Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Sammy Keyes and the Showdown in Sin City

From the moment the series revealed Lana and Warren were communicating on the down low, I knew this would happen. Sammy would have to race against time to stop Lana and Warren from walking down the aisle. I also expected that her efforts would be successful. After all, why would Wendelin make Sammy and Casey a couple if they were to become stepsister and brother? What I did not expect the details of the end of the Lana and Warren relationship. Despite the continuous references to Sammy’s unknown father, I never thought we would meet him. But in this book, we did meet him. And it was a better reveal than I ever would have guessed on my own.

The Summary

Casey reveals that Lana and Warren are headed to Vegas…and Warren bought a ring. Sammy, using well-earned reward money from the previous book, books a last minute airline trip to Las Vegas at the same time as Marissa and her mother, as they travel to Vegas to bail Marissa’s gambling father out of trouble. While using the help of an Elvis impersonator and after declaring a temporary truce with Heather and Candi Acosta, Sammy roams Vegas in search of the bride and groom to be.
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Book Review: The Retribution of Mara Dyer

When I began college, many series I loved went forgotten. My reading tastes also changed. Not only was the Mara Dyer series a forgotten one, but when I thought about it again, I doubted I would love it as much as I did as a teen. Mara Dyer was always too strong on romance and not strong enough on the spooky elements that originally caught my interest. With new Shaw Confessions series out, I thought it appropriate to finish reading one my many long forgotten series, even if I didn’t think I would like it as much.

The Summary

The Mara Dyer series is difficult to describe in words. It capitalizes on being mysterious, and that makes it hard to summarize without spoilers. Have you ever read on of the book jacket summaries for these books? They never tell you anything. I still don’t know if the Noah Shaw books are sequels or the original series as told by Noah because of this summary nonsense. Describing this book is even harder now because I remember little from the first two books. This is not a good series to pick up after several years of not reading it. It is too confusing for that kind of gap.

Even so, here is my attempt at a summary: Mara is trapped in a scientific research facility for people like her with unexplained powers. Since this facility is more a dangerous jail than a safe hospital, Mara busts out.
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The Arsonist

I don’t think I knew what I was getting into when I started this book. I knew it had three POV’s, I knew there was something to do with fire, and I knew it might have a sad ending… But I wasn’t prepared for the depth and realness of this book. The plot is so interwoven, the characters are so complex, & the mystery is just brilliant.

The Summary

I’m going to summarize the main characters instead of the story, I want to leave everything that happens a mystery & let the book carry it’s own.

Molly Mavity is the daughter of the Arsonist, her father has committed terrible crimes and is sentenced to die on death row. Her mother committed suicide several years ago but Molly still thinks her mother is out there somewhere just waiting for her. Molly is definitely an outsider. She doesn’t bother trying to fit it, she just wants to be herself and if that means living the loner life so be it. Molly is so head strong and curious about everything & she goes to great lengths to find the answers she’s looking for.

Pepper is just an adorable sweetheart. His POV comes through a series of essays he has to write in order to graduate high school. Pepper lives with his father after they moved to the US from Kuwait, where his mother died after giving birth to him. He is epileptic and has a seizure dog called Bertrand, who is really pretty useless at everything, but he’s still great four-legged friend. Pepper’s life changes when Molly comes barging into it, but I’ll leave it a mystery whether it’s for the best or not.

Ava Dreyman is the third POV through her diary entries. Ava is a young girl living in East Berlin during the 1980s and she has constant strifes with her family, her love, and of course the government. Her diary entries are interesting and informative & they beg the reader to find out the connection between her and Molly & Pepper. The diary entries alone have their own mystery and allure, but they do fit into the book somehow.  Continue reading “The Arsonist”

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Lord of the Flies

A book from 1954 that still rings true about society today. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen when society loses it’s boundaries, when people have the chance to create their own rules & regulations… this book is for you.

The Summary

A number of English school boys crash-land on a deserted island after an unfortunate plane crash. They start off strong, trying to elect a leader amongst them & divide tasks evenly. However, things go from bad to worse pretty quickly. There is a struggle for power, the boys are divided into groups, & they lose their unity as humans. They devolve into animals, willing to kill anyone & everyone to protect themselves. They also start to spot a “monster” on the island, but I’ll leave it a mystery to whether it’s real or not.  Continue reading “Lord of the Flies”

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Book Review: Beauty Queens

I don’t usually mesh well with parody books. I love them onscreen, but not so much on the page. I enjoy books that turn tropes around, but not many full-on parodies. Beauty Queens is a parody. Though I appreciated it, it wasn’t the book for me.

The Summary

On their way to the Teen Dream Pageant, the plane transporting the contestants crashes, stranding several beauty queens on an island in the middle of nowhere. 

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Book Review: Unearthed (ARC)

Whenever I read a sci-fi book by Amie Kaufman and/or Meagan Spooner, it is somehow the best space opera I’ve ever read. First These Broken Stars (Amie & Meagan), then Illuminae (Amie & Jay Kristoff) and now this one. At this point, they’ve made it onto my must-read authors list. I will read anything they publish in the future, and plan to read all the other books they already published.

Since Unearthed will not be published until January 2018, this review will remain spoiler free.

The Summary

Years ago Earth intercepted a transmission from a group called the Undying. The message led Earth to find the planet Gaia, and with that discovery, new technology and hope for the slowly dying human race. Jules and Mia have different reasons for going to Gaia. One hopes to preserve the planet and find further meaning to the message sent by the Undying, and the other wants to scavenge the planet for profit. Though these goals juxtapose each other, Jules and Mia become reluctant allies. What follows is an Indiana Jones-like archeological adventure, full of twists I never saw coming. Continue reading “Book Review: Unearthed (ARC)”

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Nyxia

Imagine all of your problems could be solved by a simple space trip. A massive paycheck, free healthcare for your family, oh & a lifetime where everything comes easy. Would you do whatever it takes to have this? Babel Communications is offering a fortune to these lucky teenagers, but what are they hiding?

Summary

Emmet Atwater is our main character & yes, he’s fallen on some hard times. His family is struggling to get by, his mother is sick, and it looks like he’ll be following the same path as his father at the factories pretty soon. He was chosen by Babel Communications to win the jackpot of a lifetime, he just has to travel to a different planet to receive it. Oh, and he also has to compete with 9 others for the prize. Nyxia is a material the Babel has been keeping top secret. It has unlimited capabilities & it’s also worth a fortune. Babel needs these teens to collect it for them, and they’re hosting a competition to see who gets to go mining for it. Aboard the spaceship friendships are rare, alliances are made & enemies are far too common. Everyone has their eye on the prize, and they’re all willing to do anything to get it. Through a series of tests and events Emmet starts to question just what it is they’re training for. What (and who) is on this new planet? Why does no one else seem to notice the locked doors and limited access? But most importantly, what is Babel hiding from them? Continue reading “Nyxia”

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Book Review: Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack

During my Sammy Keyes reread, Power of Justice Jack was by far the most surprising book. I probably read this one once before, like with many of the other Sammy Keyes books, and had little memory of it. I remember bits about Marissa and Billy, but that was it. To my shock, this reread revealed that this might be one of my favorite books in the series. The character development in it is so wonderful, how can I not love this one?

The Summary

A trip to Dot’s for a Sinterklaas celebration leads to a run-in with new Santa Martina hero: Justice Jack. At the Senior Highrise, tensions are high when Rose Wedgewood seemingly skips town after robbing all the Highrise residents.  Continue reading “Book Review: Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack”

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Book Review: All the Crooked Saints

I want to love Maggie Stiefvater. I hear amazing things about her books, so I try them. Each time I get the same result. There’s some interesting bits in her books, but I mostly find them boring. They aren’t bad, just slow, and of course, boring.

The Summary

It took me quite a few chapters before I understood, but here is the gist. People from around the world travel to Bicho Raro for a miracle, intended to empty the darkness from your soul. The miracle does this by transforming you into something to help you overcome that darkness. Most miracle-seekers don’t expect or understand that aspect of the process. Continue reading “Book Review: All the Crooked Saints”

Posted in Book News

And the Trees Crept In

I thought it was fitting to end then month of October with a truly scary book. And the Trees Crept In is a great example of a slow building horror. When I started reading this book I felt brave, I read it as the sun was setting, carrying on into the night with a lamp and some hot cocoa. By the middle of the book I was checking that my closet was empty, swearing every time there was a suspicious noise in my house & jumping at any notification from my phone. This book truly builds a sense of dread and creeping fear as it continues on, and I couldn’t love it more.

The Summary:

At the beginning Silla and Nori arrive at their aunts old manor house. Silla already thinks theres something amiss with the blood-colored building, but it could just be her imagination. Here the story picks up pace and starts to create a world full of all the classic horror elements: old house, dolls, dark woods, and a journal full of secrets. This story is split two ways: the main story of the girls in the old house, then sprinkled throughout the story are torn journal pages that start to explain why the siblings are there in the first place. The journal explains what happened to their family, their aunt, and the boy that appears from nowhere. The ending is shocking and unexpected, definitely throws readers for a loop, and helps to explain and tie everything into a neat little bow.  Continue reading “And the Trees Crept In”