Tag 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 19, 2014 posted by Nichole

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

13418925Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?


Due to a busy first of the year schedule, I’m writing this review a few weeks after I actually read it. So…IF for some reason I don’t get across how much I flippin ADORED this book…please note that I did and that you should go out and buy it right this second [=


Don’t Look Back was SO good and so unlike anything that Jennifer L. Armentrout has ever written before. The plot was action packed and suspenseful, the characters were spot on, and my heart rate went sky high several times. I don’t know where my obsession with YA mystery books came from, but I am LOVING them! This book was just so damn good. I don’t even know how to write that a million times without rambling on.

I was instantaneously hooked on Don’t Look Back from the very beginning of the book when Sam walks around town, covered in blood, with no memory of who she is or her past life. That right there should convince you to read this book. And it only gets better from there. I loved that Sam had no memory whatsoever. I loved finding clues with her and trying to figure out what happened to Cassie. It was so much fun! I felt like I was in a game of clue. “This person did it in that room with that object” Yeah…that’s how I felt. It was awesome.

And let’s not forget Carson Ortiz, a.k.a hottie mc hottie. Oh my goodness. I’ve always loved the male characters that Armentrout creates, and Carson was no different. Was he as perfect as Daemon from the Lux series? No, but I don’t think many males (fictional or real) could be. But Carson was pretty damn close. And I LOVED him. And oh my goodness to the steamy scenes. I felt myself blushing more than once or twice. I loved them together! And YES for no love triangles!

Honestly, I had no idea what happened to Cassie until the very last couple chapters. My mind was BLOWN from what happened. Just BLOWN. I seen it coming at the very end, but I never would have guessed that any other time during the book. And I LOVED the way that it played out and who came to the rescue. I’m trying so hard not to give any spoilers away! Let’s leave it with me saying that I was an emotional wreck at the end of this book.

I loved this book. I thought it was absolutely 100% amazing. I loved every single thing about it. Unfortunately, I think that it’s a standalone? I’m not really sure. I just want more Sam and Carson!


Go out and buy this book RIGHT. NOW!


Pages: 372

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Publication Date: April 15th, 2014

Rating: : ★★★★★


Teaser Quote (1): ” I swallowed. “More ice cream?”

A lopsided grin stretched across his lips. “Sure.”

Part of my brain just clicked off. Placing my hands on the edge of the bar, I leaned forward and stopped thinking about everything other than the electric feeling he created with the simplest touch. I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing, but my body took the lead. My pulse thrummed, and my heart soared when his hand slid to my cheek.

This was wrong, but it also felt so incredibly right.


Teaser Quote (2)

“I can’t believe you’re actually here,” he admitted, the tops of his cheeks flushed. “That you are with me.”

A good kind of burn moved up my throat. “I can’t believe it took me this long to be here with you.”

Book Reviews
January 13, 2014 posted by Nichole

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

18052934Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.

Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.


One word describes No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale; Creepy. And of course, being the brilliant person that I am, I mostly read this book at bedtime when it was dark outside and I could have the crap scared out of me. It was so vivid, so beautifully detailed, so fucking creepy. Holy smokes. I had to actually give myself lectures to not dream about scarecrow stuffed girls hanging from a tree before I went to sleep. Yes, I really just said that.

No One Else Can Have You is one of the best mystery books that I have ever read in the YA genre. With many mystery books, the plots are very obvious and predictable.  No One Else Can Have You left me hanging until the very last second. Sure, I had suspects in my head, but I never really knew who did it. I guessed who it was before they were introduced at the end but that’s only because it was pretty much laid out for the reader by then. One could complain that the killer was one of my original suspects from the very beginning of the book. However, I kind of pushed them aside and thought that it was between a few other people. My only complaint is that the final showdown felt a little rushed. I would have preferred a little more time dedicated to that since almost 350 pages were dedicated to trying to figure out who did it. I also would have liked one final confrontation with the killer at the ending of the book. I felt that they had more to say, and I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to hear it. Maybe there will be a second book? I feel that this could either work as a standalone OR as a series.

On a more negative note, I did have two complaints with No One Else Can Have You. First, I didn’t like Kippy. I actually couldn’t stand her. She didn’t come off as a 16-year-old to me. She seemed a lot younger and really immature for her age. There were some times I struggled with the book, because it was just so hard being in Kippy’s head all the time. Secondly, I had a really hard time with the accents of the characters. Everyone came across as very uneducated and hickish. It was very difficult for me to like or connect to any of the characters, because I just couldn’t stand them. It was almost like every single character had something a little wrong with them. The writing itself was beautiful, but the characters were just way too annoying for my taste.

The best part of No One Else Can Have You was Kippy’s adventures and her mission to find out who really killed her friend. I may not have liked Kippy very much, but I sure did suck this book down fast. I felt like it was always holding me in suspense. I just couldn’t wait to figure out what was going to happen next. There was nothing tame or mild about this book. It was an in your face roller coaster ride that just left my heart pounding. I loved it. I loved the suspense and the tiny bit of horror to it. It scared the crap out of me. I love being able to say that about a book.

I will warn readers that there will be parts of this book that absolutely piss you off. Everyone is against Kippy finding her friends killer. They think she’s crazy and that she’s just having a mental breakdown. The things that are said and done to her in this book left me fuming. It was really difficult not to skim through those sections because they just made me so angry. At the same time, those parts are necessary for the book. It’s a brilliant book and those scenes really add to it. But they will make you so mad. You have no idea until you actually read it. There’s also a really weird section toward the end of the book. Power through it. It will be worth it!

Fans of Romily Bernard MUST read this book!


Pages: 384

Publication Date: January 7th, 2013

Publisher: Harper Teen

Rating: : ★★★★☆

Book of the Month
October 17, 2013 posted by Nichole

Kara Taylor’s Top Ten Mystery Novels


KARA TAYLOR is the author of the young adult mystery PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL, available now from St. Martin’s Press. The sequel, WICKED LITTLE SECRETS, will be out March 4th, 2014. She’s also the writer and co-executive producer of THE REVENGERS, a TV show in development at the CW. You can find her curled up with her sixteen-pound Chihuahua and a mystery novel.

10. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab— This is a quiet murder mystery with complex characters, a surprising ending, and a spot-on teenage voice.
9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling— You’re probably scratching your head at this one, but I think this book has one of the most skillfully crafted mysteries of all time. I’ve read it about five times and still feel shocked when Rowling reveals who has been sabotaging the TriWizard tournament.
8. Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman— What’s not to love about a foul-mouthed 80-something protagonist hunting down a ruthless killer after treasure?
7. You by Charles Benoit— A killer first line– “You’re surprised at all the blood’– sets up a tense and thrilling mystery told in second person.
6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn— Love it or hate it, the plotting and characterization in this book combine for a thrilling read.
5. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by AS King— While not a traditional whodunnit, King skillfully and heartbreakingly reveals the suspicious circumstances behind the death of Charlie, Vera’s best friend. It’s a read that gave me goosebumps.
4. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas— Part murder mystery, part thriller, this book has one of the most surprising endings of any YA mystery I’ve ever read.
3. Nightfall by Nelson Demille— This is an adult mystery surrounding the crash of TWA Flight 800. As a Long Islander, the mystery of the crash has always captivated me. Demille’s fictional rendition of the events is twice as captivating as reality.
2. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson— I’m a little partial to boarding school mysteries, obviously. This one has an eerie London setting, combined with a Jack the Ripper copycat killer and a clever paranormal element.
1. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn— Disturbing. Unputdownable. I can’t think of enough adjectives to describe Flynn’s debut novel. Not for the faint of heart, but the most brilliant and lingering mystery I’ve ever read.
Book Reviews
March 2, 2013 posted by Kiona

Golden — Jessi Kirby

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost may be a distant relative of Robert Frost, but she has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a mystery in her lap—one that might be the key to uncovering the truth behind a town tragedy, she decides to take a chance.

Golden is amazing. Lovers of contemporaries — and especially mysteries — will adore Golden and Jessi Kirby. She’s a great, fresh voice with tons of talent and beautiful stories. Golden follows Parker Frost, a senior in high school and hopeful Stanford attendee. She’s always followed the straight-and-narrow, until she finds a journal. Julianna Farnetti’s journal, to be exact. Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz were high school royalty ten years ago. They were the golden couple everyone looked up to. Unfortunately, they never received their happily ever after; the two died in a horrific car crash on a dangerously snowy night. Even though she thinks it’s wrong, Parker can’t resist cracking open the pages of Julianna’s private thoughts. Parker is shocked to learn just how many secrets Julianna kept, from Shane and from the world. The journal also raises a mystery surrounding the night Julianna died, a mystery Parker can’t ignore.

Kirby has a talent for character development. I fell in love with each and every character in this book. There were a lot of instances where Parker reminded me of myself and I can see a lot of girls very easily relating to her. The fact that she can only come up with witty quips for her crush, Trevor, when her best friend’s around describes my high school experience so perfectly and I loved seeing a character who wasn’t unbelievably without realizing “just how perfect she is,” according to every male love interest ever. No, Parker was a perfect blend of awkward, shy, snarky, and brave. She’s a great role model and the type of person I’d love for a best friend.

Then we have Trevor and Kat, Parker’s best friend. Finally, a fully developed best friend. We get to see why Kat and Parker love each other and just how close they are. But we also get to see how frustrating close relationships like that can be, and we see the two push each other to be better. Kat encourages Parker to take more risks, while Parker encourages Kat to think before she acts. They’re best friends that compliment each other, neither a sidekick to the other. Kirby has really offered quite a beautiful friendship in these two. Meanwhile, Trevor is that guy we all know — the guy we’ve known and gone to school with for years. The guy in the back of our mind that we never really think of romantically until one day we just do. He’s not a mysterious stranger who appears out of nowhere with only eyes for Parker, thank God. The two have history, chemistry, and Trevor’s just honestly a nice guy with depth. I love him so much and while I appreciated that he wasn’t the focus and Parker’s world didn’t revolve around him, I still want to see more of him because I’m ridiculously in love. A sequel is downright necessary, if only so I can drool over Trevor a little longer.

I’m a lover of contemporaries, but I’m a huge fan of contemps with truly engaging, riveting plots. And Golden delivers just that. I couldn’t put the book down. As much as I loved the characters, the plot and the mystery surrounding Julianna commandeered the majority of my attention, much to my surprise and delight. My only problem was Julianna’s writing style in her journal. Julianna’s journal entries read too sophisticated for me to believe. They sounded more like the author and/or narrator. Don’t get me wrong, the journal entries were beautifully written. Just too beautifully written for me to believe they were the musings of a high school senior. But I decided not to let that distract me and just let myself enjoy the beauty of Kirby’s writing.

Oh, another important thing to note: Parker has a mother who is actually present and concerned about Parker’s well-being. As in, she’s not mysteriously gone all the time so that the characters can throw huge parties without getting in trouble or come and go at all hours. This is something that bothers me a lot in current YA and I think Kirby did a fantastic job of incorporating Parker’s relationship with her kind of heliocoptery mom. Points to Kirby for recognizing that teenagers do, in fact, have parents. Well-meaning parents that sometimes get things wrong, at that. This relationship was just so perfectly rendered.

So, essentially, you should read Golden. It’s a quick, easy read with a gripping plot and likable characters. Oh, and there are some fun Frost quotes and allusions. Who doesn’t love Frost? After you’re done, you’ll probably want to bow to Kirby for allowing you the pleasure of reading such a great contemporary. I mean, that’s how I’m feeling. And I’m definitely keeping my fingers crossed for some sort of sequel or spin-off.

Pages: 288
Publication Date: May 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Provided by Publisher
Rating : ★★★★☆

Teaser Quote: “I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like for him in the beginning, not to be able to show the depth of his grief for her or what it meant. Not to be acknowledged as someone who lost her.

Catherine – April Lindner
Book Reviews
December 29, 2012 posted by Nichole

Catherine – April Lindner

A forbidden romance. A modern mystery. Wuthering Heights as you’ve never seen it before.

Catherine is tired of struggling musicians befriending her just so they can get a gig at her Dad’s famous Manhattan club, The Underground. Then she meets mysterious Hence, an unbelievably passionate and talented musician on the brink of success. As their relationship grows, both are swept away in a fiery romance. But when their love is tested by a cruel whim of fate, will pride keep them apart?

Chelsea has always believed that her mom died of a sudden illness, until she finds a letter her dad has kept from her for years—a letter from her mom, Catherine, who didn’t die: She disappeared. Driven by unanswered questions, Chelsea sets out to look for her—starting with the return address on the letter: The Underground.

Told in two voices, twenty years apart, Catherine interweaves a timeless forbidden romance with a compelling modern mystery.

Chelsea has always been told that her mom died when she was very young. One night she finds a letter from her mother telling her otherwise, so Chelsea sets out on a mission to discover the mystery of her mother’s disappearance. This is how she ends up in New York at the club that her mother grew up in along with the mysterious Hence. Turns out, Hence is Chelsea’s mom’s old boyfriend and one true love. Together, they must find out what happened to Chelsea’s mom.

Catherine has grown up in the music scene for as long as she can remember. Her dad’s the owner of a famous club, and she’s on the right track to Harvard. But things start to change when Catherine meets Hence, the boy without money or a place to stay. Convincing her father to let Hence stay in their basement, they slowly begin to develop feelings for one another. But their relationship gets rocky and their love gets put to the test. Will their pride tear them apart or will they make it last?


I instantly fell madly in love with Catherine by April Lindner. The words, plot, character….everything…they  were all so gorgeous. I devoured the book in a little over a day, and I was depressed towards the beginning that it was going to end soon. I especially loved Catherine and Hence. What a gorgeous couple! I wish that the book would have eliminated Chelsea’s section and just focused on the romance between Catherine and Hence, because their relationship was one of the best things I’ve ever experienced.

It was interesting to read about Chelsea’s POV. For awhile, I really didn’t know what happened to Catherine, and it was cool reading about Chelsea play detective. Again, though, I wish that she hadn’t existed. I wanted to read about Catherine and Hence, and I found myself wanting to fast forward through Chelsea’s sections.

I want to point out that I have not read Wuthering Heights before, so I have no idea what happens at the end of it.  I’ve heard positive and negative things about it. One thing I’ve heard is that the main male character plays a very domineering male, which is something that I am not interested in reading about. But let me tell you, if the ending of Wuthering Heights is ANYTHING like the ending of Catherine, I will never ever ever ever EVER read it!

The ending of Catherine upset me so much that it dropped from a 5 star to a 2 star in less than five minutes. I finished the book the night before I’m writing this review and my emotions are all over the place. I’m angry, sad, and devastated. I had guessed what had happened to Catherine and everything that surrounded her mysterious disappearance long before the ending, but I thought it was some sick joke when Lindner put it to action. I wanted to see romance between Catherine and Hence, I didn’t want to see her completely ruin her story and her character.

As I’m writing this, I’m trying to give as little away as possible because the ending was so intense and upset me so much. I do want to say that I will never read this book again. Not only that, but I didn’t even finish the book. After what she did at the end, I didn’t even care about the last few chapters. I skimmed them and turned off my laptop. I was not impressed.

I honestly felt a little violated, actually. I invested so much time and energy into that book. I fell in love with it and considered it one of my favorite books of the year. I cannot recommend this book, because I know that the ending will devastate other readers. Some might say that the ending was romantic, but I would disagree. It wasn’t romantic…it was sick! No. I am really disappointed with Catherine, and I will not be reading it again in the future.

People who loved Wuthering Heights might enjoy this book..I really don’t know. But as someone who has not read Wuthering Heights, I was really crushed by what was done to the book. I want my contemporary to have a romance that will last. And when the romance is so beautiful, I don’t want it to be messed with. So, I wouldn’t really know how to recommend this book even if I wanted to. I guess if you loved Wuthering Heights, give it a shot. But if you didn’t read Wuthering Heights, stay far, far away.

Pages: 320

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: January 2nd, 2013

Rating: : ★★☆☆☆


Teaser Tuesday: Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Blog Things
November 20, 2012 posted by Nichole

Teaser Tuesday: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading!

To participate all you have to do is:

Grab your current read

Open to a random page

Share “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page


(make sure what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)


Today’s teaser comes from Ten by Gretchen McNeil

 Release Date: September 18th, 2012

 Published by: Balzer + Bray


‘”You deserve”- T.J. took a step toward her-“better.” Meg loked up, straight into T.J.’s eyes. All she saw was sadness. T.J. felt sorry for her. The idea turned her stomach. It was so pathetic. She was so pathetic.’ (Pg 179.)

Creeeeeeak. Meg froze, her eyes locked on the shadow. The heavy form, oblong and amorphous except for the dangling appendages……Legs. Holy crap, there were legs. Meg turned her head and came eye-to-eye with a face hanging in the stairwell. The noose around the neck. The purplish-blue hue to the skin. Meg opened her mouth and screamed.” (pg 68.)