Book Review

All These Bodies by Kendare Blake [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: All These Bodies

Author: Kendare Blake

Publisher: Quill Tree

Publish Date: September 21, 2021

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

All These Bodies by Kendare Blake

BOOK BLURB

Summer 1958. A gruesome killer plagues the Midwest, leaving behind a trail of bodies completely drained of blood. 

Michael Jensen, an aspiring journalist whose father happens to be the town sheriff, never imagined that the Bloodless Murders would come to his backyard. Not until the night the Carlson family was found murdered in their home. Marie Catherine Hale, a diminutive fifteen-year-old, was discovered at the scene—covered in blood. She is the sole suspect in custody.

Michael didn’t think that he would be part of the investigation, but he is pulled in when Marie decides that he is the only one she will confess to. As Marie recounts her version of the story, it falls to Michael to find the truth: What really happened the night that the Carlsons were killed? And how did one girl wind up in the middle of all these bodies?


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

A series of murders that leaves the victim’s bodies drained of blood. Another gruesome murder, but this time a teen girl is found at the scene. At first, she appears to be a victim, but she is soon the suspect. A teen boy who aspires to be a journalist, and is the sheriff’s son, is the only one she will talk to.

All These Bodies is a young adult novel that combines historical fiction, mystery, and horror. The story is told from the boy’s point of view, and he’s not the best interrogated to find out what really happened.

A slow burning novel. Fans of true crime and horror are likely to enjoy All These Bodies.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review

Litani by Jess Lourey [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: Litani

Author: Jess Lourey

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publish Date: October 19, 2021

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Litani by Jess Lourey

BOOK BLURB

In the summer of ’84, fourteen-year-old Frankie Jubilee is shuttled off to Litani, Minnesota, to live with her estranged mother, a county prosecutor she barely knows. From the start, Frankie senses something uneasy going on in the small town. The locals whisper about The Game, and her mother warns her to stay out of the woods and away from adults.

When a bullying gang of girls invites Frankie to The Game, she accepts, determined to find out what’s really going on in Litani. She’s not the only one becoming paranoid. Hysteria burns through the community. Dark secrets emerge. And Frankie fears that, even in the bright light of day, she might be living among monsters.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Set in the early 1980s, a teen moves the small town of Litani to live in with her estranged mother. Frankie is fourteen-years-old, recently lost her father, and is not happy to be living in Litani. Her mother is a busy prosecutor, and Frankie has time on her own to learn about her new town. She soon realizes something is off about Litani.

Frankie is a smart girl. She’s a young teen, with a lot going against her, but she knows to listen to her gut. As she learns more about the people in Litani, Frankie knows things are not right. As Frankie meets other teens, she soon learns exactly how disturbing things are in the small community.

An intense story about a satanic cult preying on children. A dark and atmospheric novel inspired by true events.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Jess Lourey:
  1. Unspeakable Things
  2. Bloodline
  3. Litani
Book Review

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: Two Can Keep a Secret

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publish Date: January 8, 2019

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

BOOK BLURB

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone has declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Twins Ellery and Ezra move to Echo Ridge to live with their grandmother. They’ve never been to the small town, but they’ve heard about it. When their aunt was a teenager, she went missing from there. Then, five years ago, the homecoming queen was killed. Before the twins even get settled in their new town, someone starts threatening the newest homecoming court.

Told using the alternating points of view of Ellery and Malcolm. Ellery is not happy with the move to Echo Ridge. She has a hard time adjusting to the new town and finding where she fits in. Ellery loves true crime, and soon becomes interested in the town’s past mysteries. Malcolm’s a decent teen with a sordid connection – his brother was the prime suspect in the death of the homecoming queen five years earlier. For that reason, Malcolm feels like people judge him and expect the worst.

Ellery and Malcolm hit it off, and are soon working together to solve the local mysteries. As Ellery tries to discover who is behind the current threats, she learns of her family’s connections to various town residents. It seems everyone has secrets.

A solid YA mystery with intriguing characters. Fast-paced, compelling, and entertaining.

Books by Karen M. McManus:
  1. One of Us Is Lying
  2. Two Can Keep a Secret
  3. One of Us Is Next
  4. The Cousins
  5. You’ll Be the Death of Me
Book Review

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: Vanishing Girls

Author: Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publish Date: March 10, 2015

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

BOOK BLURB

Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged.

When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked.

Now, Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.

In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Two sisters, Nicola (Nick) and Dara, were once best friends. As teenagers, their relationship has become strained, and it is forever changed after a terrible car accident.

This story is told using alternating timelines – before the accident (“then”) and after the accident (“now”). The story is also told using multiple points of view – Nick’s POV, Dara’s POV, random news reports, and entries from Dara’s diary. I found the hopping around to be a bit jarring. It wasn’t hard to follow the story, but it didn’t flow well.

The “then” part of the story deals with the sisters crumbling relationship, which has to do with a boy. Nick’s best friend is a guy, and Dara goes after him. Not cool. The “now” part continues to deal with the sister’s relationship, but also involves a young missing girl. When Dara goes missing too, Nick believes it has something to do with the other missing girl.

A dark story with a twisty ending. I read this in one sitting, so it was a compelling read, but it was also awkward. Mainly, it was too disjointed with the jumping narrative. I’ve enjoyed other books by Lauren Oliver, and will continue to read her work, but this isn’t one of my favorites by her.

Book Review

What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards [Book Review]

Book Review

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BOOK INFO

Title: What You Hide

Author: Natalie D. Richards

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publish Date: December 4, 2018

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 3/5

What You Hide by Natalie D. Richards

BOOK BLURB

Mallory didn’t want to leave home, but it wasn’t safe to stay. So she sleeps at her best friend’s house and spends the rest of her time at the library, doing her online schoolwork and figuring out what comes next. Because she’s not going live in fear like her mother.

Spencer volunteers at the library. Sure, it’s community service for a stunt he pulled, but he likes the work. And it’s the perfect escape from his parents’ pressure to excel at school, at ice hockey, at everything. Especially after he meets Mallory.

Then there is a tragic death at the library. Suddenly, what was once a sanctuary turns sinister. Ghostly footprints, strange scratching sounds, scrawled messages on bulletin boards and walls… Mallory and Spencer don’t know who or what is responsible, but one thing is for sure:

They are not as alone—or as safe—as they thought.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Mallory is sixteen and has a difficult home life. Her stepfather is controlling, and a little disturbing. She wants to get her and her mother away from him, but it’s hard to convince her mom to leave. Mallory decides to go on her own, and ends up being homeless while she spends her nights with friends and her days at the library. Spencer, also a teenager, comes from an affluent family, but still feels lost and unsure about his future. He’s a little rebellious, and, after getting into some trouble, ends up doing community service at the library. When he meets Mallory, he is immediately drawn to her.

What You Hide is told from the alternating viewpoints of Mallory and Spencer. Both are struggling with personal issues in their lives – Mallory has a troubled home life and Spencer feels pressure from his family about his future. They are from completely different backgrounds, but are attracted to one another.

What You Hide is a contemporary young adult novel with a little romance and suspense. The two main characters are clearly drawn to each other, but, of course, things are complicated. The suspense part deals with happenings at the library. After a mysterious death at the library, strange events start occurring. Someone is leaving messages around the library, unknown footprints are found throughout the library, and occasionally strange sounds are heard. Mallory and Spencer both encounter some of these strange events, and are curious as to who could be behind them and why.

This YA book combines romance and mystery in an interesting coming of age story. The main characters are very different – Mallory is homeless and struggling, Spencer is rich and privileged. This is a light read with some darker elements. I enjoyed the coming of age story, but the mystery wasn’t gripping.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review

Sadie by Courtney Summers [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: Sadie

Author: Courtney Summers

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publish Date: September 4, 2018

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 5/5

Sadie by Courtney Summers

BOOK BLURB

When popular radio personality West McCray receives a desperate phone call from a stranger imploring him to find nineteen-year-old runaway Sadie Hunter, he’s not convinced there’s a story there; girls go missing all the time. But when it’s revealed that Sadie fled home after the brutal murder of her little sister, Mattie, West travels to the small town of Cold Creek, Colorado, to uncover what happened.

Sadie has no idea that her journey to avenge her sister will soon become the subject of a blockbuster podcast. Armed with a switchblade, Sadie follows meager clues hoping they’ll lead to the man who took Mattie’s life, because she’s determined to make him pay with his own. But as West traces her path to the darkest, most dangerous corners of big cities and small towns, a deeply unsettling mystery begins to unfold—one that’s bigger than them both. Can he find Sadie before it’s too late?

Alternating between Sadie’s unflinching voice as she hunts the killer and the podcast transcripts tracking the clues she’s left behind, Sadie is a breathless thriller about the lengths we go to protect the ones we love and the high price we pay when we can’t. It will haunt you long after you reach the final page.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Sadie’s younger sister Mattie is found dead. Sadie loves her sister more than anyone else in her life, and she’s determined to find and kill the man responsible for Mattie’s death. Sadie goes in search of the man, but she doesn’t tell anyone what she is doing. When Sadie is not heard from, she is reported missing. West is a man with a podcast, and when he hears about Sadie and Mattie, he starts looking into Sadie’s disappearance. As he looks for Sadie, he interviews the different people that she encountered after leaving home.

This book uses Sadie’s point of view and West’s podcasts to tell the story. Sadie’s POV tells about her experience with the people she encounters on her journey. The podcast includes West’s interviews with people from Sadie’s hometown and the people she meets after leaving home. Using the information he gathers about Sadie, West tries to find her. His podcast follows Sadie’s story several months after she is reported missing. I’ve read a few books that use a podcast to tell the story, and have found it an intriguing way to tell a story.

Sadie and Mattie have a difficult childhood. Their mother is a drug addict and leaves when they are still young, but Sadie takes it upon herself to provide for her and her sister. The only adult in their lives is their neighbor, who has known the girls their entire lives and does what she can to help them out.

Sadie is stubborn, independent, and loving. I was rooting for her the entire time. Sadie’s life is an unhappy one, and that makes for a very emotional read.

Sadie is considered a young adult novel, but it read almost as an adult novel. Some difficult topics are covered, including pedophilia, sexual abuse, child abuse, and poverty. Heartbreaking, dark, and tragic.

Book Review

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas [Book Review]

Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read my Disclosure Policy,


BOOK INFO

Title: The Cheerleaders

Author: Kara Thomas

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publish Date: July 31, 2018

Genre: YA Mystery

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

BOOK BLURB

There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident–two girls dead after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know his reasons. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they’d lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget.

Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow, Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.


Purchase Links: Amazon


MY REVIEW

Most of the story is told from Monica’s point of view. She is a teen troubled by the loss of her older sister five years earlier. Monica is sixteen years old and facing typical teen issues, but also some not so typical issues. This novel takes on some difficult topics, such as abortion, depression, suicide, and drugs.

This is a dark, and sometimes depressing, mystery. The deaths were all suspicious. The first two cheerleaders to die were killed in a car accident, but there were some questions concerning the cause of the accident. The next two girls to die were killed by a neighbor. Unfortunately, the police killed the neighbor before a motive was ever determined. The last death was Monica’s sister, Jennifer. She killed herself, but Monica thinks there was more to that story than she was ever told.

I’m a fan of young adult novels, and since I’ve always been drawn to mysteries and thrillers, this one seemed like a perfect fit. I did enjoy some parts of the novel, but some parts didn’t pull me in. The overall story is complex and intriguing. I kept guessing as to who was behind the deaths, so the story did deliver in that area. Due to the darker storyline, this book is more geared toward older teens, but also an interesting read for adults. Complex, dark, and twisty.