Tag Archives: mystery

Shine by Lauren Myracle

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Guys, I survived reading my first young-adult book as an adult! No English teachers or professors pelted me with stones and no one called me out in the middle of the street! Whew.

Anyway, Shine details the story of sixteen-year-old Cat and the hate crime against her former best friend Patrick. Cat stopped talking to Patrick – along with everyone else at her high school – after an incident involving another boy two years ago. But when Patrick is found brutally beaten to the point of comatose and the police blame it on out-of-town college students, Cat sets out to uncover the truth. On her journey she confronts small town gossip, dangerous drugs, a college boy named Jason, and a startling discovery concerning Patrick’s near-fatal encounter.

Lauren Myracle writes a mystery with Shine. Continue reading

Advertisement

4 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

On the surface level, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is about the death of a girl’s best friend. But, because that would be too easy, it’s much deeper. Vera Dietz, the girl in question, has spent a solid portion of her life in love with Charlie Khan – the same boy she hung out with when she was a kid. Then high school happens, and their relationship takes a turn for the worse. Vera comes to hate Charlie; however, when Charlie dies in a devastating way, will she be willing to clear his name?

Please Ignore Vera Dietz isn’t an easy read. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Things I need to find out about my future partner before I marry him: 1) If he can get rid of bugs for me, 2) If he’s a super crazy psychopath who will kill me in my sleep.

Gone Girl starts out as a simple story about Nick and Amy Dunne, the average married couple gearing up for their fifth anniversary. Conflict arises when Amy goes missing and the media accuses Nick of kidnapping and murdering her. The investigation takes a turn for the worse when clues are found that implicate certain individuals and reveal ugly truths about others. As the story progresses it turns out that our average husband and wife may be more twisted than we imagined… Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

“It was one of those moments when you’re waiting on someone to say something important or funny or just do anything to break you away from the sad thoughts that overwhelm your mind. Thoughts like never having enough money to move away or not getting into college. Thoughts like having to come back to take care of a sick parent and getting stuck here all over again. That’s what happened in Lily. People dreamed. People left. And they all came back.”

Winner of the Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature and the William C. Morris Debut Award, Where Things Come Back didn’t blow me away. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time revolves around Christopher, an autistic teen who discovers his neighbor’s dead dog one night. He is a genius in that he knows all of the prime numbers up to 7,057 and can solve logic puzzles quickly and efficiently; however, he can’t stand the colors yellow or brown or the thought of different foods touching on his plate. As Chris investigates the death of the neighborhood dog, he stumbles upon something that may change his life.

I loved how Mark Haddon maintained the consistency of Christopher’s voice and how he didn’t sacrifice the integrity of his character to make him any more likable. Continue reading

15 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

“When this is all over I’m going to found an association called ‘The Knights of the Idiotic Table,’ and its purpose will be to arrange an annual dinner where we all tell stories about Lisbeth Salander. You’re all members.”

The final installment in the intense Millennium series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest does not disappoint. Suffering from severe injuries, the infamous Lisbeth Salander has landed herself in the hospital. She faces several criminal charges and will need all of her skill to circumnavigate the forces against her. Luckily, Blomkvist, Berger, and others are fighting on her side – even when they have issues of equal or greater danger to deal with on their own. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Rating: 2/5 stars.

“You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile.”

Well, that’s depressing.

I actually thought that while reading most of the novel. Either something along the lines of “well, that’s depressing” or “oh my gosh, so much violence.” There is definitely a reason the book is titled Fight Club.

And the book should be depressing, as it deals with heavy and unpleasant topics such as excessive materialism, lack of individualism, and deindividuation. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under 2 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

I know how it feels like to be scared before going to sleep. One time I noticed a deadly looking fly in my bedroom but neglected to kill remove it – I spent the entire night afraid that the dreaded being would attack me as I lay defenseless in my covers.

Christine has it much worse. She forgets everything when she sleeps. After waking up, she doesn’t remember anything about herself. She is shocked to see her aged body in the mirror, and shocked to see that she’s married to a middle-aged man named Ben. As she struggles to recall the truth about the incident that led to her memory loss, Christine faces a force that could result in much worse than her forgetting her life… she could lose it entirely.

Before I Go to Sleep was certainly a thrill ride of a novel. I didn’t want to put it down, and I didn’t put it down. S.J. Watson cleverly utilized the diary method of narrating so that readers learn of events that occurred in the past concurrently as Christine does. The sheer suspense of the story pardons the slight implausibility of the plot.

At times Christine came off as personality-less, but then I remembered that she has no foundation to foster an identity besides her diary – which made me feel sorry for her. I think the end of the book may disappoint some people who possess high expectations of it, although it satisfied me and left me with that awesome tingly sensation you feel after an adrenaline high (no, I’m not talking about drugs…)

Anyway, if you’re looking for a pure psychological thriller at its finest, I would recommend Before I Go to Sleep. If you’re searching for something more sophisticated, I would skip this one.

2 Comments

Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Rating: 3/5 stars.

My summer assignment for my AP US History class was to read and annotate The Devil in the White City. If I hadn’t had to take extensive notes on the historical aspects of this novel I might’ve liked it more, but, oh well.

Not to say that the history was trivial or erroneous. Rather, it was how Erik Larson conveyed the historical facts that bored me. The book is literally split into two stories: a group of architects building Chicago’s World Fair, and a serial killer that goes by the name of Holmes who murders women and children as they come to see the fair. The chapters alternate between following Daniel Burnham, the man in charge of the fair’s construction, and Holmes. The separated structure didn’t sell the story well as I trudged through the parts pertaining to the fair while looking forward to reading more about Holmes. This book would have benefited from intertwining the two plots – which it did toward the end, briefly.

I liked The Devil in the White City, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who doesn’t like learning about history.

Leave a comment

Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2/5 stars.

Yesterday I ordered an orange mango smoothie from Starbucks. I expected to enjoy it – after all, I like oranges, mangoes, and smoothies. Yet when I tried the drink in its entirety I almost spit. That’s sort of like what happened with Forgotten, minus the spit.

Forgotten possessed a plethora of potential. It’s realistic fiction with a paranormal touch, including a love interest and a mystery. The book had so much promise, but failed to deliver any punch.

Cat Patrick’s prose is good. Too good, in a way. It reminded me of a one-note song that takes a minute to learn on the piano – simple and effortless, but lacking depth and variety. After reading the first chapter I felt like I was reading recycled copies of the same writing over and over.

I had the same issue with the characters. Don’t get me wrong, I like ordinary protagonists. But to me, there’s a clear difference between ordinary and plain boring. London landed on the latter. And while the romance between London and Luke was cute, it was also monotonous: okay London, I get it, he’s attractive. What about his personality? Does he have a personality?

The plot. Egad, the plot. There were so many holes and inconsistencies that by the end of the book I wanted to scream. The worst part is that Cat Patrick could have made Forgotten amazing – like I said earlier, this book and the idea of London’s somewhat amnesia had gargantuan potential. Patrick just didn’t do anything with it.

I suppose the ending could qualify as a “shocker”, but I was too glad the book was over to care. It’s a good thing that this book is a fast and easy read, otherwise, I don’t know if I would have finished it.

If you’ve been following me or reading my reviews for some time you probably know that it’s not often I write a negative review. It’s not something I like doing, but I have to be honest – Forgotten is a forgettable read, and a book I’ll be glad to have out of my memory. Sorry.

2 Comments

Filed under 2 stars, Book Reviews, Books