Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thumbs Up Thursday: Ten Quick Book Reviews!

Hello! Time for the first Thumbs-Up Thursday! (Where I Give Stuff a Thumbs-Up!) 
 NaNoWriMo is over, and I have officially failed this year. I lost interest in my story less 
than halfway in and instead of continuing to write, I decided to read a book...and another 
one, and another one, and another one. BUT my writing/blogging/friend/coworker Emily
 over at TheGnomingLibrarian did finish her story, Pride and Prejudice in Space, 
so you should head over there and congratulate her because she's awesome!!! 

Since I've done so much reading (and not nearly enough writing), I thought I'd
 catch up on some reviews by writing a few short ones!

1. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
Jazz's dad was a serial killer, and now Jazz is helping the police catch more killers, while attempting to quiet his own "inner killer" voice. This book is full of psychology and forensics. It's a little scary and very addicting. I finished the series in just a couple days because I couldn't stop reading! If you like CSI or Dexter (or even true crime stories) you'll love this book!

2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
When their planet is attacked, Kady and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, while their ship's artificial intelligence system and a deadly plague may be the end of them all. This is one of the best books I read this year. It's told in a completely different format, like it's a report that was turned in after the fact. It includes instant messages, video surveillance, journal entries, and artificial intelligence recordings. (For a full review, check out my library's podcast!

3. Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
 In Book #2 of the Ember in the Ashes series, Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia's brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. This story seemed a bit slower than the first, with less action and more traveling (though that could be partly because I listened to the actual cd audiobook and couldn't speed it up like I normally do), but it does have some really surprising twists and turns! I'm super excited for book three! Why isn't it coming out until 2018?!

4. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows
Have you ever heard of Lady Jane Grey, the young, bookish cousin of Edward VI who was queen for a mere nine days before her cousin, Mary (the future Bloody Mary) stole back the throne and had her beheaded for treason? Whether you've heard of her or not, you will love this book, which takes history and flips it about giving a new fantastical twist to Lady Jane's story with a lot of humor, some poetry, and of course a bit of romance. Totally worth the read! 

5. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
Audrey prefers science and anatomy studies over tea parties and social visits. She works for her physician uncle, dissecting bodies and learning about "modern" medicine. When bodies start to pile up, they realize it's the work of a serial killer and start to investigate, but when her uncle becomes a suspect, Audrey is determined to find the real killer. I thought I knew who the killer was until a twist at the end made it even more enjoyable. I'm pretty fascinated by stories of Jack the Ripper and stories in/around Victorian England, so this was a fun read! 

6. Illusion by Martina Boone
The third and final book in the Heirs of Watson Island series was not good as the first book, but the Watson, Colesworth, and Beaufort families struggle to save their homes and families made for a gripping and entertaining story. The Southern Gothic feel kept me going through the end. 

7. Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The final book in The Naturals series ended too soon! I need more! Cassie and four other teens from varied backgrounds possess some unusual, possibly criminal, talents that have drawn the attention of the FBI and work with them to help solve cases. In this book, the case is personal and the Naturals are running out of time. I really enjoyed this series, and this was another book I couldn't put down.
I want to work for the FBI!

 8. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
This was so good! I started listening to the audiobook (British reader - woot!) on the day before Thanksgiving and finished it before Thanksgiving dinner! It was really difficult not to cry when surrounded by people. If you haven't heard of the book (or movie) -  Louisa loses her cafe job and in desperation takes a job as an assistant to quadriplegic Will.Though they dislike each other at first, they grow close, but when Lou discovers why she was really hired, she comes up with a plan to change Will's mind. This is a beautiful story, and everyone should read it!
Now I get to watch the movie!

9. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti
Hawthorn doesn't really fit in anywhere. She's always looking for ways to make life more interesting - be that being so convinced that the world was going to end that she wanted her best friend to steal survival supplies for her parent's store or that her teacher and fellow student were involved in a terrorist plot (they were really just having an affair). So when Lizzie Lovett (a girl she went to school with and was a senior when Hawthorn was a freshman) disappears mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend, Hawthorn becomes determined to prove that Lizzie has turned into a werewolf. She starts working where Lizzie worked and meets Lizzie's boyfriend, becoming friends with him to learn more about Lizzie and prove her theory. This book sounds pretty crazy, and it kind of was. At first I wasn't so sure about it. Hawthorn is a little annoying and whiny, as well as a little crazy, but eventually I grew to like her unique voice, and really wanted someone to accept her craziness. I read the Advance Reader's Copy, but the book comes out in January!

10. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Told in alternating voices, when Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school--both of them considering what it would be like if they jumped - it's as if fate has forced the unlikely pair together and now they can't help by try to save each other. They end up partners on a school project, traveling around Indiana (mentioning several places that I've visited since I live here, which was pretty exciting - I tried to track their travels with a map but got a little lost) This was a insightful look into the minds of teens struggling with guilt, depression, and mental illness. It was so good! Read it!


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