Review: Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

Dead Ringer by Jessie RosenDead Ringer
Jessie Rosen
Full Fathom Five

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When Laura Rivers arrives at her new school in a small East Coast town, she’s not prepared for the fear-stricken looks from the other students. A little searching reveals the reason: Laura looks just like a girl who died last year. Though the death was reported as a suicide, a mysterious hacker keeps sending notes reminding Laura’s boyfriend of the fateful night. Notes that indicate Charlie and his friends keep a secret between them, one they tried to bury the night Sarah died. As the hacker closes in on revealing the truth, Laura struggles to determine who Charlie really is: the monster Sarah believed him to … Continue reading

Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer DonnellyThese Shallow Graves
Jennifer Donnelly
Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s

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When news of Jo’s father’s sudden death rips her away from school, she returns home to her grieving family. Unable to accept the story that her father accidentally shot himself, she teams up with Eddie, a local reporter who worked for her father’s paper, to uncover the truth about his death. As each clue leads to more questions, Jo and Eddie quickly realize that the uncovering the truth could destroy everything her father once built. Jo also realizes she may be falling for the handsome reporter, but to surrender to her feelings would mean turning her back on her family.

I first fell … Continue reading

Review: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay KristoffIlluminae
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Random House Children’s Books/Knopf Books for Young Readers

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I’m going to pull the marketing copy from Goodreads because honestly, I won’t be able to come up with anything to the story better justice:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely … Continue reading

Review: The Dredge by Jaimie Engle

The Dredge by Jaimie EngleThe Dredge
Jaimie Engle

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Crushed under the powerful Regime, Marrok and his mother slide deeper into poverty. Driven by a strange vision, Marrok spends the last of his money on a bet that’s beyond a long shot. And then wins. But what seems like his salvation soon becomes his worst nightmare. Ambrosia, a mysterious woman who leads a resistance network, knows about Marrok’s power and believes he has come to save them from the terror of the Regime. Ambrosia isn’t the only one interested in Marrok, though. He feels powerfully drawn to Chantelle, a girl he meets in the gambling hall. It isn’t long before she’s saved his life, more than once. When the Regime closes … Continue reading

Review: As White as Snow by Salla Simukka

As White as Snow by Salla SimukkaAs White as Snow by Salla Simukka
Translated from Finnish by Owen F. Witesman
Skyscape/Amazon

After risking her life to bring down a crime ring in Finland, seventeen year-old Lumikki retreats to the anonymous streets of Prague, hoping to find a little peace. Instead she finds a young woman claiming to be her long-lost sister whose life may be in danger. Even though she finds the girl’s story suspicious, Lumikki can’t turn her back on the girl and the mystery surrounding her.

Some elements – an investigative reporter working to uncover a far-reaching scandal aided by a brilliant but odd girl – may remind readers of Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Yet despite the drama and suspense, the story’s pace chokes on pointless flashbacks … Continue reading

Review: Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn BarnesKiller Instinct (The Naturals #2)
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Hyperion

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Seventeen year-old Cassie Hobbes and her friends possess unique gifts that have landed them on a secret FBI team that solves tough cases. Their last case called the whole project into question, and now, just when Cassie and the others desperately need a case to focus on, it looks like they might get benched.

But when a new killer emerges and leaves behind a trail of crime scenes all too familiar, authorities turn to Cassie’s team for answers. The killer mimics team member Dean’s father, who’s still behind bars on his own murder convictions. As the team investigates, Cassie and Dean’s relationship shifts, but the … Continue reading

Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin TerrillAll Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Disney Hyperion

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The walls of her tiny prison cell and the soothing voice of the boy in the cell next to hers make up Em’s world. She waits, dreading the moment the doctor will come again, because she knows he’ll use whatever means necessary to force her to reveal the location of coveted documents. When Em finds a message hidden in the cell’s drain, she knows following the instructions are the only way she can be free. She must find a way to kill the doctor and prevent the creation of the time machine that will destroy the world as she knows it.

As Marina prepares to attend a … Continue reading

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversGrave Mercy
Robin LaFevers
HMH Books for Young Readers

A strange birthmark spares Ismae from an arranged marriage with a cruel man, but thrusts her into the power of the sisters at the convent of St. Mortain. There, Ismae discovers she’s been gifted with great power. To understand her potential, she must embrace the training offered by the mysterious sisters. If Ismae agrees, they will teach her the arts of murder and seduction, so that she can be sent out into the world to bring the justice of an old god: Mortain, the god of death. When an opportunity arrives for Ismae to serve the young duchess of Brittany who faces an arranged marriage of her own, Ismae can’t help but accept, remembering her own past.

Determined to … Continue reading

Review: When Did You See Her Last by Lemony Snicket

When Did You See Her Last by Lemony SnicketWhen Did You See Her Last?
Lemony Snicket
Little Brown

In an account of his second “wrong question,” detective’s apprentice Lemony Snicket investigates the disappearance of a young brilliant chemist. With the help of his wacky chaperone, an aspiring journalist and two boys who work together operating a taxi, Snicket uncovers a tangled plot stretching far beyond the simple disappearance of a girl. Far away, his sister faces her own trials, and Snicket laments not being able to help her. Could it all be connected to the vicious Hangfire and his evil plot?

Once again, author Lemony Snicket charms readers with tongue-in-cheek narrative and a hilarious cast of characters. Snicket challenges readers’ vocabulary by including complex words and often defining them within the narrative. … Continue reading

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina by Rachel HartmanSeraphina
Rachel Hartman
Random House
Published in 2013

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Seraphina has lived a carefully unnoticed life. Even as a talented musician, she’s always avoided the spotlight in order to protect a terrible secret that, if discovered, will threaten her life and that of her family.

When a prince of Goredd is murdered, rumors circulate that a dragon is the culprit. These rumors threaten the uneasy peace between humans and dragons. Drawn into the murder investigation, Seraphina helps the handsome captain of the guard, Prince Lucien, to bring the killer to justice.

Seraphina’s quick thinking and easy lying has always protected … Continue reading

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