He Will Be My Ruin

He Will Be My Ruin He Will Be My Ruin by K.A. Tucker

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 2/2/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

“A woman who almost had it all . . .
On the surface, Celine Gonzalez had everything a twenty-eight-year-old woman could want: a one-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a job that (mostly) paid the bills, and an acceptance letter to the prestigious Hollingsworth Institute of Art, where she would finally live out her dream of becoming an antiques appraiser for a major auction house. All she had worked so hard to achieve was finally within her reach. So why would she kill herself?
A man who was supposed to be her salvation . . .
Maggie Sparkes arrives in New York City to pack up what’s left of her best friend’s belongings after a suicide that has left everyone stunned. The police have deemed the evidence conclusive: Celine got into bed, downed a lethal cocktail of pills and vodka, and never woke up. But when Maggie discovers a scandalous photograph in a lock box hidden in Celine’s apartment, she begins asking questions. Questions about the man Celine fell in love with. The man she never told anyone about, not even Maggie. The man Celine believed would change her life.
Until he became her ruin.
On the hunt for evidence that will force the police to reopen the case, Maggie uncovers more than she bargained for about Celine’s private life—and inadvertently puts herself on the radar of a killer. A killer who will stop at nothing to keep his crimes undiscovered.”

My thoughts:

As always, K.A. Tucker didn’t let me down with this one. She has become one of my all-time favorites since I was introduced to Ten Tiny Breaths when it first came out. I have read every title she has written since. This was a bit of a change for her, but not too much. It was more of a mystery, thriller than some of her others. I was able to read this quickly and it kept me intrigued throughout. I was unsure of who the killer truly was throughout and was still not sure when it was revealed. I liked the flashbacks in the story and they weren’t confusing at all. I also learned some information about things I wouldn’t be interested in, namely antique/art collecting. You know an author is good when they can get you to care about something you otherwise have no interest in. The characters were also well thought out and mostly likeable. I do not purchase the books by this author for my high school library, but I do recommend them to all my friends! Keep up the good writing!

My rating: 5/5 stars

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Quick Review: The Truth

The Truth The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 2/1/16.

This was a captivating read about a high school student that shoots an intruder at his home while babysitting his younger brother and the actions/consequences that occur after. He is kidnapped by the intruder’s brother and forced to tell him everything about the incident while being threatened by torture. I was able to read the book in less than 2 hours and was very interested to find out the whole story. I can see a lot of my high schoolers really enjoying this fast-paced, quick read. Definitely purchasing for my school library!

My rating: 5/5

Underwater

Underwater Underwater by Marisa Reichardt

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 1/12/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

Morgan didn’t mean to do anything wrong that day. Actually, she meant to do something right. But her kind act inadvertently played a role in a deadly tragedy. In order to move on, Morgan must learn to forgive—first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and then, herself.
But Morgan can’t move on. She can’t even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface. Unable to see her friends. Unable to go to school.
When it seems Morgan can’t hold her breath any longer, a new boy moves in next door. Evan reminds her of the salty ocean air and the rush she used to get from swimming. He might be just what she needs to help her reconnect with the world outside.
Underwater is a powerful, hopeful debut novel about redemption, recovery, and finding the strength it takes to face your past and move on.

My thoughts:

This is the second book I’ve read in 2 weeks about a school shooting…disturbing, much? Yet, somehow, it is still fascinating. This one is not based solely around the events of the school shooting like my earlier post this month, but more on Morgan’s recovery after the fact.

I found this book very interesting and could I really liked the realness of the characters. Morgan is dealing with a tragedy in the best way she knows how, yet she realizes there could be a different, better way to move on. Evan is extremely understanding and a genuinely good person, definitely a likeable character. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and the flow of the story. It was interesting finding out in little bits what really happened to Morgan on that terrible day.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book and will be purchasing for my high school library. I have some students who will really enjoy it.

My rating: 4/5

Zero Day

Zero Day Zero Day by Jan Gangsei

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 1/12/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping case of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the oval office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold, but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the president’s political circle who find her timely return suspicious.

When the NSA approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could this slip of a girl be a threat to national security? But at the risk of having his own secrets exposed by the powerful government agency, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

It soon becomes apparent that Addie is much more than the traumatized victim of a sick political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission. Will she choose to complete it? And what will happen if she does?

My thoughts:

I read this book fairly quickly because it kept my interest, always a good thing. I enjoy shows like Scandal and this setting reminded me of that (well, anything presidential does really!). Addie was not my favorite character, because I could not understand her motivation behind her actions, but I still enjoyed her story. I really liked Darrow’s character and felt he was easy to relate to. I felt sorry for him at several points because of Addie’s behavior. I was unsure of what was going to happen…unpredictability is mostly a good thing when reading, right? I wish the author would have featured Addie’s sister, Ellie, more prominently as she seemed like a character I would have liked to read about. Towards the end, I kept thinking surely she was setting up for a sequel, but I don’t really know. What do you think?

I have already ordered for my library and will happily recommend to my students who like suspenseful stories. The writing style is good and fast-paced.

My rating: 4/5

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Passenger (Passenger, #1) Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 1/5/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

My thoughts:

So, I have mixed feelings about this book.  It was good enough to keep me reading, but I was also ready to be done with it if that makes sense. The book just seemed to stretch on a little too long.  The time-travel aspect was interesting, but I felt that there was a bit too much detail at some points. I enjoyed the romance factor and thought Nicholas was an awesome character. I found myself angry at Etta’s mother, Rose, for not telling her what was happening ahead of time and didn’t quite understand all the family drama that had occurred over time. I also thought I was going to be highly ticked off towards the end, but ended up not being so bad. I am possibly interested enough to read the next book, I haven’t decided yet.

I can see some of my students enjoying the adventure and romance aspects of the book, so I will purchase for my high school library.

My rating: 3.5/4

This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends  This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 1/5/16.

Trigger warning: This is a book about a school shooting/hostage situation.

This is a story told from multiple viewpoints over a short amount of time about a school shooting. After a morning assembly, everyone (almost everyone) is locked in the auditorium of the school and the shooting begins. As students begin to figure out what is happening and who the shooter is, the intensity really gets started. From outside of the auditorium, a few students who were other places have to try to get help and figure out what is going on until police arrive. This is a school, seemingly, in the middle of nowhere, so that help does not come as quickly as they would like.

This was one of those books that I read in about two sittings because I could just not put it down. I had to know what was going to happen and who was going to survive. As morbid and upsetting as books about school shootings are, I just get engrossed in them.  Is that weird? It is also terrifying because the whole time I imagining it as the school I work at. (Horribly terrifying!) This is the kind of intense book that really gets you thinking and is more scary than any book about serial killers, ghosts, etc.  I also saw all the flaws in how the police reacted based on how we have been trained as school staff to respond and to expect in this kind of situation. Though it is told from many viewpoints, I never found it confusing or hard to follow.

Anyway, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes this kind of story. I will most likely order it for my school library, though it scares me a bit to do so…even though I hate to admit that.

My rating: 5/5