Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This was definitely a #BlameItOnLitsy choice. Despite being published almost 20 years ago, it’s been getting a lot of attention – and good reviews – lately. So much so that when it showed up as a Kindle daily deal, I had to snatch it up. It was definitely suspenseful and interesting, but, to me, it felt like the author took the long way around. Heavy on the court drama and the did she/didn’t she. The twist at the ending did blindside me, but I felt a bit underwhelmed. If you like legal mysteries, this one’s for you.

This book was described as “an homage to 1980’s slashers and mall culture,” How could I resist? The short answer is that I couldn’t. It was a quick, fast paced, fun read. That said, it was rough in some areas and seemed almost as much of a social commentary on consumerism as a teen slasher. It took an odd, unexpected turn that I felt detracted from what was promised. Definitely campy, but that’s the point. 3.5 stars rounded up.

Thanks to NetGalley, the Publisher and the Author for an advanced copy for review.

I just started:

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ARC Review: Five Total Strangers By Natalie D. Richards

sFrom Goodreads: A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster.

When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly college kids who were on her initial flight.

As the drive progresses and weather conditions become more treacherous, Mira realizes that the four other passengers she’s stuck in the car with don’t actually know one another.

Soon, they’re not just dealing with heavy snowfall and ice-slick roads, but the fact that somebody will stop at nothing to ensure their trip ends in a deadly disaster.

My Review: I read One Was Lost by this author last year and really liked it, so I was excited to get my hands on this one!

This book drew me in and kept my attention. Fast paced and suspenseful, every time I thought I knew what direction this twisty thriller was going to go it shifted gears and surprised me! Craftily plotted and with plenty of red herrings, the author keeps you guessing until the end. So get in the car and prepare yourself for a ride full of nail biting tension!

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Expected release: October 6, 2020

ARC Review: Kind Of A Big Deal by Shannon Hale

50884610. sy475 From Goodreads: From bestselling author Shannon Hale comes Kind of a Big Deal: a hilarious, deliciously readable YA novel that will suck you in—literally.

There’s nothing worse than peaking in high school. Nobody knows that better than Josie Pie.

She was kind of a big deal—she dropped out of high school to be a star! But the bigger you are, the harder you fall. And Josie fell. Hard. Ouch. Broadway dream: dead.

Meanwhile, her life keeps imploding. Best friend: distant. Boyfriend: busy. Mom: not playing with a full deck? Desperate to escape, Josie gets into reading.

Literally. She reads a book and suddenly she’s inside it. And with each book, she’s a different character: a post-apocalyptic heroine, the lead in a YA rom-com, a 17th century wench in a corset.

It’s alarming. But also . . . kind of amazing?

It’s the perfect way to live out her fantasies. Book after book, Josie the failed star finds a new way to shine. But the longer she stays in a story, the harder it becomes to escape.

Will Josie find a story so good that she just stays forever?

My Review: I was a little worried at first with this one. The writing was good, but the main character was shallow and while the premise was interesting, I was afraid it was going to be stupid rather than silly – but I’m glad I stuck with it! The story grew depth and direction and ended up being great fun!
I enjoyed the story and found myself laughing out loud several times. It has a good message, the MC grew and matured over the course of the pages, and even though this book definitely falls under the ‘clean teen’ category, there’s still plenty of entertainment! And the ending? Completely took me by surprise!

I feel that this one probably appeals most to traditional aged YA readers. 3.5/5 stars

I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Expected release: August 25,  2020

Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

ARC Review: Foreshadow by Emily X.R. Pan & Nova Ren Suma, et al

48768420From Goodreads: Thirteen Short Stories from Bold New YA Voices & Writing Advice from YA Icons

Created by New York Times bestselling authors Emily X. R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma, Foreshadow is so much more than a short story collection. A trove of unforgettable fiction makes up the beating heart of this book, and the accompanying essays offer an ode to young adult literature, as well as practical advice to writers.

Featured in print for the first time, the thirteen stories anthologized here were originally released via the buzzed-about online platform Foreshadow. Ranging from contemporary romance to mind-bending fantasy, the Foreshadow stories showcase underrepresented voices and highlight the beauty and power of YA fiction. Each piece is selected and introduced by a YA luminary, among them Gayle Forman, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jason Reynolds, and Sabaa Tahir.

What makes these memorable stories tick? What sparked them? How do authors build a world or refine a voice or weave in that deliciously creepy atmosphere to bring their writing to the next level? Addressing these questions and many more are essays and discussions on craft and process by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X. R. Pan.

This unique compilation reveals and celebrates the magic of reading and writing for young adults.

My Review: Featuring 13 short stories by underrepresented and ‘fresh’ voices, this book has an interesting format. Appealing to both readers and writers, each tale is followed by a short discussion focusing on an element of craft that was well developed in the proceeding story. Writing prompts/exercises are also sprinkled throughout the book, providing opportunities to apply the craft knowledge gleaned from the pages. It’s an interesting approach, made more so by the exposure to new writers with such unique perspectives.

The stories themselves represent a gamut of genres, from fantasy to speculative, mild horror to contemporary. One of the things I found most interesting about this book was the way the authors’ diverse backgrounds shaped the worlds they created. I enjoyed the stories and the discussions about craft, but it wasn’t my favorite in terms of either short story anthologies or books on writing.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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