Review Rendezvous: 10/21/17


This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, contemporary, thriller
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 285
Publish date: January 5th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

This is Where it Ends10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m.¬†The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

This week we have another book with pretty heavy subject matter. I’m going to preface this by saying I mean no harm to those who have been affected by such violence. I know this is very sensitive and I’m trying my hardest not to overstep my bounds.

I found this book through Booktube yet again, and I must say it was quite the compelling tale. There are a few holes, but I’ll get back into that later. Nijkamp manages to stretch out the entire time of the shooting by head hopping between characters. I can’t say I’m entirely a fan of that move, but in this situation it works so that you can see the many sides of the situation.

The main drawback that I had with this book is that it does not go into the shooter’s motivation. He kinda comes off as the “I’m bad because I’m bad” type of villain. one-dimensional villains like that don’t lend themselves well to novels, and in this setting, it’s fairly insulting. The motivation of a school shooter is not something to be taken lightly, and to demean the situation by not offering more of an explanation is a bit harsh.

I did finish this book quite quickly, as it grips you from the second you open the cover. I do applaud Nijkamp for being able to write about the topic, because certainly authors (myself included) would shy away from the challenge. I would suggest it as a good read, not the best but still very good in my opinion.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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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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