Review Rendezvous: 11/4/17

Zero Day by Jan Gangsei
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, mystery, thriller
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 368
Publish date: January 12th, 2016
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

Zero DayEight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the Oval Office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold…but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the administration who find her timely return suspicious.

When a national security advisor approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could the girl he’s missed for all these years be a threat to the United States? Still, at the risk of having his own secrets exposed, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

He soon realizes that his old friend is much more than the traumatized victim of a political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission…but will she choose to complete it?

I read this one in an interesting form because I was quite hooked on it. I found it at my local library, but the physical copies were out and I really wanted to read it, so I settled for reading it on my laptop. If I e-read books, it’s always on my Kindle, but this wasn’t a bad format.

Moving on.

There’s a lot of plot lines and ideas that converge here, which is part of the reason why it seemed so interesting. We’ve got kidnapping going on, the presidential family, a bit of friendship/romance (but not too much, which would have complicated the entire plotline), terrorists, hacking…. I think that’s it. That sounds like a lot now that I type it out, but Gangsei has managed to weave it all together quite successfully.

There is something off about Addie from the very beginning. The book is told between both Addie and Darrow’s points of view, with the occasional third person thrown in whenever there is a major event. I did like the occasional third person chapter, but I also felt that the book could’ve done without it.

There was a very “two-faced” feeling I got from Addie to start with, so I don’t know if it was Gangsei’s intention to let us in so quickly, but it felt like I automatically was being told what side she was one. I’d much rather have decided that myself and then had it revealed later. But, with some of the things Addie does, it would’ve been hard to keep her neutral. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Addie at first, but I did end up endeared to her because of certain revelations and sympathizing with how she was taught while she was kidnapped.

I felt bad for her family though, at first they were all trying to get to know her and help her, and she kinda just brushed them all off. But, Addie was coming back from quite the experience, to be fair.

While it took me a few days to actually begin the book, I ended up sucked in by the end. It sets up well for a sequel, but there is nothing in the works so far. I can only hope Gangsei decides to write one, because I’d certainly be interested in it.


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Review Rendezvous: 10/28/17

Premeditated by Josie L. McQuein
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, contemporary, mystery
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 336
Publish date: October 8th, 2013
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

PremeditatedA week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.

I haven’t read a revenge novel in a while, which is probably why this interested my enough to pick it up. I don’t normally agree with the actions taken by such protagonists, as I’m more of a peaceful resolution person, but the plot did intrigue me enough to go for it.

We first meet Dinah as the rebellious child in the family. She’s agreed to take over her cousin’s spot after her cousin is hospitalized right before school. I did think that her logic was a bit faulty (she told her family that she didn’t want her uncle and aunt missing out on tuition), but I feel as if, in this circumstance, the school would likely have refunded the family. But whatever.

Dinah zeroes in on her subject the moment she meets him. The problem that I see here is her preconceived notions lead her to automatically see the guy as 100% terrible, scum-of-the-earth type. While I can say that anyone who pushes another to suicide is terrible, usually they are not 100% terrible. Basically, Dinah sees herself as the personal scales of justice, which I really have a problem with because that is too much power for any one human being.

There is an interesting twist at the end that gives the entire situation a lot more context. It also proved my suspicions correct, as I had guessed the ending about halfway through and waited to see if it played out. All in all, the writing style was well done and I enjoyed reading it, the protagonist just ruffled my feathers and rubbed me the wrong way.


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Blog Tour: Daughter 4254

Here’s another dystopian, which I know we’ve seen a lot of in recent popular book trends. But, this one definitely stands out, and I’m interested to see where it goes. There’s also another giveaway towards the end of the post!

Daughter 4254 by Leigh Statham
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Paperback
Number of pages: 216
Publish date: November 7th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon – Barnes & Noble

D4254Daughter4254 used to think life in a community where art, music and names are outlawed would suffocate her creative spirit. Now that she’s rotting in a prison cell, she’s not sure her dying mother made the right choice when she entrusted her with the secrets of rebellion. Prison has given her plenty of time to relive every mistake and lose all hope.

Then she meets Thomas, a fellow inmate, who tells her stories of the mythical mountain colonies where people have names and the arts thrive. Together they plot an escape, knowing if they fail, they will die. Or worse, their consciousness will be taken by the MindWipe, leaving their bodies free for the government to use. When nothing goes as planned, Daughter4254 must choose between using her mother’s secret to better the world she hates, or following Thomas to the quiet life of freedom she has always craved.

I must really be in a reading slump if I haven’t read a dystopian in a while since it is one of my favorite genres. I’m going to blame it on life circumstances haha. But, beside the point, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. There are some very good twists and turns, but I also have to admit it leaves me desiring something more.

The most interesting concept I believe is the basis of this society. They only do things that are “of use”, of course meaning that music, movies, pretty much any form of art and expression, were banned long ago. You can even get an infraction for something as small as an “excessive display of emotion”. And don’t even get me started on how little they value human life. But, that would be going into spoiler territory, so we’ll move on.

Daughter4254 (people also do not have real names, only numbers) is what’s called “neurodeficient”. I.e., she still thinks like we do and hasn’t become a soulless robot like most of society. Normally this would keep her from doing much in life, but as a large change in her home life, she is desperate for something more. And boy, does she make a big splash.

The only real problem that I had with this book was that it seemed much more like the first act of a book. Yes, series are supposed to have an overarching theme, but they also need to have their own self-contained storyline. There was some of that there, but a lot of the book was explaining what had happened to put our protagonist in a certain spot. I’m interested to see where the series goes though, as there is definitely potential.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.


ohp-LeighStathamAbout the Author:
Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho but found her heart in New York City. She worked at many interesting jobs before settling in as a mother and writer.

She now resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, eight chickens, a fluffy dog, and two suspected serial killer cats.

Leigh is currently working on an MFA, has written countless short stories, and is the author of lots of mediocre poetry. She is also the winner of the 2016 Southeast Review Narrative Nonfiction Prize for her short story “The Ditch Bank and the Fenceline.”

Giveaway Details:
One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card, US Only.

Two (2) winners will receive a finished copy of DAUGHTER 4254, US only.

To enter, click here.

If you liked this book, check these ones out:


At her pairing ceremony, a girl sees two faces – the man she’s been matched with to marry, and the man who was a mistake


Her parents followed every rule, yet were arrested by the government they serve. Now she must decide to stay still or go after them.


She died, and 178 minutes later returned stronger, faster, and less human than before.












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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.


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Blog Tour: The Midnight Dance

Today I’m taking a bit of a detour from my usual every-Saturday book review to bring you a review on this lovely piece of literature! It just dropped yesterday, so pop on over to one of the retailers listed below and snap it up! You can also enter a giveaway for a free print copy of the book here!

The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 320
Publish date: October 17th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository – Barnes & NobleiBooksKobo

Midnight DanceSeventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep into the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has never known.

But when flashes of memories, memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading, start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grand Teatro and the motivations of the Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, the Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must find a way to escape the school and uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.

Dancing, private schools, unreliable narrators, I love it all! Plus that cover is gor-ge-ous! We open on the normal school day for Penny, but then a sense of unease and discomfort slowly sets it. In all honesty, I did get sidetracked from the book because my life experience a crazy two weeks, but if I had hunkered down I would’ve read this cover-to-cover in about 2.5 seconds. As it were I was almost late to work because I needed to finish it ;).

There’s something not quite right about this school, and I loved how the piece slowly unraveled rather than all at once. And Penny grows from a submissive schoolgirl into someone with her own thoughts and voice, which is a very important step for her. We also get flashbacks that set up how the school came to be and give us information on the mysterious “Master”.

I highly enjoyed this one, and would certainly recommend that you read it. There’s a ton going on in the book but it never gets too bad or overwhelming. It’s also interesting because there’s the juxtaposition of a historical setting and newer technology and science. Although to be honest, you don’t get too much historical detail, and the only reason that I really noticed it as past was the constant reminder of what year it was at the beginning of the chapters. Of course, this was to denote flashback and current day, so it’s not all that bad.

I was provided this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


If you liked this book, check these ones out:


When her sister is found murdered, Rose must uncover the truth of that night, even if the truth is not exactly what it seems


Private school + supernatural = lots of crazy stunts, death threats, and maybe even some romance

Six Months Later

One day she’s an average high schooler. The next she’s on track to be valedictorian. But something is missing…











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