Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This book was glorious and brutal and thrilling and heartbreaking and wrong. But SO right. You can always count on McGinnis to emotionally destroy you. If you need to cry, she’s your girl. If you need a lift and some strength, she’s your girl, too. Officially crushing on this author. (Is it wrong that I plan to use this book as my defense in court if I ever go on a rampage?)
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I felt kind of blah about this one. It was on a list of titles with killer twists, so my expectations may have been unfairly high. There were plenty of twists, but they left me underwhelmed – I didn’t experience the highs and lows I expect from a thriller. That said, it was well written and a different reader may really enjoy it.

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!

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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Was this really the YA Rebecca? No. But was it good? Yes. Plenty of tension and suspense, tightly written, with damaged characters who wanted to redeem themselves, this book had all the mystery! There were so many different directions it could have gone that it really was unpredictable. I enjoyed it immensely!
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This was a really interesting premise – a short story anthology AND a tutorial on craft. Does it work? Find my ARC review here. To be released: October 20, 2020

I just started:

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

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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This was the second of my #BlackPublishingPower purchases, and while it’s not the type of book I usually read, I have to say that I loved it! I cared about Emoni. I was rooting for her and wanted to see her succeed. The writing was at times lyrical and the flow kept me swept up in the pages. Will definitely be reading more from this author!
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An ethereal YA tale with elements of fantasy and the paranormal. Expected release: October 26, 2020 Find my ARC review here.

I just started:

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

ARC Review: We Were Restless Things by Cole Nagamatsu

50228263From Goodreads:

Last summer, Link Miller drowned on dry land in the woods, miles from the nearest body of water. His death was ruled a weird accident, but Noemi Amato knows the truth: Link was killed. He told her so himself, because he’s been texting her from beyond the grave, warning her to keep away from the forest.

Amberlyn, Link’s sister, can’t shake the feeling that Noemi is hiding something, and Jonas, Noemi’s new housemate, can’t get past the walls that she has constructed around herself. Because Noemi has a dangerous secret even bigger than Link’s ghost…

Link drowned in an impossible lake that only she can find.

Now, if the three don’t work together to unravel the truth about what is happening in the woods, someone else may wind up dead. Set over the course of one heartbreaking, mystifying, and ultimately hopeful year, this remarkable debut heralds the arrival of an incredible new voice in young adult literature.

My Review: Usually anything even bordering on fantasy or paranormal is not my thing, but after reading the blurb – a boy drowns on dry land in the woods – I had a feeling that I had to read this book, and I’m so glad I did. The ‘otherworldly’ element is hard to explain – it’s almost like a character in itself, but is mild enough to not deter readers who normally shy away from the genre.

The writing is good, at times beautiful, and there was something about the web that Nagamatsu spun that caught me up and wouldn’t let me go. Although I have to admit that at times I caught myself wondering what the theme was for this strange tale, the lyrical prose lulled me happily along to an ending that left me wondering.

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

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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I think this is Miranda’s best book to date! The writing was good, the plot well thought, and even though the setup was a little far fetched, I could believe it – because the author had me wanting to! Rife with tension and suspense and things that make your heart go thump in the night, I couldn’t put it down! Fast-paced and sly, this crafty thriller will keep you guessing because everyone’s a suspect!
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To be released: September 15, 2020    Read my ARC review here.

I just started:

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

ARC Review: Even If We Break By Marieke Nijkamp

51210722From Goodreads:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp comes a shocking new thriller about a group of friends tied together by a game and the deadly weekend that tears them apart.

FIVE friends go to a cabin.
FOUR of them are hiding secrets.
THREE years of history bind them.
TWO are doomed from the start.
ONE person wants to end this.
NO ONE IS SAFE.

Are you ready to play?

My Review:

Heading in, I didn’t know what to expect. I thought the cover looked cool, and I read This Is How It Ends by this author several years ago and recalled really liking it, so I was excited to give this one a chance. 

What I got was a fast-paced, interesting YA mystery thriller.

Diverse characters and a suspenseful plot kept me turning the pages, but it was the mystery that kept me hooked. I enjoyed the way the characters’ RPG roles intertwined and influenced their realities, but found the game itself a bit distracting (although I’m sure there are people who will love it).

The mysterious ghost story about the cabin was a nice touch – I would have liked to see a little more of this element, if only to keep the reader guessing, as the ending was a little predictable – not enough was done to make everyone a viable suspect. But all in all I enjoyed this story and look forward to her next book!

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

Monday (Mini Book Review) Madness

This week I read:

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When I first started this one, I almost set it aside – I did not like the writing style at all. But there was something that kept me reading, and I’m really glad I kept at it because this was a great story. Well thought and plotted, full of tension and suspense, at times I felt breathless. The writing style either grew on me or I stopped noticing it. 
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          To be released August 3, 2020              Find my ARC review here.
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This was 1 of the 2 books I bought for the #BlackPublishingPower movement, and while this one has mixed reviews, I loved it. It was fast-paced, tense, and exciting. I read it in two sittings, devouring the first 46% when I was supposed to be sleeping. Co-written by both a black and a white author, this YA book provides unique insight into racial tension while also being a suspenseful thriller. I did wish that the characters had a little more depth, and the ending felt a little sudden, but the story kept me breathless, so I’m happy.

I just started:

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

ARC Review: The Scam List by Kurt Dinan

53431362From Goodreads: Meet the best teen con artist team around.

Boone McReedy: high school conman, smooth-talking charmer, and the idiot who just got scammed out of $15,000 of his mom’s money.

Darby West: ass-kicker, straight-shooter, and Boone’s ex-girlfriend.

Now, they must team up to save their parents’ business, one con at a time.

That is if they don’t kill each other first.

Of course, they’re only going to scam people who deserve it.

That’s a promise.

Would they lie to you?

As he did in his award-winning debut, DON’T GET CAUGHT, Kurt Dinan brings laughs, twists, and heart to THE SCAM LISTS’ funny world of teen con artists, exes, and outrageous five-dollar bets.

Review: What a fun book! Sometimes you just need to read something lighthearted and enjoyable for sheer amusement, and this story is it! I read Don’t Get Caught by this author last year and thought it was a blast, so I was thrilled to get my hands on this one – and it didn’t disappoint! Engaging characters, an entertaining plot, and an easy read – this one is sure to appeal to even the most YA reluctant readers!

The subject matter might seem a bit risque to some – there is underaged drinking and, of course, scams, but there is a moral to the story and it’s all in good fun. Also, it’s written by an experienced high school teacher – when you consider what many teenage students are exposed to (remembering back to my own HS years) – this pales in comparison. However, if you are a parent with concerns I suggest you read it first.

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

The Scam List is slated for release August 3, 2020!

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