Tiffany’s review of When by Victoria Laurie

51iohpnw0hl-_sx334_bo1204203200_Maddie can see everyone else’s death dates on their foreheads. After her father’s death, her mother became an alcoholic. So to make ends meet Maddie has even began reading the dates for money. One day, Maddie accidentally reads a young boy’s near death date for his mother and ultimately gets wrapped up in a Federal investigation along with her best friend Stubby. Now they both have to find out who the serial killer is before it’s too late and maybe Maddie would see one death date finally change for the better.

I would recommend this book because you can really see the struggle of Maddie and trying to cope with her weird power. Also there is so much hope when you read this book with constant page-turning excitement. Maddie’s other problems seem normal though so if you’re looking for a fantasy-like plot and ending this is not the right book.

Tiffany rates this book 4.5/5 stars

Cynthia’s review of The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters

steepandthornyway_cvHamlet retelling set in 1920’s with biracial (black/white) main character. Hanalee’s father has been killed. With the release of the perpetrator from jail, new evidence is brought to light. Her father’s ghost starts charging into people’s houses. Hanalee starts questioning if the death was an accident or actually a murder, and who carried it out: her stepfather? Or someone much more sinister? DUN DUN DUNNNNN

There were vengeful ghosts and murder and lots of pain and death involved, and ACTUALLY A CHARACTER CALLED JOE. HOW RARE IS THAT. The plot is like Hamlet (basically the reason I wanted to read it) but does not mirror it exactly, and is slightly magical — I definitely did not expect the ending. I didn’t like the writing style that much, but there were small bits that were utterly amazing. The main character is biracial, one of the characters is gay, both these issues discussed. There are a lot of hate crimes. Which I *should’ve* prepared myself for, since the jacket flap has “Ku Klux Klan” in it. But because this isn’t mentioned, HERE IS THE TW FOR THE GAY PEOPLE: HAS A LOT OF ANTI-GAY SENTIMENT. LIKE EUGENICS AND THE H/Q-SLUR. THIS IS HISTORICAL FICTION. Despite my horrid summary/review-writing skills, this is very dark. Definitely not a cute fluffy book for reading with your cat.

Cynthia Rates this book 3.5? .6? .7????/5