Author: Karen M. McManus
Published: January 8, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 1-8, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.
The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.
Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.
I absolutely loved McManus’ debut Novel One of Us is Lying, so I was looking forward to Two Can Keep a Secret. The covers match perfectly and with similar titles, you think Two is a sequel to One, but it is not. But we do have the sequel to look forward to: It is supposed to be released next year!
Unfortunately, Two was is not up to the expectations that One set. Yes, we have another murder mystery and have many unknowns, but I was not attached to the characters. I was curious with what was going to happen as the description of the novel is intriguing, but it fell flat for me. We even have two narrators, which by now you know I love multiple povs. Our two narrators are Ellery and Malcolm, and Ellery even has a twin brother! And all of these characters are connected in some way. Usually those things all put together equals a guaranteed enjoyable read. I continued the story as I wanted to know the ending, but by the time I got to the end I really didn’t care about it.
Maybe reading One first set me up with failure for Two as my expectations were very high. If you want to give both books a try, I say read Two then One. **Remember the books are NOT connected so they can be read either way. I would read McManus again and I am still looking forward to the sequel to One.
My review to One of Us is Lying is here.
Author: Hanna Jameson
To Be Published: April 9, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 19- April 2, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war—along with twenty other survivors—who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks.
The Last by Hanna Jameson is an apocalyptic novel from an American’s perspective (Jon) who is stuck in a huge hotel in the middle of nowhere in Switzerland after nuclear bombs fell and whole countries are gone. Jon keeps a daily journal or as he calls it “A Narrative Chronicle of the Initial Post-nuclear Months by Possibly the Last Living Historian”.
This is a character driven novel with a side of murder mystery. The Last is written in first person perspective, and I was pulled in from the first line. Jameson shows what could happen in the world whenever the bombs fall. Of course, there is panic and we keep up with the news until it is no more. Then we are in seclusion with 20 strangers and the mystery: a dead girl. Jon becomes determined at all costs to figure out who killed her.
Everything felt realistic with The Last: From the fear of the unknown, adjusting to a new world with strangers, to thoughts of ‘should we stay or leave?’ We get to experience a variety of situations that occur and the consequences of those decisions in this new world. The Last is like an episode of The Walking Dead but without zombies. There is a little action, but the story focuses on the people and their situation.
I really enjoyed The Last. The ending is ambiguous, so it could be the end of the story or it could continue if Jameson decides to write more.
The only negative for me was a big one, and why I rated it four stars: The mention of politics and characters blaming each other based on if they were American and if they voted for the president. The president’s name is not mentioned, but you know who he is based on what is said. I like my fiction to be free from politics (unless I happen to be reading a politically charged book) or it is necessary to the story, so these instances were not enjoyed. Let’s keep politics out of our fiction!
The Last is recommended. Special thanks to Atria Books for granting me an e-arc copy via NetGalley. I really enjoyed it![Top]
Author: A.J. Grainger
Published: February 12, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Seventeen-year-old Lil’s heart was broken when her sister Mella disappeared. There’s been no trace or sighting of her since she vanished, so when Lil sees a girl lying in the road near her house she thinks for a heart-stopping moment that it’s Mella.
The girl is injured and disorientated and Lil has no choice but to take her home, even though she knows something’s not right. The girl claims she’s from a peaceful community called The Sisterhood of the Light, but why then does she have strange marks down her arms, and what—or who—is she running from?
This was a surprise find and am I glad I found it! Ivan told me to go to Barnes and Noble and get myself a book for Valentine’s Day (he had to work so he wasn’t slacking!). The cover is beautiful and the title is interesting so I picked it up and read the synopsis. Omg, there’s a cult!!! I love cults!!!! So I got it and read it in one sitting! It’s simple and easy to read, yet the story is unique and engaging.
I liked Lil a lot; she’s realistic and very teenager-ish without being annoying. I guess the difference is that she wasn’t actively idiotic, she just had some immature thinking. It hurt that she held back from Kiran because of her guilt. But Kiran . . . Love him so much! He’s so cute and sweet and kind and believable and adorable and tall! He’s easily my favorite character in this book. Seven is an interesting little girl that I strangely identified with. Her sheltered upbringing and general cluelessness about the world brought me back to may days right out of college, when real life kicked me in the butt! The Sisterhood of the Light sound like a fascinating cult of all women who venerate the Light. The compound is small, the scope is condensed and I would love to go to Wales to study them. Overall, this was a great read! No swearing, completely appropriate for teens, and a simple, unique thriller plot!