Saturday, November 26, 2016

Review: Flashfall

Flashfall Flashfall by Jenny Moyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Orion has been mining Cirium just like her family before her. This element is needed to protect humanity from radiation and if she collects enough Cirium, she can earn her way out of the tunnels and into the protected city. But after a new group of people come to Outpost Five, Orion is placed in a difficult situation with no foreseeable good outcome. Can Orion overcome obstacles that are constantly changing?

Flashfall is the first book in a new series by the same name. Moyer doesn’t spend too much time at the beginning world building, yet this story has many complex components that enhance it. The adventure is constantly changing and readers will be turning the pages quickly to see what is beyond the next twist. Flashfall is a great adventure that will leave readers looking for the next book in the series.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Review: Victoria

Victoria Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It hasn’t even been a month since her eighteenth birthday, but Alexandrina Victoria is now the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Her mother has done everything in her power to shelter and control Drina, but now that she is Queen, she will not bow to anyone. One thing she insists on is her royal name. She will be Queen Victoria. Young Victoria must overcome the obstacles of a limited education while also sidestepping everyone who wants to help pick her husband. Will she be like Queen Elizabeth I and never marry or will she find love?

Victoria is an historical fiction book with the potential for additional volumes. Goodwin has taken information found in Victoria’s own diaries and has weaved her writing style into a plausible story. Goodwin is also the author of the PBS/Masterpiece TV series that will begin airing in January 2017. If the show is anything like the book, I will be hooked from the start. Although this is a short period in Queen Victoria’s reign, it is full of drama and will have readers turning pages throughout.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Review: The Amateurs

The Amateurs The Amateurs by Sara Shepard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Seneca has been addicted to the website Case Not Closed ever since she learned about the disappearance of Helena Kelly five years earlier. When Seneca sees a post on Case Not Closed asking for help, she travels to Connecticut to work with Maddy, her best friend she met on this website. It doesn’t take long for everything to begin to fall apart, though. Maddy isn’t who she expected, Aerin, Helena’s sister, didn’t ask for help and Seneca’s secret may also come into the light. These amateur sleuths join up with Brett from the website and try to uncover more about Helena’s disappearance. Is the killer still around? Are these young people shaking a rattler’s nest?

The Amateurs is the first book in a new series by the same name. The clues slowly come into the forefront and readers will continuously try and stay ahead of the investigation with the characters. Shepard has included a few twists and turns so that the search does not have a straight forward ending. As a young adult novel, this book is easy to fall into and pleasing to continue. The end result is surprising, yet not shocking once readers think about some of the clues left behind. A fun read that I will be looking forward for the next installment.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Review: Unnatural Deeds

Unnatural Deeds Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Victoria has been the new girl in school for a while and most of the students just ignore her. When the newest student arrives and quickly starts to bond with her, she begins to wonder if having a friend at school is a possibility. Unfortunately, she is forced to lie to everyone around her in order to learn more about Z. Now, a person is dead and Victoria wants to tell Andrew what happened.

Unnatural Deeds is a stand-alone mystery told through news articles, police interviews and Victoria’s story. The multiple points of views keep the story fresh and the pages turning. Balog has created a situation that is confusing at the beginning and slowly unravels itself. It isn’t a long book, so readers do not need to commit too much time to discover the truth. A good read that should be considered for everyone’s to read list.

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Review: A Darkly Beating Heart

A Darkly Beating HeartA Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reiko is a Japanese American living in Japan for the summer. Her parents think this is the best way for her to heal after her attempted suicide. She is just trying to get through each day individually and goes with coworkers to a historic village that is preserving the nineteenth-century ambiance. During this visit, Reiko finds herself living the life of a young woman in the past and must face the demon Miyu is hiding as well as her own.

A Darkly Beating Heart is a time-travel tale that will entice readers with a simpler time and some controversial sentiments. Smith has created a plausible scenario for readers to experience modern day Japan and a small village from the recent past. The cultural practices and local superstitions add enough variance that readers may want to explore more on their own. A quick read that can easily be finished in one sitting.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Review: The Row

The RowThe Row by J.R. Johansson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Riley has an unusual relationship with her father. Her dad was convicted of murder twelve years earlier and she has been visiting him once a week. He is now four weeks away from his execution date and it looks like he has exhausted all of his appeals. He tells Riley that he really did commit the murders, but then tries to take it back and say he just wanted to make her not trust him. Riley is determined to figure out the truth and when another murder happens, everyone is wondering if her father is really innocent or was it a copycat.

The Row is a psychological thriller that will constantly have readers reevaluating the next plot twist. Johansson creatively inserted hints within each development, yet readers will be relentlessly surprised with the actual outcomes. As I approached the end I thought it was all complete and then another event ended the story. This is a great stand-alone story that will give readers an escape from reality.

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