Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Lonely Dead by April Henry 240 pages

Another great book by April Henry. Besides the mystery and suspense that April brings to her books, she adds a paranormal flare to The Lonely Dead. I was able to read an Advanced Reader's Copy thanks to NetGalley. 

Ever since she was young, Adele could see and talk to the dead. While taking a shortcut home from school, Adele comes across her ex-best friend, Tori in the woods. She soon realizes that Tori is dead and she is buried in a shallow grave. Suspicion is thrown on Adele when the police find out that she and Tori had a fight the night Tori died. Add in that Adele doesn't have an alibi, she becomes the prime suspect. Adele must work with Tori's ghost to find the real killer.  

Monday, November 26, 2018

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge, 384 Pages

I received an advanced copy of She Lies in Wait via Netgalley, and although it had a ton of potential, I had a hard time finishing the book and there was just too much going on for me to keep track and enjoy the read. I felt like the book was extremely predictable, and after starting out extremely fast paced, it fizzled out and dragged on. There were a few times that I had to go back and reread parts to figure out which character was who, and how they played into the story. I was overall disappointed by this, but extremely thankful I was given the chance to read it in exchange for an honest review! She Lies in Wait is set to be published in January 2019.

A group of teens go camping in the forest, and after a night fueled by alcohol and drugs, they realize that the youngest, Aurora, is missing. Thirty years later, remains are found in the forest, and are identified as Aurora's. The case is reopened, and the original group of friends is brought together under the circumstances, and everyone is under suspicion.

The Cellar by Natasha Preston, 368 Pages

The Cellar is a Young Adult thriller that I genuinely enjoyed. It wasn't the best book I've ever read, but it was fast paced, intense and thrilling.

When 16-year-old Summer fails to return home from a night out with friends, her family instantly knows something is wrong. They know that something must have happened to Summer, as they are sure that she would never run off and leave her life behind. Police quickly become involved, and everyone helps in the search for Summer. Colin Brown also involves himself in the search, seemingly in hopes of finding Summer. Unfortunately, Colin has ulterior motives and is getting close to the search for all the wrong reasons.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia, 336 Pages

Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia had so much potential for me, but fell flat. I was SO annoyed with the main character that the life choices that she decided to make after meeting Lucas. There also were a lot of moments where I found myself thinking, "There is no way that this would ever, ever happen in real life". (I get that it's fiction but COME ON. I need it to be a little realistic!!) I feel bad for disliking it so much because the ratings on Goodreads and similar websites were mostly positive, but I had a hard time finishing this book.

Maya Stark, a speech pathologist, finds herself in over her head when she is assigned to the case of Lucas Blackthorn. Lucas was last seen as a 9-year-old boy, camping in Boundary Waters with his father, Josiah. The two men went missing, and all that was left behind was a ravaged campsite. The authorities assumed the two were dead until Lucas was caught stealing items from a sporting/outfitters store. Lucas was sent the psychiatric ward where Maya works, where he was extremely violent and refused to communicate with anyone. After some time together, Lucas opens up to Maya, begging him for help in saving his father. Maya decides to put everything on the line in hopes of finding a happy ending for Lucas.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

You Will Be Mine by Natasha Preston, 292 Pages

You Will Be Mine by Natasha Preston is a Young Adult thriller. The book kept my interest from the first page, but some of the story was so ridiculous that I found myself actually laughing out loud while reading it. For example- main character Lylah is literally surrounded by death. Her roommates are being murdered and she continues to talk about the crush she has on one roommate, even describing a morning as "the best morning ever", even though 3 of her best friends had died not even 48 hours before. I also didn't love that the characters all placed the blame on someone very early on in the story, but the ending made up for a little of it because I didn't completely see it coming.

Lylah and her 5 roommates are getting ready for a night out when a note arrives. The note is addressed to Sonny, one of the roommates, and seems to be an attempt at a funny Valentine's Day themed joke. The rest of the group quickly forgets the note even happened and head out for the night, but Lylah is having a hard time letting it go, feeling like something bad is going to happen. Lylah's worries are validated when Sonny doesn't return home and later is found brutally murdered on campus. Panic ensues when another note arrives, informing the next roommate that they are next.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter, 468 Pages

I'm a huge fan of Karin Slaughter. Her books are gruesomely descriptive, and the plot usually unfolds seemingly effortlessly, taking over basically my whole life while I read her work. I found myself hooked from the first page of this book, but also found that while her other books have somewhat believable plots, this one seemed a bit unrealistic. I still enjoyed this book just as much as her others, and I'm already anxiously waiting for the next book she writes!

Andy Cooper is living with her mother, Laura, after returning home from college in New York. Andy returned home after Laura was diagnosed with cancer, vowing to help take care of her. Laura is now in the clear, and both women are returning to their normal lives. Andy and Laura decide to have lunch at the mall, and a calm day erupts into chaos and violence. A man with a gun comes in, calmly killing people in his path. Laura jumps into action, protecting Andy and killing the gunman. To make matters worse, the killing is caught on tape, and Laura is forced to somewhat confide in Andy that she is not who she originally said she was. Andy is now on the run per Laura's instructions, and Andy uncovers horrifying secrets about her mom's past, all while fighting for life.

Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford 456 pages

This is the sequel to Greenglass House.  It's one year later and Milo is not in a great mood.  It's not snowing, his teacher makes unfair assumptions because of Milo's race, and worst of all, his parents' hotel has a guest that just won't leave and it's almost Christmas.  It certainly doesn't help that his friend, Meddy, who happens to be a ghost, hasn't appeared for nearly a full year and Milo doesn't understand why.  Milford is exceptional at describing settings and having completely character-driven plots.  Her dialogue between characters is so believable, you can actually hear the voices.  I love these books with their quiet, but intriguing stories unfolding within the pages.  I wouldn't recommend this for a reluctant reader, but if you have a kid who loves to read and get wrapped up in a story, this is an excellent choice. 

The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder 215 pages

This was one of those books I'd heard about, but had put way down on my list.  Only recently I read another book about challenged and banned books and it put The Egypt Game at the top of my to-read list.  It's no wonder this book is a classic and a past Newbery honor book.  It is a book that any kid can relate to, the desire to find the people who will understand you, the imagination and creativity that happen naturally when kids are left on their own for entertainment, and the excitement of creating your own world are all very engaging and inspiring.  Of course, there's a bit of mystery and suspense thrown in just for fun, too.  If you haven't read this one since you were a kid, or if you have a kid 4th grade or older, this should move to the top of your to-read list, too! 

Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan 264 pages

This was a fascinating book.  Susannah Cahalan was young, driven and intelligent.  Suddenly she starts behaving in ways she can't rationalize or understand.  Eventually, she becomes someone her family and friends barely recognize.  This was a compelling story about a neurological disease that is barely understood still.  Susannah was lucky to have recovered as well as she did, others have not.  She is a reporter, and she wrote this book largely based on her investigative skills, by interviewing her family and medical teams, and by watching videos of herself during a period she has absolutely no recollection of.  I couldn't put this down, it was engrossing.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African childhood by Trevor Noah 288 pages

If you think Trevor Noah is smart and funny already, just wait.  This was such a great book, especially since I listened to it read by Trevor himself.  More than anything, it is a tribute to his mother, but the stories from his childhood in South Africa are compelling, funny and thought provoking.  This book never delves into current politics, or even talks about how Trevor got his career started in America.  This is strictly about his experience growing up under apartheid and its fall.  It's no wonder he is the intelligent, and thoughtful man he is, with his mother being the woman that she was.  I highly recommend this to everyone, I enjoyed it so much! 

Calypso by David Sedaris 259 pages

The most recent of works by David Sedaris was as enjoyable as any of his others.  While this one did have a significant amount of discussion of how our bodies fail us as we age, it was hysterically funny.  I was so happy that he included another exploration of idioms from around the world, as those are my favorites in his works.  This time it was "How do you tell off another driver when they, say, cut you off in traffic?"  The answers were so good, I may add them to my own repertoire.  As I always do, I listened to this read by the author.  In my opinion, this is the only way to go with Sedaris books.  His impressions of his family are so fun to listen to. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, 246 pages

The Haunting of Hill House has been on my to-read list forever. As a lover of all things horror, I have read thousands of times that this book is one of the best of the genre, and an absolute must-read. Unfortunately, it fell really flat with me. I know that this book was originally published in the 1950's, but I struggled with the language used in the book. I also thought that a lot of the book was mostly just rambling from the characters, particularly Eleanor. I found myself skipping tons of dialogue because it seemed to be nonsense. There were a few parts that really made my skin crawl, but I overall was unimpressed.

Dr. Montague is in search of evidence of paranormal activity in the Hill House. In attempt to document said evidence, he decides to rent the house and invite a group of strangers to stay with him in the home. Eleanor, Theodora, and Luke (the future heir to Hill House) arrive, and sit around, waiting for the activity to start. What appears to be a scary week or two in a potentially haunted house turns out to be far worse, as Hill House attempts to claim it's next victim.

The Three Beths by Jeff Abbott, 400 pages

I listened to the audiobook edition of this. I thought the book was a good thriller, with plenty of twists to keep me engaged. It was very close to having too many twists for me, and there were a couple parts of the story that seemed like they'd be huge pieces of the final puzzle, that were just dropped and never brought up again. Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book!

Mariah Dunning and her father, Craig, are still reeling from her mother's disappearance. Beth's case ran cold, and there have been no signs of her since the day she left. The local police and community have mostly assumed that Craig is to blame, but Mariah stands by her father. Mariah is positive about one thing- she knows her mom would never just abandon her. Taking matters into her own hands, Mariah begins investigating Beth's disappearance, much to her dad's dismay. Mariah is tipped off by a friend that runs a true-crime blog that another Beth disappeared in eerily similar circumstances, and her location is very close to the Dunning's. She begins to put everything at risk in order to figure out what happened to her mom, and now, the other Beth.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare, 368 Pages

Call Me Evie is a psychological suspense novel set to be released in March of 2019. Although I thought the book was a little slow, I enjoyed it and there was a twist in the end that I didn't see coming.

Seventeen-year-old Kate has been kept in a remote location for the last two weeks by a man she refers to as Bill. Bill is holding her there against her will and referring to her as Evie, claiming that he's doing so to keep her safe. Kate/Evie has no recollection of the accident that Bill claims she caused, and he tells her she will be reprimanded extremely for said accident if she tries to return to her normal life. As Kate/Evie attempts to piece together the night in question, she realizes that Bill's story isn't adding up and starts to think she is in grave danger.

Monday, November 5, 2018

I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan,384 Pages

I put off reading this for the longest time because I had read another book by Macmillan and didn't like it at all. The plot of this sounded very good, though, so I finally gave in and read it. I really liked this book and would definitely recommend it to patrons! The ending had a good twist that I didn't see coming!

Over a decade ago, two young boys, Charlie and Scott, were brutally murdered and dumped behind a dog-racing track. The boys' murderer was convicted and the case was closed, but questions once again began to stir when an article is published, questioning the police's conviction. Charlie and Scott's childhood best friend, Cody, has also had life-long doubts, and the article convinced him to dig deeper and start a podcast dedicated to finding the truth. The local police are not thrilled about Cody's podcast, as are some of the people close to the crime. Charlie's mother, Jess, is on the side of not wanting any attention drawn to the case, as she's started her life over and attempted to move on since the death of her son. Now she is forced to face the secrets of her past, and attempt to stop the podcast from ruining her new life. To add to the situation, a body is found extremely close to where Charlie and Scott were found, which brings even more questions and doubt to the surface.