Category Archives: Ya Suspense

Review: Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano

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


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

By: Elena Dillon
Publisher: Self-Published
Published: May 24, 2013
Genre: YA Thriller Romance

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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.



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?”


Review: Escape From Eden by Elisa Nader



Escape From Eden
By: Elisa Nader
Publisher: Merit Press
Published: Aug. 18, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Thriller

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Since the age of ten, Mia has lived under the iron fist of the fundamentalist preacher who lured her mother away to join his fanatical family of followers. In Edenton, a supposed “Garden of Eden” deep in the South American jungle, everyone follows the Reverend’s strict but arbitrary rules—even the mandate of whom they can marry. Now sixteen, Mia dreams of slipping away from the armed guards who keep the faithful in, and the curious out. When the rebellious and sexy Gabriel, a new boy, arrives with his family, Mia sees a chance to escape.

But the scandalous secrets the two discover beyond the compound’s façade are more shocking than anything they ever imagined. While Gabriel has his own terrible secrets, he and Mia bond together, more than friends and freedom fighters. But is there time to think of each other as they race to stop the Reverend’s paranoid plan to free his flock from the corrupt world? Can two teenagers crush a criminal mastermind? And who will die in the fight to save the ones they love from a madman who’s only concerned about his own secrets?


1thoughtsThis was one of those books that you’re either going to really enjoy or your going to hate. One being your take on religion and how devoted you are. Some people may be offended by this book. I however, am going to hell, so I found the book to be entertaining.

Mia lives in Edenton. A place that’s barricaded off from the world and it’s technologies. Everyone blindly follows their beloved Reverend. This man can do no wrong, even when he outwardly poisons his own “flock”. I mean, God hates greedy people apparently and you greedy lil’ bastards must pay for your sins via death. *nods head* Sure. I mean the Reverend was only carrying out the Lord’s command. *shrugs shoulders* Are you believing the B.S that I’m giving you? No? Yeah, well it didn’t fly with Mia either. Unfortunately, everyone else was nodding along in understanding as their flock members were dying a horrible death. Thus, the reason why Mia wants to escape. The Reverend is a demented masochist and his flock is a bunch of blind sheep being lead to their own slaughter while singing the praises of their saviors, the Reverend and the Lord up above.

The people staying there weren’t necessarily stupid but they were brainwashed into believing there was nothing else for them and that this was their only salvation. *rolls eyes* Although it was comforting to know that not everyone was as brainwashed as they appeared. Mia and Gabriel being among them. Although Mia had her moments that if I were Gabriel I would have just left her behind because she could see what was going on, knew it was wrong but would still have her doubts.

My one complaint was Gabriel. Why does he have to be your typical bad boy? Why not a geeky guy with glasses who’s parents just decided to up and join the cult… er I mean Edenton? He was your generic hot/cold bad boy giving out mixed signals left and right.

I liked that the author took a risk with her debut novel. Not only is it a crazy subject but there are various layers of taboo mixed in with a few dashes of suspense that I was captivated from the get go.


1favepart“You know, Gabriel,” Juanita said, “the word bridge isn’t used in the Bible.”
“It’s not?” Gabriel asked and I couldn’t help feeling he was humoring us. “And why is that?”
Juanita’s face fell as she remembered one of the Reverend’s sermons.
“Because,” I said, reciting what I could recall, “God’s people must pass through the dangerous currents of suffering and death, not simply ride over them.”
“Suffering and death for God’s people, huh?” Gabriel peered down into the ditch. “I guess if I was going to fly my atheist flag, now would be the time.”






Hi. I’m Elisa. I like cheese and reading and TV show marathons. Writing is scary, but not as scary as, say, Civil War amputations. I’m an Aquarius. Uh… let’s see… I’m not very good at writing my own biography. Or autobiography. I guess this is reading more like a slightly incoherent personal ad.

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Review: The Breakaway by Michelle Davidson Argyle


The Breakaway

By: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Published: May 1, 2012
Genre: YA
Source: Author

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When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, it takes her parents two days to realize she’s missing. Escape isn’t high on her list of priorities when all she has to return to is an abusive boyfriend and parents who never paid much attention to her. For the first time in her life she’s part of a family—even if it is a family of criminals. But she’s still a captive. In a desperate attempt to regain some control in her life, Naomi embarks on a dangerous plan to make one of her kidnappers think she’s falling in love with him. The plan works too well, and when faced with the chance to escape, Naomi isn’t sure she wants to take it.

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