Friday, October 23, 2015

Bad Girls Don't Die

Bad Girls Don't Die
by Katie Alender

Alexis has always known that she and her family have been the odd ones out. Her mother can never seem to get the promotion she's been seeking for years. Her sister is obsessed with dolls to the point of violence if someone touches them. And Alexis herself has never fit in, especially after calling out the people who seem to always rule the school.

But Alexis didn't really know how out of place her family was until strange things began to happen to her at her already strange house.

Now Alexis has to find out what's behind the brakes being cut on her mom's car, the sudden slamming doors, the chills in the air, and the dreams that show her people and events from long ago.

Can Lexi save the people she loves before it's too late?

Final thoughts: A somewhat formulaic thriller with a typical ghostly revenge tale. Alender tries hard to not make it too predictable by dribbling out bits and pieces of vital information, but the end is not surprising. However, it's still a decent read and written well for the teen audience that it's aimed at.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, October 15, 2015


by Denise Grover Swank

For the last six months, Julia has been hiding from her past.  She has been hiding from what she can't remember doing, but knows that she must have done it. She has been hiding from killing her best friend in a car accident. All she knows is that she woke up after the accident, wearing a strange bracelet that she doesn't remember ever getting, and suddenly having the ability to draw when she never could before.

So for the last six months, Julia has done everything she can to hide from what happened. Monica might be dead, but Julia feels like a ghost. She stays under the radar and tries to avoid the stares of her fellow classmates.

But that all changes when Evan Whittaker, popular jock and already-taken boyfriend, looks her way. When Evan suddenly takes notice of Julia, everything changes. He changes. And when he does, he only has eyes for Julia.

But Evan change has a very strange explanation, and Julia's about to figure it out.

Final thoughts: Ok. First, the prologue kind of messed me up during reading because I kept thinking about how strange and out of place it was while I was reading Julia's story. When the prologue and present day merged, it was intriguing, but got bogged down. Julia is completely unsympathetic as a character. Her mother and counselor make strange decisions for no good reasons. Evan's shift is explained and yet his obsession seems odd. Then entire second half of the book is unbelievable. SPOILERS: Ok, so there are multiple dimensions and a crossover point. I get that. What I don't get is the complete physical impossibility of there being so many of the same people in both dimensions, especially if there was a nuclear war in one that wiped out a HUGE percentage of the population. There is NO WAY that all of those children in the 60's survived the fallout, grew up to have marry the same people and have the same children at the same time and then those children grow up and marry to have the same children at the same time, creating DNA identicals in both dimensions for so many people. You can't say that all four teens would exist in both timelines at the same age with the same DNA from the same parents who are also the same age. Not possible. I can't even try to suspend disbelief on this one. Nope. END SPOILERS. Since no one is sympathetic and the plot gets predictable once the twist is revealed, I just don't recommend this one.

In addition... the cover makes absolutely no sense for this book.

Rating: 2/5

The Ghost Files

The Ghost Files
by Apryl Baker

For Mattie Hathaway, every day is a day that she has to work to ignore the ghosts around her. She gained this curse after her mother tried to kill her when she was five and she's be traveling the foster home circuit ever since.

Normally, she just ignores them and they eventually go away.

But this time, she can't.

She can't ignore the ghost standing before her at the party with the gunshot in her head and the gag over her mouth.

She can't ignore her because she's Sally, the other foster girl living at her current home.

Now she's got to find a way to stop the killer before another child is murdered.

And now the murderer knows she's coming.

Final thoughts: This should be my kind of story. I'm a huge fan of stories that feature female characters who can see the dead (see my reading history if you don't believe me). However, Mattie is extremely dull as a character and her flashbacks are more like someone retelling a memory instead of actually seeing it take place. Her relationship with the rookie cop is awkward and makes me think the author is setting up for this to be her brother or something, especially considering the often repeated thoughts and comments about loving each other, but maybe not loving each other romantically and the fact that he was adopted. The end is a little graphic, yet doesn't really stir any emotions. And I'm starting to think this is a Charley Davidson YA knock-off with her seeing ghosts who thinks she's "bright" along with Reaper references. I kind of want to read the next one, only to see if my hunches are correct, not out of any desire to continue the story.

Rating: 2/5


by Joelle Charbonneau

Do you NEED something? Something that you can't get anywhere else? Something that no one else can give you?

Do you have a NEED? Or do you just want something?

Do you NEED an iPad? Or do you just want it?

Do you NEED a home gym? Or do you just want it?

What would you do to get what you want? What would you go through to get what you NEED?

Final thoughts: This was a little messy and confusing. There were too many POVs from too many characters, so there just was no depth to them. Many of the choices made no sense, though that actually kind of makes sense since many high schoolers make very poor choices online. The first half was pretty decent and built up the tension. The second half kind of fell apart. SPOILERS: The idea that the government would conduct experiments that would include multiple murders with no real reason makes no sense. I actually understand the one guy since the government might want an emotionless killer, but what's with killing off everyone else? Why give nuts to the allergic girl? Why change the meds in the cabinet? It makes no sense. END SPOILERS. I can see teens picking this up because of the premise and the cover, but I'm not sure they'll like the last quarter of the book.

Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC.


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