The Remedy by Suzanne Young

FinalBookCover_hiresMost recent dystopian novels occur in a future so distant it is almost unrecognizable. That’s not the case with Suzanne Young’s latest novel, The Remedy. This novel is a prequel to The Program and The Treatment and is set in a world that could be just months in our own future.

Quinlan McKee is seventeen years old, and she works as a closer – someone who is hired to provide closure for grieving families by impersonating their loved one who has passed away. Continue reading “The Remedy by Suzanne Young”

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The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

When I began reading The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, I entered the process with extremely high standards. Shannon was heralded as “the next J.K. Rowling” by The Telegraph, The Daily Mail. USA Today, Forbes and many other high-profile media outlets. In my eyes, there is no higher literary compliment.

While I didn’t think the book quite lived up to all the hype, it was still a very good novel and I look forward to reading more of the series, which is expected to be seven books long.

The Bone Season is really hard to sum up without giving too much away, so bear with me while I attempt to generalize.

Paige Mahoney is a clairvoyant in 2059 London – she can throw herself out of her body and travel the astral plane. Scion, the entity that runs England’s government, sees clairvoyance as a disease and known voyants are constantly at risk of being arrested and never seen again. It isn’t long before Paige discovers the real reason so many voyants have disappeared, and she has to decide if it’s better to live as a slave to the mysterious supernatural beings behind Scion or to risk her life and rebel. Continue reading “The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon”

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling), pub. April 2013, 455 pg.
Rating: 4/5 stars

I’m not going to lie: I probably would not have picked up The Cuckoo’s Calling if it hadn’t been leaked that it was truly authored by J.K. Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. As unfortunate as it is for Ms. Rowling that this was made public (I’m sure it was really nice to get sincere feedback from the public on a book and not have critiques be slanted from the knowledge that it was written by one of the most famous writers of our time), I can’t help but be glad that I found out, because this book was definitely worth reading.

I’ve always had a soft spot for detective stories, and this one did not disappoint. Cormoran Strike is a down-on-his-luck private detective when he is offered a job that could make or break his career. After supermodel Lula Landry fell to her death from her apartment balcony several months earlier, the police wrote it off as a suicide. But Landry’s brother, John Bristow, is convinced that someone killed his sister and hires Strike to take the case. As Strike works his way through the investigation, he uncovers sordid scandals and hidden secrets that could put the lives of others in danger.

This book was full of great characters. Strike is gruff (as is any private detective worth his salt), but he also has that lovable, giant teddy bear quality. While outwardly he’s a large, intimidating man with a stern manner, it’s easy to see that he truly cares about a number of people, and he can be a total softy. He’s also hilarious. His banter with his temporary secretary, Robin, is fantastic, and their give-and-take relationship is really satisfying to read. Continue reading “The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)”

Sketchy by Olivia Samms

Sketchy by Olivia Samms, pub. 2013, 238 pg.
Rating: 5/5 stars

When I first cracked open Sketchy by Olivia Samms, I didn’t know what to expect, but within the first few pages, I was hooked.
Sketchy’s plot revolves around sharp and spunky Bea Washington. Bea, newly released from a drug rehab program, is preparing to start life at a new school. Unlike most high school seniors, however, Bea has a gift: she can see and draw what other people are thinking. This gift leads her down a dark path as someone begins to sexually assault and murder girls from her town, and Bea may be the only one who can find the rapist after accidentally seeing (and drawing) his only surviving victim’s thoughts.
Let me just start off by saying I was enthralled by this book from the first page on and couldn’t set it down until I’d finished it. I love a good mystery, and this one had a fantastic combination of action, humor and suspense that was completely gripping and made me keep turning pages to find out what happened next. All of the elements blended perfectly to create a book that kept me on the edge of my seat. There were points where I literally had to remind myself to breathe because I was so caught up in the action, and there were other moments where I got odd looks from people when a line or two caused me to burst out laughing. Continue reading “Sketchy by Olivia Samms”

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly, pub. 2007, 675 pg.
Rating: 5/5 stars

East London, 1888 – a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger’s son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.

But Fiona’s life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything-and everyone-she holds dear. Fearing her own death, she is forced to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit propels her rise from a modest West Side shop-front to the top of Manhattan’s tea trade. But Fiona’s old ghosts do not rest quietly, and to silence them, she must venture back to the London of her childhood, where a deadly confrontation with her past becomes the key to her future. –From cover


One of my friends recently asked me for a book recommendation, and I was so excited to share this book with her. I think I’ve recommended The Tea Rose to just about everyone who has asked me for a good book since I first read it. It is a masterpiece of a book, with everything from love to mystery to murder within its pages.

Jennifer Donnelly handles historical fiction extraordinarily well, weaving in historical figures and events so seamlessly that they seem like she invented them herself. Continue reading “The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly”