Killer Instinct by S.E. Green

killer instinct

Killer Instinct by S.E. Green

Green starts her debut YA novel off with a bang, telling readers the book’s narrator not only studies serial killers, but may be one herself.  “Interesting thing is, I am those profiles.  I have urges.  I plot ways to violently make people pay for what they’ve done to others.”  Sounds a little like the HBO tv show Dexter, right?  When the “Decapitator” starts stalking victims in Lane’s own hometown, her FBI mother is right on the case, with Lane secretly reading the files in her mom’s home office at night.  She even installs a nanny-cam to get in on the phone conversations!  When the killer starts contacting Lane personally, she takes it as a challenge to find the killer herself, even if it means becoming the next victim!S.E. Green

This was a fun book–fast-paced, lots of clues about the identity of the killer, and good insight into the protagonist Lane through the use of the first person narration.  I personally found Lane’s voice a little annoying, but was able to let that go when the story began to get exciting.  I would recommend this title to mystery fans, readers who like Dexter and true crime stories, and fans of Jazz Dent books by Barry Lyga.

If you like mystery and suspense, check these out:

i hunt killers          game

Advertisements

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


url-1The Girl on the Train
written by Paula Hawkins is a psychological thriller that takes us throughout the life of Rachel Watson post divorce. Rachel was a drunk and was always described as having an overactive imagination. She finds herself to have a fascination with this young, active couple. Megan, the woman in the relationship was perfect in Rachel’s eyes. Young, attractive, happy. She watched them idly from the train she rode every morning, and she watched as their bond grew and flourished. She envied their new found love until one day, she catches Megan kissing another man. Rage consumed her, she didn’t understand how she could allow her perfect relationship to slip through her fingers. She drowned her rage in alcohol and the next morning she finds herself bruised, and bloodied with no recollection of what happened the night before. She turned on the news and noticed that the headline of the day was that Megan was missing. Rachel finds her world flipped upside down. She is questioned by police, and all fingers point to her being the one who did it. She is fed memories of her actions from her ex-husband Tom but none of it adds up. Did Rachel have something to do with Megan’s disappearance? Or is there a secondary source contributing to this thriller?

Review by Sydney

 

Carry On: the Rise and Fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell

carry on

Carry On: the Rise and Fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell

Rowell’s fans will be thrilled with her latest novel detailing the crazy life of Simon Snow as he tries to finish theWatford School of Magicks, fall in love, and save the world.  Simon and his roommate and arch enemy Baz started off as fictional characters in the writer’s 2013 Fangirl.  Simon, his best friend Penny, his sort-of-ex-girlfriend Agatha and Baz join forces to combat the powerful Humdrum which is trying to steal all the world’s magic.  The story may remind readers of the Harry Potter stories, but Rowell’s twists on the genre and strong characters and setting make this title hard to set aside.  I recommend to fans of fantasy, Harry Potter, romances and Rainbow Rowell.

If you’re an an author geek, here’s an interview with her from Book Expo last June.

fangirl               eleanor and park

Click on the book covers for our reviews of her other books.

The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams

chosen one

The Chosen One  by Carol Lynch Williams

Thirteen year old Kyra lives with her family, including her father; her true mother, Mother Sarah; Mother Claire, her father’s first wife; Mother Victoria, his second wife; and her 20 siblings in the four corners area of the western United States. Her community, the Chosen Ones, lives isolated from the rest of the area and relies on themselves for support. Kyra has always been content with her life, even thought she secretly borrows books from the county library bookmobile she discovered on one of her walks in the desert.  When the Prophet, leader of the Chosen Ones, announces that Kyra is to be the seventh wife to her Uncle Hyrum, her father’s sixty year old brother, even her father and the family object. Unable to change the Prophet’s mind, the family resigns itself to his directive, but Kyra resolves to get away.

I found this book so riveting that I read it again as soon as I finished it the first time. The writing is absolutely true to Kyra’s character and the plot completely engrossed me. I can’t wait to read more books by this author!

Review by Mrs. Goldstein-Erickson

All Fall Down by Ally Carter

all-fall-down

All Fall Down  by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #1)

Ally Carter, author of the popular Gallagher Girls and Heist Society series, has written the first book in a new series: Embassy Row. Sixteen year old Grace has been sent to live with her grandfather, the American ambassador to the European county of Adria, while her Army father is deployed. Grace has not been to Adria for 3 years, when her mother died in front of her. While Grace has been told her mother died in a fire, Grace is sure she was shot by a man with a scar. Grace has resolved to stop reckless behavior from her younger years so her grandfather will be proud of her, but can’t seem to change her habits. Grace and other “embassy brats” whose parents represent different countries follow suspicious characters through ancient tunnels, sure they are on the track of a nefarious plot. What they find surprises them.

I have been a devoted fan of Ally Carter’s two series and am waiting for the next installment in this series.

Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong

furtistic violence

Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong

What a roller coaster of a ride this book is!!!  If you love science fiction-action movies, this is the perfect choice for you.  Zoey Ashe is a normal teenager living in a worn down trailer with her mom, who hardly talks to her.  She barely even knows her her biological dad is, some rich guy she’s seen twice in her life who her mom says is a major douche bag mafioso type.  When he dies and leaves everything to Zoey, her world crashes in.  Suddenly, all the crazies in the world are after her for the $5 million dollar bounty on her head.  Of course she is kidnapped by her father’s henchmen immediately, but then becomes a media star because the whole thing (which took play in the subway) was streamed live on the internet using Blink, a GoPro type device almost everyone wears.  She’s immediately taken to a lawless city called Tabula Ra$a, which is like Las Vegas on steroids.  Here chaos ensues, with Zoey trying to trust the “Fancy Suits,” who are her father’s closest advisors and don’t really seem to be on the up and up themselves.  They’re fighting against a genetically altered crazy man, think Robocop, for control of the city and the future of mankind.

This was a super fun book which I could hardly set down while reading.  I want to give readers a warning that there is some extremely graphic violence which was difficult for me, but I have trouble stomaching “The Walking Dead” zombie show on TV.

I would recommend this to readers who like high action books and movies, and those who like fast-paced adventure stories.  If you love the Matrix movies, Ernest Cline the Maze Runner books, this is your perfect next book.

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

how it went down

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

This ripped from the headlines story details the shooting of the black, sixteen-year-old Tarik Johnson by a white man named Jack Franklin.  The neighborhood is in an uproar, and even the eyewitness disagree about what they saw.  When Franklin is released by the police about claiming self-defense, the community tries to make sense of what really happened, but the truth seems to get more distressing as new accounts of the event come to light.

Magoon discloses the story from varying perspectives: local teens and adults, police logs, a local bodega owner, 911 emergency response call log and more.  Through the multiple points of view, readers are encouraged to draw their own conclusions about “How it went down.”  This story echoes incidents going on across the country without pointing fingers of blame and striving to give real insight into racial relations in the country today.  I commend Magoon for her good writing that makes readers feel that they are in the moment of the incident, while trying to show how urban violence can impact one young man and his community.  I highly recommend this to all teens and fans of urban drama.

37 things          rock and the river          fire in the streets