The Broken Girls

📓 The Broken Girls is a suspenseful, ghostly, mystery novel about two murders that took place at a girl’s boarding school. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review. This review is spoiler-free 📚 😌

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Title: The Broken Girls

Author: Simone St. James

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Ghost Story

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

Date published: March 20th, 2018

Page Count: 336 pages

 

 

synopsis

“A suspense novel from the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare…

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .The Broken Girls: Goodreads

 

My Review

The Broken Girls tells the story of a journalist named Fiona trying to uncover the truth about her older sister’s murder. Followed by the ghost of Mary Hand, Fiona uncovers the tragic story of Sonia, a student at Idlewild Hall boarding school in Vermont.

Some of the creepy Mary Hand ghost parts left me on the edge of my seat, all of my senses heightened in fear of hearing tapping on the window and the voice of a girl asking to come in. I enjoyed the Gothic feel to this read. The Broken Girls is a character-driven story, leaning more towards mystery than thriller. Idlewild Hall, looming over many souls for over a hundred years, was a character on its own.

There were some facts repeated multiple times which makes me feel like the author thinks I’m not smart enough to remember that particular fact after it’s mentioned the first or second time. We are also given a character description when she looks in the mirror. This info could have been woven into the story elsewhere (and it was, multiple times). The whole journalist dating a cop thing was a predictable relationship. For me, there was a lot going on, and maybe some editing could have made this a five-star read.

Chilling, unpredictable page-turner about overcoming hardships and the power of truth. I suggest this one to mystery fans who like a dollop of supernatural with a big spoonful of romance.

About the author.jpg

Simone St. James is the award-winning author of The Haunting of Maddy Clare, which won two RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and a spoiled cat.

http://www.simonestjames.com/

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The Man Who Died #Thriller #BookReview #SpoilerFree #Themanwhodied #Netgalley

📓 I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.  📚 😌

The man who died

Title: The Man Who Died

Author: AnttiTuomainen

Translated from Finnish by David Hackston

Genre: Adult Mystery/Thriller

Publisher: Orenda Books

Date published: May 1st, 2018

Page Count: 245

 

 

synopsis

“A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists.

With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, marking a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.” Goodreads

 

My Review

Setting: Hamina, Finland

 

Jaakko Kaunismaa: CEO of mushroom business. After finding out he is dying, he walked in on his wife cheating on him with one of his employees. Jaakko suspects his wife, Taina, she is poisoning him and decides to embark on an investigation to discover the truth. I often found myself chuckling to Jaakko’s dark sense of humor.

The other characters were pretty boring for me and lacked personality. This story focused more on plot than characters, which is often the case for thrillers. I couldn’t put it down and read it quickly. I just HAD to know if his wife was trying to kill him, what the guys from the new mushroom company were up to, and if the cop would figure out what Jaakko’s been up to.

The Man Who Died is a dark, odd, funny thriller about a quirky mushroom business man.

“Finnish author Tuomainen has come up with an irresistible crime comedy caper /…/ More than just a whodunit, but a gripping tale of self-loathing, investigation and desperate floundering /…/ Both a thriller and a dark laugh a minute journey that will keep you hanging on to the end. The story of a man investigating his own death has been done before but not with such gusto. ” – Crime Time (UK)

About the author.jpg

“Antti Tuomainen is the award-winning author of seven novels: A Killer I Wish, My Brother’s Keeper, The Healer, Dark as My Heart, The Mine, The Man Who Died and his latest – Palm Beach Finland. He has been called ‘The King of Helsinki Noir’ by the Finnish press and his writing has garnered attention worldwide.

In 2011 his third novel The Healer was awarded the Clue Award for Best Finnish Crime Novel and has subsequently been published in 27 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil, China, Iceland, Turkey and Greece, among others.

His fourth novel Dark as My Heart was optioned for feature film in 2013 and is in development at Making Movies Ltd., the production company behind the Finnish film sensation Black Ice. Dark as My Heart has been voted the best crime novel of the past decade by the readers of a Finnish crime fiction magazine. The novel was also nominated for the prestigious Petrona-prize in the UK in 2016.

His sixth novel The Man Who Died was published in Finland in September 2016. The novel has been optioned by Finnish production company Luminoir and is currently in development for feature film. Publishing rights for The Man Who Died have been sold to the UK, France and Germany, among others.

Antti’s seventh novel, titled Palm Beach Finland was published in September 2017 in Finland.

Antti has been a featured guest on numerous literary festivals, events, panels and book tours in the UK, Germany, France, the United States, Spain, Italy, Romania, Iceland, Norway, Hong Kong and Northern Ireland.

Antti was born in Helsinki, Finland where he lives with his wife. In addition to novels, he also writes short stories and magazine articles. You can find him easily on Facebook and he will be happy to hear from you.”

http://anttituomainen.com/

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) #BookReview #SpoilerFree

Crooked Kingdom, the conclusion to the Six of Crows duology, is an epic Fantasy novel that has the magic of Harry Potter and Sword of Truth, mixed with the friendships of The Lord of the Rings, the adventure of The Wheel of Time, and the sneaky, twisty plot of Game of Thrones. 📚

Crooked Kingdom

 

Title: Crooked Kingdom

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, LGBTQ

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Date published: Sept 2016

Page Count: 546

 

 

synopsis

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.”

My Review

photography – READING UNDER THE RAIN

After hearing I didn’t need to read the Grisha Verse trilogy before reading Six of Crows, I decided to go ahead and give it a go. The first book of the duology, Six of Crows, was great, but Crooked Kingdom mashed together everything I love about all my favorite books.

Let’s start by talking about the beautiful cover, and unique red pages which clearly represent bloodshed and love. The maps at the beginning of the book help immerse the reader into this world. Crooked Kingdom is divided into six parts: Forsaken, A Killing Wind, Brick By Brick, The Unexpected Visitor, Kings & Queens, and Action & Echo.

Mohammed Arabey’s review of Crooked Kingdom

Angela Jones-Cuéllar on Twitter: "I'm so pumped for ...

Crooked Kingdom starts one month after Kaz Brekker and his crew left Djerholm. They have been back in Ketterdam, a city on Kerch island, for a week. Told with multiple perspectives, I enjoyed learning more about each character through another’s eyes.

The Six of Crows

Kaz Brekker, 17 year-old gang member of The Dregs, ruthless, resourceful, devious Leader of the Six of Crows, focused on getting revenge against Van Eck and Pekka Rollins. I love his witty sarcasm: “It was that or snap her neck and make it look like she fell down the stairs, Wylan. I think I showed remarkable restraint.”

 

 

 

 

 

Inej: 16-year-old tenacious, talented, and nicknamed the Wraith. She has a strong connection to her Suli heritage. To one of her captors, also a Suli, she said, “You are forsaken. As you have turned your back on me, so will they turn their backs on you.”

 

 

 

 

Jesper: 17-year-old carefree, comical, Grisha sharpshooter with a gambling addiction. Crooked Kingdom gives us Jesper’s heart-breaking story of losing his mother as a child. He moved to Kerch to study at University, but was drawn to the other part of town where he met Kaz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nina: 17-year-old confident, beautiful, Grisha Heartrender. In Six of Crows, Nina was able to make Wylan look like Kuwei by using jurda parem, an addictive drug that boosts a Grisha’s power. The withdrawal from the drug almost took her life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthias: 18-year-old big, tough, former Grisha hunter, in love with Nina. She helped open his mind so he could better understand the good of Grisha abilities. He helped her through the jurda withdrawal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wylan: Van Eck’s 16-year-old son, illiterate, with exceptional demolition skills. His father tried to have him killed, he ran away and joined the Six of Crows.

 

 

 

 

 

Other Characters
Van Eck: powerful, Ketterdam mercher (Wylan’s father).

Pekka Rollins: leader of the Dime Lions (another gang in Ketterdam) who swindled Kaz and his brother Jordie when they were new to the city.

Kuwei: Grisha Inferni. His father helped to create jurda parem, a powerful drug that enhances Grisha power, and now that his father is dead everyone wants to know where Kuwei is so they can gain access to the recipe.

Colm Fahey: Jesper’s father, jurda farmer.

Throughout Six of Crows I struggled to care about Wylan. Crooked Kingdom gave me everything I needed to add him to my long list of favorite characters. We get to see just how horrible his father treated him and it broke my heart.

“The letters from his father continued to arrive, once, sometimes twice a week. Wylan didn’t know what to make of them. Were they threats? Taunts? He stashed them in a stack beneath his mattress, and sometimes at night he thought he could feel the ink bleeding through the pages, up through the mattress and into his heart like dark poison.”

I will also admit that I wasn’t a fan of Kaz after reading the first book. Crooked Kingdom unveiled a new Kaz that I fell for.

“He was going to break my legs ,” she said, her chin held high, the barest quaver in her voice. “Would you have come for me then, Kaz? When I couldn’t scale a wall or walk a tightrope? When I wasn’t the Wraith anymore?”
Dirtyhands would not. The boy who could get them through this, get their money, keep them alive, would do her the courtesy of putting her out of her misery, then cut his losses and move on.
“I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together—knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

Jesper + Wylan ♥ I love how Bardugo wrote about the attraction between Jesper and Wylan. It’s always refreshing to see LGBTQ representation in popular Young Adult books.

My one and only complaint is that there was too much romance for me. Nina + Matthias, Wylan + Jesper, Inej + Kaz…did they really need to pair up romantically? However, they are a group of teenagers, so it is realistic for them to pair up I suppose.

Quotes

“Sometimes,” said Kaz, “a proper thief doesn’t just take. He leaves something behind.”

“When fear arrives, something is about to happen.” – Inej

Suspenseful, surprising, and filled with action, Crooked Kingdom weaves important topics such as race, freedom, and slavery within a story that will keep you thoroughly entertained and leave you heart-broken, but satisfied.

About the author.jpg

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times bestselling and USA Today bestselling author of the Six of Crows Duology and the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, as well as the upcoming Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Aug 2017) and The Language of Thorns (Sept 2017).

She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

http://www.leighbardugo.com/index1.html

https://twitter.com/Lbardugo

Blue Lily, Lily Blue ⚘ (The Raven Cycle Book 3) #BookReview

📓 Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third book of “The Raven Cycle” series by Maggie Stiefvater, is Young Adult Fantasy with a sprinkle of paranormal and magic.  📚 😌

blue lily, lily blue

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal/Magic

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Date published: October 2014

Page Count: 391

 

 

synopsis

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.”

My Review

2,700+ Free Toploader music playlists | 8tracks internet radioThis series takes place in a fictional town, Henrietta, Virginia, on top of an ancient ley line, near a magical forest called Cabeswater. In the previous book, The Dream Thieves, Adam had given himself to the ley line, which helped to restore its power. Adam can now feel and hear Cabeswater, his friend Persephone is teaching him how to communicate with the enchanted forest so he can learn how to repair the ley line, making the mysterious woods strong enough to help their friend Gansey wake the Raven King (Glendower).

THE RAVEN BOYS by itsnucleicacid on DeviantArt

Their friend Ronan is the Greywaren, the Dream Thief, able to bring objects and people back from his dreams. Blue can increase paranormal power. She’s recently discovered that not only can she amplify abilities, she can also block them from being able to use her power. Adam, Gansey, Ronan, and Blue receive help from Noah (ghost friend), Calla, Persephone, Mr. Gray, Dr. Roger Malory, and a few new characters, on their quest to find Blue’s mother, Maura and wake the Glendower.

“How ungrateful they’d become, how greedy for better wonders.”

 I even enjoy the unlikable characters, like Greenmantle’s spoiled wife. I really hated her, but she man she’s hilarious.

Persephone ("the Raven Cycle" by Maggie Stiefvater) #art # ...

 

My favorite character throughout the series is Persephone, followed closely by Adam, Ronan, and Blue. I also enjoyed the new character Jesse Dittley quite a bit. He reminded me of Haggard from Harry Potter. Likewise, I appreciated another new character, Gwenllian, a crazy woman with raven black hair who claims to know Blue’s father Artemus.

 

I am incredibly interested to see what happens between Ronan and Adam.

“Queens and kings
Kings and queens
Blue lily, lily blue
Crowns and birds
Swords and things
Blue lily, lily blue”

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is a driven by a suspenseful plot with fabulous characters. I found myself holding my breath, wanting to read “just one more chapter”, and yes…even shed a tear.

100+ ideas to try about The Raven Boys | Boys, Maggie ...

There isn’t much I disliked. I will say that I am not a Gansey fan. I find him annoying, and not worthy of being the “leader” of their group. I don’t see what Blue sees in him. I also have a problem with how all the characters accept the fact that Mr. Gray murdered people as a hitman, and yet, that doesn’t change the way they feel about him. I don’t get it. Shouldn’t they have a hard time trusting him? What has he done that made them believe he’s become a better person?

Blue Lily, Lily Blue is an imaginative story about friendship that broke my heart. I can’t wait to read the last book of the series, The Raven King.

 

 

Book Review ~ Gemina (Illuminae Files #2)

📓 Gemina, the second book of the Illuminae Files series, is a Young Adult Sci-Fi thriller set in the future that takes place in space. If you haven’t read the first book, be warned –  this review is full of spoilers. 📚 😌 Both books are a compilation of emails, instant messages, security camera footage, pictures, and “regular” narrative.

Gemina

 

Title: Gemina

Author: Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Thriller

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Date published: October 2016

Page Count: 659

 

 

synopsis

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.”

My Review

Survivors of the Kerenza attack on January 29th, 2575 fled aboard the Hypatia, Copernicus, and Alexander. Pursued by the Lincoln, a Beitech Industries spaceship, Hypatia is the only remaining ship. Reaching the Heimdall Jump Station is their only hope to escape and let the rest of the universe know what Beitech has done. According to a comment Jay Kristoff made on Goodreads, Gemina begins 5 minutes after Illuminae ends, 15 days prior to Hypatia’s estimated arrival at the Heimdall Jump Station (home to over 10,000 people).

Mikhail Malikov is the leader of the House of Knives. Living on the Heimdall, he and his nephew, Niklas, inject worm-like creatures into living cow’s brains to create an addictive drug called “dust”. Nik is Hanna Donnelly’s drug dealer. She is the Heimdall‘s commander’s daughter, and is dating the incredibly handsome Jackson Merrick. A highly trained crew hired by Beitech attack the Heimdall, planning to use the jump station to reach Hypatia, destroy all people and evidence of the Kerenza attack.

In a strange turn of events, Hanna and Nik find themselves having to work together to try to save Heimdall and Hypatia.

Hanna is a lot like Kady, the main character from Illuminae. I love reading about smart, bad-ass women like Hanna and Kady. Nik is the bad boy that you’d love to date, Merrick is the guy you introduce to Dad. As you’ve probably guessed Hanna and Nik end up crushing on each other. The slow-burn/romantic triangle is slightly annoying at times, but I was able to put it aside thanks to the relatively fast-moving plot. My FAVORITE character is Nik’s cousin Ella, a genius 15-year-old hacker.

Gemina is a fast-paced, action filled page turning thriller that made me laugh.

I didn’t like that we don’t read about the character’s from Illuminae until the 55% mark. Even though the mixed-media delivery of this novel does make this a fast read for a book with over 600 pages, there is a lot that could have been cut. Even though they are strong, female leads, Hanna and Kady feel like the same character. The way they talk in the emails and instant messages felt like it could be the same person. I also had a hard time believing 18 year olds could outsmart well-trained adult agents.

I rate this one a strong 3.5 stars. Illuminae Files had better characters, Gemina had a better plot, I’m hoping the third book Obsidio will give me both. I would not recommend the e-book version, it just doesn’t work very well with the book format.

In case you’re interested, here’s my review for Illuminae Files.

April TBR [2018]

This month is all about Mysteries, Thrillers, and Fantasies. I highly doubt I’ll get to all of these this month. I’m working on finishing series that I’ve started and haven’t finished LOL Have you read any of these?

 

Some of the best from Tor 2016

 

Some of the Best From Tor.com (2016 Edition)

Published by Tor.com Jan 2017

Fantasy/Science Fiction/Anthology

667 pages

An anthology of 25 of Tor.com’s favorite short stories and novelettes selected from the 57 stories they have published in 2016. These stories were acquired and edited for Tor.com by Ellen Datlow, Ann VanderMeer, Carl Engle-Laird, Liz Gorinsky, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Justin Landon, Diana Pho, and Miriam Weinberg. Each story is accompanied by an original illustration.

The man who died.jpg

The Man Who Died (ARC – May Release)

By Antti Tuomainen

Orenda Books

Adult Fiction/Mystery/Crime/Thriller

245 pages

A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists.

With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a page-turning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, marking a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.”

findyouinthedark

 

Find You in the Dark (ARC – May Release)

By Nathan Ripley

Published by Text Publishing

Adult Fiction/Mystery/Thriller

336 pages

“A chilling debut thriller in the vein of Dexter and The Talented Mr Ripley.

A Note From the Publisher

 

blue lily, lily blue

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle Book 3)

Maggie Stiefvater

Published October 2014 by Scholastic Press

YA Fantasy/Paranormal/Magic

391 pages

Blue Sargent has found things. For the first time in her life, she has friends she can trust, a group to which she can belong. The Raven Boys have taken her in as one of their own. Their problems have become hers, and her problems have become theirs.

The trick with found things, though, is how easily they can be lost.

Friends can betray.
Mothers can disappear.
Visions can mislead.
Certainties can unravel.”

Crooked Kingdom

 

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2)

By Leigh Bardugo

Published Sept 2016 by Orion Children’s Books

YA Fantasy

536 pages

Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Our Dark Duet

 

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2)

By Victoria Schwab

Published June 2017 by Greenwillow Books

YA Fantasy/Paranormal

510 pages

THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?”

Gemina.jpg

 

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2)

By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Published Oct 2016 by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

YA Sci-Fi

659 pages

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.”

 

March Wrap Up [2018]

I read 6 books in March:
1 Middle Grade
1 Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Dystopian
1 Young Adult/Fantasy
3 Contemporary

2123 pages

1 – 🌟🌟🌟

4 – 🌟🌟🌟🌟

1 – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Tournament Trouble

 

Tournament Trouble by Sylv Chiang

🌟🌟🌟

Here’s my review: New Middle Grade Book: Tournament Trouble (Cross Ups Book 1) #BookReview #SpoilerFree #CrossUps #Netgalley

 

 

 

 

 

Children of Daedala

 

Children of Daedala by Caighlan Smith

🌟🌟🌟🌟

Here’s my review: Book Review: Children of Daedala by Caighlan Smith

 

 

 

 

Stray City

 

Stray City by Chelsey Johnson

🌟🌟🌟🌟

Here’s my review: Stray City #bookreview #MarchBookRelease #LGBTQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Note Played

 

 

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

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Here’s my review: Every Note Played #newbook #bookreview

 

 

 

 

 

Whichwoodcover

 

 

Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi

🌟🌟🌟🌟

Here’s my review: Whichwood (Furthermore #2) By Tahereh Mafi #BookReview #SpoilerFree

 

 

 

 

the astonishing color of after

 

The Astonishing Color of After

by Emily X.R. Pan

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Here’s my review: One of the best books I’ve read this year – The Astonishing Color of After #BookReview

Whichwood (Furthermore #2) By Tahereh Mafi #BookReview #SpoilerFree

📓 Whichwood, the sequel to Furthermore, is a Young Adult Fantasy novel about a thirteen year old girl named Laylee who is overwhelmed by her fated task of washing dead bodies before sending them on their journey to Otherwere. Alice and Oliver (two characters from Furthermore) come to help Laylee. 📚 😌

Whichwoodcover

 

Title: Whichwood (Furthermore #2)

Author:  Tahereh Mafi

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Date published: November 2017

Page Count: 368

 

 

synopsis

A new adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore.

Our story begins on a frosty night…

Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.” Goodreads

 

My Review

This dark and tragic story takes place during Winter in a magical city called Whichwood, a mystical place connected by rivers and canals. In Summer residents travel by boat, in Winter they travel by sleigh over ice. The city smells of cinnamon-mint, and all you can hear is music and laughter. A girl named Laylee Layla Fenjoon lives far from the city, unable to hear the melody or feel happiness, she takes her anger out on everyone around her, and must somehow learn how to forgive others and herself.

The main character from Furthermore, Alice, arrives in Whichwood so she can fulfill her task of helping Laylee. I can’t figure out why, but Alice drives me right up the wall. She’s incredibly self-centered and annoying. Oliver’s character was flat and almost completely unnecessary. Laylee’s neighbor, Benyamin, is my favorite character. He’s a thirteen year old boy who’s always covered in insects – and can CONTROL all insects by speaking with them.

If the dead aren’t washed by a mordeshoor within 90 days then their ghost could break away from their body’s location and “steal skins from the first persons they could find”. We are on day 87, 88, and 89 – this fact creates a fantastic feeling of necessity, tension, and excitement that help to make this book a page turner.

I love how we get lots of little details that enrich the five senses. The idea that every mordeshoor is “born with two skeletons: one they wore under their skin, and another they wore on their back” is an outstanding detail that is super creative and unique.

I do have a major beef with the marketing of this book. I don’t think this is a Middle Grade read. Here’s why:

1. Laylee  has some very dark thoughts. “But even the strong and the wise and the ancient have faltered without compassion or companion, and while Baba had madness and Maman had nonsense, Laylee, in their absence, had locked hands with loneliness, darkness feeding darkness until all light was lost.” I know there are children who suffer from depression/anxiety (I was one), but I think there are many young readers who will find Laylee’s thoughts excessively dark.

2. There are some graphic details which I find more suitable for a Young Adult novel than a Middle Grade one. For example, when Laylee pulled the fingernails and toe nails off the dead bodies.

3. TV and movie ratings say that for children aged 7-12 the story can have bloodless violence. Yet, in Whichwood there most certainly is blood, and in fact the book says “a strange and bloody madness awaits”.  This story also has strange physical abnormalities, and self-reflection, which is more suitable for a Young Adult story.

Middle Grade is usually accepted as geared towards children aged 8-12 years old. I strongly feel that Whichwood is not fitting for a child that age. That being said, I REALLY liked this read and give it 4 stars.

Whichwood is a unique, dark tale about pain, depression, anxiety, but also about gratefulness, second chances, and compassion. I recommend this one to fantasy fans older than 15 years old.

About the author.jpg

She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California, where she drinks too much caffeine and finds the weather to be just a little too perfect for her taste.
When unable to find a book, she can be found reading candy wrappers, coupons, and old receipts.” Goodreads