Wednesday, October 30, 2019

REVIEW: All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell - 3.5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 12:00 PM 0 comments

Title: All the Things We Do in the Dark
Genre: Young Adult Thriller/LGBT
Author: Saundra Mitchell
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication: October 29th 2019
Cover Rating: 4/5
Reading Format: Provided eARC - Edelweiss
Goodreads | Amazon

All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell is the story of Ava and how a horrible event that happened to her at the age of 9 will forever shadow her decisions she makes in life. This is a story about her highs and lows, her PTSD and the scars this event left her with, both internal and external. This story is about pain but also about healing. This story is about the horrible things we as humans do to each other. This story IS.

I am going to be upfront with you guys, I could not connect with Ava AT ALL. That made the book a bit hard to get through. It took me over two weeks to read this short book but I knew I had to finish it because even though I didn't connect with the main character the story/meaning behind this book was still important. Ava is the product of her tragic past but she is also the product of her attempts to heal from her past. 

Ava's past and her PTSD are the main reason why, when she is on her way home and stumbles upon a body, she doesn't call the police. She is afraid and worried about what they will do to Jane, the name Ava gives the poor dead girl. Ava doesn't want Jane to become another statistic to these people but she doesn't seem to realize that Jane is already a statistic just by being born female.

So the book is pretty much Ava trying to figure out what happened to Jane and her chasing ghosts and ending up in trouble. But I think Jane happening to Ava was a good thing because it seemed to break her out of her monotonous path. I think Jane helps Ava heal but she also drives her insane at the same time.

This book has a lot of LGBTQ+ representation and the way the author writes the romance is very natural, as it should be. Most of the time I shy away from queer books because I always get a weird feeling that the relationships aren't natural because the characters have to explain how they ARE queer and blah blah blah but Sandra Mitchell wrote things as they should be. They just end up together, drift towards each other, there is no huge build-up or declaration of sexuality. It. Just. Is. This was one of the reasons I kept reading the book. 

This section will be a tad spoilery but not really BUT I loved the idea of the whole 'gamer girl visiting people she met online only to have something bad happen' considering I have been a gamer girl my whole life and I even met my husband on World of Warcraft 10 years ago. This plot right here would make an excellent book on its own and is one of the other reasons I kept reading the book instead of DNFing it.

In the end, the premise itself sounded like it was going to be amazing but with my inability to connect to the main character the story just fell sort of flat. But I did enjoy the romance and how natural it was and I enjoyed the mystery/thriller portion of the book so if you can connect with Ava more that I did then you will definitely enjoy this book.

Overall, I gave the book 3.5/5 stars.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

REVIEW: The Last to Die by Kelly Garrett - 3 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments

Title: The Last to Die
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Author: Kelly Garrett
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: November 5th 2019
Cover Rating: 2/5
Reading Format: 

The Last to Die by Kelly Garrett is the story of six rich teenagers who are trying to find new ways to have a thrill. It's the story of what happens when those thrills end and someone is bitter about it. It's the story of going too far and revenge.

A group of friends decides that they want to have a bit of fun so they come up with the idea of breaking into each others houses when they are away on trips. It's really fun and exhilarating at first but it starts to become boring. So they up the ante. Breaking into other people's houses? Maybe. But what happens when someone wants even more excitement and almost gets one of them caught? What happens when some of them decide it's not worth the risk and wants to call it quits? What happens when someone does want to let them quite and ups the ante even more. What happens when the bodies start piling up?

As a little side note, I have absolutely no idea what the cover has to do with the book. I understand the house representation but the fact that it's in the middle of what looks like water with a lone girl looking out the window really confuses me. I normally don't talk about the covers outside of my initial rating in the book information above because authors usually don't get to pick their covers but this cover just.... what?!

In the end, this book was good but it didn't have a real ending and we all know how much of an annoyance that it. We never find out what happens with the biggest plot point of the book and THAT KILLED MY SOUL.

Overall, I gave the book 3/5 stars.

Monday, October 7, 2019

REVIEW: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett - 5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 3:00 PM 0 comments
Title: The Grace Year
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Author: Kim Liggett
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication: September 17th 2019
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading Format: Provided eARC

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett couldn't come out during a better year. With all the things happening regarding women's rights this book is very eerie. In this story, women are pretty much property and our main character, Tierney, feels like marriage is a fate worse than death. So when her Grace Year comes up she is more than happy to work the fields instead of being wed. But her best friend betrays her trust and now her entire Grace Year might be in jeopardy. She has a target on her back all because of a future she didn't ask for. 

Tierney is the middle daughter, the wild child, living in a world where women are property and feared to have magic so they are sent away for their 16th year in order to get rid of their magic. But none of the girls know what to expect for their Grace Years because the previous girls aren't allowed to talk about it. Tierney is ready to get her Grace Year over so she can come home and start working in the fields but her plans are thrown out when her best friend lifts her veil during the Grace Year ceremony, pledging to marry her when she comes back.

Thirty-three girls are sent to rid themselves of their "magic", but thirty-three girls will not be coming back. I had no idea what to expect at this part of the book but the author took this book through some amazing twists and turns. I was following everything on the edge of my seat, devouring page after page without putting the book down. I haven't read a book with this much excitement and commitment in a very long time. 

The girls are taught to fear the Poachers, a group of people who cut the girls up and sell their body parts to be used as aphrodisiacs. These Poachers are the reason it is believed that all the girls don't come back but there is something much more sinister at play. The minute the girls are alone, Tierney tries to get them to work together but another girl comes into her "magic" early and other girls side with her. This book shows how twisted the relationships between girls can become and how things aren't always how they appear to be.

In the end, I could not believe the amazing, beautiful and savage story I just consumed. I was watching Dragonball Super with my husband when I finished the story and I slowly sat my Kindle down and just groaned. My husband laughed because he knew that meant the book ended when I wasn't ready. RYKER!!!! 

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars. AMAZING!

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