Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin, 384 Pages

Never Look Back
Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin is a book that falls in the thriller/suspense genres. I've read one of Gaylin's books before and struggled to get into it- I'm pretty sure I even had to come back to it at a different time to really enjoy it and finish it. I was surprised at how hooked I was from page one of this one. It's a very intense story with many twists- one of my main complaints being that it seemed like Gaylin tried to add too many in there, making it confusing and overwhelming towards the end. I also found it hard to follow due to the amount of characters and their different identities. I think most avid thriller readers will be able to guess a lot of what is going to happen, but I was caught off guard with one of the main twists at the end, which I appreciated! Overall, I enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fast-paced thriller!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn, 281 pages

You'd Be Mine
You'd Be Mine is a debut novel for Erin Hahn and man oh man... I loved it. I'm not sure if I loved it because it was centered around music, which is a huge part of my life, or because it was just a great contemporary YA read in general. (I'm going to say a little of both.) This story ripped out my heart but then put it back together again, only to rip it out a little more. I fell in love with the characters and felt like I could feel the heartaches they were experiencing. I thought that Annie was such a great main character and I really am hoping that Hahn ends up writing a sequel to this someday. It's not very often that I feel so connected to a set of characters that it's hard to give them up, but that's exactly how I felt at the end of this book. 

The Dead Girl in 2A by Carter Wilson, 384 pages

The Dead Girl in 2A
I found The Dead Girl in 2A to be a really confusing read. I wanted to like it so bad, and at some points I really did, but I spent a lot of my time reading it having to go back and reread different parts so that they would hopefully make more sense. I feel like the author tried to pack too much into this, and if they would have left it a little simpler, it could have been something great. I also found a majority of the story so unbelievable that it was hard for me to enjoy it to it's full potential. Overall, this was a decent and fast-paced thriller that I'd recommend to someone who is looking for a quick read. 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

#Murderfunding by Gretchen McNeil, 336 pages

#Murderfunding (MurderTrending, #2)
#MurderFunding is the second book is this series, following #MurderTrending. I was really excited to read this because of how much I loved the first book. #MurderTrending is based around a prison, where the worst criminals are sent to be murdered by people dressed up in costumes, portraying a character that they had created. The prison was monitored by cameras and streamed live online for fans of the show, with each murder receiving a certain amount of points. Eventually, the show was shut down (for obvious reasons,) but that hasn't stopped fans of the show from talking about it constantly online. #MurderFunding follows Becca, after the loss of her mom. Speculation begins on whether or not her mom was one of the original Paniacs, the killers from the show.

I really liked the first book, and while I liked this one... I felt like the hype was too much for what it was. #MurderFunding was extremely politically driven, and I tend to stay away from that in my fictional reading as much as I can. I did think that this book had a good plot, politics aside. If you like Young Adult thrillers or The Purge movies... these are good books for you!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy, 384 pages

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy is a cute, contemporary Young Adult novel. It's also been made into a Netflix movie. After how much I loved "To All the Boys I've Loved Before", I really wanted to give this one a try so I could watch the movie, too. I honestly didn't expect to love this book as much as I did! It was fast-paced, quirky, and I found myself relating to the main character, Willow, so much. Willow feels like she's an outcast and knows that she'll never be stick thin like the girls that she sees in the movies and on TV, even in the hallways of her school. I also really felt for Willow, watching her navigate high school and feeling so different from everyone else. It's really nice to see some representation of someone who isn't what everyone thinks of as a "normal" body type, and it's nice to see her accept that and figure out how to love herself. I really loved this book and I'm already reading the second book in the series, Puddin'. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Haunted by Danielle Vega, 304 pages

The Haunted
The Haunted was frequently referred to as "YA's answer to Stephen King" which made me really excited to read it. I also love anything paranormal, especially a good haunted house book, which is exactly what this was. My opinion of this book was that it was just okay. It wasn't anything great and it's laughable that it was compared to King in any way, but I did find elements of this story really creepy and it was fun to read with Fall right around the corner. This book has been on my radar for quite a while, so I had a lot of hype built up around it, which I think made my overall impression of the book worse than what it could have been. This was a fast read and there was action right from the get-go, which is always a plus. I think this is definitely a good read for someone who doesn't read many thrillers or horror novels and wants to dabble in the genres, but if you're an avid thriller/horror reader for myself, this one will be pretty bland.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker, 373 pages

Say You Still Love Me
I've been on such a romance-kick lately that I had to read this book after reading the synopsis. Not only did this book sound great, the beautiful cover really caught my eye, too! The type of romance novel that I can't stand is one where the main character is a female who seems to be waiting around for a man to come swoop in and save her. Say You Still Love Me is the complete opposite. Main character, Piper, is an intelligent, driven and independent woman who knows what she wants. I loved that she realized her worth even before the story started, breaking off an engagement that seemed to be picture-perfect to everyone around them. It was so refreshing to read a love story starring a character who didn't need a companion. It made the entire thing more realistic to me, and I really loved this book. 

*Thank you to Netgalley and Atria books for my copy of this book in return for an honest review!*

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, 483 pages

Fangirl
Fangirl is a YA contemporary novel, based around a college-bound teen who is addicted to writing fan-fiction. This has been on my to-read list for as long as I can remember, and since I've been into YA contemporary lately, I decided to finally read it. I know so many people that really love this book, but unfortunately, I didn't. There wasn't a single character that I truly enjoyed and found the characters extremely immature for the age group that Rowell was trying to portray. I did enjoy Levi  & Cath's relationship, so that made me stick it out until the end. I have other novels by Rowell on my to read list and hopefully they'll be a better fit for me!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, 316 pages

Twenty Boy Summer
Anna and Frankie are leaving for California and have only a few things on their agenda- spend every day at the beach, get a good tan and meet twenty boys. This seems like an easy task, until they meet Jake and Sam a couple days in, which puts a halt on adding any more boys to their list. Anna finds herself falling for Sam, but is dealing with the guilt that comes along with that. 

Twenty Boy Summer was a quick, feel-good, summer read for me. I needed a break from another book that I've working on and was able to knock this one out in less than 3 hours. There was nothing "special" about this book by any means, but if you're looking for an easy, cute read, this is one I'd recommend. It was more emotional than I thought it would be and I even connected to the characters more than I expected. Twenty Boy Summer deals a lot with grief and the anger that can come hand-in-hand when you lose someone close to you. I do wish that there had been more closure with the character Frankie, but overall this was a 3 out of 5 star read for me!

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Lost by Natasha Preston, 304 pages

The Lost
Anytime that I want to read something in the thriller genre that doesn't require a lot of thought, I always go to Natasha Preston's books. Everything I've read by Preston has been in the YA thriller/horror genre and they've all been super fast paced and jam-packed with tons of twist and turns. I flew through this in a couple of hours which doesn't necessarily make it a great book but it was a nice break from what I've been reading recently. 
The Lost follows best friends Piper and Luna, who take it upon themselves to investigate the recent disappearances of teens in their town. During the investigation, the girls meet three handsome guys who are in college somewhere near where they live. They're quickly horrified to realize that the guys were not who they seemed to originally be, and have kidnapped both of the girls. To make matters worse, it doesn't seem like the kidnapper's first time abducting someone. The girls are taken and left in a building with other kidnapped teens, forced to fight for their lives.
None of the characters were great by any means and I found a lot of them to be annoying, but I let a lot of that slide when it comes to YA, especially YA thrillers. The ending was disappointing but overall, this was a fun one!