Plain Bad Heroines – Emily M. Danforth, with illustrations by Sara Lautman
Mystery, horror, haunting, sapphic, romance, fiction.
At the school for girls, Brookhants, experience a horrific tragic accident involving two students who were in love and their story was told by a fellow student who witnessed their affair. The students’ names were Flo and Clara and the third student was named Mary. The school had to shut down as more students were dying from Yellow Jackets stinging them and they were found with Mary’s book. Nearly a century later, the school is haunted and is being used to film the movie based on their lives. The bestselling author is helping make sure everything that happened remains authentic. Just as filming production occurs, the terrors and haunting begin.
I saw that this book was extremely hyped for being sapphic and mystery horror. I have to say that the mystery horror was sort of expected to be predictable. I loved the sapphic parts of the novel. I enjoyed that at least. The pacing could have been a bit quicker. I loved world building and storytelling. I do recommend this novel for those who might be into this more than I did. I didn’t hate it. I felt it was an alright novel. I would maybe in the future reread it to see how I feel about it.
Where Dreams Descend – Janella Angeles
Young adult, retelling, burlesque, magic, shows, competition, mystery, fiction.
Kallia has been training and using her magic for basic tasks but she wants a challenge. Jack, her Master, doesn’t want her to leave where she resides even though he can’t really stop her from entering the competition for the Conquering Circus. She arrives at the audition when accidents and other people who are magicians go missing. Marco doesn’t like how Kallia is effortlessly skilled and tends to have chaotic control of her magic. This doesn’t stop her from wanting to compete.
This was pretty good overall for a retellingish novel. I could tell it was inspired by Phantom of the Opera but this was fresh with a woman of color that added diversity and representation. I loved it. I loved the world that the author created and just wished that the pacing was a bit faster. It was slow at first and then it picked up some speed. The world building was excellently paced and enjoyed the characters. Can’t say more than that because otherwise it will spoil the good stuff.
The Truth of Melody Browne – Lisa Jewell
Melody is going about her date at a hypnotist show when she faints and remembers some parts of her childhood. She returns home and begins to remember more and more memories of a childhood she couldn’t remember. Her son helps her obtain these locked memories and she soon realizes that her childhood is much darker than she thought. That the truth is much more sinister than the facade of her childhood.
This was an alright novel. This was nicely paced and organized. I had read this in one sitting and I believe that this novel can be read over time but depending on the reader one sitting. The jumping from the past to present helps understand what happened in the life of Melody Browne. I love Lisa Jewell’s works and this one was not my favorites but this was good however. The writing is so splendid and she really knows how to write a good mystery. I just didn’t care for the repressed memories resurfacing trope as much. There were parts that I really loved because I was expecting something less traumatic for the main character but it was something else than I had predicted. I do recommend this novel and any of Lisa Jewell’s works in general. All are really good and very well done.
Eight Perfect Murders – Peter Swanson
Mystery, thriller, fiction.
Malcolm is approached by the FBI about these mysterious copycat murders. He helps the FBI with the copycat murders that have a relation to his Eight Perfect Murders list. As more victims appear this becomes a race against time to find out who is killing these people.
I genuinely wanted to like this book but I couldn’t. I don’t know if it’s the plot or the purpose of the story but this didn’t really appeal to me. I’m sure the next person would enjoy this novel. This is short and very quickly paced. I sort of enjoy that in a mystery thriller but the whole copycat killer I felt was underdone. I’m sure someone who is into novels that are about copycat killers would enjoy this novel.
Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco
Mystery, detective, serial killers, Jack the Ripper, London, 19th century, Great Britain, Victorian, young adult, fiction,
Audrey loves criminal forensics and working in her uncle’s lab as his apprentice engages her interest in that field of study. She takes on the recent murder case of a victim of Jack the Ripper. She is immediately intrigued and further her own investigation of who murdered these women at night. When more bodies turn up, she notices a disturbing pattern that leads to her sheltered world shattered.
This was a little too hyped up and I don’t understand why folks liked this book. I am glad I borrowed this novel from the library. I predicted who was the murderer so fast and the book was yawn inducing in my opinion. I’m sure there is a demographic that loves this type of stuff but this was not my cup of tea. That is all I can say. However, for those who love these type of novels and the plot then it’s for that demographic.
Remember Me – Christopher Pike
Murder, mystery, ghosts, paranormal, young adult, fiction.
Shari is living the best out of her teenage life as a senior with a month left until graduation. All that is taken away when she wakes up to finding out she is dead. Someone murdered her and she doesn’t want the world to see her as suicidal when it was homicide. She unravels her own murder as well as some shocking dark truth.
I had read this book so many times in middle school. I love this trope and can’t get tired of this trope. I had to reread this book once more as an adult to fully appreciate Pike’s writing style. This was nicely paced and the bread crumbs of information never felt too forced nor felt out of place. Everything pieced together as the plot continued. The characters are always interesting as well as the interactions with other characters. I will have to read the two other books in this series and review them because they deserve some love and attention. However, this book is hard to find because this novel is rather old, but I got my copy at thrift books. This was not sponsored but I recommend shopping at thrift books. I might do a review of the thrift books website knowing that I am not sponsored but the website is incredible.
House Rules – Jodi Picoult
Autistic youth, forensics, forensics analysis, Asperger’s syndrome, mystery, fiction.
Jacob is a crime solving obsessed teen with Asperger’s syndrome. He has a knack for analyzing crime scenes on his television show and one that he saw in real life. Someone goes missing and the Hunt family is now in the spotlight and Jacob is a murder suspect. When they find the person, they find evidence that points to Jacob committing the murder. The odds are stacked against Jacob, but the unraveling of evidence points in a different direction.
This novel kept me on my toes and I simply loved Jacob. He reminds me of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory of how particular a person is with Asperger’s. The actor has Asperger’s which he was allowed to bring his own experience into the character he played. I personally felt that the author did do a lot of research in both Asperger’s and criminal forensics to be able to make the narrative more believable with accurate representation. I felt so angry when the section of the book was about trying to convict Jacob that the other side was just trying to get Jacob behind bars and was extremely ignorant. Lawyers are supposed to do their job but what really got me was that Jacob’s lawyer was able to address the fact that in a real court scenario, if one of the people were disabled that they can have accommodations. Besides the legal aspect of the novel, Asperger’s is hard for families to endure and it is no one’s fault that the individual’s wiring is different. All we can do is be supportive and we should be a more supporting community towards Asperger’s instead of shunning them away. Offer them more accommodations and allow them to be able to interact in society the way they choose to be. Be more welcoming and accepting. Also, to end the whole ableist agenda because just because someone is different abled doesn’t mean that that can’t do great things. They are capable and not in ways that society outlines. I really loved this novel. Highly recommend.
Invisible Girl – Lisa Jewell
Saffyre goes missing. Multiple women and teens are claiming Owen to be a sexual predator. He knows he is innocent. Cate and her husband Roan are disturbed by Saffyre’s disappearance. Roan was her therapist and tells that she had a tough past and did not keep her as a client due to the fact she was making a lot of recovery and worked towards a healthier life. Owen’s room has criminating evidence that points him to her disappearance. When more evidence comes out, the truth of why Saffyre disappeared comes at a shocking cost.
This novel was alright and wished it were more thrilling. Overall, the writing and characters were interesting and the plot as well. I was hoping for a more interesting narrative or something bigger than what occurred in the novel. This was a moderate mystery and not so overly done though. Rather under done and I feel the author could have went a little bit more. I was not expecting some of the elements which was shocking for me. That is something one cannot really predict with Lisa Jewell’s books. There is always a twist with her work.
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore – Mathew Sullivan
Mystery, thriller, fiction.
Lydia as a child survived the Hammerman Massacre and ever since then hasn’t been the same. Every day she lives her life quietly as a bookseller. Joey, one of her Book Frogs, was found hanging in the bookstore. When she attempts to pull him down, she notices a photo of her and her friend Raj and questions how he got ahold of that photo. Later she finds cut up books with mismatched labels. She finds hidden messages within the pages giving clue of his past. She contacts the old detective of the Hammerman Massacre as well as digs up information about Joey. A dark and sinister truth is revealed, and everything was not as it seemed.
This novel was a slow burn mystery which I do like a slow burn occasionally. This one was perfect for what I was looking for. Perfect pacing and intricate plot that slowly unfolded. The character interactions were excellent. I sort of wished this was a longer novel, but a short standalone novel is just as good. I didn’t expect that twist ending but I was theorizing how the story would unfold. What I had learned is to expect nothing other than a possibly good mystery and this one was perfect. I do recommend this mystery if one wants a tame yet thrilling novel. I read this in one sitting honestly and I wished I paced myself, but I could not resist.
Jar of Hearts – Jennifer Hillier
Mystery, thriller, suspense, fiction.
Georgina remembers the exact day her friend was murdered and how she was somehow an accomplice with her boyfriend, Calvin, whose been known to be an infamous strangler murderer. Fourteen years later her friend’s remains, Angela, was found and Georgina is sentenced to five years in prison and so was Calvin. Georgina serves her time and faces the consequences of her actions. Five years past and she is released but a few days prior to her being released, a mother and child was found murdered behind her childhood home. Her old friend, Kaiser, slowly pieces the story together as another mother and child was murdered. He speculated it was the father of the children but quickly realizes that the murderer is a different sort of beast and Georgina is in grave danger.
I really really really enjoyed this thriller. I didn’t expect the plot twists at all. I was shocked at who the real murderer was. This book really kept me on my toes as well as made me binge read to find out. I love these types of mystery thrillers with unexpected plot twists. I simply could not put this novel down at all. I had tried my hardest but could not resist. The story telling was regularly paced and very colorful and insightful. The characters felt very genuine and unique that aided the plot to create believability. I had thought something else were to have happened but got another ending that was just as good and satisfactory. Sinister and dark, certainly not for the faint of heart. This book filled my dose for some good mystery thrills I wanted.