2 Points, Reviews, Romance, Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Arcadia Awakens | Arcadia #1 | 451 pages | ISBN 9780062006066 | Balzer + Bray, 2012 | 2.5 out of 5 Points

“To New Yorker Rosa Alcantara, the exotic world of Sicily, with its network of Mafia families and its reputation for murder and intrigue, is just that—exotic, and wholly unknown. But when tragedy strikes, she must travel there, to her family’s ancestral home, where her sister and aunt have built their lives and where centuries of family secrets await her.

Once there, Rosa wastes no time falling head over heels for Alessandro Carnevare, the son of a Sicilian Mafia family, whose handsome looks and savage grace both intrigue and unsettle her. But their families are sworn enemies, and her aunt and sister believe Alessandro is only using Rosa to infiltrate the Alcantara clan. And when Rosa encounters a tiger one night—a tiger with very familiar eyes—she can no longer deny that neither the Carnevares nor the Alcantaras are what they seem. Continue Reading

3 Points, Contemporary Fiction, LGBT+ Fiction, Mystery, Reviews, Thriller, Young Adult

One Of Us Is Lying | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781524714680 | Delacorte Press, 2017 | 3.5 out of 5 Points

“Pay close attention and you might solve this. On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.  Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.” Continue Reading

5 Points, Favourites, Gothic & Horror, Reviews, Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Shallow Graves | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9780062366207 | Katherine Tegen Books, 2016 | 5 out of 5 Points

“Breezy remembers leaving the party: the warm, wet grass under her feet, her cheek still stinging from a slap to her face. But when she wakes up, scared and pulling dirt from her mouth, a year has passed and she can’t explain how. Nor can she explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch, or why her heartbeat comes and goes. She doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past.

Haunted by happy memories from her life, Breezy sets out to find answers in the gritty, threatening world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight, and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she discovers is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.” Continue Reading

5 Points, Favourites, Gothic & Horror, Reviews, Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Memory | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781408326510 | Orchard Books, 2013 | 4.5 out of 5 Points

“This is a book about a ghost called Story. She’s lost in the city – alone, afraid and without her memory. Then she meets Jude, a boy who sees the dead. And he is the only one who can help her remember…

Jude Finney has a special talent: He can see the dreams of the dead. Or ghosts, as you might call them. In Highgate Cemetery, in a world between reality and dreams, he meets the ghost of Story, a mysterious girl, who knows thousands of stories but can’t remember her own. But Jude is sure that Story is still alive somewhere in London. And that it’s time to find her, before it’s too late.”  Continue Reading

3 Points, Gothic & Horror, Mystery, Reviews, Thriller, Young Adult

Wish Me Dead | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9780141363028 | Penguin, 2015 | 3 out of 5 Points

“The funny thing is I never even meant the first one. Now I bitterly regret visiting the cursed witch’s house, deep in the middle of the forest. It’s where I made my wishes. I wished Klara Klein dead. It came true. I wished for the most gorgeous boy in town to finally notice me. It came true. I wished to be rid of the poisonous busybody who destroyed my family. It came true.

I didn’t mean for this to happen. Not me, Steffi Nett, the shy one who never says anything. But as the body count increases with every wish I make . . .who else could it be?” Continue Reading

5 Points, Fantasy, Favourites, Reviews, Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Heaven | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781408314661 | Orchard Books, 2012 | 5 out of 5 Points

The night that Heaven lost her heart was cold and moonless. But the blade that sliced it out was warm with her dark blood… David Pettyfer is taking a shortcut over the dark rooftops of London’s brooding houses, when he literally stumbles across Heaven: a strange, beautiful, distraught girl who says that bad men have stolen her heart. Yet she’s still alive…

And so begins David and Heaven’s wild, exciting and mysterious adventure—to find Heaven’s heart, and to discover the incredible truth about her origins. Part thriller, part love story and part fairy tale, this brilliantly original novel from a bestselling German author will take your breath away…Continue Reading

4 Points, Gothic & Horror, LGBT+ Fiction, Reviews, Southern Gothic, Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

As I Descended | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9780062409232 | HarperTeen, 2016 | 4 out of 5 Points

“Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them. Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey. Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word. Continue Reading

3 Points, Mystery, Reviews, Thriller, Young Adult

The Game | The Valley #1 | ISBN 9781907411656 | Atom, 2012 | 3.5 out of 5 Points

“The famous Grace College, located in a remote valley in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, is an elite school for the highly gifted. To Julia and her brother, it’s the perfect place to hide.  But strange things are happening in the valley. Why can’t the college be located in Google Earth? What happened to the students who went missing in the mountains in the 1970s? When Robert finds a dead body in their first week they’ll learn they can only run so far from their past. And that the valley has secrets of its own. . .” Continue Reading

1 Point, Historical Fiction, Renaissance, Reviews, Thriller

The Botticelli Secret | Stand-Alone | ISBN 9781848547988 | Hodder Paperbacks, 2012 | 1.5 out of 5 Points

“When part-time model and full-time prostitute Luciana Vetra is asked by one of her most exalted clients to pose for a painter friend, she doesn’t mind serving as the model for the central figure of Flora in Sandro Botticelli’s masterpiece “Primavera.” But when the artist dismisses her without payment, Luciana impulsively steals an unfinished version of the painting–only to find that somone is ready to kill her to get it back.

What could possibly be so valuable about the picture? As friends and clients are slaughtered around her, Luciana turns to the one man who has never desired her beauty, novice librarian Brother Guido. Fleeing Florence together, Luciana and Guido race through the nine cities of Renaissance Italy, pursued by ruthless foes who are determined to keep them from decoding the painting’s secrets.” Continue Reading