The Dry by Jane Harper

Image result for the dryLuke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well…

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret… A secret Falk thought long-buried… A secret which Luke’s death starts to bring to the surface…

(via Goodreads)

Set in a small country town, The Dry is the story of Aaron Falk, Australian Federal Police Officer who is drawn to investigating the mystery of his childhood friend’s death. What seems a cut and dried murder suicide, becomes a mystery Falk cannot walk away from.

This is a powerful debut from Jane Harper. The story telling is tight and the imagery of this dry and hot town is palpable. Characters are compelling and well thought out. I found the mystery to be engaging and not an easy guess. Coupled with our main story is a mystery from Falk’s childhood, a death that has tainted his life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It keeps the reader’s interest and the page turning. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a mystery novel.

4.5/5

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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

 

A beautiful and distingui16143347shed family.
A private island.

A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.

A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.

And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

(via Goodreads)

We Were Liars is a mystery at its heart. Over the top metaphors that border on confusing at times, this book was predictable and at times, but overall a quick read for anyone needing a break from the big tomes we have been offered lately in the YA genre.

I didn’t wholly connect with the main character. I found her shallow in her pursuit of meaning. She lacked any sort of empathy that I felt I could connect with. And while the mystery is pretty easy to work out, a reader joins the ride for the supporting characters.

I preferred Frankie Landau-Banks on this occasion.

3/5

May Wrap Up & June TBR

I read more than I thought I did in May, especially with a death in the family and a mini-reading slump. My ratings below:

  1. The Girl in 6E by A R Torre star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  2. Dark Moon by C W Holcomb star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  3. The Masterpiecers by Olivia Wildenstein star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  4. Rogue Planet by Steven M Moore star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  5. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  6. For Fallon by Soraya Naomi star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  7. Half Bad by Sally Green star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  8. The Yearbook Committe by Sarah Ayoub star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  9. Hidden Monster by Amanda Strong star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  10. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  11. Walking Dead vols 17 – 18 by Robert Kirkman star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  12. Cold Stone and Ivy by Leighton H Dickson star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  13. Flawed by Cecelia Ahern star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592
  14. Red Rising by Pierce Brown star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592star_PNG1592

My June TBR is heavy on! So much to get through this month but I am looking forward to it.

The Madman’s Daughter (The Madman’s Daughter #1) by Megan Shepherd

17565924Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

(via Goodreads)

An atmospheric and, at times creepy, this story is a retelling of HG Wells’ Island of Doctor Moreau. Set in 1894, Juliet Moreau is destitute and working as a cleaner in the Kings College, where her father had been ostracised for experimenting on animals. A chance meeting with a childhood friend brings the knowledge that her father is alive and working on a desolate island in the South Pacific.

This novel is equal parts gothic and historical fiction. It straddles mystery, science fiction, and horror. The island scenes are well described and tense. Our heroine is strong and smart, and despite a few choices that can be put down to age, is very likeable.

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What I had issue with (and what I always have issue with) is the love triangle. I understand it is a very popular trope, but I wonder if it’s done it’s time.

I didn’t realise until the end that it was the beginning of a series, but I am glad because they finished this story a little abruptly. I will definitely be picking up the other two books to read.

4/5

Murder Most Unladylike (Wells and Wong Mystery #1) by Robin Stevens

Deepdean School for Girls, 1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia’s missing tie. Which they don’t, really.)

But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident – but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place . . . and there’s more than one person at Deepdean with a motive.

Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again (and before the police can get there first, naturally), Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning, scheming and intuition they can muster. But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?

(via Goodreads)

This will be a short and sweet review. Steven’s middle grade/young adult mystery novel is fun, well written, and such a quick read. You are captivated from the start and follow our heroines Daisy and Hazel as they try to solve the murder of science teacher Miss Bell.

If you’re looking for a break from love triangles, chosen ones, and fallen angels who seem to be thrown to Earth as 17 year olds, then this book is for you! Its intended audience is 12 years and up, but it is a great story for anyone to pick up.

I would definitely recommend this and I will be picking up the series for my collection 🙂

5/5

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

In one devast20983362ating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

(via Goodreads)

Where to start with this one…

There is a lot of hype with this book, booktube and goodreads are filled with five star reviews, calls for this to be the best book of 2015.

Can I be honest? It was okay, but it wasn’t fantastic. Definitely not worth the slew of five stars (am I the only one that actually thinks about the stars they give?).

The time travel was interesting, the action was interesting. The romance? Ugh! The amount of cliched longing staring was nauseating. And don’t get me started on the backwards and forwards of these two characters. ‘I love her’, ‘I can’t’, ‘It’s not right’, ‘Does she love me?’.

frustrated annoyed eye roll morrissey kill me

Can we please stop making all the female YA characters obsessed over what boys think of them!? Did you know that there are some women who don’t like men? Women who don’t like anyone? Aren’t interested in relationships? Have goals that don’t include giving up all their power because someone shows an emotional interest in them?

Rant over.

3/5

Changers by T. Cooper & Allison Glock-Cooper

The Cheerleader, The Nerd, The Jock, The Freak. What if you had to be all four?
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Changers book one: DREW opens on the eve of Ethan Miller’s freshman year of high school in a brand-new town. He’s finally sporting a haircut he doesn’t hate, has grown two inches since middle school, and can’t wait to try out for the soccer team. At last, everything is looking up in life.

Until the next morning. When Ethan awakens as a girl.

Ethan is a Changer, a little-known, ancient race of humans who live out each of their four years of high school as a different person. After graduation, Changers choose which version of themselves they will be forever – and no, they cannot go back to who they were before the changes began.

Ethan must now live as Drew Bohner – a petite blonde with an unfortunate last name – and navigate the treacherous waters of freshman year while also following the rules: Never tell anyone what you are. Never disobey the Changers Council. And never, ever fall in love with another Changer. Oh, and Drew also has to battle a creepy underground syndicate called ‘Abiders’ (as well as the sadistic school queen bee, Chloe). And she can’t even confide in her best friend Audrey, who can never know the real her, without risking both of their lives.

Fans of the books of John Green, the Joss Whedonverse – and empathy between humans – will find much to love in this first of a four-part series that tracks the journey of an average suburban boy who becomes an incredible young woman…who becomes a reluctant hero…who becomes the person she was meant to be.

Because, while changing the world can kinda suck, it sure beats never knowing who you really are.

(via Goodreads)

I found this book in my local library after hearing someone say they wanted to read it.

I went in knowing nothing about this book other than a boy wakes up in the body of a girl. The first couple of chapters were hard to get through. I wasn’t really interested in Ethan as a character. I felt him to be derivative and cliched. I thought about giving up on the book, slightly disappointed. I decided to give it one more chapter. And I’m glad I did.

The character of Drew (the girl Ethan wakes up as) was really engaging. She was sympathetic and likable. You could feel the confusion, the fear, the not knowing that permeated through her.

The reader finds out about the Changers and the Council with Drew. One thing that annoyed me was that the presence of the Changers (who they actually were) wasn’t explained. We were left to just accept what was happening without any of the Changers explaining where they came from. At the end of the book was a glossary that elaborated on the Changers, but it would have been nice for the characters to explain where the Changers came from when they were explaining everything else.

By the second half of the book, some strong themes are examined, and they are handled with a varying degree of success. I think they tended towards half addressing it and then moving on with the story, which I don’t think reflects the situation accurately (or maybe for some it does?).

There are strong correlations between the ‘Changers’ story and the current social issues of LGBTI. We have the Changers who prefer to hide in the world, and cannot pair up with one another or their race dies. There are the ‘RaChas’ (Radical Changers) who want to live out in the real world. And then there are the ‘Abiders’ who believe the Changers are an abomination.

Overall, a very interesting concept. I’m guessing that it will be a quad-rilogy, seeing as there are four versions (‘V’) that the Changers goes through before picking who they want to live the rest of their lives as.

I look forward to reading book two.

3.75/5