Genre: Mystery/Thriller

ARC Review: All Fall Down

Posted January 19, 2015 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
ARC Review: All Fall Down

AHH THIS WAS SO GOOD GUYSSSS. Throughout the whole book, I kept wondering when I would find a flaw. I really couldn’t, for the most part, until the very end of the book. My first impression was  that this book had a more mature feel to it than the Gallagher Girls, which was nice. The one thing that’s recently bugged me during my GG reread was that Cammie felt too immature to me. I was really looking forward to seeing what Ally Carter could do with an older character. Of course, Grace has her own problems that did at times make her seem younger than her age. There were times when she got angry and pouty that were reminiscent of a bratty teenager… but when you think about everything she’s been through, you kind of understand why. She seemed overdramatic at times, but she always said what was on her mind and wasn’t afraid of the backlash. She was kind of a badass, while also being funny and very sarcastic. This book is about Grace trying to prove that her mother was murdered and not killed in the fire. She has very foggy memories of that night, but does vividly remember seeing the bullet holes in her mother’s chest. She tries to find the Scarred Man that she remembers from that night, as she believes he’s the one who killed her mother. I loved that Grace developed as an unreliable narrator in some ways; you start to doubt her memories […]

Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves

Posted January 14, 2015 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves

I had pretty low expectations when starting this book because I had seen a lot of pretty negative reviews. Most people said that it was glaringly predictable, but I am SO BAD at predicting things in books. Mysteries and thrillers always catch me off guard because I kind of try not to make theories about what’s going to happen because I would rather be surprised…. but even when I do make predictions, they’re wrong. I was thinking that I would be the black sheep and actually end up liking this one, but I was nervous about the ending. (I had a feeling this was going to a book that’s success hinged on the ending, and I was right.)  I think the overall concept and setting was really cool. It was the epitome of a story that sounds GREAT in theory but was poorly executed. What Worked The fact that the main character, Lily, was in a family that ran a funeral home was pretty sweet. I thought that would be a good setup for an interesting story that obviously involved death. It was able to give Lily some insider information to help her solve the mystery. That whole aspect was interesting and kept me reading. In general I think Lily was veryyy generally characterized, which is obviously not a good thing, but there were a few instances where humor and feminism shown through. I liked that she stayed true to herself no matter what. The pacing was pretty good. It […]

Blog Tour Review & Favorite Quotes: Gone Too Far

Posted January 4, 2015 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Blog Tour Review & Favorite Quotes: Gone Too Far

Review This is definitely a book that got stronger as it progressed. The first person perspective threw me off a little because I feel like most of the books I’ve read lately haven’t been. It’s a completely different reading experience, in my opinion. Some of the writing felt awkward at first because of that, but then I definitely got used to it. A lot of character names were introduced right away and I felt like they all blended together, but again I slowly got used to it and they all started to differentiate. Our main character, Piper, was definitely a character that developed over time. It was reminiscent of the character development in Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas. The character starts out with pretty general characterizations, (she’s interested in photography and just your average high schooler) and then becomes more involved with some darker stuff. She isn’t a villain or anything that serious, but she gets mixed up in some bad things for a little while. It’s very cool to see a character develop and change in a non-traditional way. Also, there were some majorly swoony scenes with a cute boy… which is always a plus. I like when there’s a realistic romantic relationship included in mystery/thriller books. It adds a little something else to the plot. I like books where I’m suspicious of every character because it makes things more interesting. I’m normally very bad at solving the mystery before the end of the book. I had a lot […]

Review: Vicious

Posted December 10, 2014 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Review: Vicious

*Do not read this review if you haven’t read all of the other books in the series! I’ll hide spoilers about this book, but anything before book 16 is fair game. Oh god. I can’t believe I finally read this book and that this series is actually over. This could easily be the hardest review I’ll write, because this book means more to me than a lot of others out there, but I’ll try to make it reasonable! It’s kind of difficult for me to summarize how this series has been so important to me for the past nine years. It kept me guessing and kept me READING during years I had no time to read. I started  the series in 2005, when book one was released, and religiously read each one every six months when they were released. People think it should have ended sooner, but I was never wishing it would just end already like most people. I can’t say that I’m surprised about any of it, really: what happened in the back, how quickly I read it, and how everything ended. That kind of predictability turns a lot of people off from books, but I’ve grown to become so engrossed by Shepard’s writing style that I don’t care. Sure, this series should basically have a subtitle of “How Many Times Can These Girls Fuck Up?” – but I can’t say that I was ever bored. I’m sad that it’s all over, but am very satisfied with the ending. […]

Review: The Perfectionists

Posted October 20, 2014 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Review: The Perfectionists

Yessss Sara Shepard you can do wrong for me. So many people complain that all of her books are the same and she makes series drag on forever… I have no issues with this. Regardless of how similar the stories may seem, they’re always easy to differentiate in my mind. Her writing makes everything suspenseful, quick, and interesting. I was certainly intrigued by the prologue and beginning of the book, but thought the huge amount of characters would get confusing. After a while it wasn’t difficult to keep them separate. The book follows five girls who bond over hating Nolan, the popular asshole guy at their school. They jokingly plot to kill him during their class but end up deciding to mess with him at his party that weekend. By morning, Nolan is dead – and it wasn’t their fault. Their activities that night make them look suspicious and the girls try to figure out who killed him that night in order to clear their own names. The girls are keeping secrets of their own, and in the super-competitive world of Beacon Heights, everyone who knows them is willing to spill them. As I said, the story itself and the setup of the book is fairly similar, but Shepard touches on a lot of different secrets and keeps things interesting. I’m a HUGE fan of her style. She slowly releases information (like why they all hate him, what actually happened that night, etc.) throughout the book until everything comes crashing […]

Review: Pretty Little Liars series

Posted October 2, 2014 / Book Reviews / 11 Comments
Review: Pretty Little Liars series

Like I recently did for the Private series, I’m posting another brief review for an entire series. The FINAL book in the Pretty Little Liars series is coming out in December. In honor of the end of an important era in my reading life, I’ll debrief everyone on the series if they SOMEHOW haven’t heard of it. And no, the books are nothing like the TV show. The first few episodes were similar, but that’s where it ended. The characters’ names are the same and some of their personalities; the show’s general plotline is not the same as the books. I’m going to review all 15 books in one brief post. Well clearly something’s working for me if I’ve been religiously reading the series since I was 15 years old. This is the one series I will read the book for IMMEDIATELY when it was released…even during my “reading dark ages” in college. Luckily they always came out in June and December, so I was able to read them over school breaks. BUT I digress. This series is great. Lots of people complain that they wish it would just end already, but I’ve been eagerly awaiting each new book just as much as the previous. It’s full of twists and turns. Just when the girls think they’ve figured something out, they are surprised by something else. It’s funny reading the description for the first book with all of the knowledge I have now, because things have changed so much since that […]

200 Word Review: Private series

Posted September 29, 2014 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
200 Word Review: Private series

In honor of my intentions to finally finish the Private series by Kate Brian, I’m going to post a brief review here for the first 12 books of the season. Yes, somehow I’ll review all twelve books in less than 200 words. I want to play catch up a little bit because I know once I read the final books, I’ll want to post those reviews. It’ll feel too weird posting them without having some other semblance of a review for the rest of the series. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the entire Private series so far… The series is about one of my favorite topics: boarding schools. Reed heads off to Easton Academy, where she falls in with a group of rich girls in a sorority-esque “club” called Billings House. LONG, LONG story short – a lot of crazy shit happens with her and her friends over the course of their school years, like people getting murdered or going missing, vacations, fires, friend drama, administration trying to shut them down, breakups and makeups, etc. I won’t get too spoilery, but there was a major TWIST at the end of the last book I read (#12 – Vanished). It didn’t really make a lot of sense and I wasn’t overly eager to get into the following books. Regardless, I have to finish the series off since it’s been an important part of my reading life since middle school. If you like books about boarding schools and “mean girls,” this […]

Review: Dangerous Boys

Posted August 21, 2014 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Review: Dangerous Boys

If I highlight the first paragraph of a book… I can tell it's going to be good. @abbymcdonald #DangerousBoys #YES — Lauren (@bookmarklit) August 19, 2014 Review: I’m certainly not the first person, and I won’t be the last person, to say HOLY SHIT this book was crazy. I’m not sure what I was expecting with this one, but based on other people’s reviews I was prepared for something absolutely wild and full of twists. This book delivered in very many of those ways. Unlike a lot of people, I couldn’t bring myself to give it five stars and I’m still kind of trying to figure out why. Lately, every thriller/mystery/suspense book I even THINK about reading is compared to Gone Girl. I couldn’t even come close to predicting the vast majority of twists in that book. That was a five star-worthy suspense book for me because it kept me guessing literally with every page. For the most part, Dangerous Boys did the same. I kept wondering who was the boy in the hospital, who did she pick, and what the fuck was generally going on. Primarily I was thinking – how the HELL is this book going to end? I was already disappointed in the ending of Gone Girl! The ending here didn’t disappoint. It made my mouth drop open. (I think I jumped the gun talking about the ending so early in the review but whatever – Abigail Haas can start her book at the end so I can start my […]

Review: Shadowlands (Series)

Posted July 22, 2014 / Book Reviews / 10 Comments
Review: Shadowlands (Series)

Review: Goddamnit Kate Brian, you never disappoint me. I can’t think of the last time I read one of her books and wasn’t completely shocked, intrigued, and/or baffled by the ending. Let me start out by saying that the only reason I read this book is because it was written by Kate Brian — I would usually never pick up a book that sounds this creepy. The other books I’ve read by her (primarily the Private series) can get a little freaky, but not this much. It took me a little while to get into, but that was mostly because I refused to read it at night and scare myself into thinking I was going to be murdered before bed. I just steamrolled through the second half of the book this afternoon because I could not put it down. I can’t even think of a good reason why this book doesn’t have five stars, but I kind of forced myself to give it 4.5. I like to reserve 5 stars for books that are completely lifechanging and/or would go on my “favorites” list. The book begins with Rory being chased by a serial killer through the woods and her escaping from him. Her family, which includes her father and her sister Darcy, is going into “witness protection” to the island of Jupiter Landing. Let me just say it is extremely unreasonable that the FBI had the family head off in a car by themselves while a killer was on the […]