SHADE ME By Jennifer Brown

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
SHADE ME By Jennifer BrownShade Me by Jennifer Brown
Series: Nikki Kill #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on 1/19/16
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Romance, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

Nikki Kill has always been an outsider. Born with rare synesthesia, she sees the world differently. In Nikki’s eyes, happiness is pink, sadness is a mixture of brown and green, and lies are gray.

To Nikki, Peyton Hollis, the ultrarich it-girl at school, was seemingly untouchable. That is, until Peyton is violently attacked and the only phone number the hospital finds in Peyton’s cell is Nikki’s. Suddenly Nikki is pulled into Peyton’s glittering, fast-paced world as she tries to unravel an unfolding conspiracy.

As Nikki gets closer to the dark truth—and to Peyton’s gorgeous older brother—the only thing she can be sure of is death is a deep, pulsing crimson.

Shade Me is a captivating mystery. The suspense starts from the very first page and only increases until you reach the dramatic ending. There are fights, clues, scary scenes, a whole host of suspicious characters and a fierce, independent main character who can hold her own.

I really enjoyed this mystery novel. It read like a crime show, but it had more depth and twists. Nikki Kill is dragged into a criminal investigation when she receives a mysterious phone call, which is followed by a call from the hospital asking her to come and identify a girl who has been severely beaten. It seems that Nikki is the only one who can start untangling the complicated web of deceit surrounding Peyton Hollis. But why and how is Nikki involved in all of this?

Nikki is one strong character. Brash, harsh, independent, and more. She keeps to herself, is almost failing her final year of high school, and has no idea why Peyton, daughter of a famous movie executive and queen of the school, would call her just before being left for dead. Nikki has synesthesia. She sees colors for numbers, words or letters. It makes school nearly impossible and it never helped her solve her own mother’s murder. But her ability to see more than is there, make connections others might miss is surprisingly helpful when she tries to piece together what happened to Peyton.

Nikki is a mixed-marshal arts fighter and knows how to take care of herself, so she has no trouble getting mixed up in dangerous situations. The tension runs high through most of the book, particularly picking up towards the end. And while Nikki is no dumb girl, she manages to find herself in some alarming situations. I couldn’t help but think that she should ask detective Martinez for help, tell someone what she knows or not go to meet the person who could be the culprit all by herself. But Nikki’s independence and lack of trust only works to build the suspense, and surprisingly I didn’t get annoyed with Nikki. Despite her rough edges she is a likeable character. As for romance, I would say there is less of that and more of lust. Again, this too works to develop the storyline rather than becoming one of its own and holds true to Nikki’s character.

I love that this is going to be a series. While the storyline, the mystery is solved by the end of this book. There’s not a cliffhanger but there is plenty of room for more adventures, more to follow up with this story and more uses for Nikki’s intriguing skills at piecing clues together.

I would highly recommend this book! This is now one of my favorite books. Shade Me was captivating, original, and exciting!

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ENCHANTMENT LAKE by Margi Preus

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ENCHANTMENT LAKE by Margi PreusEnchantment Lake by Margi Preus
Published by Univ of Minnesota Press on 3/15/15
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Young Adult
Pages: 200
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

A disturbing call from her great aunts Astrid and Jeannette sends seventeen-year-old Francie far from her new home in New York into a tangle of mysteries. Ditching an audition in a Manhattan theater, Francie travels to a remote lake in the northwoods where her aunts’ neighbors are “dropping like flies” from strange accidents. But are they accidents?

On the shores of Enchantment Lake in the woods of northern Minnesota, something ominous is afoot, and as Francie begins to investigate, the mysteries multiply: a poisoned hot dish, a puzzling confession, eerie noises in the bog, and a legendary treasure that is said to be under enchantment—or is that under Enchantment, as in under the lake? At the center of everything is a suddenly booming business in cabin sales and a road not everyone wants built.

To a somewhat reluctant northwoods Nancy Drew, the intrigue proves irresistible, especially when it draws her closer to the mysteries at the heart of her own life: What happened to her father? Who and where is her mother? Who is she, and where does her heart lie—in the bustle of New York City or the deep woods of Minnesota? With its gripping story, romantic spirit, and a sly dash of modern-day trouble (evil realtors and other invasive species), Enchantment Lake will fascinate readers, providing precisely the charm that Margi Preus’s readers have come to expect.

17 year old Francie is not a detective. She only played one on TV. Although her aunts Astrid and Jeannette have started a rumor, and now everyone on the lake where they live thinks that Francie is a big shot NY detective. After getting a strange call from her aunts saying they’re in danger, Francie ditches an audition, hops on a plane and heads to Enchantment Lake to make sure  her aunts are okay. When her aunts tell her about all the things that have been happening on the lake, Francie thinks they have lost their minds. When one of their neighbor’s ends up dead from  “suicide”, Astrid and Jeannette don’t believe that for one second. They think he was murdered, and they want Francie to find out who the killer is before Astrid and Jeannette are next. Francie decides to help. She starts talking to people and asking questions and starts piecing things together. For a girl who’s not a real detective, she sure does a good job at it.

I really liked Francie. She was a great main character. She’s so strong and definitely determined to keep her aunts alive and save Enchantment Lake.
I fell in love with this book from the beginning. I love a good mystery book. I would recommend this book especially if you’re a fan of mysteries!

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ALL FALL DOWN by Ally Carter

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ALL FALL DOWN by Ally CarterAll Fall Down by Ally Carter
Series: Embassy Row #1
Published by Scholastic Press Genres: Contemporary, Mystery & Detective, Young Adult
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyMiranda

A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her -- so there's no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can't control Grace -- no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn't stop it, Grace isn't the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Ally Carter’s first Embassy Row novel All Fall Down is rife with political intrigue, snarky teenagers, a murder mystery and a possible romance that may unite or ruin nations.  Phew, that is a lot to pack into one novel but Ms. Carter does it well.  Grace Blakely is a smart-mouth army brat who has been around the world but now she’s back with the grandfather she hasn’t seen in three years.  Her grandfather is the United States Ambassador to the foreign nation of Adria.  As soon as she arrives in Adria, Grace is bombarded with memories of her deceased mother.  Everyone is convinced her mother died in a fire but Grace believes she was murdered and is determined to find the killer.

I really enjoyed Grace. She made me laugh and I felt empathy for her.  Of course, I could not get enough of her and the Russian Ambassador’s son Alexei.  There are some serious sparks between them! I liked most of the secondary characters especially the friends Grace met quickly upon arriving in Adria. At times I felt the memories were too much. The mystery as to the murder of Grace’s mother ended surprisingly, which doesn’t happen often.  I was a bit disappointed with the ending but I still would like to read book two in the series.

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THE CONSPIRACY OF US by Maggie Hall

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE CONSPIRACY OF US by Maggie HallThe Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
Series: The Conspiracy of Us #2
Published by G. Putnam's & Sons on 01/13/15
Genres: Action & Adventure, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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ReviewedbyDani

Sixteen-year-old Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada at the Champs-Elysees when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. They are part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle of Twelve, and Avery is their missing heir. If they discover who she is, some of them will want to use her as a pawn. Some will want her dead.
To thwart their plans, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and through a web of ancient legends and lies. And unless she can stay one step ahead of beautiful, volatile Stellan, who knows she’s more than she seems, and can decide whether to trust mysterious, magnetic Jack, she may be doomed after all.

Avery West is sixteen and lives on a constant moving schedule. Every few months her and her mom pack up the house and hit the road to a new location. Avery’s mom’s job makes them move a lot and Avery has come to except that she will never be able to “settle down” and make friends or memories in the places she stays. They move so often they’ve stopped unpacking everything.

Jack is the new kid. Avery thinks he is mysterious and cute, like most of the girls at her school, but knows from past experience that she can’t have feelings for anyone because eventually she’ll be on the move again. Stellan a complete stranger shows up one day and “fights” over Avery. With her in the middle of two boys she is unbelievably confused. She learns of a family she has never known and a secret society that seems only conspiracy theorists would believe. A day after her meet and greet with stranger Stellan, Avery is off on a wild chase with a single piece of paper and hopefully the right destination to continue on a treasure hunt she finds impossible.

This book was fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat. It involved a secret world order that was trying to uncover Alexander the Great and the secrets he took to his tomb. And there’s an ancient society trying to keep Alexander’s secrets. Clues with a kind of scavenger hunt. Bad guys with guns and knives. I definitely enjoyed this book and can’t wait until the sequel is released.

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THE THIRD TWIN by C. J. Omololu

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

THE THIRD TWIN by C. J. OmololuThe Third Twin by C. J. Omololu
Published by Delacorte Press on 02/24/15
Genres: Mystery & Detective, Thrillers, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

In the YA thriller The Third Twin, identical twins Lexi and Ava invent a fictional triplet they call Alicia. Unlike Lexi's relentless pursuit of academic perfection and her sister's pursuit of a good time, 'Alicia' is beautiful, smart, confident and the girl everyone wants to date. The twin's ruse is perfect until one night when the boy 'Alicia' is dating is found brutally murdered—and all evidence points to her. As Lexi frantically tries to unravel the mystery surrounding his death, the bodies of 'Alicia's' boyfriends start to multiply and it becomes a race to outwit the police as well as find the identity of the true killer before it's too late. After witnessing the aftermath of yet another murder, Lexi can no longer deny that all signs point to her sister's guilt. Enlisting the help of her old friend Zane, Lexi formulates a plan to catch the killer and clear her name, but planning gives way to disbelief as she discovers that in so many cases, people aren't always who they seem.

The Third Twin is a murder mystery and a high-intensity thriller about identical twin sisters, Alexa and Ava, who play with fire by pretending to have a third sister, Alicia.  Alicia is fun, beautiful, fashionable and extremely popular with boys. She goes on dates, gets invited to all the hot parties and is simply the coolest sister out of the three. The only problem is, Alicia doesn’t really exist. She’s made up. It’s always Ava and Alexa pretending to be Alicia, taking turns going on dates and fooling around with boys. When Alicia’s boyfriends start dropping dead and the cops come knocking on the door, looking for the third sister who doesn’t exist, the girls find themselves in a whole lot of trouble. Someone’s out to get them, will they find out who before it’s too late?-=

This is a plot-driven story. The characters are interesting enough to keep the readers engaged and captivated, but they’re not particularly memorable. I did, however, want to find out what in the world was going on. The mystery aspect of the story was supreme and executed nicely. I couldn’t tell who the evil culprit was. I had tons of theories and I suspected everyone. Well, almost everyone, because I was honestly surprised to find out who was behind the murders. The ending was very twisty and gasp-worthy. I was so sure I had it all figured out, but was taken aback by the final reveal. Omololu did a great job keeping the suspense going and she really managed to surprise me at the end. This book was extremely entertaining: fun, fast-paced and easy to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries/thrillers.

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HEARTSICK by Caitlin Sinead

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

HEARTSICK by Caitlin SineadHeartsick by Caitlin Sinead
Published by Carina Press on 02/16/15
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, New Adult
Pages: 224
Source: Publisher
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ReviewedbyDani

Quinn is looking forward to her senior year at Poe University. She has big plans to hang out with her best friend, flirt with a certain boy genius, party at her favorite dive bar and figure out what she's going to do after graduation with her not-so-useful art major. But that's before she meets Luke, a hot townie who's moved back home to help take care of his dying sister. And it's before a weird epidemic sweeps across campus, mysteriously turning people's eyes purple.
Is it an odd side effect from a new party drug?
Is it a rogue virus developed in a campus lab?
Is it the mark of the devil?
Soon the town starts blaming the university and the student religious group becomes frighteningly aggressive in their on-campus accusations. Quinn and Luke are caught in the middle—until a tragic accident forces Luke to reveal the one part of himself he's kept carefully hidden. That he's so much more than the happy-go-lucky boy next door Quinn had believed him to be isn't a surprise…but this truth might be too dangerous for her to handle.
Something strange is happening in and around Poe College, the town and students are quarantined, no one in and no one out. Why? Because someone or something is infecting people with violet eyes! Purple Eye Disease is spreading and doctors think it is carried through bodily fluids. There are other side effects, too, that are not exactly bad, just unexplainable.

Caught in the middle of this is college student, Quinn, a carefree college senior, looking to have fun with her friends. When events in town get nasty, as the fear of the purple eye disease grows, the college is blamed and anyone associated with or having purple eyes becomes a target for violence and even death. Through it all, Quinn becomes involved, she always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, trying to help, but causing more trouble and coming under the scrutiny of the law. Quinn also meets a love interest, Luke. But when Quinn finds out he has secrets of his own she wonders if she can still trust him.

Quinn’s character took some time for me to warm up to, but when the story started getting deeper, so did Quinn’s character. Although there was danger from the unknown and the cult, Quinn was determined to find out the cause of the illness. Half the campus is in quarantine and not allowed to leave but Quinn is constantly breaking the rules and finding more and more clues. She meets Luke right before the epidemic and is constantly ignoring his wishes. She is determined to help her friends and others.

Luke is a loveable character. He is handsome, sweet and caring. Luke is keeping a secret, which when it came out I am not sure why, but it does add to Quinn’s confusion. Neither Luke nor Quinn were looking for a relationship but the epidemic brings them together. Rashid another possible love interest is a scientist. I didn’t really see the connection. Luke was true to his character throughout the story. His interest and concern for Quinn’s safety and those who took ill never wavered.

When we finally dive into the mystery illness, the author gives readers danger and suspense. There are twist and turns that I did not see coming. I would have liked to had more of Quinn and Luke too, but the story is fast-paced. Overall I think Heartsick was a good book.

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FRACTURE by Megan Miranda

I received this book for free from Reviewer Purchase in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

FRACTURE by Megan MirandaFracture by Megan Miranda
Published by A&C Black on 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Mystery & Detective, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 261
Source: Reviewer Purchase
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Reviewed by Dani
When Decker found Delaney kissing his best friend Carson, he told himself that it meant nothing. But then Carson calls to Delaney from across the vast frozen lake. Jealous, Decker insists they walk over the fragile ice. Halfway, he leaves her there . . . Ten minutes without air, Delaney will be dead. Decker pulls her out of the icy waters after eleven. Delaney is alive, but now she is drawn to those who are dying . . . and to stranger, Troy - someone Decker should see as a threat.

After Delaney fell into Falcon Lake something changed. Delaney can now sense when someone is about to die. Most of Delaney’s friends start to distance themselves from her because it seems like people around her die. When Delaney was at the hospital she met Troy. At first Troy seemed like a great friend for Delaney because he has the same ability as her. I liked Delaney’s character she’s smart and curious. Troy’s character seemed nice at first but towards the end he has some scary secrets he hasn’t told anyone. I really like this book. The ending is great I got chills reading it, its unexpected. I would and I did buy the sequel to this book which is Vengeance and it’s in Delaney’s friend Decker’s point of view. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Mysteries, and Thrillers.

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Dark Paradise by Angie Sandro

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dark Paradise by Angie SandroDark Paradise by Angie Sandro
Published by Grand Central Publishing on 2014-07-01
Genres: Coming of Age, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal
Pages: 400
Reviewed by Dani
DARK LEGACY
 
Mala LaCroix has spent her whole life trying to escape her destiny. As the last in a long line of "witch women," she rejects the notion of spirits and hoodoo and instead does her best to blend in. But when she finds a dead body floating in the bayou behind her house, Mala taps into powers she never knew she had. She's haunted by visions of the dead girl, demanding justice and vengeance.
 
DEADLY SECRETS
 
Landry Prince has always had a crush on Mala, but when Mala discovers his sister, murdered and marked in some sort of Satanic ritual, he wonders if all the rumors about the LaCroix family are true. Yet after Mala uses her connection to the spirit world to identify his sister's killer, he starts to form his own bond to her . . . a very physical one. As they move closer to each other and closer to the truth, Mala and Landry must risk everything—their families, their love, and even their lives.

This book was a definite page turner, it was a fast paced murder mystery and I couldn’t wait to read what was going to happen next.  Mala LaCroix has spent her life trying to escape from her mom’s shadow.  Her mom tells her she is the last in a long line of hoodo women.  Mala has a hard time believing it. Mala tries her best to blend in but all that changes when she finds a dead body floating in the bayou behind her house.  She’s haunted by visions of the dead girl, demanding justice and vengeance. Mala is forced to tap into powers she never knew she had.

 

Then their is Landry Prince who has always had a crush on Mala.  She has no idea he does until they try to solve his sister’s murder. When Mala discovers his sister, murdered and marked in some sort of Satanic ritual he wonders if she could have done it.  All the rumors about the LaCroix family put her in danger but as they try to find out why Laney is haunting them he starts to form his own bond to her a very physical one. As they move closer to each other and closer to the truth, Mala and Landry must risk everything-their families, their love, and even their lives.  I loved Mala so much. She had so much more strength than she thought she did. And I found myself cheering her on when she was trying to get a point across.  At first I had a love/hate relationship with Landry until his true colors began to shine. I think he is a wonderful person even though he is a little rough around the edges. This book left on a cliff hanger and I would read the sequel.

 

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