Posts By: Rashika

Friday, December 14, 2018

Some Mystery and Bland Characters: The Lonely Dead by April Henry

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Some Mystery and Bland Characters: The Lonely Dead by April Henry
The Lonely Dead
April Henry
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, YA
Publication date: January 29th, 2019
by Henry Holt and Co.

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A killer is on the loose, and only one girl has the power to find him. But in this genre-bending YA thriller, she must first manage to avoid becoming a target herself.

For Adele, the dead aren’t really dead. She can see them and even talk to them. But she’s spent years denying her gift. When she encounters her ex best friend Tori in a shallow grave in the woods and realizes that Tori is actually dead -- that gift turns into a curse. Without an alibi, Adele becomes the prime suspect in Tori’s murder. She must work with Tori’s ghost to find the real killer. But what if the killer finds Adele first?

Master mystery-write April Henry adds a chilling paranormal twist to this incredibly suspenseful young adult novel.
 
-A copy was provided by Henry Holt and Co. for review-

Ugh I don’t even know how to word as I write this review. I’ve written and deleted the first sentence about a 100 times. BUT. I guess. Here is the thing, I read an April Henry novel years ago, liked it, and read a BUNCH by her this year. Just looking at the books in the chronological order they were published, it seems that the books have gotten progressively worse? Which is to say, that her later books have lost that kick a lot of her earlier books had.

If you’ve been a fan for a while and coming to this book because you have come to expect some thrill and some mystery from April Henry, you should stay. If you want anything more than that, like character development and to read about people you don’t want to punch just a little, you should maybe scoot along?? IDK. If I were reading my own review, I’d probably choose to read the book because sometimes I ~am~ just craving a quick mystery to take off the edge but The Lonely Dead really doesn’t have much else going for it besides that April Henry basically knows how to write a mystery.

For starters, the girl who died is a bitch. We are supposed to like her better by the end of the novel, but she is a racist bitch and I am NOT HERE FOR THAT SHIT. I will tolerate bullies, I will not tolerate bullies that bully girls by pointing out their darker skin. NOPE. Mind you, there is all but one line that alludes to this but that should give you an idea about the kind of person dear Tori was.

As I’ve grown up and become more aware, I’ve also become more sensitive to books that do the whole “MC is thought to have a mental illness (usually schizophrenia) but can actually see things others cannot.” I think it’s such a fine line to walk and sometimes if not done carefully, it can seem dismissive of people who actually have those mental illnesses and to mental health specialists. I will give April Henry the credit she is due by saying she really does seem to acknowledge this as a larger issue. It did seem a little unnatural, the way it is incorporated within the context of the novel, but I do appreciate the distinction.

As for the actual MC, Adele is SO BLAND. Her entire existence is ‘woe is me’ and she is so dense sometimes. I am pretty sure she is a plot device and not an actual character, lol. So is basically everyone else in this book.

The plot does have a little zing to it in that I became invested enough to continue turning pages even though the characters were basically all cardboard caricatures. I wanted to know who killed Tori and I wanted to the po-po to finally catch the right people. I was also slightly invested in Charlie (who is a sort-of love interest) but he barely had a presence in the book.

UGh. I need to stop talking/typing because this review has also become extremely bland and I am sure anyone reading this wants this torture to end so I WILL SHUT UP SOON. BUT, if you are interested in this book, I say read it if you’re just looking for a quick, semi-engaging read. We need those kinds of books too. If you want actual character development or to have any interest in any of their lives, you should probably not read this book.

2.5 Stars
2.5 Hot Espressos

Heisting Were-Dragons: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Heisting Were-Dragons: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Posted by on 12/12/2018 • 0 Comments

THIS BOOK HAS WERE-DRAGONS AND HEIST. If that alone isn’t enough to get your interest, there is no way I could change your mind with my boring-ass words. But I do have a review to write so I guess you could stick around if you felt like. I’d much rather you just read the book though.

MOVING ON. I’ve been reading Sarah Beth Durst for quite some time now and I’ve never read a book by her that I didn’t like. I expected Fire and Heist to be set in a high fantasy world so it took me a little longer to get around to read it but it’s actually set in an urban-fantastical world and I LOVE URBAN FANTASY. When you dive into a book featuring heists and were-dragons,…

Not the Worst: Inkling by Kenneth Oppel

Not the Worst: Inkling by Kenneth Oppel

Posted by on 12/10/2018 • 1 Comment

I love Kenneth Oppel. I’ve been reading him since I was but a wee lass (middle school.) I was extremely excited to read Inkling but honestly, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s not that it isn’t a good book, but Kenneth Oppel is not a writer of good books, he is a writer of excellent books and nothing about this book in particular screamed excellent too me.

Don’t get me wrong, it has a lot going for it, but I think I never really connected to the characters and perhaps I am just too fucking old now to appreciate adorable monsters created from Ink.

Ethan has a hard-knock life. His mother passed away a while ago and his father does not know how to function as a human…

Lush & Powerful: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Lush & Powerful: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Posted by on 12/05/2018 • 6 Comments

I am a mood reader and my mood this year has led me to read WAY WAY WAY more contemporary novels than fantasy novels, even though there was once a time when I would avoid contemporary novels like the plague. I dove into Girls of Paper and Fire because it sounded great but also came highly recommended from a friend. The first time around, I got to about 10% and then stopped reading because I just didn’t have the energy for a fantasy but then, I picked it up again and got completely sucked in. Girls of Paper and Fire was so refreshing not just because it’s so wholly different from the contemporaries I have been reading lately but also because it takes some common fantasy tropes and puts its…

Myers-Briggs Book Tag

Myers-Briggs Book Tag

Posted by on 11/26/2018 • 3 Comments

I saw Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight do this and decided I needed to do it too since I am low-key obsessed with personality tests. Here is where this tag originated. Take the test here and join us in the fun shenanigans!!!

So I cannot remember what is the other thing I’ve gotten in the past but in the 3-4 times I’ve taken this test, I’ve gotten INTJ pretty consistently I THINK. It’s the type I remember getting so thats what we are going with. I am also a close ISTJ but I think INTJ is slightly more relevant to who I am as a person and I LIKE IT BETTER so there we have it. Its also kind of like the whole house thing where I’ve gotten both Slytherin…

New Beginnings: Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

New Beginnings: Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

Posted by on 11/23/2018 • 0 Comments

I’ve been obsessed with the Hidden Legacy for years now so I was more than a little sad when it came to an end. OF COURSE, they announced a spin off and we got the first hint of that in this little novella.

Nevada and Rogan are getting married! FINALLY! And of course, given how things just happen around them, the wedding planning isn’t going as smoothly as anticipated. A family heirloom goes missing and there might be someone plotting a wedding murder.  In comes Catalina (also the narrator of the spin-offs I believe) who is put to the task of solving this mystery without alerting Nevada to the on-going shenanigans.

So, I went into Diamond Fire with no idea what the novella was about or that it…

A Fresh Take On P&P: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

A Fresh Take On P&P: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Posted by on 11/21/2018 • 1 Comment

I consider myself a ~connoisseur~ of Jane Austen retellings so when I heard about Pride, I was P U M P E D. As a ~connoisseur~, I realize that some of them are basically indistinguishable but Pride takes the best elements of Pride and Prejudice and transforms them into something unique. It is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in a Brooklyn neighborhood that is slowly becoming gentrified.

Zuri Benitez is not gonna be everyone’s favorite heroine. She is stubborn, hates change and is definitely the kind of person who likes to win an argument. BUT she is extremely loyal to her fam, sisters, friends and neighborhood. She is also passionate about the world around her and is determined to leave her mark on it.  While she isn’t…

Extremely Addicting: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Extremely Addicting: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Posted by on 11/19/2018 • 5 Comments

Not to be extremely dramatic or anything but I’d kill to read the sequel to Little White Lies (and to The Long Game but that’s a whole other story.) This is probably an odd sentence to start a review with but honestly, that’s just how J Lynn Barnes’s books make me FEEL. Barnes has a knack for writing addicting novels that you cannot stop reading even if they are over 400 pages long. Little White Lies is not only addicting but it reads like a puzzle, clues dispersed everywhere that you need to connect to form the bigger picture.

Sawyer Taft’s life changes when her grandmother shows up on her doorstep and offers her a deal she is unable to resist. Soon she is drawn into the world of…