Genre: Thriller

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Blackbird by Anna Carey

Posted by • 13 Comments

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

Review: Blackbird by Anna CareyBlackbird by Anna Carey
Series: Blackbird Duology #1
Published by HarperTeen on September 16th 2014
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, YA
Source: HarperTeen
Buy on Amazon

This twisty, breathless cat-and-mouse thrill ride, told in the second person, follows a girl with amnesia in present-day Los Angeles who is being pursued by mysterious and terrifying assailants.

A girl wakes up on the train tracks, a subway car barreling down on her. With only minutes to react, she hunches down and the train speeds over her. She doesn’t remember her name, where she is, or how she got there. She has a tattoo on the inside of her right wrist of a blackbird inside a box, letters and numbers printed just below: FNV02198. There is only one thing she knows for sure: people are trying to kill her. 

On the run for her life, she tries to untangle who she is and what happened to the girl she used to be. Nothing and no one are what they appear to be. But the truth is more disturbing than she ever imagined. 

The Maze Runner series meets Code Name Verity, Blackbird is relentless and action-packed, filled with surprising twists.

I always go into YA thrillers with a bit of trepidation. As someone who loves these types of movies and TV shows I always end up finding the teen novel versions to be a bit too convenient which leads to a lot of eyerolling. While this was definitely a unique take on the genre with it’s second person narration, it did still fall victim to the typical tropes I have come to dislike over time.

What was striking right off the bat was how the reader is thrown into the novel with the second person narration. With the word “you” constantly being used to describe our MC it really throws us into the novel and leaves us feeling as if we have woken up with no recollection of who we are and as if we are the one attempting to evade the police. I had read novels in the past with this perspective and they are always written as if the protagonist is speaking to a specific person (or in the case of We Are The Goldens, writing a letter to a specific person) but it was never done quite like this. I liked the immersive experience that it led to and that it did manage to heighten the chase scenes quite a bit.

What I did long for was a more believable timeline of events and that everything didn’t seem to fall into place quite so easily. Of course I can’t go into all of the details that comprise what exactly is going on in the story but I can say that the twists were easy to see coming from a mile away and this led to me feeling pretty bored for a large part of the novel. One thing that I always long for with thrillers is to be taken by surprised, left with my jaw on the floor saying “well, I didn’t see that coming!” and that just didn’t happen here. I will say that the idea behind it all and what happened leading up to the MC waking up where she does at the beginning of the novel was enough to keep me going and was even enough to leave me wanting the sequel to finally figure it all out. I think Carey gives us just enough tidbits of information to leave us feeling like we know what’s going on but feeling like we need to get even more information to have the clearest picture possible.

There is a romance to be had here as well but I can’t tell you that it was anything to write home about. It was rushed, random and really lacked substance, not something that had me rooting for the characters at all. In the end I guess you can say that my thoughts for this one are really all over the map. There were parts that were really well done but I think a lot more of it could have been fleshed out and cleaned up a bit. If you are looking for a quick, passive read I think you could come out enjoying this one quite a bit but if you are looking for an edge of your seat thrill ride I am going to recommend you look elsewhere.


2.5 Hot Espressos

Review: The Body In The Woods by April Henry

Review: The Body In The Woods by April Henry

Posted by on 06/09/2014 • 21 Comments

The Body In The Woods is a fast paced thriller that is able to pass off as enjoyable if you suspend logic and just go along for the ride. But, when you sit down and really think about the details there is so much that is unbelievable that I can’t really recommend it to fellow readers.

In this novel we get the three main perspectives of Ruby, Alexis and Nick but we also get a few random chapters that are told from the ominous perspective of the killer himself. As far as the 3 kids go, I can’t say that I connected with any of them in any way. This is in part due to the fact that the story is told in the third person (which always leaves me…

Review: Killer Instinct by S.E. Green

Review: Killer Instinct by S.E. Green

Posted by on 04/28/2014 • 21 Comments

Well poo! Where do I even start?

I guess at Lane. Her characterization felt as if it was based on a bullet point list. Let’s build a serial killer, shall we? -She has to be quiet. Check. -She should show a lack of emotion, especially uncaring of romance and sex. Check. -She should have a dark passenger an internal “kill” itch. Check. -She should be awkward, blunt, and kind of an outsider. Check. -She should have a hidden dark past. Check.

So ok, that’s all things we “know” about her, but only because she tells us. Several times. In reality, she comes off as a flat, one dimensional character with a lot of inconsistencies in her personality. For instance she keeps saying how much she dislikes her sister…

Review: The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian

Review: The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian

Posted by on 04/02/2014 • 24 Comments

A funny, recurring conversation I always have with my friends is about the stark contrast between books I like and movies I like.  See, I love me a good action movie. Give me Jason Statham, Mark Wahlberg or a nice gory horror film any day of the week. But when it comes to reading, I want the “chick-flicks” I want heartbreak, I want emotion, I want to be left so emotionally wrecked that I can’t even see through my tears.  The Wicked We Have done brought everything that I like in movies so perfectly to a book that it surprisingly worked incredibly well for me!

What struck me right off the bat with this one was how original it was. First of all there is the fact that it is…

Review: The Cellar by Natasha Preston

Review: The Cellar by Natasha Preston

Posted by on 02/26/2014 • 26 Comments

The beautiful, yet haunting cover for The Cellar is what initially drew me to want to read the novel.  Once I read more about it and saw that it was about girls who were kidnapped and kept in a cellar for months, possibly years, I had to read it because uncomfortable topics like that always draw me to stories (I’m weird, I know this.)  In the end this was an interesting story that kept me engaged the whole way through but unfortunately it failed to really affect me in any way or draw out any emotion.

I can’t really pin point why I felt so disconnected to The Cellar, but I think a very large part of it was due to the overuse of flashbacks while also using multiple POVs. …

Review: Codename Zero by Chris Rylander

Review: Codename Zero by Chris Rylander

Posted by on 01/30/2014 • 19 Comments

There’s nothing better to cleanse the reader’s pallet than a good ol’ middle grade novel.  No cliche romance, no chance of a love triangle and just piles of fun! Codename Zero was such a fantastic read, one that I took in in a single day and one that I could have devoured much more of if given the chance.

Carson Fender is a prankster.  He lives in a small town in North Dakota and is quite frankly bored with the every day small town life.  He likes to spice things up with his pranks, take people by surprise and uproot the daily routine.  One afternoon while carrying out an epic prank involving fainting goats and super glue a sweaty man in a suit rushes up to him and hands him…

Review: Vitro by Jessica Khoury

Review: Vitro by Jessica Khoury

Posted by on 12/13/2013 • 17 Comments

Closer to a 3.5 star.

While I didn’t like this one quite as much as Origin, it was still an exciting read set on an isolated island full of secret experiments and shady operations. Even if you haven’t read Origin, this is not actually a sequel; both are independent of each other. You could even say Vitro is more or less a refitted version of Origin. They both have a similar setting and mirroring scientific conspiracies. And Sophie, after a distressing email from her mother, gets trapped into its web of genetic alterations and unethical experiments.

What I found to be the best part of this novel is the vividly detailed setting. You get fully transported to this island that quickly becomes the heart of the story, and…

Review: The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

Review: The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

Posted by on 11/26/2013 • 14 Comments

After having had numerous recommendations for her other novel, Stolen, my first thought upon receiving this novel – in a genre that is incredibly up my alley – was that it was going to rock my socks off. And although my feet are still warm and snugly, I had a great time reading this novel that holds an awesome setting with a creeptastic premise.

The first thing I immediately noticed upon reading this book was how it was very much a show rather than tell type of writing – which I happen to prefer in mysteries. I love being left to my own devices in finding out exactly what came about; thinking up theories, seeing clues, and unraveling the mysteries. I feel like I’m a part of a story…