Review Rendezvous: 10/14/17


Baby Doll by Hollie Overton
Book stats:
Genre(s): Thriller, mystery
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 281
Publish date: July 12th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

Baby DollHeld captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.

This is what happens next…

…to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter…and to her captor.

I heard about this book from Regan over at PeruseProject. Or it could’ve been Sasha on abookutopia, I’m honestly not entirely sure because this sat on my to-read list for a couple months before I finally got to it. Anyways, the premise seemed interesting because I’d just seen Room, an Oscar-nominated movie of similar subject matter. But what really tickled my fancy was the fact that we could read from the antagonist’s point of view, which is not something you see very often.

A big portion of the book explores the psychological effects of something like this happening. You see how missing Lily has affected her whole family, and it’s how everyone responds differently. They are all shocked once they realize who took Lily in the first place, and where exactly she was for the eight years.

The subject matter can be a bit dark and depressing, I will admit. And then there’s the people that have the gall to say Lily is making it all up, which honestly just infuriated me. I know that there are probably people out there that would go so far as to make that stuff up just to tear someone down, but you sympathize with Lily and it’s just frustrating to see people disbelieve her.

Either way, the character growth and development in just this one book is amazing. Normally it takes a few books to get anywhere with growth, but you see the maturity and struggle these people go through in order to better understand and handle the situation. I certainly highly recommend this one.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 8/26/17


Six Months Later by Natalie D. Richards
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, mystery, thriller
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 323
Publish date: October 1st, 2013
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

Six Months LaterWhen Chloe fell asleep in study hall, it was the middle of May. When she wakes up, snow is on the ground and she can’t remember the last six months of her life. 

Before, she’d been a mediocre student. Now, she’s on track for valedictorian and being recruited by Ivy League schools. Before, she never had a chance with super jock Blake. Now he’s her boyfriend. Before, she and Maggie were inseparable. Now her best friend won’t speak to her.

What happened to her? Remembering the truth could be more dangerous than she knows.

Let me just start off by saying that I think unreliable narrators in stories are highly intriguing. We only get to see through the information the author provides, so it certainly creates a whole new level of mystery when the protagonist is not even sure of what’s right and wrong.

We meet Chloe and quickly realize that something has gone horribly wrong. You don’t just forget several months of your life without some impetus. Of course, when she decides to start investigating and poking around, there are people who would rather their secrets stay secret. There is also definitely something strange going on, because it seems that Chloe completely ditched her best friend sometime during the period she can’t remember, but you don’t do something like that without reason. Unfortunately for Chloe, she has no idea what that reason is.

Using her investigative skills, which aren’t bad for a teenager (but still get her in hot water), Chloe begins to unravel the mystery. I can’t say what it is for spoiler reasons, but it is quite a bit more realistic and relevant than I thought the mystery would turn out to be. I could see how she slowly got into it, but once she realized what was happening, decided it was bad and backed out. Then, of course, there’s the fact that there are adults enabling this, which is never good.

All in all, this is a solid book, I enjoyed reading through it. Can’t say it’s my absolute favorite, but Richards’ writing style works well with the narrative and i would be interested to read more of her work.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


If you liked this book, check these ones out:

Dear Amy

A newspaper columnist receives a letter from a long-since kidnapped girl.

Vicarious

A girl must solve her sister’s murder after a digital recording of the event is delivered to her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Review Rendezvous: 8/5/17


Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan
Book stats:
Genre(s): Thriller, mystery
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 348
Publish date: July 16th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

Dear AmyMargot Lewis is the agony aunt for The Cambridge Examiner. Her advice column, Dear Amy, gets all kinds of letters – but none like the one she’s just received:

Dear Amy,
I don’t know where I am. I’ve been kidnapped and am being held prisoner by a strange man. I’m afraid he’ll kill me. Please help me soon,
Bethan Avery

Bethan Avery has been missing for years. This is surely some cruel hoax. But, as more letters arrive, they contain information that was never made public. How is this happening? Answering this question will cost Margot everything.

We’re going British this time, and I admit it was an interesting change of voice to read from an author across the pond. It took a second to adjust, but then I was mildly intrigued by the storyline. I admit, I had thought I’d be more interested in this one, but just because it didn’t catch my fancy doesn’t mean it’s a bad book.

In this novel, we meet Margot, who is a columnist for the paper and a teacher at a local school. There has recently been a girl kidnapped from said school, which brings Margot to think back about a kidnapping many years ago that was never solved. The trail went cold, at least until Margot began receiving letters from the alleged kidnapped girl herself.

I kind of faded out of interest in the story about midway through, but I really had nothing better to do, so I plugged on. Boy was I glad I did. Margot becomes more and more interested in the previous kidnapping so she does some research, which attracts the wrong kind of attention. Her life slowly devolves into chaos, and that’s when there is the most shocking turn of events.

Clearly I can’t let you know what that is, since I’m dedicated to spoiler-free reviews, but it renewed my interest in the book to finish the last quarter strong. I don’t necessarily believe that is it re-read material, but I had a fair time of it the first go around. If it wasn’t for the twist though, this certainly would’ve gotten a lesser rating.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 7/2/14


And here is another review for your reading pleasure since I also didn’t post one last week. I would’ve chosen a different, better one, but this one is really kinda bad, so I’ll advise you guys not to read it if you ever come across it and it sounds interesting.

Tunnel Vision by Susan Shaw
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, realistic fiction, mystery
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 272
Publish date: August 16th, 2011

Tunnel VisionOn her way home one evening, Liza has to force her way through a group of men in a train underpass. She doesn’t think anything of it, but when her mom is shot dead moments later, Liza’s world turns upside down. Even worse, Liza was really the target. Only hours after her mother’s death, Liza is nearly killed again and she and her dad are placed in the witness protection program. Leaving everything she’s ever known behind, Liza and her dad pick up and move, never staying in one place for long. It’s too big of a risk–and Liza’s worst fear is realized when she gets recognized. The would-be killer is still on their trail, so all Liza ad her dad can do is keep running. Unsure whom to trust and where to go, they’re just trying to stay alive.

I kind of wanted to give this one a zero. I really did. But that would mean I need to create a whole new tag for it and it wasn’t really even worth that. This book is probably one of the worst I’ve read in a long time. I really don’t want that to sound as mean as it does, but honestly, it’s kind of the truth.

The main character here, Liza, is completely un-relatable. She speaks in an awkward manner and really is just not that likable at all. She and here father go on the run after her mother is shot, which should trigger a bit more of an emotional crisis than it seemed to. Her mother was shot right in front of her for crying out loud, and she doesn’t break down or anything? I could excuse that if she were a trained government soldier, but she’s (supposedly) just a normal teenage girl. Sigh.

Usually I don’t give out spoilers, but for this book, I wouldn’t really recommend it at all, so I’m just going at it. If you don’t want to know the ending, you probably should stop reading now.

Anyways, near the end of the book, they finally catch the guy who’s trying to kill Liza. For the life of me I can’t remember why, but that’s fine with me. It wasn’t something that important anyways. Oh, and remember how Liza’s mom was supposedly dead? Nope. She just fell on the ground and got berries or something on her, which made her look like she was shot. Really? Really? Just…ugh.

Rating:

Heart


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