Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Series Name: N/A
“Everyone has a lot to say about Alice Franklin, and it’s stopped mattering whether it’s true. The rumors started at a party when Alice supposedly had sex with two guys in one night. When school starts everyone almost forgets about Alice until one of those guys, super-popular Brandon, dies in a car wreck that was allegedly all Alice’s fault. Now the only friend she has is a boy who may be the only other person who knows the truth, but is too afraid to admit it. Told from the perspectives of popular girl Elaine, football star Josh, former outcast Kelsie, and shy genius Kurt, we see how everyone has a motive to bring – and keep – Alice down.”
It really makes the rumor-monging that goes in high school hit home. All it takes is a few lies and someone’s life can be irreparably damaged. I think anyone who has children should read this, just to get a better understanding of some of the social dynamics at play in high school.
Title: Stolen Songbird
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Series Name: The Malediction Trilogy #1
“For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.
But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.
As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.”
Not bad but not great. Falls back on commonly used scenarios in fantasy: prophecy, kidnapping, secret rebellion, forced marriage turned true love, hidden magic ability. The trolls were interesting enough, as was their magic.
Title: The Clockwork Scarab
Author: Colleen Gleason
Series Name: Stoker and Holmes #1
“Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes never meant to get into the family business. But when you’re the sister of Bram and the niece of Sherlock, vampire hunting and mystery solving are in your blood. And when two society girls go missing, there’s no one more qualified to investigate.
Now fierce Evaline and logical Mina must resolve their rivalry, navigate the advances of not just one but three mysterious gentlemen, and solve murder with only one clue: a strange Egyptian scarab. The stakes are high. If Stoker and Holmes don’t unravel why the belles of London society are in such danger, they’ll become the next victims.”
I really wanted to like this book. Sherlock’s niece and Bram Stoker’s sister? That should have been a winning combination. Yet somehow, it was not. There was way too much crammed into this book: vampire hunting, time-travel and a murder mystery. And I don’t even know why time-travel was needed. Maybe it was a set-up for the next book. In summary, this book disappointed me.
Title: Nearly Gone
“Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother’s job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn’t trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.
Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it all out soon—she’ll be next.”
I am someone you don’t want to watch horror movies with because I rant at the dumb things people do in them. I was ranting at the main character of this book. Even when she knows something is a set-up she still does exactly what the bad guy wants her to do. I also felt like the author couldn’t decide whether she wanted this to be a mystery or an urban fantasy novel then decided what the hell it will be both. However the fantasy aspect of the book was utterly unnecessary. I think it was just there to make her main character “special”. This another book that disappointed me because it could have been so much better.
Title: The Girl With All The Gifts
Author: M.R. Carey
Series Name: N/A
“Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius’. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.
Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.”
So the synopsis omits the post-apocalyptic zombie-esque background. The four main characters of the book are well-written and even the head-chopping scientist can be empathized with (she is trying to find a cure despite the dubious means of doing so after all). The ending was unexpectedly poignant and brought the novel full circle.
Author: Mindee Arnett
Series Name: Avalon #1
“Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they’re damn good at it. Jeth doesn’t care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents’ ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he’ll go to get the freedom he’s wanted for so long.”
Interesting enough but nothing to write home about. Though the plan of the bad guys regarding the metatech replacement seemed a bit far-fetched. There are a lot of ships that would want/need this and it would be hard to produce enough replacements.
Title: The Univited
Author: Sophie Jordan
Series Name: Uninvited
“When Davy Hamilton’s tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn’t feel any different, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone.
Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.”
The concept of a “murder” gene isn’t new. Nor is the idea of genetic tests being used to single out unwanted traits. The book was interesting enough, but nothing that really stood out to me as new and exciting.