Published April 21, 2017
Tags: betrayal, cruise, murder, trust
Genre: Mystery Thriller
# of Pages: 340
Lo suffered a terrible shock when someone broke into her home while she was asleep. Luckily, she only suffered a bruised cheek before he left, but she’s very shaken up. Unfortunately, she’s scheduled to go on an elite cruise the next day for her job as a travel journalist. She considers this her big break and does not want to mess it up. The first night on board the small, but elegant boat she meets a young woman in the cabin next to hers who loans her some mascara. Later that night she hears a scream and a big splash as if someone was thrown overboard. She immediately inquires, but not only does no one believe that someone was thrown overboard, but she learns there is no one staying in the cabin next to hers. After demanding to meet the entire staff she realizes that no one fits that woman’s description. She does not believe she made it all up, though, despite their efforts to blame her post traumatic stress and the alcohol she consumed. Then, when she falls asleep during a required trip to the spa she wakes up to find the shower has been turned on to create a foggy bathroom where someone wrote “stop digging” in the mirror. Can she really ignore that a crime happened right next to her? Will she be next if she keeps “digging?”
This mystery was exciting and suspenseful, especially since Lo is basically on an island where no communication is working to reach any land and the only suspects must be on board with her. She only met these people the previous evening and therefore has no idea who she can really trust. Mystery fans will be intrigued and they won’t be disappointed with the ultimate resolution.
# of Pages: 360
When Lily Bennett moves with her mother to a new town before her junior year of high school she tries to remain optimistic, but in reality her mother is fleeing her cheating husband and his pregnant girlfriend and Lily is fleeing her cheating father and the boyfriend who cheated on her with her best friend. They are both looking for fresh starts and unfortunately, that involves living on her wealthy grandmother’s property. Ever since she was a child Lily has had a bizarre recurring dream where she’s running on a big field that has caught fire and she approaches a teenage boy’s body in the middle of it. It has scared her since she was little, but normally she only has this dream a few times a year. Since she moved she has had this dream every single night and it’s beginning to take a toll.
Amber was a teen living in the same town Lily just moved to in the 1980s. Her boyfriend, Spence, was murdered on the football field of their school and the police investigator believed that Amber committed the murder. Four days later Amber was stabbed to death and it was ruled a suicide. Could Amber be trying to send Lily a message all of these years later about what really happened to her and Spence? What is Lily’s connection to Amber’s death?
Fans of Victoria Laurie’s mystery When will enjoy this title as well. It has many great plot twists, sinister characters, and red herrings. The idea that Lily could be the reincarnation of Amber is a unique twist you do not often see in YA mystery novels. The book itself moves quickly and will keep even reluctant readers engaged.
# of Pages: 310
The author of this book, Denis Lipman, is a former magician and therefore has the tools to create a unique and exciting story for young adults. It’s about a young magician named Micah who is sent to live in Israel and ends up unknowingly befriending a terrorist, Shireen. When Shireen begins to rethink her plans both she and Micah are forced to go on the run and use Micah’s techniques of illusion to escape capture. All of this action builds to a very exciting and satisfying ending.
This story describes the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way that no other young adult book does, which makes it interesting to young readers who do not know much about this event. At the same time, the use of magic and illusion is fun and fresh and engages reluctant readers right away. The inclusion of magic in the plot is done so in a completely believable and understandable way, which goes toward Lipman’s experience with magic and illusion. Highly recommended for students who enjoy a lot of action and plot development.
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Romance
# of Pages: 423
Abby Barnes wakes up one day to find that everything she thought was true about the last year of her life had been changed dramatically. Instead of taking a drama class and eventually earning a role in a movie, she ended up taking an astronomy class and ended up attending Yale. Her relationships with her best friend and two possible boyfriends were also affected with this switch. Her best friend, who’s also a science genius, traces the change to the day that a major worldwide earthquake occurred and believes her life has been blurred with that of a parallel life. Abby struggles to learn what that in fact means and if this disturbance can keep affecting her life. Every morning she wakes up to assess if her parallel has done anything to change her current present. Meanwhile, she tries to keep her “double life” a secret so that no one knows just how crazy she believes she is. Will this ever get fixed or will she be doomed to live this challenging life forever?
The idea of parallel lives is complicated and challenging, but Lauren Miller writes the story in a way that is absolutely understandable and even intriguing without being confusing. There are many characters and while some feature more heavily than others they all impact Abby’s overall story. The story gains momentum near the end and readers will want to see what ultimately happens to Abby and if she ever gains control of her life back.
# of Pages: 274
The second in the Montlake Romance series, Lemon is unexpectedly placed on a reality dating show similar to the bachelor after two other contestants are forced to resign and filming is about to start. The “bachelor” is her PR client and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make the show successful, even if it means pretending to be a contestant despite being recently engaged herself. Throughout the filming of the series, Dante tries his hardest to woo Lemon into giving them a chance. While Lemon is not entirely sure about her fiancee, Sterling, she also believes Dante is a womanizer who only wants her because he can’t have her. As the competition goes on, however, things begin to intensify and Lemon isn’t sure what to do. Does she give true love a chance with Dante even if he could break her heart? Or, does she play it safe and return home to her fiancee who doesn’t seem to care very much that she’s been gone for weeks filming?
This is a fun romance series that romance readers will enjoy. In particular, fans of The Selection would like it although there is not any rebellion action. The stories feel modern and fresh while also incorporating all the romantic qualities that readers enjoy. It would be best to read this in order, but each one is enjoyable on its own.
# of Pages: 546
A group of teens who all have unexplained talents have found each other one by one and formed a group they call the Zeroes. They all have different ideas for how to handle their bizarre powers, however. Bellweather can take the energy of a group and focus it on one goal and he believes they should stick together and try to do important things with their powers. Flicker is blind, but can see using other people’s eyes. Scam has a mysterious voice that will say whatever it takes to get him what he wants and often has disastrous results. Crash has the ability to crash electrical devices and because of that has struggled to find a place where her powers are anything but destructive. Anonymous can disappear and be forgotten in any situation, which has led to a lonely life. Finally, Mob can change the energy of a crowd to feel whatever she wants it to. Scam had previously distanced himself from the rest of the zeroes when they had a disagreement, but it forced to call on them for help when a video of him using his voice goes viral and he is hauled in by cops for answers about a local bank robbery. Can the zeroes come together to help one of their own or will the situation just get worse as they try to con their way out of it? Will the situation bring them together or drive them further apart?
This has been on my reading list for awhile and it took a little bit to get into the characters, but eventually the story really takes off and readers enjoy a lot of adventure and action. The talents of the characters take a lot of explaining as some are more complicated and require examples to fully understand. All in all, fans of fantasy adventures such as the Michael Vey series or Blackout will enjoy the first in this series.
Genre: Realistic fiction/mystery
# of Pages: 372 p.
Tess has lived with her grandfather ever since her parents died in a car accident when she was small. Her older sister, Ivy, went away to college and never really came back so Tess knew things were about to unravel when Ivy showed up at her grandfather’s ranch. Despite her best efforts, Tess could no longer hide her grandfather’s dementia from the world and Ivy had come to put him in a treatment center while Tess was forced to pack her bags and come to D.C. to live with the sister she hardly knew. Only after she gets to D.C. does she realize what her sister actually does for a living: she’s a fixer for wealthy and powerful people who have serious problems. Tess is expected to be a fixer like her sister when she starts her new school by the children of wealthy and powerful people who attend, but Tess is not interested in following after her sister’s example. Then, a supreme court justice suddenly dies and a girl at her school confides to Tess that she does not think it was an accident. Can Tess find out what’s really going on in D.C. without alerting her sister or anyone involved? Will Tell and Ivy ever mend their relationship?
This is a fun novel for mystery or spy fans (fans of Ally Carter will enjoy this title). The characters are fun and getting more developed all the time and no doubt will continue to do so as the series continues. The mystery was exciting and provided a satisfying ending. The idea of “fixers” has only started getting discussed in the last five years or so and it’s fun to see a young adult series focused around such an interesting career.