Category Archives: Mystery

Book Review: I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Barry Lyga

Little, Brown and Company Published April 3, 2012 359 Pages
Little, Brown and Company
Published April 3, 2012
359 Pages

Jasper is the son of the world’s most famous serial killer. Growing up, Jasper was exposed to things people only see on television. He knows the ins and outs of crimes and that makes him valuable.

When a new serial killer comes to the small town of Lobo’s Nod, Jasper joins the police force to not only stop the bodies from piling up but to also prove he is not his father.

Wow. . . .

That was my first reaction once I finished reading this book.

The first thing that blew me away was how realistic the entire story seem. From beginning to end nothing in this book felt fake, sensationalized or ridiculous. It felt like one of those crime shows that come on television.

Because this felt so real, it as creepy. Really CREEPY. I always complain about mystery books that don’t have enough creepiness in it but this book right here!  . .  hit the nail on the head. I had to put the book down on several occasions because it was so detailed it was freaking me out.

I loved the simple complex Jasper. A boy trying to fit in at the same time trying to stop his fear of becoming like his crazy father. What I didn’t like was one part of this book when his girlfriend who is black said she did not care for her ancestors being slaves or the past because it had nothing to do with her. Honestly, I was confused by this and so was Jasper who is described as looking at her as if she is half crazy. I feel that this section was unnecessary and only made me completely dislike her.

But what I also liked about the book was the comic relief of Jasper and his best friend. It transitioned the story very easily and it was a nice break.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Will I read the second book? I am not sure because after I finished this book I had to watch spongebob for an hour. Do I think this author is a must read? Yes.

5 Pickles

Book Review: Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel

Katherine Tegen Books Published June 3, 2014 288 Pages
Katherine Tegen Books
Published June 3, 2014
288 Pages

Teen celebrity Vivian Divine is on the run. When she receives a piece of fan mail that states how and when she will die, she jets off to Mexico to lay low. 

Soon she realizes that no amount of acting can prepare her for running for her life. But when she meets Nick, everything that Hollywood isn’t, she has hope that she can survive this and actually meet someone who understands the real her.

But Nick, is hiding a secret that can be deadly for both of them.

I had such high hopes for this book. The title is amazing! Such an attention grabber, you would be a fool not to stop to look at it.

However, the book was stereotypical, idiot rich girl who experiences love at first sight extremely too quickly.

The most annoying this about Vivian is that she constantly compares her difficulties to working on a zombie movie. “The zombie movie didn’t prepare me to be hungry.” Blah blah blah. Vivian is a rude girl who claims that she can handle her on but relies on a stranger after constantly insulting him. Seriously, she talks crap to him from the time they meet, sticking her nose up to the poor lifestyle she now has to endure.

Vivian didn’t have much depth. She as a one noted character, which caused me to lose interest fast.

I am very upset at this author because apparently in Mexico . . .tacos, and mariachi bands are the complete existence of Mexico, minus the churches. Also apparently because she is white people are either weary of her or they are praising her. -.-

Vivian falls fast for the guy she thought was beneath her for most of the book and he went right along with it. -.-

Overall . . . . yeah. 1 Pickle

Book Review: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Disney Hyperion  Published April 10, 2014 384 Pages
Disney Hyperion
Published April 10, 2014
384 Pages

Samantha and her best friend Cassie disappeared together. Samantha came back alone with no memory of who she is, who she was, what happened and how long she has been gone.

So Sam tries to put the pieces of her old life back together but quickly realizes that she hates her old self and doesn’t want to go back to it. While trying to make amends for those her old self didn’t care for, Sam has decided to find Cassie and what really happened on the night they disappeared. 

What a wonderful surprise!

Samantha is a decent character. I liked how she took a stand (after a while) against what she felt was wrong and didn’t just go with it until the end of the book. I like how although she didn’t know who she was, she wasn’t completely lost in who she was. I really loved how the author gave her a sense of direction despite the memory lost.

I also liked the supporting characters to a certain degree. Her old friends played the villains and her new friends played the heroes but each group was holding out on her badly. One more thing: loved the relationship between Sam and her brother. It grew and I was completely happy it wasn’t the pretend hate you see in most teen novels.

The story itself was a great concept and it began to get creepy when Sam began seeing things and receiving notes. But that is where the creepiness ends. I expected more suspense in this story but it was  a lot of ‘lets not tell her what happened before she left’. The book slowed down really fast and took too long to build up again. I appreciate the down time but I think it was too much.

Overall, I really enjoyed this read and this author. I have never read anything from her before and would like to read something else. 3 Pickles.




NetGalley Review: Rotten at Heart by Bartholomew Daniels

Exhibit A Published March 25, 2014 336 Pages
Exhibit A
Published March 25, 2014
336 Pages

Its London 1596 and William Shakespeare and his troupe are on a brink of ruin. To make matters worst he just lost his patron Lord Chamberlain. 

When Lord Chamberlain’s son comes to Shakespeare and states that he believes his father is murder and ask him to help find the murderer,  Shakespeare is put in a difficult position he cannot refuse. 

I love a good Shakespeare story but most importantly I love a good Shakespearean mystery. But not all Shakespeare stories are good even though their intentions are.

The story was beautifully written. The details would make Shakespeare proud. However, the book was slow and boring.

Shakespeare as a character was lifeless and didn’t really hold my attention which was really sad because I would like to think that Shakespeare had more life and spirit. I honestly didn’t feel much connection to him.

What I did like was the mystery. The author wrote the twists and turns very well and I was impressed. I just felt that the buildup took too long and by then I wasn’t really interested in the drama or the climax.

Overall, this book just wasn’t for me and I’m sad about it. 2 Pickles

Book Review: The Nightmare Dilemma (The Arkwell Academy #2) by Mindee Arnett


        Tor Teen Published March 4th 2014 384 Pages
Tor Teen
Published March 4th 2014
384 Pages

Dusty Everhart thought things would get a little easier after book one. But she was terribly wrong. When one of her mermaid friends is attacked and left for dead, Dusty’s bully, Lance is accused of the crime and it is up to Dusty to prove his innocence. 

But when Dusty enters Eli’s dreams for answers she only gets nightmares and not to mention her ex-boyfriend is being released from prison, which complicates things for Dusty and Eli.

Not only does Dusty have to put her own nightmares and Eli’s together to see the bigger picture, but she also needs to decide who to give her heart to.  

If you haven’t read the first book look at the review here. If you also haven’t checked out the interview with Mindee Arnett check here.

Although this is the second book Dusty is doubting herself even more. It seems like she still hasn’t found her footing and I am not sure how many books need to happen for her to get it through her head not only is she the most important person at the school but she is also great at what she does. It was a bit disappointing to see that Dusty still doesn’t have any faith in herself. She was way too nervous (for a lack of better term).

However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like her. I actually love Dusty but no person or character is perfect. Eli was a too much of a jerk and I can honestly say I didn’t like his character. He was very immature about his feelings that I really couldn’t bare reading his words. What bothered me most about their “relationship” is that Eli refused to tell Dusty why they couldn’t be together. It wasn’t as if he was being a jerk every time they were together. I would have accepted that not the I’m going to kiss you this day and ignore you all tomorrow.

Also Mindee (author), I love your creative writing skills but you seriously think these kids need another added drama in their life. *Spoiler* The fact that I am pretty sure you are going to add into book three a way for Eli and Dusty can be together and break the curse. I think that is too much going on. But hey! I trust ya!

Anyway beyond the characters the story was great. The fact that the story doesn’t take the time to bore readers with a recap is great. The mystery from the beginning to the end was great as well. I just didn’t understand why the adults didn’t believe Dusty when she said things were going on or why her best friend was keeping secrets.  I really didn’t appreciate her besty either; something is very shady about her now.

None the less, the story was a great read and despite the character flaws this gets 4.5 Pickles


NetGalley Review: The Body in the Woods (Point Last Seen #1) by April Henry

 Henry Holt and Co. To Be Published June 17 2014 272 Pages
Henry Holt and Co.
To Be Published June 17 2014
272 Pages

*I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Alexis, Nick, and Ruby are three very different teenagers. Alexis is spending her time not getting close to people, hiding the fact that her mother has an mental illness. Nick plays the fearless hero but is scared he is not good enough and Ruby lives a life examining every detail and being precised.

The three are part of Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and are looking for an autistic man in the woods. Instead of finding the man, they find a dead body of a girl.

Alexis, Nick and Ruby take it upon themselves to find the killer, putting their lives not only in he spotlight but in risk.

I give kudos to this author because the plot is different. Teenagers volunteering to find people lost in the woods is a really cool starting point. I didn’t know that there were organizations such as this and I greatly appreciate the author giving spotlight to teenagers that take their free time to do this.

The story itself was a quick read that gave excitement, suspense, pity and even love. However, although the focus is supposed to be finding the killer, it was really put in the back burner and most of the focus was on Alexis which I didn’t understand why. She spends most of the story looking for her mother and side stepping Ruby who was trying to be her friend. Nick didn’t have a lot of time in the story and it felt like his story wasn’t as important as Alexis and Ruby.

I also felt it was weird that Alexis was so paranoid of anyone finding out about her mother and yet the first boy interested in her and shows her some compassion she spills the beans. I was actually really shocked and annoyed by that.

Ruby was actually the only character I liked. She was awkward but she knew what she wanted and she knew her stuff. I wouldn’t call her obsessed, only dedicated to what she wanted to do. She didn’t have much issues at home only the fact that her parents thought she was really weird and needed an intervention.  Ruby was a great character.

Overall, I thought the story was alright. I feel that there could have been more to it especially since it is in three point of views. So this story get 3 Pickles.

NetGalley Review: Sherlock, Lupin & Me: The Dark Lady by Irene Adler

Capstone Young Readers   Published Feb. 1, 2014              240 Pages
Capstone Young Readers
Published Feb. 1, 2014
240 Pages

Irene Adler is on vacation with her family. When trying to escape cleaning, she finds William Sherlock Holmes and the battle of wits begin. Lupin, Sherlock’ friend, joins the two and soon they are off exploring.

But when they find a body washed up on the beach, all the fun is gone and a mystery begins.

As much as I appreciate a good Sherlock Holmes story, it has been forever since I’ve read one. None the less, this book was surprisingly a really great read.

Firstly, for those who only know of Holmes, the story introduces Irene, who has been in the Holmes early stories. Lupin is actually a world class thief (fictional), not in one Holmes stories, but in a story created by French writer Maurice Leblanc.

Anyway, Irene is a brat. She is an only child, who doesn’t like to stay home and has issues with her mother and completely adores her ever working father. But despite the fact that she is a brat, I actually really loved her character. She was bright and open-minded. Despite the fact that when she didn’t get her way she made a fit, she was still a like-able character.

Holmes wasn’t as much of a jerk or know it all and according to Irene that is because he is young. I liked him because he actually allowed (maybe because of his inexperience) Irene and Lupin to find answers and be right. He didn’t have his hand in everything.

Lupin was a breath of fresh air. He is portrayed extremely young in this book and is really like-able. I picture him with a head of ruffle hair, a bit buff with a really cute smile.

The writing was great, easy to read and fast. The suspense was still there as well as a shock factor. The story was well weaved and descriptive. I loved it. Overall it gets 5 Pickles.



NetGalley Review: Shadow Lover by Anne Stuart

   Bell Bridge Books  Published Dec. 31, 2013    229 Pages Kindle Ed
Bell Bridge Books
Published Dec. 31, 2013
229 Pages Kindle Ed

*I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Carolyn McDowell is the foster child to one of the richest family in Vermont. Growing up and even as an adult she was neglected and used for the needs of others. Her true bully . . . Alex McDowell, her first love.

One night, Alex runs away and Carolyn follows him; only to see someone shoot and kill Alex. 18 years later, Carolyn is back at Vermont caring for her Aunt Sally, who is on her death bed, when a man comes in the night stating he is the long long son of Sally.

Carolyn is much more than skeptical because at stake is not only her sanity but the inheritance of her beloved Aunt Sally. Carolyn who doesn’t see a dime of that money doesn’t want this man taking advantage of this woman but not everything is what it seems and Carolyn has to open up to this stranger to find the truth.

Very good read. The entire concept of the book is great. I loved the suspense and the mystery surrounding the imposter and then surrounding the family. It is always the rich that have the most secrets.

The author did a great job with the details and it didn’t drag the book or come off boring. There was a lot of care in reading about each person and how they played a role in the mystery. It was like a modern at Clue. I completely loved it. But the biggest flaw I had issues with was Carolyn. She was so dull and paranoid I was expecting the author to break out a huge sappy feel sorry for me story (no its not funny) but the author wrote her so needy and so abused that I really couldn’t enjoy her.

“Alex” wasn’t a bad character. He was the typical rough around the edges but really good heart man that just needs to be trusted. If it wasn’t for the author’s skills in suspense, I’m sure I would not enjoy this book. The author pulled me in with the multiple characters and their different layers. The whole who done it and who is doing it was amazing.

Overall this book gets: 3.5 Pickles it would have been perfect if there was more to the two main characters.