Recent Reads: August 2017

Recent Reads: August 2017

My Favorites From this Month

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Source: Library OverDrive

One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

 

My Rating: 4.5/5
My Thoughts:  This was easily my favorite read of the month. I ended up staying way past my bedtime to finish it in one night. Although I predicted the ending, I was completely captivated by the story. I can’t wait to see more from this author.

 

Good Reads…

Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth
Source: Library OverDrive

Fans of Star Wars and Divergent will revel in internationally bestselling author Veronica Roth’s stunning new science-fiction fantasy series.

On a planet where violence and vengeance rule, in a galaxy where some are favored by fate, everyone develops a currentgift, a unique power meant to shape the future. While most benefit from their currentgifts, Akos and Cyra do not—their gifts make them vulnerable to others’ control. Can they reclaim their gifts, their fates, and their lives, and reset the balance of power in this world?

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power—something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is from the peace-loving nation of Thuvhe, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Though protected by his unusual currentgift, once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get his brother out alive—no matter what the cost. When Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. They must decide to help each other to survive—or to destroy one another.

My Rating: 3.5/5
My Thoughts:  I was a fan of the first few Divergent books when they first came out, so I thought I’d give this new series by Roth a shot. I thought it was pretty good. Nothing earth shattering, but I’ll definitely pick up the next in the series when it comes out.

Fugitive of Magic AND Trial By Magic (Dragons Gift: The Protector #1 & #2) by Linsey Hall
Source: Kindle Purchase 

In the city of Magic’s Bend, I protect what’s mine. No matter what.

To the world, I’m a just a Conjurer. To my closest friends, I’m a FireSoul–a dangerous Magica with forbidden powers and a dragon’s soul. The downside? If anyone discovers what I am, I’m dead. So I lay low, kicking butt with my weapons, not my magic.

Things get ugly when I witness the murder of a powerful vampire ally and become the key suspect. Soon, I’m hunted by the sexiest, strongest supernatural I’ve ever met. Ares is an unheard of vampire hybrid, and it’s hard to say if he wants to kiss me or kill me.

I’ve got three days to catch the real killer. The bad news? It will take my forbidden magic to succeed. But can I control it, much less keep my secret with Ares watching my every move? Especially when the stakes get ever higher?

I’m used to protecting others…now I have to protect myself.

Fugitive of Magic is a fast-paced fantasy mystery with a kick-butt heroine, a tough hero, and magic that will blow your socks off.

My Rating: 3.5/5
My Thoughts: This is definitely my favorite independently published series on Amazon. This is the first book in the 2nd spin-off, so really it’s #11(?) in the complete series. It centers around three friends who each get 5 books. This series is about Nix, the final friend. It’s a fast paced urban fantasy that’s full of action and excitement. If you’ve got kindle unlimited I highly recommend picking it up.

The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl From Everywhere #2) by Heidi Heilig
Source: Library Ebook 

Nix has escaped her past, but when the person she loves most is at risk, even the daughter of a time traveller may not be able to outrun her fate—no matter where she goes.

Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father? 

Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices.

My Rating: 3/5
My Thoughts: Well, it was good, but not as good as the first book. The characters, storytelling and settings are top-notch, I just wasn’t a fan of the plot line this time around. Still worth a read.

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Source: Library Ebook 

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

My Rating: 3.5/5
My Thoughts: This kind of reminded me of Anna and the French Kiss, but in Italy. It was full of heart, paced out well and an all around pleasant read. It was the perfect light read.

Final Girls by Riley Sager
Source: Library Ebook 

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

My Rating: 3/5
My Thoughts: I love a good thriller. While I was surprised with the ending, I wasn’t in love with this one. I just wasn’t feeling the storyline. It could have been great, but the pacing was way off. The first 3/4 of the book was incredibly slow and didn’t really build up the excitement.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Source: Library Ebook 

How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even—yourself?  

People are capable of almost anything. . . 

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors—a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . . 

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all—a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco  soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years. 

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family—a chilling tale of  deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

My Rating: 3.5/5
My Thoughts: They had me right up until the end. This was full of twist and turns and I was loving every minute of it, until the very end. The author threw in one last minute twist and I just wasn’t a fan. I felt like it was unnecessary and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Books that Disappointed Me

Thief’s Cunning (Assassin’s Heart #2) by Sarah Ahiers
Source: Library Ebook 

The companion novel to Assassin’s Heart—a riveting fantasy that Printz Award-winning author Laura Ruby said “will keep you turning the pages all night long”—Thief’s Cunning picks up eighteen years later and follows Allegra Saldana as she uncovers the secrets about the line of killers she descends from.

Allegra Saldana has always had to look over her shoulder. As the niece of the infamous assassin Lea Saldana, Allegra is used to hiding from people who want her dead. Once the strongest clipper family in the Kingdom of Lovero, the Saldanas—or what’s left of them—are now the most hunted. Their number one enemy is the Da Vias, whose thirst for retaliation is almost two decades in the making.

At least that’s what Lea has told Allegra her whole life, but lately Allegra’s been feeling like things are being kept from her—including her parents’ identity. So when Allegra finally learns the truth—I’m a Da Via—her world crumbles. Feeling betrayed by the people she trusted the most, Allegra turns to Nev, a Traveler boy whose presence makes her feel alive in ways she’s only dreamed of. But getting caught up in Nev’s world has consequences Allegra never saw coming.

In this dark and enthralling fantasy that fans of Sarah Maas and Leigh Bardugo will devour, one girl must decide whether she’s destined to pay for the wrongs of her family’s past…or if the future is hers for the taking.

My Rating: 2/5
My Thoughts:  Oh, this was sad. I distinctly remember loving the first book in this series. I periodically stalked by library waiting for the second book to come in. Unfortunately, it was a huge letdown. To be fair, the first thing that disappointed me was that it wasn’t about Les and Lea (the main characters from book #1). Now, I didn’t read the description, so that’s on be. But… the main character in this one, Allegra, was terrible. She was impulsive, whiny, self-centered and just all around awful. I did not care about her one little bit and honestly skimmed the last half of the book. So depressing. I’m giving it a 2, simply because of the coattails from book one. I love the setting / concept of this series, but man, this one was awful.

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