Blog Tour: Feral by Holly Schindler

The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.


It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.

But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….

Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.

FERAL Trailer:
FERAL AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER:
FERAL falls squarely into the realm of the classic psychological thriller.  While the book features mystery, horror, and paranormal elements, the emphasis is on the “psychological” rather than thriller / action.  The novel features a Hitchcockian pace and focus on character development (here, we’re exploring the inner workings of the main character, Claire Cain).  Essentially, every aspect of FERAL is used to explore Claire’s inner workings—that even includes the wintry Ozarks setting.  The water metaphor is employed frequently in psychological thrillers to represent the subconscious, and here is incorporated in the form of a brutal ice storm (that represents Claire’s “frozen” inner state).  The attempt to untangle what is real from what is unreal (another frequently-used aspect of the psychological thriller) also begins to highlight the extent to which Claire was hurt in that Chicago alley.  Even the explanation of the odd occurrences in the town of Peculiar offers an exploration into and portrait of Claire’s psyche.  Ultimately, FERAL is a book about recovering from violence—that’s not just a lengthy or hard process; it’s a terrifying process, too.  The classic psychological thriller allowed me to explore that frightening process in detail. 

What are your top 10 favorite books of all time?
I’m a lifelong reader.  I had to have a new Little Golden Book every time I went to the supermarket with my mom, back when I was still little enough to fit in the cart.  When I graduated to novels, I was usually reading them with a flashlight under the covers until all hours.  I was literature major in college, too—and while I dearly love contemporary reads, there’s just something about a classic.  Something sort of…soothing or delicious about a book written hundreds of years ago.  So my all-time favorites run the gamut.  These are my favorites from childhood, from my “classics” shelf, from more recent years:
   1.      IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote – I discovered this one in college.  One of my profs asked me to proctor a final exam for him; I brought it on a whim to have something to do (I was finished with my own tests).  I was completely mesmerized by the quiet, chilling portrait of murder in a small town—so much so, I wished I had another test or two left to oversee!
   2.      FALL INTO DARKNESS by Christopher Pike – I grew up on contemporary, realistic fiction.  When I found Christopher Pike in junior high, I discovered books that were more adventure-driven, felt cinematic.  I loved that.
   3.      THE PAIN AND THE GREAT ONE – Judy Blume’s picture book about a couple of siblings.  Her descriptions of the brother and sister could have been me and my younger brother.  It was the first time I saw myself in a book I was reading—and that was a big part, I think, of hooking me as a young reader.
   4.      JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë – I must’ve read this one three or four different times in college.  It just kept getting assigned—in Victorian Lit, Women’s Lit, etc.  I remember one of my friends asking me why I was taking the time to read it again when I’d read it for a class the semester before.  I had to admit it was for pure pleasure. 
   5.      THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by JD Salinger – As someone who writes in the YA category, I’ve just got to love this one.  Its impact on YA lit is still being felt today.
   6.      TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee – My favorite of all the books assigned in high school (isn’t it everyone’s)?
   7.      EMILY DICKINSON’S COLLECTED WORKS – I love Dickinson.  And when you read her poems all together, one after another, they begin to read like a novel in verse.
   8.      MYSTIC RIVER by Dennis Lehane – A contemporary classic.  A mystery that reads like a literary novel.
   9.      FIELD OF DREAMS by W. P. Kinsella – Also one of my all-time favorite movies.  Just a great fantasy story.
   10.  Laura Ingalls Wilder – I’m a Missouri girl, so I had to put a classic Missouri writer on the list.  I think Wilder’s work tends to trend younger now—her LITTLE HOUSE books are generally considered children’s literature—and I read them as a girl, too.  So you can also say Wilder’s one of my favorite MG authors as well.

Author Bio:

Holly Schindler is the author of the critically acclaimed A BLUE SO DARK (Booklist starred review, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year silver medal recipient, IPPY Awards gold medal recipient) as well as PLAYING HURT (both YAs). 

Her debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, also released in ’14, and became a favorite of teachers and librarians, who used the book as a read-aloud.  Kirkus Reviews called THE JUNCTION “…a heartwarming and uplifting story…[that] shines…with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve.” 
FERAL is Schindler’s third YA and first psychological thriller.  Publishers Weekly gave FERAL a starred review, stating, “Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A BLUE SO DARK…This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking…This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.”
Schindler encourages readers to get in touch.  Booksellers, teen librarians, and teachers can also contact her directly regarding Skype visits.  She can be reached at hollyschindlerbooks (at) gmail (dot) com, and can also be found at hollyschindler.com, hollyschindler.blogspot.com, @holly_schindler, Facebook.com/HollySchindlerAuthor, and hollyschindler.tumblr.com. 

Giveaway of a Signed Copy of FERAL

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Review: Behind the Scenes (Daylight Falls #1) by Dahlia Adler

Book Title: Behind the Scenes (Daylight Falls #1)
Author: Dahlia Adler
Published Date: June 24th, 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book 1 in Daylight Falls
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
High school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs. 

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Spencer Hill Press via Edelweiss.

Review:
I was really excited about this book despite the fact that it isn’t normally my cup of tea. I am definitely a sucker for good friendship stories and that’s what Behind the Scenes gave me. Ally and Vanessa’s friendship was solid and it was an equal friendship. Vanessa is talented and she is set to be one of the stars of the new show Daylight Falls. Yet, she is careful not to flaunt her success in front of Ally.

Ally’s going through her own problems. Her father is in the hospital, fighting Stage IV skin cancer. Doctors are saying that he doesn’t have much time left so Ally spends a lot of time in the hospital with him. Her family is very close and supportive of one another. Ally has been planning to attend Columbia, but now that her father’s medical bills are eating up the college fund. So Ally wonders just how she is going to be able to go to Columbia when all this is going on in her family.

That’s where Vanessa sweeps in and hires Ally as her assistant so that Ally can go to Columbia like she’s dreamed of. It’s here where Ally met Liam. Ally tried her hardest to ignore Liam. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with a guy who makes a living as an actor. What she doesn’t know is that Liam has his own demons.

When Ally begins to talk to Liam, she learns that he has gone through absolute hell. His mother died from cancer when he was 8 and he was whisked off to his father’s house. He didn’t know his father at all and things between his father and him never improve.

“Sick as it was, there was something oddly nice about being able to talk cancer with someone who already knew the terminology.” -Ally-

I totally understood that as I have often said the same thing about my own health problems. It is definitely really nice to be able to talk about my heart problems with others who have experience with it. That means I don’t have to stop and explain everything that I’m talking about, which sometimes drives me batty. I could tell Ally really needed someone who knew about cancer to talk to them about it.

It wasn’t just the cancer thing that brought Ally and Liam together. They have great chemistry even as friends. Liam desperately wants to prove to Ally that he’s not a total douchebag and Ally wants to believe that he’s not like every other actor on the planet. But as things begin to deepen between them, Ally starts to wonder if she can really deal with being the secret girlfriend to an actor. She starts to think that maybe she’s not cut out for this. Maybe she’s not okay with seeing him “date” Vanessa.

“I just wanted to be enough” -Ally-

That line pretty much broke my heart. Ally’s best friend is a beautiful actress and her boyfriend is a very attractive guy. Ally lives in the real world. The world of high school and homework and prom, and sick dads and money problems. She doesn’t feel like she’s good enough for Liam. She doesn’t feel pretty enough, she doesn’t feel sexy enough. Not feeling good enough is definitely a high school thing so I was happy to see Adler put this in the book as I felt like Ally didn’t feel good enough for Liam for the longest time.

I really enjoyed this book a lot. More than I expected to. I am definitely excited to see what happens next. It was a book that combined friendship, family and love and those seem to be my favorite books regardless of the setting. 4 stars to this book and I’m excited for Vanessa’s story next. 

Review: Nearly Gone by Elle Cosimano

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Book Title: Nearly Gone
Author: Elle Cosimano
Published Date: March 25th, 2014
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Genre: YA Thriller
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Bones meets Fringe in a big, dark, scary, brilliantly-plotted urban thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end.

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. Living in a DC trailer park, she knows better than to share anything that would make her a target with her classmates. Like her mother’s job as an exotic dancer, her obsession with the personal ads, and especially the emotions she can taste when she brushes against someone’s skin. But when a serial killer goes on a killing spree and starts attacking students, leaving cryptic ads in the newspaper that only Nearly can decipher, she confides in the one person she shouldn’t trust: the new guy at school—a reformed bad boy working undercover for the police, doing surveillance. . . on her.

Nearly might be the one person who can put all the clues together, and if she doesn’t figure it all out soon—she’ll be next.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
I had my eye on this book for months. I was so excited about it and desperately could not wait to get my hands on it. Totally worth the wait!

Nearly Boswell knows how to keep secrets. She doesn’t talk about the fact that her mom is an exotic dancer at Gentleman Jim’s. She doesn’t talk about how her dad walked out on them several years ago, and she certainly doesn’t talk about the fact that her mother and her are living in a trailer park. But her other secret, the one about the personal ads, is about to take on a more sinister nature.

She scoured the personal ad, desperately hoping that one day, she’ll see something from her beloved father. She didn’t think much of the first ad that she noticed,

Newton was wrong. We clash with yellow.
Find me tonight under the bleachers.

But by the time the second one appeared, Nearly knew that something was going on, but she wasn’t quite sure what it was.

Archimedes knew the play wasn’t really the thing.
Do the math and find me after the show.

These little clues gave Nearly an idea about who was going to be targeted next. She was also being taunted by cryptic and chilling messages that were carved into her desk in chemistry and messages were appearing her locker, slipped in the locker vents.

As the messages become more mathematically advanced, the murders become more violent.

We all fall down. The tower will point the way.
It’s 68 ft. higher than three times a side of its square base.
If the sum of these two is 1,380 at day’s end you’ll know
where to find me.

At this point, whispers are beginning to run around the school. Nearly has a connection with these victims. Questions are running rampant around the school. Nearly is climbing to the top of the suspect list.

I’m serious. I’m done chasing my tail, trying to be the big dog.
I’m the brightest. Lie back and watch me shine. 

While all this craziness is going on, Nearly’s friends Jeremy and Anh are barely speaking to her. Nearly’s forming a bond with troublemaker, Reece Whelan. He’s working undercover and he’s supposed to be keeping an eye on her. What neither of them ever expected was that they would fall for one another.

Isosceles had the right angle.
The Torpedo is a straight shot to the Yards.
Follow my tracks.

This book was fabulous. I cannot say enough awesome things about it. I was worried that some of the math concepts would go over my head as I am absolutely awful at math, but I didn’t have any problems with it. Actually, I think it added a very unique element to the story. 

The pacing was perfect for the story. It was fast paced, leaving my heart racing. I couldn’t wait to figure out what was going to happen next. I couldn’t wait to find out if any of my theories were correct (spoiler alert, they weren’t) I love it when I am unable to guess the ending. That makes the book even better.

I must buy a copy of this book for my own personal library. Then, I’ll push it on everyone and I won’t stop until everyone has read it. 5 stars to this fast paced, exciting roller coaster of a book. 

Stacking the Shelves #51

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This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

This week was AWESOME! I got 4 packages. On Monday I got 3 books from my bookish friend Tammy as well as my OTSP Secret Sister package which included the top book on my wishlist. On Tuesday I got an ARC of Emery Lord’s newest book, so thank you so much Bloomsbury Children’s. And finally, my friend Andi sent me her extra copy of a book that she’s been begging me to read. I also got a NetGalley book and an Edelweiss book.
Let’s see what arrived in my mailbox and on my Kindle this week.

Bought
Received for Review

-Edelweiss-
The Fall by Bethany Griffin

-NetGalley-
Vision by Lisa Amowitz

-From the Publisher-

Gifted
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
Cinders & Sapphires  (At Somerton #1) by Leila Rasheed
Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1) by Stephanie Perkins

Won

Let me know if you have read any of these or if you are planning to at some point. Also leave me the links to your Stacking the Shelves posts or vlogs so I can stop by and see what you got.

Book Friends Mentioned
Tammy

Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Book Title: Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N. Hensley
Publish Date: September 9th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she’s not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She’s even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won’t risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty…no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.

At any cost.

Now time’s running short. Sam must decide who she can trust…and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from HarperTeen via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
Rites of Passage was unlike anything I had ever read before, but that was one of the many things that I loved about it. Usually anything set in a military school or anything military related is not really my thing, but the fact that it was a female attempting to make it through at a previously all boys military school, got me excited.

At first, I was having a very hard time with the book. All the military stuff was boring the crap outta me and the only character I cared about was Sam. At right about 20% of the way through the book, I really started getting into it and I didn’t want to stop reading it. Sam was not the only girl there, in the beginning there are 3 other girls along with her. By the time I really started to get into it, Sam was left with Katie Quinn and Bekah Cross as her only two fellow females.

Sam was an amazing character. She was so different from the way girls are normally in books. She was focused on her goal and that was to make it at the DMA. It was more than a dare to her. She felt like she needed to make her dad proud of her. She felt like she needed to show all the guys at the DMA that she was every bit as strong as they were and that she belonged here. She wanted to prove to her older brother, Johnathan that she belonged here and that she wouldn’t be expecting special treatment. And of course Amos. Amos hung himself, but not before he dared Sam to join the DMA’s first female class.

 What I really enjoyed was that she wasn’t totally boy crazy. She had goals and she wasn’t going to allow a brief flirtation with Liam Kelly, ruin anything. Even her attraction to drill sergeant Dean Stamm won’t ruin anything for her. Or at least that’s what she says initially. Things sort of take a turn around Christmastime.

Things were anything but smooth sailing for her though. She was constantly harassed by Matthews as well as other upperclassmen, but she refused to allow that to stop her from reaching her goals. She wasn’t scared off easily which I really enjoyed. Even when the bullying started getting really bad, Sam refused to back down. Awesome!

I know a lot of people didn’t love the ending but I definitely did. I was okay with it being open ended, but of course I wouldn’t mind if the author decided to make this one into a series. It could happen with the way the ending left it. I finished the book earlier this week and I’m still thinking about it! I am giving it 5 stars and I cannot WAIT to get a finished copy of this.

Review: If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman

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Book Title: If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
Author: Gayle Forman
Published Date: April 2nd, 2009
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book 1 in If I Stay duology
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.


Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Oh boy, this book has been so hyped up recently due to the movie that is coming out very soon. I’ve watched the movie trailer about half a bazillion times and I knew I wanted to read the book first to decide if I really want to see the movie. I liked the book overall, but I didn’t love it the way I wanted to.

Normally I don’t like the lyrical writing style, but in this book it was effectively used and I found myself really liking the writing style. It was beautifully written throughout the entire book, which really made me happy. Beautiful writing both excites me and scares me because sometimes the writing is beautiful in order to cover up a book that is not very interesting overall. Yet it can also be a tool used to draw the reader right into the world of the book that’s being read.

I craved just a little more character development. It was decent but it wasn’t amazing like I was hoping it would be. Mia’s character development overall was stronger than Adam’s which bummed me out. I wanted to know more about Adam, but I really didn’t get what I wanted. With Mia, we knew what made her tick, who she spent most of her time with and what her passions were. We got some of that with Adam, but not as much.

I gotta say that I didn’t cry as much as I was expecting to. I got teary eyed a couple of times, but the time that really broke me is when Mia’s grandpa was sitting with her and telling her it was okay if she wanted to go. Full. On. Sobs. That absolutely broke my heart and I wanted to reach through the book and hug her grandpa.

I did enjoy the book and I’ll most likely be going to see the movie at some point. It was a quick read, but it was not at all, an easy read. If you haven’t read it yet, you definitely should. I’ll be giving this book 4 stars.

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

Book Title: Don’t Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published Date: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA Mystery
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend. 

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
This was a book that I was extremely excited about, but was unable to purchase it. So when I found out my library had it, I was ecstatic. I actually had to take the first copy back because it smelled like cigarettes and just inhaling the scent made me ill. So last week, I picked up a new copy and a few days later, I settled down to read it.

Holy crap on a cracker, JLA should just write these thrillers all the time because the way she weaves the story is amazing. The way she drops little clues throughout the book is awesome. I would read the book and every once and awhile, I’d make a note of something, thinking that it sounded like a clue. I spent the entire book, totally confused while my brain worked overtime to try and solve the mystery myself. I came up with so many scenarios, none of which even came close to the truth.That’s when I know a book was really good. When books keep me guessing all the way through and nothing I come up with is even close to the truth.  

I loved Samantha. She was clearly struggling with the knowledge that she couldn’t remember anything about her life before the accident. Not only that, but apparently she had been a royal bitch before the accident. She didn’t remember that girl. but she didn’t want to be like her. She wanted to be a good person who cared about others. She no longer liked her boyfriend Del and they had been together for a very long time. Things about him bother her a lot. 

She starts to wonder if he had anything to do with her disappearance and with Cassie’s disappearance.

I loved the relationship that Samantha had with her brother. He was such a good brother to her. He protected her and loved her. So often you see brother-sister relationships in YA and they are filled with angst. There was obviously angst with this one, but it wasn’t related to Scott and Samantha’s relationship.

Also, I have mad love for Carson. Carson and Samantha go way back and even though Samantha wasn’t always nice to him before the accident, he was still loyal to her. He loved her despite the fact that she didn’t always treat him nicely. Carson was adorable and I loved his close friendship with Scott. Despite the fact that Scott and Samantha’s parents looked down on him for being the son of  “the help” Carson didn’t let that affect him or his friendships with Scott and Samantha.

The last 100 pages especially were filled with so many twists and turns. My mind was constantly twirling. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know who was behind the disappearance of Samantha and Cassie. The ending was so mind boggling that I had to sit back and take some breathers because I kept saying “Oh my god” and “Holy crap” I loved this book and I am so excited to buy my own copy of it. 5 stars to this incredibly twisty book that kept me guessing all the way through.

Stacking the Shelves #50

This feature is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.
Hello to all of my fellow booklovers. I hope everyone had a great week filled with bookish awesome-ness. My week was pretty quiet, but I do have 4 books to show you all. 2 of them are library books and two of them are review books.
Here are the books I’ve added to my shelves (temporarily) and to my Kindle.

Bought
Received for Review

-Edelweiss-
A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

-NetGalley-
The Edge of You by Theresa DaLayne
Won
Gifted
Library Books
Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick
So let me know if you have read any of these or if you are planning to at some point. I look forward to hearing about the books you got this week so be sure to leave me links to your posts & vlogs. Have an awesome week.

Review: Random by Tom Leveen

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Book Title: Random
Author: Tom Leveen
Publish Date: August 12th, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble 
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Who’s the real victim here? This tense and gripping exploration of cyberbullying and teen suicide is perfect for fans of Before I Fall andThirteen Reasons Why.

Late at night Tori receives a random phone call. It’s a wrong number. But the caller seems to want to talk, so she stays on the line.

He asks for a single thing—one reason not to kill himself.

The request plunges her into confusion. Because if this random caller actually does what he plans, he’ll be the second person connected to Tori to take his own life. And the first just might land her in jail. After her Facebook page became Exhibit A in a tragic national news story about cyberbullying, Tori can’t help but suspect the caller is a fraud. But what if he’s not? Her words alone may hold the power of life or death.

With the clock ticking, Tori has little time to save a stranger—and maybe redeem herself—leading to a startling conclusion that changes everything…

Disclaimer: I received this book from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review:
This book had so much potential to force the reader to take a good, hard look at how they treat others and how their actions can have devastating consequences. I was excited about this one and I wanted to love it so badly, but it just didn’t work for me.

This book was very short, but it was also very fast paced, something that I would have liked a lot if the book itself had been compelling, which it was not. I found that I was forcing myself to read this book, in the hope that it would somehow start getting better and better as the book continued.

But I was utterly bored through the majority of it. There seemed to be a disproportionate amount of dialogue to the rest of the book. I wanted less dialogue. I mean, I know lots of dialogue would be necessary for this book, but I wanted more scene setting and descriptive language.

None of the characters really intrigued me either. Tori was a bitch who clearly didn’t understand that, yes, she was partially to blame for the death of someone she knew. Andy & Noah were both boring as hell. The character development was pretty much non-existent. I know it can be hard to develop the characters fully in such a short book, but the author didn’t even try to develop them at all. They were all very one-dimensional, which bummed me out big time.

I thought for the longest time that Andy was screwing with her and that he wasn’t actually serious about his plans to commit suicide. Which of course, enraged me even more. Committing suicide is not something to joke about. Just the idea of that makes me so mad all over again. It’s serious stuff not to be taken lightly. I wish more people would realize that. It’s not a joke, it’s not funny. I didn’t think I would have such a strong negative reaction to this book, but I did.

The revelation at the end also pissed me off. I could not believe that the author took the story this way. It felt like the entire book was a complete waste of time and it made me wonder why the heck I had forced myself to read this book if it was going to end this way. 

This book was a colossal waste of my time and I am so upset because it really had the power to be something fantastic, but it was horribly executed. I’ll be giving this book 1.5 stars.

Release Day: Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas

Out Now!

August 14th, 2014
Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas
Three teens venture into the abandoned lake house one night; hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding; the other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self defense?

Or murder? 
Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece together the story of how they got there-a story of jealousy, twisted passion, and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful of faces…

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Early Praise

Dangerous Boys is a taut, compelling thriller balanced on the razor’s edge of suspense. I could not put it down, and could not stop grinning wickedly as I raced through the pages.” — Leah Raeder, USA Today bestselling author of Unteachable

“Abigail Hass is a master at her craft! This is a special book and a special author. This is the kind of storytelling and writing that stick with you no matter how much time passes.” — The Book Geek Blog

“As with Dangerous Girls, the closing left me with a huge, admittedly rather twisted smile on my face. I don’t know how Haas manages to turn me into such a gleefully evil creature.” — Dahlia Adler, blogger.

“Dangerous Boys was an intense, psychological read which was full of suspense and drama,…Abigail Haas has a way of writing books which reel you in and keep you there, hooked and addicted until the very last page.” — Goodreads.com


About Abigail Haas

Abigail Haas has written two adult novels and four young adult contemporary novels under the name Abby McDonald. Dangerous Girls is her first young adult thriller. She grew up in Sussex, England, and studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University. She lives in Los Angeles.