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review 2017-08-21 00:07
Fall Into Darkness by Christopher Pike
Fall Into Darkness - Christopher Pike

Sharon McKay is on trial for her best friend Ann Rice’s murder. Never mind that there’s no body, no real witnesses, and no evidence. Sharon and Ann’s friends saw them hike up to the cliff that night and heard Ann scream “Don’t!” before she either fell or was pushed off the cliff. Everybody seems to be convinced that Sharon killed Ann.

Scenes of the trial from Sharon’s POV alternate between scenes prior to the accident/murder from Ann’s POV. What Sharon didn’t know was that Ann was obsessed. Ann’s brother, Jerry, had loved Sharon and had killed himself after their relationship ended. Ann blamed Sharon and wanted her to suffer. What better way to do that than frame her for murder, thereby ruining her bright future? (I’m sure you can think of better and less risky ways she could have gotten her revenge, but just roll with it.)

I loved Christopher Pike’s books when I was a teen. They haven’t held up quite as well for me now that I’m an adult, but I can understand why Teen Me loved them: they almost always have shocking revelations and riveting banana pants moments.

The first half of this book was a straightforward murder...story. I can’t really call it a mystery, because everything was laid out for readers to see: Ann’s motive, her plan, who she decided to involve. All of it by page 32. The main question seemed to be “Did Ann survive her regrettably complicated plan or not?”

However, I trust Pike to always find a way to complicate things, and about halfway through the book he did just that. Bad things happened during Ann's plan. A character I hadn’t paid much attention to did something unexpected. Yes! Great fun up ahead!

Except not so much. Honestly, this book could have used more banana pantsery. Pike used up what little there was too quickly and put everything out in the open too fast. The ending was just...boring. And a little too silly to take seriously. I couldn’t help but laugh at all the kiss-related dialogue at the end. Paraphrasing: “You’re a bad kisser!” “No, you are!” “That was the best kiss I ever had. Really!” Oh, just stop it.

I almost missed the epilogue because the last couple pages were slightly stuck together. If anything, the epilogue actually made things worse, adding “depressing” to “mediocre” in the list of words I’d use to describe this book. I was not a fan of the implication that Sharon might have to pay her lawyer back with sexual favors, or settle for a lesser lawyer. I suppose the “it’s going to cost you” could have been referring to money, but there were a few lines earlier on that suggested otherwise. In general, I’m not surprised that the ending was changed for the made-for-TV movie (although Wikipedia’s description of the changed ending makes it sound like more of a mess than an improvement).

One more thing: I imagine the courtroom scenes would make actual lawyers and judges cringe. I’m pretty sure that real lawyers can’t get away with telling objecting lawyers to shut up (yes, he actually said that out loud, but the judge was so dazzled by the story he was laying out that he didn’t say anything).

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2017-08-19 16:33
Yes, yes and so much yes.
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue - Mackenzi Lee

I'll write a real review for this soon, but since I just finished it this morning I'll have to do a little more pondering before I write. Otherwise it'll just be an entire review filled with something along the lines of...

 

OMG PERCY AND MONTY ARE SO CUTE AND FELICITY IS A BADASS AND PIRATES GUYS! PIRATES. BUT ALSO ROMANCE AND AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

 

So, yeah. I'll sit for a bit and figure out what I want to write. I LOVED this book though. It was so brilliantly written, overall. The plot was great, the characters were stellar, the attention to detail in the settings was amazing. Ugh. I love Mackenzie Lee. I do. I don't care who knows it.

 

I need much more Monty and Percy very very soon.

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text 2017-08-19 14:23
Reading progress update: I've listened 32 out of 524 minutes.
Angelfall - Susan Ee

Re-reading this in audiobook format. I'm loving it so far.  If you own the Kindle eBooks of this series, each of audiobooks is only $1.99.  

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review 2017-08-18 21:21
Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins
Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins

So, this book had been sitting at the bottom of my TBR for just about forever. I'm rather ashamed to say that I actually received a galley of this way, WAY back when I started blogging and then it just never made it to the top of the list. I even own a paperback copy of this now, and I still ignored it. It wasn't until Hex Hall popped up on my audio book recommendations at the library that I really paid attention. Which is silly! Because I loved the Rebel Belle series by Hawkins. Still, I'm a little glad I waited. The audio was great, and this was just what I needed to listen to at the time. I had a ton of fun!

First off, I can't exactly say that Sophie Mercer's story is light. There are definitely sinister things happening at her school, and terrible fates do definitely befall some of her fellow classmates. However, I think what kept this buoyant was the fact that Sophie is just so easy to fall in love with. She's sweet, sassy, and pretty much the type of teen girl that I'd love to be friends with. Despite her situation, and the funk that it threatens to push her into, she keeps looking for the good. In other words, Sophie was real. Not overly sad, not overly excitable, just a Prodigium who really wanted to fit in and have a good school experience.

Even the "mean girls" in this book weren't over the top, which was nice. I know we all love to hate a good mean girl character, and Sophie's bullies aren't any exception to that rule. However it was nice to see that they also had some substance to them as well. I can safely say, without risk of spoilers, that I finally came to care about these girls in the end. It says a lot that I not only powered through this audio in a matter of days, but that I'm also eagerly waiting for the next book to hit my library app. I need to find out what happens next.

For keeping me smiling, and guessing, this book gets a big four stars from me. I needed something in the YA genre that wasn't full of swoon-worthy, brooding boys and this was just perfect. Highly recommended.

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review 2017-08-18 19:15
Strange the Dreamer: DNF at 5 percent
Strange the Dreamer - Laini Taylor

Sorry, not sorry, I just am not going to force myself to read something I am not enjoying.


The purple prose and info dump that I tried to wade through turned me completely off. I can't say much more than that since I didn't waste my time trying to struggle through this read. 

 

I would also say that the flow was just a slog. I did try to skim a couple of chapters and just gave up. 

 

Image result for Not my jam gif

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