Category Archives: Ya Suspense

Review: The Lying Woods by Ashley Elston

The Lying Woods
by Ashley Elston
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication date: Nov. 13, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Rating:

Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the family business, the single largest employer in his small Louisiana town, to embezzle millions and drain the employees’ retirement accounts, Owen’s father vanished without a trace, leaving Owen and his mother to deal with the fallout.

Owen returns to Lake Cane to finish his senior year, where people he can barely remember despise him for his father’s crimes. It’s bad enough dealing with muttered insults and glares, but when Owen and his mother receive increasingly frightening threats from someone out for revenge, he knows he must get to the bottom of what really happened at Louisiana Frac–and the cryptic note his father sent him at his boarding school days before disappearing.

Owen’s only refuge is the sprawling, isolated pecan orchard he works at after school, owned by a man named Gus who has his own secrets–and in some ways seems to know Owen better than he knows himself. As Owen uncovers a terrible injustice that looms over the same Preacher Woods he’s claimed as his own, he must face a shocking truth about his own past–and write a better future.

 

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Review: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper
(Stalking Jack the Ripper #1)
by Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Publication date: Sept. 20, 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Rating:

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

 

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Review: #Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil

#Murdertrending
by Gretchen McNeil
Publisher: Freeform
Publication date: Aug. 7, 2018
Genre: Young Adult Mystery Thriller
Rating:

WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, where good and honest 8/18 citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0.

When eighteen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she’s innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners kill them off one by one?

 

 

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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Shadow Lilies by Lee Ann Ward (Giveaway)

Shadow Lilies
(The Shadow Lilies Book 1)
by Lee Ann Ward
Publisher: Evernight Teen
Publication date: Aug. 2, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Mystery

Sixteen-year-old Julia Reynolds struggles with her parents’ gypsy lifestyle and the urgent need to find out what happened to her missing cousin, Aubree. Soon Julia stumbles upon the mystery surrounding the Ursuline Convent in New Orleans, its banned third floor, and the blessed nails that seal its windows shut.

Solving the mystery of the Ursuline and blogging the story to the entire free world could gain more interest in the disappearance of Aubree. But there’s just one catch: the others who have explored this mystery have one thing in common…they’re all dead.

Things get even more complicated when Julia falls for Ryan Grandle, the hottest guy in her school, and he falls right back. Will she really risk her life and new love to explore an unsolved mystery for the story that could save her cousin? Turns out, staring death straight in the face is just the beginning.

 

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Sneak Peek Wednesday: The Special Ones by Em Bailey [Giveaway]

The Special Ones
by Em Bailey
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Thriller

Esther is one of the Special Ones: four young spiritual guides who live in a remote farmhouse under the protection of a mysterious cult leader. He watches them around the clock, ready to punish them if they forget who they are—and all the while, broadcasting their lives to eager followers on the outside. Esther knows that if she stops being Special, he will “renew” her. Nobody knows what happens to the Special Ones who are taken away from the farm for renewal, but Esther fears the worst. Like an actor caught up in an endless play, she must keep up the performance if she wants to survive long enough to escape.

 

 

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Review: Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Proof of Lies
(Anastasia Phoenix #1)
by Diana Rodriguez Wallach
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication date: March 7, 2017
Genre: YA Mystery
Rating:

Some secrets are best kept hidden…

Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages.

And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead.

She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true.

Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility.

She will find her sister.

 

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Review: Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano [Giveaway]

Lost Girls
by Merrie Destefano
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: Jan. 3, 2017
Genre: YA
Rating:

Yesterday, Rachel went to sleep listening to Taylor Swift, curled up in her grammy’s quilt, worrying about geometry. Today, she woke up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised, and missing a year of her life.

She doesn’t recognize the person she’s become: she’s popular. She wears nothing but black.

Black to cover the blood.

And she can fight.

Tell no one.

She’s not the only girl to go missing within the last year…but she’s the only girl to come back. She desperately wants to unravel what happened to her, to try and recover the rest of the Lost Girls.

But the more she discovers, the more her memories return. And as much as her new life scares her, it calls to her. Seductively. The good girl gone bad, sex, drugs, and raves, and something darker…something she still craves—the rush of the fight, the thrill of the win—something she can’t resist, that might still get her killed…

The only rule is: There are no rules.

 

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Excerpt: Twisted by Hannah Jayne [Giveaway]

TwistedTwisted
By: Hannah Jayne
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: July 6, 2016
Genre: YA Mystery

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When her father is accused of being a serial killer, Bex becomes the ultimate bait in this game of cat and mouse

Bex is ready to start a new life in foster care. There, she won’t be known as a serial killer’s daughter. Though her father was never tried for the murders attributed to “The Wife Collector,” he disappeared after questioning. And Bex struggles with the guilt that she provided the circumstantial evidence that convicted him in the public’s perception—and drove him to abandon her.

But when a body turns up in her new hometown, all signs point to the Wife Collector. Bex’s old life isn’t ready to let her go. The police want to use Bex to lure in her father. But is she baiting a serial killer or endangering an innocent man?

 

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Review: Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano

holding smokeHolding Smoke
By: Elle Cosimano
Publisher: Hyperion
Published: May 3, 2016
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating:

Goodreads

John “Smoke” Conlan is serving time for two murders but he wasn’t the one who murdered his English teacher, and he never intended to kill the only other witness to the crime. A dangerous juvenile rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado, known as the Y, is Smoke’s new home and the only one he believes he deserves.

But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they’re asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn’t care that the “threads” that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name.

Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink’s help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he’s willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for.

 

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Review: Crushing by Elena Dillon

17880386Crushing
By: Elena Dillon
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: May 24, 2013
Genre: YA Thriller Romance
Rating:
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As a pampered and adored daughter of a wealthy Southern family Rory’s life was seemingly perfect until her troubled childhood crush moves back in across the street forcing her to choose between him and the life that has been chosen for her.

As if that isn’t enough, her quiet island town has turned dangerous. A good friend has gone missing, lending truth to the rumors of a serial kidnapper. In her quest to help she becomes a target and will have to make choices about love, friendship and the inevitable sacrifice that they both require.

 

1thoughtsWhen Rory was a little girl she had a best friend named Gage. They got into all sorts of trouble when they were kids. One night Rory was preparing the best hiding spot ever when she saw a guy loading what looked to be a body into a vehicle. Of course, the excitement caused her to have an asthma attack and the guy soon found her hiding spot. However, it was because of her friend Gage that she was able to escape the clutches of the killer and run to safety. But a couple week later Gage moved away, never to be heard from until he returns for their senior year of high school. Now Rory’s life is flipped upside down. Not just because her childhood crush is back, but because the abductions have started up again.

This was not the story that I thought it would be. You don’t really get the sense that it’s a YA thriller/romance from the cover. The synopsis doesn’t really help matters anyways. However, the fact that it was a YA didn’t really bother me. It just took me a few chapters to start picturing a young girl instead of a woman.

The author did a great job balancing the romance with the suspense. Once the reader would start getting comfortable, something would happen, and you were thrown back into the fray. The author gives you tiny clues as to who it could be but she also leads you to dead-ends as well.

For being teenagers the characters of this story were really mature. There really was no pettiness, no cliques, or crazy drama. That’s very rare in a young adult novel. So, I was happy that I could just focus on suspense and romance without all the stupid dramatics.

My one and only gripe with the story was the convenience that any time Rory was in any sort of trouble, Gage was there to save her. Didn’t matter what/where/who, he was there every time. Either the boy was stalking her or he was just always at the right place at the right time when none of her friends seemed to be. I don’t know, I just felt like once there should’ve been a time where Rory either handled the issue herself or got saved by someone else.

Regardless this was a great story. This is mature enough to be enjoyable by adults and yet it’s appropriate for teens as well. There is mention of drinking but there is no sex and virtually no swearing. There could’ve been absolutely no swearing. If you’re looking for a good no-drama, romantic suspense, then this is a good one.

 

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Rory’s father dislikes Gage. However, one day while talking about golf, it comes up that Gage can’t got kicked out from his school for fighting. He reveals that the fighting was due to the fact that he attacked a fellow student who was beating up him girlfriend. The moment Gage reveals the reasoning behind the fight, Rory’s father lightens up around him, saying his actions were admirable.

“What in the world just happened? Had my dad and Gage just bonded over beating people up?”

kRISTIN