Thursday, October 8, 2015

Brother by Ania Ahlborn

Summary on Goodreads.

Buy from Amazon

"Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it’s served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don’t knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what’s buried in the Morrows’ backyard..." More [+]

Holy fuck!! This book is just... brutal, cruel, sad, and infuriating. If you are squeamish, one of those people that get offended by the vivid description of violence and misery, and think that some scenes are better left out, then PLEASE don't read this book. Because it would definitely "offend" you (as people seem to be offended by everything and anything nowadays).

Horror, yes, this is horror. Ahlborn explores the effect of systematic psychological abuse almost to perfection.

Ray and Michael are brothers, but while Ray is full psychopath and enjoys it, Michael is a coward afraid of even speaking up. Mind you, supposedly he took it all in because he was protecting his sister, but I just couldn't stand him. I very much prefer a crazy killer with the guts to own his craziness than a wimp.

Michael was weak, and even though he gave the reasons for his lack of personality, I couldn't like him. Maybe it is because I personally prefer characters with personality than the weak ones that become heroes at the end. The writing here is just exceptional. I swear I was living in that mountain, in that crazy house.

Ray and Michael were so well developed that they will remain in my head for a long time. The twist was equally cruel. And although I had preferred to see the bad guys suffer (kind of like that movie I spit on your grave, I guess the way the story ended could give room to write another book about Claudine and Wade.

The story is so so sad and grim that my heart aches. Whatever it takes to write this way, Ahlborn has it. Now, I will just to read her other books.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Improbable Adventures of My Mischief by E. Merwin and Cynthia Stuart

Purchase from Amazon.

When Skyler Goode adopts two rat pups from a NYC pet shop, she creates a perfect home for her mischief. However, when the exterminators arrive with their bedbug sniffing hound, Archer and Fletch must dive into a new life that centers around the fountain of Lincoln Center.

I don't know why, as I was reading this, I was thinking of it as an animated movie like Ratatouille and The Nut Job.

I loved how the story began and, just like in Piccolo (the author's previous book), I liked how the author writes.

Can you imagine America going viral demanding for a rat to be free? Well, this is what happened here, and because of that, two little rats were adopted by a rich, gifted girl who learned to talk when she was four (or was it two?) months old. They were living happily ever after until [.... insert suspense music here].

The story was funny; and what came of it reminded me of A Series of Unfortunate Events (but fortunate). I think that what caught my interest was how the story began, kind of going from the general to the specific. I kind of dig this writing technique sometimes.

If you a looking for a short enjoyable fable, this is it!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Come Sit By Me by Thomas Hoobler

Summary on Goodreads.

I think that losing yoir virginity at prom is a cliche that we should not encourage any more. I read about teens in YA books and it all revolves around the same old concept of prom, virginity, and sex. Perhaps in our society is not possible to write about YA without covering the same old prom pressure, virginity shame, and traditional sex on prom night. I'm sure authors can move past that already.

I loved this book in every little detail. Call it coincidence that I started reading it a day before the shooting of Oregon Community College.

I liked that Come Sit By Me gave me more on what've always wondered about mass murderers. Well, the book didn't answer specific questions, but it did gave me a nice and interesting look into the mind of a person who does something like that. Those killers out there must have their own unjustified reasons, I just found this book went a little deeper on the subject.

Hoobler did a wonderful, wonderful job. He doesn't uses words necessarily and everything is said in a smooth way that ate its way to my heart.

I didn't like the ending of the story because I don't think that covering the truth is ever right. Who am I to judge? But North was the way he was because of his father, so I wanted his father to be accounted for his actions.

I was reading that the name of the killer at Oregon Community College wasn't worth saying but, would you clean up the name of a killer if it turned out to be a reason?

This book also depicted what we see in the news when a tragedy like this happens: everybody who died was almost a saint. Well, it is never good to speak ill of the dead, right? I wonder if journalism would one day turn around to be less compromising.

Back to Come Sit By Me, I loved everything but the cliched sex at prom (maybe because I just think is time YA moves on), and how we, the reader, know about Caleb, the killer, but other people in the story didn't.

Lastly, Paul did take justice on his own which, in this case, didn't seem fit to me.

In all, this is a powerful story that will give you something new to think about.

I read a blogger write that the author exploited a school shooting to write this story. That makes think, when authors write about zombies, vampires, a plane crash, rape, kidnapping, and so on, what exactly are they exploiting? I wish more YA based on real events were written rather than the usual bs about vampires, ghosts, and angels.

This book portrayed real teenagers (at least the teens I know). Real reactions to a tragedy, and I a disturbed mind that didn't received the help needed but, as we know, schools have thousands of students and just go through the motion of "counseling" without really doing anything substantial.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title.

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner

Summary on Goodreads.

Buy on Amazon.

Not terribly bad but not good either. This seemed to me like a standard suspense written following some type of format. The characters don't have depth and the story is simple. The main character had no depth and sounded younger that what she must had been since her husband was divorced and they had money to by cottages and properties.

I felt this book was the standard plot where someone dies and there's no clue but then some people start saying cryptic messages to make you doubt everyone. And do grown women keep diaries/journals anymore? I don't know why writers still use a dairy as a mean of discovering something. Hello! You are not 15!!!

The good thing is that I read this book in one day; so I would catalog as a quick read.

Although I didn't particularly like the plot/story, I was intrigued and wanted to find out who this "good neighbor" who would turn out to be bad was.

I said this is a standard kind of cliched plot because the culprit came out of nowhere (a good thing, I guess) and confessed everything at the end. Come on, the guilty person had been planning the murder and all for a while just to suddenly confess for no reason. Personally, I tend to dislike stories like that. I prefer some type of discovery to actually happen rather than a lame confession.

In short, the story kept me intrigued though I didn't like it but if you are looking for a light and quick suspense, this is your book.

Thanks Netgalley for providing a free copy of this title.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Summary on Goodreads.

This title will be available on February 2, 2016 on Amazon.

"In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety..." more [+]

What to say about this book? That I just LOVED it. I had read Sepetys' other book, Between Shades of Gray and liked it, but I would say that Between Shades of Gray was just a writing practice because Sepetys went a lot deeper in her writing this time.

The story is told in 4 POVs. I enjoyed each one of the POV; each was distinct and sometimes one POV would take where the other left. How to explain the exquisite form this book was written? All in all, I enjoyed Alfred, the sailor, the most.

I really wish this book was made into a movie. The sinking of the ship would definitely provide for scenes of Titanic proportions.

The work that Sepetys must have put into her research for this piece of historical fiction must have been incredible. I was so immerse that I lost touch with reality and was literally living in that period.

Sepetys has become one of my favorite historical fiction authors. Salt to the Sea filled me with emotions and its ending (thank God) left me completely satisfied.

Okay, I'm gonna stop now because there's nothing I can say that would make justice to this super, incredible, wonderful book.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this title.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Summary on Goodreads.

Buy on Amazon

It reminded of the book What's left of me by Kat Zhang but way more interesting. The Dead House it is also about two souls in one body, but here, instead of some dystopia, it is contemporary and the character is treated by a multiple personalities disorder condition.

To be true, I just loved this first part. The bad part is that half way through the book, it seems to me that the author didn't know what to do with the story and mixed it up with some witchcraft, magic, voodoo, Mala-Grúndi thing.

So the story was going fine and dandy until apparently, an evil force has taken one of the souls and now we only have one body and one soul. There's an evil force that needs to be fought, people have to die because of this, and Kaitlyn/Carly... Well, you'll have to read that.

Chilling and creepy, the story was not (for me). Compelling, yes, the first half of the book; it was pretty cool and interesting (psychologically speaking). It is the second half that bored me.

The format the book is written (like police records, psychiatric reports, transcripts of video footage and diary fragments) is pretty cool too and it would make for an interesting movie.

I think I always give any book with a good first half and a crappy second half 3 stars, ha ha ha!

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this title.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Try not to Breath by Holly Seddon

Summary on Goodreads.

This title will be available on February 16, 2016.

Order from Amazon.

I just loved it. As I read about Alex it reminded me of Rachel in The Girl on the Train because the main characters are both alcoholic, thus unreliable. But in this book, Alex was what I'd call a 'conscious alcoholic.' That is, she knew she drank and would do all her work before 12:00 pm because at that time, she would lock herself up at home to drink. She would do this to avoid embarrassing situations like passing out in pubs and sleeping around... and she wasn't interested in changing her life. Alex was also divorced and would call her ex (Matt) for "help" and I would be all like, "come on, that excuse again?"

What I loved most was the new take (for me) about people on vegetative state.

From the summary, you know that 15 years old Amy was attacked and has being in comma for 15 years. Then come Alex writing a newspaper piece on this condition and sees Amy. From there, Alex's life started to change and she unfolds Amy's last hours and what happened to her.

The story is told in different POVs, and what I just loved Amy's POV. It reminded me of If I stay by Gayle Forman. By while Mia bored me to death with her should-I-stay-or-should-I-go thoughts, Amy's made me want to know more.

The story could be considered slow paced, but for me, it worked this way. I just enjoyed each minute of it.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with this free copy.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Summary on Goodreads.

I loved it! It might seem slow and that nothing is really happening, but that is the way it has to move for the end to work.

I loved the dynamics of this town and its rich (or apparently rich) people. I liked that one thing was said and another one was thought. It just reminded me of Hysteria Lane [?] and Desperate housewives. That kind of drama senza Gaby Solis.

White people are so polite and proper! I would like to see the same to happen among Hispanics!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pop Goes the Weasel by M. J. Arlidge

Summary on Goodreads.

Pop Goes the Weasel (Helen Grace, #2)

This title will be available October 6, 2015.

Order from Amazon.

This one was as good as Eneey Meeney. It is a completely different story but some aspects of Helen Grace from the first book are here. So it would be better to read book #1 in the series first so you don't feel lost and unattached to the main character.

The intrigue and gruesome details of the murders are as vivid and horrific as the first book. The tension and the detective work as impeccable as well.

I am not giving it the full five stars because I had trouble following the story at times because, as this was a free copy from Netgalley, the book is not completely edited. What a shame. I understand that, but it was hard to follow the story. Paragraphs ran into each other in the middle of a sentence; as a result, I didn't know what the scene was about. Sometimes I thought I was reading about Helen and, because I felt it wasn't making sense, would go back to reread, to eventually find out that the scene was about Charlie. Frustrating but... Hey! It's a free book. And this is why I didn't enjoy the book as much as the first one (which I bought and was perfectly edited).

Reporter Emilia (forgot last name) is again present in the story and doing everything she could possibly do to get the exclusive. My distaste for her grew in this book!

Jake is still present but the romance I suspect will develop between him and Helen isn't happening yet. Sooo will see.

I can't wait to read the next book The Doll's House and be disgusted yet fascinated by Arlidge's imagination.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me this free copy.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge

Eeny Meeny (Helen Grace, #1)

Summary on Goodreads.

I almost couldn't believe what I was reading. This was a different kind of thriller. Yes, it has some things that every detective/crime book has, but I enjoyed this one A LOT.

Would you choose to kill or be killed? I instantly thought "kill," but then I thought, what if the choice is between my sister and I?

Every characters had a distinct personality and I was immersed in their situation. I completely related to them and the choice they had to make.

Also, I agreed with the killer and her hatred and thirst of revenge.


Perhaps the following is not really a spoiler but just in case I wanted to warn you.

So, Marianne hates her sister because, after Marianne killed their parents because they were abusing her (the father and his friends were raping her), her sister turned her back on Marianne. Maybe Marianne could've just gone to the police instead of choosing to kill them, but then again, a desperate mind takes desperate measures.

Marianne knew that her sister, at the time 13, was next to be raped because she saw how her father was already looking a her. So she chose to kill them both to save her sister and make them pay for what they've done to her.

Marianne's sister was the one to call the police about the murder, and even worst, when Marianne went to jails, her sister never wrote to her. Marianne wrote a lot of letter to her sister, but the sister chose to ignore and forget about Marianne completely.

Why? They didn't love their parents, and Marianne's sister knew about the rape and what was going on. Then why turn on your sister like that?

Because of that, I completely get why Marianne hated her sister and wanted revenge.


As I said before, a good damn book that I couldn't put down. I will definitely read the other books in the series.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Just Plain Weird by Tom Upton

Summary on Goodreads.

So Travis lives a quite life until Eliza moves next door and everything changes.
At the beginning I was interested. Travis and his best friend were pleasantly weird. And the first visit to Eliza's house definitely got me hooked. But after that, mysterious Eliza decides to talk to Travis and the story became boring. Nothing about the story was interesting anymore.

The most annoying part is that Eliza launches into monologues that go on for pages. Even worst, the entire book has long paragraphs that take pages. I cannot stand those long, interminable paragraphs.

So no, they are not aliens, but I'd have preferred they were. Eliza and her father found an alien artifact that makes incredible things (like replicate food). The machine chose to communicate with Travis, Eliza's neighbor, and now they learn about this whole different world and, like E. T., the machine wants to go home.

The machine tells Travis, by now Trav, how to go home and he sets up the coordinates back in time but then something goes wrong. Oh! Did I mention that Eliza's mom had disappeared at the site where they found the alien artifact? Well, if time goes back that means that Eliza's mom would be back because she would never have disappeared.

Hmmm, put that way the story sound interesting; it is just that the writing was horrible which, I guess, made it not interesting for me. Travis' friend was super smart and odd, something that could have been developed and taken advantage of in the story but wasn't.

Oh! It just got me bored and DNF.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Those Girls by Chevy Stevens

Summary on Goodreads.

I think it is official, the only book I'll like by Stevens is and will always be Still Missing. Every other book I've read by Stevens feels... empty.

Did I care for anyone in this book? Not really. Then, halfway, when time has passed, the girls have a new identity and I don't know who is who again. I lost ALL interest in the story.

You know what? It would've been a much better book if it turned out to be that the girls haunted, tortured, and killed those bastards. But nope, I guess is okay to have women being raped and tortured but not okay to have them do the same to men.

But back to the point, the characters were really flat. Three girls who have it tough with an alcoholic father, yet, I didn't feel sad for them. And those guys... no personality at all. Fine. I'm telling you, the book would've been better if it stopped when they escaped because...

A few pages into the story I just kept thinking, "is this the same author who wrote Still Missing? It is time for me and Stevens to officially break up.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

In the House of Leviathan by B.D. Bruns

Summary on Goodreads.

16% and nothing has happened besides a man sitting on the beach with the water up to his chest, and a swimming pool that should be empty filling up with water by itself and emptying itsel again.

A lot of descriptions and dragging writting.

By 23% Finally something; out of nowhere a beast/pulp attacks the family. More dialogue about this.

40%Zzzzzzz bored out of my mind but determined to finish it.

50% Officially DNF. I want my money back!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Bully by Penelope Douglas

Bully (Fall Away #1)

Summary on Goodreads.

So Jared hates Tate for no apparent reason. He bullies her a lot... and Tate cries a lot. However, being the reason of such inexplicable hate doesn't stop Tate from appreciating how a fine specimen Jared is.

Anyway, Tate resolved to fight back and now we have a relationship similar to the two love interests of that silly book, Obsidian. The typical I-hate-you-so-much-because-I-actually-like-you shit all over again.

Did I mention that Tate looks smoking hot but she doesn't know it? Yeah.... That girl again.

At 45% the nemesis (Jared and Tate) hook up and make out like mad dogs.

I haven't read that far yet, but I am sure this shit is going to be Jared confessing that he was mean to Tate because she became too cute and he didn't know how to act around her anymore. Must force self to read more.

Random note: Is this the crap that we are teaching girls?

67% I knew it! Jared confessed "I've wanted you for so long. All the times I'd see you next door... it drove me crazy."

Oh well, now I can stop reading this shit. Apparently, it is okay to be bullied if the guy is cute becuase the bullying really means that he likes you and you'll end up together.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Night House by Rachel Tafoya

Summary on Goodreads.

What was I thinking to buy a book without reading the summary first? I just read on a blog I follow that the book was awesome and I added to my list.

Well, I just hate vampire books. Had I known this crap was about vampires... Sweet mother of Jesus! Did I just read "instant connection"?

Anyway, at 16% I just can't keep reading. This is just not my taste. Bianca sells her blood to vampires; well, actually to one vampire, Jeremiah. Bianca is also what we would call a drug addict hooked on the rush she gets from her blood being sucked out of her body (or something like that).

One night, Bianca meets James, our love interest, and she, high as she is after feeding Jeremiah, kisses him. Violá!

According to the summary they fall in love but Jeremiah, who wants Bianca all for himself, gets in the way. THE END.