Review: Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn

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Book Title: Delicate Monsters
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Published Date: June 9th, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads
From the Morris-Award winning author of Charm & Strange, comes a twisted and haunting tale about three teens uncovering dark secrets and even darker truths about themselves.

When nearly killing a classmate gets seventeen-year-old Sadie Su kicked out of her third boarding school in four years, she returns to her family’s California vineyard estate. Here, she’s meant to stay out of trouble. Here, she’s meant to do a lot of things. But it’s hard. She’s bored. And when Sadie’s bored, the only thing she likes is trouble.

Emerson Tate’s a poor boy living in a rich town, with his widowed mother and strange, haunted little brother. All he wants his senior year is to play basketball and make something happen with the girl of his dreams. That’s why Emerson’s not happy Sadie’s back. An old childhood friend, she knows his worst secrets. The things he longs to forget. The things she won’t ever let him.

Haunted is a good word for fifteen-year-old Miles Tate. Miles can see the future, after all. And he knows his vision of tragic violence at his school will come true, because his visions always do. That’s what he tells the new girl in town. The one who listens to him. The one who recognizes the darkness in his past.

But can Miles stop the violence? Or has the future already been written? Maybe tragedy is his destiny. Maybe it’s all of theirs.

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Review
I would love to just spend a day in Stephanie Kuehn’s head because she is freaking brilliant and I cannot imagine what it’s like in her head. She manages to come up with captivating characters with fucked up morals. If I ever need a book that will mess me up completely, I’ll reach for Kuehn’s books and do a reread.

Saying I enjoyed this book sounds weird because the book was really dark, but I love dark books and I really did enjoy this one. I was expecting something a bit more gory. Especially given what people had told me about certain parts of the book. There were some disgusting things in the book. There’s one particular scene that made me squeamish, which is strange because I’m normally not squeamish at all.

I was expecting to struggle with the three POV’s this book had. But I didn’t. Sadie, Emerson and Miles were interesting characters. Characters that made some really bad choices (I’m looking at you Emerson) But they were characters that I wanted to know more about and I love that feeling.

Sadie was always angry, always cruel. Even from a small child, she never had anything  nice to say and it was her father that noticed her cruelty. She was very much a sociopath and sociopaths have always interested me. In Delicate Monsters, we learn exactly how messed up she is and I found her so fascinating. In the beginning, I liked her POV the best, but I slowly grew to enjoy the boys’ POV’s.

Emerson seemed normal, but it’s not until about halfway through the book that we start to learn that he’s not normal. in fact, he’s a sick boy with horrifying proclivities. Yet again, I found him fascinating. His family history was interesting. He still cared about his younger, and sickly brother, so there’s SOME kind of humanity there.

Miles was also very interesting. I kept wanting to know why he was so sick all the time. I kept wondering who was responsible for it. My suspicion turned out to be wrong, so apparently, I’m still not good at figuring out any twists. Someone needs to teach me how to figure them out. He had a lot of darkness inside of him, but I still felt like he had some sort of humanity.

I still don’r know if I even understand this book. It’s the most confusing book of Kuehn’s and it’s also my least favorite. I still recommend it, and I still recommend this author because she’s so brilliant. 4 stars to this book that kept me guessing, and made it impossible for me to read anything else that night.

TTT: Top Ten (Or More) Auto Buy Authors

cd680-tttThis weekly feature is hosted by the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish

This week we’re talking about the authors that we consider our auto buy authors. This list was pretty easy for me. I don’t think most of you will be surprised by the authors on my list.

Emery Lord
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Brandy Colbert
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Tess Sharpe
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Stephanie Kuehn
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Courtney C. Stevens
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Jessica Verdi
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Kate Karyus Quinn
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Trish Doller
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Suzanne Young
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Corey Ann Haydu
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Rachael Allen
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So do we share any of the same auto buy authors? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn

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Book Title: Complicit
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Release Date: June 24th, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: YA Thriller
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Two years ago, fifteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.

But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.

Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know this one simple truth: she’s not the crazy one and never has been.

He is.

Disclaimer: I received this e-galley from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
By the time you read this I will have read and reviewed the first Stephanie Kuehn book Charm & Strange. I just knew the moment I read the blurb of this one, that I had to have it.The blurb sent chills up my spine. So when NetGalley approved me, I was super excited about it and I dove right in.I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but what I got was 256 pages of pure awesome mind-fuckery.

Jamie has been dealt a rough hand. As a child he lived with his mother and big sister Cate. Until the day that his mother was shot and killed right in front of him & Cate. After that, they went into foster care until rich people Angie and Malcolm Henry adopted them. It’s very hard for school-age kids to be adopted but this was a special case. Angie and Malcolm had recently lost their two children in a traffic accident.

At first Cate seems like she’s the well adjusted one. But Jamie starts to hear stories. Stories about how his sister is making other kids do stuff.Stuff that they don’t want to do. Of course Jamie is loyal to his sister, but then an incident changes that. An incident that shows that all those kids saying those strange things may not be so far off.

Then the fire happens and Cate is eventually charged with the crime. Finally, Jamie can breathe easier. “Crazy Cate” is in a juvenile detention center where she can’t get to him. But nothing is the same anymore. He’s an outcast, even his former best friend Scooter won’t talk to him. After all it was Scooter’s girlfriend who was horrifically burned in the fire that Cate set which also killed horses.

And then he meets Jenny. Sweet Jenny, kind Jenny. Jenny doesn’t know about Cate because her family just moved here. So to her, Jamie is just a normal guy. When she finds out about Cate from the other kids at school, she doesn’t shy away from Jamie.

Now Jamie is getting calls from his sister. He hasn’t spoken to her in two years and now she’s out and constantly hassling him over the phone.Jamie doesn’t want to ruin what he’s got going with Jenny but he’s also trying to recover certain memories. Memories that only Cate would be able to relate to.

It isn’t until he comes face to face with Cate for the first time in 2 years, that he starts realizing things. Memories that had been long repressed creep back into the forefront of his brain. Suddenly, everything he thought was true is being called into question.

Malcolm & Angie played pretty minor parts. Angie was in it more than Malcolm was. They were okay people. Angie was a good mom to the kids and when Malcolm was around he was good to both Cate &
Jamie. They definitely grieved for their birth children, Madison & Graham. Even going as far as encouraging Cate & Jamie into doing the kinds of things that Madison and Graham enjoyed. Such as horseback riding & playing the piano.

I think they tried to protect Jamie in the end. They had already lost their biological children and their adopted daughter was lost to her troubles. So they focused on keeping Jamie safe and happy. Even going as far as to baby him a bit. Especially when it came to the nerve damage to his hands.His hands had started giving him problems the night of the fire. Now whenever he was stressed out, the issues flared up again.

I just cannot believe what a ride this was. And the mind-fuckery? Totally crazy and this book messed with my mind in the best possible way. Oh man this book was fantastic.It was a total page turner because you never quite knew what was going to happen next and it was oftentimes, totally unexpected.

Thrillers are harder to review because there’s often no true feels in the books. There’s craziness and mind-blowing and all sorts of other things, but no true feels. With that said, this book will be getting the full 5 stars. It was totally awesome and Stephanie Kuehn has become another one of those auto-buy authors. Which means, I’ll buy anything this woman writes. I definitely plan on ordering a finished copy of this book.

Review: Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

Book Title: Charm & Strange
Author: Stephanie Kuehn
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: YA/Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . . 

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself. 

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable. 

Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present. 

Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

Disclaimer: I received this book for my birthday from a fellow blogger.

Review:
This book is going to be so difficult to review for multiple reasons. It took me on a wild ride that had so many twists and turns and no real answers until the very end. Throughout most of it I was confused, not sure exactly what was going on and sometimes it read much like E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars Not the writing itself but the tone and the location.

This book is written in alternate time periods. Flashing back to that fateful summer and then flashing ahead to current time. Unlike other books, this time period switching was easier to keep track of. It didn’t confuse me. Maybe because the setting was different and the people were different, I’m not quite sure.

I had questions throughout the entire book. I was sure that the secret that Andrew held was something and by the end of the book I had been taken in a completely different and unexpected direction. As I thought about the book and how little clues had been dropped throughout, I realized that the clues were all there, I just was focused on some other reason for Andrew’s behavior. This book requires you to be completely open minded and aware that things aren’t always how they seem.

I thought the character development was well done and that we got to see each of the characters have their own voice and personality.I do wish we had seen more of Siobhan, as she ended up being more important than I ever thought she was.

It was a good book and overall I really did like it,but I think making it longer would have helped. As much as I liked the ending, it sort of seemed rushed to me.I understand not wanting to make it too long and bore the reader, but making it too short can leave some things lacking.

I also didn’t have the feels in this book. Normally I would have expected some sort of feels but nothing this time around. Which is weird as I normally cry during pretty much any book. Not this time. This time I spent most of the book completely confused which makes sense given the way this book was laid out. So I’ll be giving this book 4 stars. Was it great? Yes. Was I pretty damn confused through most of the book? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes I would. It was an enjoyable book that forces you to keep your mind open.

Top Ten Books I Want Santa To Bring Me

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This feature is hosted by The Broke and Bookish
So my mom & grandmother had been bugging me to make a list (yes at almost 28 I am still asked for lists) So I made them and emailed them. I got the same response from both of them “Um Lexi, isn’t there something other than books, that you want?” I seriously didn’t know how to answer that. To me, the answer would have been an emphatic “NO” but I know exactly how they get and how much they like to surprise me. So I put a few non book related things on there.
There have been a lot of books that have caught my eye over the past 8 months or whatever. Even more so than normal and I can thank my fellow bibliophiles for that.So these ten books are a compilation of books that either look amazing, or bloggers have raved about it or if it’s just something that I must have in my hands RIGHT NOW!
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
-The premise drew me in big time and this one has been taunting me from my Amazon wishlist for weeks-
-Amazing cover. Plus the synopsis. Plus an amazing author who regularly interacts with her readers on social media-
Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis
-I haven’t heard a whole lot about this one, but what I have heard, is all positive stuff-
-Kasie West is a goddess and I’ll read whatever she writes-
-I absolutely love the cover and that’s what’s drawn me in the most, although I have to say, the premise looks great-
-I’ve heard so much about this book. Like how it was life changing. I need this book in my life-

-If I had to pick only one of these to be sitting under my tree, it would be this one. Hands down-
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
-I’ve heard nothing but amazing things from this one. The premise sounds amazing-
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
-My grandmother read this one and LOVED it. It’s normally not a book she’d love so I’m excited-
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
-This book just sounds like something I’d be all over. I am really excited about this one-

I am sure a lot of you have already read most of these. Or maybe you haven’t gotten around to it yet. Anyhow, let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you think about them. Leave me the links to your TTT posts so I can come by and see what’s on your list.