Author Archives: adultintheyasection

S.T.A.G.S.

S.T.A.G.S. Book Cover S.T.A.G.S.
M.A. Bennett
Delacorte Press
January 30, 2018
Hardcover
304

Greer MacDonald has just started as a scholarship student at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as STAGS. STAGS is a place where new things--and new people--are to be avoided. And in her first days there, Greer is ignored at best and mocked at worst by the school's most admired circle of friends, the Medievals.

So, naturally, Greer is taken by surprise when the Medievals send her an invitation to a sought-after weekend retreat at the private family estate of their unofficial leader, Henry de Warlencourt. It's billed as a weekend of "huntin' shootin' fishin'."

As the weekend begins to take shape, it becomes apparent that beyond the luxurious trappings, predators are lurking, and they're out for blood.

OPTIONED FOR FILM BY FOX 2000 AND CHERNIN ENTERTAINMENT--WITH HUNGER GAMES CO-WRITER TO ADAPT!

 

Review:

It took me about a third of the book to get into the story, but once I did, I found it to be quite a good thriller and a clever commentary on current events.  It’s best read on a rainy night, which is what I did.  Be prepared for some strange nightmares!  I wish I could say more but anything other than what’s already in the blurb would be a spoiler.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Minor Sexual Situations, Violence, Animal Deaths

The Visitors

The Visitors Book Cover The Visitors
Catherine Burns
Fiction
Simon and Schuster
September 26, 2017
304

“Once you start Catherine Burns's dark, disturbing, and enthralling debut novel, it's hard to stop. The Visitors is bizarrely unsettling, yet compulsively readable.” —Iain Reid, internationally bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things With the smart suspense of Emma Donoghue’s Room and the atmospheric claustrophobia of Grey Gardens, Catherine Burns’s debut novel explores the complex truths we are able to keep hidden from ourselves and the twisted realities that can lurk beneath even the most serene of surfaces. Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother John in a crumbling mansion on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to live by John’s rules, even if it means turning a blind eye to the noises she hears coming from behind the cellar door...and turning a blind eye to the women’s laundry in the hamper that isn’t hers. For years, she’s buried the signs of John’s devastating secret into the deep recesses of her mind—until the day John is crippled by a heart attack, and Marion becomes the only one whose shoulders are fit to bear his secret. Forced to go down to the cellar and face what her brother has kept hidden, Marion discovers more about herself than she ever thought possible. As the truth is slowly unraveled, we finally begin to understand: maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side....

 

Review:

Had I written this review as soon as I finished “The Visitors,” it would have been three stars.  I’m glad I waited, because this is the sort of book that sticks with you and chills you to the bone whenever you think about it.

It isn’t fast-paced, and honestly some of the scariest moments come when you identify with the loneliness of Marion.  Quite a bit of it is simply a slice of life type story with bits of the macabre tossed in.  I really don’t want to spoil anything.  If you are up for a slow-burn horror/ thriller, this is highly recommended.

Caution:  There are some animal deaths, though none particularly graphic.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

Before I Let Go

Before I Let Go Book Cover Before I Let Go
Marieke Nijkamp
Young Adult Fiction
Sourcebooks Fire
January 23, 2018
368

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller This Is Where It Ends! Days before Corey is to return home to the snow and ice of Lost Creek, Alaska, to visit her best friend, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated—and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town's lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she's a stranger. Corey knows something is wrong. Lost is keeping secrets—chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter...

 

Review:

All three stars that I have given “Before I Let Go” are because of the beautiful writing.  That being said, I didn’t like this book at all.  The story sounds good in the blurb but fell flat all the way around for me.  It did not help that I didn’t like any of the characters, so I wasn’t even invested in finding out what happened to them.  It was a chore to read.  “One of us.  One of us.  One of us,” ran through my mind the entire time.  I know that Marieke Nijkamp is capable of much better storytelling and still look forward to her next book.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Minor Sexual Situations, Violence

Pierce Brown’s Red Rising: Sons of Ares

Pierce Brown's Red Rising: Sons of Ares Book Cover Pierce Brown's Red Rising: Sons of Ares
Red Rising
Pierce Brown, Rik Hoskin
Dynamite Entertainment
March 13, 2018
Hardcover
152

From the world of the best-selling YA series Red Rising comes a story of love and loss and rage!

In the future, when mankind has spread across the stars, the hierarchy of man is dictated by the color of one’s caste. The Golds rule all, but what will happen when one falls for a lowly Red? See how a forbidden love will set the course of events for the future and lead to the formation of the formidable Sons of Ares!

Written by author Pierce Brown (The Red Rising Trilogy) and Rik Hoskin (Heroes of Skyrealm, Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand), with art by Eli Powell (Yakuza Demon Killers, The 13th Artifact), comes the in-continuity story of revolution and Red Rising!

 

Review:

“Red Rising: Sons of Ares” is a must for any diehard Red Rising fan.  The backstory of how it all began is interesting, and I hope it continues.  One of my favorite touches was that the text bubbles matched the color of whoever was speaking.  Anyone who hasn’t read the books first probably won’t find it enjoyable, so please read the wonderful series first!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

My New Crush Gave to Me

My New Crush Gave to Me Book Cover My New Crush Gave to Me
Shani Petroff
Young Adult Fiction
Swoon Reads
October 31, 2017
288

Eager for a date to the holiday season "Lover's Ball," school newspaper editor Charlie rigs the school's Secret Santa exchange to woo the boy of her dreams.

 

Review:

“My New Crush Gave to Me” would have been much better as a short story.  As a book, it’s cute and a quick read, but there is a lot of filler in there.  Once it finally picked up around the middle I enjoyed it, though I could never spend much time in real life around the main character, Charlie!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Mild Sexual Situations

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe Book Cover Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe
Melissa de la Cruz
Fiction
Wednesday Books
October 17, 2017
240

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe from New York Times bestselling author, Melissa de la Cruz, is a sweet, sexy and hilarious gender-swapping, genre-satisfying re-telling, set in contemporary America and featuring one snooty Miss Darcy. Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her family. Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32-years-old and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

 

Review:

I’m giving “Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe” a three because it’s cute – for someone on the younger end of the ya reading group.  I’m not really sure how it got classified as adult romance, but it does not belong there.  It’s a two at best when in that category.  There really isn’t anything else for me to say about it. Not recommended.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

The Hanging Girl

The Hanging Girl Book Cover The Hanging Girl
Eileen Cook
Hmh Books for Young Readers
October 3, 2017
320

Another unputdownable, twisty, cat-and-mouse thriller by the author of With Malice about a girl who claims to have a psychic vision that could help find a missing teenager.

 

Review:

“The Hanging Girl” is a good read for someone in the mood for a quick and fun young adult mystery.  The plot is entertaining and would come in handy for someone needing a break during the holiday season by escaping for a while.  The only problem I had with it is the main character, Skye.  No matter how much her character’s deeper history was revealed I just could not bring myself to like her.  Recommended for a light read!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence

 

The House at 758

The House At 758 Book Cover The House At 758
Kathryn Berla
Young Adult Fiction
Amberjack Publishing
October 17, 2017
250

Sixteen-year-old Krista is having a hard time. She's still grieving the recent death of her mother when her father's girlfriend, Marie, moves into their home, and Krista feels like there's no one she can talk to about her sadness. To make matters worse, her best friend, Lyla, is heading to Maine for the summer to spend time with her grandparents. Krista feels pressure from the people around her to resume a normal life; her father wants her to find an activity to occupy her summer, and her neighbor encourages her to return to therapy. However, Krista doesn't feel ready to be -normal- again; she'd rather hang out in a tent she'd pitched on her roof, or sit in her car obsessively watching a mysterious house, the house at 758. Just when things start to feel too hard for her to bear, she runs into Jake, a fellow classmate and the cute sales associate at a store where she shoplifts. A young romance quickly forms, but Krista has a hard time opening up to Jake. She remains guarded and manages to push him away. One day, her father informs her that her grandfather, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who lives in Venezuela, is coming to town for a visit. Krista is at first irritated that she'd have to babysit her foreign grandfather whom she barely knows, but soon realizes that he may be just the person she needed in her life. Krista's grandfather begins telling her stories of his past, of tragedy, hope, and forgiveness, and with these new developments, Krista begins to open up and embrace life again. She ends up confronting her grief and gains a greater understanding of her family's past and what she has to look forward to in life.

 

Review:

“The House at 758” is a coming-of-age story centered around grief and the unhealthy ways people deal with it.  I found Krista and those around her intriguing and I genuinely worried about her mental health and safety.  It’s an odd story in the way it reads and that adds to the appeal.  The storytelling fits the plot perfectly and almost becomes a character unto itself.  Recommended!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language

 

 

A Messy, Beautiful Life

A Messy, Beautiful Life Book Cover A Messy, Beautiful Life
Sara Jade Alan
Young Adult Fiction
Entangled: Teen
October 2, 2017
239

Life is funny sometimes. And not always the ha, ha kind. Like that one time where a hot guy tried to kiss me and I fell. Down. Hard. And then found out I had cancer. I’m trying to be strong for my friends and my mom. And I’m trying so hard to be “just friends” with that hot guy, even though he seems to want so much more. But I won’t do that to him. He’s been through this before with his family, and I’m not going to let him watch me die. So, I tell myself: Smile Ellie. Be funny Ellie. Don’t cry Ellie, because once I start, I might not stop.

 

Review:

“A Messy, Beautiful Life” tossed my emotions around like a clothes dryer, wrung them, flipped them upside down, and tossed them out.  It’s a book about cancer, but not at all like any of the other books you probably had pop into your mind.  Everything about it feels so real.  I felt their joy and their pain, and I am not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby.  Highly recommended!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

Select (The Select, Book 1)

Select Book Cover Select
Marit Weisenberg
JUVENILE FICTION
Charlesbridge Publishing
2017
352

Coming from a race of highly evolved humans, Julia Jaynes has the perfect lifeEor so she thinks. After she accidentally disrupts the Jaynes' delicate anonymity by falling for a normal human guy, Julia is banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school.

 

Review:

“Select” is one of those books that sounded so good and then failed to live up to the hype, in my opinion.  The plot is a very slow burn.  It seemed to take forever for something, anything, to happen.  On top of that, I just did not care for the characters or the love interests at all.  It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t good, either. If it sounds interesting to you, give it a try, but I can’t recommend it.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence