Category Archives: thriller

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature that exhibits titles I’m impatiently awaiting. WoW is hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Publication date: August 13, 2013

I’m not much for adult mysteries/thrillers anymore due to the typicality of them (they are all I read when I first starting reading – hello Dean Koontz), but the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell series is by far my favorite and I don’t think I could ever let it go. The sixth  book, Let Me Go, does not have a synopsis yet, but that won’t stop me from looking forward to it. I first fell for Archie’s damaged soul and Gretchen’s sadistic one by accident in the bookstore one day, and I have been hooked ever since. Chelsea Cain, for me, is one of those authors whose books you rush out to by the second they are available. Her novels are very character driven – which is hard to find in adult mystery – and I like that. I love all the characters in this series, including serial murderer Gretchen Lowell. Cain is just that good. I can’t wait.

What are you waiting on?


Review Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

 

One choice can transform you–or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves–and herself–while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable–and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

“New York Times” bestselling author Veronica Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian “Divergent” series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Genre: YA Dystopian
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Page Count: 525
Source: My copy.
Rating: 4/5

My rating may surprise you, especially if you saw my Goodreads status updates. Stuff like “Tris, grow up” and “OMG Tris. Stop. Just stop.” And by page three-hundred-and-something I was completely prepared to give this book one star and start my review with “Fuck this book” (I’ve always wanted to start a review like that. I guess it’ll just have to wait.).

But the thing is, I love this book and I love the Divergent series. I have even marked this book as a favorite, a list that holds only 21 books. Despite my frustrations with this book as I was reading it, I really loved it. I think that Roth is a phenomenal writer. I think her world-building is imaginative but realistic, and frankly, I am in love with Four like I have never been in love with a character before. I think he is an amazing, strong person who puts those he truly loves in front of himself and feel like I can connect with him on so many levels. He’s one of those characters that you wish you had as a friend in real life. And this book is like that – it’s a fast-paced, badass thriller yes, and it’s a really dangerous and crazy world to live in yes, yet you find yourself wishing you were really a part of it. I want to meet all these characters and fight alongside them because having them to fight for would be totally worth it. And I’ve gotta say, it’s been a while since I’ve come across a story with such strong world-building and character development that it made me feel that way.

But Tris, she… well, I’m just gonna come out and say it. She pissed me off. Bad. She was too goddamned reckless. And you want to be reckless fine… your parents died, you feel like there’s nothing else – but there is something else. Someone else. And he is fucking counting on you to be the girl he loves. Not throw yourself into danger. All the things I described about Four before, it’s like Tris fails to see all that. And she is supposed to be the one who loves him! She thinks its okay to basically tear his heart out and stomp on it because she is grieving and because she doesn’t want to live. This is where I wanted her to grow up. This is where I got so fed up with her that I wanted to put the book down. She needed to look at her surroundings and realize the world was falling apart, and she needed to stop and really think about what she could do to fix it before running into situations without using her brain first. She was not being Tris at all through the course of this book – the Tris I fell in love with in Divergent – and it seriously pissed me off. And if it wasn’t enough to do one Stupid Thing and be lucky enough to live through it, she went and did another Stupid Thing. And, though it worked out in the end (sort of), I still don’t agree with how she went about it. I don’t agree with her going against the people who loved her instead of entrusting them to keep an open mind to see it her way.

So, maybe I should rate this book lower based on my experience (and my frustration) with it, but I just love the Divergent world so much, I don’t have it in me to do it. I would definitely recommend it, and can only hope, for the sake of my sanity, that Tris is not such a dumbass in the next book, and actually takes the time to realize that – though her world is in ruins – what she does have… is beautiful.


Review Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz & Ron Bass

What if you could dream your way into a different life? What if you could choose to live that life forever?

Sloane and Maggie have never met. Sloane is a straight-A student with a big and loving family. Maggie lives a glamorously independent life as an up-and-coming actress in New York. The two girls couldn’t be more different–except for one thing. They share a secret that they can’t tell a soul. At night, they dream that they’re each other.

The deeper they’re pulled into the promise of their own lives, the more their worlds begin to blur dangerously together. Before long, Sloane and Maggie can no longer tell which life is real and which is just a dream. They realize that eventually they will have to choose one life to wake up to, or risk spiraling into insanity. But that means giving up one world, one love, and one self, forever.

This is a dazzling debut that will steal readers’ hearts.

Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: October 2, 2012 (my brother’s birthday!)
Page Count: 342
Source: My copy.
Rating: 5/5

If I went with my first instinct, I would want to give this book five stars. Ideally, for me, I would give this book two ratings: one for the first half (three stars) and one for the second (five stars). But that’s just not how it works so I’ll go with four. (You’ll notice I rated it five stars. I’ll explain that later.)

This book was really two different books for me. Somewhere in the second half, without warning, it went from the story of two teenagers falling in love to a mind-bending psychological thriller. Shutter Island wasn’t as terrifying, and I really wasn’t expecting that from this book.

Lucid started out with two teenagers just trying to find their place in the world. I loved Maggie and quickly disliked Sloane (and her name). Maggie was a free-spirited, outgoing, driven young person, a girl I had to keep reminding myself was seventeen. She rose to the challenge and acted so far beyond her years it was astonishing to me. I admired her strength. Sloane, on the other hand, was an angst-ridden teenage girl who only cared about a cute boy she didn’t know, as opposed to her dead best friend. She swore to God after proudly professing her atheism and seems to care only about having a boyfriend who drives a Porsche. Which okay, is realistic. Sometimes, these are the things that teens care about. But when you put them side by side like that: Maggie, pursuing an acting career, stepping up to take care of her sister, and Sloane, ditching her brother when he really needs her because all she wants to think about is this boy (with whom her relationship is, frankly, kind of obsessive), it’s really kind of pathetic. Mostly, I just wanted to slap some sense into this girl. I wanted to wave Maggie in front of her face and yell, Pay attention! You could learn something.

And so I suffered through Sloane’s chapters because I wanted to learn more about Maggie and her glamorous, albeit lonely, life. Alongside her, I wanted to walk Jade’s dog and go to auditions and fall in love with Andrew. And her side of the story was all at once beautiful and sophisticated, told intelligently from the perspective of a seventeen year old girl turning twenty-six. And that’s not to say her life was perfect because it definitely was not, she just happened to rise to the occasion and make the very best of it, where Sloane could not.

And as I’m writing this review, I thought about changing my review to a three because of how much I disliked Sloane (and her name) and the way the ending went, but by doing that I just proved to myself how deep the psychology of this novel goes and therefore the rating will stay. Because it’s fucking brilliant.

Oh, man. I gotta give this book five stars.

Explaining the depths of this novel and how far it goes to fuck with your head is really difficult without spoiling it. There’s a word I want to say to try to explain, but I can’t even say that word because I’m afraid that will spoil it. (I even looked at other reviews. They didn’t say the word.)

Let me just say this. Everything in this novel is a piece. You may not think it is as you’re reading it and you may just think its another angst-ridden YA novel, but it’s not. It is, but it’s not. It is because it’s not. Or it’s not because it is? DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN.

Read it. Just give it a chance. It will seriously fuck with your head, terrify you to the bone, and leave you feeling breathless. And (like me), you’ll realize (hopefully not in the middle of writing a fucking review!) how brilliant it really is. I’m a bit sad that I can’t explain how passionately I feel about it for fear of spoiling it, but if you’ve read it you’ll understand. And if you haven’t, you should.