Thursday, December 6, 2018
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You know, some days you just don’t have enough time for a full-length novel-type review. So here’s some short and sweet mini reviews for you to feast on, and just get the gist of the book and how I felt about it.

Before I launched my blog, there were a few books I read that I wanted to review, and here I am, finally reviewing them.

While these three books were very different stories, they all shared one thing in common: they all held an air of mystery. After initially reading Something in the Water, I thirsted for more of that particular genre, with a tinge of thriller and supernatural mixed in for good measure. The thriller/supernatural portions all fell a bit flat, and that’s why all of these books were rated 3-3.5 stars.

 


 

Abbreviations: Something In the Water, Die for Me + TritonSomething In The Water
Author: Catherine Steadman
Published: June 8th, 2018 by Simon & Schuster UK
Genres: thriller, mystery
Format: eBook, 352 pages

If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water...

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events...

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman's enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we're tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.

Add to Goodreads!


3 Stars

What I Liked

  • At the very beginning, the main character Erin, is digging a grave for her husband. WHAT?!
  • Why is she digging his grave? And why is she being pretty calm about it? Aren’t they madly in love???
  • There was plenty of suspense, and tons of mystery that kept me turning the pages on my Kindle. And then there’s that nagging question throughout the ENTIRE NOVEL: why. was. she. digging. her. husband’s. grave.
  • You’re constantly thinking about how her husband’s going to die.
  • A good chunk of this book takes place in Bora Bora, so that was pretty cool. The rest is set in England. Two places I’ve never been before.
  • The author just did a really great job of building suspense, and causing me to flip page after page.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The end result left me VERY unsatisfied.
  • And it was very abrupt.
  • Even though I found out WHY the husband ended up dying, the means to that end just left me very…??? Like… I guess I just never understood his motivations and it just really upset me.

Why I Rated it 3 Stars

So, I enjoyed the suspense, and it was a really good read, but as far at the rating scale goes, it fell flat for me towards the end, and I was hoping for something a little better, and a little more satisfying. Not that I wouldn’t recommend you read it! But for me, I just wanted a bit more at the end, if that makes any sense at all.

 


 

Abbreviations: Something In the Water, Die for Me + TritonDie for Me
Author: Dan Rix
Published: January 17th, 2018 by Burning Ember Press
Genres: young adult, mystery
Format: eBook, 348 pages

At Stonewall Academy, one secret is worth dying for.

Sabrina Griffin seems to have it all—supermodel looks, edgy confidence, astronomical IQ—so no one is prepared when she climbs onto the roof and leaps four stories onto the concrete steps, suffers massive brain damage, and is wheeled away in a vegetative state.

No one is ready when six hours later, her parents prematurely take her off life support.

No one is aware of the clue she planted in her suicide note.

Seeking closure for the death of his high school sweetheart, Jaden and Sabrina’s best friend, Danae, follow a bizarre trail of breadcrumbs to figure out why she jumped. But when the clues begin to link a headmaster’s dark deed, a girl’s self-mutilation, and a stranger who claims to be the real Sabrina Griffin, they realize they’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg of a horrific secret lurking inside the walls of their elite boarding school.

Add to Goodreads!


3 Stars

What I Liked

  • I never knew exactly what was going on. Which led me to cook up all these exciting possibilities in my mind about which direction the book was going to take.
  • The main characters’ plans were constantly being foiled, so that they couldn’t discover the truth about Sabrina. I liked that it wasn’t easy for them to uncover the truth.
  • The boarding school in the middle of nowhere trope isn’t an absolute go-to for me, but it worked for this story, especially when Danae thought she was going crazy and couldn’t find the school on a map. That really got my brain buzzing! Ha.

What I Didn’t Like

  • This may seem petty… but for some reason, all of the main character’s names bothered me. Danae – really hated it, and the spelling… *eye twitch* Jaden – never really was a fan of the name, especially for a boy. Sabrina – a name that should only be used for a teenage witch with a talking black cat.
  • The writing wasn’t top notch.
  • The end left us all hanging a little bit… There was definitely lots of questions at the end!
  • Sabrina was too perfect, which bothered me, and Jaden was obsessed with her. *eyeroll*
  • I didn’t enjoy the character interactions or dialogue very much, but the idea of the story kept me reading.

Why I Rated it 3 Stars

Although I thoroughly enjoyed never knowing where the story was going, and the main character getting foiled at every turn, the writing left more to be desired. The way the characters interacted didn’t light a fire in me and I wasn’t impressed.

And if an ending leaves more questions than I had while reading it, it leaves me annoyed! I’ll admit, I never saw the end coming — like who this imposter Sabrina was, and subsequent explanations — but I can’t decipher if it was a good ending or not.

 


 

Abbreviations: Something In the Water, Die for Me + TritonTriton
Author: Dan Rix
Published: December 10th, 2013 by Burning Ember Press
Genres: young adult, science fiction, fantasy
Format: eBook, 344 pages

In the middle of the Atlantic, four hundred miles west of Bermuda, the eight thousand passengers and crew aboard the cruise ship MS Cypress vanish into thin air. Everyone—men, women, and children—all gone. Taken.

Everyone except five teenagers.

In an instant, their seven day cruise becomes a nightmare: eighteen decks of haunted hallways, pools and bars completely empty, desserts still half-eaten in the abandoned Royal Promenade. A ghost ship the size of a city, sailing blind. At least their annoying parents are gone.

But now strange things are happening. Satellites are dropping out of orbit, falling from the sky. Satellites…and bigger things. They’re not as alone as they think. A message appears in an ancient language, burned into the carpet in the deck ten elevator lobby. It’s a warning. A monster lurks onboard, hunting them. What they've long suspected appears certain: the vanishing…it was an attack.

Now the most unlikely of friends must confront the shadowy pasts that link them and regain control of a runaway cruise ship, crack a four-thousand-year-old mystery, and wage war on a formless evil…before they too vanish into oblivion.

Add to Goodreads!


3 Stars

What I Liked

  • Who wouldn’t be interested in a blurb like that? Eight thousand passengers just disappear at the stroke of midnight!? Needless to say, I had to find out WHY. And HOW.
  • I was on the edge of my seat in suspense! There had to be some kind of alien abduction, right??? 👽
  • Seriously, this was a really brilliant book idea, and the execution (all the little bits and pieces that fit like a puzzle at the end) kind of left my jaw on the floor. Because the author likes to pull you in all kinds of different directions mentally, making you think it’s one thing when it’s really another. I can really appreciate that.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The end made lots of sense, but… was kind of anti-climactic? Like, not the ‘aliens and stuff’ ending I was expecting. So I was kind of let down.
  • Cedar (again with the weird names?) was a very hostile character, and very territorial over his sister, which was a turn-off. He was always going overboard on being defensive, and it was just exhausting, honestly.
  • Some of the character’s quirks just seemed unrealistic. Naomi, a teenager, but apparently a former drug-abuser, knows a LOT about how to run the ship *side eyes* and the 15-year-old apparently knows some Hebrew. 

Why I Rated it 3 Stars

A couple of the characters just made it really hard for me, and I’m kind of wondering to myself if all the ‘high school’ melodrama input in books now-a-days is just not my cup of tea anymore. Being 28 years old myself, I think I forget what it’s like to be a teenager (and even in the real world, teenagers these days make me roll my eyes so hard), and so reading about them and how they act just makes me cringe. The dialogue could’ve been better, as well.

If you’re looking for a cool mystery, I’d recommend this novel. Just don’t have high expectations for the characters actions or they way they talk to each other.

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