Posted in Book Review, mystery, netgalley, Thriller, YA

Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano

It’s one of those books you pick up and only put down 3 hours later after being utterly consumed by the story.

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Title: Lost Girls
Author: Merrie Destefano
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Pages: 360
Source: NetGalley
Genre:  Teens & YA, Thriller
Rating: 4 stars

 

Plot

Yesterday, Rachel went to sleep listening to Taylor Swift, curled up in her grammy’s quilt, worrying about geometry. Today, she woke up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised, and missing a year of her life.

She doesn’t recognize the person she’s become: she’s popular. She wears nothing but black.

Black to cover the blood.

And she can fight.

Tell no one.

She’s not the only girl to go missing within the last year…but she’s the only girl to come back. She desperately wants to unravel what happened to her, to try and recover the rest of the Lost Girls.

But the more she discovers, the more her memories return. And as much as her new life scares her, it calls to her. Seductively. The good girl gone bad, sex, drugs, and raves, and something darker…something she still craves—the rush of the fight, the thrill of the win—something she can’t resist, that might still get her killed…

The only rule is: There are no rules.

 

My experience

Imagine waking up in a ditch. You remember last night you were listening to Taylor Swift, you had a test for school. Obviously waking up in a ditch is already quite concerning but what if what you thought was last night was last year?

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I gobbled this book up in one sitting I loved it. It teased you with suspense and added just enough romance in there to make it the perfect young adult novel.

This book deserves a movie.

Metaphor for the story

I compare this story to a dancing ballerina. She dances in the light happily but then all of a sudden the lights are shut down and the darkness strips the light. With only the spotlight on her she has to move to discover her surroundings. When she moves so does the spotlight, so only by moving all over the stage can she illuminate the mysteries around her. She dances faster and faster so the spotlight can move over all the unknown spots on the stage. Her fate starts to rest on illuminating the whole stage. And as the story progresses the dancing becomes so enchantingly violent you are left breathless when the truth finally is revealed in the spotlight.

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What I liked

I loved the originality of it all. Such a fresh new story that I didn’t know I was in desperate need of.

What I did not like

The ending was a bit too clean. I wanted it to start messy and end with a note of that same mistrust.

Recommendations

Thriller fans and young adult fanatics this book is a necessity for 2017.

 

Rating

4 forgetful snowflakes.

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Sincerely Snow

 

Posted in Book Review, mystery, netgalley, YA

Weregirl by C.D. Bell

There was this element of majesty and danger that surrounded the story like an eery shadow. I couldn’t get enough of it.

Title: Weregirl
Author: C.D. Bell
Publisher: Chooseco
Pages: 400
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Teens & YA
Rating: 4 stars
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Let’s go through the checklist.

Good plot. Check.

Good character. Check..

Excellent story development. Check.

Beautiful metaphors or style of writing. Check.

Love story. Check.

Should you read it? Check!

Plot:

Eager to escape her small hometown, high school junior Nessa Kurland is focused on winning a college scholarship for cross-country running. A chance encounter with a trapped wolf while out on a run leads to powerful and frightening changes, and one day, Nessa is transformed into a full werewolf. Now Nessa must navigate the challenges of high school while coming face to face with true human darkness, as she tries to make peace with her new wild nature

My experience

Enter Nessa.

Nessa runs, runs and oh yea, runs. Her dream is to go to college. Her ticket of getting there depends on if she can run fast enough. Nessa is trying to get a scholarship for cross-country running. However, one night when she is running in the woods something goes terribly wrong something that will alter her life forever.

*dramatic music*

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Reading this book was like watching the rain fall on a lazy day. Absolute bliss.

I love books with wolfs. Always have probably always will. This book stands tall on my “favourite-young-adult-werewolf-books” shelf.

Metaphor:

This book is just cool. It’s like that kid that just moved from a different city. Their dad is a rockstar and their mom is a supermodel they wear the latest fashion trend they are friendly and just cool. You want to read the book and get to know the new kid. You try and not seem too eager but let’s get real you want to be best friends and you already ordered the “We are best friends” t-shirts.

One of the ways how I measure whether I enjoyed the story is if I remember the time it took to finish it. If I don’t remember it taking long you can bet I enjoyed the story very much. This book was 400 pages and I am shocked because to me it felt like a 100.

Snow thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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What I liked:

I loved the story. It was a really good story. Something you could really get into and the characters was very real.  It was easy to get to know them and it kept you on edge. There was this element of majesty and danger that surrounded the story like an eery shadow. I couldn’t get enough of it.

What I did not like:

Okay, wait. This is not a flaw in the book on the contrary. But it is something I didn’t like. The ending was a bit brutal. That’s all I can say. It fit the story perfectly. You don’t have to like an ending to love it. Which is confusing but sounds profound so I’m sticking with it.

Rating

4 howling snowflakes

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Posted in Book Review, mystery, netgalley, Thriller

ARC Review : The Widower’s Wife by Cate Holahan

So you know how life sometimes just grabs you and you don’t finish a book. No matter how hard you try it you can’t get to the ending?

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Well this time that was not me!

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28256372.jpgTitle: The Widower’s Wife
Author: Cate Holahan
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary , Women’s Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers
Rating: 3

Plot:

Ana Bacon, a young housewife, tumbles off a cruise ship into the dark and deadly waters, but did she take her secrets with her?

Investigator Ryan Monahan is a numbers man. So when his company sends him the Bacon case, which could net a ten million dollar payout, Monahan doubts that her death is just a tragic accident. But the husband has a substantial alibi and a number of witnesses claim to have seen Ana fall. So the official ruling seems to be substantiated.

Still, the more Monahan uncovers about Ana’s life, the more he realizes how many people would kill to keep her secrets hidden. And the closer he gets to the truth, the greater the odds grow that he, too, will take a fatal fall.

Cate Holahan looks at the dark underbelly of a marriage from the perspectives of the detective and the victim in her tense and enthralling page-turner, The Widower’s Wife.

It took me 3 weeks to finish this book and it became a challenge. I would not give up, no matter what. I made this decision.

We fought we lied we sneak we climbed we did what we had to, to survive. But finished we did.

My Experience:

You are seated in a Gone Girl type narration. That person’s turn then the other person’s turn. Which side are you on? Decide!

A retired FBI agent now an insurance policy investigator (much more exciting than it sounds) is called in for a case. A wife and mother Ana fell overboard while on a cruise ship. Apparently, people don’t just fall from cruise ships, though. The odds of it is astronomical and our investigator here is all about the odds being fair.

My usual metaphor (I do this almost with each review so now it has become a label) :

It starts off a bit uncertain. Kind of like a new kid arriving at high school and you are not sure what group this kid will fall in. Will I like them, will they annoy me, will they make my heart beat, are they part dragon, will they like my phoenix feather collection, you know normal questions. Then a bit of time goes by and you learn where they fit in. Nobody is being bullied. No mean girls are picking on them no vampires are trying to eat them whilst pretending to be dating them. So you kind of just go oh, okay. However initially you started  to talk to the person so now you have a relationship and you feel obligated to finish the conversation.

What I liked:

I liked how it was subtle and kept you guessing until the end. You didn’t know where you were standing with the book.

What I did not like:

There was potential for more. I feel like the story could have gone deeper and more cut through. There was still a lot of development left to happen. I feel like the investigator stays the same throughout the story he ponders a lot and he makes good points. Drama happens around him left and right that should lead to some big character development but it doesn’t.

I didn’t like the lack of conclusions throughout the story.

Rating

*  * *

3 snowflakes.

Sincerely

Snow

Posted in Book Review, mystery, Thriller, Uncategorized

My Girl by Jack Jordan

 

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Title: My Girl
Author: Jack Jordan
Publisher: JJP
Pages: 135
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)
Rating: 3
I received an ARC from Netgalley via JJP for an honest review.

Honestly, what did I just read? I feel disturbed.

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Plot:

Paige Dawson: the mother of a murdered child and wife to a dead man.

She has nothing left to live for… until she finds her husband’s handgun hidden in their house.

Why did Ryan need a gun? What did he know about their daughter’s death?

Desperate for the truth, Paige begins to unearth her husband’s secrets.

But she has no idea who she is up against, or that her life isn’t hers to gamble – she belongs to me.

My Experience:

Well, I would first like to give praise to the book blurb. That is one fantastic book blurb.

You start the story with a mourning widow/mother. She has gone through more horrors than anyone ever should have to go through. She drowns her sorrow in wine and drugs and tries to just survive each day.

This book is not for the sensitive souls. I did not know it would be this disturbing when I initially requested the ARC. It’s a fast read and easy to finish in one setting.

Some forbidden elements are explored in this book.

You get mystery, thriller , horror and utter suspense.

It’s not a bad thriller. I compare this book to the likes of Room. It’s a faster read though and almost too much happens to process.
If you are a writer you might have heard this quote on how to start a novel.

Act One: Get Character Up a Tree.
Act Two: Throw Rocks.
Act Three: Get Character Down.

Basically, this author is really passionate about throwing rocks at his characters.

Here I am in a small boat and I believe I’m on a lake. Oh wait, turns out I am actually in the ocean. Did I forget to mention I’m surrounded by sharks? Oh! Don’t forget the massive storm that just broke out. Wait something good is happening, nope my engine just broke. My food ran out. I see civilization. I’m saved. Yay!

That’s how I experienced the novel. A lot of bad and then boom happy ending, well sorta.

Recommendations:

I would only recommend this to ages 18 and up. There are honestly sick scenes there is no other way to explain it. So if that’s your cup of tea then boil the kettle this book is for you.

What I liked:

I like how the book makes you doubt who to believe and whom to trust.

What I did not like:

A few of the scenes seemed very rushed.

There are a few details that do not make sense to me about the story. That might be characters flaws above anything else but it made the book less believable.

Rating:

I never know how to rate these books. Should I rate it very high because it disturbed me or should I rate it low because it disturbed me?

I think am just going to go with 3?

Yea, 3.

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~Sincerely Snow

Posted in Book Review, mystery, netgalley

ARC Review: How to Disappear by Ann Redisch Stampler

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Title: How to Disappear
Author: Ann Redisch Stampler
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing
Pages: 308
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Teens & YA , Abuse
Rating:2.5
Sigh.
The plot:

Nicolette Holland is the girl everyone likes. Up for adventure. Loyal to a fault. And she’s pretty sure she can get away with anything…until a young woman is brutally murdered in the woods near Nicolette’s house. Which is why she has to disappear.

Jack Manx has always been the stand-up guy with the killer last name. But straight A’s and athletic trophies can’t make people forget that his father was a hit man and his brother is doing time for armed assault. Just when Jack is about to graduate from his Las Vegas high school and head east for college, his brother pulls him into the family business with inescapable instructions: find this ruthless Nicolette Holland and get rid of her. Or else Jack and everyone he loves will pay the price.

My Experience
I’m going to try and write a review here without spoiling anything. Not that there is much to spoil…
Okay, so I’m going to explain why I did not like this novel but before I do that let me just say that I do believe that this might become a favourite amongst YA fans. It has all the elements to theoretically make this novel the perfect YA thriller. Romance, action, humour and suspense.
However, I Snow, am a massive fan of mystery and thriller and maybe it’s because I’ve read so many great thrillers that this book did not tickle my taste buds. Let us stop diddly-daddling the review will commence now.

So basically it’s about a girl Cat, I mean Nick I mean Nicolette who is running away when a murder is committed in her town and about a guy James, I mean J, I mean Jack.  Who needs to find her soon. My initial interest was that this was going to be a cat and mouse type of plot. The one trying to outsmart the other you know Sherlock VS Moriarty, Scar VS Mufasa. That was not what happened. It was more a Spongebob VS Patrick kind of vibe. Jolly enough character but not the sharpest tools in the shed.

I initially really liked Jack Manx. Jack has always been judged because he has the surname of a man who used to be the biggest criminal around. Jack is not a criminal he just wants to quote poetry especially Robert Frost. His brother drags him into this business when the ones he loves is threatened. That is how this very smart 18-year-old goes on this not so smart adventure.

What I liked in the beginning, was how awkward Jack and Nicolette both were. Here are these two normal teenagers, one who has to disappear and one who has to find the one who has to disappear. I kind of imagine that this is how I would be if for any reason ever I had to go on a mission. Just very awkward and not knowing how or what to do.

I feel that the characters were weak. They didn’t have a real drive in them. At best Nicolette was just confusing. She would have this hell bent attitude on surviving then the first guy who winks at her has her in a puddle of jelly? I don’t like it when characters fall in love immediately. I will refer to this one as a takeaway romance. “Ya want extra cheese with that line?”

At first, it was like walking on a chilly road not knowing what to expect and there was this element of danger which I liked but all too soon the snow melted and the landscape turned out to be a field. The most exciting thing was maybe passing the occasional cow chowing on some grass.

For me, the most interesting and put together character was Liv I mean Oliva.

What I liked:

I liked the different fonts for the two perceptions.

The cover is awesome.

What I did not like:

The obsession with the Robert Frost poem. There is more than one poem in this world!

Recommendations:

I recommend this to fans of the YA genre. If you eat and breath young adult novels then go for it. If you are very critical of character development and romance then maybe give this one a skip.

Rating:

2.5 snowflakes. The ending was a little bit unpredictable so it gets a little extra snowflake.

Overall this was not my favourite book.

 

 

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Posted in Book Review, mystery, netgalley, Thriller

Last to Die by Arlene Hunt

 

“A book that will easily keep you up reading until 2 am because to put it down is simply not an option.”

 

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Title: 
Last to die

Author: Arlene Hunt

Publisher: Bookouture

Pages: 307

Source: NetGalley

Genre:  Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)

Rating: 4


 

Follow the same story told from a third-person perspective of three very separate characters all building up to one massive explosion of a story.

The plot:

 “He watches. He waits. He kills …

When Jessie Conway survives a horrific mass high school shooting, in the aftermath she finds herself thrust into the media spotlight, drawing all kinds of attention. But some of it is the wrong kind.

Caleb Switch, a sadistic serial killer has been watching her every move. A skilled hunter, he likes his victims to be a challenge to him. Jessie is strong, fearless, a survivor, and now…she is his ultimate prey.

As Caleb picks off his current victims one by one, chasing, killing and butchering them with his crossbow, he’s closing in on Jessie… But will Jessie defy the odds and escape with her life? Or will she be Caleb’s final sacrifice …”

 

My experience:

What made me want to read this book was the sentence on the cover of this book.

“He watches he waits… dead or alive he wants her.”

That ladies and gentleman elves and dragons, that is how you hook me. I was very curious as to what would happen and my curiosity only grew bigger until it started to sit on my shoulder poking me to go read again.

I compare my experience with this book to a fresh day in autumn. You feel the light breeze you enjoy the last bit of warmth of that was is good around you. However, you can feel the winter approaching. You can sense the cold and danger ready to eat and incinerate all that holds warmth.  When the winter arrives, you find yourself in the middle of a blizzard. You will be climbing mountains, tracking old arrows, searching through old newspaper articles fast but at a very balanced comfortable pace.

This is a bonafide thriller. It had me nervous, breathless and at times utterly absorbed where all sound of the world disappeared.

I enjoyed the way the characters interacted with each other and you could read out of each person’s point of view. You could scratch and dig in their brains and see what made them tick. The effect was dynamite and made me so much more invested in the story.

It is a gripping thriller. A book that will easily keep you up until 2 am to finish because to put it down is simply not an option.

 

What I liked:

I liked the way the story was balanced between the characters. You neither loved a character nor completely hated them. You knew each one too well to be judgemental. If somebody were to come and accuse the character you would almost feel an instant need to defend them. Even though they can defend themselves perfectly well.

Not to give anything away but something was used as a weapon in this book I could never have imagined for self-defense. Well done Arlene Hunt. Very original.

What I did not like:

I suppose there were some paragraphs that were less than entertaining. Some background characters were clearly meant to be disliked which made them less real to me. They did not become real they stayed flat on the paper for me.

I would have liked to have one last chapter from Darla to know how she felt after all was said and done.

My rating:

Fresh 4 snowflakes that fell out of my dreams after I finished reading the book at 1 AM.

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/ 5

 

-Snow

Posted in Book Review, mystery, netgalley, Thriller

The Body Reader by Anne Frasier

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Title: 
The Body Reader

Author: Anne Frasier

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Pages: 302

Source: NetGalley

Genre: General Fiction(Adult), Psychological Thriller and  Mystery

Rating: 4


When I read what this book was about, I requested it faster then you could say:

“Give it to me now or else…”

And thank goodness I received the notification from NetGalley that Thomas & Mercer had approved.

I immediately started to devour this book. If I did not attend college or needed sleep, I probably would have finished it in one go.

Plot:

Detective Jude Fontaine was held prisoner by a sadistic captor for 3 years. She was kept in an underground cell by a man who had taken everything from her until all she had left was him. Jude knew every line on his face, every scar on his skin, every meaning behind every movement and what would follow. She learned how to read her captor and it kept her alive.

With Jude’s experience of hell, she learned something: Words lie but body language does not. Everything Jude experiences around her are now heightened. Her ears pick up the slightest shifts and her nose competes with that of a dog. Everybody’s body is saying something, even when they are quiet even when they are dead.

Jude resumes her position at Homicide with a new partner, Detective Uriah Ashby, who is uncertain of her sanity. But the town has a serial killer and the police need manpower. And no one knows evil quite like Jude does.

My experience:

Where are my words?

Where are my words indeed…

I seem to be unable to write coherently after finishing the last chapter.

Wow! What a journey. What a radical road trip.

It was such an adrenaline rush. From the first page, my heart was in my throat and I had no idea how I was going to get through the book. It felt like I was on a motorcycle that was speeding down a highway while also being on the wrong side of the road. And instead of being terrified at the danger and the shocking speed the book was going, I was on an adrenaline rush and  I was craving more, shouting at the bike to move even faster. There were so many moments where I had to put the book down and just give my mind a bit of time to comprehend what I had just read. It was as thrilling as I expect thrillers to be. It disturbed me on just the right scale. The plot was complicated  enough that you couldn’t immediately guess what was going to happen but not so complicated that you became lost  which tends to happen with me and thrillers.

What I liked:

The characters were so likable . Magnificent! Excellent! By the end of the book, I knew the detectives personally, their struggles their quirks and I didn’t even know when that happened. I just realized I knew everything about them.

What I did not like:

My disappointment came from the lack of history from Jude’s captor. Without spoiling anything I will just say… I wish I had received more details about the villains in this story.

Amazing quotes I loved:

“Her mind kept her company because she’d long ago decided nobody was coming for her. She no longer remembered what her parents looked like, and she no longer remembered what the sun felt like or what snow felt like. All she knew was one man. He was her world.”

“It’s kind of unnerving to think about how we’re shaped by the darkness in our lives,” he said in an echo of her own thoughts.”

Recommendations:

Gather around those who love to solve puzzles and those who are looking for their next mystery thriller/ psychological novel. This one is for you.

This is an Adult fiction novel it deals with abduction, violence, and other intense themes. This book is not for sensitive readers.

Rating:

And the rating is

*drum-role*

4 snowflakes out of 5.

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/ 5