Posts Tagged 'fear'

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

# of Pages: 356

Sylvie, Vincent, Jules, and Sam are all lured to a late night escape room they believe to be mandatory for team building at their lucrative investment firm.  All of them have places they’d rather be, but after losing two major clients recently they are all concerned about their positions going forward.  Once they arrive, they soon get stuck in the elevator in the abandoned building and they quickly find a few clues that makes them realize the elevator is actually the escape room.  It’s very hot and dark, however, so they struggle to find clues.  They soon realize that there is no getting out of here unless they find their own way out and each clue reminds them of what they have given up and who they have hurt on their way up the corporate ladder.  Who is behind the escape room and will these four escape alive?

The person behind the escape room becomes clear fairly quickly in the story, but the why and the how take awhile to unfold.  Each of these people has a complicated backstory and it takes awhile for everything to come out.  Fans of mysteries such as The Woman in the Window and the Woman in Cabin 10 will enjoy this fast paced, high energy mystery story.  Even once the reader figures out who is behind the escape room, there are still many surprises ahead.

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Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

crazy dangerous

Genre:  Mystery

328 p.

2016-17 Iowa High School Award Winner

Sam Hopkins is the son of a preacher so he is often not treated the same as other kids, but he is not immune to bullies either and on one particular day while running he inadvertently draws the attention of three of the biggest bullies in school.  He refuses to back down to them and ends up joining their gang for a short while and they teach him how to steal cars.  Eventually he comes to his senses and realizes that he could get himself into real danger, but just as he’s telling them he won’t steal actual cars with them he sees them pick on Jennifer, who is an unusual girl in school who often speaks of demons and other strange things.  The bullies are about to go after her when Sam steps in and allows her to escape while he himself takes a terrible beating.  Afterward, everyone praises him for saving “poor, crazy” Jennifer and Sam begins to realize that all of  her “premonitions” might in fact be real.  Can he convince anyone that she might really be telling the truth about her visions?  Will he continue to get into more trouble if he keeps staying involved with her?

This story is difficult to describe without giving the heart of the story away.  Sam is confused by Jennifer and her condition, which makes the reader confused as well.  Meanwhile, everything that happens to Sam does eventually come together to make an interesting and complete story, but for a long time several of the pieces do not seem to go together at all.  Sam is a well crafted, complex character who is easy to identify with even if the reader has nothing in common with him.  For those who stick with the story past the beginning they will be pleasantly surprised by the action and fast paced resolution.

Need by Joelle Charbonneau

need

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  338

RAC:  Yes

Kaylee is desperately trying to find a kidney donor for her brother who is very sick.  Her and her mother have been tested and are not matches so she really wants to find her father who ran off shortly after DJ’s diagnosis.  Her best friend, Nate, then introduces her to a new social media site called Need.  Need members can only join by invitation and once you are in you can choose something to ask for that you think you “need.”  In exchange the program will ask you to do something in order to earn whatever you asked for.  Kaylee distrusts this site, but is desperate and asks for a kidney for her brother.  Meanwhile, her classmates are receiving new cell phones, computers, etc. and all for doing tasks they consider innocent.  When a boy is asked to deliver a box of cookies to a classmates’ door he does not think anything of it until the next day when that classmate is in the hospital due to a severe peanut allergy.  Did he cause her death?  What about the other mysterious happenings all over the neighborhood?  Are these high school students to blame or are they innocent bystanders?

Morality and responsibility for ones own actions are strong themes in this book.  We live in a very media based materialistic society and many teens feel they deserve or “need” all the cool things their friends seem to have.  This book asks the question of what would you do if you could get your every wish fulfilled?  The eventual outcome of who is behind Need is very believable and satisfying, if not a bit scary in its realistic nature.  Fans of The Testing will enjoy this new book from the same author.


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