0

The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

51rnlp3phrl-_sx333_bo1204203200_

I’ve enjoyed several of Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars books, so I was excited when I found her latest book The Amateurs at the library.

Speaking of Pretty Little LiarsThe Amateurs begins in a similar fashion. The details are different, of course, but the bottom line is that Helena Kelly, a pretty girl in an affluent suburb disappears and is found dead.

Five years later, Seneca Frazier is a college student who is obsessed with the Helena Kelly case. She connects with Maddy, an online friend from a true crime/amateur sleuth website. Maddy, who is from Dexby, the town where the crime occurred, invites Seneca to come visit for Spring Break. What better way to cross-reference the details of the case? Perhaps they can uncover some clues that the police missed! Continue reading

0

The Queen’s Accomplice by Susan Elia MacNeal

51crmp4312bl-_sx322_bo1204203200_

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have read several of the books in Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope series, and I was looking forward to reading The Queen’s Accomplice, which is the newest entry.

For those of you unfamiliar with Maggie Hope, she is a young woman living in England during WWII. She’s very clever, and this leads to government positions working with powerful people, like Winston Churchill.

As the book begins, Maggie has returned from her American sojourn, and is working with British Intelligence translating the encoded messages the office receives from agents working in Occupied France. Some of her superiors are less than thrilled about female agents, and they ignore Maggie’s concerns that one of the female agents may have been captured.

Continue reading

0

Brightwood by Tania Unsworth

51lbiryyjyl

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Brightwood is a middle grade novel written by Tania Unsworth. This was originally published under the title The Secret Life of Daisy Fitzjohn, but the name was changed for the American edition.

Daisy Fitzjohn is a young girl living in a manor house in England. Her life is quite unconventional. To begin with, she has never left Brightwood Hall; this is a modern story, so never having left her house is unusual. Daisy has wondered about the outside world, but she is content to remain at home while her mother leaves the house for provisions. And if being isolated from the outside world was not enough, it is immediately clear that Daisy’s mother is a hoarder. Daisy is unfazed by the unconventional lifestyle; after all, she doesn’t know that anything is amiss. She is content to converse with her friends, like the rat named Tar and a topiary horse. Continue reading

0

Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty

51mm8vlj1dlI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was thrilled beyond belief when I found out that there was going to be a sequel to Robert Beatty’s middle grade novel Serafina and the Black Cloak. I had been impressed with Beatty’s debut last year, and I wanted to find out what was going to happen to our plucky protagonist next.

It should be noted that Serafina and the Twisted Staff reveals information about the first Serafina book and its infamous black cloak, including the identity of the person wearing the black cloak. This review will skirt around such spoilers.

Serafina and the Twisted Staff begins relatively soon after the events of the first book. Young Serafina struggles to find her place in the world; she is not wild enough to survive in the forest, but she feels too wild to live amongst the civilized folk at the grand Biltmore estate. Continue reading

0

Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten

41u7xy0kizlI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Beware That Girl is a YA psychological thriller by Teresa Toten. Kate O’Brian is a girl with a past. When we first Kate, she’s living in a hovel, but preparing to start her senior year at Waverly, a Manhattan girl’s school. Kate is confident, and Kate has aspirations for greatness. Part of Kate’s plan involves befriending Olivia Sumner, a former “it girl” who is now only a fragile shell of what she used to be.

It seems clear that Kate plans to use Olivia to further her own agenda, but that’s not quite what’s happening at all. As Kate becomes comfortable moving in Olivia’s circle, there is a dangerous new staff member whose obsession with the girls might ruin everything Kate has worked so hard to achieve. Continue reading

0

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis

41leocejialI found A Madness So Discreet on Goodreads, and then made a request for it through the library network. This young adult novel was written by Mindy McGinnis.

Grace Mae is a pregnant teenager. Perhaps if her story took place a century later, the plot may have been cute and quirky. But at the end of the 19th century, getting pregnant as a well-bred girl from a good home earns Grace a place in an asylum outside of Boston. It is a terrible place, where inmates are routinely abused. Grace is rescued by a doctor, and brought to another asylum in Ohio. This second asylum is an ethical treatment center, where patients are treated with dignity. Dr. Thornhollow thinks that Grace’s intuition is unparalleled, and thinks that she would make an excellent assistant. Thornhollow is a pioneer in the field of phrenology, and serves as a police consultant on murder cases. When Grace and Thornhill realize that there might be a serial killer in their midst, they become obsessed with catching him and bringing him to justice. Continue reading

0

Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz

51jvrffsf3lI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sanctuary Bay is a YA novel by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz. I love boarding school stories, so I was excited about the opportunity to read Sanctuary Bay.

Sarah Merson is a teen in the foster care system in Ohio, but she receives a scholarship to the prestigious Sanctuary Bay Academy. She goes from a nomadic life of rotating foster homes to a lush boarding school on an island of the coast of Maine. It seems like a dream come true, even if she never applied for the scholarship in the first place. Continue reading