Tag: thriller

This Darkness Mine

Author: Mindy McGinnis
Published: October 10, 2017
352 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Sasha Stone knows her place—first-chair clarinet, top of her class, and at the side of her oxford-wearing boyfriend. She’s worked her entire life to ensure that her path to Oberlin Conservatory as a star musician is perfectly paved.

But suddenly there’s a fork in the road, in the shape of Isaac Harver. Her body shifts toward him when he walks by, her skin misses his touch even though she’s never known it, and she relishes the smell of him—smoke, beer, and trouble—all the things she’s avoided to get where she is. Even worse, every time he’s near Sasha, her heart stops, literally. Why does he know her so well—too well—and she doesn’t know him at all?

Sasha discovers that her by-the-book life began by ending another’s: the twin sister she absorbed in the womb. But that doesn’t explain the gaps of missing time in her practice schedule or the memories she has of things she certainly never did with Isaac. As Sasha loses her much-cherished control, her life—and heart—become more entangled with Isaac. Armed with the knowledge that her heart might not be hers alone, Sasha must decide what she’s willing to do—and who she’s willing to hurt—to take it back.

Edgar Award–winning author Mindy McGinnis delivers a dark and gripping psychological thriller about a girl at war with herself, and what it really means to be good or bad.

Kim’s Review:

I was so excited about this book! I saw it on EpicReads and all over booktube so I asked my mom to get it for me for Christmas. She obliged and so I started reading. I’ll admit that it started a little slowly, which is why I gave it 4 stars. I liked Sasha a lot because I could totally relate to her. I was the one in high school who sat and read and studied while everyone else was hanging out and going to parties. I was sheltered and easily offended by bad language and off-color jokes. Thankfully, I did not find out that I was a twin who absorbed my sibling in the womb! I totally understand how that would throw a teen for a loop!

And unfortunately, that’s when I started really disliking Sasha! I have no patience for kids who are disrespectful to their parents and manipulates the people around them by being fake. By the end, Sasha is just another stupid, millennial teen who can’t take any responsibility for her own actions. But, the story was awesome! Once it got going, I could barely put it down. In a world of the same stories being rehashed and retold over and over again, this was an original book and I loved it! I would absolutely recommend this to anyone. Definitely some language and mature content, so I would save this for older teens.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Unnatural Deeds

Author: Cyn Balog
Published: November 1, 2016
274 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, not that she cares what anyone thinks. She and her homeschooled boyfriend, Andrew, are inseparable. All they need is each other. That is, until Zachary Zimmerman joins her homeroom. Within an hour of meeting, he convinces good-girl Vic to cut class. And she can’t get enough of that rush.

Despite Vic’s loyalty to Andrew, she finds her life slowly entwining with Z’s. Soon she’s lying to everyone she knows and breaking all the rules to be with Z. She can’t get enough of him—or unraveling the stories of the family he’s determined to keep hidden.

Except Z’s not the only one with a past. Straight-laced Vic is hiding her own secrets…secrets that are about to destroy everything in her path.

Kim’s Review:

Cyn Balog is one of my new faves! I read Alone earlier in the year and it blew my mind!!! I decided to read Unnatural Deeds and I tried really hard not to compare the two books . . . but I don’t think I did such a hot job. I think if I had read Unnatural Deeds before Alone, then I might have given it 5 stars. Alone was just so powerful and shocking and jarring. Unnatural Deeds was far more subtle.

Vic was an odd character and I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about her. And my inner teacher came out when Z showed up. Skipping classes, under achiever, ultra-popular . . . I wanted to strangle him! He’s one of those kids with so much potential, smart, able to accomplish anything he could possibly want, yet unwilling to work for it. But I’ll admit that he helped me commit to the story!

There is a nice twist at the end that satisfied my need for the psychologically crazy. So overall, I enjoyed this book and I think its perfect for someone who likes twisty stores, just without being super creepy. I would save this book for older teens because of language and some immature subject matter. A really good book!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

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The Special Ones

Author: Em Bailey
Published: July 18, 2017
304 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

A mysterious cult leader has complete control over Esther’s life…or does he?

Esther is one of the Special Ones: four young spiritual guides who live under his protection in a remote farmhouse. The Special Ones are not allowed to leave, but why would they want to? They are safe from toxic modern life, safe from a meaningless existence, safe in their endless work. He watches them every moment of every day, 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. That means being replaced with another Esther. Nobody knows what happens to the Special Ones who are taken away from the farm for renewal, but Esther fears the worst. She also knows she’s a fake. She has no ancient wisdom, and is deeply troubled about her life in captivity. But like an actor caught up in an endless play, she must keep up the performance if she wants to survive long enough to escape.

Kim’s Review:

To be 100% honest, this book seemed like a rehash of The Cellar by Natasha Preston. There were a lot of similarities and it really felt like almost exactly the same story. However, there were details that were different and I still enjoyed reading this book very much!

The first half of the book was definitely stronger than the second half. I enjoyed reading about the specifics of the kidnappings and imprisonment of the Special Ones and I liked learning about the nature of the delusion in which he has immersed himself. But, I was left feeling a bit disappointed about the photograph from which he got his inspiration. Who were these people? Why was that photo so important? What kind of research did he do? How did he know their names? We’ve had this discussion before, I’m a historian and you can’t leave me dangling like that! I need more information! Em, I’d like to formally request a book exclusively about those people in the photograph. Thank you.

The ending did get a little slow, but I liked the way the story resolved itself. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good psychological thriller or anyone who loves Criminal Minds. Yes, I did try to do some behavioral analysis on this book . . . it kept me stumped so I think that’s the sign of a stirring story! Definitely worth 4 stars!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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