Mystery

Book Review: Big Little Lies

Book Review: Big Little Lies
Author: 
Moriarty, Liane
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

When a bullying issue arises in Kindergarten, several mothers duke it out on the elementary schoolyard. As we glimpse into the world of the three main mothers we see heart-wrenching elements unfold.

I didn't expect to get much out of this book. In fact, I thought it would be snarky and contrived. After all, the title smacks of drama. But I enjoyed it thoroughly, drama and all. I hadn't read the summary and didn't have any idea as to what would happen next. It was fun and powerful at the same time.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Detective Cross

Detective Cross
Author: 
Patterson, James
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Packed with action and intensity, Detective Cross is a mystery-action that will have you on the edge of your seat for the entire duration of the book.
The plot starts with a bomber planting bombs in national parks. Police search and defuse the bombs, only for more to be planted the next day. The serial bomber keeps on planting more and more, with the authorities always a step behind. I would highly recommend this book, as it had me on edge the whole time, with its accurate details and action packed plot. Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Kyle Y

Book Review: Killer Cocktail

Killer Cocktail
Author: 
Kiely, Tracy
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

In this story, Nic and Nigel, who are Hollywood celebrities found some clips from the set of A Winter’s Night. Which is a movie from 2 decades ago known because of the great story and the behind the scenes drama, including the death of a celebrity. But a burglary occurs, convincing the couple that there may be someone on those clips who doesn’t want to be seen. The book is filled with gossip about fictional stars who are always at each other's throats, and a dog who is also in on the fun. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good mystery.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Kyle Y
Genres: 

Book Review: The Swallows

Cover
Author: 
Lutz, Lisa
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Alexandra Witt doesn’t take a position as an English teacher at the not-that-illustrious- boarding school Stonebridge with the aim to turn the institution on its head, but that’s exactly what she does. After witnessing some distressing interactions between the boys and the girls at school, Witt encourages the women to stand up for themselves. The boys, of course, aren’t having that, and before they all know it,an all-out gender war is taking place at Stonebridge and all involved are hurtling toward an unhappy ending.

This was so much fun! First, the gender politics were spot on. This is definitely a book for the “Me Too” era. I went to a public school, but I can totally see a scaled down version of this sort of thing happening there, or, unfortunately, anywhere. Lutz handles some very sensitive topics pretty deftly, and creates engaging and authentic characters. Foreshadowing early in the book makes it pretty clear that things will end badly, and I found myself racing through the book to find out what happened. The end was pretty weak: the story, while not exactly grounded, felt believable until suddenly it felt like an episode of Riverdale or Gossip Girl or…pick any teen show on the CW, I guess.

TLDR: If you are looking for a suspenseful read with some feminist flavorings, you won’t go wrong here. Older teens will find a lot to like here as well. 4 stars – I really enjoyed it.

Thanks to Ballantine Books and Netgalley for the eARC which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. The Swallows will be released on 13 August, but you can put your copy on hold today!

Reviewer's Name: 
Britt

Book Review: A Void the Size of the World

A Void the Size of the World
Author: 
Alpine, Rachele
Rating: 
1 star = Yuck!
Review: 

If there was one word to describe this book it would definitely be "yuck". It's like when Squiduard took over Spongebob's shift for a day and instead of a krabby patty he fried a boot. It has absolutely no plot. there is paranormal activity that we never figure out and we don't know what happened to Abby. If i could rate this a -10/10 I would.

Reviewer's Name: 
Vincent D

Book Review: The Girl in the Picture

The Girl in the Picture
Author: 
Monir, Alexandra
Rating: 
1 star = Yuck!
Review: 

The Girl in the Photo is of the mystery genre but nowhere in this book could I find anything mysterious. From the beginning of the book I wanted to throw it out the window. The writing is so overdramatized and so typical hollywood highschool that nothing in it could be called suspenseful.
The writing is simple, juvenile, and overly predictable that you can pretty much guess ‘who done it’ in the first few chapters. I would not wish this book on anyone.

Reviewer's Name: 
Maddie K

Book Review: Bad Luck

Bad Luck
Author: 
Bosch, Pseudonymous
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Bad luck is an amazing book showing lots of humour, fantasy and fun.
Clay is playing a regular game of capture the flag at his camp, Earth-ranch which is on a volcanic island when the vog (volcanic smog) gets so thick that he can't find his way back to camp. Clay then finds his way to a cave that has art of dragons and a book telling their secrets. Clay then finds someone who washed up on shore because his dad pushed him off a cruise ship. The cruise ship then docks at the island saying they are looking for the kid but really looking for a dragon. Clay makes friends with the washed up kid and they find the dragon and make an alliance with it.

Reviewer's Name: 
Vincent D

Book Review: Origin

Origin
Author: 
Brown, Dan
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

When it comes to Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series of books, I have appreciated his ability to mold art and symbology into a tight and thrilling narrative. His works have not been without controversy, the main perpetrator, of course, being The Da Vinci Code . In Origin, Brown leaves the world of classical art for the modern pieces that are still filled with meaning and symbology, just not in ways that lend themselves to uncovering ancient mysteries. While there is plenty of interesting plot points and twists along the way, Origin seems set to stir the pot of controversy more than tell an interesting story.

It’s been quite some time since the last Robert Langdon book released, so this book needed to advance its technology to be able to keep up with the modern times. If anything, I felt the inclusion of artificial intelligence down-played why Langdon was even involved at all, since he was mostly the “answer man” who knew the information to advance the plot. Sure, Langdon still needed to be there to interact physically with the surroundings, but all he was tasked with finding was a password to a computer, and that was it. Even some of the headier symbology that he’d usually bring to the table was reduced to basic, common knowledge tidbits.

Perhaps the overall story was weak to begin with, because I found the narrative in Origin to be distracted at best. The focus jumped around a lot, which I recognize has happened in previous books in the series, but it was almost like three different stories were being told here, and very rarely did they intersect with each other. Even the eponymous “origin” wasn’t that great of a reveal, merely acting as a McGuffin to drive the conflict.

Hardly one of the best of the Robert Langdon series, I give Origin 3.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: Monster

Monster
Author: 
Myers, Walter Dean
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book is an interesting and suspenseful novel. It is filled to the brim with moments that will have readers on the edge of their seat. Monster also is written in a unique format, in the form of a movie script written my the protagonist Steve Harmon, who is awaiting trial for a crime he didn’t commit. This story is written with intense figurative language that paints a terrifying image depicting the horrors of prison. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great suspenseful read. Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Kyle Y

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