Archive for December, 2015

Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

lock and mori

Genre:  Mystery

# of Pages:  248

RAC: Yes

Miss James “Mori” Moriarty has been living a tough existence since her mother died several months before.  Her father has become a heavy drinker and often takes his frustrations out physically on her and her three brothers.  She knows she needs to do something to protect her brothers but she isn’t sure what at this time.  Meanwhile, she becomes friendly with a strange boy at her school, Sherlock Holmes.  They encounter a murder in the nearby park and are shocked to see the police are severely inept and make terrible and lazy assumptions.  They decide to investigate on their own in order to find the true killer and are horrified to discover this was merely one amongst several similar murders.  There is a serial killer out there the police aren’t even looking for!  Can Mori find the killer and save her family from an increasingly bad home life?

This is a fun mystery story for fans of mystery fiction and TV shows.  Sherlock Holmes is impressive in his deductions and observations as always and it’s refreshing to see a different take on the character of Moriarty.  There is a bit of violence in it and Mori’s father is definitely a force to contend with in her life, but Lock and Mori try very hard to never lose hope that they can in fact prevail as long as their intentions and resolve are strong enough.

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Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall

signs point to yes

Genre:  Romance

# of pages:  265

RAC:  Yes

Jane takes a job as a nanny for three small girls one summer because she doesn’t want to take the unpaid internship her mother found for her.  The little girls happen to have an older half brother, Teo.  Teo does not know Jane very well because she and his best friend do not get along for some unknown reason.  As they start seeing each other more often and getting to know each other they start to form a strong attraction.  Meanwhile, Jane discovers that Teo has been secretly looking for his father whom he has no recollection of ever seeing.  Jane decides to try and help find Teo’s father thinking she is doing him a favor, but things do not go as planned.  Will these two every overcome all the obstacles standing in their way to find true love?  Will Teo ever find his dad?  Will Jane ever decide what she wants to do after high school?

This book is a sweet, light teenage romance for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han.  The supporting characters are fairly one-dimensional but very entertaining and Jane and Teo have a sweet relationship that young readers will want to know more about.  Many ideas are mentioned, but not stressed in too great of detail such as bisexuality, death of a parent, and choosing options other than college after high school.  The characters will be relatable to many readers without becoming too preachy or insufferable regarding their feelings and beliefs.  Recommended for fans of teen romance books.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

red rising

Genre:  Science Fiction/Fantasy

# of Pages:  400

RAC:  Yes

Darrow is a “red” in a caste society where reds work below the surface of Mars trying to terraform the planet for other life forms to eventually come live on the surface.  The work is hard and thankless and they are compensated with hardly any food and poor living conditions.  Darrow’s wife, Eo, believes there is more than the “golds” are telling them and thinks they should revolt in order to get to the truth.  Darrow lost his father when he peacefully protested their work conditions and does not want to lose anyone else.  When Eo defies the golds anyway, she is publicly hanged and Darrow refuses to let this go.  He eventually gets a makeover to make him look like a gold so that he can infiltrate the golds to take them down from the inside.  He learns that the golds have been hiding a lot about the actual development of the planet Mars in order to keep them in a lowly position.  He vows revenge for his entire family who are starving and slaving so that others can grow fat and rich.  Will they discover he is not truly a gold?  Will he find any compassion for the golds he has come to despise?

Fans of futuristic fiction will enjoy this title because there is a lot of violence and colorful characters.  The story eventually evolves into a competition similar to the Hunger Games that will keep even reluctant readers’ attention.  Many questions are left unanswered and there is currently one sequel already.  While it is similar to other titles out there it is unique enough that it is finding an audience of supporters who desperately want to know what will happen to Darrow.