Archive Page 2

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

all fall down

Genre:  Mystery

# of Pages:  310

RAC:  Yes

Grace knows she saw a man with a scar on his face standing over her mother’s dead body three years ago.  Yet, everyone tells her that her mom died of an accidental fire in her antique shop.  For three years, Grace has seen countless doctors and retold her story to many well meaning people who think she’s simply going crazy from the trauma of losing her mother.  Grace’s father has been stationed overseas and so she is forced to go live with her grandfather where he works as the U.S. ambassador to the tiny country, Adria.  Returning to her mother’s childhood home brings back many feelings and fears for Grace, none of which are helped when she sees the man with the scar she saw that fateful night.  Will anyone believe her story now?  Can she prove her mother’s death wasn’t an accident and prove her sanity?

Fans of Ally Carter books will like this new series as well.  It’s fun, unique, and has some clever plot twists.  The characters are interesting, but will get more engaging with each installment.  Grace’s post traumatic stress is described vividly and helps the reader understand why everyone around her feels she’s an unreliable witness.  Recommended to readers looking for a quick read.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

we were liars

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Mystery

# of Pages:  225

RAC:  Yes

Cady, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat called themselves the liars every summer they spent together on the elite Sinclair island.  The Sinclair family was wealthy, beautiful, and envied everywhere they went.  Cady, the narrator, explains how her grandparents built a house for all three of their daughters on this island so that they could all spend every summer together.  Cady, Mirren, and Johnny were cousins, while Gat was the nephew of their aunt’s boyfriend.  Two years ago something terrible happened that no one will tell Cady about.  All she knows is that she was found in her underwear on the beach with no memory of how she came to be there or what happened.  Her family has decided to shield her from whatever harsh truth she has chosen to block out and even refused to let her come to the island the following summer.  When she finally returns the summer of her 18th year she finally gets to see all of her fellow liars again and they seem exactly the same, but even they won’t tell her what happened that fateful night when everything went black for Cady.  How can she learn the truth if no one will help her?  What could have happened that would cause all of this chaos?

Cady is a very unique character who is desperately trying to find out what happened to her two full years ago that her mind simply can’t handle.  The ending of this one is amazing in that not only does it completely fit with the rest of the story, but no one will see it coming.  The characters are well developed and all help Cady remember that traumatic day, but ultimately it’s Cady who needs to put the pieces together.  Recommended for everyone, but especially reluctant readers.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

girl on train

Genre:  Mystery/Thriller

# of Pages: 323

RAC:  Yes

Rachel is a recently divorced alcoholic, who travels to the city everyday on the train pretending to her roommate that she still has a job.  Every day she passes the house she used to live in with her husband, who still lives there with his new wife and baby.  A few doors down from that house she starts noticing another young couple that she comes to identify with.  She makes up names and stories for them to help her feel like she really knows them.  What she doesn’t know is that their lives are not nearly as perfect as she thinks they are.  One day as the train drives by she sees something unusual that confuses her.  The next day she sees on the news that the woman she has been watching everyday from the train has gone missing.  Should she go to the police?  Will anyone believe her with her history of erratic behavior and alcoholism?

Fans of thrilling mysteries will love this title.  The mystery is well crafted and keeps you in suspense for most of the book.  Several important characters are discussed who all seem like they could possibly be the culprit at one time or another.  The ending is exciting, thrilling, and a bit surprising.  Readers looking for a psychological mystery won’t be disappointed.

Veronica Mars Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

veronica mars

Genre:  Mystery

# of Pages:  340

RAC:  Yes

In this sequel, Veronica learns of a case in which a young girl was last seen in the Neptune Grand Hotel and then turned up beaten almost to death and left in an abandoned field.  No one knows how she was taken from the hotel since she was not spotted on any of the security cameras.  The girl claims to have no knowledge of what happened to her.  Meanwhile, Eli Weevil Navarro is on trial for allegedly attacking Mrs. Kane with a gun when her car stalled.  He denies this and says the gun was planted on him by the police.  Logan Echolls is supposed to be on shore leave for several months, but Veronica always wonders when he’s going to be called to active duty again.  Can Veronica juggle all of these issues and still aim to end the corruption that has plagued Neptune for a long time?

This sequel is very engaging for readers familiar with the TV series.  Many references are made to the Manning family which featured heavily in the early seasons of the show.  The mystery itself is very interesting and difficult to predict, which is what all mystery lovers want to see.  Mixed in with all of this drama Veronica handles several personal issues, including dealing with her boyfriend and father over relationship expectations.  A fun, light read that any vacationer should have!

The Body Electric by Beth Revis

body electric

Genre:  Science Fiction

# of Pages:  466

RAC:  Yes

Ella lives with her mother in the new city that was built after a major world war.  Her mother is famous for inventing the technology of reveries, which enable people to go into a sleep where they can relive their happiest memories.  Her father was also a brilliant scientist who worked on finding a cure for the terrible disease her mother had before he was suddenly and tragically killed in a lab accident.  Ella’s mom has lived longer than anyone else with this disease, but she’s getting weaker and Ella knows it is only a matter of time before she’s on her own.  Her mother’s childhood friend helps run the reverie spa and one day informs Ella that she needs to go meet with the president of their newly established government.  The President informs her that she feels rebellious rumblings and will do whatever it takes to stop another war, including altering the memories of the rebels.  Ella isn’t sure about using her mother’s technology that way and goes to her father’s grave to think it over when a teenage boy comes up and acts like she should know him.  He knows things about her family and seems genuinely hurt she doesn’t know him.  Is it possible someone is using her mother’s technology to alter her memories?  If that’s true, what else doesn’t she remember?

This thrilling sci-fi novel takes many plot twists to get to the final conclusion.  Some readers may find the constant revelations start to get a little confusing at times as they happen quickly near the end.  As Ella’s parents were both genius scientists there are numerous referrals to science and technology in the ultimate resolution of the plot.  The characters are very memorable and engaging, especially considering some of them aren’t in the story that much.  The romance between Ella and the boy is well described and a believable source of angst for Ella, but isn’t dwelled upon too much in a book that has a lot going on.  Fans of sci fi will devour this title.

The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson

princess spy

Genre:  Historical Fiction

# of Pages:  293

RAC:  Yes

Margaretha lives on her father’s estate in Germany and knows she must choose a suitor to marry soon.  When a man named Claybrook comes and begins to woo her she thinks he might be the one, but then an injured man is brought to the healer’s cottage from England.  She is one of the few people around who knows English and she translates what he’s saying.  He followed a man named Claybrook from England in order to make him pay for murdering a young girl, but instead Claybrook’s men beat him and left him for dead in the street.  Margaretha is unsure who to believe, but decides to spy on Claybrook and learns he is plotting to murder her father and take over his estate.  Can she save her family and her family’s land without alerting the wrong people to the threat?  Does she know whom she can trust?  Is she equipped for such a venture?

This is a fun, fast paced adventure story in which Margaretha and her new companion from England try to save her family from a very miserable future in which they are pushed out of their own land by sheer force and violence.  There are many twists in the plot as Claybrook tends to be one step ahead of them at all times.  Many of the characters lack depth, but they do not need to be over developed since the plot rests mainly on Margaretha and her English gentleman.  Fans of other period stories like The Selection and The Queen of Someday will enjoy this title.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

code-name-verity

Genre:  Historical Fiction

# of Pages:  343

RAC:  Yes

Verity is a young female British spy who is captured in France while on a mission simply for looking the wrong way when crossing the street.  The first half of the novel is Verity’s written confession about her incarceration, interrogation, and even torture by the Gestapo for information on the British.  Some of the things she says seem tedious or unimportant, but in the second half you hear from her best friend, Maddie, who is a female pilot working for Britain.  She was the pilot who flew Verity in on her mission, but her plane was hit and Verity had been forced to jump out with a parachute leaving both of them unaware of the other’s fate.  Maddie ended up crashing, but then found herself stranded in a land where if she were caught she would definitely be put in jail as well.  As Maddie’s story is told some of the facts Verity mentioned suddenly make sense.  All of this leads up to the shocking ending when the reader learns what happens to these two dedicated friends.

This title has received amazing reviews and for good reason.  The story is captivating, intriguing, mysterious, and unique.  Verity and Maddie’s friendship ends up reflecting just how important these relationships were during wartime.  The very beginning starts a little slow as the setting it set, but eventually this leads up to an exciting premise as these two unique voices tell their tales of female involvement in WWII.  Highly recommended.



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