Tag: 4.5 stars

A Release Day Double Review of The Companion by Katie Alender

Today is release day for The Companion by Katie Alender and today I bring you a double review for it!  This double review is not with Kim, but my friend Yami, who runs her own Facebook page: A Bookworm’s Thoughts. We received our copies from the publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers via Bookish First on the same day and I approached her on if she wanted to do a double review and she said sure!

The Companion
Author: Katie Alender

Published: TODAY, August 25, 2020
448 Pages

Book Description:

The other orphans say Margot is lucky.

Lucky to survive the horrible accident that killed her family.
Lucky to have her own room because she wakes up screaming every night.

And finally, lucky to be chosen by a prestigious family to live at their remote country estate.

But it wasn’t luck that made the Suttons rescue Margot from her bleak existence at the group home. Margot was handpicked to be a companion to their silent, mysterious daughter, Agatha. At first, helping with Agatha–and getting to know her handsome older brother–seems much better than the group home. But soon, the isolated, gothic house begins playing tricks on Margot’s mind, making her question everything she believes about the Suttons . . . and herself.

Margot’s bad dreams may have stopped when she came to live with Agatha – but the real nightmare has just begun.

Jessica’s Review:
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Dates Read: August 11-18, 2020

This is the first book I have read by Alender, and it will not be the last. From the beginning we are pulled in to the accident that Margot survives.  Margot tell us the story in first person, so we are along with her for the duration of the novel.  We experience everything with her from the group home to moving in with the Suttons. 

This is a standalone YA/Horror novel and you know something that is going on is just not right.  It is not gory horror, but psychological and a very quick read.  It really was one I did not want to put down! I wanted to know how this one was going to end! Yes, it is somewhat predictable but to get to the ending and then be thinking “What did I just read!?!??!?” But this is meant in a great way!  Even better is that we have a satisfying ending. 

This is one where you cannot say much as it is best to go into it not really knowing much, but do read this if you enjoy thrillers and horror.  You won’t regret it!

Many thanks to the publisher G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers for granting me a copy via BookishFirst.

Yami’s Review:
Yami’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Another of Katie Alender’s book that I enjoyed. This one was more of a thriller. Poor Margot went through a great tragedy in the beginning of the book. Being the only survivor from a car accident with her family is such a horrible thing. So when a family decided to take her into their home, you would hope things will get better for her but right from the start you know things are just not right. I figured out a lot of the stuff from the beginning but it was still an enjoyable, crazy ride. I don’t know how much I could say without giving anything away so I will just end it here. Also, I was very happy with the ending.

Check out Yami’s Facebook Page and give her a like if you wish!


Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom

Wanted! Criminals of the Animal Kingdom
Author: Heather Tekavec

Illustrator: Susan Batori
To Be Published:
USA: March 3, 2020

UK: March 5, 2020
32 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars
Date Read: March 1, 2020

Book Description:

Think animals are all well-behaved? Think again. These thirteen play dirty. But they’re about to get caught!

A fish who deceives her prey with a light dangling in front of her mouth? A bird who leaves her eggs in another bird’s nest to be raised? A monkey who shouts ‘Danger’ to scare away the others from the fruit? Meet some of the animal kingdom’s most wanted criminals! Slippery Slick, Queenie the Meanie, Lil’ Cupid — they’re all here in this hilarious book of animal case files that include rap sheets, mug shots, reports of criminal activity and more. All thirteen animals stand accused of playing dirty, but now that Detective X is hot on their trail, their criminal days may soon be behind them!

Author Heather Tekavec offers an original approach to investigating animal behavior, with a fun storyline built on hardcore facts. Paired with Susan Batori’s cheeky illustrations, this is a laugh-out-loud read that explores fascinating animal science. Each animal ‘criminal’ gets a spread that’s filled with facts about the animal’s characteristics, including distinguishing features, diet, life span, habitat and more, as well as a description of the animal’s ‘bad’ behavior and the reason behind it. This book offers direct STEAM links to life science curriculum, particularly lessons on the characteristics of living things. The underlying premise of the book also offers the opportunity for discussions on what it means to play fair in the world.

Jessica’s Review:

This is a highly entertaining picture book that the kids will love (and mom and dad too!) If your child loves animals they will love this book and even learn something about the different animals featured.

The illustrations really enhance the facts and fun to the book, going with the theme of these ‘bad animals’ including the last one who is the ‘Most Wanted’ and also has the worst crime….

The only critique I can give is that I would have loved a photo of the actual animal to go along with the illustrations so children can see what these creatures actually look like.

This one was a pleasure to read and review and many thanks to the publisher Kids Can Press for granting me an e-arc.

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Screams You Hear by James Morris

Screams You Hear
Author:  James Morris
Published: January 8, 2018
275 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 2-9, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

Murder and madness infect a small town.

For sixteen-year-old Ruthie Stroud, life on tiny Hemlock Island in the Pacific Northwest is an endless sea of boring green, in a place where everybody knows everybody’s business and nothing ever happens. Then her world is ripped apart when her parents’ divorce and a new man enters her mother’s life. But worse is yet to come.

When she drifts ashore on the mainland, hideously burned, Ruthie has a harrowing tale to tell. It begins with the murder of a family. It ends with her being the sole survivor of a cataclysm that sweeps her little island. As a detective attempts to unravel Ruthie’s story of murder and madness, only one horrifying conclusion can be drawn: whatever was isolated on remote Hemlock Island may now have come to the mainland. Is Ruthie safe? Is anyone?

Jessica’s Review:

There is nothing to really say about Screams You Hear other than I was astonished by it!

Ruthie is our narrator and tells us her tale of living through pure terror on the island she lives on.  The story takes place in the present but starts at just four days previously, and the chapters go back and forth until everything combines together in a horrific way.

Ruthie’s story is one of unimaginable terror. This is a story about extreme violence against teens.This novel will not be for everyone, but if it is for you, then you will not want to put it down!  Screams goes full throttle all the way up to that ending. 

The only negative I can say about Screams is that I figured out the ending, so it lost some of its shock value for me.  I was still left open mouthed at the ending, but not quite like most others who have read it. 

Another thing to say: Once you finish it you will want to go back and read it again! 

This is a novel to read in one sitting if possible to get its full effect: I wish I had been able to read it that way!

I cannot praise Screams enough and will definitely read more by James Morris.  If you enjoy thrillers/horror then run and go get this one now!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK