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Showing posts from May 6, 2018

Spotlight Review: Accidental Bad Girl

Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan (May 15)
Overview: Kendall never intends to wind up getting blackmailed by a drug dealer or wrapped up in a massive police sting. She also never imagines that she'll fully regain her reputation or self confidence after the scandal that marked the end of junior year. But all of these things and more happen in this action packed, New York City thriller. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 I was actually surprised by the nuance of the characters in the book. I waffled on Kendall at first, as I wondered if she would gain more depth, but with every quarter, it turned out, I found a new layer of Kendall hidden in the pages. The other characters present their own share of interesting details and surprising twists. Kendall's new friend, Simone, who has plenty of controversy of her own, grounds the story when it tries to take off into a spinning whirlwind, and she grew to be my favorite. She contributes an extra depth to an otherwise beach-ready thriller.

Plot: 4…

Spotlight Review: We Are All That's Left

We Are All That's Left by Carrie Arcos
Overview: This duel narrative recounts the horrors faced by a mother and daughter decades apart. Zara is injured in a terrorist attack in modern day Rhode Island and left to deal with both her wounds and her mother's coma. Nadja, her mother's, story of trauma began long before that, though, during the Bosnian War when she was only a teen. The intersecting stories work to bring the distant mother and daughter closer together as they learn to cope with the pain of their experiences. Overall: 4

Characters: 3.5 The two parts of the book felt like two totally different books. I would give five stars to Nadja and her family (and adoptive family) from the third person account of her life during the war. I felt like I got to know these people, their fears, and their motivations.
Unfortunately, though the present day storyline was told in first person, I never felt like I got to know Zara or anyone who touches her life. Everyone there just felt …

Spotlight Review: The Dead Enders

The Dead Enders by Erin Saldin (448 pages)
Overview: Someone is setting Gold Fork on fire. The idillic mountain town for Weekenders and dooming trap for Dead Enders is thrown into chaos by a series of untraceable fires. Four best friends are thrown to the center of it the summer after junior year. Though the town feels chock full of threats and traps, the dangers might be closer than they appear. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 I thought the four friends were interesting, but I wasn't able to emotionally connect with any of them. Erik is misunderstood, stressed, and forgotten by those he loves. Davis is a writer and the richest of the town crew, so he is sometimes resented. Georgie sells the tourists drugs to earn money towards escaping with her band, but it starts to overwhelm her the more she's encouraged to push. Finally, Anna is quiet though consumed in a fight to keep the grandmother she never had, Vera, located in the nursing home in town. Though it is told from all their points…

After The Fall

After The Fall by Kate Hart (328 pages)
Overview: Raychel's senior year did not go at all like she expected. Every time she thought she was finally winning, whether it be pulling her mother out of debt, finding security with her best friend, or finding a new love interest who really cares, something always goes terribly wrong. Raychel has to overcome all kinds of loss as her and her best friend, Matt's, story progresses. Overall: 3

Characters: 3 On a positive note, I love almost all of the characters in this story. Raychel makes for a very vivid narrator and brings the characters and experiences around her to life. The development of her story with her mother was beautiful, and Hart represented her economic hardship well. Raychel's best friends were also great additions to her part of the narrative. Finally, her voice made Matt's brother, Andrew, who develops a closer relationship with Raychel, come to life in a stunning three dimensions.
My problem with the book is Matt…