#stayathomeandread A Good Girl Guide to Murder (review)

A Good Girl Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Published by  Delacorte Press on February 4, 2020)

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery

Pages: 389

Format: ARC

Source: Publisher

2019 challenge: 2020 book

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.

My Thoughts:

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect.

Keystone (Non-Spoiler Review)

Keystone  by Katie Delahanly

Published by  Entangled: Teen on January 7, 2020

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery

Pages: 390

Format: Arc

Source: Publisher

2020 challenge: 2020 read

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

When Ella Karman debuts on the Social Stock Exchange, she finds out life as a high-profile “Influencer” isn’t what she expected. Everyone around her is consumed by their rankings, in creating the smoke and mirrors that make them the envy of the world.

But then Ella’s best friend betrays her, her rankings tank, and she loses―everything.

Leaving her old life behind, she joins Keystone, a secret school for thieves, where students are being trained to steal everything analog and original because something―or someone―is changing history to suit their needs.

Partnered with the annoyingly hot―and utterly impossible―Garrett Alexander, who has plenty of his own secrets, Ella is forced to return to the Influencer world, while unraveling a conspiracy that began decades ago.

One wrong move and she could lose everything―again.

My Thoughts:

I loved the start of this read. I also really liked the lead characters and the world building and the setting of this story. I loved the hesit themed elements in this mystery and thriller story. I did not feel super engaged in thew writing and it sometimes took me out of the story at points. I liked that we had a such a wide cast of characters but they all did not feel well developed. I thought that this book even thought it will be series was a solid conclusion for the first book in the series. It was very unique premise and I would def read more by this author in the future!

Nancy Drew Files 1 (Review)

Nancy Drew Files Vol. I: Secrets Can Kill; Deadly Intent; Murder on Ice by Carolyn Keene

Published by  Simon Pulse; Bind-Up edition on September 24, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery

Pages: 416

Source: Personally Bought

2019 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & NobleGoodreads

I would give this book 3 for a review.

Summary!!!

The world’s favorite teen detective is back, and she’s on the case. Keep up with Nancy Drew in this thrilling collection of mysteries full of intrigue, boys, and murder.

In Secrets Can Kill, Nancy goes undercover to investigate the elusive thief stalking the nighttime halls of Bedford High. With her inside contact, gorgeous senior Daryl Gray, Nancy attempts to uncover the dangerous secrets that run deep at Bedford, but soon it’s a whole new game—a game called murder. And Nancy is the killer’s next target.

In Deadly Intent, Nancy is ready to rock out at a concert in New York City—but the band’s lead guitarist vanishes minutes before they’re set to go on stage. Nancy and her on-again-off-again boyfriend Ned investigate, and their list of suspects leads them to a conspiracy that threatens to shake the entire music industry.

In Murder on Ice, Nancy and Ned head to a ski resort to rekindle their romance. But instead of love, they find deadly peril. Can Nancy find the killer, before an avalanche of murder buries them all?

My Thoughts:

I wanted to rate this higher but none of the mysteries wowed me. I did like them but I did not love them. This book was def aged up in regards to both Nancy age but also technology. I found it hard to grow emotionally connected to anyone in the stories expect for the 3 leads. I did like that this story collection had a bit for a through line, stuff the connected all the stories together. I wish that was stronger. I also felt like story one was super predicable but I did like story two. I felt the romance in this books was not the “best” and that was major focus in all the stories for all the characters. But I did enjoy the collection overall. I did like the music mystery the best and I love the setting of the skiing one the best

WinterWood (Arc Review)

 WinterWood by Shea Ernshaw

Published by Simon Pulse on November 5, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Mystery

Pages: 336

Format: Arc

Source: BEA

2019 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

From New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance perfect for fans of Practical Magic, where dark fairy tales and enchanted folklore collide after a boy, believed to be missing, emerges from the magical woods—and falls in love with the witch determined to unravel his secrets.

Be careful of the dark, dark wood…

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

For as long as there have been fairy tales, we have been warned to fear what lies within the dark, dark woods and in Winterwood, New York Times bestselling author Shea Ernshaw, shows us why.

My Thoughts:

I really did enjoy the setting and the way the world for this story was built. I thought the duel POV characters and right way the story was told was super compelling and really liked the different point of views of both characters. I also found the “spell book element” to be super interesting and I really liked how it expanded the world. I was not as blew away by the mystery in this book, I thought it was easier to predict then her previous novel, but i adored the world and the setting of the wood. I also just liked the winter setting in general. The highlight of this book was the setting and the characters.

Deadly Little Scandals  by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Published by  Freeform November 5, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, mystery, thriller

Pages: 352

Format: arc

Source: publisher

2019 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 5 for a review.

Summary!!!

Reluctant debutante Sawyer Taft joined Southern high society for one reason and one reason alone: to identify and locate her biological father. But the answers Sawyer found during her debutante year only left her with more questions and one potentially life-ruining secret. When her cousin Lily ropes her into pledging a mysterious, elite, and all-female secret society called the White Gloves, Sawyer soon discovers that someone in the group’s ranks may have the answers she’s looking for. Things are looking up… until Sawyer and the White Gloves make a disturbing discover near the family’s summer home–and uncover a twisted secret, decades in the making.

My Thoughts:

This book was so awesome. I def enjoyed the second book in this series more then book one. I thought the female friendships and dynamics were more engaging them book 1 and the mystery easily captured my attention and shocked me. I normally can predict books easily but this book really surprised me and I am now dying to re-read this series to pick up on the plot. I really did like the characters paths through this book. The mystery and how it was crafted was a series highlight and I loved the ending of this book and would def read more by this author in this future and hope for more books set in this world.

The Similars (Non-Spoiler Review)

The Similars  by Rebecca Hanover

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Published by Sourcebooks Fire on January 1, 2019

Genres: Young Adult, Thriller

Pages: 400

Format: Arc

Source: BEA

2019 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

Don’t miss the series debut that readers are calling Gossip Girl in the near future, set in an elite boarding school, where secret societies rule, nothing is at it seems, and the genetic copies of attending students have just joined the Junior class..

This fall, six new students are joining the junior class at the elite Darkwood Academy. But they aren’t your regular over-achieving teens. They’re DNA duplicates, and these “similars” are joining the class alongside their originals.

The Similars are all anyone can talk about. Who are these they? What are the odds that all of them would be Darkwood students? And who is the madman who broke the law to create them? Emmaline Chance couldn’t care less. Her best friend, Oliver, died over the summer and it’s all she can do to get through each day without him. Then she comes face-to-heartbreaking-face with Levi, Oliver’s exact DNA copy and one of the Similars.

Emma wants nothing to do with the Similars, but she keeps getting pulled deeper into their world. She can’t escape the dark truths about them or her prestigious school. No one can be trusted, not even the boy she is falling for with Oliver’s face.

This exhilarating and riveting debut by Rebecca Hanover is the next obsession for readers who devoured One of Us Is Lying, Scythe, and Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this read. I thought it was the prefect mix between realistic science fiction and thriller. I also thought this book handle topics like clones and prejudice and it was a super compelling read. I also was invested in the various mysteries that were presented in this novel. I found this to be a super fast pace read overall. I did like the focus on friendship and mysteries. I also thought the end of the book was fast pace adventure and really enjoyed it. I also liked the focused on the science in the novel.

I thought this book also handled grief and the the ending twists were super shocking and def. need to read book 2.

 

The Christmas Cake Murder (Non-Spoiler review)

Christmas Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke

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Published by Kensington on September 25, 2018

Genres: Adult, cozy mystery

Pages: 224

Format: Hardback

Source: Library

2018 challenge:

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 3.5 for a review.

Summary!!!

It’s Christmas many years ago, and topping young Hannah Swensen’s wish list is becoming the go-to baker in Lake Eden, Minnesota. But as Hannah finds out, revisiting holiday memories can be
murder . . .
 
With her dream of opening The Cookie Jar taking shape, Hannah’s life matches the hectic December hustle and bustle in Lake Eden—especially when she agrees to help recreate a spectacular Christmas Ball from the past in honor of Essie Granger, an elderly local in hospice care. But instead of poring over decadent dessert recipes for the merry festivities, she instantly becomes enthralled by Essie’s old notebooks and the tale of a woman escaping danger on the streets of New York. Hannah’s surprised by Essie’s secret talent for penning crime fiction. She’s even more surprised when the story turns real. As Hannah prepares to run a bakery and move out of her mother’s house, it’ll be a true miracle if she can prevent another Yuletide disaster by solving a mystery as dense as a Christmas fruitcake . .

My Thoughts:

I did really like this book. It was fun to see the main character hannah at such a different point in her life. I also really enjoyed seeing how these characters relationship developed to the point they are at now in the future. The mystery was a a very different type of mystery then I am used to reading. I really liked this book. I thought it was super fast pace holiday read. It def. put me in the holiday spirt. I am def excited to read more of these books in the future.

Broken Things Non-Spoiler Review!!

Broken Things  by Lauren Oliver

Published by  HarperCollins on October 2, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, mystery, thriller

Pages: 416

Format: Arc

Source: Book Expo

2018 challenge: NA

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

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I would give this book 4 for a review.

Summary!!!

It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods.

Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it.

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.

My  Brief Thoughts:

*I got this book for early review from the publisher for my honest thoughts*

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the mystery of this book so much. I read this book in about two days. It was a very fast read. I really grew to love the main characters. I would consider these characters to have moments of being “Unlikable” but they grew on me and by the end of this novel, I really enjoyed them. I love the duel timelines and how we got both past and current timelines. I loved how this book hinted at toyed with fantasy elements in some ways. It thought these characters were so well crafted and the world building was so strong. The mystery was hard to predict and I loved that. If you like mysteries like PLL or don’t look back, you should def check out this book in october!!

My Extended Thoughts:

Characters: I normally really struggle with unlikable characters but I really did grow to love these characters. This characters def reminded me of the way in 13 reasons why, the characters and story is like onion, you a learn a little bit and little bit thought this story. These characters were so complex and really grew to love them.

Pace/Timeline: I loved how this story was told through two different timelines. I thought it really made this story a fast pace story. I also liked how it hinted at paranormal elements and you never really know what way the story will go. It def. reminds me of the way PLL was told and I was super invested from page one.

Mystey: I loved the mystey in this story and was not able to preduct the end untill the very end. This story was so engaing and I read it in like 2 days. It was def a nail bitter!

I hope you will check it this book in Ocrober 2nd! Let me know in the comments if you will or if you read it, what did you think of it!

Later book lovers

What the Woods Keep: Non-Spoiler Arc Review!!

What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

Published by  Imprint on September 18, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, mystery, fantasy

Pages:384

Format: Arc

Source: Blog Bound

2018 challenge:

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 4 for a review.

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Summary!!

On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home—on the condition that she uncover its dark secrets.

Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.

As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible—something that threatens reality itself.

My Brief Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be the prefect mix of fantasy and thriller and mystery. I am big buffy fan and Hayden at points really reminds me of buffy and the strong female characters and relationships was also super well done. This book would make a prefect fall/halloween read because it is def creepy but not terrifying. I really loved the setting of this book. I thought the world building could have been clearer at points but I did really love the myth that was created. I thought the pacing towards the start was rather slow but def did pick up as the book progressed and the ending I just wanted more time for “answers” If you are looking for creepy fantasy read, this may be the book for you. I also like the elements of emails and trascripts that accented the novel!

My Extended Thoughts!

Characters: Since this was is a standalone at the moment, I think it was a little bit hard to connect to the main characters and it was only at the very end of the book that I felt any connection to them. Also Hayden could be super unlikable but I did grow to like her by the end. I think if we got more books in this world, this would be less a problem.

World Building  This world that crafted was so well done. I thought it was so creepy and eeiry and i really loved it. I thought it was such a complex world. I thought the explaining of the world was sometimes a tad rushed but I really liked not only the narrative story line but also the various documents that enchanted the experiences.

Mystery  I thought the mystery was predictable at points but I was overly still engaged by the end.

Would I read more by this author in the future! I think i would, maybe getting it on my kindle or from the lib. first but It is worth a read!

Let me know in the comments if you are going to be picking this book up this week!

later book lovers

Wildcard: My Non-Spoiler Review!!

Wildcard by Marie Lu 

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Published by  G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on September 18, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Thriller,

Pages: 352

Format: ARC

Source: BEA

2018 challenge: PSRC: Cyber book!

Buy on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Goodreads

I would give this book 5 for a review.

Summary!!!

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

In this explosive sequel to the New York Times bestselling Warcross, Marie Lu delivers an addictive finale that will hold you captive till the very last page.

 

My brief Thoughts:

I really adored this sequel to Warcross. I loved how it expanded the world and also really made the mystery and the drama in book one even more complex. It was super fast pace read. I loved the balance between older characters in book one and the newer characters we meet in book 2. It was a good balance. It was a super fast read. I just loved how well marie lu created this world so diverse and and did it in such semless way and it made the world seem so “real” to me. I loved all the game play we got as well in this novel. I would def. be interested in seeing more books in this world because this world was so much fun to read about!

My Extended Thoughts!!

Characters: I really loved how Lu balanced the new characters we met in book 2 and the    characters I adored in book 1. I thought both characters got equal screen time and loved how complex the characters became in regards to both actions and both morality. The characters are a series highlight.

Mystery/ Thriller: I thought the mystery in this book was taken to a next level and just was so so complex. I really loved the many mysteries we got and how they all tied together in the end.

Diversity: This book is prob one of the most well crafted diverse books I ever read. It was done so well and so easily that It felt like our real world. I loved it in book one, but book two took to another level and I loved it.

World Building: Lu expanded this world and such a fun and compelling well. It really reminded me of what was done in book 4 and book 5 of harry potter and it made me LOVE this world so much!

Let me know in the comments if you will be checking this book out soon! Check out my video above where I talk spoilers for the whole series!