Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

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Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children’s for the opportunity to read and review Little Monsters by Kara Thomas! Kacey and her younger stepsister, Lauren, sneak out of the house with Bailey and Jade, two of Kacey’s friends. On a Friday night, they venture to the local haunted site and the snowy roof collapses in on them. They’re spooked and run away. Alternately, Bailey tells the story of the night she supposedly caused the popular high school football player to wreck and her story continues to be told throughout the rest of the book using her journal entries in interspersing chapters. Bailey and Jade attend a party and Bailey is not seen again. She’s reported missing and the community rallies together to help find her. The suspect list changes and grows while Bailey is still missing and presumed dead by most of the community. The suspicion and the suspense keep twisting and kept me riveted to the very end. 5 stars for this realistic mystery!

Beast by Megan Crewe

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Beast by Megan Crewe caught my interest immediately! The opening of the story sets the tone of suspense and the tale is refreshingly told entirely from a male point of view. Max has been best friends with Davey since kindergarten. They throw a party at the lake with a bunch of friends and then Davey is horribly gouged by a beast that defies description. Davey’s external wounds heal miraculously fast while they speed to the hospital. He stays with Max and while Davey looks fine on the outside, he has violent flu symptoms. Eventually the symptoms stop and Davey feels better but he’s changed. His friends try to help every way they possibly can but they grow frightened of Davey as he becomes violent and erratic. This thriller kept me riveted and I read it straight through because of the suspense. 5 stars for a young adult supernatural horror!

Project Pandora by Aden Polydoros

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Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Project Pandora by Aden Polydorus. Several teenagers are under a trance and are ordered to kill and commit other crimes for someone that goes by the name of Zeus. The mystery surrounding the teens unravels throughout the story as their pasts are explained and, while their memories gradually return, we see the torture they underwent as part of the experiment they evolved from. The teens have three names each: the regular name they go by, a mythological name and a number. The story is told through their alternating points of view, which is intense and suspenseful. Hades’ story is a bit different from the other teenagers and his is more heartbreaking and tragic, more complicated and interesting. Project Pandora is a multiple genre book which can be classified as science fiction, dystopian and mystery. Worthy of 5 stars because of its riveting plot and the steady unraveling of the mystery.

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!

The Carnival Keepers by Amber Gulley

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review The Carnival Keepers by Amber Gulley! The cover is beautiful and the synopsis sounds interesting. James starts off the story in the prologue as the main character. Violence ensues, creatures come out, characters are not what they seem and more and different characters take over the story. I was confused about the plot of the story and I felt like it kind of jumped around and I did not have any concern for the characters and I didn’t feel invested in the story at all. The writing is good, but not my kind of story; 3 stars.

 

Chameleon by Zoe Kalo

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review Chameleon by Zoe Kalo! Paloma is taken to a convent to “repent, grow and become a better person”, as the head nun tells her, even though Paloma feels as though she’s being punished. She is dropped off at the convent by her mother, stepfather and her younger half sister, Sara, who is sad to leave Paloma. The reason Paloma is in trouble is because she tried conducting seances to reach her father, who died when she was young. Paloma becomes part of a group of teenage girls that each have a story of their own. She is unsure who she can trust, any of the girls or even the nuns. The story pulled my attention in from the beginning with its suspense, mystery and a promise of the paranormal. The complex characters and layered mystery kept me on my toes! 5 stars for the twists, turns and the interesting setting of this story!

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.

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!

First Contact by Kat Green

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Thanks to YABoundBookTours for the opportunity to read and review First Contact by Kat de Falla and Rachel Green (Kat Green)!
First Contact marks the beginning of the Haunts for Sale series. Sloane is a paranormal real estate agent that searches for haunted houses that her customers want to purchase. She’s using this guise to search for her fiance, Michael, who was killed by a drunk driver just weeks before their wedding. He had a motto for being patient and now Sloane is following it to search for him: “…be patient and if things weren’t working out, give it a year and a day.” This is now Sloane’s mantra to keep her going. The haunting mystery holds suspense and creepiness throughout the whole story. The romance factor adds a nice, warm touch to the spooky tale. Lovable protagonists and horrible antagonists kept me on my toes! I give this book 4 stars and recommend it to anyone wanting a macabre, spooky adult read!

The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Hyperion for the opportunity to read and review The Amateurs by Sara Shepard! This new series by the well-known author of Pretty Little Liars impressed me. The mysterious disappearance and murder of a teenage girl goes unsolved for five years and then a group of online detective teenagers, that are part of the website known as the Case Not Closed group, decides they want to solve the mystery. Brett, Aerin (the victim’s sister), Maddox and Seneca each have their own tragedy that they are dealing with. They are a team full of teen angst and have to struggle and come to terms with each other to work well together. Dangerous events threatening their lives make them wonder if they should stop investigating and if they are getting closer to solving the mystery. The twists are fun and unpredictable and include a cliffhanger ending that left me anxious for the sequel. It’s nice to have a modern mystery fiction series for young adults to enjoy-5 stars!