One Was Lost

28321033.jpg One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards

**This review is based on an ARC from the publisher (received at BEA) and e-ARC from Netgalley, release date 10/4/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

Murder, justice, and revenge were so not a part of the plan when Sera set out on her senior camping trip. After all, hiking through the woods is supposed to be safe and uneventful.
Then one morning the group wakes up groggy, confused, and with words scrawled on their wrists: Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Their supplies? Destroyed. Half their group? Gone. Their chaperone? Unconscious. Worst of all, they find four dolls acting out a murder—dolls dressed just like them.
Suddenly it’s clear; they’re being hunted. And with the only positive word on her wrist, Sera falls under suspicion…

My thoughts:

I had read other books by this author and enjoyed them. I was able to meet her at BEA in Chicago this past May and had a talk with her about her books, recommending them to my students, and this title in particular. Natalie was super sweet and easy to talk to, letting me know that this is the kind of book that might keep you at night (in a good way!). 🙂  I was excited to read it and figured it would be a quick read, which it definitely was, thanks to the suspense level. It was pretty unpredictable and kept me on my toes. I kept going back and forth with who was responsible for the stalking/hunting and was surprised at the answer. This is a book I will definitely be able to sell to a lot of readers, reluctant or not, my teen students LOVE suspense so it will be an easy book talk. I will definitely be ordering it this week for my library. I also enjoy the creepy cover, makes it even more appealing.

My rating: 4/5

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Dark Matter

27833670 Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 7/26/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”
In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable–something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

My thoughts:

This is not a book I would typically pick up, but I kept seeing it at BEA and never got my hands on it. I requested it on Netgalley instead and was approved so here we are. I wasn’t sure what to think going in as some other reviewers called it Sci-fi (which is definitely not my thing) and others called it Psychological Suspense. Though there is definitely some science-y stuff in it–Jason is a scientist after all–it definitely leans more toward the Psychological Suspense side of things. Jason has no idea what is happening to him, but has limited resources, and lots of knowledge, to figure it out and work his way back to “his world” with very little help. Once he does find his way back to what he thinks is his version of the world, he faces other very familiar obstacles. Based on the synopsis and the different versions of the same world, it seems like this would be a very confusing read, but it actually wasn’t at all. I was intrigued and found all the descriptions of Chicago, in its various forms, very interesting. I can’t imagine what it would be like to experience this kind of bizarreness and to try to get others to believe you.

This was a good read, but not one I would typically pick up or even recommend to my friends. I will keep it in mind though for people who do ask for this kind of book and am glad that I did read it. The end wrapped up a little too easily for me, but I am picky about endings, so it could just be me.

My rating: 4/5

Baby Doll

27415371 Baby Doll by Hollie Overton

**This review is based on an ARC I picked up at BEA in Chicago from the Hachette booth, release date is shown as 7/12/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.
This is what happens next…
…to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter…and to her captor.

My thoughts:

I just picked this book up as I walked by it at BEA because it just had a cover on it that said “Escape is just the beginning”, so I was intrigued. I am trying my best to read all the ARCs I picked up, and this was a short one, so it was easy to sit down and read it quickly. It was interesting enough that I read it in 2 sittings, but it did have its flaws. I’ll get to this in a second.

At the beginning of the book, Lily escapes from her captor of 8 years, makes sense with what the cover said, so that was fine.  However, I think her escape seemed a little too easy…but that’s just me wanting some suspense I guess. She makes it back to her family and the story goes from there, focusing on the aftermath for Lily, her daughter Sky, her twin Abby, and her mother mostly. There are some other characters that you hear from, as the story is told in the different viewpoints each chapter.

I do feel that some of the things that happened in this book were fairly far-fetched for how I would imagine things would really be like…but, also, how would I know what it would be like, right?  The middle part of the book could have been a little more interesting, but I’m not sure how, so I’m not going to critique it much. Things started to get pretty intense toward the end and I thought that it ended nicely. I like that the captor was someone that people would have never thought, which made things interesting. All that being said, this book was obviously good enough to keep me reading half of it at a time, so I would recommend it to those who like suspense, kidnapping stories, etc.

My rating: 4/5

 

All the Missing Girls

23212667 All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 6/28/16.

Summary from Goodreads:

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

My thoughts:

Obviously, this synopsis got my attention, because I requested this book even though I hadn’t read the author before. I knew she was a young adult author writing this novel for adults, which doesn’t always work out so well…but it was good here. This story made you think all the way through since it is told in reverse. It starts at Day 15 and works back to Day 1. Since you read it this way, you have to remember what the characters know and don’t know yet all the time, which makes for an interesting read. There are also flashbacks thrown in, which can get quite confusing if you aren’t focusing enough. All that being said, the mystery was quite compelling and wasn’t really predictable.

This book was compared to Gone Girl, Girl on a Train, etc. and I have to say that was a pretty fair comparison in my opinion…not nearly as dark as Gone Girl, but still a good mess-with-your-head book. The author did a good job of making the characters very real, some extremely unlikable (Corinne) and some kind of creepy. I wasn’t majorly into it at first, but at about the 60% point, I couldn’t put it down…good thing I’m off work for the summer and can stay up late reading. I was satisfied with the ending, but it wasn’t exactly how I wanted it to work out. I realize this review is pretty vague, but I don’t want to give away any details.

I would recommend this to my friends and family, but probably won’t buy for my school library.

My rating: 4/5

Need by Joelle Charbonneau

20550148 Need by Joelle Charbonneau

**This review is based on ARC from Netgalley, release date 11/3/15.

Kaylee is a high school student at Nottawa High School and is invited to the social networking site, NEED, which grants “needs” to its members by asking them to fulfill a task. Kaylee’s brother is in need of a kidney transplant and she has exhausted all possibilities that she knows of to help him, and had made herself an outcast in the process.  She is just one of many character’s in this book and the story is told from multiple viewpoints. As students are becoming members of NEED, they notice that they are only allowed to invite other students from Nottawa High School and nowhere else.  As the membership grows, the tasks they have to perform to fulfill their wishes get increasingly dangerous and harmful to others, even resulting in deaths. Will Kaylee and the others figure out who is behind NEED in time and will they be able to save anymore of their peers from dying? Also, what has to happen for Kaylee’s wish for a kidney donor for her brother to come true?

I still have not read The Testing series by the same author, though it has been on TBR list for quite some time.  I may need to move it up some now, because I can see that it might be intriguing. The idea behind this book was really good and I can see my high school students enjoying it, but I think it could’ve been a little less confusing…maybe fewer characters to follow. I guess most of the characters were essential to the story in some way, but you went so long without reading about a few of them between their parts of the story that you forgot what happened with them in the first place. I still found myself staying up late to finish this though, and I will recommend it to students when it comes into the library.

My rating: 4/5

The Detour by S.A. Bodeen

23310734 The Detour by S.A. Bodeen

***This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date is 10/6/15.

I know it’s been awhile since I posted, but I was taking a little hiatus from reading advanced copies of books. It was starting to feel like homework and I wasn’t enjoying the deadline aspect of it. Plus, there are SOOO many other books I want to read. I am also reading books for my state award for next school year, which is rather time-consuming. So, anyway, here we go….

Livvy is a famous teen author of a young adult trilogy. She is driving her beautiful Audi when she spots a weird girl standing on the side of the road and ends up having an accident. She thinks the girl is going to help her, but there are other things brewing. Livvy wakes up in a room and discovers she is not at the hospital, but at someone’s home. The woman, Peg, tells her she has called an ambulance but Livvy soon discovers this is a lie. For some reason, Peg and her daughter (Flute Girl) are holding Livvy captive in their basement. Livvy is injured and has no idea what is going on. The story takes place over a very short amount of time (2-3 days) and is about her struggle to escape her captors. There is a creepy uncle involved and Livvy uses him to her advantage. All the while, Peg keeps telling her that she needs to apologize for what she did, but Livvy has no idea what she’s talking about. Will she escape? Will she find out what Peg is getting revenge for?

I enjoyed this book–short and suspenseful. I read it in 2 sittings and I can see this as something my high school students will really love. S.A. Bodeen is pretty popular already in my library, especially for The Compound, so it will be an easy recommendation on my part. There is just enough action and mystery to keep you reading. I will gladly purchase for my high school library!

My rating: 4/5

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

23281652 Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date is 6/2/2015.

I really didn’t even know what this book was about when I picked it from the massive list I had of books coming out on June 2nd, but I’m glad it is one of the ones I chose! This is an addicting story that was a quick read and kept me entertained throughout. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened.

The book pulls you in from the beginning, where you are reading about the rescue of Frances from a cruise ship accident. When she awakes from her rescue, she discovers that her friend, Libby, did not survive, dying only moments before they were saved. Frances knows she has no one to go home to after the tragedy, so she decides, with the help of Libby’s father, to take on a new identity. She becomes Libby in order to protect herself from those involved in the “accidental” sinking of the Persephone. She goes off to boarding school to get away from it all and learn all about how to be a different person. Four years later, she returns home after Libby’s father’s death and puts a meticulous revenge plan into motion. Senator Wells and his son, Grayer, also survived the sinking, but have lied about what happened from the moment of their rescue, five days sooner than Libby and Frances were discovered.  As the only 3 survivors, Libby/Frances knows it is up to her to uncover the truth. By seducing Gray, she is able to get him to trust her and the truth finally comes out. However, this truth does not keep her out of danger like she had thought.

Though the book is pretty fast-paced, the action really picked up once she discovers what really happened aboard the ship. I never really figured out who was responsible for the sinking, but it all made sense when it was revealed. I really enjoyed this book and think I will be recommending it quite a bit when school starts again.  Though the character is technically a teenager, I never really saw her that way.  I thought it read more adult, but definitely not inappropriate. Not only is this a good mystery, but it shows how a person can be a survivor as well. Though Libby/Frances wasn’t the most likable character at all times, I still found myself rooting for her. All around, a good choice!

My rating: 5/5