The Disapperances

“What needs darkness to grow instead of light?” she asked me one night when we were younger.
“I give up,” I finally said.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Her eyes flashed more silver than gray. “Secrets”

Title: The Disappearances

Author: Emily Bain Murphy

Series: Standalone

Publication: July 4th 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 400

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind. 

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.


A Listical of Thoughts:

  • This book is impossible to describe. One can only experience it, trust me.
  • MAGICAL REALISM (Which isn’t a reason, but it really is)
  • Beautifully handled mystery. It doesn’t unfold all at once, and it’s hard to pick up on all the pieces which makes for some really wonderful surprises.
  • The writing is ridiculously gorgeous – seriously. The writing in this book is making me fall in love with magical realism all over again.
  • The Disappearances has it all: heartbreak, thrills, love, mystery, and laughter.
  • The world building alone was mind blowing – the small, little town was so compelling and it crafted the perfect atmosphere for the story.
  • SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS! Ugh. Well done.
  • How many times can I say magical before you read it?

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Breaking

Title: Burning

Author: Danielle Rollins

Series: Burning companion novel

Publication:  June 6th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Pages: 352

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Prep school gets a twist of supernatural suspense in this commercial YA thriller.

Charlotte has always been content in the shadow of her two best friends at the prestigious Underhill Preparatory Institute. Ariel is daring and mysterious. Devon is beautiful and brilliant. Although Charlotte never lived up to the standards of the school—or her demanding mother—her two best friends became the family she never had. When Ariel and Devon suddenly commit suicide within a month of each other, Charlotte refuses to accept it as a coincidence. But as the clues point to a dangerous secret about Underhill Prep, Charlotte is suddenly in over her head. There’s a reason the students of Underhill are so exceptional, and the people responsible are willing to kill to protect the truth…


Thoughts:

I don’t know what compelled me to request this book. I hated the first book, which isn’t a good start. I think it was the cover, or the synopsis, or maybe I just decided to give the companion novel the benefit of the doubt. Breaking, however, did not land high enough on my scale to either make me enjoy the book or save it from its predecessor’s fate. I didn’t like Breaking. I thought it was glamorizing suicide. I thought it was over-dramatic. But, most of all, I thought it lacked the umph necessary to pull itself from the muck.

This was basically my face when reading — enough said.

One of Us is Lying

I put my other hand in the air. “Bronwyn Rojas, I solemnly swear not to murder you today or at any point in the future. Deal?”

“You’re ridiculous,” she mutters, going even redder.

“It concerns me you’re avoiding a promise not to murder me.”

Title: One of Us is Lying

Author: Karen McManus

Series: Standalone

Publication: May 30th 2017 by Delacorte Press

Pages: 368

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

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.


A Listical of Thoughts:

  • New tagline: detention has never been so deadly. (No, seriously)

  • WHAT! I want to punch that teacher, I really, really do.
  • You know what they say about assuming guys, come on. Make an ass out of you and me, etc.
  • I quite like what I see about stereotypes not being stereotypes so far. Blondie is smart, Jock is not the jock at all, bad boy isn’t actually a jerk. Right on.

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Antisocial

Title: Antisocial

Author: Jillian Blake

Series: Standalone

Publication: May 16th 2017 by Delacorte Press

Pages: 256

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Senior spring at Alexandria Prep was supposed to be for sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her gorgeous basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.

But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public.

Then the hacks escalate. Dark secrets are exposed, and lives are shattered. Chaos erupts at school. As Anna tries to save those she cares about most and to protect her own secrets, she begins to understand the reality of our always-connected lives:

Sometimes we share too much.


My Thoughts:

I’m just going to come right out and say it: I couldn’t finish the book. Now, some of you might wonder why I’m posting this even thought I didn’t read the whole thing, and the answer to that is simple – I still have the right to explain why I couldn’t finish it. Antisocial was marketed as a “whodunit set in the age of social media and the cloud, ” however, the book failed to capture my attention. I didn’t feel a need to find out what was going on, I didn’t care about the characters, the stakes were meh, and, most of all, the narrative voice shut me out of the story.

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The Chemist

“You’ll make mistakes because it’s impossible to know what is or isn’t a mistake until it’s made.”

Title: The Chemist

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Series: Standalone

Publication: November 8th 2016 by Little, Brown and Company

Pages: 512

Source: Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:

She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.

In this tautly plotted novel, Stephenie Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors.


My Thoughts:

Stephenie Meyer has done it again, it’s as simple as that. I have been an avid fan of hers since Twilight, which I grew up reading. Then The Host, which blew my mind away. Now, with The Chemist Meyer has created a high stakes world filled with the threads of what makes her writing her writing. There is romance, suspense, humor, sugar and spice and everything nice. The Chemist is an exciting dance between the intoxicating romance of The Host and the thrilling intrigue of Jason Bourne and other spy films alike.

Juliana, Alex, or whatever other name she decides to go by, was a fantastic heroine. She was smart, savvy, and a terrifying badass in the best way possible. In all honesty, I think of her as someone to look up to in a way. She took what she had, what she could do, and she made a name for herself with it. She earned respect for her skills – something often lacking. She is not a good person, not at all. She’s tortured people for her job, she’s killed, she’s done things that would make you squeamish – but she tries. She wants to be one of the good guys, until everything in her world turns upside down and the good isn’t so good anymore. Alex, the name she goes by the majority of the book, is fascinating. Sure there were flaws in the character development and the character in itself, but as a component to the story Alex was everything she needed to be. I found myself absolutely loving her analytical approach to things. It was all practical, all business, totally deadly. It was refreshing. Of course, she had her moments that made her completely believable. There was a certain vulnerability to her, too. Which, when you’ve given a character this badass skill set and background, vulnerability can be hard to believe. Meyer nailed it.

This is one of those books that I can’t talk about because I will spoil it to the moon and back. I never saw any of the twists coming, not really anyway. I found myself on the edge of my seat, waiting, salivating, trying to figure out what was going to happen next. The characters are brilliant. They are so full of life, even Einstein the dog (He was amazing and I want one).  I can’t actually judge the whole spy aspect of the book, because I have absolutely no interest or experience with anything outside of James Bond and the basics everyone watches. I, personally, found the whole thing captivating. It was well thought out, nicely executed, and dipped in the most delicious intricacies.

Overall, The Chemist was well worth the wait. Stephenie Meyer has, and always will be, an instant buy author for me. The Chemist is yet another amazing addition to her fabulous books out in the world. I can’t wait to see what she does next.


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Mad Miss Mimic

I knew nothing. And I found that, yes, I was curious—very curious indeed.

Title: Mad Miss Mimic

Author: Sarah Henstra

Series: Standalone

Publication: January 3rd 2017 by Razorbill Canada

Pages: 272

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Born into an affluent family, Leo outwardly seems like a typical daughter of English privilege in the 1870s: she lives with her wealthy married sister Christabel, and lacks for neither dresses nor trinkets. But Leo has a crippling speech impediment that makes it difficult for her to speak but curiously allows her to mimic other people’s voices flawlessly. Servants and ladies alike call her “Mad Miss Mimic” behind her back… and watch as she unintentionally scares off every potential suitor. Only the impossibly handsome Mr. Thornfax seems interested in Leo…but why? And does he have a connection to the mysterious Black Glove group that has London in its terrifying grasp? Trapped in a city under siege by terror attacks and gripped by opium fever, where doctors (including her brother-in-law) race to patent an injectable formula, Leo must search for truth in increasingly dangerous situations – but to do so, she must first find her voice.


A List of Thoughts:

  • A fantastic Victorian era mystery that will keep you on your toes
  • Leo, or Leonora, is surprisingly easy to relate to. She is fun, quirky, and full of an entertaining spark reminiscent of Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice. Oh, and she also has a speech impediment which enables her to perfectly mimic people but stutter in her own voice.
  • Full of twists and turns. I, personally, did not expect this book to be a Victorian-era drug bust esque sort of thing. Henstra totally rocks it.
  • The plot is very complex, in a good way. It’s just enough to keep you intrigued and make you think – not too much, not too little.
  • The characters with their failings and strengths are complex, believable, and a real treat to delve into. Leo, Francis Thornfax (DUDE, HIS NAME), Tom… all of them. They all have such a vibrant spirit – that’s the only way I can describe it.
  • The plot itself is amazing. It is a giant, tastefully crafted melting pot of terrorism in retaliation for banning drugs, romance, mystery, and the perfect bursts of humor. It’s dark, intense, and delightful.

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