Review: Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 16th, 2013
Series: N/A
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Genre(s): Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Paradise in Aruba quickly gets gruesome in this ripped-from-the-headlines thriller (Kirkus Reviews) with a twist that defies the imagination.

It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.

But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone could ever imagine…

my rambles

This is one of the few reviews where I used gifs, at the authors request, so obviously it was a must!

WHAT DID I JUST READ?!?!?!?! Bravo, Abigail Haas, bravo. That was a real mindf*ck you gave me there (excuse my French, but that term needed to be used). I’m anticipating a book hangover courtesy of this book right here.

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Dangerous Girls was a book that was so well crafted and clearly thought out. When I reached the end it was almost like I could see Abigail Haas laughing at the twisty rollercoaster ride she just took us on when she wrote certain parts. Messing with your head is an understatement when talking about what this book does to your mind.

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I had absolutely no idea who was the killer until the very last couple of pages when it was revealed. Haas writes the story so that there is evidence that could bring any one of the characters down. From creepy Juan or Niklas to even friends Mel or Tate. But when you DO find out who the killer is…it’ll be sure to shock you.

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That ending came out of nowhere for me. When you finally know who did it, you play back every event that you just read from the book searching for clues pointing to the murderer, BUT THERE ARE NONE. That’s when you realize Haas wrote a character that’s even more twisted and more of a psychopath than you thought.giphy (3)

I knocked off a star because, while the ending was AMAZING, I felt that there were things that needed to be clarified and wrapped up. But based on how the author wrote the rest of the book I’m thinking that maybe she wanted our imagination to be left with a blank canvas to get even twistier than the story that was already there. You are an evil genius, Abigail Haas…

Overall, Dangerous Girls can best be summed up in one word: CRAZY. Just when you think you know what’s going on, the story takes a 180 spin and you’re back at square one of the mystery. I couldn’t put it down!

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Now, I have some lingering questions that are quite spoilery that I’d love to just put out there so we can discuss theories and the story in general. Come back after you’ve read the book and highlight the text below to hear what I’ve got to say. As not to spoil others who have yet to read, chat with me about spoiler-y stuff on Twitter, @bookskittens!

  • The “I win” at the end when Anna is at Elise’s grave gave me chills!!! So, so creepy.
  • The very last paragraph of the book I was both weirded and creeped out by. It also lead me to a have a couple questions: Did Tate not notice Anna the whole time she was watching?! When Tate went to visit Anna right before the decision did he know the truth?
  • Wasn’t murder a little extreme, even if your best friend was having an affair with your boyfriend? I mean, talk it out people!
  • Is everything that all of her friends said against Anna really true? Like, when Mel changes her testimony talking about the fight…Was she really lying, or since the book is told from Anna’s POV and Anna is clearly messed up, does she twist everything around and lie herself?

I’d love to hear your guys’ theories about the ending!

xo

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Early Excitement: February 2015

Early Excitement

So many books are being released this February! I’ve got a list that has a wide range of books this month! Also, on a bit of a side note: I have reviews of a couple February releases coming up soon on the blog. Be sure to stop by February 10th & 11th for those! Hint: I really really liked them both! 😉 Now, on to the books!

  

Shutter by Courtney Alameda — February 3rd, 2015
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard — February 10th, 2015
One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin — February 10th, 2015

  

The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson — February 10th, 2015
A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas — February 24th, 2015
When My Heart Was Wicked by Tricia Stirling — February 24th, 2015

What February 2015 releases are you looking forward to?

xo

Review: Seeker by Arwen Elys Dayton

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: February 10th, 2015
Series: Seeker, #1
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre(s): Fantasy
Synopsis from Goodreads:

For readers of A Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games comes an epic new series.

The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor. As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world. And she’ll be with the boy she loves–who’s also her best friend.

But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes. Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought.

And now it’s too late to walk away.

my rambles

Special thanks to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book for review!

When I first heard about Seeker, I knew that I just had to read it. It sounded like everything I love in a good, solid fantasy novel. Although it was nothing like I was expecting, and it’s a fantasy story in a unique way. It’s not your run-of-the-mill fantasy book. There are other elements from different genres that sneak into the storyline that make it cool and different than any fantasy book that I’ve ever read!

The story of Seeker is very complex, I could tell that from the beginning. For that reason, the pacing of the book seems to go by slowly, but that is not at all a bad thing. Despite the slow pace, there is still plenty of action to keep you immersed in the story and the world. It is told in four different parts (there are different locations and times), from four very different point of view characters. The books spans a large amount of time, but I liked how Dayton left a gap of time untold. It gives the reader a chance to piece together that time and how the past affected the characters. The world and setting itself are hard to categorize for this book. They seem both historical and futuristic at the same time, again adding to the complexity of the story.

Of course there is the fantasy aspect of Seeker. Throughout the book we learn more about the history of the Seekers and the cause of the years of conflict that builds up to the story in this book. But, I still would have liked to have learned more. The other fantastical element of the book were the Dreads. In the beginning of the book they were just there. It was clear they would play a larger role in the story later, and I loved how Maud (a Dread and POV character) gave us a deeper look into the life of the Dreads and their relationship with the Seekers. They were very well developed, and I came to love Maud as a character.

There is a romance involving Quin, and it is a love triangle. But before you run away from this book know that the love triangle isn’t your typical one, or really one at all. It depends on how you look at it. The span of the book allows for the characters to change drastically throughout the course of the story. Also it helps that Quin isn’t a girl who is completely focussed on the guys. And after a while of reading when some major events went down, I think it’s clear who Quin will end up with and I was happy!

Overall, Seeker is unlike any other fantasy novel that I’ve ever read. I was completely engrossed with the story and the world that I didn’t want to put it down! A slower read, but completely worth it. I can’t wait to journey back into the story of the Seekers!

xo

Novella Review: Cursed Beauty by Dorian Tsukioka

Publisher: Dorian Tsukioka (self)
Release Date: November 15th, 2014
Series: N/A
Pages: 73
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Genre(s): Fairy Tale, Retelling
Synopsis from Goodreads:

A pair of glass slippers that can change her life? When something is too good to be true, it usually is…

Adelaide has lived her entire life cursed with a birthmark that makes people shy away. When an invitation to the Elder Prince’s ball falls in her lap, she knows attending would only cause people to shun her more.

A fairy godmother feels her pain and offers her a pair of glass slippers that not only transform her ragged dress to an elegant gown, but also removes the mark that covers her face. However, Adelaide soon learns that the beautiful slippers can steal away more than just her birthmark, leaving her cursed in a far worse way.

This retelling of the classic Cinderella story will resound with readers of young adult fiction who love paranormal fantasy, fairy tales, and a splash of romance.

my rambles

Special thanks to Dorian Tsukioka for providing me with a copy of the book for review!

For a novella that is freestanding, I was very impressed with both the story and the writing of Cursed Beauty. I’m a sucker for fairy tale retellings, Cinderella being one of my favorites, and I really enjoyed how the author reimagined the story in such a short story but with lots of detail and left me feeling satisfied.

The bulk of Cursed Beauty remains similar to that of the Disney fairy tale that we’ve grown up with and loved, but the little changes to the magical aspects of the story and the characters made it unique and memorable.

After all, this is a fairy tale at heart, so there were some cliche moments. But the story was sweet and the main character, Adelaide, is one that is very likeable.

Overall, Cursed Beauty was a cute and fun retelling of the Cinderella story that we all know and love!

xo

Week in Review: 1/18/15

Week in Review


In Life

I feel like each Week in Review post I write is just me apologizing for the lack of posts and complaining about school, but this will be the last time, I promise. But seriously, MIDTERMS! Who made these a “thing” because they are torture, and studying takes up ALL of my time. I picked up my book for the first time in about a week and a half yesterday and it was joyous. Lately I feel like every waking moment I’m focused on school, or some school related thing, like most recently I’ve been really anxious about college. I’m the only child in my family, so my parents are pretty much clueless when it comes to the college process, and my counselor and school hasn’t really helped much. So I’m freaking out about where in the process I should be right now, and nervous that I won’t be able to schedule visits in during breaks, etc., etc. Life is hard…

BUT ENOUGH COMPLAINING EMILY.

I am determined to push through! I’ve decided that I will make time for blogging and reading every Friday evening and Saturday morning. Hopefully this will keep me posting regularly. Also, I have lots of discussion ideas but I’m both too lazy and too busy to write and edit them so that they’re ready for posting. This shall change, my friends!


In Books

Haul

 
Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen (Thanks to Entangled Teen!)
Volition by Lily Paradis (Thanks to Empire Books!)
I can’t wait to read both of these. Life Unaware seems like something different than I normally read, and I’ve been waiting to get my hands on Volition for such a long time!!

Recently Finished, Currently Reading & Reading Soon!

Yesterday I finished reading Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott and I LOVED it! This series is so intense. You can check out my review here on the blog on February 10th!

I haven’t decided what to read next at the moment, but I think it will probably be a review copy that’s been sitting around a while.

After THAT, I’m planning on picking up a book that will go toward my Dusting off the Shelf Reading Challenge. Have no idea what that will be yet either!


In Blogging

Around the Blogosphere

Here at Books & Cleverness

The number of posts is depressing…


I hope you all had a wonderful week!

xo