April 29, 2013 · 6:00 am
Title: Paper Valentine
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Published: January 8, 2013
Interests: mystery, paranormal
Summary (from Goodreads): The city of Ludlow is gripped by the hottest July on record. The asphalt is melting, the birds are dying, petty crime is on the rise, and someone in Hannah Wagnor’s peaceful suburban community is killing girls.
For Hannah, the summer is a complicated one. Her best friend Lillian died six months ago, and Hannah just wants her life to go back to normal. But how can things be normal when Lillian’s ghost is haunting her bedroom, pushing her to investigate the mysterious string of murders? Hannah’s just trying to understand why her friend self-destructed, and where she fits now that Lillian isn’t there to save her a place among the social elite. And she must stop thinking about Finny Boone, the big, enigmatic delinquent whose main hobbies seem to include petty larceny and surprising acts of kindness.
With the entire city in a panic, Hannah soon finds herself drawn into a world of ghost girls and horrifying secrets. She realizes that only by confronting the Valentine Killer will she be able move on with her life—and it’s up to her to put together the pieces before he strikes again.
Review: I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy this book since there were ghosts involved, but I actually ended up enjoying that aspect of the story line. Even though I found Lillian to be annoying at first, I did like the development of her character as Hannah started to understand her more too. There is so much offered in Yovanoff’s book–mystery, murder, romance, loss, ghosts, friendship, coming of age–that it feels like it has something for everyone. I especially liked the way Yovanoff connected the weather with the plot of the story; even though it was snowing outside while I read this I could feel the sweltering heat as the story went on. If you like a good mystery, this is your book.
April 26, 2013 · 6:00 am
Author: Andrea Lynn Colt
Published: September 2012
Source: e-book (Kindle)
Interests: mystery, romance
Summary (from Goodreads): Cheerleader Rose Whitfield’s senior year goes up in smoke when she’s framed for arson. Sure that the culprit is her neighbor Paxton, with whom she’s been feuding since middle school, she sets out to clear her name and take Paxton down hard–not necessarily in that order.
Review: I finished Torched in one day, which is saying a lot. I haven’t read a complete book in one day–a work day–since before I had my son. I could not put it down; I had to know who framed Rose.
I’ll be honest when I read the summary that Rose was a cheerleader who was feuding with her neighbor, I wasn’t sure I was going to like the book. I assumed it would be a predictable storyline with much to be desired. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I was thrown off by all the red herrings that Rose encounters but did finally figure out who the culprit was before being told.
The cast of characters are well developed and each have a distinct voice. Rose is a strong-willed, smart girl whose shenanigans have hurt more people than she intended. She proudly defies the cheerleader stereotype. However, I think a lot of teenage girls can relate to the problems (not the arson part) Rose faces. Her friends, boyfriend and parents each come with their own challenges that Rose must overcome.
While there were times I wanted to throw the book across the room–due to the horrible things that happen–I also didn’t want the book to end. Speaking of endings (don’t worry I’m not giving anything away), I did like the way ended but I wanted to know more about what happens next. Of course, that’s how you know the author did an excellent job of developing the characters, when you want to see where they go in life.
If you’d like to read an excerpt of Torch head over to Colt’s website.
I’m looking forward to Colt’s next book, Wavecrossed, that comes out this spring.