Friday, December 14, 2018

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

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I received this book for free from Henry Holt and Co. in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Some Mystery and Bland Characters: The Lonely Dead by April HenryThe Lonely Dead by April Henry
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on January 29th, 2019
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal, YA
Source: Henry Holt and Co.
Buy on Amazon

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. 

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 Hot Espressos

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

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…

Fresh Batch (December 9th – 15th)

Fresh Batch (December 9th – 15th)

Posted by on 12/08/2018 • 1 Comment

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

This Lie Will Kill You Chelsea Pitcher Publication date: December 11th 2018by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Goodreads Purchase

Tell the truth. Or face the consequences.

Clue meets Riverdale in this page-turning thriller that exposes the lies five teens tell about a deadly night one year ago.

One year ago, there was a party. At the party, someone died. Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.

But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are…

Season Of Giving – Winter Giveaway!

Posted by on 12/06/2018 • 1 Comment

‘Tis the season of romance, pretty snow, and Christmas lights — and giveaways! I also want to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone who supported or participate in events with Xpresso Book Tours in 2018. It’s been an amazingly awesome and book-filled year, and here’s to many more!

This giveaway is not exclusive to tour hosts, but you do get entries if you participate in Xpresso Book Tours events (blitzes and cover reveals).

What’s up for grabs: PRIZE 1: A Kindle Paperwhite – Open internationally (as long as Amazon ships to you)

PRIZE 2 A 50$ Amazon Gift Card – Open Internationally!


Giveaway ends February 20th, 2019 (I like to give enough…

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…

Fresh Batch (December 2nd – 8th)

Fresh Batch (December 2nd – 8th)

Posted by on 12/01/2018 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

The Dirty Ones J.A. Huss Publication date: December 4th 2018Goodreads Purchase

They say write what you know. So that’s all I did. I wrote dirty. I wrote erotic. I wrote… the truth.

And then they called me a liar. 

But it’s not me who’s lying. It’s them.

The Dirty Ones is a brand new dark romance about the secret world of erotica authors releasing December 4, 2018.


Other releases this week: * In no particular order *

– My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren [Purchase]– Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield [Purchase]–…

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…