Reviews

These Deadly Games by Diana Urban

*Spoiler free*

Thank you so much to WednesdayBooks and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

When Crystal Donavan gets a message on a mysterious app with a video of her little sister gagged and bound, she agrees to play the kidnapper’s game. At first, they make her complete bizarre tasks: steal a test and stuff it in a locker, bake brownies, make a prank call. But then Crystal realizes each task is meant to hurt—and kill—her friends, one by one. But if she refuses to play, the kidnapper will kill her sister. Is someone trying to take her team out of the running for a gaming tournament? Or have they uncovered a secret from their past, and wants them to pay for what they did… As Crystal makes the impossible choices between her friends and her sister, she must uncover the truth and find a way to outplay the kidnapper… before it’s too late.

I think I am drawn to thrillers, despite finding so many that I simply do not love. And this one was no different. I had read All Your Twisted Secrets and enjoyed it, it had a plot twist I’d been waiting and wanting to see happen for forever, but I just didn’t love it. Despite this, I was still looking forward to Urban’s next book! A girl must keep her kidnapped sister alive by playing deadly games being sent to her via a mysterious app that has shown up on her phone. I was intrigued, and eager to see what this book would be all about. Trigger warnings: grief, blood

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Reviews

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

*Spoiler free*

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

I was intrigued with this book. I seem to be intrigued by all thrillers, despite my complicated relationship with most of them. So, it’s not really a surprise that this book caught my attention. A girl surprising inherits billions of dollars from a man she has never met. But, there’s puzzles around every corner and four boys, all with their own motives. Plus, I have recently seen so much buzz around this book online that I was even more eager to see what it was all about. Trigger warnings: alcohol, grief, emotional and physical abuse

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Reviews

Darling by K. Ancrum

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Imprint and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town. Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too?

I’d heard too many praises for Ancrum not to be looking forward to this book. I’ve heard people absolutely rave over her previous works, so I was intrigued about them. Though, a Peter Pan retelling? Something about the synopsis, and the cover, and the online love, just completely drew me in. I was intrigued. And I wanted to know just what this book was all about. Trigger warnings: murder, grooming

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Reviews

Ace Of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Feiwel Friends and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too. Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures. As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?

I feel like this book has been on my radar for awhile. I’m not sure when it sold, but I feel like I’ve been hearing about it for forever, which means I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time. I knew it sounded like something I was interested in, but for some reason I was convinced that it was a fantasy, not a thriller. I dunno, it’s weird, I guess this book just gives off vibes that demand you pay attention to it. And I’m not complaining at all. Trigger warnings: racism, blood, homophobia

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Reviews

How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Bloomsbury and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

When Nancy Luo’s former best friend Jamie Ruan, the top ranked junior at Sinclair Prep, goes missing, Nancy is shocked. She’s even more shocked when Jamie is found dead. The police suspect murder, and Nancy and her three friends become the prime suspects-thanks to The Proctor, someone set on publicly incriminating them via the school’s social media app. The quartet used to be Jamie’s closest friends – and she knew dangerous secrets about each of them that could ruin their reputations as the other top- ranking students. For Nancy, the stakes are even higher, because unlike her wealthy friends, she could lose her full ride scholarship, too. As the group struggles to dear their names while maintaining their perfect GPAS, they race to uncover Jamie’s true killer-before the Proctor exposes al of their darkest secrets. But Nancy can’t help but suspect that one of her friends is lying. Or is there a missing piece in her own memory that could expose the truth-not just about Jamie’s fate, but also about herself?

I don’t know how long I’ve been excited for this book, but it has to have been for a very long time. Maybe even since the deal announcement? The point is, I’ve been looking forward to this book for awhile. Katie is a gem and it sounded incredible. A group of four friends tries to uncover the true murderer of their former friend, while trying to keep their own secrets safe and maintain their perfect GPAs. It sounded like it would be a thrill of a thriller, and I couldn’t wait to read it! Trigger warnings: abuse, self-harm, violence, parental neglect, panic attacks, drug use, mental illness, an inappropriate student/teacher relationship, racism, suicidal thoughts

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Reviews

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

*Spoiler free*

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Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help. As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

After finishing Allegedly, I was ready to read every single Tiffany D. Jackson novel that’s out. I had stumbled across Monday’s Not Coming back right before it came out/right after it came out and put it on my list of books I was interested in reading eventually. So, that, and the fact that it sounded like it would be horrifying and fascinating, made it seem like a great book to follow up Allegedly. Trigger warnings: physical abuse, alcohol, grief, mentions of miscarriages

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Reviews

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

*Spoiler free*

Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say. Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home. There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

I have heard so many people sing the praises of this author that I couldn’t help but be curious about her books. They had a tendency to destroy people, and I was ready to be destroyed. Allegedly sounded like it would be a painful, powerful book, and I was ready to see what it was all about. Trigger warnings: abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional), vomiting, animal gore

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Reviews

White Fox by Sara Faring

*Spoiler free*

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Thank you so much to Imprint and Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

After their world-famous mother disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Manon and Thais left their remote Mediterranean home—sent away by their pharma tech tycoon father. Opposites in every way, the sisters drifted apart in their grief. Yet their mother’s unfinished story still haunts them both, and they can’t put to rest the possibility that she is still alive. Lured home a decade later, Manon and Thais discover their mother’s legendary last work, long thought lost: White Fox, a screenplay filled with enigmatic metaphors. The clues in this dark fairytale draw them deep into society’s surreal underbelly, into the twisted secrets hidden by their glittering family, to reveal the truth about their mother—and themselves.

After the whirlwind that was The Tenth Girl, I was beyond eager to read Sara Faring’s new book, White Fox. Two sisters find the lost script of their missing mother. A house that’s strange and holds many secrets. It’s Sara Faring: I was ready to get my mind warped once again.

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Reviews

Take Me With You by Tara Altebrando

*Spoiler free*

Eden, Eli, Marwan, and Ilanka barely know each other beyond having a class or two together. But when they are all summoned via messaging app to an empty classroom after school, they find a small cube sitting on a desk. Its sides light up with rules for them: Do not tell anyone about the device. Never leave the device unattended. And then, Take me with you . . . or else. At first they think it’s some kind of prank or a social experiment orchestrated by the school administration. Still, they follow its instructions until the newly-formed group starts to splinter. Nobody has time for these games–their lives are complicated enough. But the device seems increasingly invested in the private details of their lives. And disobeying its rules has scary–even life-threatening–consequences . . .

I stumbled across this book while pursuing Goodreads and was instantly intrigued. A small cube mysteriously shows up in four teens lives, providing them with a set of rules to follow. If they don’t, there are dire consequences. While I don’t read a ton of thrillers, this seemed like a great one to try out!

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