Medha’s review of Sadie by Courtney Summers

41e0bso2fwl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Quick summary from the publisher:

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him. When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Medha’s Review:

Sadie was an interesting read. It took me a while to ease into the dual timelines: Sadie’s actions, and then West finding her footprints weeks later. Still, it was an engrossing read, and a gritty one at that. The story is layered and nuanced, and it kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters were sharp and unflinching, and realistically flawed. Sadie’s journey to find the murderer never felt rushed, and the resolution feels realistic. West’s podcast shows the story from a different angle, and helps fill in the holes. The story keeps you engaged and reveals things one at a time, lulling you into a false sense of security before dropping a bombshell. Characters come in and out of the story, exactly as one should expect from a girl on the run. Still, none of them really stick with you except the villain. Fitting, as the murderer is the driving force of the story. Frighteningly enough, the story feels like something you’d see on the news, yet it remains far from predictable. Doesn’t hurt that it’s got an absolutely stunning cover.

Medha rates this book 4/5

Tags: mystery, suspense, murder, family

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Mrs. Ashworth’s review of Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

29589074In April, 1936, millionaire and founder of the Ellingham Academy, Albert Ellingham, received a riddle. A threat, signed “Truly Devious”. No one took it seriously at the time, because if there was anything Ellingham appreciated and nurtured, it was a love a good game. The Ellingham Academy just so happened to be a special free school for the gifted and talented, one where students were encouraged to use their brains. Unfortunately, soon afterward, one of the brightest students, Dottie Epstein, met a tragic end at the bottom steps of the tunnel leading to the glass-domed structure at the center of the lake behind the house. No one solved the crime. But Stevie Bell, of the current-day Ellingham crop, has decided that her school project will be to solve the murder. The problem: once Stevie starts broadcasting the news, another riddle appears, and another murder takes place, and the list of suspects for the current murder includes many of her classmates. Is the latest murderer a copycat, or has Truly Devious returned to keep the original case cold?

I appreciate a good mystery, and this certainly fits the bill.  It’s the first book in a series, so be prepared for a “to be continued…” at the end.

Mrs. Ashworth rates this book 4/5

Tags: betrayal, friendship, identity, light romance, mystery realistic fiction, suspense

Mehek’s review of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gone_girl_28flynn_novel29When Nick Dunne’s wife goes missing, it’s up to him and the police to go on a strange and long journey, following misleading clues and twisted story lines and uncovering dark secrets to find out what happened- but as suspicion against Nick builds up, can he prove he’s not a killer? Is he a killer?

I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for an intricate and well planned mystery/thriller that will leave them shaken and thinking about the book weeks later because of the insane plot twists with every page. However, since there’s a lot of dark and mature themes, I wouldn’t recommend it to someone easily disturbed.

Mehek rates this book 5/5

Tags: suspense, thriller, realistic fiction, mature themes

 

Isha’s review of The Scarlet Pimpernel by the Baroness Emma Orczy

51-bt9jwyqlThe novel begins in a very Tale-Of-Two-Cities-esque manner, as this book is set during the French Revolution, and the writing feels similar. It also dances around the ideas of conforming to societal norms prevalent during the Reign of Terror, in a very Tolstoy-way.

Soon, however, the story concentrates on the strained relationship between a man and a woman, and the increasing interest in France and England regarding an anonymous and controversial man, known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, who dresses in a mask and saves French Aristocrats from the guillotine. Another major part of the plot regards the apparent danger the woman’s brother is in (for helping the Pimpernel), and the woman’s internal conflict regarding whether to save her brother at the expensive of the safety and life of the anonymous hero.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys more classic, formal writing (as it might be frustrating to those who do not enjoy that sort of diction). As mentioned previously, it also reminded me of Tolstoy’s writing due to the sheer number of characters and their complicated web of relationships, as well as the descriptions of how high class society functions (similar to The Age of Innocence, as well).

I also recommend this to readers who enjoy mystery novels. While this book is not necessarily of mystery genre, the suspense regarding the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel is equally thrilling.

This book would also be enjoyable to those who are fans of superheroes such as Batman and Spiderman! This book was particularly fascinating because I read elsewhere that many superhero stories such as Batman and Spiderman are all loosely based off of this novel, which was written and published in the early 1900s! While I am not necessarily an avid fan of superhero movies and comics, I am aware of the stories and watch the movies. Thus, it was fun to pick out aspects of the novel reflected in modern culture! (Hint: You can find many parallels between the symbols Batman leaves behind, and the ones the Scarlet Pimpernel utilizes, and similarities between the public opinion of the Scarlet Pimpernel and Spiderman!)

Happy Reading!

Isha rates this book 5/5

Tags: adventure, classic, French history, light romance, mystery, suspense

Review: The Finisher by David Baldacci

 

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Vega Jane has lived in the town of Wormwood her whole life. She was always told entering the forest surrounding Wormwood was certain death, and she believed it too, until she sees Quentin Herms run into it. Or was he chased? She doesn’t know until she finds a map that could jeopardize her life. A map of the very place she was told never to enter, and for good reason. Still, Vega Jane want to leave, but will she make it to the forest of doom, or will the liars she called authority get to her first?

If you enjoy books with action and a little, but not too much, romance, then The Finisher is the book for you. The language used is a little strange, but entertaining once you catch on. If you read this book and enjoy it, there are two more books after this one, The Keeper and The Width of the World.

This reviewer rates The Finisher 5/5

Review: The Chess Queen Enigma by Colleen Gleason

23565495In the third book of the Clockwork Scarab series, Mina Holmes and Evaline Stoker are asked to become bodyguards for Lurelia, the princess of Betrovia, who is carrying a letter that has important information about the whereabouts of a chess queen that has been lost for centuries. Later on, when the princess is attacked and kidnapped, she reveals that someone has been blackmailing for the letter about the chess queen. As part of a scheme to find out more about the blackmailer and Pix’s shady dealings, Mina and Evaline go to a men’s club. Although the girls do not find Pix, they learn that he has been kidnapped and make plans to find him. The girls find Pix strapped to a chair connected to electricity by the Ankh from book one of the series. Will the girls save Pix and discover the secret of the chess queen? Or will they fall into the trap that a devious enemy set for them with the help of someone who they considered their friend?

I would recommend this book to readers interested in fantasy and who enjoy plot twists. Before reading this book, check out the Clockwork Scarab and Spiritglass Charade, Book 1 and 2 of the series.The book has paranormal elements such as time travel and vampires, and parts of romance. Though the book is filled with many plot twists as people who were thought to be friends reveal their true image, the ending of the book is perhaps the biggest plot twist of all as it goes against the entire story. However, the identity of their enemy from Book 1 is still not revealed, despite Mina’s firm conclusions.

This reviewer rates the book 4.5/5

Review: Hunter by Mercedes Lackey

24397041Hunter follows the story of Joyeaux Charmand, a girl who is sent from her home to a city called Apex to fight monsters in a futuristic world. Joy is a hunter, a person with magical powers that access the spirit world. Joy travels from her home to keep the city from finding the other hunters on the mountain. She discovers that hunters in the city are viewed as entertainment rather than protectors of the citizens. When her mentor gets killed in a territory that was meant for Joy, she is determined to figure out who would want to get her killed.

I would recommend Hunter to anyone who enjoys fantasy books without a lot of romance. This book is action packed with plot twists and monsters flying our of sewers at every turn. Joy is constantly on the move fighting monsters and defending herself against her rival hunters. There was never a moment when I felt like the book was moving at a slow pace. However, as a fan of romance novels, I would have liked to see her relationship with Josh better developed.

This reviewer rates the book 4.5/5