Monthly Archives: August 2016


Twisted Book Cover Twisted
Hannah Jayne
Juvenile Fiction
Sourcebooks Fire
July 1, 2016

Bex is ready to start a new life in foster care. There, she won't be known as a serial killer's daughter. Though her father was never tried for the murders attributed to "The Wife Collector," he disappeared after questioning. And Bex struggles with the guilt that she provided the circumstantial evidence that convicted him in the public's perception-and drove him to abandon her. But when a body turns up in her new hometown, all signs point to the Wife Collector. Bex's old life isn't ready to let her go. The police want to use Bex to lure in her father. But is she baiting a serial killer or endangering an innocent man?



“Twisted” fell far short of my expectations.

I had really high hopes for the book.  The daughter of a serial killer who is being stalked?  Yes, please.  Unfortunately, it read more like a somewhat poorly done script for a syfy horror movie.  Bex and the other characters fell completely flat, and there were quite a few inconsistencies in the story.  Don’t even get me started on the amount of stupid in the main character’s decisions.  I know all of this is typical of a low-budget horror movie, but books allow for development.  It would have been nice to see the author use it.

I wish I could recommend “Twisted.”  The premise was really promising, and I hope to see the author come up with another one that delivers more fully.

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


Content Warning:

Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence


Gemini Book Cover Gemini
Sonya Mukherjee
Juvenile Fiction
Simon and Schuster
July 26, 2016

In a small town, as high school graduation approaches, two conjoined sisters must weigh the importance of their dreams as individuals against the risk inherent in the surgery that has the potential to separate them forever.



Actual rating: 3 1/5 stars

“Gemini” is a groundbreaking ya novel about conjoined twins.  It was an interesting read that took me beyond my preconceived notions.

Clara and Hailey are conjoined but as different as two people can be.  One is an artist and one is an astronomy genius.  Told in alternating viewpoints, it highlights how differently they think and see their situation.  Topics such as relationships and bullying are tackled, as well as the more mundane tasks in life that are more difficult for them, such as the act of sitting down.  One of my favorite aspects of the characters was that they were unapologetically presented as capable of being assholes at times.  Too many people think disabled people can’t be like that.  The angel phenomenon was nice to see broken.

I will say that the story seemed more suited to upper middle graders than older teens.  There is very little objectionable material and some of the situations can be ridiculous.  The ending is a good example of that.  That being said, it is still a fun read.

I can recommend “Gemini” to those looking for books about uncommon disabilities, somewhat light reads, and older middle graders.

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


Content Warning:

Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Brief Mention of Underage Drinking


And I Darken

And I Darken Book Cover And I Darken
Kiersten White
Juvenile Fiction
Delacorte Press

In this first book in a trilogy a girl child is born to Vlad Dracula, in Transylvania, in 1435--at first rejected by her father and always ignored by her mother, she will grow up to be Lada Dragwlya, a vicious and brutal princess, destined to rule and destroy her enemies.



I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up “And I Darken,” aside from the story of Vlad the Impaler if he were female, but this book blew me away.

The main character, Lada, is a deliciously evil anti-heroine.  She is nothing like the typical YA version of a female character.  She’s plain, even ugly, and not in need of any boy.  She’s a badass.  A badass you never want to meet.  Her brother, Radu, is the sensitive and beautiful one.  There is romance, but like the plot, I don’t want to spoil anything.  I’ll just say I was pleasantly surprised to find a lgbtq character in the book.

I highly recommend “And I Darken” to anyone who enjoys a dark story and doesn’t mind gore.  That being said, I do want to warn that the publisher recommends the book for ages 12+, and I feel it would be a rare 12-year-old who will be able to handle the subject matter.

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


Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence, Gore, Disturbing Imagery