Shearwater by Derek Murphy

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I thoroughly enjoyed Shearwater by Derek Murphy. The book opens with an intense prologue of a woman being stabbed by a man and then she grabs the knife and stabs him. Then they both plunge off the cliff and into the water. The first chapter jumps to thirty two years later and the main character, Clara Clark, is waiting for her parents to show up and watch her perform at her high school. While she’s singing, police show up to tell her that her parents perished in a car accident. Her mother’s will states that if something happens to her parents, guardianship goes to her grandfather in Ireland, her mother’s father. The problem is, she didn’t even know he existed. The longer she’s in Ireland, the more mysterious and strange her surroundings become and she begins to learn piece by piece why her mother left Ireland behind all those years ago. On her sixteenth birthday, her looks become more defined, sleek and beautiful and now she truly resembles her mother. Her heritage is slowly revealed and the mystery around the killings grows deeper. The creative story and plot make this a very interesting read and complex characters, mythology and historical legends of mermaids, Atlantis and humans weave together for a fun fantasy read; 5 stars!

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

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Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC of Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz! Two murders occur close together in a small town and the residents think they know who the murderer is, but they each think it’s someone different. The story begins with the editor reading the Magpie Murders manuscript and the ending is missing. The story’s mystery coincides with the mystery occurring in the editor’s life. The book is a bit long winded but the writing is done well, creating scenery and characters for both stories taking place within the book. 3.5 stars!

The Shadows We Know By Heart by Jennifer Park

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I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review The Shadows We Know By Heart by Jennifer Park! My first reaction was surprise and curiosity as I read the first chapter. The story involves a young woman and her family who recently moved close to the woods after their son, Sam, died. Leah, her brother Matt and their parents don’t discuss their loss, but they each deal with it in their own way. Leah ventures into the woods, even though her family forbids her to enter them. She makes a surprising discovery, a human male among the Sasquatch she’s been observing. A tragedy occurred when Sam went camping with the neighbors, Reed and his father. The father was killed and his body was found, but no one ever found the two boys. The two families have tried to move on but the search for the boys has continued for years, which Leah knows nothing about. The mystery unfolds as secrets come out into the open. The story is very interesting and better than I expected. 4 stars for a twist on the uncommon!

Keeping Kyler by Siobhan Davis

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I voluntarily read and reviewed Keeping Kyler by Siobhan Davis. Just when I thought there couldn’t be any more surprises, more pop up in this book, the third installment in The Kennedy Boys series! As the story is opening, Kyler runs in anger and doesn’t even tell Faye where he’s going. He won’t respond to her texts, frustrating and worrying her even more. This leaves Faye to deal with her own surprises without him, so they are both alone in their struggles. Kyler meets his biological father and turns away with complete disbelief and disgust. And the surprises keep coming, loaded with twists and turns. The relationship between Kyler and Faye is cute, sometimes cheesy, to the annoyance of everyone around them. They are mature for their age and I suppose it’s because of the difficult experiences they have lived through, which makes their lives anything but dull. 5 stars for this new-adult romance and mystery story!

One Was Lost by Natalie D. Richards

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Voluntarily read and reviewed an arc of this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity to read and review One was lost by Natalie D. Richards. The first two chapters show the setting and describe the main and surrounding characters. The action and suspense begins in the third chapter. There’s some kind of animosity between Sera and Lucas that comes to light a little at a time. As I read, I learned more about the four main characters and the struggles each of them has in their lives. Being in a forest is a perfect setting for a horror story and the bridge washing out helped move the danger of being stranded along. Nice steady pacing of the mystery and suspense. The book kept me wondering to the end. Great horror story for young adults, 5 stars!

Antisocial by Jillian Blake

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Received an advance copy from a Goodreads giveaway and Random House Children’s Publishing and NetGalley! Antisocial by Jillian Blake- Goodreads giveaway; Anna Has social anxiety disorder and this is her tale of her school year of ups and downs. Last semester she spent all of her time with Palmer, her new boyfriend, while inadvertently ignoring her friends. Now after the breakup, she’s trying to reconcile with her friends and some of them aren’t making it easy for her. Jethro is an amazing friend to Anna and he knows what he wants. Anna’s indecisiveness hurts Jethro and I kept thinking that she was throwing a great friendship away for a second time. Trying to figure out the story took me a bit, but once I understood where it was going, I dived right into the teen angst and emotional and relationship confusion. Oh, the joys of being a teenager. The regular teen rivalry increases to hateful when someone publicizes dirty laundry of a basketball player at a basketball game and then everyone jumps on the troll wagon. People and their secrets are exposed and friendships are ruined because of photos, texts, and all social media being revealed. Not only is this book a young adult contemporary but it’s also a great mystery. The suspense builds while the community deals with the aftermath and continuing cyber bullying. The author’s writing shows the complexity of the diverse characters and I grew to care about the main characters and my heart broke along with them and I also enjoyed their happy moments. 4 stars for this realistic fiction book!

Redemption Lake by Susan Clayton-Goldner

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I voluntarily read and reviewed Redemption Lake by Susan Clayton-Goldner. Matt ends up in an extremely bad situation when he wakes up after sleeping some beer off at his friend’s house and finds his best friend’s mother, Crystal, dead in her bathtub with a slit throat. Matt worries about the consequences of every one of his actions and how those actions affect the people around him. The mystery surrounding Crystal’s death causes turmoil within the community. The suspect becomes difficult to narrow down and the uncertainty left me guessing until the end. Secrets are exposed and relationships are stretched thin in this well written mystery. “…wisdom grows out of disillusionment. We evolve from what hurts us, what happens in our own hearts as a result of that pain.” Profound and life-changing statement. 5 stars!

The Blood Orchid by Claire Warner

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Blood Orchid by Claire Warner has Melissa and Justin opening the story with the ending events of The Black Lotus. Marcus searches for and finds Melissa after discovering the death of their mother. He fights for her to go back home with him and then finally realizes that she can’t and is now dealing with the same curse as Justin. This book is genre bending and includes historical fiction plus all the mystery, suspense and paranormal fun of The Black Lotus, the first book in the Night Flower series. 4 stars for this supernatural young adult book with a touch of romance!

The Black Lotus by Claire Warner

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
The Black Lotus by Claire Warner is the first book in the Night Flower Series.  The opening of the book pulled me into the story with danger and intrigue. Melissa is experiencing memory loss and seems to have been kidnapped and she’s overhearing two people discuss her while they think she’s unconscious. She gradually recalls her circumstances and how she came to be in her current state. Then, the story jumps back to five months earlier. Melissa is attending her first social outing as a demure debutante. She meets all types of men, one she can’t get out of her mind, even though she’s been warned away from him, and has an altercation with another man who is extremely pushy. Her night didn’t fare very well in society’s standards. The man she can’t stop thinking about is Justin and, little does she know, he has a horrible curse that he’s trying to survive. As the story is told, the curse is revealed with the sorrow and dangers that go with it. This fantasy has mystery, suspense, romance and intrigue all wrapped together for an interesting supernatural book, 4 stars.

Legion by Julie Kagawa

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for the opportunity to read and review the fourth book in the Talon Saga, Legion by Julie Kagawa!  This is a perfect addition to the already popular Talon, Rogue and Soldier books with just as much action, intrigue, romance and suspense!

Each of the books in the Talon Saga are told from a different character’s point of view. Talon is told in Ember’s point of view, Rogue is in Riley’s and Soldier is told in Garret’s point of view. Legion brings back all of the main characters and their points of view, including Dante’s. Dante is Ember’s brother and has been loyal to the dragon rule all  along because he believes he will be the dragon in power someday.  At first, he wanted to help his sister succeed and only cared about pleasing their instructors and taking care of her.  Then he had an epiphany about the position of power he could be in someday.  This changed his entire perspective. The strong, dynamic characters are worth cheering for while the tension builds in this addition to the Talon saga. I didn’t see the specific conflict coming and was shocked and appalled at the Elder Wyrm’s use for Ember Hill!  This book is as amazing as the rest of the series and is suspenseful and intriguing with new mysteries springing up and adding to the un-put-down-ability of the story. 5 stars for characters I love and the building anticipation!  I am already anxious for the fifth book in this series and I plan on a complete re-read when the entire series is complete!