The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom

The first book from a groundbreaking new YA voice: An Utterly Compelling Thriller.

When Gwendolyn Bloom realizes that her father has been kidnapped, she has to take matters into her own hands. She traces him from New York City across the dark underbelly of Europe, taking on a new identity to survive in a world of brutal criminal masterminds. As she slowly leaves behind her schoolgirl self, she realizes that she must learn the terrifying truth about herself. To overcome the cruelty she encounters, she must also embrace it.
(Synopsis from Goodreads)

The Cruelty hooked me from the first chapter. This spy based crime/thriller novel will have you needing to know what happens next. I am not a big fan of crime and/or thriller stories, but The Cruelty proved that a good book can transcend reader preferences. The character development in this novel is what makes it stand apart from other stories in its genre. Watching Gwen learn about the harsh realities of her world was turbulent and sad The Cruelty has moments that are horrifying because they hold a mirror to our world despite its spy action-packed premise.

The question is, do you standby and let the horrors unfold…or fight for what you think is right?

Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.

-Amanda

Wreck by Fleur Ferris

“Truth without fear”
“Truth is far more potent than lies. It’s as forceful, constant and as indomitable as gravity.. Truthful news may not always be good news, but it’s vital…”

Release Date: July 2017
Published By: Penguin Random House, Australia

Fast paced, action packed and suspenseful, this would have to be the YA thriller of 2017!!Once again, my friend Fleur Ferris is back with her third novel, “Wreck” and once again…
She does not disappoint!!!

This book was simply “unputdownable” and if I didn’t have to work full time I would have finished this book much sooner!! From page one this book really was a page turner, such a suspenseful story!!! “Wreck” is a fantastic story where 2 worlds collide over a 5 year old mystery and a battle for the truth to finally set one free begins. Written in 2 perspectives, Tamara and William, what I loved about this book (besides how well it’s written) was how both voices are very distinguished and each character’s story was set in a different time. One is told in the present and the other’s was set 5 years prior.

In the present day, Tamara is interning at the local paper and is supposed to be celebrating O-Week to start her first year in uni, yet she finds herself roped into a situation where her home was ransacked, her world has just been turned upside and her life is in danger. All this because Tamara randomly found a note – a note that somebody is desperately trying to hide and will kill for. Now on the run and not knowing who to trust (not even the police) Tamara is trying to piece together a jigsaw puzzle that seems to be getting bigger and bigger at every turn.

Even with both perspectives and backstory, the big mystery kept unravelling which raised more questions than answers and made me formulate theories as I went along, what a wild ride that was!! At some parts I was frustrated with the characters but then again, put yourself in their shoes – would we have reacted the same way or would we have known better?

Special thanks to Fleur Ferris for sending me an Advanced Review Copy, can’t believe this is the third novel I have read by Fleur and each time I am left stunned..
GREAT JOB!!

-Annie

Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich

This book is perfect for those who love crime/action books.

In the heart of Trenton, N.J., a killer is out to make sure someone gets his just desserts. Larry Virgil skipped out on his latest court date after he was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler full of premium bourbon. Fortunately for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Larry is just stupid enough to attempt almost the exact same crime again. Only this time he flees the scene, leaving behind a freezer truck loaded with Bogart ice cream and a dead body—frozen solid and covered in chocolate and chopped pecans. –Goodreads Synopsis.

It’s a good teen book if you’re not someone who finds the love triangles uncomfortable. I was one such person and didn’t like the main character purely because she kept kissing this other guy while she still had a boyfriend! Shocking! but, in her defence, the guy she kept getting tempted by was pretty drool worthy.

Despite my dislike of the main characters’ love triangle behaviour, this book was a funny – action packed read and went in so many different directions that I was left clueless about who the murderer was!!! I absolutely loved the best-friend, she’s described as a retired “ho” turned bonds enforcement officer who loves to bedazzle things and shoot movie auditions with a midget she hates while naked!!

Many thanks to Hachette Publishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Crystal

Black by Fleur Ferris

“shut the windows.. lock the doors.. you don’t know who’s coming!!”

INTENSE – GRIPPING – HAUNTING
READ IT DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS
YOU WONT WANT TO PUT THIS DOWN
5 STARS – 2016 FAVOURITE!!!

Australian Author Fleur Ferris dazzles the YA reading community with her 2nd novel “Black” a haunting thriller that will make you check your doors are locked and blinds are drawn at night before you go to sleep!!! Fast paced, action packed with an intriguing storyline – although you will be freaked out, you will be gripped until the last page!!!

This story follows protagonist Ebony Marshall – also known as Black.. Cleverly nicknamed as ebony can also mean black, however her nickname takes on a whole new meaning in quiet small town Dainsfield where priest Father Ratchet has creepy control over a following called the Pure Apostles who are convinced Ebony is cursed and have convinced others of the same thing.

Ebony – “Black” is trying to see her senior year through and live a normal life following her grief over the loss of three of her dear friends who died in tragic accidents. Rather than receiving support for her loss, rumours are spread about her saying she is cursed and had something to do with the deaths of her friends. Due to these rumours, Black isolates herself and finds it normal to be on her own until she meets a new friend Aiden who, on the night of their Year 12 formal ends up in intensive care. This unfortunate incident ignites the rumours and these rumours then become life threatening to Black. To deal with this, Black starts to piece together the events and the root of these rumours to unravel a mystery that started once upon a time.

This book had me engrossed in the story from page 1, I found this to have an incredible plot and it was extremely well written. Parts of the story gave me goosebumps – to think there are people out there who have such far fetched ideologies that impact on people’s lives. I purposely read this only during daylight hours and even though a lot it freaked me out, I was yearning for more of the story as I simply had to know what happens next!!! I formulated a few theories about the next scene or who the real enemy was and yes – I was slapped in the face when I got the answer. I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend this to all YA fans who are looking for a book with mystery and intrigue.

Special thanks to author and friend Fleur Ferris for sending me a personally autographed copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and congratulations on launching your second novel!!!

-Annie

Dance Demons by Juliet M. Sampson

WOW!!!! what an awesome read!!!!
I have rated this 5 stars!!!

I have had the privilege of reading this author’s debut novel and sequel, as much as I love those stories, this one takes the cake!!!
When reading Dance Demons, I suddenly want to learn salsa lol.. I have to say, I got goosebumps reading this book!!
An interesting story of a woman whose passion for dance takes her on the roller coaster ride of her life when she falls in love with what she may consider the right kind of wrong..
As you turn the page, the plot thickens..
A thriller mystery deriving from dance – a great read!!!

For full synopsis of Dance Demons can be found on Goodreads.com.
Special thanks to the author for noting me in her acknowledgements page *fangirl moment*

-Annie

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

A killer who targets lone women, who breaks into their apartments and performs terrifying ritualistic acts of torture on them before finishing them off. His surgical skills lead police to suspect he is a physician – a physician who, instead of saving lives, takes them… -Goodreads.com

Although books in this genre are not really that high on my to read stack, I really enjoyed this book and give it 4/5 stars. If you like the TV Series “Rizzoli and Isles” then you would like this book. Even though this book is listed as the first in the series, I would call it the prequel.

I managed to read this in under 20 hours – pretty good book!

-Meredith

Noah’s Law by Randa Abdel-Fattah

An interesting and addictive 5 star read!!!

This is awesome!!! One I would call “un-put-down-able”. A very well written story about Noah – a teenage boy from a rich family who is a bit of a delinquent – doesn’t care for life or school, didn’t exactly have much in terms of future prospects as he felt everything in life was just handed to him until one afternoon when Noah’s father is informed of his most recent prank, he’s had enough and Noah is sent to his Aunty’s law firm during the school holidays as a punishment and lesson in discipline. In hating his fate, Noah drags the chain and complains about his time at the firm until one day, he gets wrapped up in a case he becomes determined to solve.
The mystery in the storyline and the use of legal jargon was what really gripped me and what I also liked was how an “amateur” was prepared to take on the big guns so justice would prevail, even if it meant going against his own superiors.
Although this was found in the YA section, I recommend it for older readers too.

-Annie