Book Review: Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey

18118614 (1)Buzz Kill by Beth Fantaskey

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Genre: Fantasy and Young Adult

Release Date: May 6, 2014

Pages: 368 (Hardcover)

good good

Putting the dead in deadline
To Bee or not to Bee? When the widely disliked Honeywell Stingers football coach is found murdered, 17-year-old Millie is determined to investigate. She is chasing a lead for the school newspaper – and looking to clear her father, the assistant coach, and prime suspect.

Millie’s partner is gorgeous, smart-and keeping secrets
Millie joins forces with her mysterious classmate Chase who seems to want to help her even while covering up secrets of his own.

She’s starting to get a reputation…without any of the benefits.
Drama-and bodies-pile up around Millie and she chases clues, snuggles Baxter the so-ugly-he’s-adorable bassett hound, and storms out of the world’s most awkward school dance/memorial mash-up. At least she gets to eat a lot of pie.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, HMH Books for Young Readers for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

When I was younger, I hated reading. I really did, my mother forced me to stand in front of her and read to her and it felt like a complete hassle to do it. Yet, this one series of books (Cam Jensen and the so and so) made all that bearable and although wasn’t the book that made me start loving books, it did help. Cam Jensen will forever be one of my favourite protagonists and I see a lot of similarities between that series and this book. There’s a mystery, there’s the main character with the photographic memory who is also a redhead, the cute quiet boy, as well as other thing. Although these books are similar there’s one thing that makes Cam Jensen stand out–her badass attitude and the way she never fucking whines about anything.

Buzz Kill should not be targeted towards young adults, it should be targeted towards middle schoolers because that’s the only time that realism is not needed in stories. The characters are all flat and boring. They’re cutouts of traits that are popular in YA novels and thrown in to make an unbelievable cast. I hated how they all are supposed to be adults or almost adults yet they act like they’re in elementary school with their petty fights over who boys and assignments. Hell, no one even swears! You cannot tell me that teenagers don’t swear because that is a lie! I also had a problem with the romance is forced and typical (confused girl is the only one who understands the beautiful broken boy) and not very realistic. Aside from Millie’s stupidity, there’s no legit reason for why she wants to find the killer and her photographic memory didn’t add anything to the story.

I don’t mind thrillers, I just have a hard time believing them especially when they involve high school students. This book is made out to be quirky and corny but I just found it annoying and stupid. I only recommend this if you enjoy No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale and enjoyed it a lot because this one is a lot like that. Under no other circumstance should this book be read because you will most likely fall asleep.

1 Lonely Cloud
1 Lonely Cloud

Book Review: Cold Calls by Charles Benoit

cold callsCold Calls by Charles Benoit

Publisher: Clarion Books

Genre: Mystery and Young Adult

Release Date: April 1, 2014

Pages: 288 (Hardcover)

good good

Three high school students-Eric, Shelly, and Fatima-have one thing in common:

“I know your secret.”

Each one is blackmailed into bullying specifically targeted schoolmates by a mysterious caller who whispers from their cell phones and holds carefully guarded secrets over their heads. But how could anyone have obtained that photo, read those hidden pages, uncovered this buried past? Thrown together, the three teens join forces to find the stranger who threatens them-before time runs out and their shattering secrets are revealed . . .

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Clarion Books for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

This is probably the only story I’ve read where I really enjoyed the third person telling. It fits the story really well and the mysterious caller isn’t easy to figure out and I liked that. My biggest problem are the characters and how one-sided they are. It seems that their secrets are their whole lives but even that isn’t well described. I also really liked the moral lesson of how the characters face right and wrong and decide which is which.

Cold Calls has a very exciting beginning but almost instantly in the middle, everything starts to slow down and I felt so damn bored. It’s not intense and the mysterious caller, for the most part leaves them alone during this time and I quickly lost interest in the story all together. However, this isn’t the only reason why my interest left, it was also because of the characters who are, some of the most boring people I’ve ever met.  It seems that they don’t have lives other than their secrets. There isn’t much of a back story of how they were before this secret came to be, especially with Shelly and Eric. What was his relationship with April like? We barely get anything except that they have secrets that they don’t want anyone else to know about. The reason for the revenge seemed really silly and I had a hard time finding it realistic.

Like I said before, I think what gave this story a tense, gritty feel for me is the writing and the fact that it’s in third person which I actually cringe when first realizing it when starting a book. It’s awkward and hard to relate to characters but I really enjoyed it here. I liked how the mystery caller is played out in this. It’s not the typical way to find a stalker and I liked that. It sure had me guessing.

Nonetheless, Cold Calls isn’t a bad book it’s just boring after the initial first pages and it’s not scary whatsoever. Instead of feeling scared, I felt like I was watching a really tacky movie about high schoolers. However I still recommend this to anyone who’s looking for something light that has more to do with karma than anything else.

2.5 Mess Up Clouds
2.5 Mess Up Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

18052934No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: January 7, 2014

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

good good

Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.

Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, HarperTeen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

My reaction to this book from beginning to end.

Was reading this book worth my time? Nope, not at all. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve read a stream of serious topic books lately that I had high hopes for this one but it fell so flat. Flat on its ass. I can’t count how many times I’ve fallen asleep while reading this.

The writing style feels too forced and awkward which made Kippy too awkward to even try to like. Readers are constantly told that she watches many TV shows and journalists yet she’ s constantly making childish mistakes while investigating crime scenes. I felt like the author was trying too hard to make the killer mysterious that she didn’t care that kippy is a horrible character who leaves her car in front of crime scenes, gloats about all the secrets she knows to suspects, and leaves evidence where people can just take it. I mean, come on! Did I mention that she treats her super nice dad like shit? Because she does every time she’s around him. In the story, there are a few eyebrow raising scenes because of the way they’re handed as jokes, whether it was Hale’s intention or not, it’s angering and disgusting the way abuse and mental illness es are treated in the book.

The cover is so creepy! I love it. That’s all I liked about this book.

No One Else Can Have You feels like a complete stupidly boring joke that’s more awkward satire than gritty and dark. I don’t recommend this to anyone unless you enjoy boring stories with a pretty predictable killer. Mystery novels should never be read one after another or else trends are easy to spot. I have learned my lesson.

1 Lonely Cloud
1 Lonely Cloud

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

15942674Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Mystery and Young Adult

Release Date: July 2, 2013

Pages: 362 (Paperback)

good good

They Said It Was An Accident…

Sawyer Dodd is a star athlete, a straight-A student, and the envy of every other girl who wants to date Kevin Anderson. When Kevin dies in a tragic car crash, Sawyer is stunned. Then she opens her locker to find a note:

You’re welcome.

Someone saw what he did to her. Someone knows that Sawyer and Kevin weren’t the perfect couple they seemed to be. And that someone—a killer—is now shadowing Sawyer’s every move…

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

What’s the best thing about mystery novels? Oh, right, the mystery part. Which sadly, this had none of what-so-ever. It seems that this novel tries too hard getting the romance started and the deaths exciting and freaky that it hopes that that’ll distract readers from how predictable the killer is. Because I promise you, it’s the first person you suspect it to be.

It’s actually sad how much I wanted to like Sawyer, really. She’s been through a shit load of mishaps and her life totally sucks. But instead of that pushing her forward she cowers and keeps her head down. She doesn’t act upon normal instincts until it’s almost too late and well…she’s really slow. Even when the killer revels them-self to her, she just can’t believe it and keeps asking. “why?”. Hell, even the stalker person calls her dumb! Multiple times! All of the characters are flatter than a piece of paper and did I mention just how predictable this story is?

On a better note, I did find the writing to be okay which is saying a lot because I hate third person writing especially when the characters suck ass. There are a few well done scenes, like some of the deaths that left gruesome, freaky images in my mind.

Overall, Truly, Madly, Deadly is a really disappointing book. It’s predictable and has nothing but boring characters in it. So, no, I don’t recommend this book to anyone unless you don’t mind really predictable books that you figure out who done it after like, ten pages.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

Book Review: Broken by C. J. Lyons

17520996

Broken by C. J. Lyons

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: November 5, 2013

Pages: 336 (Hardcover)

good good

The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now… or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Broken is told to be a thriller, which it is, but not until the very last half of the middle does that even come to play. Is it exciting? Not the beginning but definitely the ending. If it weren’t for the twist during the near ending of the mid-section, this book would have been a boring facsimile of every book ever written about a dying girl trying to make the best out of her last days. There are the mean bullies, the love triangle, the outcast friends, as well as the overprotective parents. Luckily, C.J. Lyons ditches this lame route for a more exciting one however she does it too late to change my rating by much.

The story starts off with a bang, I was hooked and excited how a girl with a rare heart disease will make it through high school without dying. Unfortunately, after a few chapters of her first ever experience the story becomes very tedious and pointless and felt like an after school special to me. Scarlet as well as most of the other characters felt really flat also. I couldn’t connect with them nor was I rooting for them when they face tough obstacles that most people wouldn’t. Maybe it’s the fact that I have such a short attention span that I might be being too harsh on this book but I was bored for more than half of it.

Getting onto the good things about this novel, Lyons does a nice job of keeping readers guessing even if it is only for a little while. Once most of the characters are introduced, I was starting to guess which one would be the suspect before it became obvious who the suspect is. I really liked how Lyons uses her past medical history as an element in this, most, if not all of the different medical terms that are mentioned in this story are not as well-known as they should be. But I’ve read many things about a few of them (one in particular) and her execution of these syndromes and conditions are done beautifully.

Overall, this story has a bit of an off tempo that ruins the story by going from slow to really slow to fast and then really fast with barely any build-up in between. But I still recommend this if you don’t mind very slow beginnings that are pretty pointless but also has a nicely done ending. Broken isn’t a thrilling novel that’ll keep readers at the edge of their seat but it will make them second guess the people they choose to trust in their lives. I know that it did for me.

3 Clouds
3 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

9396154

The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

Publisher: Scholastic Point

Genre: Fantasy and young adult

Release Date: January 1, 2013

Pages: 295 (Hard Cover)

The Dead And Buried

 

Jade loves the house she’s just moved into with her family. She doesn’t even mind being the new girl at the high school: It’s a fresh start, and there’s that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade’s little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade’s jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn’t.

Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who’s seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade’s school — until her untimely death last year. It’s up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?

(My Opinion)

All my life, I’ve wanted to meet a ghost. Unfortunately, I have yet to meet one unlike Jade who actually gets to meet one in her new house! But, The Dead and Buried is not all fun and games. It’s told to be a mystery young adult novel with horror mixed into the bunch. But this isn’t the case with it. Throughout the whole book, nothing feels intense or creepy or even the slightest bit of horrific happens that are supposed to be there. Even with it lacking, it’s still a fun read (Which it shouldn’t be but oh well.)

Jade is forced to help the ghost finally pass over by piecing together the clues for her. Only, there aren’t very many clues. There’s only about 2 or 3 with the exception of Kayla’s diary which actually tells readers close to nothing (important anyway). The Dead and Buried seems to put everything mainstream about snobby rich kids into the story. There’s the journal with all of its deep, dark secrets, the new girl who is instantly the outcast, who is also attracted to the ‘forbidden’ boy, there’s the love triangle for the new girl, the mean girls who hate her…must I go on? This really let me down because I was looking fr something new and exciting with ghosts. But, this is just the same story only told with ghosts.

With that being said, I do like a few things about this novel. Most of the characters are well written and fun to read about, especially Donovan because he seems to actually be the odd one out. The pacing of the novel is great too, nothing felt rushed or too slow.This is a nice, fun read but I can’t say anything more about it. I recommend this to anyone who likes light reads with a ghost element in it.

Three Clouds
Three Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.