Category Archives: Mystery

Blog Tour
June 20, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan

don't get caught10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club

When Max receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he’s Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He’s Just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it’s also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust…

Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students-who also received invites-are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches” them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It’s time for Rule #7: Always get payback.

Let the prank war begin.


My Review:

Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan is one of the funniest books I have ever read in my life. I was laughing from the very first chapter clear up until the end. Some of the comments and metaphors in this book…..Oh, lord. I was DYING. I never laugh in books. EVER.  I really don’t have much of a funny bone. Let me tell you, though, this book was hilarious!

One thing that I really loved about Don’t Get Caught was that, while it did have one main character, it focused on four or five characters throughout the entire book. I loved that each character had their own unique personality and each of them really owned the book and helped make it be so successful. My only complaint with the main characters was that they really didn’t come off as high school students. I’m not positive, but I think that they were supposed to be Juniors in high school. They had to have at least been sophomores because some of them had cars and were able to drive. However, they kind of came off as like 8th and 9th graders. It could just be that I haven’t been in a high school setting in quite some time. That being said, they really did come off a bit younger than they were portrayed.

Another thing that I loved about Don’t Get Caught was the mystery and suspense that filled up almost every single page of this book. If I had to describe the plot line of this book, I would probably say Pretty Little Liars meets Prep School Confidential by Kara Taylor. It was very action packed. Very in your face, pulse-pounding mystery. Those are the kinds of books that I really enjoy. I do wish that maybe there would have been some more suspenseful moments. However, I thought Dinan did an excellent job planning the hesists and pranks.

Even though I did really enjoy this book, I did have a few complaints. 1) I had a very difficult time relating to some of the family situations. As a teenager, especially as an older teenager, I would have not bowed down to my parents quite as much as the characters did. I wouldn’t have allowed myself to be punished or spoken to in some of the ways that Max was. I was the teenager who would get in your face and tell you a straight up “hell no, that’s not gonna happen.” I would have gotten into screaming matches and just ignored the ground rules. Obviously, I was a horrifying teenager. Also, my parents wouldn’t have acted disappointed in me over a C, and my mom would have ALWAYS been on my side before jumping to conclusions and siding with the school. Now, I know that there are some parents who are like the parents that were described in this book. However, I found it kind of weird that all of the parents were kind of like Max’s parents. I guess Wheeler’s parents were a little more laid back, but I thought it was a little odd that so many parents were so strict and not automatically on their kids side. 2) This is my education major side coming out, but some of the things that happened (regarding punishments and the way the school staff responded) would probably have never happened. The V.P. wouldn’t have been allowed to treat the students in the way that he did. If he did, parents would have FREAKED. OUT. Also, some of the punishments would have never happened because the school wouldn’t have legally been allowed to force the students to do those things. I can just imagine my mom’s reaction if I was told I had to do those things. So, again, this is probably just the education major part of me making an appearance, but those scenes did bug me. 3) I had a very big problem with the ending of the book. I wanted something more shocking and in your face to happen. I was pretty let down with the end results and kind of just expected a little bit more of an AH-HA! moment.

The ending of Don’t Get Caught really set it up nicely for a second book. It will be kind of disappointing if a second book isn’t made, because it almost felt like a cliff hanger. I’m definitely excited to read more from Max and about what comes next.

Overall, I really enjoyed Don’t Get Caught. I thought it was a hilarious book that had me laughing my head off. I haven’t had that much enjoyment over a book in a very long time. Kudos to the author. This was a great read!

Rating: : ★★★½☆


Book Reviews
April 18, 2016 posted by Nichole

Book Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

darkest cornersThe Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.

Book Review:

I am a huge fan of Kara Thomas. Kara also writes under the name Kara Taylor and is the author of the Prep School Confidential series, which I LOVED & hosted as our book of the month 2-3 times. She is a flawless writer with a huge talent. That being said, I was super anxious to dive into The Darkest Corners, because I’ll read anything that Kara writes. It’s just a given.

I did really like The Darkest Corners. I thought that the writing was amazing and the storyline was spooky and rivoting. However, I couldn’t finish it. This is a really weird case for me, because it’s not like I DNF’d this book. That is not the case at all. I LOVE Kara’s writing style. No…..this book scared the crap out of me. I was SO SCARED. I usually read in my bed at night for an hour or two….no. I could not read this book in the dark. It was giving me nightmares…I couldn’t do it. Instead, I tried to read the book during the day. Nope…..still scared me senseless. I would be freaking out checking every nook and cranny in my house.

Let me just tell you that I am a HUGE wimp. I didn’t really expect to get scared over a YA book, but I did. I love Kara…I love her writing style…I 100% recommend this book….but I ended up just being wayyyyyy too big of a wimp for it.


Pages: 336

Publication Date: April 19th, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte

Book Reviews
February 5, 2015 posted by Nichole

The Sorcerer Heir (The Heir Chronicles #5) by Cinda Williams Chima

The Sorcerer HeirThe delicate peace between Wizards and the underguilds (Warriors, Seers, Enchanters, and Sorcerers) still holds by the thinnest of threads, but powerful forces inside and outside the guilds threaten to sever it completely.

Emma and Jonah are at the center of it all. Brought together by their shared history, mutual attraction, and a belief in the magic of music, they now stand to be torn apart by new wounds and old betrayals. As they struggle to rebuild their trust in each other, Emma and Jonah must also find a way to clear their names as the prime suspects in a series of vicious murders. It seems more and more likely that the answers they need lie buried in the tragedies of the past. The question is whether they can survive long enough to unearth them. 

Old friends and foes return as new threats arise in this stunning and revelatory conclusion to the beloved and bestselling Heir Chronicles series.

Praise for The Heir Chronicles:
The Warrior Heir

*”Chima offers a pitch-perfect blend of high fantasy and small-town reality…” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

* “Twists and turns abound in this remarkable, nearly flawless debut novel that mixes a young man’s coming-of-age with fantasy and adventure.” –VOYA (starred review)

The Wizard Heir 
* “Chima uses her pen like a wand and crafts a wonderfully rich web of magic, while thankfully leaving some dangling threads for subsequent tales.” –VOYA (starred review)

“Chima is a talented storyteller…a strong choice for teens seeking a rousing read.” –The Cleveland Plain-Dealer

The Dragon Heir 
* “A superlative accomplishment.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Chima spins a finely structured tale that roars to a satisfying conclusion.” –School Library Journal

The Enchanter Heir 
* “A smoldering story soaked in tears, sweat and blood, constantly threatening to blaze into an inferno. Spellbinding.” –Kirkus Reviews(starred review)

“Chima continues to excel at building tension and populating her well-told tales with new and returning characters we want to know better.” –Booklist


My Review:

I LOVED this book! There was nothing even remotely negative to say about it. The character were amazing; the plot line was off the charts; the magic was even more magical that could be expected. Then again, I never have anything negative to say about any of Cinda Williams Chima’s works. Just…amazing. I still haven’t even recovered from it.

The only thing that slightly confused me (and it was my own fault) was that I had some confusion over some of the characters who appeared in the first three books. Realistically, I should have reread them before I read books 4 and 5 (since there was such a long gap between them) but…I didn’t. I would definitely recommend that fans of this series (or any reader in general) read or reread the first 3 books before moving on to 4 and 5. Simply for your own sanity.

I didn’t understand how this was the finale to the Heir series. I had thought and expected that there would be at least one more book. Not only do I want to read more from this series, but I also thought that the ending wasn’t finished. There’s a lot that still wasn’t covered or was just kind of left open ended. Also, being such a fan of Emma and Jonah, I expected more from their relationship at the end of the series. So, I’m pretty disappointed that this is the finale (even though it was amazing!) Hopefully, Chima changes her mind down the road and continues the Heir series.

There were so many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming in this book. I had moments where my mouth was literally hanging open and I was like whaaaaat just happened?! There was never a dull moment. I felt that the action just kept right on pumping and I was entertained (and in love) the whole read through.

There’s absolutely nothing negative that I can say about this book. Cinda Williams Chima is one of my all time favorite authors, and I will promote everything that she writes with nothing but the highest regards. If you haven’t read any of her works yet, then I highly recommend that you do so! This was just so good!!!


Pages: 560

Publication Date: October 21st, 2014

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Rating: : ★★★★★

Book Reviews
September 16, 2014 posted by Nichole

Blackbird (Blackbird Duology #1) by Anna Carey

blackbirdFrom the author of the Eve trilogy comes the breathless story of a girl racing to figure out who she is–and how to stay alive. When a nameless girl wakes up on the subway tracks, she knows only one thing for sure: people want her dead. Can she find them before they track her down? This pulse-pounding contemporary thriller is perfect for fans of The Maze Runner, The Darkest Minds, and Legend.

Things I know are true: I am in Los AngelesI woke up on the train tracks at the Vermont/Sunset stationI am a teenage girl I have long black hairI have a bird tattoo on the inside of my right wrist (FNV02198)People are trying to kill me.


My Review:


There is a possibility that I could have really liked this book. I could have even loved it. My biggest problem with it, though, was the fact that it’s written in second person. So it’s constantly in the “you, he, she” POV. Some people may argue that style added suspense and tension making the reader feel like they were reading about themselves. I didn’t feel that. Instead, I was bored out of my mind and reading in the second person tended to give me a slight headache. I also felt that style took away from all of the characters, especially the main character, and really made them bland.

Another problem that I had with this book was how confusing it was. I didn’t understand how the main character came to her conclusions about what was going on. I didn’t see any clues that led up to that and it felt forced to get to the point. I felt that there should have been more buildup and more background information. I understand that the entire book is supposed to be about the main character not remembering who she is or anything about her life, but I was still really confused at the end of the book. I also didn’t understand how her vague dreams were turning into the Island and this whole back story that she now understood. It just didn’t flow.

Right next to the fact that this book was written in second person, I hated how insta-lovey this book was. It wasn’t helped by the fact that I already didn’t like the characters. I felt like they met each other and then BAM they were making out and making plans and all over each other. I didn’t ship them. I didn’t like them. And I didn’t understand them.

Honestly, I really don’t have anything positive to say about this book. I just didn’t care for it. The writing itself wasn’t bad, but the story was really boring and written in a really annoying POV.


Pages: 256

Publication Date: 9/16/2014

Publisher: HarperTeen

Rating: : ★★☆☆☆

Book Reviews
September 9, 2014 posted by Nichole

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley


18285437Sam 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.


My Review:

Due to my reading funk lately, I’m writing this review quite awhile after actually reading the book. So, I’m going to write this review to the best of my ability.


I remember absolutely adoring this book. The best way I can describe it is Cadet Kelly turned into a YA book. If that doesn’t already have you hooked, then I don’t know what will hook you. Sam’s character was so fun to read about it, and I loved that this book focused on a strong female character who knew that she could take care of and rely on herself. There’s not a lot of YA books out there with super strong female leads, and I feel like this is a very important book for young girls (if not all females) to get their hands on. It was a very empowering read.

On a slightly negative note, I did feel that this book was a little bit long. Even though it was amazing, it did sort of get a little repetitive after awhile. There were only so many times that I could read about Sam doing training, and going to the church, and all of her other routine stuff. Now, I know that’s a huge part of the book but some of those scenes could have been chopped.

I found the romance in this book to be very enjoyable. I didn’t so much agree with how things resulted at the end, but I enjoyed reading about them together. I also liked how it wasn’t insta-lovey. The romance actually seemed somewhat realistic and it was heartwarming to witness these young people falling in love. I also enjoyed how there wasn’t a love triangle at all.

The ending of the book felt a little rushed to me. I’m hoping that there will possibly be a second book since I really don’t know how I feel about how things ended. On the other hand, it can be argued that the ending was realistic. Sometimes it’s a struggle for me to accept an ending that doesn’t make my heart go all a flutter. I have to sometimes force myself to understand that realism is important in all literature. That being said, I still want a second book to make things more happy [=

Again, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve read this book and, unfortunately, I didn’t write my review right away. So all I can say is that I did like this book. I think that’s an important read for all youngsters and I  enjoyed it! [=


update: I also remember that I had a huge problem with the sexism that populated this book. I didn’t like how the girls were treated by the boys. I definitely expected some hostility but some of the stuff that happened and that was said to the girls made me very uncomfortable.


Pages: 416

Publication Date: 9/9/14

Publisher: Harper Teen

Rating: : ★★★☆☆

Book Reviews
August 31, 2014 posted by Nichole

DNF: The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan

The DollsEveny Cheval just moved back to Louisiana after spending her childhood in New York with her aunt Bea. Eveny hasn’t seen her hometown since her mother’s suicide fourteen years ago, and her memories couldn’t have prepared her for what she encounters. Because pristine, perfectly manicured Carrefour has a dark side full of intrigue, betrayal, and lies—and Eveny quickly finds herself at the center of it all.

Enter Peregrine Marceau, Chloe St. Pierre, and their group of rich, sexy friends known as the Dolls. From sipping champagne at lunch to hooking up with the hottest boys, Peregrine and Chloe have everything—including an explanation for what’s going on in Carrefour. And Eveny doesn’t trust them one bit.

But after murder strikes and Eveny discovers that everything she believes about herself, her family, and her life is a lie, she must turn to the Dolls for answers. Something’s wrong in paradise, and it’s up to Eveny, Chloe, and Peregrine to save Carrefour and make it right.



My Review:

*I made it 100 pages into this book before I DNF’d it*


I had several problems with The Dolls that I don’t really no where to start. So I’m just going to list them down as bullet points and give a little description. It’s a little different than my normal review style but that’s how I’m going to do it.

  • The main character – Oh my gosh was she annoying or what? I had no patience for Eveny’s character whatsoever. She was a very whiny character and she just grated on my nerves.
  • The Flashbacks – I’m sorry…but I just couldn’t get past the fact that Eveny and all of her new “friends” remembered everything from when they were three years old. The only thing I remember from when I was three is my cousin shoving a big glob of sunscreen in my eye. I don’t remember my play dates or my family or anything else. I also have a three year old nephew and have witnessed his attention span. It was really annoying that Eveny “remembered” something every other page. I’m sorry…you don’t remember that much from when you were three. And it was really ridiculous how everyone else did too….it wasn’t just her.
  • All of the other characters – There wasn’t a single character that I liked during those 100 pages. I pretty much found everyone to be annoying.
  • How over the top it was – This book is very bold and flashy. It’s very unrealistic and over the top. It’s not a surprise that I ended up not liking this book, because I don’t tend to like books like that.


I can definitely see this book being a big hit and am not surprised at all that I didn’t like it. Fans of Natalie Whipple and Tara Hudson should definitely check this book out!


Pages: 384

Publication Date: 9/2/2014

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Rating: DNF

Book of the Month
August 22, 2014 posted by Nichole

Book of the Month Review: Deadly Little Sins (Prep School Confidential #3) by Kara Taylor

Book of the Month

deadly little sinIn Kara Taylor’s Deadly Little Sins, Anne Dowling investigates a mysterious disappearance in this fast-paced, twisty conclusion to the Prep School Confidential series.

It’s August and Anne is back in New York City for the summer, but she can’t escape the memories of the terrible things that happened at the Wheatley School last spring— and the possibility of being expelled looming over her. When an unexpected— and suspicious— turn of events gets Anne sent back to Wheatley, she’s determined to figure out what happened to her favorite teacher and only adult ally at the school: Ms. Cross.

After a shocking, gruesome murder with connections to the Wheatley School occurs, Anne is convinced there’s more to Ms. Cross’s sudden disappearance, and that her favorite teacher is in danger. But after an ugly breakup with Brent and a new, inexplicable distance between her and Anthony, Anne isn’t sure who she can trust. And even worse, someone at Wheatley knows the truth about what happened to Ms. Cross— someone who will stop at nothing to keep Anne from learning the truth in this engrossing, unputdownable read.


My Review:



That’s going to be my face for days. Weeks. Months. Well, until Kara Taylor comes out with another book that blows me away.


Deadly Little Sins was an amazing finale to the Prep School Confidential series. It was packed full of tension, suspense, action, and spooky goodness. I won’t even lie, I had to turn on the light to be able to finish this one because I was terrified that something dark and sinister was lurking right around the corner. And that’s a good thing, right!? A YA murder mystery that actually scares the crap out of me is awesome and unexpected! I loved it!

I read a review on Goodreads that said that the mystery was lacking a little bit. I want to be the first in line to tell you all that IS NOT TRUE. Omg. I had no idea what was going on or who did it. When I finally made it to the big showdown at the ending I was like WHAT?! What the heck is going on?! I was blown away. The only thing I will say, though, is that it was kind of short lived. All that build up for maybe two pages at the end? I wanted a little more than that for the finale.

One slight problem I had with this book was the romance. We previously had two books that really focused on the two boys and then the third one really only focuses on one and barely at that. The other boy (no spoilers here!) is completely knocked out of the picture and has maybe two scenes in this entire book. To make matters worse, he was also made to look kind of psychotic toward the end which wasn’t really appreciated it. Of course, it also didn’t bode well with me that the guy I didn’t like won the girl.

Overall, I loved this book. It was amazing and I loved the fact that it kept me on my toes and scared me senseless. I’m devastated that this series is over and hope that Kara Taylor returns to it in the future. Go buy yourself this entire series today!


Pages: 288

Publication Date: 8/5/14

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Rating: : ★★★★½