Category Archives: Meh

Three stars. Neutral but it isn’t one I would recommend to discerning readers

Quests of the Kings by Robert Evert is not what you expect 

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Quests of the Kings by Robert Evert is not what you expect 

The blurb for Quests of the Kings had the magic words: “. . .  for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Kristin Cashore.”   That turned out to be pretty misleading.  Since my expectations where high, I was pretty disappointed.  The biggest difference is tone, and if you understand and embrace that before you begin reading, I think you have a better chance of enjoying the book than I did.


Goodreads Summary

From the author of the Riddle in Stone books comes a thrilling new series for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Kristin Cashore.

Across the realms, the kings’ quests captivate the imaginations of nobles and commoners alike. These dangerous competitions pit the most daring adventurers against each other as they compete for riches and glory for their kingdoms. 

Plain and ordinary Natalie, a sixteen-year-old peasant girl, loves listening to stories about famous adventurers, but the thrilling action of the kings’ quests seems far removed from her everyday life of mucking out stables and working every odd job she can find to support her siblings and disabled mother. However, after a violent run-in with Brago, a ruthless adventurer who believes Natalie is a threat to his mission, she is dragged unwillingly into the latest contest. 

On the run from Brago, Natalie seeks refuge with a rival adventurer, the legendary Sir Edris, and his squire, Reg. As they toil together to find the object all of the kings desire–an ancient golden harp–Natalie starts to feel safe with the fatherly knight. Yet, despite Edris’s protection, Brago is never far behind. When one of Brago’s cruel plots separates Natalie from her protectors, she must become as strong and cunning as the adventurers of old to save her friends and stay alive. 

My Thoughts

So, you think this sounds and looks like a serious book, right?  You would be wrong.  This reminded me more of the T.H. White take on Arthurian legend.  It is lighthearted, even at the most dire of times, and the quest is complicated and strung along as characters bumble and fumble around.  Entire pages are dedicated to conversations and bickering about unimportant things for the sake of humor, and the really terrible things are treated with fleeting gravity.  It is very Monty Python at times.  If that is what you enjoy, this book does play the comedic element to the hilt.  The main character’s appearance is made fun of in a variety of ways, her feminist stance takes the form of tirades that everyone ignores, and her ideas always go really wrong.  The men who get stuck with the thankless job of protecting and rescuing her frequently end up really regretting it.  I don’t particularly enjoy the style, so this became a chore rather than a pleasure to finish.  The language and sexual references are intended to be comedic and are pretty harmlessly bawdy and immature, but I’m not sure they are appropriate for the crowd most likely to appreciate the style – middle school readers.  I would say this is probably grade 7+ interest level but more appropriate for grades 9+. 

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Lucy Worsley’s Maid of the King’s Court

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Lucy Worsley’s Maid of the King’s Court

I adore Lucy Worsley’s historical television specials.  I was in the middle of her series on the wives of Henry VIII when this book popped up on my radar.  While it probably won’t grab your attention if you are expecting something as adult as the show The Tudors, I would have been pretty fascinated by it as a middle school reader.  


Goodreads Summary

In the vibrant, volatile court of Henry VIII, can even the most willful young woman direct her own fate and follow her heart in a world ruled by powerful men?

Clever, headstrong Elizabeth Rose Camperdowne knows her duty. As the sole heiress to an old but impoverished noble family, Eliza must marry a man of wealth and title — it’s the only fate for a girl of her standing. But when a surprising turn of events lands her in the royal court as a maid of honor to Anne of Cleves, Eliza is drawn into the dizzying, dangerous orbit of Henry the Eighth and struggles to distinguish friend from foe. Is her glamorous flirt of a cousin, Katherine Howard, an ally in this deceptive place, or is she Eliza’s worst enemy? And then there’s Ned Barsby, the king’s handsome page, who is entirely unsuitable for Eliza but impossible to ignore. British historian Lucy Worsley provides a vivid, romantic glimpse of the treachery, tragedy, and thrills of life in the Tudor court. 

My Thoughts

Eliza is plucky and smart and her narrative voice can speak to the modern girl without feeling out of place in her own time. Many of her struggles are universal to women of all eras, so she is easy to connect with.  The details about everything from marriage contracts to cosmetics are well blended into the storyline and add the historical aspects without miring readers down.  It is hard to write about this time in history without addressing infidelity and the rather icky bargains courtiers were willing to make for wealth or power.  Nevertheless, it is handled fairly delicately.  Themes of loyalty, friendship and looking to your own conscience add weight to the story line.  All of this means that an older middle school student interested in the topic will probably enjoy the book.  As an adult reader with some other books on the topic under my belt, I found this one a little dull.  The ending was also hard for me to embrace, though it was the ending I wanted, because it seemed a little bit of the stretch for the character I’d come to know in the course of the story.   In short, language, situations, and interest level are appropriate for the mature 7th grade and up set.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Kim Savage’s Beautiful Broken Girls 

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Kim Savage’s Beautiful Broken Girls 

Because I enjoyed Kim Savage’s first book,   After the Woods, I was excited to see what she had in store for me in Beautiful Broken Girls.  The premise evoked Thirteen Reasons Why and The Virgin Suicides.  The cover intrigued me – the image is both gorgeous and unsettling.  Unfortunately, this just didn’t live up to my expectations.  I gave it three stars.


Goodreads Summary

Remember the places you touched me.

The parts of Mira Cillo that Ben touched are etched on his soul.

Palm. Hair. Chest. Cheek. Lips. Throat. Heart.

It was the last one that broke her. After her death, Mira sends Ben on a quest for notes she left in the seven places where they touched—notes that explain why she and her sister, Francesca, drowned themselves in the quarry. How Ben interprets those notes has everything to do with the way he was touched by a bad coach years before. But the truth behind the girls’ suicides is far more complicated, involving a dangerous infatuation, a deadly miracle, and a crushing lie.

My Thoughts

I think the author was trying to create a book that was haunting and ethereal, but it impacted the coherence of the story.  The narrative is disjointed and hard to follow.  It didn’t help that I could never decipher what was motivating anyone.  All of the characters are enigmas for the entirety of the book.  I think the most glaring issue is that there is no character to function as a reliable guide for a reader just entering into this tragic and strange world.  I was intrigued by the mystery initially, but ultimately felt like the solution fell flat despite the fact that it is beyond bizarre.  I get where the comparison to The Virgin Suicides and Thirteen Reasons Why is drawn, but readers looking for either of those are bound to be disappointed with what they actually find.  Language and situations are appropriate for grades 10+.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Three Truths and a Lie

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Three Truths and a Lie

This suspense thriller reads quickly and has a compelling mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None if it was influenced by a teen slasher movie.   It did feel contrived.  The author incorporated some provocative sexual situations that some YA readers (and their moms) won’t be prepared for.  Also, I love a twisty tale as much as anyone, but the deception needs to be for other characters in the story, not the audience.  This felt like it was all about tricking me as a reader.  I did give it a three star rating based on the fact that I read it in one tense sitting.

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Goodreads Summary

A weekend retreat in the woods and an innocent game of three truths and a lie go horribly wrong in this high-octane psychological thriller filled with romantic suspense by a Lambda Award–winning author.

Deep in the forest, four friends gather for a weekend of fun.

Truth #1: Rob is thrilled about the weekend trip. It’s the perfect time for him to break out of his shell…to be the person he really, really wants to be.

Truth #2: Liam, Rob’s boyfriend, is nothing short of perfect. He’s everything Rob could have wanted. They’re perfect together. Perfect.

Truth #3: Mia has been Liam’s best friend for years…long before Rob came along. They get each other in a way Rob could never, will never, understand.

Truth #4: Galen, Mia’s boyfriend, is sweet, handsome, and incredibly charming. He’s the definition of a Golden Boy…even with the secrets up his sleeve.

One of these truths is a lie…and not everyone will live to find out which one it is.

My Thoughts

While the title makes it clear deception is at play, few readers will unravel this one until the end.  That is partly because of the twists and partly because there aren’t enough clues to allow readers to reach the real conclusion on their own.  That means the ending comes a bit out of left field, which will leave some readers feeling played.  Without giving too much away, I can say the narrator is easy to connect with, and the story follows a basic “stupid folks are going to die in the woods” format.  Like I said before, it is entertaining.  I did have some problems with the sex scenes in the book.  They aren’t graphic but they left me feeling uncomfortable because it seemed love was the last thing fueling them – that is my general way of deciding if sensuality is appropriate in YA books, and this one fails the test.  The ending put another spin on all the relationships, and I’m still working through that.   Overall, I was engaged by the mystery, but I couldn’t get past the fact that I felt the whole purpose of the book was to trick me.  While this is marketed as YA, the sexual situations make this book more appropriate for the 17+ crowd, but the contrived storyline will be a turn off to most discerning readers.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Eleanor Herman’s Empire of Dust – book 2 of the Blood of Gods and Royals series

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Eleanor Herman’s Empire of Dust – book 2 of the Blood of Gods and Royals series

Eleanor Herman’s Blood of Gods and Royals series has a lot of similarities to Game of Thrones:  Lots of players with torn loyalties, a queen mad for her son’s power, and setting fraught with violence and magic.  Alexander the Great’s life is a pretty fascinating story as well, with plenty of strange and unusual elements that read more like fantasy than reality.  I should have loved this series. However, the first book, Legacy of Kings, almost put me to sleep.  It was plagued with too many characters and a dull narrative style.  Empire of Dust, the second book, felt a lot more compelling, but it still managed to bore me.  I gave it three stars.

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Goodreads Summary

In Macedon, war rises like smoke, forbidden romance blooms and ancient magic tempered with rage threatens to turn an empire to dust

After winning his first battle, Prince Alexander fights to become the ruler his kingdom demands—but the line between leader and tyrant blurs with each new threat.
Meanwhile, Hephaestion, cast aside by Alexander for killing the wrong man, must conceal the devastating secret of a divine prophecy from Katerina even as the two of them are thrust together on a dangerous mission to Egypt.

The warrior, Jacob, determined to forget his first love, vows to eradicate the ancient Blood Magics and believes that royal prisoner Cynane holds the key to Macedon’s undoing.

And in chains, the Persian princess Zofia still longs to find the Spirit Eaters, but first must grapple with the secrets of her handsome—and deadly—captor.

New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman entwines the real scandals of history with epic fantasy to reimagine the world’s most brilliant ruler, Alexander the Great, in the second book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

My Thoughts

Empire of Dust is more engaging than the first book, and those who enjoyed Legacy of Kings will enjoy this one as well.  However, the same issues many readers had with the first book are still in play in the follow up.  The biggest one is that there are just too many characters, and moving between them in brief segments makes it hard to connect with any of them.  Several times I thought it would be so much better if one character carried the bulk of the story, even if it would also narrow the broad perspective that a large cast can bring to a situation.  That being said, I was able to ignore that problem more easily than I have in the past.  The individual story lines are more compelling this time.  The big battle scene was interesting and had elements I thought were fun and yet still believable.  The magical elements, while still a bit wobbly, are clearer and more focused.  There are certainly several times when readers will feel that the story is moving ahead and sometimes those come with a nice moment of serendipity.  I still think that fans of George R.R. Martin – those who actually read his work, not just watch it – are the ones who will enjoy this series the most.  They know how to weather dragging story lines and a huge cast of characters, especially when there are some rewards at the end.  My verdict is that this is slightly boring, but it is appropriate for high school readers.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

We Own the Night – A Radio Hearts book

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We Own the Night – A Radio Hearts book

We Own the Night is the second in Ashley Poston’s Radio Hearts books.  The first, The Sound of Us, is one that I enjoyed – it has a rock star love interest, so I was game.  I was less engaged by We Own the Night which is narrated by a character who frequently made me grind my teeth, which left me feeling a bit “meh” about it.  Both can be read as stand-alone stories, but I think the best reading experience would be to read them in order because the band, Roman Holiday, is featured in the first book and plays a smaller role in the second.  Both ebooks are under $5.

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Goodreads Summary

“Happy midnight, my fellow Niteowls…”

As a candy store employee by day, and mysterious deejay “Niteowl” by night, eighteen-year-old Ingrid North is stuck between rock ‘n roll and a hard place. She can’t wait to get out of her tiny hometown of Steadfast, Nebraska (population three hundred and forty-seven) to chase her dreams, but small-town troubles keep getting in the way. She can’t abandon her grandmother with Alzheimer’s, or her best friend Micah–who she may or may not be in love with.

But for one hour each Saturday, she escapes all of that. On air, she isn’t timid, ugly-sweater-wearing Ingrid North. She’s the funny and daring Niteowl. Every boy’s manic pixie dream girl. Fearless. And there is one caller in particular– Dark and Brooding–whose raspy laugh and snarky humor is just sexy enough to take her mind off Micah. Not that she’s in love with Micah or anything. Cause she’s not.

As her grandmother slips further away and Micah begins dating a Mean-Girls-worthy nightmare, Ingrid runs to the mysterious Dark and Brooding as a disembodied voice to lean on, only to fall down a rabbit hole of punk rockstars, tabloid headlines, and kisses that taste like bubble tea. But the man behind the voice could be surprising in all the right, and wrong, ways.

And she just might find that her real life begins when Niteowl goes off the air.

My Thoughts

After a weak start, this book finds its stride about halfway through, and readers who stick it out will be quite happy with the resolution.  But every reader won’t stick this one out.  Ingrid, the narrator, comes across as a whiner.  She has problems that plenty of us can relate to, and I actually feel really bad about calling her out, but she is a drag.  She cries or fights back tears a lot.  And she doesn’t really seem inclined to do much to improve her own situation, choosing instead to just be angry at others who have succeeded where she feels she has failed.  I understood her – she is at that place where you don’t feel like you can make a move because it will probably be the wrong one, but it isn’t very fun to read about it for very long.  Once Ingrid does shut down the pity party, things really improved, and it is nice to see how she finally figures out who she wants to be.  Teens will probably have more patience with Ingrid than adult readers of YA.  Language and situations are appropriate for grades 10+.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Billed as a Gone Girl meets Nashville, Escaping Perfect is a bit of a disappointment.

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Billed as a Gone Girl meets Nashville, Escaping Perfect is a bit of a disappointment.

Let’s start by clarifying that there is no real comparison between this book and Gone Girl or the show Nashville as far as I can tell.   Someone runs away.  There is romantic drama. Seriously.  The blurb for this book lead me to expect something darker and more twisty, but I still liked the concept – girl runs from controlling mother and finds the life she wants to live in a small town in Tennesee.  Unfortunately, things started to fall apart as the story strayed further and further away from reality.  I gave it three stars, but there are some real haters on Goodreads.

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Goodreads Summary

Gone Girl meets the TV show Nashville in this sultry summer read about a girl who runs away from her high-profile past to live the normal life she’s always wanted.

Cecilia Montgomery has been America’s sweetheart since the day she was born. A member of the prestigious Montgomery family—the US equivalent of royalty—her childhood was cut short after she was nearly kidnapped. Since then, Cecilia has been hidden away, her adolescence spent at an exclusive boarding school.

Her dreams of becoming a professional violinist—dashed.

Her desire to be a normal teenager—not possible.

Her relationship with her once-loving parents—bitter and strained.

Nothing about Cecilia’s life is what she would have planned for herself. So when an opportune moment presents itself, Cecilia seizes the chance to become someone else. To escape. To disappear. To have the life she always dreamed about, far away from her mother’s biting remarks and her sheltered upbringing.

Cecilia says goodbye to the Montgomery name and legacy to become Lia Washington: relaxed, wild, in love, free, and living on her own terms for the very first time. But being on your own isn’t always as easy as it seems…

My Thoughts

I liked Cecilia/Lia as a narrative voice, and I was excited for her to get a little experience and fun.  The town seemed awfully diverse and exciting for a small town, but I was willing to let that slide. I even liked the unrealistic but charming romantic interest she encounters.  Their romantic relationship is fairly unlikely and entirely too whirlwind, but I was okay with that as well because I wanted them together.  I thought there was a lot of drama in their relationship, and I really didn’t understand what exactly lover boy saw in Cecilia/Lia that made him want to reform (special snow-flake trigger warning).  I still didn’t mind it.  What I really minded was the terrible cliffhanger – if you want to resolve the major conflict and tease me with an enticing but smaller cliffhanger that is fine, but it just isn’t fair to leave a major conflict hanging like this book did.  I’m pretty irritated by this, and it think a lot of other readers will be as well.  It would be different if the story were more realistic, but if you are going to magic a romance, can’t you engineer a perfect ending?  I think too many of my high school kids will be frustrated by the final chapter to make this a book I would recommend highly.  Language and situations are appropriate for high school readers.

I received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Revenge and the Wild

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Revenge and the Wild

I was very excited to read this book because I love westerns, and this one has the added bonuses of cannibals, magic, and a mechanical hand.  It was a steampunk western of sorts, and I mention that because the tone will appeal more to readers who appreciate both genres than readers who are simply looking for a western. It’s not quite Army of Darkness meets True Grit, but that is the comparison I just couldn’t quit making.  While that sounds very cool, it just never really worked for me.  I gave Revenge in the Wild three stars.

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Goodreads Summary

The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.

But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.

My Thoughts

Westie has a serious desire for revenge on the family of cannibals who took the lives of her family as well as her arm, and I just didn’t think the gravity of the situation paired well with the whimsy of the setting.  The magical Indian maiden warrior and the mythical creatures, the airships and the clockwork mechanisms were at odds with Westie and her goals.  I don’t think my feelings will be universal, and for the right reader, this will be a fun and phenomenal blend, but I personally found it hard to connect with the characters who never made the leap from characters to real people.

The plot does contain action, mystery, and romance, all of which are enhanced by the unexpected twists and turns of a world I haven’t seen before.  It is a fully realized world, too, and one that is easy to envision and still surprising.  The plot does give relationships time to evolve and develop, and it gives readers the opportunity to make inferences, so it isn’t overwrought with backstory.  I found the romantic relationship rather endearing, and it is a complex situation with a universal appeal, so I think most readers will enjoy that subplot as well.  The story does end with a satisfactory resolution that twisted right at the end to foil my best predictions, which is always a pleasure.

I do think most of my high school readers will struggle with the pairing of western and steampunk.  The steampunk genre really hasn’t caught on with my students and that mix of whimsy and serious revenge will be hard for them to rectify in one work.  Language and situations are appropriate for high school readers.

I received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Burning Glass

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Burning Glass

I didn’t think this was a bad book, and I think there will be readers who enjoy it. The concept is really cool, and I initially found it very compelling. However, in the end, I had to fight to keep myself reading because I just wasn’t invested in the characters or the outcome. I have a feeling that most of my high school readers would lose interest fairly quickly. I only gave it three stars.

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Goodreads Summary

Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, and she can’t always decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the charming-yet-volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray.

My Thoughts

I thought this book was rather dull.  The politics bored me and the intrigue was predictable from the beginning.  There is a lot of talk about equality and the archaic class system of a monarchy, but readers are never really given a personal connection to the horrors of the faceless, nameless mass of people that suffer the most under the rule of the Emperor.  It is clear that there is a problem with the system, but since it is so removed from the action, it just doesn’t feel as urgent and necessary as it should. There is only one character that we get to know personally who represents the mistreated masses, and she lives in the castle and is given relative freedom.  The true horrors are vague and expected – hunger, forced military drafting, slave-like conditions.  The people who are suppose to be in charge of the revolution dither around a lot, so the majority of the book builds up and then lets readers down when there is no follow-through.

The protagonist was hard to really connect with because she was a vessel for everyone else’s emotions, maybe. Neither she nor I seemed to be able to distinguish where her feelings ended and those of the other characters began.  While that is the point, this would have been more successful if there had been some clear rules about how the empathy worked.  She came across as indistinct and the “love” she felt for the men she encountered was never clearly, sincerely her own.  I also kept wondering why someone didn’t force their feelings on her and just have her assassinate the emperor – it was clear that she could be induced to act on someone else’s will, but her control inexplicably changed when she got to the palace (I think I was suppose to believe that her connection with the prince was the factor that changed her, but I wasn’t completely sure).  Again, the rules just weren’t clear enough for me.

Again, just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean you won’t, but it will put some folks to sleep.  Language and situations are appropriate for high school and beyond.

I received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Thicker Than Water – this isn’t your run of the mill YA mystery

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Thicker Than Water – this isn’t your run of the mill YA mystery

This was a rather unusual mystery for a couple of reasons. First, the isolation and dislike the protagonist experiences is much more intense than I anticipated. There is no doubt that people really think Thomas killed his mother, and they are on a hairpin trigger to get him. It was kind of shocking, and it was palpable. Second, this isn’t the straightforward contemporary YA mystery I expected. The blurb leaves out a few surprises. Some readers won’t be bothered by the unexpected twists to the story, but other readers might feel like they had been a little mislead, especially if they expected a more run of the mill mystery.  I only gave it three stars because it had some issues, but I still found it a compelling read, and for $2.99, this book could definitely be an easy way to kill a few summer hours.

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Goodreads Summary

Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

My Thoughts

I’m not going to ruin the surprise – okay, I’m going to ruin the surprise – there is a left field supernatural element in this book I never anticipated.  I wasn’t quite satisfied by the explanation I was given about that element because there were a few things I just couldn’t quite get to track.  Despite these misgivings, I would still recommend this book to many of my high school readers because, like I said, it is very compelling.  I read it in a few hours because I really did find the story engaging and I kind of liked that the rabbit hole just kept changing.  I liked both of the main characters, and I thought they were almost as surprising as the plot.  Charlotte was an interesting mix of old fashioned and modern, and she might have been a little too naive for my comfort (seriously, leave the maybe-murderer alone, Charlotte) but she held her own in the end.  The plot moves quickly and efficiently towards a resolution, but it does give readers time to get some character depth and some relationship development.  I particularly enjoyed the dynamic between Stan and Thomas because it felt so real – two guys just living together in that silent “man” way.  It was cute and funny and honest.  I did pinpoint the perp long before the book was over, but there was enough of a red-herring that I began to second guess myself.   Overall, I enjoyed this book even if it wasn’t exactly what I expected and open minded YA mystery readers probably will as well.  I think there are clarity issues around the supernatural element, but I could roll with it.  Language and situations are appropriate for high school readers.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.