Mystery

White Smoke – Tiffany D Jackson – ARC Review

Marigold’s family moves to the city of Cedarville, looking forward to a fresh start as Mari still struggles with some recent traumatizing events that she has been through. Though their new house on Maple Street seems lovely, it is surrounded by an extremely run down neighborhood and wary neighbors. Mari soon begins to notice some strange things about the house: doors open on their own, the lights flicker, there are odd shadows and voices, and strangest of all, her brat of a stepsister, Piper, keeps talking about an imaginary friend who wants Mari gone. As the occurrences go from strange to dangerous, Mari begins to learn that Cedarville has many secrets, and the happenings at her new house are somehow connected to it all.…

Lies My Memory Told Me – Sacha Wunsch – Inkyard Press Fall 2021 YA Blog Tours

Nova is the daughter of two scientists who invented Enhanced Memory, a technology that has taken the world by storm and changed the lives of people everywhere. A form of memory sharing, it makes it possible to experience anything, from learning new skills, to traveling the world, to partaking in the most dangerous of adventure sports in a completely risk free manner. Nova has always considered it a gift that has made people’s lives better, until she meets Kade, a critic of the technology who claims that there are serious long term effects to using it. He runs a secret channel where he creates videos of real experiences and seems almost paranoid about staying under the radar. While Nova initially dismisses his words, the more she pays attention to things around her, they begin to feel out of place, as she begins to have a feeling that she has forgotten something very important.…

This Is Why We Lie – Gabriella Lepore – Inkyard Press Fall 2021 YA Blog Tours

Jenna Dallas is near the beach at dawn, taking photos as she usually does when she hears a cry for help, only to discover that it is Adam Cole, who has found a body in the water – Colleen O’Dell, who attends the same school as Jenna. The coastal town is shocked by the news, especially after it becomes clear that this was no accidental drowning. Jenna and all her friends are interviewed by the police in light of this revelation and when her best friend, becomes a key suspect, Jenna is determined to get to the bottom of things. As she examines the possible suspects, she is increasingly certain that the boys at Rookwood Reform School, where Adam is also a student, know more than they are letting on. Adam, meanwhile, is just trying to finish up his time at Rookwood and when Jenna starts digging, he wants no part of the drama. But as his friends begin to be investigated, trusting Jenna to find the culprit might be the only way to keep them safe.…

All These Bodies – Kendare Blake – ARC Review

In the summer of 1958, there is a trail of mysterious murders across the Midwest where the victims are found completely drained of blood. The Carlson family, who live in a small Minnesota town is the site of the latest murders, but this time, a girl named Marie Catherine Hale is found at the scene covered in blood. Initially assumed to be a survivor, she is taken into custody when it is found that none of the blood is hers, and she has not a single scratch upon her. The hunt begins for her accomplice, because a teenage girl could not have carried out all these murders by herself. Michael Jensen, the sheriff’s teenage son, is an aspiring journalist, and when Marie decides he is the only one she’ll tell her story to, it falls to him to record her confession and sort through her increasingly bizarre account and find the truth about what happened to the Carlsons and how Marie is involved in it all.…

Lies Like Wildfire – Jennifer Lynn Alvarez – The Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tour

Five best friends have spent every summer together in their hometown of Gap Mountain. This year is different though: with college and work on the horizon, they decide to make the most of this last summer, until plans for a lazy afternoon by the lake go awry and they accidentally start a wildfire in the forest. As the sheriff’s daughter, Hannah Warner knows well the penalties for starting a wildfire in California, and so they do the only thing that comes to mind – lie to the investigators. But the fire grows increasingly deadly, and with each day it rages on, it becomes harder and harder to maintain their lie and their futures are at risk. Will they be able to keep the secret and protect each other or will their friendship crack under the mounting pressure and guilt as they witness the destruction the fire is causing?…

Dark and Shallow Lies – Ginny Myers Sain – ARC Review

Grey returns to the remote bayou town of La Cachette, Louisiana, where she always spends her summers with her grandmother. But this year is different. Her best friend, Elora, has been missing for the past six months ever since she seemingly disappeared into thin air one night, and no one in the entire town of psychics has been able to figure out what happened to her. Even worse, Grey has been experiencing strange visions that seem to be flashbacks and she’s sure they are connected to Elora’s disappearance. Determined to find out the truth, Grey begins to dig deeper into the events of that night, only to find that everyone in town is keeping secrets, from her oldest friends, to her grandmother and even her late mother. The mystery thickens as a stranger suddenly appears on the edge of town with connections to the town’s dark history and Grey realizes La Cachette has more buried secrets than she ever knew, and all of it somehow ties into the events at hand.…

A Lesson in Vengeance – Victoria Lee – ARC Review

Felicity Morrow has returned to Dalloway School to redo her final year after she had to take some time away to recover from her girlfriend, Alex’s death. She is determined to move past all that and focus on graduating, but when Ellis Haley, a new student and prodigy writer, asks for help researching the Dalloway Five, the mystery of five students who died on campus centuries ago in incidents proclaimed as witchcraft, Felicity can’t help but be drawn back into her fascination with the occult. As a method writer, Ellis wants to recreate the murders and disprove the existence of witchcraft, but when history starts to repeat itself, Felicity becomes convinced that not only is Alex’s ghost haunting her, but also the spirit of one of the five students out to get revenge on her for the events of the past year.…

Ace of Spades – Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Chiamaka Adebayo has been chosen for the prestigious position of Head Girl at Niveus Private Academy, an elite high school. No surprises there, as she is both popular and talented, the Queen Bee of the school. Devon Richards, a talented musician, becoming Senior Prefect on the other hand is quite unexpected as he tends to keep to himself. Both students have high aspirations, with Chi set on Yale and Devon aiming for Juilliard along with the scholarship he desperately needs to be able to afford it. When these two students, who are poles apart socially, become the target of an anonymous texter only known as ‘Aces’, what initially seems to be a case of high school bullying takes a deadlier turn as they seem bent upon destroying not only their reputations, but also their final year of school and any prospects of a successful future.…

The Box In The Woods – Maureen Johnson

Solving the Ellingham murder case gained Stevie a few fleeting moments of fame but now she has a very boring, normal summer ahead of her. When she gets an email from the owner of Sunny Pines summer camp formerly Camp Wonder Falls, which was the site of an unsolved murder case in the 70s known as the Box in the Woods Murders, she can’t resist the opportunity to solve another mystery – especially since she is invited to bring her friends along too. As Stevie begins to investigate, she realizes that though the case is long dormant, trouble still lingers around it and this might be more dangerous than she anticipated.…

That Weekend – Kara Thomas – ARC Review

Claire is found injured and alone on a hiking trail with no memory of the past 48 hours. She, along with her best friends Kat and Jesse, had decided to skip prom and instead spend the weekend at Kat’s family lake house. Now her friends are missing and she has no idea when they went hiking, let alone what happened on the mountain. As the search drags on for days, then weeks, everyone is desperate for answers, and Claire most of all. But even as she tries to piece things together from what little she recalls, everyone around her seems to have secrets, and finding out the truth may be more dangerous than she realized.…

The Ivies – Alexa Donne – ARC Review – 500th Blog Post!!

The Ivies are a group of five girls at the elite private school Claflin Academy with one mission: to get into an Ivy League college by any means possible. Except, things don’t go according to plan. When Avery gets rejected by Harvard and Emma who was not supposed to apply at all (since Harvard was ‘Avery’s school’), gets accepted, they have a huge fight. The next morning, Emma turns up dead. Olivia is determined to get to the bottom of this and find out who the killer is. The Ivies are willing to go to great lengths to get what they want, but does that include murder?…

Mini Reviews #14

Hello readers, and welcome to another round of Mini Reviews, where I talk about some of the books I don’t write full length reviews for. It’s been a while since I did one of these posts! This installment, let’s chat about: The Game, Wings of Fury and Yes No Maybe So.…

Good Girl, Bad Blood – Holly Jackson – ARC Review

Although she successfully solved the Andie Bell case, Pip is still quite shaken up by how things ended and has decided she is done with detective work, turning her attention back to normal life and a true-crime podcast about how she solved the case. But when Jamie Reynolds, her friend’s brother, goes missing and the police refuse to do anything about it, Pip realizes she has no choice but to help. She knows it will be risky, especially now that she has people actually watching, listening and judging her actions to see if she will succeed or fail, but time is running out fast and with each day that goes by, the chances of finding Jamie safe and sound continue to decrease.…

The Girls I’ve Been – Tess Sharpe – ARC Review

What starts out as an ordinary, if awkward morning depositing money turns deadly for Nora, her girlfriend Iris and her ex-boyfriend Wes as they find themselves in the midst of a bank robbery. But Nora is not any ordinary girl. The daughter of a con-artist, she was raised as her protégé and has played many roles in the past. And now, five years after escaping that life and building something resembling normality, it’s time for her to pull out those old skills again in order to save herself and her friends.…

Influence – Sara Shepard & Lilia Buckingham – ARC Review

Delilah Rollins has been catapulted into the world of social media influencers after one of her videos unexpectedly goes viral and she moves to LA, and she finds fast friends in Jasmine and Fiona. Child star turned popular influencer, Jasmine Walters-Diaz has grown up in the spotlight, but is beginning to feel boxed in and suffocated by the image she must maintain in order to keep her fanbase. Aspiring actress Fiona Jacobs struggles with a secret from her past that could ruin her career if it became known. Then there’s Scarlet Leigh, who seems to have the perfect life and is something of a mean girl, but how much of it is real? Influence is a glimpse into the world of influencers and the darker side of celebrity – the glamour we see is not always the entire story.…

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder – Holly Jackson | Blogmas Day 11

For her senior year project, Pippa Fitz-Amobi decides to reinvestigate a closed murder case that happened in her own town. Five years ago, 17 year old Andie Bell went missing, and was presumed murdered by her boyfriend Sal. Pip has always felt that there was more to the story, and she decides to find out, using her project as a convenient cover, what really happened to Andie that night, and if Sal was really guilty. But her investigation takes a turn as she begins to notice several inconsistencies in the official narrative, stumbling onto some dark secrets and it quickly becomes clear that someone in town doesn’t want Pip to go digging into the past – and they’re willing to go to any extent to stop her.…

The Devil and the Dark Water – Stuart Turton

The year is 1634 and the merchant vessel, Saardam, prepares to sail for Amsterdam. Aboard the ship are a number of passengers, amongst them, the famous detective Samuel Pipps who is set to be executed on arrival for crimes unknown. His faithful bodyguard, Arent Hayes, is determined to prove him innocent. Even ordinarily, this 8 month journey would be a perilous one, with the threat of pirates and storms, but this one seems jinxed even before the voyage begins, when a leper seemingly places a curse on the ship and bursts into flames on the dock. Things don’t get any better once out at sea as mysterious occurrences haunt the ship and its passengers. With the rumour spreading that there is a demon on board, it’s up to Arent to solve this mystery.…

The Cousins – Karen M. McManus – The Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tour

Twenty-four years ago, the Story siblings Adam, Anders, Allison and Archer were disinherited by their rich mother with only the explanation of a letter stating “You know what you did”. When cousins Milly, Aubrey and Jonah each receive a letter from the grandmother they’ve never met, inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, their parents insist they go. The cousins don’t really know each other all that well, but they’re curious not only about what could have made their grandmother reach out now, but also about what exactly happened all those years ago. But when the trio arrive at Gull Cove Island, it’s clear something much larger is afoot, as their grandmother seems to have no idea they were arriving at all. It quickly becomes clear that something isn’t quite right on the island, as long kept family secrets begin to unravel. Each member of the Story family seems to have something to hide, and the cousins are no exception.…

You Were Never Here – Kathleen Peacock – ARC Review

Cat Montgomery arrives in Montgomery Falls to visit her Aunt for the summer after some terrible events back home in New York, only to find out that her childhood friend, Riley Fraser, is missing. Even after three months, no one is any closer to finding him and he seems to have simply disappeared. Montgomery Falls hasn’t yet had its fill of mysterious events though, and when a girl is found floating in the river with no memories of who attacked her, it seems like Riley’s disappearance may not have been an isolated incident. When his brother Noah asks Cat to help him in discovering what exactly happened, Cat is torn: she wants to find out the truth, but to do that, she will have to use the ability she has spent most of her life running away from.…

The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes – The Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tour

One day Avery is a normal teenager, living in her car, just waiting to get through high school, and the next, her life is turned upside down when Tobias Hawthorne, billionaire and philanthropist, dies and names her the heiress to most of his enormous fortune. Which would be great, except he has disinherited his two daughters and four grandsons in the process – oh, and Avery doesn’t have a clue who he was. As required by the Will, Avery moves into Hawthorne House where she must live for the next year in order to receive her inheritance, right alongside the disgruntled relatives. Grayson, who was considered the presumptive heir, is convinced she is a con-artist of some kind, but his brother Jameson is certain she is their grandfather’s last puzzle that they are meant to solve using the cryptic letters each of them received. In this new world of luxury, Avery can trust no one, and yet, the only way to get some answers seems to be to play the game laid out by the billionaire.…

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

Evelyn Hardcastle has returned home after years living abroad in Paris, and her parents have planned a grand party at the isolated family manor, Blackheath, to celebrate. But Blackheath holds a dark past – it is the place where the youngest Hardcastle son, Thomas was murdered, and the guests invited to this gala are the very same guests who were in the house on that fateful day, nineteen years ago. But this time, the murder is Evelyn’s own. Aiden Bishop wakes up in the body of one of the guests with no memories of his own, and is told that the only way for him to escape Blackheath is to solve Evelyn’s murder. He repeats the same day over and over in the bodies of eight different hosts as he attempts to unravel the mystery and beat an enemy he knows nothing about, seeing the events of the day that lead up to Evelyn’s death from different perspectives. Every guest in the house has their own secrets, and as a sinister figure is on the prowl to murder Aiden’s hosts before he can find the truth, time is running out fast.…

All Your Twisted Secrets – Diana Urban – ARC Review

All Your Twisted Secrets follows six high school students who are invited to a scholarship dinner, but arrive to find themselves trapped in a room. On the table is a syringe containing poison, a bomb and a note saying that they have one hour to decide who amongst themselves will die, or the bomb goes off and kills them all. Amber is determined to get everyone out alive, but even as they frantically search for a way out, the bigger question is why they are all there – six students who couldn’t be more unalike, but each have secrets tying them to the others, secrets that could ruin them, and as the hour ticks by and logic gives way to panic, they are all about to be revealed.…

The Hand on the Wall – Maureen Johnson

Stevie Bell has done it. She’s solved the cold case that has baffled investigators for decades and figured out the mystery of Truly Devious, and the instigator of the Ellingham kidnappings. But there are still pieces of the puzzle missing. What happened to Alice Ellingham? What is the truth behind the three present day deaths and are they really as accidental as they seem? And might there be a link between Alice’s fate and the strange happenings at Ellingham Academy decades later? Stevie certainly thinks so, but before she can pursue the clues further, the school is evacuated due to yet another accident, not to mention an oncoming snowstorm, and determined not to return to her old life, she stays on the mountain to solve this mystery once and for all. There’s a murderer to be caught.…

One of Us Is Next – Karen M. McManus

Eighteen months have passed since the events of One of Us Is Lying, and the shock of things is only just starting to die down when a new game begins – Truth or Dare. Many laugh it off as yet another of the copycat gossip apps that popped up in the wake of Simon’s death, but Bayview High’s thirst for gossip has not abated, and when the first truths are revealed, and the dares quickly turn dangerous, things begin to get out of hand. Maeve Rojas, Phoebe Lawton and Knox Meyers are targeted one after another as devastating secrets are revealed and the chain of events once more leaves murder in its wake.…

Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson

True-crime enthusiast Stevie Bell arrives for her first year at the famous Ellingham academy, and her goal is to unravel the decades old mystery that hangs over the school  – the kidnapping of the wife and daughter of the school’s wealthy founder, Albert Ellingham. The only clue found at the time was a mocking letter signed with the pseudonym, Truly Devious. But is this cold case really a thing of the past? Stevie’s investigation suddenly turns a lot more dangerous – for Truly Devious has returned to Ellingham Academy, and murder with it.…

Mind Games – Shana Silver – ARC Review

Arden Varga is a computer genius and a skilled hacker. At the exclusive STEM focussed high school she attends, everyone uses a technology called HiveMind, created by her father, which syncs to a persons brainwaves and allows them to upload all their memories into the cloud and access them at any time, essentially ensuring that you’ll never forget anything. Arden however, has hacked this system, and has a business of stealing and selling others’ memories along with her friend Zoey. Everything is great until Arden realizes that her own memory has not only been hacked but thousands of her memories are missing. Sebastian Cuomo, supposedly her project partner, has lost all of his memories, and the two of them quickly figure out that this whole thing is centred around their final project – something that was apparently life-changing, and something that the hacker doesn’t want to see completed.…

Mini Reviews #2

Hello readers, and welcome back to Mini Reviews! This installment, let’s chat about four books: We Set the Dark on Fire, A Question of Holmes, Three Dark Crowns and Four Dead Queens.…

The Vanishing Stair – Maureen Johnson

In this riveting sequel to Truly Devious, Stevie continues to investigate the Ellingham murders, but Ellingham Academy still has more secrets to be told. As the half century old mystery unfolds, more and more questions arise as the plot thickens in present day…

Two Can Keep A Secret – Karen M. McManus

It feels so good to get back to the mystery genre after all this time! I basically grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton novels and later, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries. And while I still pick up those once in a while, just to refresh my memory, I’ve had a really hard time finding an author who writes the mystery genre for YA – until I came across McManus’ first novel, One of Us is Lying.…