Review: Girl On Point (Cheryl Guerriero) @uncle_cher

34996335

Alexandra Campbell’s life comes to a crashing halt the night her younger sister is killed during a convenience store robbery. Shattered by guilt, Alex distances herself from her friends and family. Months later, with the police investigation stalled, she fears justice may never be served. Determined to avenge her sister’s murder, Alex disguises herself and joins the gang responsible for the shooting. To identify the one who pulled the trigger, she must put her own life at risk in a world of dangerous criminals. But the longer she plays her new game, the more the lines blur between loyalty and betrayal.

I was in serious need of an unputdownable book. I couldn’t finish my last read, so I wanted something fast-paced and short, something I could devour in a day. My instinct told me Girl On Point would be a good option and I ended up finishing it in a sitting. I really enjoyed it!

I had requested this one on a whim, mainly because I love books and films about undercover agents and revenge stories where people have nothing to lose. Girl On Point seemed to feature all those ingredients: a young woman infiltrating a dangerous all-girl gang while trying to discover what happened to her sister. I need to confess that the first pages didn’t impress me and I started wondering if I had made a good decision. A basketball match isn’t the best way to win me over, but I kept on reading because the blurb had me intrigued. To be honest, I felt everything happened too quickly at first and I wasn’t entirely convinced, but then the scenery changed and Alex moved to a hotel to start working on her revenge. And I was hooked. Inevitably captivated.

I really liked Alex, which I still don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing. She was so brave and willing to sacrifice everything! I admit that the scene with the gun left me a bit shocked. I also loved how she made friends with the girls and learned to get what she wanted from them (and even though I would’ve never followed her actions, I kind of admired her). Reading this kind of books makes me realize I’m a coward, but it’s okay, I admit it, let’s move on!

I guess this is what you’d call a YA novel… the main character is seventeen years old and she’s still going to high school. But I didn’t mind. The book was violent, dangerous and addictive. The writing was straightforward but the author did a great job of describing the gang, the girls, and their robberies and dealings. I could picture it all in my head and I honestly would’ve have minded if the book had been a bit longer. At first, I wondered how Alex would keep her parents in the dark about her activities, but in the end, I believe it was done pretty well. I didn’t think it was too unrealistic and she was smart enough to say what her father wanted to hear (I also liked the part where she gave a woman 20 dollars to talk to him).

I can’t say the ending shocked me, as I was expecting that revelation from the beginning, but I still thought it was a good conclusion to the story and I think I would’ve chosen the same outcome. I quite enjoyed the final chapters where we were told what happened afterwards. A really nice surprise.

Buy Here

Netgalley, Red Adept Publishing, 2017

Review: Shadow Man by Alan Drew @AlanArthurDrew

30453315

Detective Ben Wade has returned to his California hometown of Rancho Santa Elena for a quieter life. Suddenly the town, with its peaceful streets and excellent public schools, finds itself at the mercy of a serial killer who slips through windows and screen doors, shattering illusions of safety. As Ben and forensic specialist Natasha Betencourt struggle to stay one step ahead of the killer, Ben’s own world is rocked again by a teen’s suicide. Ben must decide how far he is willing to go, and how much he will risk, to rescue the town from a long-buried secret, as well as from a psychotic murderer.

This book wasn’t what I expected at all, an in a good way. Shadow Man is a contemporary drama and a mystery of sorts as well, although I wouldn’t say that the crime aspect is the main aspect of the story. Those looking for a fast-paced thriller won’t find it here. However, if you’re willing to give it a chance, I think you could end up really enjoying this little gem.

I warmed up to Ben Wade from the very beginning. Since that first scene with his daughter, I was sold. I loved their interaction. I highly enjoyed reading about Ben and his family, too: their struggles, their obvious love for each other. It was heartbreaking and realistic and I really felt for them. Wade was a tortured man, still fighting demons every day, but that made him even more interesting. The story was set in the 80s, but it could’ve also happened today, as the themes portrayed in this novel are equally important now.

I don’t want to say much about the plot, especially because I read a review on Goodreads where they spoiled the main idea. I think it’s not that hard to figure it out after a while, but I would’ve loved it if I hadn’t known what the book was about before reading it. And believe me, it was not an easy book to read, but it was beautifully written and everything was treated with delicacy.

There are two cases going on, one featuring a serial killer and the other revolving around a potential teenage suicide. It’s not that the serial killer aspect wasn’t interesting, but I didn’t think it was the main focus. I preferred reading about the other case, which was the one that made me more emotional. I remember feeling angry when the main character chose to do something that left me utterly confused. Fortunately, as it usually happens with great novels, it all makes sense in the end.

It is not a book that should be rushed through but rather savoured. I found it compelling and unforgettable and I’m still thinking about it even after a few days. Tragic and beautiful. Don’t miss it.

Buy Here

Netgalley, Random House, 2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

TODAY IS MY 1 YEAR BLOGIVERSARY!!!!

11862072_titus-from-kimmy-schmidt-wrote-a-musical_te077642

Last Week…

Sadly, I couldn’t finish The House of Birds, so I ended up not finishing it. I did read Girl On Point in a sitting and during the weekend I read Hold Back The Stars, which was quite a unique book.

Right now…35067524

I absolutely loved Little Girl Lost, so I couldn’t wait to read the sequel, Secrets of The Dead.

Next…

33144357

Let’s see…

IN CASE YOU MISSED THEM LAST WEEK…

Have you read any of these?

Review: A Twist In Time (Julie McElwain) @JulieMcElwain

30334200

Former FBI agent Kendra Donovan’s attempts to return to the twenty-first century have failed, leaving her stuck at Aldridge Castle in 1815. And her problems have just begun: in London, the Duke of Aldridge’s nephew Alec—Kendra’s confidante and lover—has come under suspicion for murdering his former mistress, Lady Dover, who was found viciously stabbed with a stiletto, her face carved up in a bizarre and brutal way. Lady Dover had plenty of secrets, and her past wasn’t quite what she’d made it out to be. Nor is it entirely in the past—which becomes frighteningly clear when a crime lord emerges from London’s seamy underbelly to threaten Alec. Joining forces with Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly, Kendra must navigate the treacherous nineteenth century while she picks through the strands of Lady Dover’s life. As the noose tightens around Alec’s neck, Kendra will do anything to save him, including following every twist and turn through London’s glittering ballrooms, where deception is the norm—and any attempt to uncover the truth will get someone killed.

Last year, I read and loved A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain. It was an amazing experience: a book that was fun, well-written, featuring a kick-ass heroine and wonderful supporting characters. The mystery was engaging and it was a gripping story as well. I couldn’t wait to dive into the sequel, A Twist In Time, and I must say I was not disappointed. This book follows Kendra, who is still stuck in the XIX century, while she investigates another crime with the help of the Duke (now that she’s officially his ward) and tries to save her friend Alec, who has been accused of murder.

I know some of you aren’t sure of these books because of the premise, but really, I’d love to convince you to try this series. They’re not fantasy books… the only magical element is the time travel aspect, which isn’t that important once you’re in the middle of the case. And no, these aren’t romantic books either. There’s a bit of a love story, but it is like 5% of the plot and it doesn’t bother me because I love both characters. These are purely mystery novels. Classic whodunnits. The whole book is basically Kendra and her friends attending parties and questioning the suspects.

I already said this, but Julie McElwain’s novels remind me of Agatha Christie’s Poirot mysteries. Kendra is quite a peculiar character: she always speaks her mind and loves to make up theories that might end up being true. She doesn’t always share her thoughts until she’s sure she’s right, and that is something that she shares with Poirot. I also love how she is a modern woman and refuses to let tradition change her beliefs. When someone (mostly men) questions her abilities, she always knows what to say.

I think I enjoyed A Murder In Time a bit more, but mainly because it was the first one and there were more funny moments because of Kendra’s arrival. However, now, everyone is used to having her around. I think I’d like for more people to know about her secret, as I think it could lead to potential crazy fun situations.

Buy Here

ARC, Pegasus Books, 2017

My Best Friend’s Exorcism (Grady Hendrix)

29106178

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act . . . different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

I’d had this book on my TBR for more than a year, so when I got it as a present last month, I didn’t want to wait further. The edition was fantastic! Honestly, I’ve never seen an adult book featuring that much “extra” material. The novel looked like a proper yearbook! It’s one of those I know I’ll never give away…

In spite of the title, I wouldn’t say this is a horror novel. I’m almost never scared by books (or movies), but, for example, A Head Full Of Ghosts was way creepier than this one. I loved them both, though. They’re very different books despite focusing on exorcisms. And I don’t know why I love this topic so much, as I was obsessed with The Exorcist on FOX this past year, too!

Although the exorcism theme wasn’t exactly a “fun” topic, the book definitely had its hilarious moments and the beginning of the novel made me laugh several times, especially when Abby described her love for E.T and the way she was afraid her best friend Gretchen wouldn’t love the film as much as she did. It’s not a book that should be taken seriously. It’s a book that you should read if you want to have fun and disconnect from reality for a while.

I had an amazing time reading My Best Friend’s Exorcism. I felt like I was watching a teen flick from the 80s (and I’m an absolute fan of that era) and I really wanted to be a part of the story -minus the possession, thank you very much-. There were tons of references and pop culture mentions and I couldn’t help but think this would make a great cult classic. Like Cabin in the woods (2012) and The Final Girls (2015). And maybe Detention (2010).

The only detail that prevents me from adding this book to the list of “favorite books ever” is that I didn’t exactly love the main characters. Everything else was perfect, but I didn’t love Abby and Gretchen as much as I should’ve, I guess. I thought I would because of the first chapters, but their teenage version wasn’t as fun as their childhood one, in my opinion.

Anyway, the good stuff. What I loved the most about this novel was the fact that it focused on the importance of friendship. Everything seems to revolve around romantic love these days, so it felt fresh and unique. Basically, the moral of the story is that the power of friendship -and 80s references- can save you from literally anything, even a demonic possession. It was ridiculous and endearing, and I adored every page. I even shed a few years while reading the last chapter.

I got emotional reading a book called My Best Friend’s Exorcism. Yep, that’s me.

Buy Here

Quirk Books, 2016