Book Review

Book Review: Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: YA Contemporary Mystery
Length: 496 pages
Author: Angeline Boulley
Publisher: Henry, Holt, and Co.
Release Date: March 16th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine, but when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother.

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home.

Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

Debut author Angeline Boulley crafts a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.

FIERCE DEBUT.

This was absolutely worth the hype and awards. I had no idea this was a mystery book until the first few chapters and the unwinding of the plot was intricate, twisted, and kept me on my toes.

I loved the main character, Daunis. She was strong and brave. I loved the way she loved her community, friends and family. It was a coming-of-age tale interspersed in a tense landscape.

Highly recommend this one on audio!! The narrator did a wonderful job. The book slowed down a bit in the middle for me. But the last half definitely picked up. I couldn’t stop listening. I had to know what was going to happen next. Who was going to survive and how everyone learned to move on from difficult situations.

The romance disappointed me a bit. I loved the small role it played throughout the book. A bit of a forbidden, first-love kind of devotion. Yet, I realized with the ending I didn’t get that closure I was hoping for with them.

All in all, I’d say this is a must read. I loved learning about the traditions, the multiple layers to drug abuse and it’s resounding effects it has on those around to pick up the pieces. How traditions and complex family dynamics hold a place in your soul. A haunting tale, a beautiful landscape, fantastic writing, and I hope this author has more books out in the future!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Mystery
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: one closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: ableism, racism/racial slurs, sexual harassment (on page), rape (on page), cheating, child abuse/neglect, substance abuse, murder-suicide (on page), overdose mentioned, grief/loss depiction, loss of loved ones, car accident (resulting in hospitalization, near death moments, bullying

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Book Review

Book Review: Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #2) by Holly Jackson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Thriller
Length: 416 pages
Author: Holly Jackson
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: March 2nd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder! More dark secrets are exposed in this addictive, true-crime fueled mystery.

Pip is not a detective anymore.

With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.

But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared, on the very same night the town hosted a memorial for the sixth-year anniversary of the deaths of Andie Bell and Sal Singh.

The police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time everyone is listening. But will she find him before it’s too late?

HARD TO PUT DOWN.

Yet again, I was completely surprised by this read. It’s easily one of my favorite young adult thriller series.

I loooove Pip. She’s so clever and a pretty impressive detective. This book never feels too young, and if you find this predictable, I am seriously impressed. I am blindsided by at least half the information I find out while reading. My mouth feels like a permanent shocked face when I hit the last 50 pages.

This was an intense mystery with so many layers to it. I appreciated that it was clearly different from the first book. It was a new story with characters we hadn’t formally met yet and a plot that went outside the city limits. It mashed up some plot points from the previous book and added more that I hope to see continued in the next one.

I could have used a touch more romance. It really felt shoved aside rather than put along with the plot. I love Ravi and would have loved more of them working together overall. And it did take me a little bit to get into it (but once you’re in, you’re hooked).

The formatting is one of my favorite aspects. I love the pictures, crime notes, websites and more. It really adds depth to the true crime saga unfolding.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA thriller
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: murder, gun violence, a previous rape case where the guilty party walks free, depictions of shock from witnessing trauma, mentions of suicide, a story told of a serial killer (he murdered children), drug use

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Book Review

Book Review: As Good As Dead (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #3) by Holly Jackson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Thriller
Length: 464 pages
Author: Holly Jackson
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: September 28th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIES
The highly-anticipated finale to the A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series, the instant bestsellers that read like your favorite true crime podcast or show. By the end of this mystery series, you’ll never think of good girls the same way again…

Pip is about to head to college, but she is still haunted by the way her last investigation ended. She’s used to online death threats in the wake of her viral true-crime podcast, but she can’t help noticing an anonymous person who keeps asking her: Who will look for you when you’re the one who disappears?

Soon the threats escalate and Pip realizes that someone is following her in real life. When she starts to find connections between her stalker and a local serial killer caught six years ago, she wonders if maybe the wrong man is behind bars.

Police refuse to act, so Pip has only one choice: find the suspect herself—or be the next victim. As the deadly game plays out, Pip discovers that everything in her small town is coming full circle . . .and if she doesn’t find the answers, this time she will be the one who disappears. 

TEAM RAVI AND PIP FOREVER.

What a wild finale. INTENSE. ACTION-PACKED. Actually gave me heart palpitations because I didn’t know what was going to happen next. Couldn’t put this down whatsoever. It pulls you in and keeps you close and Pip races to save her life.

I liked the serial killer angle here and how they fit into the entire series. It was a loose string that needed tying up. The plot felt connected to everything else and pushed the narrative further. By the halfway point I didn’t know what the second half was going to lay out. And WOW did things go in many directions I did not see coming.

I looooove Ravi and Pip. I feel the teamwork, the love, the absolute connection. I know there relationship is only a small piece, but it’s such an important one. Pip has many people in her life who love and look after her and I really liked having that as part of the story.

I was a tiny bit flustered with a piece of the ending. I didn’t think it was necessary??? Then made the last few pages feel like a too quick wrap up. There’s also some true, have to suspend reality, moments to work with the plot. Which is fine, I just noticed that things could have easily gone a different way too so it was a bit of a shrug my shoulder moment.

Anyways, I’d recommend this up and down for anyone looking for a thriller. This series was fantastic!!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Thriller
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, attempted murder, murder, false imprisonment, rape mentioned, drugging, blood depiction, stalking, animal death

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Book Review

Book Review: The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Mystery
Length: 368 pages
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: September 7th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Intrigue, riches, and romance abound in this thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Inheritance Games perfect for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions – including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows that she’s not a Hawthorne by blood, but clues pile up hinting at a deeper connection to the family than she had ever imagined. As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture – by any means necessary.

With nonstop action, aspirational jet-setting, family intrigue, swoonworthy romance, and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, The Hawthorne Legacy will thrill Jennifer Lynn Barnes fans and new readers alike.

I’M ON THE WRONG SIDE.

…OF THIS LOVE TRIANGLE. Ugh. I have one book left to see if things go by way because gosh dang it, I hate being on the wrong side. Don’t get me wrong, Jameson made some great strides and I saw growth in his character. BUT IT’S TEAM GRAYSON OVER HERE.

I’m in awe of this authors ability to craft amazingly detailed and intricate puzzles. They wow me. The reveals mostly catch me off guard. Explosions, kidnapping, being followed. Avery goes through another wild ride trying to keep her inheritance at the Hawthorne’s.

For a middle book I was thoroughly charmed. The pacing kept up and action was definitely there. I found enough quiet moments to relax before things picked back up and I love that I feel like I can’t trust many characters. It’s fun to be on my toes wondering what’s going to happen next. The finale is sure to be something else and I can’t wait!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Mystery
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, recounting of house fire with loss of life, plane explosion, gun violence

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