’s Calling by “Robert Galbraith”

Posted by Caitie F on January 24, 2015

Title: The Cuckoo’s Calling 18812896
Author: “Robert Galbraith” (J K Rowling)
Paperback: 464 pages
Pub Date: April 2013
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Rating: +++++

Summary:

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you’ve never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you’ve never seen them under an investigation like this.

Review

I have been meaning to read this since we found out who Galbraith really was. I have owned it since it came out in paperback, but I was nervous. Harry Potter is so much to me, what if this was bad? I haven’t read Casual Vacancy either because of that. What is Potter was a fluke and would be the only Rowling books I ever loved?

Yeah I don’t need to worry about that because she is as brilliant of a mystery writer. When I say I want to represent turning mysteries with great characters, this is exactly what I mean.

I got lost in this book. i feel like I know Robin and Strike so well and can’t wait to read the second book. Strike is a great detective. He has his issues, but isn’t a stereotypical detective. His family history adds so many complexities. His injury from the war impacts him every day, it isn’t something that is a plot device, it is part of who he is, which is something I look for in particular. Robin is really great too – she sticks up for herself, is really smart, and is has problems that readers in their 20s and 30s can relate to. She struggles with figuring out what she wants to do with her life and feels pressure from many people around her and doesn’t have full support when she start to figure it out.

The mystery is really great too. I won’t give any spoilers, but it feels like a natural investigation. The suspicious people are not stupid and Strike really has to do some detective work and look between the lines of what people are saying.

Now i have to go get The Silkworm!

Posted in Review | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

End of year mini-reviews

Posted by Caitie F on December 27, 2014

I get a LOT of reading done at the end of the year, I have finished three books in three days, and seeing that they have been days with a lot of activity, that is a lot! I am just going to do mini-reviews (in the order I read the books), since I have a busy next few days!

Title: My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories20309175
Edited by Stephanie Perkins
Hardcover: 320 pages
Pub Date: Oct 9, 2014
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES

Review

This is a pretty straight forward book – some of the best YA authors write holiday stories. If you like the authors, you will really like this book. The stories are very different, but are all wonderful. No surprise, my favorite stories were by Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, and Gayle Forman three of my favorite authors. That said, all the stories were great and everyone should read this!

Title: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas16349
Author: Agatha Christie
Paperback: 335 pages
Pub Date: 1938
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads

Motives for Murder:
A fortune in uncut diamonds, hidden by an eccentric old man
A woman’s love, too freely given
A business empire built on ruthlessness

Each of them may have been a motive for the brutal slaying of wealthy old Simeon Lee. Coupled with Lee’s family, each member of which hated him and wished to see him dead, they presented Hercule Poirot with a baffling challenge–one which the astute detective solved only through his uncanny ability to see “the little things.”

Review

If you really like Agatha Christie, you will love this book. It is classic Christie, with quirky characters, a lot of confusion, and as always, some lying and deceit that isn’t about murder. Even though it says Christmas, it isn’t overly Christmas-y, so you can read it anytime of year!

Title: The Marriage Plotmarriage
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Hardcover: 406 pages
Pub Date: Oct 11, 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux
Rating: +++

Summary from goodreads

It’s the early 1980s. In American colleges, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine studies the age-old motivations of the human heart, real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead suddenly turns up in a seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old friend Mitchell Grammaticus resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate.

Over the next year, as the members of the triangle graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they have learned. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology laboratory on Cape Cod, but can’t escape the secret responsible for Leonard’s seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love.

Review

This book is very well-written and for that is worth reading. The characters are a little annoying, but in a realistic and human way, which made them fascinating.The book is a little slow at times, but the writing made up for it. There were a couple of anti-feminist rants that made me really dislike the characters, so be warned that it is in there, yet seems ridiculous. Overall, it is a good book, but not up the amazingness of  Middlesex.

Posted in Review | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Posted by Caitie F on December 23, 2014

Title: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie6218281
Author: Alan Bradley
Hardcover: 374 pages
Pub Date: Apr 28, 2009
Publisher: Delacourte Press
Review: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

Review:

I have suddenly heard about this book from a couple of different places, so i thought i Would get it from the library. I have been in the mood for a historical mystery, and this sounded great.

It was a really fun book to read. I loved the setting of a small English town and all of its characters. Readers can see the town and all of its characters so clearly, in both the place and the time. All of the townspeople that are included in Flavia’s search were delightful and I really hope they show up in later books.

The mystery itself was also well-written. It was one of those the reader can start to figure out before the character, which is always enjoyable. Things came together well, and there was quite a bit of suspense at the end. Don’t read the last 100 pages unless you have the time to finish or whatever else you have to do will just be put off.

Flavia is a…precocious child, which is why I both liked her and why it took me so long to get into this book. I wasn’t totally invested until almost 70 pages into the book and am very glad i didn’t put it down. Her voice takes some getting used to. She loves chemistry, and that angle is what kept me hooked.

Overall, this was a really enjoyable book, even if it took me a little while to get into. I look forward to the other books in the series!

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Deadly Little Sins by Kara Taylor

Posted by Caitie F on September 29, 2014

Title: Deadly Little Sins18404162
Author: Kara Taylor
Paperback: 288 pages
Pub Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Rating: ++++

Summary from publisher:

t’s August and Anne is back in New York City for the summer, but she can’t escape the memories of the terrible things that happened at the Wheatley School last spring— and the possibility of being expelled looming over her. When an unexpected— and suspicious— turn of events gets Anne sent back to Wheatley, she’s determined to figure out what happened to her favorite teacher and only adult ally at the school: Ms. Cross.

After a shocking, gruesome murder with connections to the Wheatley School occurs, Anne is convinced there’s more to Ms. Cross’s sudden disappearance, and that her favorite teacher is in danger. But after an ugly breakup with Brent and a new, inexplicable distance between her and Anthony, Anne isn’t sure who she can trust. And even worse, someone at Wheatley knows the truth about what happened to Ms. Cross— someone who will stop at nothing to keep Anne from learning the truth in this engrossing, unputdownable read.

Review:

I liked the second book so much that I immediately picked up the last book in the series and read it the very next day!

The series really goes out with a bang – more murder, more sneaking around, some PTSD, and a LOT of suspense. You will be on edge the entire time you read this, but if you are like me, you will LOVE it.

While this book felt a little rushed at a couple points, it was still my favorite of the three, mainly because it had the best villains/people you think are the villains. That is my favorite thing about this series, you never really know who is bad, and who is just a little dumb and does some things they shouldn’t.

This book had the most realistic relationships between characters, Things aren’t easy, there are misunderstandings and fights. You want to yell at the characters to just talk to each other, but they don’t and people don’t. It can be frustrating, but humans are frustrating.

If you have not read this series yet, go get all three books and enjoy! It is one of my favorite under-rated series/author.

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Wicked Little Secrets by Kara Taylor

Posted by Caitie F on September 27, 2014

Title: Wicked Little Sins17905353
Author: Kara Taylor
Softcover: 304 pages
Pub Date: March 16, 2014
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Rating: ++++

Summary from Publisher:

When Anne learns that her boyfriend Brent’s dad is one of the now-powerful Wheatley alumni who rowed crew with Matthew, and that the crew team continues to induct new members with a creepy-sounding ritual called “The Drop,” she knows further investigation could put her relationship with Brent in danger.

Determined to discover the truth, she reaches out to Anthony, Isabella’s townie brother, who helps her delve deeper into the secrets in Wheatley’s past. Secrets someone would kill to keep hidden. As the school’s Spring Formal—and its notorious afterparty—approaches, Anne sees the perfect opportunity to do some off-campus digging into the lives of Wheatley’s VIPs in this thrilling, unputdownable read—but if she’s not careful, she’ll be the next student who never comes back.

Review:

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Prep School Confidential and realized I never read the other two books in the series and I have no idea why! So I changed that.

And I enjoyed this book as much as the first. It still has an amazing heroine. Anne is funny and inquisitive. She doesn’t give up, even when she totally should. She isn’t a bad person, and she is really trying to be better, but things get in the way, things like murder.

At times, mysteries like this can feel unrealistic, but for some reason I bought these ambitious people being capable of murder. It doesn’t go too far, like sometimes Revenge did, but it is what you think some rich and powerful people do.

I still felt like some of the romance was tacked on and I didn’t really buy the love triangle, but it felt like teenage romance that doesn’t always work.

This is a series that needs SO much more attention than it has because it is SO good!

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Alys, Always by Harriet Lane

Posted by Caitie F on May 22, 2014

13259653Title: Alys, Always
Author: Harriet Lane
Hardcover: 209 pages
Pub Date: Feb 9 ,2012
Publisher: George Weidenfeld & Nicholson
Rating: +++

Summary from pub:

Frances is a thirty-something sub-editor, an invisible production, drone on the books pages of the Questioner. Her routine and colourless existence is disrupted one winter evening when she happens upon the aftermath of a car crash and hears the last words of the driver, Alys Kyte. When Alys’s family makes contact in an attempt to find closure, Frances is given a tantalising glimpse of a very different world: one of privilege and possibility. The relationships she builds with the Kytes will have an impact on her own life, both professionally and personally, as Frances dares to wonder whether she might now become a player in her own right

Review:

I had been looking forward to this book for quite some time – the whole idea of it sounded fascinating and I had heard some wonderful things about the book.

In the end, I was underwhelmed. It was a very quiet book, but lacking the beauty that can make a  quiet book really good. Saying it is a psychological suspense is really pushing the definition of that term.

There were aspects i liked. I was always interested when Frances was at work/ Watching her relationship with Polly was fascinating because Polly was so interesting. Frances was just fine. She wasn’t very interesting or cunning. It felt like she thought she was being so clever so often when she wasn’t.

Overall, it was a fine quick read, but nothing I would really recommend to others.

 

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Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman

Posted by Caitie F on May 5, 2014

Title: Blonde Ops 18404316
Author: Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman
Hardcover: 288 pages
Pub Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Rating: ++++

Summary from pub:

Expelled from yet another boarding school for hacking, sixteen-year-old Rebecca “Bec” Jackson is shipped off to Rome to intern for Parker Phillips, the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s top fashion magazines. But when a mysterious accident lands Parker in a coma, former supermodel and notorious drama queen Candace Worthington takes the reins of the magazine. The First Lady is in Rome for a cover shoot, and all hands are on deck to make sure her visit goes smoothly.

Bec quickly realizes that Parker’s “accident” may not have been quite so accidental, and when the First Lady’s life is threatened, Bec is determined to uncover the truth. On top of that, Bec must contend with bitchy models, her new boss, Candace, who is just as difficult as the tabloids say, and two guys, a hunky Italian bike messenger with a thousand-watt smile and a fashion blogger with a razor-sharp wit, who are both vying for her heart.

Can Bec catch the person who’s after the First Lady, solve the mystery of Parker’s accident, and juggle two cute boys at the same time?

Review:

This book is the perfect fun summer read. It’s got danger, traveling to a foreign country, and cute boys. What else do you need in a book that you should take to the beach?

I had so much fun reading this book! Bec is a super cool character. She is smart and funny. I would totally want to hang out with her, especially if it was in Rome.

If you like fashion, there is probably a lot you will appreciate that I didn’t in the everyday talk at the magazine. If you are like me and don’t really care, it isn’t so much that you are uninterested in the book. No matter which side you fall on about fashion, you will want to spend some time with the amazing people who work there. Their lives did seem really glamorous when no one was trying to kill them.

The mystery kept me guessing – I had no idea who to trust. It made for a fun and action-packed book that was never too obvious. It was nice to see that the adults weren’t a bunch of bumbling idiots, which happens often in mysteries for YA readers.

If you are looking for a book to take with you to the beach or on vacation this summer, this is the book for you!

 

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