Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews

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Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews. Echo wakes up in a strange place and she’s having a difficult time getting her bearings. It’s too dark to make out much and as she’s feeling around she touches something stringy like hair. She realizes she’s not in her bedroom or even her home. She hears creepy laughing and screaming and what she thinks might be a cutting tool. She’s spooked and terrified and she’s told by a scary nurse/nun that she’s now in Middle House. The other residents are young people also and Echo assumes that Middle House is an orphanage but the truth freaks her out even more. She learns to accept being a Middle House resident and gains friendship and help from the others as she discovers why and how she was brought to Middle House. The beginning of the book led my mind one direction and the continuation led it to a completely different direction. I don’t want to give the mystery away because it’s the reason I kept reading. Reminiscent of Everlost by Neal Shusterman, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs and a tiny bit of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Bad Girl Gone is a supernatural romance surrounded in mystery, 4 stars.

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

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I received a paperback copy of Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody through a Goodreads giveaway and I also received an ARC from Harlequin Teen and NetGalley. Everything is a bit confusing with the descriptions of the illusions as the story begins. Sorina creates illusions, she’s the daughter of a freakshow master and she has no eyes. Her family members are actually all illusions created by Sorina. The illusions act as real people do and they are leading their own lives. Someone starts killing the illusions and investigations begin. People are accused and finally the killer is found. The writing conventions are done well, but I just had a difficult time with and understanding the concept and world building of the story. 3 stars.

Overturned by Lamar Giles

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Overturned by Lamar Giles has a unique plot and sarcastic humor. The second line of the book is priceless, “He was my dad’s latest and greatest attorney from the law firm of Cheap Suit, Bald Spot & Smoker’s Cough.” I immediately appreciated the author’s use of humor. Nikki Tate is keeping her family’s business running while her father is in prison. Nikki’s mother tries to help but is not quite capable enough to handle the casino business on her own. Her father is released from prison and sees that Nikki is using her gambling knowledge and card skills to earn money for college and what she considers freedom. Nikki has a crush on Davis, the new student. Davis’ family owns the new casino in Las Vegas that Nikki’s father seems to be spending a lot of time at. He’s also showing Nikki the ropes of high stakes gambling. Nikki and Davis’ relationship is adorable and the dent they made in the hood of a borrowed car while kissing made me laugh out loud. Things take a turn for the worse when Nikki gets a crime scene thrust in front of her eyes. The mystery builds and then unravels. The author created complex and wonderful characters; I cared about them and enjoyed their personalities: Nikki’s maturity and intelligence, Molly’s snark and loyalty and Gavin and his protectiveness. 5 stars for an interesting mystery that kept me entertained!

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!

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!

Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Lock & Mori: Mind Games by Heather W. Petty. This sequel begins two weeks after the first book in the Lock & Mori series ends. Alice, a close friend of their mother, comes to stay with Mori and her brothers while their father is being investigated. A severed hand is found in the outside garbage can causing suspicion to fall on Mori. The four siblings try to go to school, but are bombarded by reporters and angry people. Alice helps more than the siblings could have imagined and even though their father has been arrested, he still continues to threaten their safety. This story keeps twisting and unraveling and then finally shows who the killer is and why. Mori loves her brothers and struggles to keep them safe and together and she shows maturity beyond her years. Lock and his brother Mycroft help keep the siblings safe and work with Mori to solve the murders that have been taking place. The author has created a complex story around Sherlock and Moriarty and they have a strong friendship and charming relationship. 5 stars for this suspenseful and thrilling mystery!

A Daughter’s Deadly Deception by Jeremy Grimaldi

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Dundurn for the opportunity to read and review A Daughter’s Deadly Deception: The Jennifer Pan Story by Jeremy Grimaldi. Immediately gripping, the story begins with the intrusion into the Pan home and the shootings that occurred soon after. The story that unfolds shows the cunning that Jennifer had to deceive her parents about her entire life. A large portion of the book takes the reader through the investigative process and the interviews of people who might have information to the people who are suspected of being an assailant. The lives of those affected by this deception and violence are explained with diplomacy and empathy for what the family members have gone through and what they have to deal with. In the author’s note, more tragedy for the extended family is described with heartbreak. I rate this nonfiction crime book 4 stars!

Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano! Wow! The story jumps right into the action and mystery by opening with a girl waking up in a gully, with no memories of the past year or where she is or how she got there. Little by little, she learns what has taken place as her memories trickle back. The human trafficking in this book reminds me a bit of the Liam Neeson movie, Taken, with plenty of mystery and action all on its own. Rachel has a strength unmatched by others and she has to rely on that strength to get her through her current struggles. As her memories resurface, Rachel realizes that many teenagers- male and female – are in danger and she will do whatever it takes to help them. Banter between Rachel and her brother Kyle, alleviate some of the teen angst and dark struggles in this story. A bit of hopeful romance adds charm that lightens the mood also. This is unpredictable and a unique take on young adult mystery and I rate it 4 stars! I appreciate the author adding runaway, suicide, teen safety and teen health and wellness hotline information at the end of the book. As is often the case, when someone suffers it is difficult to ask people we know for help, so this hotline information is a wonderful resource.

Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

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Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty is told in Mori’s point of view. She’s the daughter of a police officer, Moriarty. Mori’s given name is James Moriarty and that is why she goes by the name Mori. Mori’s family is struggling after the death of their mother. Since then, her father drinks a lot and has become verbally and physically abusive to her and her younger brothers. Mori is a very logical person and she meets Sherlock and finds they have more in common than she cares to admit. A man is murdered and Sherlock wants to make a game of solving the mystery with Mori. Everything involving the mystery becomes too personal and it’s a race against time to stop the murderer. The story brings friendships, suspense, cleverness and romance together for a wonderful read – 5 stars!

House of Silence by Sarah Barthel

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read and review House of Silence by Sarah Barthel! Isabelle is happily engaged to Gregory after spending the required year of mourning after her father’s death. Then she witnesses Gregory committing a fatal act, but he creates a believable story that makes him look like a hero, so no one believes Isabelle when she tries to convince them that Gregory is a murderer. Out of desperation and for her own safety, she is sent to Bellevue Sanitarium where she befriends Abraham Lincoln’s widow and gains allies in her fight against Gregory. A historical fiction mystery that takes place in the late 1800’s. I enjoyed the characterization and the deception of the antagonist along with the suspense – 4 stars!