Mystery

Book Review: The Naturals

Author
Barnes, Jennifer Lynn
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is about a teenage girl who gets enlisted in an FBI program, The Natural Program where she and other “Naturals” work to solve cold cases. I really liked the premise of this book. The teenagers are basically prodigies on reading people or reading crime scenes in a way adult agents can’t do . The protagonist, Cassie Hobbes, for example is really good at reading people and how they might react to situations. Others members are good at telling lies, knowing statistics or math, and reading emotions. I really enjoyed the found family trope with Cassie and the other Naturals and am hoping to see more of that as the series moves forwards. This first book while really good, kind of just felt like a beginning couple episodes to a tv show. We’re still learning about the characters, the program, and the main plot of the story as a whole. I will say it did encourage me to continue with the series and figure out how the Naturals react with other challenges and problems that come with being apart of the FBI.

Reviewer's Name
Cara

Book Review: The Silent Patient

Author
Michaelides, Alex
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Enthralling, captivating, and unexpecting are all words that can be used to describe The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, an irresistible and stunning psychological thriller. The suspense from the first chapter is palpable, and the skillfully laid out plot leaves the reader second-guessing until the very end. It is truly, in the full sense of the word, a thriller, full of curveballs and red herrings, multidimensional realistic characters, thick, palpable emotions… The list goes on. Michaelides’ wonderful writing style and the perfect plot pace were just the cherry on top.

The plot is utterly outstanding. From the first words, the protagonist, Alicia Berenson, shocks the reader with an unspeakable act of violence: she killed her husband. Why? That is the sole question I found myself asking the whole book. An even bigger question: why did she fall silent after the murder? And will she ever speak again? An added layer of complexity is her new psychotherapist, Theo Faber, who is anything but perfect. Theo’s obsession with Alicia raises another question: why is he obsessed? What are his motivations? As the plot unfolds, the mystery behind Alicia’s silence uncovers vast psychological trauma and the lies of her close friends and family. As the plot thickens, Michaelides creates a haunting setting as he delves into the intricacies of the human mind. It becomes evident that this novel is well-thought-out and plentifully researched to draw the reader into a realistic setting. Honestly, I have no criticism of The Silent Patient and could not recommend it enough for anyone looking for a suspenseful plot-twisty psychological thriller.

Reviewer's Name
Lucia

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

Image
A Good Girl's Guide to Murder
Author
Jackson, Holly
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, 5 years ago. It's a closed case. But Pippa doesn't think so. I absolutely loved A Good Girl's Guide to Murder.
The story follows Pippa Fitz-Amobi, or Pip, a 17 year-old girl whose end of year project is a solved murder case.
The "murder" of Andie Bell, and the suicide of her boyfriend that followed. Pip doesn't believe the end result of the case, and that Sal Singh, Andie's boyfriend wouldn't have murdered her.
Pip shows up at Sal's brother, Ravi Singh's door, asking for help. She tells him she doesn't think Sal did it, and wants help proving it. The rest of the book continues with Pip and Ravi doing what the police couldn't. A deep dive into Andie Bell and Sal Singh's life.
This book was very well written, and so were the other books and novella in this series. The plot twists were perfectly placed and made sense, yet not easy to guess. This was not a book to take lightly, details from the very beginning of the book would resurface.
The other books in the series connected perfectly with this one, and each page left you wanting more. There was definitely a romance subplot, as Ravi and Pip got to know each other, but it didn't take away from the mystery at any point.
Overall, I really liked A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, and would recommend it any day, whether you are just starting with mystery, or are an expert.

Reviewer's Name
Zara

Book Review: The Brothers Hawthorne

Author
Barnes, Jennifer Lynn
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

The Brothers Hawthorne is an extension of the Inheritance Games trilogy about the brothers Grayson and Jameson. After the events of the main series, Jameson gets a call from his biological father to break in to an infamous casino in London. Grayson on the other hand, gets called to Phoenix to break his half sister out of jail and prevent her from and her twin sister, from gaining valuable information.

This book was very good! The inheritance games is an amazing series, but it was so interesting to hear the brothers’ point of views and their own adventures. This book brings back old mysteries and unanswered questions from the final book of the inheritance games series that I totally forgot about! Jennifer Lynn Barnes is also writing another book that will take place after this one bringing a new story and mystery. The brothers were very funny in this book and it was so much fun to read it from their perspective! If you liked the inheritance games is this absolutely a book you should read!

Reviewer's Name
Cara

Book Review: We Were Liars

Author
Lockhart, E.
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

We were liars is a young adult drama/thriller. It’s about the seemingly perfect Sinclair family and their summer private island. Cadence Sinclair is the heir to the Sinclair fortune and going to the island during the summers is what she looks forward to during the year. However, after an accident and two summers missed on the island, Cadence returns with little memory and a suspicious feeling.

This was an overall good book to read. It got a little slow at times, but it was not predictable and kept me on the edge of my seat. I will say I was expecting a predictable ending but the plot twist completely blew me away! It’s also not very long and a quick read but with a lot of emotions. E. Lockhart did a good job at making me feel things. I laughed, I cried, and had more than one jaw dropper. I would rate it a 3 just because it got a little boring and confusing, but I would recommend!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name
Cara

Book Review: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

Author
Jackson, Holly
Rating
2 stars = Meh
Review

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder presents readers with the skeleton of a mystery novel while somehow excluding most of what makes a mystery novel compelling. Holly Jackson dives straight into the disappearance of Andie Bell at the beginning, ignoring all conventions of suspense of build-up. The disappearance is approached from a strikingly detached perspective, though, in contradiction, many of the key figures in the case are life-long friends of the narrator. This apparent lack of motive from Pippa rocks the very foundation of the novel, and readers have difficulty connecting with such a character. Jackson hastily attempts to patch this by claiming an emotional stake in the matter, but in Pippa's actions, she is all but sensitive. Her investigation is greatly reckless, unrealistic, and absurdly convenient. The mechanical nature of Pippa's progress only further disconnects the reader from the story, and it renders the suspense and climax completely arbitrary.

Reviewer's Name
Samah

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

Image
Good girl's guide
Author
Jackson, Holly
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

One of my favorite books so far. The book is full of twists and turns and one of the most gripping story. I loved most of the characters.
Every chapter showed us a new suspicious person. Every chapter changed the perspective towards each character. I loved this series. At last it's not a book of black and white, there were so much gray ...

Reviewer's Name
Subhashini

Book Review: Murder on the Orient Express

Author
Christie, Agatha
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

"Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie is pure murder mystery. It starts off innocently enough when Mr. Ratchett is found having been stabbed in his sleep, but the case quickly becomes more and more complicated. Hercule Periot has to struggle to find the true culprit in the mystery that gets more tangled by the second.

The characters in this book are all rather good. While none of them have outstanding depth, they are all interesting and well defined. Hercule is, of course, the standout. His methodolgy is always fun to read. The suspects cannot be discussed without getting into spoilers. Even the victim is interesting to read about.

Most readers will probably know the twist of the book (which I will not be spoiling). Still, it's wonderfully set up, and almost every piece of evidence contributes to the climax in some way. New evidence is constantly presented throughout the story. At times it was a bit hard to follow, but I'm notoriously bad at following along with mysteries.

Nothing in this story is particularly deep, but it doesn't need to be. It's just a captivating mystery story. One of Agatha Christie's best.

Reviewer's Name
Rose

Book Review: The Guest List

Author
Foley, Lucy
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Hidden motives, secrets, and lies are the backbone of Lucy Foley’s thriller, The Guest List, and did I mention drama? From the moment you open the book, drama spills out, but in a good way. The characters are the point of the book. Their problems its lifeblood. The Guest List is not solely about the murder but all the threads connecting the cast of characters to one another in some elusive way. And the mystery is cleverly interwoven with all the lies and personal issues, so you won’t know who did it until the end. Even if you do figure it out, the characters have so much more to offer than just their motive. Foley creates characters you will hate, pity, and love. Totally recommend.

Reviewer's Name
Lucia

Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing

Author
Owens, Delia
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Where the Crawdads Sing, written by Delia Owens, detail the fictional account of Kya and her survival in the marsh of North Carolina. After her mother is beat one too many times by her father, Kya's mother leaves, leaving Kya to fend for herself - against her abusive dad and the wilderness. Kya learns the value of self-reliance, she falls in love with the marsh and its functions and importance to the ecosystem. She also, however, feels the urge of having human company, and her adventures of falling in love (and back out) are incredibly detailed and heart wrenching. My favorite part about this book was the imagery; the way simple things, like leaves falling off of a tree, were described it felt as if I was standing right next to Kya, watching the leaves fall with her.

Reviewer's Name
Finn