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: 323
First in a trilogy
Charlaina of “Charlie” lives in a society where every caste has its own language. Englaise is the universal language everyone speaks, but her family belongs to the serving class and they have a language. The elites has a language as well. If anyone is in the presence of someone speaking a language they do not know they are required by law to drop their eyes out of respect. Charlie has been able to read, write, and understand all languages since she can remember and her parents are very fearful due to this ability. If it were ever discovered she could understand all of these languages it could be considered treason and their queen has publicly hanged people for much less. She has kept her secret hidden from even her best friends until one day she accidentally looks at someone in a dance club speaking a language she has never heard before. He begins to suspect she is “the one” the queen is looking for and starts tracking her movements. Can Charlie trust him? Can she trust anyone? Why is the queen looking desperately looking for the next female relative in her otherwise male dominated bloodline?
Fans of futuristic series such as Divergent, Cinder, and Red Queen will enjoy this trilogy. The use of languages to represent status is a new detail in this story and makes it an unusual but interesting talent for Charlie to have. The queen is every bit as evil as many of the villains of other futuristic stories, but her purpose for seeking Charlie out is very different than readers will have seen before. Her friends, family, and allies make for interesting and well developed characters to help Charlie navigate her role in her country’s future.
# 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.
Genre: Romance/Realistic Fiction
# of Pages: 343
Emmy and Oliver were best friends as young children because they lived next door to each other. Then, one day Oliver’s dad kidnapped him after school and life was never the same for either of them. Oliver moved around quite a bit with his father and was led to believe his mother did not want him anymore. Emmy’s parents responded by becoming very overprotective and barely letting her out of their sight. At the beginning of Emmy’s senior year she hears the news she has both wanted and dreaded: Oliver has been found. What will he be like? Will he remember her? Will they still be friends? How will this change everything yet again?
This book was very enjoyable and properly explores the difficulties for both Emmy and Oliver surviving an ordeal like this. Oliver’s emotional health is probably not discussed in as much length as would be realistic, but it is also told through Emmy’s perspective so she wouldn’t necessarily know everything he’s going through. The events of the story eventually build to a head and are resolved very acceptably. The story has an interesting concept, but does not rely on that and instead relies on the fulfilling development of the characters to truly carry the story. Fans of Sarah Dessen will enjoy this title.
# 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.
Genre: Romance/Realistic Fiction
# of pages: 438
Cather does not like to go out drinking like most college freshmen she knows. Instead, she likes to stay in and write fan fiction for a fantasy series she is obsessed with. Meanwhile, her identical twin has tried very hard to distance herself from Cath so that they can start anew in college. Cath slowly assimilates to college including getting used to her unusual roommate and her friendly male friend who seems to be in Cath’s room a lot. There is a fair share of drama in Cath’s life (including a father who is struggling with his new empty nest), but the one thing that always balances things out is her love of writing, which is why she’s so excited for her fiction writing class. Unfortunately, even that does not go exactly as planned…
Fans of John Green or any of Rainbow Rowell’s other books will become obsessed with these characters. The story is interesting enough, but it’s the characters that make it hard to put this one down. Cath is very relatable to anyone who’s ever been new to a place and trying to find your way. She has trouble knowing who to confide in, who to trust, and who to run from. Eventually she starts gaining more confidence in her new life and starts making proactive choices instead of reactive ones. It’s a very compelling coming of age story that will leave readers wanting more.